Classrooms are a great place to learn. But so are construction sites, Hollywood studios, and national parks. Learn about the work students did this summer Twitter
By Katie Neitz
Summer might put some people in relaxation mode. But for many Lafayette students, it’s time to hustle—to try out a career, gain hands-on work experience, and build a network of professional contacts. The Office of Career Services helps students from every major secure these experiential learning opportunities. (Learn more about career services programs and resources.) Here are a just a few of the valuable internship experiences students participated in this summer.
Kara Rosenthal ’19 (civil engineering), Kari Schultheis ’19 (civil engineering), and Katherine Lee ’19 (electrical and computer engineering) spent their summer with Hardesty Hanover, an infrastructure engineering firm in New York City. As part of the experience, interns did a site visit of bridges the firm has worked on along the Harlem River (shown here.) “Most of what I did this summer hasn’t been covered in my classes, so it was great to learn new things,” Lee says. “I showed where wires needed to go and how they needed to be mounted on bridges. The internship broadened my perspective on the work I can do with my degree.” Pictured, from left: host Megan Young ’13, Rosenthal, Schultheis, Lee.
Matt Peters ‘19 (film & media studies and theater) interned with Myriad Pictures in Los Angeles, where he read and evaluated screenplays. “It has been invaluable experience for me in terms of wanting to become a writer,” says Peters, a Bean Scholar who was mentored by Kyle MacLelland ’11. “I have also met some prominent producers in the industry, and learning about the business side every day. Los Angeles is certainly different than the East Coast, and I am grateful to be able to experience not only the internship but the city as well.”
Isabelle Rein ’20 (geology) worked as an educational ranger at Acadia National Park, Schoodic District in Maine, where she engaged with visitors and led educational programs in the park. On a weekly basis, she co-led a geology walk, an animal adaptations program, and a marine touch-tank program. “I loved this experience,” she says. “I got to hike, feed and care for sea creatures, and educate visitors. I love engaging with energetic kids and teaching them about topics they might not have thought about before. I will definitely be looking to work in National Parks in the future. How could a job get better than this?”
Daniel Figler ’19 (engineering studies and economics) interned with Skanska Underpinning and Foundation. It was a rotational program, which enabled him to spend time in different departments. He had the opportunity to shadow the safety manager, work with the project controls and engineering/estimating department, and also spent three weeks in the field overlooking the Javits Convention Center expansion project in Manhattan. “I learned how a construction company operates at different levels and how these different pieces are all vital to the company’s overall success,” he says. “I was exposed to invaluable expertise and attention, and I’m tremendously grateful I was given this opportunity.”
Emma Leeds ’19 (environmental science and Spanish) and Lara Henderson ‘19 (environmental science) interned at The Trustees of Reservations, a conservation organization in Massachusetts.
As an Ecology and Citizen Science intern, Leeds (left) worked to renovate a bluebird-monitoring program and created a bluebird-monitoring guidebook. “This internship opened my eyes up to the world of ecology,” she says. “I was able to do a ton of fieldwork with experienced ecologists, studying endangered birds, native bees, and nesting birds.”
Henderson (right) worked in a project management role and trained volunteers on how to take measurements at the beach in order to calculate rates of change and impact of climate change on the coast. “This experience wouldn’t have been possible without [the Office of] Career Services. Career services forged the relationship with Alicia Leuba P’20 of the trustees. She provided me an externship opportunity in January, and that led to this internship.”
Sydney Edelson ’19 (psychology) interned at Maslan, The Negev’s Sexual and Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Be’er Sheva, Israel. Edelson worked as a development coordinator, a role that involved managing community outreach, social media and marketing, donor relations, fundraising campaigns, and international grant applications. In addition, she translated content from Hebrew to English. “This internship was exactly what I had hoped for because it gave me a taste of the nonprofit world,” she says. “The work with Maslan, as well as the relationship I built with my Beane mentor [Leah Godin ’14], has made me realize that nonprofit fundraising is not for me. Instead, I’ve gained the incredibly valuable insight that in order to effect significant change, I need to be involved with policy change and law. Without this incredibly valuable firsthand experience, I would not have the clarity that I do now about my next steps.”
Tyler Hubeny ’20 (philosophy and psychology) spent 10 weeks interning in the Sports Diplomacy Division of the Department of State in Washington, D.C. He worked alongside program officers to write analysis for the grant program, communicate with different embassies and consulates abroad, and write a post for the State Department’s blog. “I learned about the field of sports diplomacy and learned what it means to work for a major federal agency,” he says. “I also learned about the power sport can have, helping to empower women, people with disabilities, and communities in need all over the world.”
Alison Baranovic ’19 (biology) competed an environmental education and animal behavior internship at Philadelphia Zoo, where she shared information about animals to visitors. “This experience improved my public-speaking skills and provided me with an opportunity to participate in audience research and experience a different type of fieldwork. Not only was I sharing information about the animals, but every conversation I had with a guest was a chance to spark a passion for saving the animal they were seeing.”
Claire Grunewald ’20 (international affairs and Spanish) and Emily LoPiccolo ’18 (international affairs) spent the summer completing research internships at the Solidarity Center.
Grunewald worked with the Trade Union Strengthening Department in Washington, D.C., to create a sectoral profile of the electronics industry in Malaysia. “I learned how research can be used for real, effective action,” Grunewald says. I also gained valuable experience working for a social justice nonprofit and [learned] the importance of workers’ rights as they pertain to societal development globally.”
LoPiccolo created country profiles outlining the issue of gender-based violence and interviewed civil society activists from around the world to evaluate programming in those countries. “It was the perfect organization to begin the pursuit of my career aspiration to align global economic development with social and environmental justice through the power of united labor activism.” Pictured, from left: Program Officer and host Nalishha Mehta ’98, LoPiccolo, Grunewald, and former intern and now full-time employee Jennifer Bognar ’16.
Jacqueline Sophia Giovanelli ’20, Emma Bodner ’20 (economics), and Alaa Aga ’18 completed internships with BioSig Technologies, thanks to Ken Londoner ’89, CEO and founder of the InternShift program. Students had the opportunity to visit UCLA hospital, where they watched a surgery in which BioSig technology was implemented. They sat through a demo and were able to engage with the technology creators. They also spent time on Wall Street where they toured Nasdaq. “We’ve been able to have a full-circle experience,” says Bodner, an investor relations and development intern. “We are doing work that will make a real impact on the company. And we’ve been able to gain knowledge that has been invaluable to us.” Pictured, from left: Janice Egan (Division of Development and College Relations), Giovanelli, Bodner, Erin Evans (Office of Career Services), Londoner, and Alaa.
Olivia Guarna ’19 (engineering studies and art), Mailinda Hoxha ’19 (English and government and law), and Mallory Kastroff ’20 (international affairs and religious studies) interned with Acting Supreme Court Justice Alvin Yearwood ’83 at Bronx County Hall of Justice in Bronx, N.Y. As interns, the students had the opportunity to sit in on various trials, arraignments, and hearings in court as well as talk with defense attorneys and prosecutors to gain a deeper understanding of their job responsibilities. “This experience was incredibly valuable to me, as it solidified my decision to continue with a legal path; it made me realize how passionate I am about practicing law,” Hoxha says. “Judge Yearwood was so generous with his time, so we had the opportunity to ask any and all questions about what we observed,” Guarna says. “Because of this internship, I am now planning to go to law school.”