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.