Alumni Spotlight: Rishi Dani

Name:  Rishi DaniAlumni Spotlight:  Rishi Dani - FullSizeRender-Rishi-Dani-1.jpg - Image #0
Class Year:  2005
Major(s)/Minor(s):  Mathematics-Economics
Organization Name: CIBC World Markets
Job Title:  Executive Director – Interest Rates Derivatives Sales

What was your career path like?
After Denison I joined JPMorgan as an analyst in their Interest Rate Derivatives Sales team, working with large Corporate clients in the US. In the time since, I have worked at several large multi-national banks including RBS, Nomura and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. During that time I have focused largely on Interest Rate Derivatives and Structured products, marketing them to large Corporate clients both in the US as well as Latin America.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love working in sales as it allows me to interact with clients and has afforded me the opportunity to travel extensively through the US, Latin America and Europe. At the same time, covering Interest Rate Derivatives means I have to follow closely the macro economic trends in the US as well as other major economies of the world which is of strong interest to me. Finally, providing derivative solutions entails coming up with creative ideas and involves a high degree of structuring and problem solving which is a stimulating challenge.

What surprises you most about your career or career path?
While I was at Denison, I always figured I would work in Finance but looking back now, I was woefully unaware of the different opportunities available within finance (investment banking, sales and trading etc). When I was interviewing at JPMorgan, I thought I was interviewing for an Investment Banking job and it turned out I was interviewing for a sales role and that too selling Interest Rate Derivatives – I had no idea what that meant. So looking back now, I had never imagined I would be doing what I am doing today.

How did Denison prepare you for the world after college?
While I was a student, I never appreciated the well rounded education that a liberal arts degree provides. Most of my peers in banking were from Ivy League schools and yet Denison prepared me well enough to keep up with them. For me Denison gave me the ability to think differently and to think outside the box which really set you apart from students who have spent their entire college career focused on just their main degree. On a lighter note, one of the experiences from Denison that helped me immensely was my time working at the Annual Fund which made me very comfortable talking on the phone – something a lot of kids out of school had a tough time adjusting to.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received throughout your career or what piece of advice would you like to share with others?
I would strongly encourage students to start thinking about what careers they might be interested in and to use the summers between Sophomore and Junior and Junior and Senior years to find relevant internships. I was surprised when I realized the different opportunities within finance and I wish I had a better understanding of those opportunities and maybe I would have pursued a different group. I think Denison’s biggest asset is its Alumni network and I strongly encourage students to use the career center to reach out to alumni in companies they are interested in – as a student I got invaluable advice on jobs, resumes etc from Alumni and in the end I got the interview at JPMorgan through an alum.

Denisonians in Health Professions: Team Physician

Denisonians in health professions: team physician - grant-jones-205x300.png image #0Grant Jones ’88

Role: Allopathic Team Physician

Professional School attended:
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, graduated in 1992

Current Titles: Team Physician-Department of Athletics and Professor- Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

Fun Fact: As a team physician for Ohio State’s basketball team, I have been known to get excited at times during games.  During one game, one of our players hit a game-winning shot to win the Big Ten Title.  I was so excited that I ran onto the court before realizing that there were .7 seconds left on the clock.  I promptly ran back to the bench, but not before being caught on TV doing so.  Unfortunately, the mad shot was the ESPN play of the week that was replayed over and over again.  I could not watch ESPN for a week due to the embarrassment!

Describe the process you went through to select your career path: what impacted your decision?
I was injured quite often growing up- several lacerations and broken bones.  So, I spent a lot of time in physician’s offices, particular Orthopaedic surgeons.  And, all of the physicians I met seemed to really enjoy what they were doing.  I was also influenced by my brother, who also went to Denison, four years ahead of me.  He ended up in pre-medicine and then went on to medical school at Ohio State as well.  In terms of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, my specialty, I love sports and I love surgery, so my occupation allows me to do both.

What are your favorite aspects of your profession?
I really enjoy surgery, particularly challenging cases, during which you often have to be real creative.  I also enjoy covering athletic events and covering athletic training rooms.  It is very gratifying to see an athlete whom I have worked on return to his or her sport.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
The hours can be very long.  Some days, I leave at 5 o’clock in the morning to do surgery, and then have to go straight from work to cover a sporting event until 11-12 at night.  I also take trauma calls, during which I am up operating all night before having to go into work that AM.

Describe what a typical day looks like for you.
Surgery usually starts at 7 AM.  I then operate until 3-5 PM depending on the day.  After that, I often cover one of OSU’s athletic training rooms until 5-6 PM.  During the school year, I often have to cover sporting events after training room.  If there are no sporting events to cover, then I return home around 6 and eat dinner with my family before getting a work out in.         

What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your field?
Spend as much time as possible shadowing physicians to make sure that this field is right for you.  Work is often difficult and long, but it is very gratifying when you can help someone.  Make sure that you are able to put the time and effort into medical school, residency and practicing medicine.  It is a lot of hard work.  Also, I would advise looking into completing summer research projects in medicine.  This certainly helps when applying to medical school.

Summer Internship Series: The Denison Archives

Gabriella Caldwell ’19

The Denison Archives and Special Collection, Granville, Ohio

Summer internship series: the denison archives - screen-shot-2017-10-13-at-1.45.11-pm.png image #0My name is Gabriella Caldwell, I am a Junior double majoring Black Studies and Communications.  My internship at the Denison Archives and Special Collection was amazing! I never thought I would learn as much as I did in the short amount of time I had.  Through managing a project alone, visiting other depositories, researching archival job postings, and setting up three different displays; I have gained more confidence working alone, asking questions and became more confident in my abilities to problem solve.  I’m excited to continue to explore the Archives next semester and expand my knowledge of the field even more than I already have.

Some of my highlights of the summer were creating the display surrounding blackface at Denison, seeing the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center Archives and taking the StrengthsFinder test.  I’m am very proud to have been able to create a display that focused on an issue I care about, and being able to share that information with my peers was one of the most rewarding parts of the summer by far.   Creating this display I reached out to seven alumni, three of whom responded and provided significant insight to the productions and how they felt about them then, versus how they feel about them currently, all of which I included in the display. Below is the caption I created for the display

“Denison’s Department of Theatre made significant contributions to the surrounding Denison community, as well as to the larger theatrical community.  Summer and Children’s Theatre programs allowed for the surrounding community to enjoy and engage with the arts, and actors/actresses such as Hal and Ruby Holbrook, Henry Sutton, Bill Moore, Steve Carrell, Jennifer Garner and many more gave the acting community iconic actors and actresses.  However, as with many things, Denison’s Department of Theatre is more than just examples of exceptionalism.

Denison, much like other schools and theatre troops, made detrimental contributions to racial stereotypes using “blackface,” along with minstrel, sambo, coon, pickaninny and mammy caricatures as well as negative portrayals of Asian and Native Americans in various theatre productions.  These contributions continued through 1960s with productions such as Polly, The Mikado, Knickerbocker Holiday, Where’s Charley, and many more.  In looking back at Denison’s developing theatre department a complicated mix of productions reveal biases and perpetuation of unfortunate stereotypes.”

Seeing the Afro-American Museum archives gave me a better understanding about the kinds of collections I want to work with in the future, it also gave me a better understanding of what graduate programs look like for archival work.  And taking the StrengthsFinder test really opened my eyes to some skills I was not aware I had, and gave me the tools to improve in areas I struggle with, as well as the language to use to promote my skills.

This summer has been extremely helpful while I continue to think about what I want to do with my life.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with Sasha and Colleen and look forward to continuing my work with them in the future.

Summer Internship Series: Large Art, Small Shed

Evelyn​ ​Kendix ’19

Curatorial Intern, the Shed, Columbus, Ohio

Summer Internship Series: Large Art, Small Shed - Screen-Shot-2017-10-13-at-1.22.06-PM.png - Image #0My​ ​name​ ​is​ ​Evelyn​ ​Kendix.​ ​I​ ​am​ ​junior​ ​Studio​ ​Art​ ​major,​ ​with​ ​a​ ​minor​ ​in​ ​Art​ ​History.​ ​I​ ​worked​ ​at the​ ​Shed​ ​as​ ​a​ ​curatorial​ ​intern,​ ​helping​ ​artists,​ ​assisting​ ​the​ ​head​ ​of​ ​the​ ​gallery,​ ​and​ ​doing general​ ​artistic​ ​duties.​ ​Additionally,​ ​I​ ​got​ ​to​ ​explore​ ​Columbus’s​ ​vast​ ​and​ ​fast​ ​changing​ ​art scene.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​stretch​ ​my​ ​abilities​ ​during​ ​this​ ​internship.​ ​Form​ ​woodwork​ ​to​ ​social​ ​media,​ ​I learned​ ​lots!​ ​I​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​expand​ ​my​ ​network​ ​of​ ​art​ ​connections​ ​through​ ​Blake​ ​Turner’s​ ​vast network​ ​of​ ​OSU​ ​artists​ ​and​ ​graduate​ ​students.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​connect​ ​with​ ​Ann​ ​Hamilton,​ ​a​ ​long term​ ​inspiration​ ​of​ ​mine,​ ​along​ ​with​ ​other​ ​artists​ ​who​ ​fascinated​ ​me.​ ​I​ ​worked​ ​on​ ​multiple exhibitions,​ ​including​ ​working​ ​with​ ​textiles,​ ​paint,​ ​printmaking,​ ​and​ ​videography.​ ​Each​ ​day​ ​was different​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Shed.​ ​Sometimes​ ​it​ ​was​ ​manual​ ​labour​ ​of​ ​construction,​ ​sometimes​ ​it​ ​was​ ​more conceptual​ ​research.​ ​I​ ​learned​ ​how​ ​to​ ​better​ ​talk​ ​about​ ​my​ ​personal​ ​artwork,​ ​through​ ​listening​ ​to others​ ​discuss​ ​their​ ​work.​ ​This​ ​was​ ​a​ ​big​ ​goal​ ​for​ ​me,​ ​so​ ​it​ ​was​ ​very​ ​satisfying​ ​to​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to achieve​ ​this.​ ​I​ ​would​ ​like​ ​to​ ​acknowledge​ ​Blake​ ​Turner​ ​in​ ​this​ ​blog​ ​post.​ ​He​ ​was​ ​my​ ​boss,​ ​but beyond​ ​that,​ ​a​ ​mentor.​ ​I​ ​feel​ ​comfortable​ ​saying​ ​that​ ​he​ ​was​ ​more​ ​than​ ​authority​ ​figure,​ ​I​ ​would consider​ ​him​ ​an​ ​influence​ ​in​ ​my​ ​artwork​ ​and​ ​my​ ​general​ ​practices.​ ​Additionally,​ ​thank​ ​you​ ​to​ ​the Denison​ ​Studio​ ​Art​ ​Program,​ ​Art​ ​History​ ​program,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Knowlton​ ​Center​ ​for​ ​assisting​ ​me​ ​in connecting​ ​with​ ​Blake.

Summer Internship Series: A Summer of Justice

Imaa Nicco-Annan ’18

Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, Washington, D.C.

My name is Imaa Nicco-Annan and I am a senior at Denison University majoring in International Studies with a concentration on human rights and women empowerment, and a minor in French. This summer I had the privilege of working in the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) in Washington, DC.

Human Rights Watch is a renowned, American-founded international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The organization is known for its neutral reporting, accurate fact-finding, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy. This is often in collaboration with local human rights groups. Human Rights Watch also publishes more than 100 reports and briefings on human rights conditions in some 90 countries, generating extensive coverage in local and international media, some of which we, as interns, had the privilege of drafting.

My responsibilities as the Africa Division Intern were to draft reports and documents regarding issues in Africa while interacting with other US and international organizations, and foreign and domestic government officials.  A typical day of work involved monitoring the media for human rights issues occurring in select countries in West Africa; namely Senegal, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Gambia. My colleagues and I were assigned typical intern tasks such as filing and scanning documents, attending external meetings, flagging and sending emails regarding important press releases. However, we were also given a lot of leeway to work on tasks that were more geared towards our personal interests.

Human Rights Watch organized weekly “Speaker Series” where professionals within the organization would speak on varying issues which helped broaden my knowledge about the gravity of some human rights issues that I initially was not aware of. Through this internship, I gained direct exposure to the working on an international human rights organization. I also had the opportunity to network with several professionals in the legal and non-profit fields at leadership conferences hosted by Google, the French Embassy and Human Rights Watch. I was given the opportunity to draft a report on Guinea’s bauxite mining industry that is due for publication sometime this year. I was also assigned a task to identify locations and numbers of Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps in Mali following clashes in 2012.

Through this internship, I greatly improved upon my research, analytical and critical thinking skills. This summer at Human Rights Watch served as a great avenue to learn about the employed strategies and efforts that are placed in investigations on issues of human rights abuses; and in the exposure of facts that generate extensive media coverage and eventually, changes in policy. It also gave me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in human rights advocacy field which I plan to pursue as a career, and honed my existent skills while simultaneously acquiring new ones. In addition, this internship helped me build my confidence as I attended various conferences and forums and networked with numerous professionals in the legal field.

My summer at Human Rights Watch has helped me guide my professional path and goals. I am certain that I want to work in an organization that focuses more on legislation of policies to protect human rights and eventually go to law school with the hopes of becoming a defense attorney.

I would like to thank Jim Wormington, Corinne Dufka, Lauren Seibert, and my coworkers-MJ, Charline and Gen for an enriching summer experience in DC.

Summer Internship Series: Knowledge Gains

Duncan Tulimieri ’19

Strength and Conditioning Coach Intern, Prentiss Hockey Performance, Stamford, Connecticut

My name is Duncan Tulimieri and I am a Health, Exercise, and Sports Studies major and Biology minor at Denison University. Over the summer of 2017, I was a strength and conditioning coach intern at Prentiss Hockey Performance. I am currently a junior and plan to graduate in 2019 and go on to a graduate school for Kinesiology after graduation from Denison. I am the alternative captain for the men’s ice hockey team.

My internship was a very unique one to say the least. I wasn’t sitting at a desk and looking at a computer and spreadsheets like one imagines an internship would be. I actually did the complete opposite. I was up at the crack of dawn and moving around all day, setting up and breaking down exercises for both professional ice hockey players and the general population. The internship had many great aspects, but my favorite part was getting to know some of the athletes and learn about their views and perspectives about strength and conditioning. I learned that being a strength coach is not only just about being able to work someone out, but also about talking to the person and realizing that you are dealing with a person, not a textbook or skeleton. One of the most rewarding parts of the internship was that I got to see many topics talked about in the classroom, be applied in real life. Some topics that I saw get applied in the gym that were talked about in the classroom were; the stretch shortening cycle, passive insufficiency, isokinetic movements, isotonic movements, isometric movements, etc. It’s one thing to learn about concepts in the classroom and be tested on them, but it’s a whole different setting when you apply them to real live people, and watch how it affects them.

I could not have gotten, or done, this internship without the help of my parents, my supervisors, and the generous donor who supplied me with a stipend. I would also like to thank the people at Prentiss Hockey Performance for helping me to expand my mind and think about things in a different way.

Summer Internship Series: A Prideful Summer

Justine Morelli ’18

Intern, MassEquality, Boston, Massachusetts

This past summer I had the opportunity to intern at MassEquality in Boston, Massachusetts for four months. Thanks to the McMahon Fund, I was able to commute by train for an hour each way into the city, four days a week, all summer long, to work at this organization. MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The non-profit does this by partnering across issues, identities and communities to build a broad, inclusive and politically powerful movement that changes hearts and minds and achieves policy and electoral victories.

Throughout the summer, I gained experience canvassing, organizing events, recruiting voters and volunteers for the MA 2018 ballot, researching key political issues, writing testimony for bills in the State House, and listening in on pivotal hearings in the legislature. This summer gave me a foundation in the world of lobbying and non- profit advocacy work that will definitely benefit me in my future endeavors after Denison. I became really interested in testimony and legal writing, as well as research for bills in the House and Senate.

The most exciting part of my summer was volunteering at Boston Pride in June. Seeing the city come together at one big festival parade on a beautiful day was an amazing experience. Working with MassEquality allowed me to fall in love again with my home state of Massachusetts. I became passionate about political work and writing testimony for bills; working here allowed me to realize that I really can make a change in my community by starting at the political level and using my own voice. I am so thankful to the Knowlton Center for helping me with my resumé and the McMahon fund for this experience.


Summer Internship Series: My #Paid Summer

Emily Walsh ’19

Influencer Marketing, #paid, New York City

My name is Emily Walsh, I am a Communications Major with a concentration in Organizational Studies. This summer I had the opportunity to work for an influencer marketing company, #paid.

#paid is an influencer marketing company that is based in Toronto, Canada. Recently, they have expanded their offices to New York City. I was fortunate enough to be the second employee ever in the NYC office. Influencer marketing is a form of the marketing world that focuses on social media influencers. These individuals have extreme influence over their followers and brands reach out to them to help market their product in an organic fashion. Influencers are seen as new age celebrities, they have high followings on different social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Influencer Marketing has grown to be one of the more trusted forms of marketing as most people trust and check their social media channels more frequently than reading magazines. What #paid does for these influencers is provide a middle ground between the brands and the influencers. They have a hybrid solution of technology and managed services that provide a streamlined process to make partnering together easy and effective.

Since I was the one of the few people to be in the new NYC office, my internship was not your typical workplace environment. My boss was head of sales in New York City, and we did work together and he taught me many valuable lessons. I was able to attend some of his Sales presentations and Marketing Panels. Most days my main priority was talking over “Slack” which was the main form of communication the company used and to work with the Creative and Marketing Team. Initially, I thought I would be used to help with some unfinished projects and loose ends. However, my role at #paid was far greater than I ever could have expected. My responsibilities this summer ranaged from researching data on different companies, to helping format excels, to creating new proposals and searching our database for the perfect influencers that would fit the campaigns. The variety of campaigns I was able to work on ranged from North Face to Canada Goose to Local Grocery Stores in Canada.

My summer at #paid helped me grow in a way I hadn’t known possible yet. It helped me see my strengths in working under pressure and how important communication skills are in person and over the computer. It allowed me to fuel my passion for Marketing and put into perspective what the working world truly is like.

I would like to thank Cole Tone the Sales director in NYC for being my mentor, and Bryan Gold and Adam Rivietz the Co-Founders of #paid for giving me the opportunity to grow and learn at the company!

Summer Internship Series: Columbus Museum of Art

Jiaxin Liu ’18

Summer Art Workshop Intern, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio

My name is Jiaxin Liu. I now am a senior in Studio Art major, Economics minor. During the past summer, I did my internship in Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio. During the two and half months’ internship, I worked as a Summer Art Workshop intern. Except helping with all the summer art workshops, I also helped with several programs in the museum such as Artful Adventures and Museum on the Move.

I expected to explore more about the positions in the museums and galleries and know what do those staffs typically do. I also wanted to gain more experience working in the art field. I am very happy that achieved what I expected during the past summer. For this internship, I gained more knowledge about the museum such as “how many departments art museums often have” and “what kind of program a visitor can participate in the museum”. I also got a lot of inspiration on art making surrounded by great artworks. Because of helping with art workshops in different theme, I learned many new art making skills that I haven’t learn in class. One of the greatest thing during this internship is I learned to work with diverse groups and individuals. It made me feel more confident working with others. I learned a lot; explored a lot; and gained a lot during this summer internship. I really appreciate that Knowlton Center helped me on getting this internship. I also feel thankful that Denison generously support me with the stipend to achieve my goal.

Summer Internship Series: My Summer at a Literary Journal

Samantha Toshok ’18

Editorial Intern, Virginia Quarterly Review, Charlottesville, Virginia

My name is Samantha Toshok and I am currently a senior at Denison University pursuing a Major in Psychology and a Concentration in Narrative Non-Fiction Writing.  This summer, I worked at the Virginia Quarterly Review, a national literary journal located in Charlottesville, Virginia.  There, I worked as an editorial intern, and assisted with the production of the magazine, proofread and edited both solicited and unsolicited manuscript submissions, marketed the publication on social media platforms, and helped run the 2017 VQR Writer’s Conference.  Prior to starting this internship with VQR, I knew I had intentions of pursuing a career in writing, however, I was not entirely sure in what type of capacity that would be.  This internship taught me a lot about precision and word choice when it came to writing or communicating a message to audience members or our readership base.  With the help of my direct supervisors and boss, Allison Wright, the managing editor of VQR, I would not have the opportunity to understand the process that goes behind magazine production and the level of accuracy and precision that goes into editorial work.  I have, however, found that I am drawn more to creative roles in the corporate side that involve creating narratives around products, services, or brands.  I also would like to incorporate more of my Psychology degree and use that to better understand consumer behavior.  Despite my different career aspirations, coming out of this summer experience has given me the opportunity to hone the very skills that I plan on applying to many future creative roles such as market research consultancy or advertisement.