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.


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.

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.

Liz Kunkel ’21: Constituent Services Intern for State Rep. Wendy Ullman

Name: Liz Kunkel
Class Year: 2021
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Upper Black Eddy. Pa.

Internship Organization: State Rep. Wendy Ullman
Job Title: Constituent Services Intern
Location: Doylestown, Pa.

Meeting with a constituent at Community Day

As a constituent services intern in state Rep. Wendy Ullman’s district office, much of my day-to-day responsibilities include handling constituent casework. Because of the broad range of needs and concerns of our community, these responsibilities can include conducting legislative research, connecting with local nonprofits, and acting as a liaison between the constituent and state agencies. One of the challenges of this position is that each case is unique, meaning that each new constituent contact requires a certain level of problem solving and creativity.

In addition, I have done a lot of community outreach, trying to inform constituents about state services, along with the help we can offer. This includes writing letters, drafting articles, and helping to plan events. One of my biggest projects has been coordinating vendors for a community day the representative hosted this August. This project helped me to gain a lot of organizing and communication skills. I really enjoyed having a large project in which I could see all of my work come to fruition.

Me and State Rep. Wendy Ullman at the Community Day.

I decided to apply for this internship for two reasons: my interest in politics and the proximity to my community. I have always believed that legislation is one of the most effective ways to bring change, so I was excited to receive the opportunity to facilitate community participation in that process. The benefit of working at this level of government is that I experience a lot of direct contact with the community.

As part of my internship, I get to attend events held by nonprofits and talk to the people there about what their needs and concerns are. I attended and participated in Bucks Knocks Out Hunger, a large fundraiser to fight food insecurity, and packed food that would later be distributed to those in need. I also had the privilege to attend a naturalization ceremony at Penn Manor and meet with the League of Women Voters, which was registering the newly naturalized citizens to vote.

One of the most rewarding parts of my internship is getting to handle my own casework. One of the most challenging things is telling a constituent that we do not have an answer or cannot help them the way they need us to. I learn a lot through trying to help other people, and it is fulfilling when you find them an answer or solution. Because of the breadth of assistance we provide, I am constantly learning new things as I handle constituent concerns. Tackling these cases has helped me develop the problem solving and executive skills necessary to thrive in the workplace and at Bryn Mawr.

Halena Martin ’20: The Innocence Project

Name: Halena Martin
Class Year: 2020
Major: Political Science and Sociology
Hometown: Eatontown, N.J.

Internship Organization: Innocence Project
Job Title: Intake Intern
Location: New York City

What’s happening at your internship?

This summer I had the privilege of interning for the Innocence Project as a Liman Fellow. The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. I am interning with the Intake Department which is tasked with weeding through the enormous number of requests for assistance that the Innocence Project receives (approximately 2,400 new requests per year). At any given time, the Innocence Project is evaluating between 6,000 and 8,000 potential cases.

As an intake intern, I assist with the identification and evaluation of cases for possible representation. My main responsibility is producing memoranda which include a summary of the facts, possible avenues for DNA testing to prove innocence, and my recommendation on whether the case should move forward to the legal department. The other intake interns and I report to the case analysts who review our work in biweekly meetings.

Interning at the Innocence Project has been an incredibly formative experience. It has exposed me to the early stages of post-conviction legal work, has deepened my understanding of the faults in our criminal justice system, and has helped me develop my reading, writing, and analytical skills.

Why did you apply for this internship?

In one of my classes last semester, my professor posed the question of whether the implicit risk of executing an innocent person makes the death penalty inherently immoral. This question really drew my attention to issues surrounding wrongful conviction. So, I knew when the Innocence Project came up in my internship search, it was the organization I wanted to intern with.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

There are numerous rewarding aspects of my internship. The most rewarding is the ability to do meaningful work. Not only am I able to be a part of an impactful organization, but I am given the opportunity to work hands-on with actual cases.

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

My biggest challenge has been the emotional work of reading through case documents. I read both the testimonies of people who have been the victims of heinous crimes and the letters from defendants who see the Innocence Project as their last hope. It has prepared me well for the areas of law I may go into in the future. It has also made me more appreciative of the downtime I got to spend with friends, family, and (especially) my puppy this summer!

Marilyn Harbert ’20: RepresentWomen

Name: Marilyn Harbert
Class Year: 2020
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Atlanta

Internship Organization: RepresentWomen
Job Title: Research Intern
Location: Takoma Park, Md.


What’s happening at your internship?

This summer I am an intern at RepresentWomen, a nonprofit which does research and advocacy to increase women’s representation in politics. My focus is research on donations to federal political candidates, from PACs and individual donors, broken down by gender. It may sound dry, but it is exactly what I want to be doing this summer, as I get a chance to improve my skills in data analysis tools, and dive deep into systemic barriers that women candidates face.

Why did you apply for this internship?

2018 was fantastic for female candidates, but Congressional representation only rose from 20.6% to 23.7%. That level of progress is not enough. Only with systemic reforms can we ensure this progress is substantial and sustainable. That is why I chose to work for RepresentWomen, because I wanted to do research that helps push forward systemic reforms to make political gender parity a reality.

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

Campaign finance research mixes my two passions perfectly, politics and programming. As a political science major, my classes have prepared me to read the papers, do the writing and the research. But for me, it’s even more fun to stretch the programming skills that I developed through my computer science minor.

For this internship I have been learning Python and R, and developing critical new skills in data science. While my programming background has substantially reduced the learning curve on these languages, some days I still find myself wanting to bang my head against the table. So wish me luck, because I need it!

Although I may get frustrated at times, I am also reminded why I love to program. When everything runs smoothly and my graph finally loads, there’s nothing like the feeling of empowerment I get from seeing the results of my work outputted in my terminal.

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

I did not expect to be in the halls of Congress, lobbying for bills on voting rights and free menstrual products for students.

My boss registered all of the interns for a conference run by IGNITE, an organization that trains and empowers young women to run for office. We were surrounded by dozens of inspiring young women and heard from Congresswomen including several boundary breakers: Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Deb Haaland, and Sharice Davids. Sessions on field engagement, media training, and fundraising made me start to think seriously about what a political campaign that I may run might look like. When I was told to look into a video camera, and declare my ambition to run for office, I started to actually believe it might happen.

The last day of the conference, we spent nervous hours rehearsing exactly how we’d pitch the chosen bills to our representatives. Before I knew it, I found myself sitting in U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s office, speaking passionately about voting rights to his chief of staff.

In the accompanying pictures, you can see me in front of the senate office building, with my fellow interns in front of the capitol, and with U.S. Rep. Pressley, excited to support women fighting for change in our country.



Kaia Valentine ’20: Youth Art and Self Empowerment Project

Name: Kaia Valentine
Class Year: 2020
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Tacoma, Wash.

Internship Organization: YASP (Youth Art & Self Empowerment Project)
Job Title: Intern
Location: Chinatown, Philadelphia

My internship has different parts: I’ll be working with incarcerated youth and giving them knowledge about art and poetry. We’ll do art together, and hopefully they will share their experiences with me as I teach them about me and mine. On Tuesdays, I’ll run a hub designed to inform parents and youth
who are moving into the adult system about that process. Then, on Fridays, I will write grants and to local policymakers. Additionally, I’ll do some regular office work like making copies and coffee, I assume.

I applied because I heard about the organization in my Intersectionality and Philosophy class and I felt I had to work there.

Sarah Golobish ’20: Energy Vision

Name: Sarah Golobish
Class Year: 2020
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Princeton, N.J.

Internship Organization: Energy Vision
Job Title: Summer Associate
Location: New York City

At Energy Vision, Sarah is conducting research on sustainability within the heavy-duty trucking industry.

What’s happening at your internship?

Energy Vision is a New York-based national environmental nonprofit that advocates for sustainability in the transportation sector. On a day-to-day basis this translates to research, outreach, and a variety of special educational initiatives. Throughout my time there I’ve gotten to attend meetings, hearings and help with a few research projects. My main research focus has been looking into the sustainability of the largest heavy-duty truck fleets in America. Through my work, I’ve found out a great deal about this often-overlooked industry and how efforts to “go green” are hardly as simple as they seem. Given that I want to go into environmental nonprofit work after graduation, the summer as a whole has been an incredibly valuable learning opportunity.

Sarah and Energy Vision founder and trustee Joanna Underwood ’62.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I feel that I work best in environments where I am able to put my odd mix of interests to work and finding that can be hard as a political science major and environmental studies/computational methods minor. However, research and advocacy around clean energy fits perfectly into that niche and has a positive impact on the world. Energy Vision’s work stood out to me as exactly this sort of advocacy that would give me a chance to apply what I’ve learned in my courses — and to practice what I hope to do post-graduation.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

I first heard about Energy Vision in a 360° Course Cluster that I took my sophomore year when the organization’s president (a Haverford alumnus) came and spoke about anaerobic digestion and the work that Energy Vision does. The whole concept of creating energy from waste was new to me and turned out to be an interesting portion of what we studied. The work I did in those courses helped me focus in on my passion for environmental advocacy and, funnily enough, taught me the skills that I’m putting to use this summer!

Energy Vision’s relationship to Bryn Mawr is also special in that its founder is a BMC alumna. Joanna Underwood ’62 founded the nonprofit in 2007 and has worked with many Bi-Co alumni and students in the past 12 years. Through this close relationship, EV has been able to offer an internship to a current BMC student for the past few summers.

I had the opportunity to meet Johanna at the opening of NYC’s first fueling station to exclusively offer renewable natural gas (RNG). Over the past 10 years, Energy Vision has helped advocate for this station and ones just like it across the US that provide RNG – a cleaner, low-carbon alternative to diesel.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

It has been incredibly rewarding to work on an issue as important as climate change at a time when it seems like there isn’t much we as individuals can do to help. There is no single solution to a problem like this, but organizations like Energy Vision are looking at issues of sustainability holistically and pushing for strategies that can help to make a real impact right away. It has been wonderful to work with people who are just as passionate about the intricacies of it all and who are working to make positive change. This summer’s internship at Energy Vision has allowed me to dive into some very complicated questions around an issue I care deeply about and has pushed me to develop skills that I know will be crucial in my life after graduation.

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!

Maya Jonsson ’20: GreenFutures

Name: Maya Jonsson
Class Year: 2020
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Westfield, N.J.

Internship Organization: GreenFutures, The School District of Philadelphia
Job Title: Research and Outreach Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

This summer I have been working with GreenFutures, which is the sustainability plan of The School District of Philadelphia. This plan aims to create more sustainable schools and youth who will play a role in creating a more sustainable future. I have had the opportunity to do a variety of work this summer, including writing a GreenFutures newsletter, organizing a science lending library, attending various meetings, and creating a greenscapes guide. The greenscapes guide has been my biggest project, and has entailed researching and designing a resource guide to help Philadelphia schools start their own gardens or other natural, green elements, with information about school policy, maintenance, choosing projects, success stories, and partner organizations.

Why did you apply for this internship?

Along with my political science major, I also have a minor in education, so I initially was really excited about the prospect of working in the School District of Philadelphia and learning more about how school bureaucracy works. Additionally, as I read through the GreenFuture’s website, I realized that so much of this sustainability work — creating greenscapes, reducing energy and consumption, and teaching for sustainability — were all about creating equitable schools and futures. As someone studying policy and education, I was interested in what it looks like to tackle equity from a different angle than I am used to.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

One of my favorite parts of this internship has been interviewing people. A lot of my conversations have been for the greenscapes guide, which has included interviewing teachers who have done gardening with their students. This has been really interesting because I get to hear about what works and doesn’t work in school gardens, what challenges teachers face in integrating them into the curriculum, how gardening can be tied to different subjects, and what students learn. Since I want to be a teacher, I have loved speaking to people who do this work, and it has gotten me really excited about potentially being part of a school garden in the future. Additionally, I have been speaking with partner organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, The Food Trust, and the Philadelphia Orchard Project, and I have really enjoyed learning about the different groups in Philadelphia doing work with youth and gardening in a variety of ways.

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

Early on in my internship I had the opportunity to attend an event with PHENND on Education for Sustainability, which GreenFutures helped to host at the School District of Philadelphia headquarters. During this event, Jamie Cloud, founder of the Cloud Institute, came and spoke to all the attendees about education for sustainability, which, as I learned, is different than education about sustainability, and it includes all academic subjects, as well as ways of teaching that are place based and student centered. I had come into my internship thinking that education for sustainability (EfS) was really just environmental science, which is not something I am personally well versed in, but I learned that it is so much more than that. I want to teach middle school social studies after I graduate, and this internship has gotten me really excited about figuring out how I can integrate EfS benchmarks and practices into my own teaching one day, since I believe this work is vital for the future of our planet and our people.