A Postcard From: Priyanka Dutta ’17

10011584_10204090355524687_2140025705120488884_oName: Priyanka Dutta

Year: 2017

Major: Psychology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

For my last summer as a Bryn Mawr student, I got an internship conducting psychological research for Prof. Egan Brad at the University of Portland. I was lucky enough to able to administer these cross-cultural studies in my home city of Mumbai. There were two main research projects that we worked on, one was studying the differences in decision making with regard to intertemporal sequencing and the other looked at ‘Moral Licensing’, a phenomenon that suggests that the recollection of prior moral behaviors boosts one’s moral self-concept which leads them to believe that the previous good deeds offsets current bad deeds. In addition to conducting these surveys, I also got to research the literature on these topics in the hopes of finding support for our hypotheses.

After searching for a suitable research internship for an international student I was lucky to have this opportunity fall in my lap. A friend recommended me to this Professor who used to teach us at Bryn Mawr. She was very encouraging and accommodating and even made it possible for me to work from home, in India.

I was particularly interested in a cross-cultural research opportunity as I am going to be a senior psychology major and will be writing my thesis in the same area. While I am still trying to figure out which field of psychology I wish to take up in the very near future, I knew that in order to keep a doctorate in psychology a viable option, getting more experience in research was crucial. This research in particular was unique in that it let me get my hands dirty and be a part of the research process from the very start. It has given me a lot insight into what this field is all about and has positively influenced my decisions about the future.

A Postcard From: Indu Upadhyay ’17

pic2Name: Indu Upadhyay

Year: 2017

Major: Anthropology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

I had a great time working for ‘The Global Fund for Children’ this summer. It is a non-profit organization operating around the world with its headquarters in Washington D.C. I found this internship through LanternLink. GFC has a special relationship with Bryn Mawr, as their founder was an alum and they take mawrters as interns every summer. They usually take one Bryn Mawr intern but this year they made an exception and took two. All the more fun for me, as I got to live and work with a close friend. That made the learning experience just double. I have always been interested in international development and GFC’s grant making as well as capacity building work was just what I wanted to be involved in. I not only learnt about operating a new database management software called GIFTS but also participated in all general programs team meetings to get hands on knowledge of the organization’s administration. I was assigned to two very well structured projects and given significant responsibility to work independently. I honed my basic data analysis skills and also understood the complexities of investing in social entrepreneurship in developing countries. More than anything the thought provoking nature of the job satisfied my thirst for critical thinking and the eventual direct benefit of our decisions going to people who need it back in countries like my own, was very emotionally fulfilling.

Work was not everything that made my summer awesome. D.C has become my favorite city in the U.S. now. I made so many friends through my Bryn Mawr contacts there and went out every weekend. I did kayaking on the Georgetown waterfront, went hiking on the Appalachian trail in Virginia and ate out at a dozen amazing restaurants each month. On the whole, I couldn’t have asked for a better summer experience and I am so thankful for getting this opportunity.

Celebrating a colleague’s birthday over lunch near the White House.

Celebrating a colleague’s birthday over lunch near the White House.

indu2

City Hopping with new D.C. buddies.

indu3

A Postcard From: Shreekari Tadepalli ’18

portrait1Name: Shreekari Tadepalli

Year: 2018

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer, I’m interning at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford, England. I spend my days working in a molecular cardiology lab with an incredible and diverse set of labmates, and my nights and weekends exploring the beautiful university town I live in. There’s truly history everywhere I go, from The Eagle and Child, where two of my favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, used to chat over a pint, to the Holywell Music Room, the oldest music hall on campus, where I recently attended a concert. It’s amazing to be working and learning in this environment, surrounded by world-renowned experts in my field – and a stunning campus that’s always inspiring me to reach for new heights.

shreekari1

shreekari2

I’m interested in pursuing medicine, so this experience is invaluable to me in terms of narrowing down what I want to do, and how. I’m finding myself increasingly interested in the basic science research aspect of medicine, and this internship is really nurturing that growing passion. The relationships I’m building with my supervisors, some of whom are MD/PhDs themselves, balancing both clinical and laboratory medicine, enable me to figure out whether this is the career path for me. The support and mentorship I’ve had throughout the past several weeks has definitely been the highlight of my time here, and I can’t wait to learn and grow further.

shreekari3

A Postcard From: Swati Shastry ’18

img_0452Name: Swati Shastry 

Year: 2018 

Major: Political Science

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

I’m currently interning at the Women’s Centre of Montgomery County (WCMC), a nonprofit focused on freedom from domestic violence and abuse. We service over 4,000 survivors per year through 24/7 hotline counseling, court advocacy, legal advice, and support groups. I was involved in all of these aspects and I also worked with the Head of Community Education and presented to a number of high schools, colleges, and old age homes in Montgomery County about recognizing signs of abuse. If there is anything I’ve learned over the past 10 weeks, it’s that domestic violence has no age, race, class, or gender and it doesn’t look just one way.

swati1Last week, I was at the Democratic National Convention with my colleagues from the Women’s Centre tabling at the Convention with a number of other social justice and community based organizations. I was able to talk to over 250 people about what the Women’s Centre does and how committed we are to ending domestic violence. Being able to communicate with people and having strangers open up to me about the most traumatic experiences of their lives affected me in a way that I will never forget and it has contributed to my personal as well as my intellectual growth.

How I heard about my internship:

As part of LILAC’s Summer of Service program – a cohort of ten students selected to live together in Batten House and pursue a service-oriented internship – I heard about the Women’s Centre through Rasha Younes, who had previously interned at the Women’s Centre as well as been a Summer of Service participant. I knew I wanted experience in the nonprofit sector, and being able to delve into women’s rights was a perfect fit.

Why I applied for my internship:

I applied to work at the Women’s Center because domestic violence is an issue all around us. As soon as I knew I was going to be working there, I felt like I saw domestic violence everywhere I looked (Johnny Depp, the Orlando shooter, the list goes on). Domestic violence stems from long-standing and systemic cultures of misogyny, rape culture, and The Patriarchy. While it doesn’t just affect women, it is important to understand that 1 in 3 women are affected by physical abuse, and this is not counting mental, emotional, and psychological abuse. Through the center, I was able to get a close look at how court proceedings work and get comfortable with some legal jargon and since I am considering going to law school. I am also interested in public service and I’ve been thinking about how policy making at the federal level affects funding for non-profit organizations. It was also great to be able to explore Philly with a monthly SEPTA pass – I explored hidden parts of the city that I probably will never go back to but I enjoyed every moment of it.

swati2

A Postcard From: Ariane Marchis-Mouren ’17

10406755_10152932193659330_3090793059518439749_nName: Ariane Marchis-Mouren

Year: 2017

Major: Economics, Minor: International Studies

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This summer I am interning at the Multilateral Development Banks/International Affairs office of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C. The Department of the Treasury is an executive agency of the United States’ federal government and is one of the largest financial institutions in the world; its main mission is to promote economic prosperity and ensure the financial security of the country. Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) provide financial support to developing countries in order to support their economic growth. The Treasury’s role with MDBs is to engage the United States in the global development agenda, and ensure the effectiveness of MDBs’ interventions by pressuring these institutions and suggesting policies. My job here is to help and assist my coworkers with their projects and assignments, such as loan review and memorandum drafting for project proposals or loan disbursements. I have also been learning about the international development infrastructure and how the U.S, through the Treasury, funds, monitors and manages the substantial U.S. equity position in MDBs.

amm3

I have really enjoyed the opportunities available to me outside the office. The Treasury has organized many events, guided tours, informational meetings and training courses for interns; I was able to go through basic Haver and Bloomberg trainings, to learn more about different offices and opportunities at the Treasury for graduating students, and to attend very informative ‘Brexit’ talks organized in the wake of the U.K. referendum.

As an Economics major and International Studies minor, choosing between a career in the public sector or in the private sector is something that has come up very often during my job searches. I have previously worked in two different commercial banks and have been exposed to the private sector, but I wanted to know more about the different opportunities for economists in the public sector. The Treasury seemed like the perfect fit for getting to know the financial aspect of public service.

Washington, D.C. is an amazing city that has so much to offer: from Sunday brunch at the Harbour to free-admission Smithsonian museums and art galleries, my time outside of the office has been well spent! I was actually born in Georgetown, but my family moved to France when I was four years old, so I am gladly rediscovering the city with a newfound appreciation of its historical and cultural gems. Aside from the fascinating assignments I am fortunate to be working on, I have to admit that my favorite part of this internship is being able to walk through the White House entrance every morning, after showing my I.D. to the U.S. Secret Service in front of the herd of tourists on Pennsylvania Avenue. There is really nothing like being nodded on by the Secret Service.

P.S.: I haven’t had the opportunity of taking a selfie with POTUS or FLOTUS (or even Sunny and Bo) yet, but I have three weeks left and I still have my hopes up!

amm1

amm2

Q&A with Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew.

A Postcard From: Emma Lasky ’18

laskyName: Emma Lasky

Year: 2018

Major: Biology, Minor: Environmental Studies

Internship Placement: USDA Forest Service

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

This summer I am working with the USDA Forest Service all over the Philadelphia Area. I am aiding a field researcher who is studying the effects of an invasive pest known as the emerald ash borer and its effects on forest health. Understanding the consequences of these pests helps the city of Philadelphia plan effective methods to remove the pests and identify potential dead trees that could be hazardous to the public. For the past week I have been battling my way through the dense rose bushes that inhabit Wissahickon Park, but other weeks have consisted of ducking under fallen logs in Fairmount Park and tip-toeing through stinging nettle in Pennypack Park – this is definitely not easy work! My advisor and I spend several hours each day in a plot with a circumference 25.24 meters, calculating tree girth, identifying herbaceous plants, estimating foliage density and many collecting other numbers. My two favorite parts of my internship is the daily challenge of identifying plants and how we go to a different location every day.

Here is a photo of me in the first week of my internship attempting to identify plants in a 2×2 meter space out in Pennypack Park. As you can see behind me, there is a lot of foliage that needs to be categorized. We use paper and pencil to record information, which is an effective way of collecting data until it starts to rain!

How I heard about my internship:

I began my internship search in the summer of 2015 and was expecting to work in a research lab on the West Coast, however I was unsure of where and how I wanted to spend my summer so I kept looking. This led me to searching around on Bryn Mawr’s website, which is when I found out about a spring break STEM intensive session. The session consisted of environmental science and public health topics – a lot of professionals in those two fields came in to speak to the students who signed up for the session. During this session there was a networking lunch that I took advantage of and made several contacts. After the lunch I followed up with the contacts, made some straightforward calls and found myself with more summer options to choose from that were conveniently located in the Philadelphia Area. Everyone should participate in the spring and fall break intensives – the worst case scenario is that you get free food and some professional contacts!

A Postcard From: Hydiya Abubakar ’17

Hydiya AbubakarName: Hydiya Abubakar

Year: 2017

Major: Biology

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

My internship is at Esperanza Health Center. I have been working in the administrative office which has a lot of the behind the scenes work that helps make the health center function smoothly. I have worked on some projects such as updating patients insurances on Esperanza’s new software system that is less than a year old and checking/updating records to make sure that patients 18 or younger have had their most recent well child checks (physical exams) yearly (if not, then alerts would be sent out to remind them). The internship is going very well. The staff are very welcoming and I am learning so much about how much detail and persistence goes into handling medical information.

How I heard about my internship:

I heard about this internship through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship on campus. IVCF was running a program where students could explore how faith can be applied when working in one’s vocation and how faith can be applied in working to try to reduce injustices in the communities that one may work with. Esperanza Health Center was one of the places offered to me.

Why I applied for my internship:

I applied for this internship because I am interested in the health field and Esperanza takes a holistic approach that really tries to help cater to patients’ needs and health. For example, Esperanza offers prayer if patients feel that they need spiritual uplifting, majority of the staff are required to be bilingual (Spanish and English), and Esperanza offers behavioral counseling, nutrition classes, and fitness classes all conveniently located at the health center. I was very excited to have an opportunity to learn and work in this environment.

A Postcard From: Jingling Li ’17

myxj_20160509114547_fastName: Jingling Li

Year: 2017

Major: Computer Science

Internship Placement: I will be working on a theoretical research at the University of Maryland this summer. It is a research to help me gain the experience of designing and improving algorithms. I really hope I could have solid exploration this summer.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

It is coming to an end of my summer research and so far, I think it is the best research experience I have ever had during my college life, which also opens a good end to the independent research I will be working on for my senior thesis.

Reading the paper

Reading the paper

I worked in a group of 4 people on scheduling problems such as concurrent open shop and coflow scheduling. This REU group has 16 students in total and 14 of us live in the same building, which provides us with many great opportunities to know about each other and do fun stuff together. There are two things that really surprised me this summer. One is that I happen to share a room with Teddy whom I have been a friend on Facebook and Renren (Chineses facebook) for around 4 years but never met or talked in person before, and the other is that these friends even prepared a cat birthday cake for my 21 birthday and I felt really moved. Beyond great personal communications, they are also very professional as research teammates and again I felt in love with teamwork.

cake

Though it is time to say goodbye to my summer, I really enjoy everything happened this summer and best wishes to my roommate Teddy (will come to visit you at NYC)!

A Postcard From: Ayesha Islam

ayesha_islam_photographName: Ayesha Islam

Year: 2019

Major: Undeclared

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

When I was in high school, I flagged Center for American Progress as a public policy think tank I’d be interested in working for as a college student. I didn’t know how I’d figure out the details – where in Washington D.C. would I live? How could I afford housing and food? Who would I live with? Was I even qualified for the position? Could I take care of myself alone? Now as the summer is quickly approaching its end, I still can’t believe that everything somehow worked out. Not only did I get an incredible experience interning with Center for American Progress’ Generation Progress department, but I also survived on my own in a brand new city. I made incredible friends that will last a lifetime, explored the nooks and crannies of Washington D.C., and learned so much about myself. This summer allowed me a glimpse into what life could be like after graduating college and getting a first job in a new city.

islam1

I’ve had exciting opportunities both in and out of the job. From hitting up all the good brunch spots, hopping from one Smithsonian to the next, to catching outdoor movies under the moon, sitting by Georgetown waterfront and talking about life, and finding late-night poetry open mics, there is never a shortage of things to do in Washington D.C. Through my work at Center for American Progress, I attended a White House forum, researched a diverse array of issues including climate change, higher education, criminal justice reform, and campus sexual assault, learned from senior policy experts at the top of their fields, connected with intelligent staff members and fellow interns, attended #BlackLivesMatter protests and gun violence prevention rallies, wrote about topics I’m passionate about, and got a chance to hear from brilliant figures like Melissa Harris-Perry and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

islam3islam2

Now that summer is ending and the fall semester is just a few weeks away, there are bittersweet feelings all around. I will miss the people and places I’m leaving behind, but I’m excited to move forward!

A Postcard From: Emma Wells ’17

img_1383Name: Emma Wells

Year: 2017

Major: English

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

I am spending my summer interning with Team Sunshine Performance Corporation, a Philadelphia-based theater company that makes original, ensemble-created work. This internship has been immensely encouraging to me, both because of the people I’ve been lucky to work with and because of the exciting, innovative nature of Team Sunshine’s work.

Because theater doesn’t run on the typical 9-5, Monday-Friday schedule, I’ve been enjoying an unpredictable workweek. The only part of my schedule that stands still is a weekly four-hour administrative meeting, which has come to be my favorite part of the week. At these meetings with the three company co-founders, I get to see how the gears of the company work together, and I feel empowered to one day start a company of my own.

I’m serving as Assistant Director on The Sincerity Project (2016), which will be part of the curated portion of the 2016 Philadelphia Fringe Festival in September. The Sincerity Project is a 24-year iterative performance project in which the same seven performers reconvene every two years to create a new installment. The show I’m working on is the second iteration, so I am having the unusual experience of seeing how an ensemble evolves previous work into something new. Working in the rehearsal room has been really inspiring and informative, as I learn how a professional company can prolifically create new work.

I’ve been enjoying spending my time in Philadelphia and getting to know South Philly better in particular. I can now officially call myself a disgruntled Septa commuter, although I’ve been getting lots of reading done on my two-hour commute from the suburbs.