Aakriti Dhital ’21: Winrock International

Name: Aakriti Dhital
Class Year: 2021
Major: Economics, Math
Hometown: Kathmandu, Nepal

Internship Organization: Winrock International
Job Title: Research Intern
Location: Lalitpur, Nepal

What’s happening at your internship?

I am working on a research paper that explores the incentives of energy loans through microfinance institutions in rural communities in Nepal. I am looking at the intersections between microfinance intuitions and clean energy usage.

Why did you apply for this internship?

Microfinance is a burgeoning industry and I wanted to explore the impacts of the energy loans that are being disbursed via microfinance institutions in Nepal. Applying for this internship gave me an opportunity to explore the industry on my own.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

As someone who has never had the opportunity to do research on their own, this internship has been a great learning opportunity in that regard. I have enjoyed the independence I have had to work on my project and speak to experts on the field. It also has been a wonderful chance to know more about the ins and outs of the microfinance industry itself.

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

My major challenge has been data collection for my research work. It was also a challenge for me to sift through the raw data set to flesh out relevant data. All in all, it’s been a great learning opportunity to talk to and network with people and share with them the work I’m trying to do.

Anusha Narayan ’21: Nationalities Service Center

Name: Anusha Narayan
Class Year: 2021
Major: Public Health
Hometown: East Windsor, N.J.

Internship Organization: Nationalities Service Center
Job Title: Refugee Resettlement and Development Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

I am a refugee resettlement, green card, and development intern at the Nationalities Service Center. My Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays consist of me meeting with clients, collecting documents, and escorting refugee clients to government agencies to apply for required documentations. I specifically work with utility transfers and school enrollment. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I work with the dDevelopment team and work on branding, programming, and prospect grants for the organization as a whole.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I really connected with the mission of the organization. Especially with the political climate today, I felt as though working with refugee populations was very important to my internal purpose. I also had a friend who interned at the organization last summer, and she shared with me how incredible her experience has been, so NSC was always my first choice when I found out I would be participating in Summer of Service this summer. Additionally, I myself am an immigrant and a woman of color, and I feel as though this organization’s work connected to my own identities and aligned with my own personal goals.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Aside from the fact that I felt very connected to the mission of my organization, my favorite part of my internship that I did not expect to love so much has definitely been the other interns that I have met. They are such a diverse, incredible group of people. I have really been able to explore other college students’ perspectives outside of the Tri-Co. Connecting with the other interns at NSC has been one of my favorite everyday experiences at my internships. I have been able to create a community that I think I will continue to communicate and connect with even after my internship is completed.

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

Although I did not live in Philly, spending every day in Philadelphia has been incredible. I was very nervous about using public transport in the beginning of the internship. Because I grew up in the suburbs, I have never really had much exposure to cities. However, with my internship I have gotten so much more confident about being in the city and using public transportation, which has always been a big goal of mine. Although I did get lost and end up in the wrong place a few times, I felt like I grew a lot by learning to navigate parts of Philadelphia. Traveling the city has been intimidating for me during my time in college, but I am confident that now I will be much more comfortable doing so and utilizing Philadelphia in the remainder of my college experience.

Vimbai Mawoneke ’21: MD Anderson Cancer Center

Name: Vimbai Mawoneke
Class Year: 2021
Major: Chemistry
Hometown: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Internship Organization: MD Anderson Cancer Center
Job Title: Research Trainee
Location: Houston, Texas


What’s happening at your internship?

I am working with the Department of Cancer Systems Imaging to study the metabolomics of Glioblastoma (brain cancer) in treated, untreated and normal brain cells. My role is to analyze Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectra of the brain samples then quantitatively and qualitatively use observations to make deductions on the behavior of cancerous cells.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because of two reasons.

1. After taking organic chemistry at Bryn Mawr, one topic that stuck with me from the class was that of spectroscopy. I view spectroscopy as the bridge between theory and practice for a chemist. Theory tells us of the interaction of molecules and helps in the prediction of reactions, but spectroscopy is to me the confirmation of the existence of the molecules that theory tells me of. In this internship we use nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to analyze samples.

2. I wanted a research experience outside of Bryn Mawr. In my freshman year I shadowed in the lab of Dr. Malachowski and I enjoyed the experience very much. My mind pondered on whether this was something I could do for the rest of my life — a 9 to 5 in the lab. I saw this internship as a window of opportunity to test this.

Was this internship what you expected it to be?

My summer experience has been everything I expected it to be and more. My lab’s Principal Investigator/Mentor has gone the extra mile of setting up informational interviews with some of the faculty at MD Anderson and shadowing a neurosurgeon. Through these opportunities, I got to shadow in the operating room and clinic. I also learned more about the field of radio pharmaceuticals.

Vimbai Mawoneke

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship has been rooming with Bryn Mawr women. It feels like I am still at Bryn Mawr and I couldn’t be happier. My roommates and I were fortunate enough to gain summer housing from Hannah Curry McDougald ‘10, who is part of the Bryn Mawr Club of Houston through connection with Sarah Sarnelli, who is the president of the club. We get invited to events with other alumni and this I feel has expanded my network.


Vimbai Mawoneke

Soaad Elbahwati ’21: CAIR-Philadelphia

Name: Soaad Elbahwati
Class Year: 2021
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Pottstown, Pa.

Internship Organization: CAIR-Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

I’m working with three other fellows in our civic engagement fellowship program at CAIR-Philadelphia. We all collaborate on projects and attend events hosted by other advocacy groups. Currently, we’re working on reports about Muslim students and education, focusing on their specific needs and issues that they face in school.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I have always wanted to work with CAIR ever since I learned about the organization in high school. CAIR is the biggest civil rights advocacy group for Muslims in the country and I wanted to be a part of that. As a Muslim woman who has experienced Islamophobia in many facets of my life, I felt it necessary to work for an organization that focuses on combating negative stereotypes of Islam and empowering Muslim-Americans. It’s important to me to do this work to make life better for future generations of Muslim-Americans.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of my internship so far is connecting with other Muslim college students and working together. Many of us have similar majors so we talk a lot about politics and global issues. I look forward to work everyday because I’m excited about our discussions. My internship has also shown me that my dream of running for public office doesn’t have to be just a dream and has given me the skills of outreach and community organizing that are very important for a public official to have.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

The most rewarding thing about my internship is feeling fulfilled in doing advocacy work for my religious community. It is extremely empowering to me to be working on the behalf of Muslims in Philadelphia. Every time I go to an advocacy event, like the Education Apartheid Day of Action in Harrisburg, I feel very powerful in my abilities as an activist and community member and it makes me look forward to the future as being a community leader someday.

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.

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.

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!

Michelle Scuzzarella ’21: Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation

Name: Michelle Scuzzarella
Class Year: Rising Junior
Major: Biology
Hometown: Lynn, Mass.

Internship Organization: Magee-Womens Research Institute and Foundation
Job Title: Research Intern
Location: Pittsburgh

What’s happening at your internship?

The Yanowitz lab focuses on the field of reproductive biology and uses Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism to conduct this work. I’m currently working on two projects relating to the process of meiosis. One project has to do with a mutation in a protein that normally creates double-strand breaks in chromosomes that are needed for cross-over events. Without a cross-over event, the chromosomes are not able to segregate properly into their sperm or egg cells, which means that these cells are unable to create viable offspring. However there sometimes appear to be cross-over events in these mutants, so I’m testing to see what may be causing these apparent cross-over events to occur. In another smaller project, I’m trying to determine when a protein, which is important in the process of meiosis, is produced during the life cycle of C. elegans.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I have a love for biology. After taking biology courses throughout my academic career, I was beyond ready to be in a position where I would be doing real biology. Working in a lab setting would be the perfect thing to do to exercise some of the skills I’ve already learned in lab courses, while also gaining so many new skills and a ton of invaluable experience. On top of all of this, I would be working on a project that could possibly have real world applications one day. I think most STEM majors dream of the day that the things they learn and put work into actually have real world applications — I know I do.

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

This experience has definitely had its ups and downs, but so far, it’s been a great experience. It’s been difficult to be away from my friends and some of my favorite places at home for the summer, but I think this experience will be worth it. It has also been very difficult living in a completely new city, but I’ve had a lot of help getting to know the city from a fellow Bryn Mawr student and her family. This experience has also led to me becoming much more independent and it has helped me learn how to navigate a big city. I’ve really enjoyed this experience so far because it has helped me see what I’m capable of.

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

I think that the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far has been working with the C. elegans. C. elegans are microscopic nematodes that can just barely be seen at their largest without a microscope. In order to move the worms to their desired destination, we have to look through a microscope and use an instrument called a pick to pick them up and leave them where they’re needed. When I first started out, the worms more often than not did not safely make it to their destination. I’ve also had to learn how to dissect the worms, and believe me, that’s just as hard as it sounds. While looking under a microscope, I have to use a small and very sharp needle to cut the worms in a specific spot so that we can expose and examine their germline under a special type of microscope. Thanks to my clumsy nature and shaky hands, working with C. elegans has been incredibly tedious and exhausting, but also a fantastic exercise in patience.

María del Pilar Ferreira Romero ’21: Fundación Tierra de Esperanza

Name: María del Pilar Ferreira Romero
Class Year: 2021
Major: International Studies
Hometown: Lambaré, Paraguay

Internship Organization: Fundación Tierra de Esperanza
Job Title: Intern at Dirección de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación
Location: Concepción, Chile.

María del Pilar Ferreira Romero

What’s happening at your internship?

I am an intern at the Dirección de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación (DIDI), or Research Development and Innovation Direction in English. This department of Fundacion Tierra de Esperanza is in charge of managing and sharing data. As an intern, I am working on creating a systematization guideline that will allow the Fundación to keep a record of all the experiences from their projects. In this way, good practices that worked for one project could be applied to other projects.

Additionally, I am also learning about the different projects that the Fundación has in four main areas: Education, Substance Abuse, Juvenile Justice, and Human Rights. The work the Fundacion does in Chile is impressive and I am eager to keep learning in the weeks that I have left!

Why did you apply for this internship?

One day, I received an email with a new internship that was going to take place in Chile with an organization that works with children. It was a pilot program created by the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and Fundación Tierra de Esperanza for undergraduates and graduates students. When I read about the work that the Fundación does in Chile, I knew that it would be the place where I could learn about the use of data for the creation of programs that address pressing issues in society. Furthermore, this pilot program appeared as a unique opportunity to work in a city and a country that would challenge me and expose me to different realities in the international context.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part so far has been the people at the Fundacion. Everyone received me with arms wide open and with a desire to teach and share with me all the knowledge they have. They have been extremely helpful during my immersion into the Fundacion to understand the acronyms, programs, and many other things. Moreover, they are also showing me the best of Chile. Everyone at the Fundación tells me what I have to visit, what dishes I have to try, and have even invited me to some cultural events in the cosmopolitan city that Concepción is. They have all been really friendly and accessible to teach me things that I have to learn, and to make sure that I have the very best time here in Chile.





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

Living in a new city has been fun and entertaining. I am living in a hotel, which means that I have all the commodities that it offers and can eat out almost every day. Concepción is a walkable city, and my hotel is in downtown. Therefore, I can walk almost everywhere.
The city of Concepcion has many museums, theaters, and other cultural places that I have yet to visit. There is so much history in this city and I am learning something every day. There are so many places to know here in Concepcion, and in the surrounding cities. Furthermore, the landscapes that it offers are also delightful. During my time here, I have seen some marvelous sunsets that decorate the beautiful hills that Concepcion has. I am excited to keep exploring and learning more about this historical city!