Summer Internship Series: Finding My Career Path

Ashmita Das ’18

Digital Marketing, Xebec E-Media Technologies, Pune, India

This summer I spent two months in Pune, India in an internship that set me on my career path. I’m Ashmita Das, a senior double majoring in Communication and English Literature. Like any other college student, I wasn’t absolutely sure of what I wanted to do after graduation, till I spent the summer working at a digital marketing firm called Xebec E-Media Technologies.

I went in with no previous knowledge of the industry and unsure of whether I would thrive there. I quickly realized this is what I wanted to do with my career. I worked on digital marketing strategy for a major tourism company and came up with unique ideas to sell a campaign pitch. I also handled social media content for Aldo, Birkenstock and Call It Spring in the Middle East, all by myself. I was constantly surprised by how much I could take on and accomplish every day. Going from a timid intern who was unsure of herself to handling major accounts alone, I saw my professional growth in front of my eyes.

I worked with an amazing team of young professionals who became like my family in an unfamiliar city. From hectic workdays to dinners on the weekends, they made sure I felt like I was one of them. This experience was made even more gratifying by my supervisor, Zeeshanali Ruby, who constantly pushed me to do better and taught me all he could possibly teach me in two months. He was invested in making sure that I got everything I needed and more from this internship.

The internship let me work with fashion, which is one of my passions and made me realize how I could utilize my strengths to make a career out of it. It helped me plan my life after graduation and put me on a path to attain a master’s degree in Digital Marketing from Europe. This summer internship was a truly enriching experience that would not have been possible without my amazing colleagues and the all the help I received from the Knowlton Center.

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 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: Photography in Peru

Julia Tallant ’20
Intern, FairMail, Huanchaco, PeruJulia tallant exploring photography in peru

I am Julia Tallant, and I am a sophomore Studio Art and Spanish double major. This past summer I was lucky enough to be able to intern with a fair trade photography company in Huanchaco, Peru, where I spent about 3.5 months living and working.

The basis of the company I interned for (FairMail) was to provide underprivileged Peruvian teenagers with DSLR cameras and to train them to take photos for greeting cards, and the teenagers receive 60% of the profits to use for their education, housing, and healthcare.

I was responsible for teaching photography classes 3 times a week and offering make up lessons for the kids who couldn’t make it. I created presentations introducing different themes and topics for each week. My favorite topic was our three-week unit on animals during which we had puppies in class every day. I would also give suggestions to the kids on how they could improve their photos and make them more appealing to potential customers, and I also selected the photos to be sent to my bosses in Europe so that they could select the final greeting cards.

I spent my final week with the bi-annual FairMail photography trip. Four of the teenagers with the best conduct were selected to go on the trip to a city in northern Peru with me, one of the owners of FairMail, a volunteer, and two tourists. The purpose of these trips is to give the kids more opportunities to take photos that can be become greeting cards and to also give them the opportunity to get to know different parts of their country. During that week, I taught them about the Principles of Design, which are fundamental guidelines for creating a successful work of art that I learned a lot about in my Denison art classes.

I was very lucky to work with talented instructors and a dedicated staff at FairMail. My first month and a half at FairMail, I co-taught the classes with my fellow instructor, Viky Bo. After she left, I realized how much work went into planning the lessons alone, and I am very grateful for her sharing that workload with me as I was starting out my internship. The two managers of the FairMail team, Angeles Acevedo Bobadilla and Anidela Rios Pizan, provided me with a lot of support throughout my internship, especially when it came to the more technical side with computers and what not, and I am very grateful for their patience and friendship. The two owners of FairMail, Peter Den Hond and Janneke Smeulders, answered a lot of my questions before I arrived to Peru and helped me a lot during the photography trip, and I am grateful for their support and suggestions on how to improve my teaching.

My summer with FairMail has helped me realize how much I want to work in a creative field, especially one that is Spanish-speaking. Additionally, working with a company that puts bettering community it works with first and seeing the positive effects it has had on the community has inspired also challenged me to consider the field of International Development, which is something I had never thought about before I went to Peru. Overall, I think that this internship has challenged me to think about where I want to be in the future and helped me gain skills that I know I will use for the rest of my life.