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.

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!

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.

Joan Ndichu ’21: Grid Alternatives

Name: Joan Ndichu
Class Year: 2021
Major: Economics and Mathematics
Hometown: Nairobi

Internship Organization: Grid Alternatives
Job Title: Outreach team intern
Location: Washington, D.C.

What’s happening at your internship?

I am currently interning at Grid Alternatives, a nonprofit solar panel installer that provides solar at no cost to low-income households. I am currently under the outreach department, where I work with the data collected. I go to client visits where I help them in the application process, explaining to them how the system works and how much they will save after they switch to using solar energy. My colleagues are very friendly, and I am learning so much about how solar panels work and how much energy is saved using solar. I also work with the engineering team, where I have learned about the design and the math involved in coming up and installing the panels.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I have always wanted to work with nonprofits and being an Economics and Mathematics major, Grid Alternatives was the best place for me. Grid works with mostly low-income households in D.C., and hence engages with the community. I am very passionate about community development and reaching out to people living in marginalized communities and helping them invest in the resources they have. Also, being a math major, I love working with engineering-elated work that involve applying the mathematics I have learned and putting it into practice. Grid Alternatives was a combination of both, and thus was the best fit for me, and everyday as I work here and learn more about the organization and its client, I realize how much grid fits my passion and interest.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

I found my internship through a summer program I am also doing this summer. The program is called Bridge DC and it involves learning about injustice issues in our communities, mostly the D.C. area. We learn about the people affected by systemic injustices by living around the neighborhood and learning their stories. Afterwards, we get to learn how we can apply our skills to helping develop our communities and building up just systems that provide fair services to all. Hence, it is through the program that I learned about Grid Alternatives.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part will definitely be when I went for an actual solar panel installation and the engineers guided me through the whole process until we finished the installation. I have never been on a roof before, working; it was an amazing experience. It was also nice working with the team and them sharing their past experiences in the work. At the end, we got a chance to interact with the owner of the house, and seeing the smiles on the older couple’s faces after we were finished the installation was more than precious.

Viktoriia Borodina ’21: Deutsche Bank

Name: Viktoriia Borodina
Class Year: 2021
Major: Biology and Economics
Hometown: Novosibirsk, Russia

Internship Organization: Deutsche Bank
Job Title: Global Markets Summer Analyst
Location: New York City

What’s happening at your internship?

The Global Markets division is also known as Sales & Trading. Along with other sophomore interns, I have been assigned to two rotations across S&T — specifically, Asset-Backed Securities (Lender Finance) and Emerging Markets Trading & Structuring.

I was able to get involved with multiple projects for both of my rotations, getting to participate in all stages of credit structuring. For the Lender Finance group, for example, I was involved in deals with credit funds with up to U.S. $50 billion Assets Under Management. I worked with various credit models, composed internal credit memos and prepared marketing material for potential buyers of Deutsche Bank’s loans/facilities. For the Emerging Markets Trading & Structuring, I have sat on the trading floor for two weeks, learning about the various products offered by the trading desk — such as Latin American FX, Rates, and Credit.


Why did you apply for this internship?

This summer I was fortunate to be selected for the dbAchieve internship designed specifically for sophomores of diverse backgrounds. I have applied because I am interested in pursuing a career in finance and was looking for an opportunity to define and narrow down my interests. I was further fascinated by the global nature of Deutsche Bank (DB) and wanted to experience what it’s like being a part of a multinational bank.


What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Being able to meet and get to know inspiring people throughout DB. I made sure that I networked extensively during my time here, both with people in my rotations and outside. Shadowing traders/salespeople was very insightful — I got to see what goes into their everyday trade decisions, and how exactly the markets work.

Talking to people has also helped me define my own interests, as I learned that I am more interested in project-based work compared to short day-to-day transactions.

I have greatly enjoyed working with my teams as well. Everyone was willing to help me learn and succeed at the internship. I was able to eventually comprehend some of the nuances of working on credit structuring and live deals, adding value to my team by working on some parts of their projects.

Living in a new city?

New York City is a fascinating place to spend a summer. There is just so much to do and explore. Although I have lived in big cities my entire life, I was impressed by how much is going on in NYC daily. Despite being busy during the week, I took full advantage of living in the city on the weekends – from exploring museums to local coffee shops, I was able to get a taste of what it’s like to live in New York (and I loved it!).

Mahika Vajpeyi ’21: Grail Insights

Name: Mahika Vajpeyi
Class Year: 2021
Major: Economics and Computer Science
Hometown: Ghaziabad, India

Internship Organization: Grail Insights
Job Title: Research intern
Location: Noida, India

Another school year was nearing its close and not having a summer internship offer by the end of March was disheartening. Dejected and desperate, I stumbled upon Grail Insights, a New-York based market research and strategic consulting firm. Research into the firm’s operations and its clients convinced me it was just the opportunity I sought. Learning data manipulation while helping Unilever improve its retail activation strategy? Taking a deep dive into statistical methods while advising Nike on where to set up its next store in Europe? Wow! Sounded like a dream job for an economics major where I could put my regression models to use and contribute to making a big impact on a big brand.

Extremely excited by this thought, I contacted the recruiting team at Grail’s Noida office in India, my home country. Following several rounds of interviews, I was extended an offer letter and just could not wait to launch into action at Grail.

I learned I had been assigned an internal project with the Allocations team, which is responsible for staffing employees on market research projects. My role required me to study the budgeted hours (effort estimates sold to clients) and actual staffing data with the aim of:

  • Formulating staffing-related business questions to improve employee efficiency and lower cost.
  • Analyzing budgeted and actual time spent by each associate on every project since 2015 to answer the questions formulated and determine data trends/discrepancies.
  • Presenting findings through a report or dashboard prepared using Power BI, a business analytics tool.

I gradually came to realize the importance of the task at hand. I viewed it as an opportunity to discover new insights that could drastically improve performance on all future projects.

Besides analyzing complex data sets using Power BI, I am getting a chance to improve my reasoning skills by writing code in a programming language built into the tool. Moreover, formulating staffing questions is improving my business intuition by forcing me to focus on issues most critical to the firm’s internal operations. This assignment, thus, lies at the intersection of both my majors — economics and computer science which I hadn’t foreseen. I am also looking forward to begin work on my second project in data science and analytics (which would more directly link the two disciplines) next week.

In addition to my daily tasks, I greatly enjoy a fellow intern’s company and have made good friends with several full-time employees. In fact, one of them has even included me on his team in an office-wide cricket World Cup win predicting competition! These connections I am building are undoubtedly the best part of the internship and make me want to go to office each day. I feel lucky to have received summer funding else I would have missed out on this rewarding experience at Grail.

Nora Cahill ’21: Institute for Research on Poverty, UW-Madison

Name: Nora Cahill
Class Year: 2021
Major: Economics/Math minor
Hometown: Madison, Wisc.

Internship Organization: Institute for Research on Poverty, with Tim Smeeding, Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the UW-Madison La Follette School of Public Affairs
Job Title: Project Assistant
Location: Madison, Wis.

What’s happening at your internship?

My boss, Tim Smeeding, is writing a book on economic inequality, different ways to measure it, and potential policy solutions for the financial problems faced by hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. Tim has spent his career studying, writing about, and influencing policy about economic inequality. This book will specifically focus on the pros and cons of different datasets and measures of well-being, issues that are keeping American society highly unequal, and how to improve our measurement in the future.


Why did you apply for this internship?

I’m really interested in economic inequality and how it relates to policy, and Tim’s work is exactly up that alley. This internship seemed like a great way to gain some practical experience with research and analysis, while become more familiar with research that’s already been done on subjects related to economic inequality. Now, at the end of the summer, I can say that it’s turned out to be a great step towards my goals!

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship is how open-ended it is. Tim gives me a project every week, and I work on it on my own, going back to him if I have questions or have something to show him. Some weeks I’m looking at the connections between family wealth and education, some weeks I’m sifting through data to find important trends in consumer debt. I get to go down a lot of rabbit holes — if I think something is interesting and relevant, I’m always free to include it in my report!

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

I’m gaining a lot of hard research skills — like finding the papers that are most relevant to whatever I’m working on; learning R, a coding language used in data analysis; and creating graphics that help illustrate whatever I’m writing. These skills will help me when I’m doing research in the future — these are tools that economists use every day to make their work better. More broadly, I’m practicing working independently and using what I already know about economics to inform my work. These are skills that I’ll bring to whatever I do next, both during and after college.

Jamila Ghazi ’20: BNP Paribas

Name: Jamila Ghazi
Class Year: 2020
Majors: Economics and Political Science
Hometown: Rabat, Morocco
Internship Organization: BNP Paribas
Job Title: Assets and Liabilities Management and Treasury Summer Analyst
Location: New York City

Jamila Ghazi ’20 with BNP Paribas ALMT CUSO IHC Treasurer Kenneth McMullen.

My penultimate year at Bryn Mawr College culminated in an internship offer from BNP Paribas’s Assets and Liabilities Management and Treasury team, in New York City. Currently, the summer analyst program mentors over a hundred interns that stormed the bank with their energy and eagerness to grow and learn over the course of 10 weeks. This selective program is crucial to the recruiting process of the bank, to attract and train young talent around the world. It is a great opportunity for the interns to get intensive exposure to the field, and gain a better understanding of the BNP Paribas culture, before committing to a full-time position.

Being a woman in finance is not unintimidating. Having to enter the field from an unconventional liberal arts background is not an easy sell, either, with the distribution requirements, the Socratic method of teaching, liberal arts combine academic rigor with work ethics, diversity of perspective and depth of analysis.

My experience at BNP Paribas demonstrated that the liberal arts’ interdisciplinary approach, a well-rounded education and good communication skills go a long way in the workplace, enabling one to learn and thrive in any field. Likewise, BNP Paribas’ campus recruitment reiterates the commitment to diversity through their interest in liberal arts students. Zachary Graham, a member of the campus recruiting team, states: “We need students from all types of backgrounds, all types of studies, and all types of schools. BNP Paribas has a school-agnostic approach for its campus recruiting strategy because we believe that our success is determined on our ability to recruit, hire, and retain a diverse candidate pool. We need BNP Paribas interns who can be innovative, who can lead change, and who come up with unique solutions to the very complicated problems of our clients.”

At BNP Paribas, I have become part of a solid and longstanding global bank, with values and a future vision aligned with mine. At ALMT specifically, I was welcomed warmly, mentored, and encouraged to take ownership of certain key projects. Given the transversal nature of the ALMT activity, which necessitates working with various teams, I was able to contribute to other ALMT teams across the region. This has reshaped my understanding of the business and the organization of the bank to a large extent, thus giving me the confidence to learn from people around me, and inquire about future steps to acquire more expertise.

My views on finance, informed by the clichés of the industry, being highly competitive, solely project driven, and very exclusive, have been challenged at BNP Paribas. Personally, I thrive in fast-paced environments that enhance interdependence, multitasking, corporate social responsibility and innovation, without compromising a healthy work-life balance. I was positively surprised this summer, and able to foresee a future for myself in finance. Moving forward, my BNP Paribas experience has set the bar high for expectations from the workplace. This summer has opened my eyes to the possibility of a positive, meaningful and influential career in finance that transcends the stereotypical Wall Street experience.

In light of my experience, my advice to Bryn Mawr students and alumnae alike is the following:

Find a place that continues to empower you, like Bryn Mawr does. Acknowledge the great energy you have as a BMC alumna. Use your proud and loud voice, and your confidence, even if your field may be far behind in recognizing women’s achievements. Where you start your career matters, who you work with matters, and the values of the company matter. So, choose carefully, choose what you deserve. Hold the Bryn Mawr mission high, and renew your commitment to women’s empowerment, wherever you go.

Anassa Kata!