Summer Internships 2018

Engage. Reflect. Integrate. #DsonIntern

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Week 2

Week 2

Week 1

Week 1

Back to Back at AhaMove

It’s been three weeks since I started working at AhaMove. Or, more precisely, “re-started”. Yes, last summer I had interned also at this technologically based delivery company, and also for three months. I was a member of the Operations Department in which our role was to ensure a robust and healthy team of shippers. The tasks varied a lot, including recruiting drivers, training them, resolving their operational issues, and developing incentive programs to improve their productivity.

I was mostly interested in the developing and analyzing incentive programs – I have always been keen on math, and that role let me dig into databases and work with million of numbers to find insights related to drivers’ working processes. For that reason, this summer I wanted to return to AhaMove, or “Aha” for short, to explore more that interest of mine. A month after finishing my application and online tests for the Data Analyst Collaborator position in the Business Intelligence, I got accepted.

Many people including both friends and family asked me why I wanted to return to Aha. Why go back? Why not apply for another company and diversify your experience?

I agreed with them on the benefits of having a diverse experience. However, it does not mean that this return will the same with last summer. AhaMove is a potential startup which changes and grows remarkably day by day. There’re always lots of new things for me to learn, especially after a year of growth and development. More importantly, this time I am in a different department with a different position. I will work not only with the Operations team on drivers’ issues but also with the Business Development department on the customers’ side and with the Marketing unit to tackle branding challenges. My new role in the Business Intelligence is going to allow me to explore more about data science – my career interest, which I could not do previously in the Operations team.

At first I chose AhaMove partly because it’s a start-up – I love working in new and small companies in which I can see everything being built from scratches and take lessons firsthand. It still is a young and dynamic company where I know I will learn greatly. Moreover, the people is also one of the reasons that brought me back. We at AhaMove have bonds that expand outside the company’s walls and offices.

Three weeks into the programs, everything has been just as I expected. I have been exposed to many opportunities, met a lot of people, and learned a lot. It’s still early to say anything further than, but I feel very hopeful about this return of mine.

Front doors of the On-boarding room in which new drivers come to register and receive training

 

We made it to Philly and we’re doing alright.

** This post was written after my Orientation on 3/17, but not published until I discussed the assignment with my supervisor. Enjoy! **

Let me start off by saying that I NEVER thought I would end up working in a zoo. It’s not that I wasn’t interested, or thought zoos were some evil place that only benefitted the man, I just had only been to one zoo in my life, the Bronx Zoo once when I was in kindergarten and once during my senior year of high school. The memories are positive, but fuzzy, zoos just weren’t a major part of my life at all.

Fast forward to my Sophomore year at Dickinson College, I was looking into places to intern in the Philadelphia area for summer 2018 so I could build my resume, get some experience and spend time with my sister who lives in the city. I applied to the Philadelphia Zoo on a whim, figuring I wouldn’t get in and knowing that they likely receive hundreds of applications each year. Though, here I am having just finished orientation for my Environmental Education and Animal Behavior Internship, or EEABI for short.

This week has been interesting, as I have always felt the most difficult group of people to interact with were my peers, a personal challenge for myself this summer is to quit being so awkward and shy and make friends and have some great conversations.  Over the four day orientation, we’ve been spending a lot of time in a conference room discussing a lot of logistics. Though, we also had the opportunity to do some team building activities. One of my favorites, “Pterodactyl”, a game that is played by standing in a circle squawking the word   while covering your teeth entirely with your lips and trying not to laugh (if a clearer explanation is needed, I would definitely be willing to follow up). Though my eleven-year-old self was squealing with excitement to play this hysterical game, my peers didn’t seem quite as excited, which may be because it was 9 AM on the fourth and final day of orientation.

Our most elaborate team building activity was a PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT! My team, the axolotls, actually won the competition thanks to our creative recreation of zoo statues and fine attention to detail, granting us a free trip on the ZOO BALLOON! (photos below)

The First Week

It’s hard to believe that my first week at Earth Day Network is already over. This afternoon, after I got off work, I was scrolling through social media when I saw this image.

Naturally, I laughed to myself for a while as I walked home.

But in all seriousness, I couldn’t be happier working in DC for Earth Day Network. I’ve always thought of myself as someone who was very passionate about helping people and human rights issues, with a side passion for creating an awareness for the environment. However, in doing this internship I’ve already learned a lot and have become almost hyperaware of my actions contributing to climate change and what I can do to change that. I’m extremely excited to say that I have the privilege of helping EDN support the March for the Oceans  this weekend in DC. On Saturday I will be given a press badge to go back stage and will be able to interview speakers like Dr. Sylvia Earle and Philippe Cousteau. I have never been so honored to be even close to these people who have been so impactful in the environmental conservation conversation, but to have the chance to interview them too is a dream come true. I hope to say more about those interviews in my next post, but for now I’m happy to say I’m really excited for the rest of this summer internship at Earth Day Network with such nice and passionate people.

Welcome!

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to my blog! I am very fortunate to be an intern this summer at Premier Sport Psychology in Minneapolis, MN. The firm provides sport psychology counseling, mental health counseling, leadership counseling, and creative solutions to private individual clients, large university athletic departments, business leaders, and professional sports organizations at the highest level. The company has been rapidly growing and is constantly expanding their client base. The company culture is extremely strong, which is no surprise considering they advise other teams and businesses on how to improve their culture.

The office in Edina, MN.

My job at premier is very multifaceted. I have a few projects I am working on throughout my time here, including a Community Outreach Project, a leadership workshop for college student-athletes, and adding a module of my own to their Premier Mindset Program. Additionally, I and the other interns will be writing multiple blog posts for them to post throughout the rest of the year and we will be upgrading their social media presence. The other three interns also come from all over the country, including Colorado, southern Minnesota, and Ohio. All of them are collegiate athletes and offer a distinct perspective, which has been incredibly interesting to hear.

In this first week, I have already been lucky enough to contribute to a developing project here at Premier. I did not realize until after the meeting that the employee leading the project was a two-time medalist in the 2016 Summer Olympics! I feel incredibly lucky to be here and be able to absorb all of the knowledge and advice that permeates the office. Of course, I am so thankful for the generosity of the Internship Grant that has allowed me to be here this summer. With it, I feel that I have an advantage over many of my peers in terms of graduate school admissions as well as future employment options.

Day 11: Smile and wave boys…

Welcome to Blog #3! Hard to believe I’m already at 3 out of 8 weeks…time does indeed fly when you’re having fun. Everyday I get up with a smile on my face, energized and excited to go to work in this beautiful city of Kigali.

Morning views

But that doesn’t mean things are always easy! In general, being an intern comes with a few challenges…you are young, you are temporary, you don’t know people, you don’t have the same life experience and knowledge as your co-workers, ect. So then on top of those challenges, add: you don’t speak the language, you’ve never been in the environment, you’ve unfamiliar with the culture…needless to say, things can be difficult when working internationally.

My first traditional Rwandan lunch with my co-workers

Lucky for me, I have a houseful and officeful of supportive people who I know have my back when things go wrong. But in the everyday uncertainties and discomforts stemming from my own ignorance and naivety, I must look within for guidance. And what I have found in these moments, is that smiling and proceeding with confidence is the best way to pull through. If I am interacting with a person who only speaks French or Kinrwandan, that doesn’t have to keep us from forming a relationship! If I am catching a moto to get to work and the driver takes me to the wrong part of the city, it doesn’t mean I won’t eventually get to where I need to go.

My daily commute

Being afraid of or close-minded towards what we interns don’t know, will only serve to hinder the chances for us to truly grow and learn (the whole point of an internship). With confidence on my side, I can CONFIDENTLY say that no matter the obstacles I face working in Kigali, everything will work out how it needs to be worked out. I strongly encourage those of you thinking about working abroad, to just GO FOR IT! Follow your dang dreams, people.

Explore the unknown with a big ole’ smile!

Tune in for blog #4 next Friday, June 15th. Till then, feel free to browse this digital archive of my adventures in Rwanda: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.977445762432130.1073741847.100005001451639&type=1&l=8bd8ac20eb

 

Orientation and first day

Hey all!

In this post I am going to write a little bit about my first week at my internship at the Massachusetts State House. On Tuesday, half of all of the interns for the Governor of Massachusetts, which encompasses all agencies, councils and bodies under the direction of the executive branch of the state, had their general internship orientation. There are hundreds of of such agencies in the state, and many of them have one or a few interns. I, as well as two others, are interning for the governor’s executive council, which is a body that, in addition to other things, advises the governor on issues as well as votes on appointments to the judicial system of the state, pardons and other executive appointments to bureaucratic agencies. Orientation was pretty much a lot of paperwork- very general, as it was for all interns. It was more so an introduction to the statehouse. After doing introductions ( we all had to give a fun fact- mine was that I have a twin) and paperwork, we were given a tour of the statehouse. I had not been there since I was a little kid, and I did not remember how beautiful it was. It’s like I get to work inside of a US history museum. The walls are filled with portraits of essential Americans, such as governor Sam Adams, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Many ceilings have full paintings and murals depicting Massachusetts history- its quite fantastic. I will take pictures and post some of them on this blog so that you all get a good view of the inside of the state house for those non-New Englanders who probably have never been inside of it. Although the day was a short introduction, I got to ride the train in from my house, wear a suit to a job, something I’ve never had to do before, and get a feel for the place I will be working this summer, as well as meet a bunch of fellow interns.

On Wednesday, I had my first day as an intern for the governor’s executive council. My day began at 6:15, another early morning rushing about, showering getting dressed, eating breakfast (strawberry chocolate scone-yum!), packing a lunch and rushing to the train station to catch the 7:15 commuter rail out of Boston. I got to Boston a bit early, and walked over to the state house in time to start at 9:30am. I had to report to the office of the governor’s council, a small area of the state house where the small council staff as well as the 8 councilors have their offices. I was given a desk in the corner, and I have a window on the first floor front of the red brick original part of the state house, farthest to the left. You can see it on the picture I attached. My day started with a history lesson about the council from one of the council staff members, an older gentleman named George who has worked in the Massachusetts state house his whole life, and has a memory that could serve as a textbook for Massachusetts state politics. The council was founded in 1780 in the Massachusetts constitution, with the main purpose of providing advice and consent to the governor on appointments and other important decisions. The council is made up of 8 councilors who are elected by vote from 8 respective districts in Massachusetts, and today, the council holds hearings for appointments to the judicial system, pardons, and other bureaucratic appointments. The council then votes on these appointments. Today, the governor does not chair the council, but the Lt. Governor, Karyn Polito chairs it. The council met that afternoon, and  was held in the governor’s chambers, in the room right next door to his official office. At the start of the council meeting, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito introduced me and another intern to the council, which was quite the honor. Many members of the council were impressed to hear that I was studying at Dickinson College, which they all remember is in Carlisle, the town famous for producing Jim Thorpe a century ago.  While in his office, I even saw Charlie Baker (governor of Mass) walking by- pretty cool! I got to watch as the council held a hearing for a judge being appointed to the senior position in the judicial office on industrial accidents and worker’s compensation board. (He was reappointed!) and then spent the rest of the day stuffing letters and doing data entry on behalf of the councilors. Quite a first day, I think its pretty cool that through this internship I will get to see state politics happen right in front of me, and get to meet a lot of big players in state politics in the process.

 

 

Thriving and Surviving Week One

Thriving in Week One

View from the roof of Channel Square, a Somerset property.

Wow, after one week at Somerset, I’ve never felt more like a real person in the real world. Waking up for work, taking the metro, walking around D.C. not as a tourist but as a member of the workforce (sort-of), has been a great experience. The people I work with at the Somerset office have made me feel right at home. Working for a real-estate development company has given me a unique perspective into life in D.C. I would not have received if I were just visiting. Just this week, I traveled across the city to seven separate properties that have shed a light on the life many face in urban areas.

Somerset Development is a company that specializes in developing affordable housing through programs that subsidize residents to pay sub-market rent prices. This allows people who are facing unemployment, food insecurity, and even homelessness to have the security of having reliable and safe housing. Somerset also fosters strong communities through supplemental education programs, summer programs for kids, job training, and food and nutrition programs. My specific tasks while working at Somerset this summer, fall under the food and nutrition programs.

Community garden plot at Webster Gardens that require work.

This summer I will be assessing the community gardens at each Somerset property in D.C. and provide feedback and assistance to improve resident relationships with gardens and provide them agency through the potential to grow their own food.

This first week has been a basic week of introductions, both with people and the sites I’ll be working with. So far, everyone has been incredibly excited about connecting residents to urban gardens. Some gardens at some properties are doing incredibly well and are thriving, while others need more work. I want to find out what may work at one place and why it isn’t at other properties. By the time I report back next week, I will have begun my work on each garden, and will be ready to start to meet residents and get them excited about gardening!

Surviving in Week One

I loved my first week, and overall it went pretty smoothly, so I decided to lay out some advice and tips to show how I went about my first week.

  1. Plot out your commute to work: If you’re in a new area for the summer, don’t let your first day at work be the first time you figure out how to get to work. Familiarize yourself with the area, the public transit, whatever will help, that way your first day, and week, can be that much less stressful.
  2. Talk to people at work: There’s no point in being a stranger at work, get to know people! Chances are they’ll be super nice, and want to help you fit in.
  3. Meet with your supervisor: Make sure you know what is expected of you, and try to make yourself useful. There’s nothing worse than being confused about what to do, so make yourself know, and show your skills.
  4. Learn about your company and co-workers: Understand what the company your working for does, and why it does it. Talk to your co-workers and find out why they work there too. This will give you a great picture into the values of your workplace.
  5. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share: You’re an intern, but your purpose is to help! If you have good ideas or experiences, share them, sometimes it will be really valued, and what better way to get off on the right foot than to share good ideas?

Searching For the Right Internship

 

And alas, here I am: a rural Pennsylvanian working as an Advertising intern in the city of Washington, D.C. How did I even get here?

When applying for internships, it’s always important to reflect on what’s important to you. You can think about this in a myriad of ways. For example, what is it about your major that interests/motivates you? For me, I majored in English because I love understanding characters’ motivations. In The Lord of the Rings, for example, what inspires Frodo to take the ring to Mordor? I decided to explore a career in advertising because, in marketing (the area of which advertising belongs), we are doing just that—examining audience motivations in order to understand why a particular product/service matters.

After speaking to various individuals about the internship process, many have voiced similar concerns and anxieties, specifically when it comes to landing an internship. It’s not that internships are hard to obtain; it’s the question of how does one apply for an internship when they are unsure of what to pursue post-college? Don’t fear! In the following list, I have assembled a series of important things to consider when applying for internships:

  1. Do you have any passions? What are some of your hobbies? Why do these passions/hobbies matter to you? Think about the things in your life that matter. For me, I love the performing arts. Beyond loving them, the performing arts are a means through which I understand the world. In addition, I love writing and communicating with others about why the arts matter. As an Advertising intern for a performing arts organization, this is exactly what I am doing: communicating about the importance of the arts. Think about how your passions, hobbies, and interests can effectively contribute to an organization.
  2. Your internship does not need to 100% correlate with your academic major. The assumption that one’s major must correlate with their career has become quite pervasive. Your college major, especially when you are studying at a liberal arts institution, does not determine your career. For instance, I know a Biology major who is an Accounting Executive and a Computer Science major who is a Communications Specialist. As liberal arts majors, we take classes from a variety of disciplines. In doing so, we learn how to think as writers, as philosophers, as scientists—this list continues. As a result, you have a large skillset, and are a valuable asset to the company of which you are applying. Make them know this.
  3. Your internship is a learning opportunity—ask questions, seek answers, and embrace others’ viewpoints. When you begin your internship, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your supervisors and colleagues don’t expect you to be a pro at writing press releases, producing radio spots, etc. You are shadowing individuals who are (presumably) professionals in their respective fields. As such, they are a vital resource for learning about the ins-and-outs of the field! And also, just between you and me, the supervisors love answering your questions. Not only does it show that you care, it shows that you have a genuine interest in your colleague’s perspective.
  4. Embrace the internship experience and begin thinking about what you like & don’t like about the field in which you are working. As the Internship Notation Program says, begin drawing conclusions after you experience more of your internship. Could you see yourself doing something similar for a full-time career? If not, what aspects of the internship did you most enjoy? Creating and editing multimedia content? Writing? Deploying marketing campaigns? The good thing about internships is that, even though you might not see yourself working for that particular organization, you might fight areas of the business—marketing, operations, IT, etc.—that you will want to further explore in the future.

And with that, this concludes my first blog post! I will continue to post more tips, recommendations, etc., as my internship persists. Best of luck with your internships/work opportunities, my friends! The next time you hear from me, I will have completed my first day at the Kennedy Center as the Advertising: Editorial Communications intern. Stay tuned!