Summer Internship Series: A Good O.R. Playlist Goes a Long Way in a 6 Hour Surgery

Kristen Brennan ’18

Aesthetica, Doctors Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Hello Everyone! My name is Kristen Brennan and I am a senior Biology major on the hill! This summer, I had the incredible opportunity to shadow two Denison alumni, Drs. Anne Taylor and Ariel Biggs in the Columbus, OH area. Dr. Taylor works independently in her own plastic surgery practice, Aesthetica, and Dr. Biggs is a hospitalist at Doctors Hospital in Columbus. I spent a month working with these two incredible physicians; watching them operate, tend to patients, operate administratively, and in their home lives as well.

I have shadowed physicians for a few years now but this internship was different. When you have doctors generous enough to let you live in their homes throughout the duration of the internship, they are being generous enough to let you into the side of being a doctor that most people do not think about. Being able to witness Dr. Taylor’s roles as a mother and a physician inspired me and motivated me to follow my dreams more than ever before. On a typical day, I would wake up around 5:15 so that I could get to Doctor’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio by 6:30 to round with the residents and see patients with Dr. Biggs. After spending the mornings with Dr. Biggs we would then go to shadow Dr. Taylor at her office for the rest of the day either in consultations or watching minor in office operations. About two times a week we had the opportunity to watch Dr. Taylor operate at the surgical center. Being exposed to surgery this close and watching how the entire O.R. team operates was extremely beneficial in gauging my comfortability and interests for potential future directions I would like to pursue in the field of medicine. I am more confident than ever that this career path is the one for me and that I will continue to work as hard as I can to put myself in a position to help people on the level that Dr. Biggs and Dr. Taylor do every day. I learned that there is no set rules to follow regarding how to go about speaking and working with patients but that in a state of being their healthcare provider it is your obligation to treat everyone to the best of your ability and to always do it with respect, compassion, and genuine intentions.

I am fortunate to call these two amazing women my mentors and I hope that I will be able to continue on one day as yet another Denison woman working in the field of medicine.

Summer Internship Series: My Startup Summer

Patrick Manglano ’18

The Incubator, Berlin, Germany

My name is Patrick Manglano and I am a senior at Denison majoring in Political Science.  I am a member of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams, as well as a member of Beta Theta Pi.  Over the summer I had an eight-week internship in Berlin that I attained through an abroad program that I found listed by the Off-Campus Study department.  The program, ran by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), worked with startup companies in Berlin to give students internships with specific startups, incubators/accelerators, co-working spaces, etc.  My internship was for a startup called The Wincubator, which served as a scouting and investment platform for a large, international company based in Germany called WILO.  The Wincubator works to find startups that use the same kind of innovative water, clean energy, smart buildings, and communication technology as WILO, and connect the them with WILO for investment purposes.  My job was to do research on startup hubs in developing economic areas around the world and see what external and internal factors allow them to foster startup growth.  At the end of my internship I turned in a detailed report that WILO will use to shape its startup investment approach.

Although I did not enjoy the work that I did for my internship, it was an overall good experience.  My work day consisted of getting to the office by 9:45, sitting at my desk, and staring at my computer as I read news articles and scholarly journals on things like economic policy and the needs of growing companies.  I grew tired of it pretty quickly because all I did was read other people’s research and then write it in my own words for my report, which felt very mundane and uninspiring.  I would so much rather work directly with people on projects that required we take other people’s research and find real-world applications for it.

What was good though was that since this was my first time in a truly professional setting, it helped prepare me for future professional experiences.  I found out what it is like to prepare and participate in weekly team meetings, what kind of communication is necessary for group projects, and what it is like to not have everything you do be treated like a homework assignment.  I also had a fantastic boss that I had many great conversations with.  She gave me plenty of advice on looking for the professional field I want to work in and what I should expect entering the job market.  Her being there and guiding me through this experience was a top highlight of my internship.  

Summer Internship Series: My Summer at a Historic Mansion

Michaela Shea-Gander ’19

Bryn Du Mansion, Granville, Ohio

My name is Michaela Shea-Gander, a junior Communication major with a concentration in Narrative Non-Fiction Writing. This summer, I lived on Denison’s campus while completing an internship at the Bryn Du Mansion.

Bryn Du is a historic mansion about a mile away from campus, where various events take place every week, such as weddings and polo games. Bryn Du’s property comprises 52 acres, including the 32 acre lawn, and eight buildings. The estate is on the National Register of Historic Places, and people come from all around the country to visit it or attend weddings. The mansion and other buildings are used for weddings, meetings, and other community events. This summer, I assisted my supervisors with overseeing events and other projects. Every weekend I attended multiple weddings, and was in charge of locking up the historic property. I was given the opportunity to see what went into event planning and coordinating.

Besides the events, I worked on various projects at Bryn Du. I created marketing materials such as pamphlets and brochures, and organized financial forms. I also answered questions from visitors and set up for events. My largest project, which was my favorite part of the internship, was researching and writing a historical booklet about Bryn Du. From this research, I learned about Bryn Du and Granville’s rich history, and the families who owned the mansion in the past. I dug through historical archives and newspaper articles, interviewed individuals who were knowledgeable about the history of Bryn Du, and acquired photographs for the booklet. The history that I learned was more dense and interesting than I thought it would be, and I am glad I had the chance to learn more about the town of Granville. I felt accomplished writing this booklet, because I felt that it was a valuable asset to Bryn Du.

The internship experience I had at Bryn Du this summer tested my adaptability because it was not always what I expected it to be. Different situations would arise that I did not feel I was equipped to deal with, but that is how I learned a variety of skills. After this internship, I do not see myself going into event planning or coordinating, but I do see myself working for another non-profit organization in the future, and I am glad I had the opportunity to utilize my research and writing skills. Bryn Du is a beautiful place that is not well-known on campus, and I hope that others get the chance to learn about its history.

I would like to thank my supervisors, Bruce Cramer and Athena Koehler, and the Knowlton Center for this opportunity.

Summer Internship Series: Journey on the Path to Find the Cure for Cancer

Neel Kejriwal ’18

National Cancer Institute

My name is Neel Kejriwal, I am a Biochemistry major and currently a senior. Over my summer I had the opportunity to work at one of the top cancer research labs in the country- NCI under the guidance of well renowned scientists from all around the world. It was a three-month experience where I spent the first few weeks shadowing and understanding the roles of the researchers in the field and then actually working on a research project. My project was interesting. It involved fixing and operating a digilab robot which could pipette up and down tumor cells and dispense them into 96 well plates in forms of microdroplets. This was created in a 4X4 array of drops. To these drops, drugs of different concentrations were added and using accurate imaging, the results were displayed. It was particularly fascinating, in my opinion to see how different fields of research played a vital role in studies primarily in the chemistry and biology fields, through modern innovations.

The robotics system I was working with was a sophisticated piece of equipment which was bought 2 years ago but was unused since it was very difficult to operate. I was given the task to understand the mechanism of operating it and perform the experiments. This was a very useful contribution to the national cancer institute since there is so much potential which microdroplets of cells could have with drug resistance. My results initially kept leading to errors but with constant observations, tweeks, and changes, I came up with a concrete protocol which matched my hypothesis.

In addition to the fantastic experience I had working for the organization, living on my own by renting a room in a single-family house gave me a perspective on independent living. My lab was in the middle of an army base called fort Detrick, so it was also really interesting to see the tight security and the safety precautions that was standardized in these government buildings.

Overall, my summer experience gave me a very broad experience on skills which would help me in my career into pharmacology and research and allowed me to have the exposure to work for a public based organization such as the national cancer institute. I have made some major contributions which might be published with more research and would help advance more innovations in science.   

Summer Internship Series: Business in the Bay-Area

Khalig Howard ’19

Magnolia Prime, San Francisco, California

Khalig howard '19 tabling for magnolia prime

My name is Khalig Howard, and I am 3rd year student at Denison University. At Denison, I am a Global Commerce Major, a German Minor, a member of the Black Student Union, a player on the Varsity Lacrosse team, and a volunteer with the local Big Brothers & Big Sisters Lunch Buddies program.

This past summer I worked in San Francisco for a tech start-up called Magnolia Prime. This was my first time being in San Francisco, and I had the summer of my life learning and working in the Bay Area. At Magnolia Prime, I worked with a small team based in the Silicon Valley to develop and market SaaS Interactive Voice Response (IVR) services to Home Care Facilities, Senior Living Communities, and Small Medical Practice providers. My duties included, but were not limited to, disseminating news through Constant Contact, creating market competition reports, and working in tandem with the Vice President of Business Development to identify and pursue perspective clients.

In addition to working for Magnolia Prime, I coached a U15 lacrosse team based in San Francisco called the NorCal Braves. This was a real pleasure for me, and provided a much needed break in my work week. My formal title was “Summer Marketing and Business Development Intern”. I learned a lot about the procurement process, and managed the social media platforms of the company. I spent a large majority of my time working with the Vice President of Business Development to identify, pursue, and engage prospective clients for our SaaS based IVR software. I was able to increase our website’s web traffic two-fold in the time I spent working with the company this summer, and I even made my way onto the front page! (

A typical work day for me involved waking up a 6:30 am to take the 1BX from my apartment in San Francisco to the Cal-Train station, where I would then train down to Redwood City (where the company headquarters is located). The whole journey took me about 3.5 hours daily! I would meet with the CEO, Karen Routt, in the mornings and she would brief on my tasks for the day. Additionally, she would inform me of times she planned on phone conferencing current and potential investors so that I had the opportunity to sit in on the meetings. Once a week, I met with Marketing Director, Stacey, to plan our social media posts for the upcoming week. We would discuss frequency of posts, content, and website analytics. Stacey and I would also review items such as Elevator Pitches, Pitch Decks, and 1-page information sheets to ensure that our content was always fresh and engaging when we presented it to investors and client prospects.

My experience in San Francisco this past summer showed me that I am very fond of small-team work environments. I had the opportunity to learn from, and work closely with, each department that comprises Magnolia Prime.  Also, since our team was so small, I was able to get personalized attention from each department head whenever I had any questions about my work. I also grew to love San Francisco, and although quite expensive, it is an amazing city and I hope to have the opportunity to work there in the future.

My Internship was unique in the fact that I am still an employee for Magnolia Prime. I signed a contract to do outside consulting work for the company part-time throughout the course of this Fall. I will be working with the CEO, Karen Routt, in formulating ideas to secure funding from potential investors, as well as, researching and creating market competition reports, to ensure that Magnolia Prime is always on its ‘A’ game.

I want to give a special thanks to the Knowlton Center Staff and Denison, for helping me make this Internship possible!

Summer Internship Series: My First Step Into the Real World

Eizo Lang-Ezekiel ’19

University of Toulouse, Toulouse, France

My name is Eizo Lang-Ezekiel, I am a junior and Political Science major with a Spanish minor. This blog post addresses my experience interning with the University of Toulouse in France this past summer. While the title translated to “Intern to help build international partnerships”, I was actually more of a floater in the team I worked in. This 8-person team was in charge of organizing the 2018 EuroScience Open Forum, which is a European biennial event on science and innovation organized by EuroScience. Each edition is held in a different European city and it is scheduled to take place in Toulouse next summer.

My first goal was to develop skills and gain experience in my field, which is Political Science. I had originally planned to double major with International Studies and although I cannot do this, I still want to add an international dimension to my major. My internship helped me gain knowledge on some of the European, French and regional institutions, which could be useful if I go back to work there. It was also a success because I had some tasks relating to international relations. During the most memorable day of my internship, I accompanied one of my supervisors on an international meeting. Three English persons flew to Toulouse to discuss ESOF 2018 and find out more about its logistics. I supported him with my language skills, helped promote ESOF and the city of Toulouse during the day. I also researched international organizations that could be interested in participating in ESOF and contacted them.

My second goal was to have a professional experience that would boost my confidence and prepare me for when I need to look for a job after college (or after grad school). This is the aspect in which my internship was most successful. I was unsure about what to expect going in on my first day and I quickly realized that I was going to have a lot of independence and real responsibilities. This was both challenging and intimidating, but it was a good thing. It allowed me to progress, gain the confidence and approval of my supervisors which made their complements even more satisfying.

Ultimately, aside from what I previously mentioned, the internship was successful because I learned skills that I will be able to apply to my work in college and in my professional life. For instance, I improved my skills with Word and Excel. I also gained experience in fields unrelated to my studies, notably in Communications and Marketing, but I believe this could be useful as well.

Summer Internship Series: Shoes and Clothes for Kids

Gena Banta-Long ’18

Shoes and Clothes for Kids, Cleveland, Ohio

My name is Gena and I’m a senior PPE major. This past summer I lived and worked in Cleveland as a Summer on the Cuyahoga intern with Shoes and Clothes for Kids. For the past 50 years, this nonprofit has been dedicated with providing free school uniforms and supplies to kids in need in the Cleveland area. It recently acquired another nonprofit that focuses on school supplies and helping out Cleveland teachers As a strong proponent of education, I was glad to have the opportunity to work with an amazing nonprofit.

Every day of my internship was different. Most days I directed and worked with volunteer groups, collaborated with others to reorganize our space to be more efficient, or participated in the organization’s special projects. I worked with volunteer groups to maximize our output as we had to a quota of uniforms to pack a day. I was able to polish my communication, organization and problem solving skills throughout my eight weeks.

My supervisor Monica was super funny, willing to work with me and helped me to succeed as an intern. I really appreciated her willingness to get to know me, hear me out when I was frustrated and worked with me to resolve the problems. She was a major part in making this internship manageable. I also had an amazing coworker, Kim, whose friendships and understanding really helped me to get through the summer.

After this summer, I realized that I won’t go into nonprofit work until later in my career. I do very greatly appreciate SOTC, especially Jean Koehler, and the Denison alumni network in supporting me throughout the summer.

Summer Internship Series: What Inspired You Today?

Kristina Wright ’18

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Summer internship series: what inspired you today? - screen-shot-2017-10-03-at-1.36.54-pm.png image #0My name is Kristina Wright. I am senior Anthropology/Sociology major and Psychology minor. On campus I am the president of Big Brothers Big Sisters, a member of SHARE, a research assistant in the Psychology department, and I work for a legal aid office in Newark.  This summer I had the amazing opportunity to work with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. I worked specifically with their summer camps and sleepovers. The summer camp had children ages 5-14, camp counselors called YTAs (Youth Teaching Assistances) ages 15-18, and instructors for each camp. The camp lasted a total of 9 weeks and each week there were about 10 new camps. The theme of the camps ranged from Ghostbusters to the Art of Recycling. The goal of camp was to get children excited about learning. Instructors would take students to various museums and relate exhibitions to their topic and help them in creating a project for the end of the week to show their parents. My typical day consisted of organizing classrooms for summer camp, making sure all the campers were checked in and smiling, applying band aids when needed and sometimes when not needed, handing out water bottles because 5 year olds forget that water is necessary and teenagers are too cool to drink water, and listening to all the amazing tales that children live to tell while I would sit with them at lunch.

Summer internship series: what inspired you today? - screen-shot-2017-10-03-at-1.37.14-pm.png image #1Our theme of camp was inspiration.  I was inspired everyday by not only the intelligence and energy of the campers, but my coworkers as well. All of the children had such varied interests that no conversation was ever the same. They cared so much about what they were learning and it was obvious during their project displays, or show and shares as we called them. I counted so many google eyes, sharpened endless pencils, and supplied too many snacks to campers that “forgot” their lunch, that at points my internship seemed like a never ending trip to the copier or Costco. All of this was worth it however when I went to the show and shares. Nothing can quite describe the sense of pride and accomplish that comes with seeing all your efforts and 12 hour work days being appreciated. All the long days, blisters, and permeant glitter on my skin seemed worthwhile when a 5 year old called my name from across the room to show me his frog project he created on the rainforest and used the toilet paper roll that I found for him. I was so inspired by the energy and drive of these children. Being a part of this helped me realize that I want to work with kids after graduation because I gained as much from them as they do with my help. I was also inspired by my coworkers. My boss developed the Smithsonian summer camps from the ground up. She was originally a theater director, but stumbled onto this career path and has not left since. She inspired me daily through her positive outlook, care for the children, realism, and awareness of the difficultly working with children. She allowed me to have hands on experience and trusted me enough to deal with issues I had never dealt with before, but she knew I can handle even when I did not think I could. It is because of her that I am looking into educational programing for children and I know that she will be there to help me whenever needed.

Summer internship series: what inspired you today? - screen-shot-2017-10-03-at-1.37.29-pm.png image #2

Camp is crazy, but inspiring. I miss waking up and metro-ing to work to see the faces of 200 children asking me to walk with them or hold their hand on the way to class or showing me this new book that they are reading. I miss my boss placing coffee on my desk because she knows I have not set down since check in. I miss the craziness and joy of working with kids every day. I was inspired every day and now every day I hope to work towards inspiring others.

Summer Internship Series: A Summer at Shriners Hospital

Thiele Schroeder ’18

Shriners Hospitals for Children, Boston, Massachusetts 

My name is Thiele Schroeder and I am a senior Communication major and Psychology minor. This past summer, I worked at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Boston in the Development Department.

Shriners Hospitals are non-profit organizations. Each hospital specializes in specific pediatric treatments. They pay for every patient’s medical care regardless of the family’s ability to pay. As a result, the Development Department is extremely important in order to fund the expensive medical procedures that come with treating severe medical conditions. The Boston location treats mostly burn patients.

Throughout the summer I was helping plan the organizations 50th Anniversary events. I utilized my corporate event planning skills that I learned during the summer of 2016 and learned new skills pertaining to fundraising and creating relationships with corporations through grant writing. I was in charge of finding venues for the 50th Anniversary Gala, accompanying the Director of Development on site visits, creating mailing lists of possible donors, and developing pre-event material for donors and corporations in the area.

I was the only intern in the office and consequently was assigned major projects and built a strong relationship with my mentor. While I was working mainly for the Director of Development, I worked in a small office so I worked collaboratively and completed projects for the other two permanent positions in the office, as well. All three women in the office genuinely wanted me to learn skills that would be applicable through my career path. Without their desire for me to learn, I would not have been challenged to attempt projects that I had no previous experience in. Although I was encouraged to step outside of my comfort zone more than I expected to be, those instances of discomfort made me produce my best work and enforced skills that I will utilize across my future professions. It was an invaluable summer.

After this internship, I have adjusted my aspirations for my career path. Although I would still love to end up coordinating and planning corporate events, I realized that I have a strong passion for non-profits with a mission that aligns with my personal values. Because of this, I realized that I would love to work to improve communication between corporations and non-profits in their respective area in order to enhance community relations and outreach.

I would like to thank everyone in the Development Office at Shriners Hospital – Boston for an incredible summer and for allowing me to experience a new field of work.

Summer Internship Series: Commerce in Cleveland

A.J. Koch ’18

US Commercial Service, Cleveland, Ohio

My name is A.J. Koch and I am a junior PPE major from Shaker Heights, Ohio. This summer I was fortunate enough to have the privilege of interning at the US Commercial Service in downtown Cleveland, which is the export promotional arm of the US Department of Commerce.

A typical day in the office consisted of not only the usual intern tasks of making calls, filing and data entry in Salesforce, but real concrete projects that helped trade specialists and clients directly. The Commercial Service is a network of offices in all major cities domestically as well as in 70 different embassies abroad. The goal of the US Commercial Services is to assist small-mid level local American companies in any of their export pursuits. Each company we worked with had different needs meaning that every day was different. Some common projects that I worked on for companies were market research and international marketing plans for a variety of industries in most regions of the world. These projects were very satisfying because the trade specialists would directly present my research to the clients in their meetings. It was great to actually help these small businesses grow their sales, with some of them reaping the benefits by the end of the summer.

Amy Freedman, my supervisor was an excellent source of information, putting together a weekly intern meeting with me and the other intern to go over all the big areas of exporting, compliance, and marketing. Through these sessions, I was able to learn a lot of technical, in depth business skills that my economics and political science classes weren’t able to teach me. I really appreciated her willingness to answer questions. I was extremely grateful of the extra effort that she put in such as letting me tag along on client meetings, and inviting me to networking opportunities with the Cleveland Council on World Affairs.  Sue Whitney, the office director was also extremely helpful. After working on the administrative planning for the Discover Global Markets Conference all summer, she invited me to come help out at the DGM in September. The skills, information and connections that I made this summer were extremely invaluable, and I couldn’t have asked for a better internship experience.