By Stephen Wilson

Finding what you love happens when you explore what’s out there. Lafayette students did just that as summer internships returned. While some students still worked remotely, others were able to work in offices and out in the field to gain a sense of what certain careers might feel like. Here’s a snapshot of some of the industries, experiences, and locales they explored.


Emily Wilson ’22 
Biology and environmental studies
Hometown: Cranford, N.J.
Organization: Brooklyn College
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Student sits at picnic table in hat with backpack on while holding clipboard

Emily Wilson is also pictured in story’s lead image (far right) participating in field work.

This summer I have been participating in a National Science Foundation funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Brooklyn College. With my mentor and team members, I have been researching the success of natural and nature-based shoreline features (NNBF) at achieving coastal resilience. These features provide many services including ecological enhancement, flood risk reduction, and socioeconomic benefits. My research team has been collecting and analyzing data using a new statewide framework with the goal of refining the monitoring protocols to best serve decision-making and practices for shoreline management.


Kwame Adu-Kyei ’23

Mechanical engineering
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Company: Mack Trucks
Location: Macungie, Pa.

Student takes selfie on production floor with truck parts in background

As an intern with the tooling and equipment department, my work is to facilitate the smooth operation of the production line. Whenever a problem arises, a tooling and equipment request is put in by the production engineer. We go down to the plant floor to speak with the operators and the production engineer, assess the situation, and, together, brainstorm on the best course of action to address the problem. A design is then drawn up using CAD programs like Creo, Sketchpad, and AutoCAD, and a work order is put in for the model to be built. This summer my tasks have been anything from designing carts to be used by operators on the line, designing charging port fixtures for the electric trucks that roll in, and making regular updates to the plant layout in AutoCAD for the logistics department when new equipment is installed. Basically, my job as a tooling engineer intern is to make the lives of the operators easier so they can build better trucks.


Natalia Baez ’23

Economics and anthropology & sociology
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Company: Bank of America
Planned location: New York, N.Y.
Remote experience
Student holds laptop open with Bank of American logo on the screen

As a finance management analyst program (FMAP) intern, I was able to closely work with the CFO group in the Global Financing and Future (GFF) team. Through my virtual experience, I conducted various financial reports to send to my team, senior management, and our short-end traders. These reports outlined how the bank and traders were performing on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. In addition, I was able to learn about the concept of forecasting and how my team forecasted the future performance of the business in short-end trading through intensive analysis and models in Excel. Although my internship was virtual, I was granted the chance to attend training workshops, networking sessions, and explore the different lines of business in the banking industry. Through this internship, I was able to develop technical, leadership, and public-speaking skills that have strengthened my personal development. I was challenged to get out of my comfort zone and grow, which is why I loved my experience so much. The FMAP program has made me realize that I want to continue the finance track and learn about the many roles within it.


Chikomborero Dhire ’23

Electrical and computer engineering
Hometown: Harare and Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Company: E & J Gallo Winery
Planned location: Modesto, Calif.
Remote experience
Student wears blue suit with red tie and stands in hallway of Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center

I’m working with the decision science and innovation team at E & J Gallo Winery, and my project will conclude with me deploying machine learning models among other things. Apart from that I also get to assist and sometimes observe the projects that some of the team members are working on. My biggest takeaway so far is the need for engineers to have a broad spectrum of knowledge in order to solve more complex problems in the best ways possible and be able to present the solutions too. This has been a powerful experience for me to get accustomed to the professional environment, use some cutting-edge technologies, and apply the knowledge from classes at Lafayette.


Autumn Sands ’22

Hometown: Pottstown, Pa.
Organization: National Parks Service
Location: Fort Collins, Colo.
Two students in harts and t-shirts stand before red rock wall

“Living in Fort Collins with Katie Ellmaker, my friend and fellow Lafayette student, has given me the opportunity to explore the Rocky Mountain range. In this picture, Katie and I are standing in front of one of the magnificent rocks at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.”

I am working as an intern through the scientists in parks program for the water resources division on invasive species projects. I have been entrusted with the task of collecting existing research, reports, and guidance on control methods and strategies for an internal website. This will benefit park staff in creating a plan to prevent, eradicate, or restore their park from invasive species disruption.


Julia Daly ’24

Economics and Chinese
Hometown: Closter, N.J.
Company: A large investment advisory firm
Location: Westwood, N.J.
Student sits behind desk with multiple laptops open before her

I spent my summer interning at a large investment advisory firm, working on projects across various departments, including finance, compliance, operations, and marketing. Exposure to different areas provided me with context to understand the inner workings of a wealth management firm. Through my interactions with wealth advisers and by attending client meetings, I gained a deeper understanding of investment philosophies and financial planning services. This internship was an incredibly rewarding experience and a chance to meet a lot of great people.


Alexandra Borik ’23

Mathematics and economics
Hometown: Scotch Plains, N.J.
Company: Guy Carpenter
Location: New York City
Student stands on NYC sidewalk below logo for Marsh McLennan

Guy Carpenter is a reinsurance brokerage company under the greater company of Marsh Mclennan. My role as a risk analyst intern is to assist and learn from the broking team through on-the-job shadowing, fundamentals of reinsurance lessons, networking sessions, and a variety of group projects. 


Jelissa Kamguem ’23

Chemical engineering and data science minor
Hometown: Bamenda, Cameroon
Organization: Stanford University
Planned location: Stanford, Calif.
Remote experience
Students crosses arms in blue blazer inside Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center

I am working in the cardiovascular biomechanics computational lab with professors Alison Marsden and Jonathan Pham and Dr. Seraina Anne Dual. We are using machine learning to create an algorithm that classifies images obtained using Doppler flow. Identifying good images by clinicians has been a challenge, especially in regards to determining if the patient has pulmonary hypertension. We believe this project will solve part of the problem and enable accurate and early diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension. 


Kathryn Ward ’22

Engineering studies
Hometown: North Reading, Mass.
Company: DPR Construction
Location: Washington, D.C.
Group of workers in neon shirts at topping out ceremony. Lafayette student is at far left.

“I am farthest to the left, kneeling in the front row. Everyone featured in the photo contributes to DPR’s construction of the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s new 16-story Wonder Tower. The photo was taken during a topping out, a milestone celebration in construction for placing the final steel beam on the structure. (Photo courtesy of Building Images Photography)

This summer I am interning as a project engineer in preconstruction. Before even starting the internship, DPR paired me with an awesome mentor. Despite attending Lehigh, my mentor continuously helps me to learn and grow within the construction industry. I’ve had the opportunity to work on many different construction projects and tour various project sites. While these projects vary across DPR’s core markets, I mainly work within the commercial and health care markets. At a very high level, I’ve learned about the different facets of setting up a project for success. I’ve had the opportunity to estimate both lump sums and GMPs. Because of this, everyday looks a little bit different. My mentors give me projects for the purpose of learning, but they also place me on projects to contribute to different teams within DPR. Thus far, sitting in on meetings with architects from Ballinger and Ennead and creating conceptual estimates for the hospital project have been my favorite experiences. The interdisciplinary nature of engineering studies has perfectly prepared me for an internship that requires the integration and application of engineering, economics, architecture, and communication. I look forward to presenting my internship project, which centers around DPR’s approach to the basis of contract, a compilation of legal documents that outline the conditions of a project.


Katie Ellmaker ’22

Biology with a minor in anthropology and sociology.
Hometown: Easton, Pa.
Organization: Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Location: Longmont, Colo.
Two students in Lafayette gear stand before a range of mountains

“My roommate/friend Autumn Sands ’22 and I have had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places that we would otherwise have never experienced.”

I work closely with the animal care staff to care for animals such as birds, waterfowl, and raccoons. These animals are usually orphaned babies or injured, and are brought in by members of the community. My daily activities include feeding them throughout the day, weighing them once daily, and monitoring them for signs of illness or injury. I also do other housekeeping tasks such as cleaning cages, doing laundry, and cleaning dishes. Every day that I go in is rewarding because we get to see the animals progress until they are healthy and ready to be released into the wild. I have even been fortunate enough to release some myself, including birds and waterfowl. The ultimate goal of this internship was for me to get hands-on work with wildlife and explore if wildlife veterinary work is the right path for me. I have fallen in love with these animals and how they don’t have owners to advocate for them like pets do. I hope to come back to Greenwood to work and to attend CSU for veterinary school.


Sara Vaca ’23

International affairs and Spanish
Hometown: Brownsville, Texas
Organization: IDEA Public Schools Headquarters
Location: Weslaco, Texas
Student holds certificate welcoming her to the first day of her internship

As an IDEA summer alumni intern, I was assigned to the office of the chief college officer to support four main projects before the beginning of the academic year 2021-2022. I had to attend training as well as logistical, operational, and creative project meetings. Also, communicating effectively with leaders and staff has been an amazing experience because of the number of relationships that I got to build with the various stakeholder groups such as managers, directors, and colleagues. Not only that but as an IDEA alumna, I collaborated and shared my ideas with the administration to work as a team and family because of its commitment and vision of “College for All Children!” 


Claire Fedor ’23

Government & law and history
Hometown: Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Company: Frantz Ward LLP
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Student sits on desk wearing professional attire below the logo for her company

I am grateful to have had the invaluable opportunity this summer to learn from and work with some of Cleveland’s top attorneys. The firm’s attorneys and practices receive national recognition and are committed to providing clients with practical, responsive, and cost-effective legal solutions. Under the direction of Patrick Haggerty, chair of the litigation practice group, and attorney Jenifer Novak, I’ve performed research on products, synthesized publicly available legal writings, observed court proceedings, attended seminars, and experienced the day-to-day operations of a law firm. This experience has confirmed my passion for the law and has provided an understanding of the expectations, responsibility, and pivotal role an attorney holds. This insight into the field will allow me to enter law school more prepared than I could have ever imagined.


Ciara O’Connor ’22

Psychology and anthropology & sociology
Hometown: Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Company: Pfizer
Planned location: Andover, Mass.
Remote experience
Student in white top stands before broil in Lehigh River in downtown Easton

I am a training and communications intern and work with two main groups of colleagues: new hires, and existing colleagues and managers. For new hires, I assist with orientation, creating learning materials and curricula for diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as raising awareness of the products made at Andover. For existing colleagues and managers, I help them organize training materials, create programs to better manage orientation, and develop a leadership workshop and an employee appreciation program for the work done at Andover. These projects have enabled me to communicate—and connect—with many colleagues and improve my outreach skills. I was also able to spend this summer as a dean’s ambassador for Brian Samble, dean of students at Lafayette. I have worked on several projects regarding orientation and the Division of Campus Life. Both of these internships have been great experiences and enabled me to learn a lot!


Become an Externship Host

Share Your Knowledge, Help Students Explore Careers

Each January more than 300 sophomores, juniors, and seniors shadow professionals and current graduate students. We are continuously seeking new hosts who are able to coordinate an itinerary of experiences for a student that provide a “real world” look at a career area or graduate program of study.

Learn More about this program
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