Synthia Feng ’20: Childhood Bilingualism Research Center

Name: Synthia Feng
Class Year: 2020
Major: Linguistics
Hometown: Changzhou, China

Internship Organization: Childhood Bilingualism Research Center
Job Title: Junior Research Assistant
Location: Hong Kong

Synthia Feng

What’s happening at your internship?

I am working as a junior research assistant at Childhood Bilingualism Research Center, which is affiliated under the Chinese University of Hong Kong. We are currently working on several projects at one time. In the past week, we have been doing intensive fieldwork at a local kindergarten, which offers bilingual curriculum, including Mandarin, Cantonese and English. We did CRVT (Cantonese Receptive Vocabulary Test), MRVT (Mandarin Vocab Test), PPVT (English Vocab Test) and WPPSI (working memory test) to Class 2019 (mainly kids of 6 years old). Later we shall input all results and compare them to the same group of children’s test results two years ago in order to monitor and analyze their progress in language learning. Also, we are preparing English educational materials for another projects that will look into the language learning process of children from low SES. We are making English educational videos for them to watch in a 10-month period and then we will test their English level both before and after this time period and evaluate their progress. Other than the two main projects, we are also transcribing adult-child interaction videos, which will later be added to the online corpus of the research center.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I was interested in close, hands-on experiences in a research setting outside of the classroom. I thought that it would be helpful for me to make decisions on my future career path, whether I would be interested enough to do academics and research or whether it would be better to get a job in a company.

Also, when I talked to my friend, Ariel, who interned there as well, she acknowledged that she had some really good experiences with all the people in the research center and she learned a lot from her time there. She especially addressed that this research center does provide tutorials of testing materials and equipment, which are very useful and I believe important to add on to my resume.

Living in a new city? What has that experience been like for you?

It has been pretty nice so far living in Hong Kong. I am renting an apartment with two other girls, who are doing master’s degrees in the Chinese University of Hong Kong and knows the city and the surroundings of the apartment pretty well already. So all I did is to ask, whenever I had questions about living here.

Public transportation in Hong Kong is definitely something I have to get used to, especially when the bus is more convenient than subway, but the amount of buses available here is ridiculous. The worst of all is that some small buses only stop whenever a passenger presses the “stop” button. For someone who is not familiar with that bus route, it is very inconvenient and scary because it is very likely that you get off earlier or later than necessary.

Shuning Wang ’20: Liaoning Longfeng Property and Assets Appraising Company

Name: Shuning Wang
Class Year: 2020
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Shenyang, China

Internship Organization: Liaoning Longfeng Property and Assets Appraising Company
Job Title: Analyst Intern
Location: Shenyang Province, China

I applied for this internship at the beginning of my second semester of my junior year. I did so because I saw the importance of connecting myself to a real field where I can apply what I have learned inside the classroom. I always find learning mathematical theories fascinating but I am not satisfied with only gaining knowledge from textbooks. What would satisfy me more, I believe, is to produce something useful. For example, I will feel very rewarded if I can use my analytical skills to help a building a project, no matter in which field.

The internship that I am doing now is a great opportunity to practice my ideal plan for spending my summer. The company where I am interning is a property and assets appraising company, which requires lots of analytical skills. Very suitable for students who have interest in architectural engineering and mathematics. The company as a whole is working on three separate cases and I am being assigned to one, which deals with estimating the cost of a one building in an housing estate located in the same town. It may sound that our work is related to lots of tedious estimation of every single detail of the blueprint of the building. However, what we have done so far is visiting the building onsite and measuring some major dimensions of rooms. I was confused at the beginning about why we need to measure these dimensions, since dimensions are all labeled on the blueprint that are provided by the owner of the building. My manager told me that it is important to check whether the dimensions labeled on the blueprint are correct and whether materials being used is of the same quality listed on the blueprint. In order to be responsible and make sure that our final report is accurate, the very first step is to make sure that all data that we will be modeling on are accurate. Besides collecting data onsite, we also met and had a short conversation with the owner of the building who entrusted our company to do the work. We asked the owner why he needs this services and he introduced some nontechnical background to us. It was nice for us to know this information.

My daily work also involves attending meetings of our project team. During the meetings, I observed how experienced colleagues propose potential plans and how they report their working progress. It is, indeed, a great opportunity for me to learn how to behave professionally.

Varuna Jasodanand ’20: Perelman School of Medicine

Name: Varuna Jasodanand
Class Year: 2020
Major: Psychology, Philosophy
Hometown: Curepipe, Mauritiues

Internship Organization: Perelman School of Medicine
Job Title: Research Fellow
Location: University of Pennsylvania


What’s happening at your internship?

We are conducting studies on patients and healthy controls, investigating the neural mechanisms underlying affective illnesses. We are researching the potential benefits of administering transcranial magnetic stimulation to targeted brain regions in alleviating negative symptoms.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I want to pursue a career in clinical neuroscience, and working at the center for neuromodulation of depression and stress provides me with a perfect idea of what working in this field actually is like.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Bonding with everyone at the lab because they have all been so kind and helpful!

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

I am learning a lot about programming and data organization and management. These are very important for the field of clinical neuroscience because of how prevalent the use of neuroimaging methods are.

Princess Jefferson ’20: Superior Court of Fulton, Georgia

Name: Princess Jefferson
Class Year: 2020
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Internship Organization: Superior Court of Fulton
Job Title: Student Intern
Location: Atlanta, Ga.


9 a.m. — the elevator bell rings.

I step out of the elevator on the four floor and walk up to the buzzer to enter the chambers of the judge whom I intern for at the Superior Court of Fulton here in Atlanta, Georgia. “Bzzz,” it sounds as I ring in for entry. Almost immediately the cheery voice of Ms. Daniels, who is the judicial clerk, chimes, “Well good morning missy! Come on in.” And just like that I hear the oh-so-familiar click of the door unlocking, and I walk in.

I walk down the familiar hall to the office and I mentally prepare for what is awaiting me. After a few more steps, a few breaths in and out, I lightly tap the window to get Ms. Daniels’ attention, and enter after being buzzed in yet another door. Ms. Daniels and I exchange our usual cheery greetings and playful banter, until the judge emerges and likewise greets us. He lets me and the other interns know what is on the agenda for the day before he takes the bench. Depending on what type of trial or what the day holds, I had become accustomed to traveling throughout the court and into other judicial chambers to listen and observe trials.

“Today we have a rape case, think you might be interested?” the judge asked me. I said, “Why yes sir, let me grab my pen and pad.” In sum, this is a small view into my work at the court.

While in this chamber working with two other interns, I had gotten quite used to be the youngest, and seemingly most curious. The other two interns are both 3Ls in law school while I am just beginning my senior year in college, but the mixture of experience and inexperience between us have provided me with an eclectic perspective to my work at the court.

Something I have come to love the most is that every day, and every week, bring a different, learning setting. I have been privileged not only to work with my judge, but also with others judges, all the while learning of their governing style and technique. I often  feel like Michaela Pratt of the hit TV show How to Get Away with Murder. I have been assigned motions to write for the judge, rewriting and/or constructing templates for the Judge’s procedural work; observe and report back what happened in court that day, and researching necessary information pertinent to the case before the court that day. While no day at the court looks the same, my daily actions are quite routine, in sum, I am the up-and-coming professional Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating.


When I think back to why I applied for this job, I consider just how little credit I gave to the city of Atlanta. After being given the opportunity to study in this grand city for a semester at the elite Spelman College, and being able to take courses within their consortium, I fell in love with not only the opportunities that seemed to just bud like flowers in spring, but I also love the city; perhaps the two are intertwined. Nevertheless, it has been my passion to explore the avenues of criminal justice and education and this internship seemed like the best way to begin prodding that interest.

One thing that I have learned since being at this internship is that there is no one kind of job in law. There is so much that you can do with a JD, and for me, learning this was truly important. Financial and mental stability are anchors for me as I consider what I want to do as I approach my senior year in college, but also as I considered what I wanted and needed to learn from this internship. Living in Atlanta and getting to enjoy the beauty of this place help me see that I have done a disservice to my time in Philadelphia. This summer I was determined to get out and explore what was around me and right under my nose. When I return to Philadelphia, I want to continue may be of great benefit to me. Being in Atlanta and getting to see the beauty that I term as being right in my backyard has encouraged me to do the same when I return home.

This experience, in a few words or less, has been wonderful.


Sydney Kim ’20: Biology Research Intern, Merrimack College

Name: Sydney Kim
Class Year: 2020
Major: Biology
Hometown: Westford, Mass.

Internship Organization: Merrimack College
Job Title: Summer Research Intern
Location: North Andover, Mass.

What’s happening at your internship?

This summer I am a summer research intern at Merrimack College. I am working directly with Professor Michael Piatelli in the Biology department. Along with another student, we are working on research projects focused on bacterial growth and the effects antibiotics have on growth. More specifically, I will focus this summer on three projects. One will use microbiology lab techniques to identify the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of four different bacterial strains: E. coli, S. marcescens, S. saprophyticus, and S. aureus) using the following antibiotics: ampicillin, tetracycline, and carbenicillin. The second project will focus on studying t-cell inflammatory responses to mitochondrial damage to elucidate potential correlations between damaged mitochondrial cells and diabetes. A third project that will be worked on throughout the summer is conducting smaller lab projects to help Professor Piatelli prepare his fall course syllabus.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I had the chance to work with Professor Piatelli last summer, as an unpaid intern. Professor Piatelli was a great teacher and I learned a lot of lab techniques that I had not yet been introduced to in classes at Bryn Mawr. When Professor Piatelli asked me back this summer, I agreed and this time received funding from The Center for Career & Civic Engagement. This summer, I wanted to continue adding to my repertoire of laboratory techniques. I was also really excited to work on projects involving bacteria and cell growth because I believed it would be beneficial for my future career pursuits in the medical field.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship specifically is that the working environment is very relaxed and focused on learning. We are able to accomplish tons of work in one day without the stress of deadlines and grades. I have also really enjoyed learning from Professor Piatelli. He thoroughly explains techniques, describing not just how to complete the steps of an experiment, but why we go through each step and where scientific error might occur. At the end of almost every experiment, when looking over results, Professor Piatelli asks us to critically analyze our results and identify potential sources of error which helps me gain a better understanding of the material.

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

I am learning a lot of new, valuable lab techniques in depth which I believe will help me in my future career endeavors and with my senior thesis research. Many of the experiments we are conducting and biological concepts Professor Piatelli explains parallel the outside studying I am doing for the MCAT. I also feel myself becoming more confident in a lab setting and I am excited to see what I have learned in my internship translate to my courses at Bryn Mawr and my future career.

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.


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!

Odinaka Oranekwu ’20: Generation Teach

Name: Odinaka Oranekwu
Class Year: 2020
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Lynn, Mass.

Internship Organization: Generation Teach
Job Title: Teaching Fellow
Location: Roslindale, Mass.

What’s happening at your internship?

My internship is a teaching preparation program that targets Boston Public Schools students who are primarily black and brown students who are more prone to being subjected to the summer slide. I was a lead math teacher for fifth grade students who are currently enrolled in BPS. I taught two sections of about 10 students each. I also taught an elective of basketball. I taught two sections of basketball of about 17 students each from fifth through eighth grade. I was also a club leader of about 25 students varying from fifth through eighth. As a club leader, we organized free time to wind down the school/camp day and give students the opportunity to make connections with the other kids.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I wanted to do something that impacts a group of people. Being an underprivileged black girl from Boston, I understand the worth and value of a black/brown teacher in my life trajectory. I wanted the opportunity to be that for kids. Additionally, as I’ve changed my major to mathematics this past school year, I’ve been curious as to what I’d want to do with a mathematics degree. Teaching has crossed my mind several times and I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to decide if I could possibly make a career in education.

Can you give us three adjectives and three nouns that describe your internship experience?

Adjectives: Challenging, Fulfilling, Growth
Nouns: Mentorship, Network, Dedication

What is most rewarding about your internship?

The most rewarding aspect of my internship was the kids. The kids honestly made the hard days easier. The relationships I built with a lot of the kids really will stick with me for a while. I knew I enjoyed being with the kids, but when I received notes and artwork from my students my heart nearly exploded. There is no greater feeling than knowing you’re making an impact in someone’s life, and that is what I felt throughout the summer.

Natasha Porter ’20: PennEnvironment

Name: Natasha Porter
Class Year: 2020
Major: Political Science
Hometown: London, England

Internship Organization: PennEnvironment
Job Title: Clean Water and Conservation Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

This summer I am working with PennEnvironment, a statewide environmental advocacy group focused on protecting the environment in Pennsylvania through grassroots organizing, advocacy, and lobbying state officials. I am a Clean Water and Conservation Intern and am working on creating on advocating for progressive environmental policies throughout the state. In particular, I am working on the “Get the Lead Out” campaign which aims to pass legislation that requires mandatory testing for lead in all public schools in Pennsylvania and treatment to decontaminate drinking water in schools. Through working on this campaign, I have written opinion pieces on the issue that have been published in several local newspapers to raise public awareness and create support for this important legislation. I have learned about the political research and targeting that goes in to advocacy work and creating support for a bill moving through the state legislature.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I appreciated how this internship combined several different areas — environmental policy, advocacy, legal and political action, and grassroots organizing. The opportunity to learn about all of these different areas and skills at the same time seemed very enticing. It has definitely allowed me to develop skills and knowledge in a range of interrelated areas and enhanced my understanding of local and state governments and how social movements can impact policy on a subnational scale.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

This summer, I’ve had the opportunity to shadow lobbyists and advocates and therefore have been able to listen in on calls and attend meetings with legislators. These meetings allowed me to have greater insight into the conversations that often happen behind closed doors that are fundamental to the policy-making process. Being able to gain further insight into the specific reasons why some laws pass and some don’t, and why some laws that pass are not as progressive as they were at is inception has been very eye-opening in understanding the policy-making process.

Can you give us three adjectives and three nouns that describe your internship experience?

Nouns: Fresh and Clean Water. Activism. Community.
Adjectives: Renewing. Refreshing. Important.