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!

Elsa Nierenberg ’21: The Weekly Humorist

Name: Elsa Nierenberg
Class Year: 2021
Major: English
Hometown: Boxford, Mass.

Internship Organization: The Weekly Humorist
Job Title: Intern
Location: New York City

What’s happening at your internship?

The Weekly Humorist is a satire site, but there’s also a podcast, Talkward, each week and a monthly standup show, Guaranteed Delivery, every month. So, the day-to-day can vary a lot. Any given day can include reading and editing submissions for cartoons and humor pieces, uploading articles with pull-quotes to social media, editing and uploading podcasts, researching materials about sponsors or interview guests, working on production for the standup show, and really anything else in the media-sphere that comes up! For example, one morning last week I drafted a list of interview questions for a podcast with Mike Sacks (author of Poking a Dead Frog, writer for the New Yorker’s Shouts and Murmurs). Outside of the office I work a lot on my own satire pieces — I’m a contributing writer for five humor sites currently, so I’m always thinking and writing. I submit some of those pieces to The Weekly Humorist, which is another nice way to be tied into the work and mission of the site.


Why did you apply for this internship?

I started performing standup comedy when I was 16-years-old, writing and performing sketch comedy when I was 17, and writing published satire pieces when I was 18. At 20, I produce a standup showcase in Philadelphia, I perform standup in Boston, Philly, and New York most nights, and I write for several humor publications. I also founded Bryn Mawr’s sketch comedy troupe, Spoon-Fed. The truth is, I’ve loved everything comedy since I was 8-years-old and first saw George Carlin’s famous bit, “7 words you can’t say on TV”. Being in New York City this summer and working in the field I’d like to make a living in post-grad was really important to me — both for developing my comedy networks and resume, but also for just further developing myself as an independent human taking on a big new city. As soon as I met Marty (the editor-in-chief) I knew that I wanted to work at The Weekly Humorist. Not only is the content incredible, but the people around me are thoughtful, funny, and talented. I feel like I’m in the space I’m supposed to be this summer!

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

Between growing up outside of Boston and going to college outside of Philadelphia — both of which I frequent for standup gigs most nights, time with my friends off-campus or away from home, and the occasional visit to an art museum or good burrito spot — I thought I knew almost everything there was to know about navigating a city atmosphere. New York is big, really, really big. And that means that it can feel confusing, overwhelming, and intimidating (especially when in addition to learning the subway, you’re also learning the open-mic and booked standup show scenes, cultures, and spaces). It’s been incredible to be in New York; at the mecca of all of the art and comedy and life I could ever hope to absorb. Confusing at first, lonely occasionally, exciting and alive all hours of the day, warm and welcoming more often than not, and empowering and door-opening all along the way. I’m grateful for the chance to grow my courage muscles and eager to say that after my first week, I realized that the subway is actually pretty easy to use!

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Having the opportunity to do what I love every day is a huge part of what makes this internship so positive for me, but my favorite part is the wonderfully talented people whom I get to work with, meet and network with, get advice from and bounce ideas off of, and support in their own work in turn. My boss, Marty Dundics, is one of the kindest and most supportive bosses I’ve ever had and the comedians and mentors who he’s connected me to have been warm, welcoming, and nothing short of inspiring. I feel very lucky to be here.

Amelia Thomas ’20: Victor’s Vision

Name: Amelia Thomas
Class Year: 2020
Major: English
Hometown: Richmond, Va.

Internship Organization: Victor’s Vision
Job Title: Event Intern
Location: All around Philly

What’s happening at your internship?

So far, my internship has been centered around venue hunting. I’ve never had to search for venue spaces, let alone a space big enough for up to 125 guests in attendance, and therefore have been keeping myself rather busy. I’ve been touring a few promising spaces I find in person, as well as talking with event planners and managers at dozens of possible spaces I’ve found through online research. I’m now about to get started working towards finding donors and sponsors. I’ve nailed my elevator pitch for the organization, as well as a longer, in-depth explanation of the work we’re doing, all in order to find people who aren’t just willing to help us, but who are excited and proud to be a part of our mission.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because it ticks off all three directions I can see a future career following: education, nonprofit work, and event planning. Victor’s Vision is a nonprofit that works to provide an equal opportunity for education in Central and Latin America. Currently, they are based out of Chulucanas, Peru, and have a school running that is giving students a holistic approach towards education. My internship, then, is to plan their largest annual fundraiser, Viva la Vision. I’ve been interested in education for a few years now, working through if I want to go to grad school post-BMC to get my master’s in education, and therefore, become a teacher. I’ve also been interested generally speaking in nonprofit work, and what nonprofits have to do in order to thrive and complete their mission(s). Finally, I’ve also been on and off thinking about event planning, not sure exactly what that means related to education and/or nonprofit work, but now I’ve seen the three come together.

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

Something I’ve learned from this internship that I didn’t expect is how expensive it is to plan events! This might sound silly, but since I’m interested in a career pursuing this, it’s important that even the smallest things have me learning. Most venues aren’t priced out for nonprofits, they’re priced for weddings and larger corporate celebrations — therefore,  trying to find a place that is happy to work with a limited budget has proved difficult!

Was this internship what you expected it to be?

Yes, and no. I’ve been doing a lot more individual work than expected, but I also work really well with that, and therefore it’s exciting that it’s different than expected in that sense. However, the tasks I’ve been working on, and the ways in which I’ve been learning to communicate about the organization and communicate with venues and donors, have been exactly as expected.