Lyncy Nyandoche ’21: Finance Intern, American Express

Name: Lyncy Nyandoche
Class Year: 2021
Major: Economics and Mathematics
Hometown: Homabay, Kenya

Internship Organization: American Express
Job Title: Finance Intern — Corporate Planning and Analysis
Location: New York City

Choosing the American Express Internship meant foregoing an opportunity to head back home to Kenya to work with a startup to improve farmers’ productivity and increase their financial awareness. I was motivated by the eventual long-term benefits of gaining technical, communication and leadership skills and creating a network that would enable me to have an even bigger impact in the future. Besides, this internship was a stepping stone in helping me decide what careers in finance I am interested in pursuing. This was my first corporate America experience! I didn’t know what to expect and I was nervous about my performance, on top of my non-finance academic background. Through my experience at school, I decided to put into practice the pre-internship orientation training held by the Career & Civic Engagement Center.

After a fun day with my team.

After a fun day with my team.

At the beginning of June, I joined the Corporate Planning and Analysis team at American Express during the month-end results reporting and the long-term planning period; which is one of the most work-intensive periods of the team. I had to dive deep into understanding the reports that my team was working on, which consisted of researching, asking questions and completing assignments from the talent acquisition team. I was assigned a project to create a forecasting model for Charge Accounts Receivable (A/R) of Commercial Cards. This model would provide a more accurate forecast of the Commercial Charge Cards A/R, thus facilitating better risk provision on the Profit & Loss Statement. During my time at Amex, the most challenging aspect of my internship was my project, since I didn’t have any experience in either financial modeling or statistical forecasting. Thinking about how much I had to do independently was nerve-wracking, but it motivated me to put on my heels and step into any challenge courageously. I embraced Amex’s Blue Box value of teamwork by collaborating with my direct team and other teams with subject matter expertise to successfully deliver. I largely attest my success to the incredible support of my team, who were so welcoming since day one.

1 On a photoshoot with the sophomore interns

On a photoshoot with the sophomore interns.

The most surprising aspect of my internship was the level of Amex’s commitment to diversity alongside wholesome personal development. I never thought that I would find a financial services company that committed so many resources to personal growth and cared that their employees have a work-life balance. Every colleague is supportive of one another and there is great mobility within the teams and divisions. There are very few days that I remember spending wholly at my desk. I had company-wide educational events, executive speaker series and/or coffee chats that occupied my time.

There were so many equally rewarding aspects of my internship that I can only speak to a few. After my presentation, my model attracted attention from the parallel team on Consumer Services; in which they wanted to adapt my model. Aside from my work, I had the opportunity to meet and interact with senior leadership over executive speaker series and other networking events. For example, during a breakfast event, I realized that I was seated next to the CFO! Above all these, I created a professional network and gained friends through several fun activities with my fellow interns. Courtesy of this Amex network, I spent weekends with the sophomore interns exploring and going on many adventures in the wonderful city of New York. These among other experiences led to my decision to spend another summer at American Express.

I’ll cherish my first experience in the corporate world, but most of all thank you Amex for introducing me to my new best friends!

Ruth Mullin ’21: LITS, Bryn Mawr College

Name: Ruth Mullin
Class Year: 2021
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.

Internship Organization: LITS
Job Title: Summer digital intern
Location: Canaday Library

This summer I’m working with LITS as one of the digital interns. There are five of us, and we’re split between two projects. The project I’m working on involves building a language-learning website with the goal of revitalizing an indigenous language. There are no native speakers of the language left, which presents some challenges, but luckily, we have access to hours of field tapes and a 700-page text that form the foundation of the website. I’m working on two out of the three sub-projects. The first one is focused on the actual development and design of the website. For the second one, we’re figuring out ways to make supplemental media like vocabulary slides using JavaScript libraries. The entire project has already been going on for decades, so we are doing as much as we can to help this summer, but the website won’t be complete for many years to come!

I first found this job when I was browsing Handshake. As I read the description, I was immediately intrigued by the technological and creative aspects of the internship. I’m majoring in math, and I’m always looking for ways to combine that with some of my other interests (such as web design, data handling, art, and my computer science minor) and explore how they work together. I thought this would be a great opportunity to explore some things outside my major to get some ideas about what I might want to do in the future. I’ve also been surprised by how applicable some lessons I’ve learned in classes have been!

I didn’t know a lot about the project I would be working on before I started my internship this summer, but I did expect to be working closely with the project sponsors and designing the face of the website. This was true in some ways, but I was surprised by a lot of aspects of the project. I definitely am working with the project sponsors, but there is a lot of physical distance between us, which was unexpected! One person is at Swarthmore College, a few are in New York, and one is even in California. The distance has been a challenge in some ways, but to get around it we have weekly phone meetings and occasional trips to Swarthmore. Also, everyone is very accessible by email and quick to answer questions. Another unexpected thing was how much of the project would involve actual coding. Of course, I knew there would be some HTML and CSS work, but it turns out that my sub-projects also require things like PHP and a JavaScript library called D3.

With all the unexpected things I’ve encountered during this internship, I’ve had to learn to adapt very quickly. One of the ways I’ve adapted to the surprise elements is to practice being a self-motivated learner and teaching myself new skills and coding languages. From the very beginning of the internship, we were kind of given the tools to learn and then sent off to figure things out. I like this way of learning, even if sometimes it’s hard to stay on track. Additionally, there are so many people in LITS that I know I can ask for help! I know that being able to learn on my own and find resources will be very important in the future; during my time at Bryn Mawr and after.

Another skill I’ve been learning about is project management. During my first week, we had a project management workshop which has been helpful. The project I’m working on is often very open-ended and it requires a lot of planning on my part. This skill can translate to almost any situation, which makes it extra valuable.

Ruth McLeod ’19: Youth Engineering and Science

Name: Ruth McLeod
Class Year: 2019
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Boston, Mass.

Internship Organization: Youth Engineering and Science
Job Title: Assistant to the Director
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

There is a lot that is going on. I get to work at 7 a.m., get breakfast ready and let the interns and teachers in the building. At 8 a.m. we have our morning meeting where we discuss what worked, what did not, the highlights, and things we learnt the day before. We also give out a Hot Shot award to someone that really impressed us and a Flexy award to someone who was flexible or willing to go above and beyond.

After the morning meeting we break up into the teaching teams. I supervise members from the team that are a part of the lunch crew and help the prepare their materials for the day. By 9 a.m. most teams are out to the recreational centers teaching their lessons. I stay at base camp and prep the materials that the teams will be using in the next day’s lesson. I also do a daily inventory for the director so that we know if we need more food or materials and we don’t run out.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I wanted a behind-the-scenes perspective on what goes into creating, executing and teaching lessons. Since I want to be a high school math teacher, I think it is important to know what I will have to do in the future and start developing the skills needed to perform those tasks.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

Yes. I found this internship through my math professor, Victor Donnay who is a part of the Noyce Scholarship Program, which helped funded the organization that I interned with. My position was unique because it was only created because the director’s husband was not available for the entire summer and they needed someone to fill his role.

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

I have learned how to be a part of a team even if I am not on the frontline. At first it was OK being behind the scenes but as the teams got to experience what it was like to teach the lessons it became harder. As someone who loves to teach and wants to teach, I was incredibly jealous of some of the other interns. I realized later that it might have been a blessing in disguise because teaching is not easy and is very stressful. I came to accept that although I did not teach this summer, I learned a lot about teaching.

Rose Arasa ’22: LITS, Bryn Mawr College

Name: Rose Arasa
Class Year: 2022
Major: Undeclared-Computer Science
Hometown: Kisii, Kenya

Internship Organization: Library and Information Technology Services
Job Title: Intern
Location: Bryn Mawr College

What’s happening at your internship?

We are working on a language revitalization project whereby we are using digital software to create a language learning tool for educational purposes and also contribute to the revitalization of the Indigenous language that we are currently working on. My duties involve troubleshooting and fixing some errors in the Drupal site of the language in an attempt to make the files usable for the development of the interactive site for learning the language. I am also working on some backend web development in HTML and CSS to customize the views of the site to meet the client’s needs.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied to this internship because I wanted to expand my knowledge in the different digital and technical skills that were related to my field of study: computer science. I had also anticipated to learn new technology and apply it at the same time; therefore, this internship was a great opportunity for me to accomplish that.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship has been learning and using the Drupal site to create the language learning tool. With the mentorship from my client’s professional team, we have been able to get some tasks done as we prepare to launch the site in August at the end of our internship. I was also prompted to learn web-based programming languages that I have used in some tasks of my project and that was a good learning experience. Discovering the interdisciplinary elements of this project has also been my favorite part as I develop both my digital scholarship skills and leadership skills while working in a team.

Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

I am learning to develop competency in human interface design for the online learning system.

Through this work, I will develop competency in human interface design for an online language-learning system, using the Drupal content management to link rich multimedia objects. As a computer science major and a person interested in working in this field, the exposure to user experience early in my career will be essential to making decisions about the skills that I want to be really proficient in which will be more aligned with my career interests and focus on developing them.

Exposure to design thinking, as my team and I test different interactivity to different approaches to programming interactivity, will go a long way in helping me create digital solutions to problems based on the needs of the client and considering the different factors and experiences that make their digital experience unique. Troubleshooting experience will definitely be helpful in my student career in the computer science field since I have definitely learned the importance of isolating problems and breaking them down to run diagnostics and identify a problem to come up with solutions. Since we have worked with a large number of digital files in the database, I have learned the importance of keeping the integrity of the client’s work secure as they need it. Lastly, the skills learned in algorithmic coding while making changes to the backend of the site are also key to my career as a student in my field of interest.

Umme Tanjuma Haque ’21: LITS, Bryn Mawr College

Name: Umme Tanjuma Haque
Class Year: 2021
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh

Internship Organization: LITS
Job Title: LITS intern
Location: Bryn Mawr College

What’s happening at your internship?

The LITS internship has two major projects this summer. I am part of the Fact Book project, which is essentially about digitizing Bryn Mawr’s fact books from 1983 to 2003. I am working with Jasmine Bao (another LITS intern) and Lindsey Palumbo (Associate Director of Institutional Research), with the guidance of Jennifer Spohrer. The project essentially started off with us (the interns) scanning the physical fact books into PDFs and running OCR in Adobe to recognize text. This was followed by us selecting data categories that interested us, so that we could collect data pertaining to that category in Excel; for example — race/ethnicity data over the years. The next step is to learn how to manipulate pivot tables for the data so that we can make graphs or analyze the data. Lindsey will be helping us with that!

Why did you apply for this internship?

Since I am an international student, I wanted to find something that interested me on-campus. The LITS internship was the right fit for applying because the interns have the chance initially to prefer certain areas of technology like web design, data analysis, coding, etc. According to that, the interns are placed into one of the many projects under LITS internship. It felt like the right place for me to work over the summer since I wanted to gain more knowledge about new technological tools, in general. Also, I know the staff from before and I really wanted to work with them!

What is most rewarding about your internship?

I have some deep interest in learning about institutions that have rich histories like Bryn Mawr and this internship gave me the right opportunity to do just that. With fact books ranging from 1983 to 2003, which have information about student enrollment, tuition, major information etc., one can really take a look at what Bryn Mawr was and has become over the years. Even the choice of fonts or the way they represent the data is very interesting because that changed over the years, which made us wonder why. All these things are beyond the more tangible technological skills since these hone one’s critical thinking skills.

Was this internship what you expected it to be?

For the LITS internship, you get assigned a project and that did not happen until we approached the starting date of the internship. I was expecting to be put into a coding heavy environment since I am a CS major, but having put into a project that looks into data and its analysis from scratch was an interesting change, of course, and a nice surprise too. Also, this project is heavily dependent on how we choose to lead it so it is quite amazing that we have a significant say in how the project will look at the end. I was not expecting the project to be something that surpassed this summer, but it is a long-term project. I had very low knowledge of handling data and this project has given me the chance to explore that at a pace I appreciate.

Tatiana Perez ’20: Penn Museum

Name: Tatiana Perez
Class Year: 2020
Major: Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology
Hometown: Milton, Mass.

Internship Organization: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Job Title: Conservation Intern
Location: Philadelphia


As a rising senior, I (like I assume most seniors) have been stressing about the future and life after graduation. This summer, I wanted to figure out what next steps I would take. By my sophomore year, I knew that I wanted to work in a museum setting. I learned about conservation through my own research, my courses, and by talking to professors. With graduation looming in the not so distant future, I needed to start thinking more seriously about what kinds of graduate programs to apply for and to make a decision, I needed experience. I did more research on various programs and realized that experience hours are both required and important to have a competitive application.Though I was very interested in conservation, I applied for a variety of internships as well as the conservation internship at the Penn Museum.

Though I had some previous experience working for Special Collections and volunteering for the Penn Museum’s Near Eastern Collection, I wasn’t prepared for how much I would learn about museum studies, conservation and conservation graduate programs. Conservators are described as doctors for objects. They examine and treat objects for exhibition and research. I have had the opportunity observe these “doctors” at work and also work on my own projects. Summer interns at the Penn Museum have the opportunity to work within specific departments while also attending lectures about different careers in a museum and collections tour twice a week. Within my first week, I was learning how to write treatment reports, how to do conservation photography, how to mend pottery, and test objects for chloride with silver nitrate. Since then, I have learned much more and have even been given the opportunity to treat accessioned objects, like an Ancient Egyptian shabti, and a Native American porcupine tail hairbrush.

My experience at the Penn Museum has opened my eyes to how important internships are. I have been able to apply what I have learned within the classroom to the hands-on work I have done this summer. I’ve also learned so much about what I would need to do to get into conservation programs. I found that I love being able to learn more about objects and helping to preserve our history. There’s something magical about being able to touch and treat something human hands touched and made hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Objects in museums help us piece together the stories of humans past. Conservators act as one of the protectors of these objects and have the important job of making sure these objects can continue telling their stories for future generations. With all of this you might think I have more of an idea of what I want to do in the future and you would be wrong. I’m still not completely sure about grad school, but I know how much I like working in a museum and I know that I can make a more informed decision soon.


Zijia Zhuang ’21: Penguin Random House China

Name: Zijia Zhuang
Class Year: 2021
Major: Comparative Literature
Hometown: Beijing, China

Internship Organization: Penguin Random House China
Job Title: Editorial Assistant
Location: Beijing, China


What’s happening at your internship?

I am paid to read books at my internship! One of the most important tasks that I was given is to proofread translated texts, so I need to read the original English text with the Chinese translated text together to see if there is anything wrong about the translation. I also got the chance to read chapters of books sent by copyright companies and discussed with my supervisor whether we should buy the book. I helped editors to research authors, their books, book covers, and copyright information. Recently I am working on a project to discover famous Western sci-fi authors who are not well-introduced into the Chinese market.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied believing this would be the perfect job, combining my fondness for reading and writing with introducing good books to many others. I have dreamed of becoming an editor since junior high school. As I grew to be a selective reader, I paid more attention to publishing companies. Time after time, I found myself attracted by the high-quality design and contents of books that all have a little orange penguin logo on their covers. I cannot think of a better place to start my career in the publishing industry other than Penguin Random House China.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

I always admired Penguin Random House, but I never knew there were internship opportunities offered by Penguin China. Last summer, a friend of mine who is a senior in our school learned that I’m interested in going into the publishing field, so she told me that a recently graduated alumna, Rita (’18), was working for Penguin China, and she gave me her contact. From Rita, I learned about what it is like to be a Penguin intern, and how to apply to be an intern. I was so excited to hear about everything. I waited almost a year and it was finally my time to apply for the internship! In my interview, I was not upset to learn that the Penguin staff members still remembered Rita and they liked her a lot, as she seemed to have a great time when she told me about the internship. Luckily, I got admitted too. I started the internship with one thought: I have to work hard enough to keep up that good image of Bryn Mawr College students!

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

Before I began my internship, I thought that editors only deal with books. But I was soon assigned tasks by my supervisor to help her with the 2020 Penguin China original calendar. On each day of that calendar, there will be an introduction of an author and a quote from his or her book that Penguin once published, with an illustration of the Penguin cover of that book. My task was to find the quotes and the copyright information of the book cover. It was a very time-consuming job to search the information I needed, and I had to admit that I found little value from doing that job at first — I preferred proofreading! At least I was reading something! But soon I realized that while it seemed tedious, I could still learn something from this task: I got to know more about those world-famous authors and finding inspiring quotes from the internet. I also got to learn about the copyright information of books, and the connections between each different Penguin series. From that point, I decided to keep a positive attitude with whatever tasks I am going to have. I also learned from this unexpected experience that editors also need to do a lot of work that is not related to books!

Tessa Pham ’20: Cogo Labs

Name: Tessa Pham
Class Year: 2020
Major: Computer Science, Linguistics
Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam

Internship Organization: Cogo Labs
Job Title: Software Engineering Intern
Location: Cambridge, Mass.

What’s happening at your internship?

I am wrapping up my remaining projects as we move into the last week of the internship. My work mainly includes maintaining, upgrading, and developing new features for internal tools that the platform team supports. Our company also hosted a hackathon exclusively for all the interns last week, and I, with two other teammates, worked on an app that reports on query traffic, which can be useful for data analysts. This product is in fact among the ones I hope to finish up and officially roll out before leaving.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I was fascinated by the model of the company and it seemed to be a great environment for working, learning, and connecting with like-minded people.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

The intern hackathon. It was a very short hackathon, lasting only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but we all got to collaborate with interns on other teams to work on ideas that would be beneficial to the company.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?

Being the only female engineer on the team. It was a bit difficult for me at first to find common ground to connect with other team members. It really helped that everyone was super welcoming, approachable, and willing to help.

Rosemarie Fettig ’20: American Philosophical Society

Name: Rosemarie Fettig
Class Year: 2020
Major: English
Hometown: Potomac, Md.

Internship Organization: American Philosophical Society
Job Title: Curatorial Research Intern
Location: Philadelphia


What’s happening at your internship?

As a Curatorial Research Intern, I spend most of my time reading! At the APS Museum, summers are dedicated to preparing for the next year’s exhibition, so the curatorial team starts off reading secondary source material about the exhibition topic — our exhibition is about Benjamin Franklin and science — before turning to primary sources and objects to include in the exhibition. When I’m not reading in my office, I’m in the APS Library’s reading room, consulting books and manuscripts from the archives. My specific project has been researching Ben Franklin’s experiments and inventions with electricity, which there’s certainly no shortage of material on! I’ve read letters between Franklin and his philosophical peers, gone through all of the Library’s 13 copies of his book, Experiments and Observations on Electricity, and deciphered some slightly cryptic scientific illustrations, all to help our two Curatorial Fellows develop the story they want our exhibition to tell and gather material for object labels and guide scripts.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I’m hoping to pursue museum work after graduation, and I knew that this internship would give me valuable experience in the field. While I’ve already done some museum work — I’m a Special Collections Assistant at Bryn Mawr and I interned in the Registrar’s Office of the Smithsonian American Art Museum last summer — I’ve never done curatorial work before, so I was eager to broaden my experiences and gain a more well-rounded understanding of all the different subfields of museum work!

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

As cheesy as this might sound, my favorite part of my internship is the people! Working at a smaller institution means that there’s a lot of communication and cooperation between different departments, so everyone knows what everyone else is working on and is constantly learning from each other. For me, this means I get to learn more about how the museum as a whole functions and develop a new appreciation for all the different things museum staff do!

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

One of the best parts of my internship is the fact that I learn something new every day, since early American history and the history of science were both subjects that I didn’t know a whole lot about before I started this position. My personal favorite fact: mid 18th-century scientists were fascinated by a fish called the torpedo fish, a type of ray that gives off a shock like an electric eel, and their obsessive study of this fish eventually led to the development of early electroshock therapy and the invention of the battery!

Rania Dali ’22: Prevention Point Philadelphia

Name: Rania Dali
Class Year: 2022
Major: Economics
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Internship Organization: Prevention Point Philadelphia
Job Title: Community Outreach, Development, and Education Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

Prevention Point is a public health organization that seeks to improve access to medical services and promote empowerment and safety to the community of Kensington, Philadelphia, which is largely affected by drug use and poverty. Therefore, every day my tasks change depending on the needs of our participants and my ability to cater to their needs.

Why did you apply for this internship? What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

I applied to intern with Prevention Point Philadelphia because I wanted to work with a public health organization that is very integrated in the community that it serves, and when a friend at Bryn Mawr who interned with PPP last summer told me about her experience, it seemed perfect. PPP is in the heart of Kensington, which makes it easily accessible for people in need of syringe services, wound care, or just a hot meal. Now the question that comes up is: Why is an organization serving a community affected by drug use handing out free syringes on a weekly basis? This is called a harm reduction approach. Harm reduction aims to reduce the harm associated with drug use, meaning reducing the amount of overdose deaths and HIV/Hepatitis cases. Overcoming addiction is a battle and recovery is not a thought everyone has, therefore, many continue to use drugs no matter whether they have access to new syringes or not. Handing out new syringes means fewer people sharing their used syringes and fewer HIV/Hepatitis cases. Since PPP opened 27 years ago, it has expanded its services to include case management, HIV/Hepatitis testing, mail service, medically assisted treatment, shelter and more. As a result, I learned a lot about harm reduction as a service and practice. More importantly, I found ways to connect it to my major by exploring the cost effectiveness of PPP as a harm reduction program since it opened its doors and the ratio between cost of HIV cases prevented vs. the cost of syringes given out.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of interning at Prevention Point has been working with my team and interacting with the participants. My team is very small so I can always get immediate feedback on my work and ask questions. Since I work as an outreach and engagement intern, a lot of my work serves to engage the community and allow the participants to voice their needs and concerns. Recently, I have been doing presentations about HIV medications and chronic homelessness to our participants in the drop-in area and they’re very responsive. They ask questions and provide me with feedback that I can use to better cater to their needs. For my most recent project, I filmed a guidelines video for our staff and participants and once I played it in the drop-ins, the participants were so excited to see familiar faces on the screen and they clapped at the end, which made me realize the impact I’m having on the community even if it means making one person smile.