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.

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: The Summer of Adaptability

Thomas Stephenson ’18

Marketing Intern, ContentVia and Health Admin Solutions, Columbus, Ohio

My name is Thomas Stephenson, and I’m a senior Communications major and History minor here at Denison University.  This summer, I was given the opportunity to be a marketing intern at two different companies. One was a company called ContentVia and the other Health Admin Solutions. I’m sure to my audience those sound like two incredibly different places to work, but one of the major things I learned this summer is skills in marketing can apply to almost any business.

However while I did work as a marketing intern for both these companies, my roles at each were somewhat different. ContentVia works with various startup companies to try and promote them as much as possible and set them on the right track. So one of my jobs was to draft various social media posts for these startup. These included Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. I also did a lot of research around the internet for new clients who could use our service, and even sent out a few outreach emails and made a few calls to try and spread awareness to them.

For Health Admin Solutions, my job was almost entirely focused on their social media platforms. They had a Facebook and Twitter page, but had not done much work in promoting them or even posting on them. I took over and immediately started to work on drawing attention and reaching out to clients on both platforms.

I felt great about what I was able to accomplish for both these organizations, as well as myself. The outreach I worked on through social media and contact with clients opened up new doors for both companies, and I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and learning some new skills along the way. I also feel as if this summer gave me an idea of what I’d like to pursue after college, which was my main goal at the start of June. I wanted to narrow down my interests and find a place within the marketing field that I enjoyed working in, and I believe social media could be one of those. I also realized through my research that advertising is a job I’d love to pursue in the future, and I’m excited to see what opportunities are out there for me after graduation!

Overall, interning with these two companies was a fantastic experience that has not only boosted my résumé, but my skills in marketing and confidence with professional work. I’m looking forward to the next challenge that’s sent my way!

Summer Internship Series: A Summer of Creating Relationships

Nicolas Valdiviezo ‘18

Advance Analytics summer intern, Dun & Bradstreet, Short Hills, New Jersey

I am Nicolas Valdiviezo from Lima, Peru. At Denison, I am a senior pursuing BA degree in Computer Science and Economics, with a Mathematics minor. The past summer I had the honor to intern in the Advance Analytics Department at Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Headquarters in Short Hills New Jersey.  D&B is a 176-year-old B2B data company that help their clients with analytics and data for them to grow relationships with other companies, they are in the relationship business and use data to make sure these are good. This company possess rich and meaningful business data of 265 million companies around the globe that is updated every day thousands of times to have the most up to date insights. D&B had set a standard in the business industry with the DUNS number, that uniquely identifies each company, and is a must in any business partnership, loan application, etc. Another great aspect is the great company culture they promote, for which they are 2017 Best Place to Work in NJ. The internship program there has been growing since 2012 from 25 interns to 108 around the world this last summer. There I have meet some of the most creative, smart and proactive people; and they believe that an internship is a learning opportunity.

The Advance Analytics Department is the one in charge of creating and delivering analytics to the company’s client. The first week we full of learning about the company, the culture and meeting key people for my day to day operations. Harold Fernandes, a VP / Sr. Leader and my supervisor, took several hours that week to talk to me, define expectation and explain to me his vision of the department, and update me in the current situation of the department. He gave me the tools and knowledge to be successful in there. I performed a very flexible roll. The first weeks I was doing research and summaries for Harold on different topics related to implementing analytics. I learned a lot about the process of models and how the company takes care of the client’s business. After the first two weeks, Harold would check on my work load daily and I reported and met him a weekly on my progress and the working environment.

However, my roll changed a lot after I was presented with the opportunity to work with one of the modelers, Cris, on increasing performance of one of their models. I worked side by side with him learning about his work and how his algorithms worked. One of the main expectation I had about this internship was that I was going to have the chance to make an impact in the company’s operation or people. Cris, gave the chance to use what I learned at Denison’s Computer Science department on his work. Together we reached improvements on the model’s execution time by at least a factor of six. It was a great learning opportunity for both of us. And certainly, let me feel that I had an impact.

The company was full with employees willing to talk to all interns and give advice. Interns had the change to attend sessions with executives, lunch and made appointments with chief officers of the company. We even had breakfast with the CEO. It made me realize what a good work place looks like and how serving leadership works. In addition, interns and employees participate on volunteering for nonprofit organizations during the Dun & Bradstreet Do good week. D&B was a great place to work in, I learned a lot about the operations of the company and the department, the employees do listen and expect the interns to give input and be collaborative, they create learning opportunities like workshops, special guest speakers, and more importantly they make you feel part of the company as one of their own. They abide by their values of being data inspired, relentlessly curious and inherently generous every day.

Summer Internship Series: Doing Policy in DC

Leah Hansler ‘18

Policy Intern, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Arlington, VA

Summer internship series: doing policy in dc - lh-nb-office.png image #0My name is Leah Hansler and I’m a senior political science major and philosophy minor. This summer I was a policy intern at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards near Washington, DC.

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) seeks to elevate the teaching profession and improve the quality of teaching and learning in the US. It maintains rigorous teacher-set standards of what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do and provides a voluntary certification process for teachers who meet these standards. NBPTS works with other education-related organizations and advocates for policies related to teacher professional development, teacher leadership, and embedding national standards in school systems and teacher preparation programs.

While I have sought out experiences related to policy and advocacy throughout my college career, I did not have experience with education policy prior to this internship and I was excited to learn and work in a new field. My supervisor, Sarah Pinsky, gave me meaningful and interesting projects and had me sitting in on meetings and conference calls on my very first day. I also had the opportunity to help with other projects and departments, like editing part of a grant proposal and participating in Strategy and Policy team meetings.  I had two main projects, which were both meaningful learning experiences that added value to the organization. Drawing on my experience in advocacy, one of my projects was to design a series of resources to help the networks of National Board Certified teachers (NBCTs) around the country with their political advocacy efforts. I finished six handouts during my internship, addressing topics like “What is Advocacy and Why is it Important for NBCTs”, “Building Relationships with Policymakers”, and “Legislative Processes”. Before I left, I wrote a document with suggestions for how to use the resources going forward. The handouts are available to all NBCTs and will be used to inform the organization’s broader advocacy goals for the year.

Drawing on my experience with research, my other main project was to go through all research that references NBPTS, create a database of the research with detailed analysis, and then to create a summary document of general themes and overarching findings from what I had read so far. While I was not able or expected to finish going through all the research during my summer there, the summary document and database I started will be available internally to all NBPTS staff to aid in grant proposals, resources, and projects.

Summer internship series: doing policy in dc - lh-capitol-building.jpg image #1

I learned so much from my experience with National Board. I refined my advocacy and research skills, learned about important education policies, and received a more intimate understanding of how education is governed in the US as well as how US government works in general. I also gained a better understanding of how nonprofit organizations function and how to collaborate effectively within them. Additionally, both because of my internship and because I was living in DC, I had the opportunity to attend several events, briefings, and advocacy activities related to topics that interest me. I went to the constituent coffee for Senator Sherrod Brown, the full House markup of an appropriations bill, and several panels hosted by the Center for American Progress and the World Affairs Council DC, to name just a few. I improved my networking skills and learned about what it’s like to be part of the policy community in DC.

Because of my internship and my time in DC, I know that I want to pursue a career in policy, advocacy, and projects for a nonprofit organization. I also came away from the experience wanting to learn more about education and curious about how the practice of teaching could fit into my other interests and goals. My internship helped me decide to take an Education class at Denison this semester and to apply for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Fellowship.

I could not have had this wonderful experience without Dr. Pool and Dr. Katz in the Political Science department, the Knowlton Center, and the Cephus L. Stephens Public Affairs Internship Stipend. I also must thank my amazing supervisor, Sarah Pinsky, as well as all the other colleagues at National Board I had the pleasure to know and work with this summer. I am grateful to them for affording me an internship opportunity that was everything I could have wanted and more.

Summer Internship Series: My Summer as an Environmental Advocate

Mae Riordan ’18

Agriculture Outreach and Advocacy Intern, Missouri Coalition for the Environment

This summer, I worked as the Agriculture Outreach and Advocacy Intern at Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE). I worked directly under Alicia Lloyd, MCE’s Clean Water Policy Coordinator. My tasks for the summer included organizing footage, interviews, and pictures from their “Farm Tour” into tangible products to release to the public. This means I wrote blog posts and other features on a variety of agricultural and environmental issues facing Missouri, but I also created a GIS Story Map highlighting farmers across the state. I specifically researched different issues that affected agriculture production within Missouri, which was pretty exciting.

One of the tasks I worked on was researching the chemical pesticide, Dicamba, and its affect on Missouri farmers. This became a very exciting task, because this summer it was a hot issue across the country, so it felt very relevant and important. Essentially, dicamba is a pesticide that must be applied to a certain variety of dicamba-resistant crop, otherwise it will kill anything it touches. This caused tensions in Missouri for farmers, because the pesticide can drift from a farm that uses these dicamba-resistant seeds onto a farm that doesn’t, ultimately financially hurting the farmers who’s crop was killed. There was even a murder over the issue of dicamba drift in Missouri’s boot-heel.

Along with the blog post, I also added content to MCE’s website on pesticides. Since pesticides can truly affect our clean water and health, it was really important that MCE included some content on it on their website. You can read about what I researched and came up with Denison Internship Program 2017
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Summer Internship Series: Social Justice Outership!

Elizabeth Corronel ’18

Racial Justice Intern, Peace & Justice Center, Burlington, Vermont

Hello! My name is Elizabeth Corronel, and I am a current senior at Denison University. My major is Sociology and Anthropology, along with a Women and Gender minor. I am also a proud Chicago native and identify as a Mexican-American, first generation student.

As a result of learning about social relations, issues, conflicts, and theoretical discourses throughout my time at Denison, my passion for social justice only grew. With this in mind, my curiosity for an experience within the social justice non profit world flourished, especially in this political climate, and I yearned for being able to immerse myself into a grassroots environment, where real action was actually happening. After seeking an internship and working hard to perfect my resume and application for a Denison stipend, with the great aid of Dr. Tuominen, a professor in the Sociology and Anthropology department, I was accepted to be the racial justice intern at the Peace & Justice Center, in Burlington Vermont.

Placed along the beautiful Lake Champaign, with what seems to be painted mountains as the backdrop of the town, the Peace & Justice Center consisted of a Fair Trade store and a Center  filled with resources and various programs focused on racial justice, fair trade, and peace efforts. This internship allowed for me to have much agency and responsibility as an intern and at the same time, be a part of the Burlington community through many outlets. This was the most crucial part for me, as I was constantly asking my supervisors for ways to first immerse myself in various groups in the community and secondly, listen to their needs, realities, and hardships. These community groups ranged from attending police committee meetings and a non profit program that concentrated on racial bias within the county, to attending and connecting with the Black Lives Matter group, and supporting programs for youth leaders, both educational and agency driven programs that are in the process of constructing forums for their community about the past election. Throughout this whole process, I truly knew what it was to be an active member of a community and I was able to built relationships with my fellow interns and community members that undeniably amazed and inspired me every step of the way.

While the overall experience of this internship was amazing, of course there were some challenges. One of these was the demands of working in an office and figuring out how to do certain administrative tasks. As I identify as an individual who is not creatively artistic, I was asked to make posters for a specific event, reach out to food suppliers/restaurant, and reserve locations for a collaborative forum to which I had no experience with at all. However, after I got over my doubt and asked for help, I got to work and was able to accomplish all of these tasks. On the more personal side, a challenge I theoretically needed to take on was having productive conversations with people who did not share my experiences, political ideals, and yet find a connection with them, while trying to understand their perspective. This challenge was very difficult, yet rewarding because it allowed me to view why people do believe in what they do and find ways to build bridges, and even alter someone’s perspective,  to which this personal experience  I know will help me in both my own hometown community, but also on Denison’s campus.

Overall, this internship experience away from home and really, really on my own,  truly led me to be independent and self assured that I can succeed and navigate the social justice world one step at a time, and reconfirmed to me that the fight for equality, freedom, and justice must be collective, mobilizing, and accessible for those in deeply marginalized positions. At the end of this wonderful internship, I realized I would like to work in both the non profit, grassroots sector and get my graduate education in the public policy world after graduating from Denison!

Summer Internship Series: “Let her in, she’s a member of the press!”

Fitale Wari ’18

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

My name is Fitale Wari. I’m a senior Communication and English Literature double major with a concentration in Narrative Nonfiction Writing. I interned at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this past summer, and although I was technically an intern in the features department, I was addressed as a reporter in the newsroom.

I didn’t have many expectations prior to entering my internship; however, I did expect to have a desk job starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. From training to specific assignments, I expected structure. This was not the case.

I found myself working inconsistent hours depending on what I was covering. I’d come to work later in the afternoon if I was working on a story late the night before. Or, if I was reporting on-site, I’d find myself sending emails to the newsroom so another reporter could piece together my vignettes to create an informative and in depth story. I enjoyed the flexibility and I enjoyed being tasked with different assignments. Amongst everything I experienced, I most enjoyed stories I pitched; they ranged from profiles, weekend events, history and preservation within the city, architecture and art, and concerts.

Disregarding the different stories, assigned to and pitched by myself, my favorite part about reporting for the Post-Gazette was meeting the diverse individuals I interviewed. Had I not reported for the paper, I wouldn’t’ve met all the artists, local Pittsburghers, and active community members. In fact, they each taught me different lessons.

It was interesting to be in the newsroom during our time – during the heat of political, economic, and social differences. It was also interesting to witness a shift in print journalism to a “digital now” approach, which is what it was called in the newsroom. Since the paper is under a huge transition, many of the seminars I sat-in on with seasoned reporters seemed standard for someone who was raised with technology surrounding them.

Although I enjoyed this summer, and I learned a lot from my internship – from appropriate professional behaviors to independent living and production of work – I’m unsure whether I want to pursue a career in journalism. I know post-undergrad I would love to continue my studies, but I’ve been more interested in the ways in which humans communicate. I’d rather study how relationships are formed based on the rhetoric humans use. So, in a way, working in the newsroom allowed me the opportunity to see the power in the spread of information, use of language, and manipulation by the media.

I wouldn’t’ve discovered this internship opportunity had it not been for Professor Jack Shuler from the English department. Nor would I have effectively represented myself through my resume and cover letter had it not been for the coaching of Michele Doran from the Knowlton Center.

My work is still featured on the Post-Gazette website, and if you search my name, you’ll see my clips. I appreciate the one-on-one guidance from various editors: Kevin Kirkland, L.A. Johnson, Scott Mervis, and Virginia Linn. One special thanks to my mentor, Arthi Subramaniam, who was patient, flexible, and extremely supportive.

Summer Internship Series: Surfing through Five Rivers Metro Parks

Will Shepard ’20

Five Rivers Metro Parks, Dayton, Ohio

My name is Will Shepard. I’m from Thetford Vermont which is a tiny little town about twenty minute drive away from Dartmouth college. I am 21 years old and a sophomore here at Denison studying Political Science. I took a gap year last school year and went to New Zealand and had an absolute blast. On my return I got an internship with Five Rivers Metro Parks in Dayton Ohio, made possible through a stipend with Denison. I appreciated my internship a ton, and even though I know now that working in a public park is not what I want to do after college, I think that it has inspired me to pursue something in the government sector.

I achieved a decently significant amount during my internship, I was able to help set up and organize a website that detailed every single trail in the fifteen parks that Five Rivers runs. This project was probably my favorite thing to do because it required me to work with my officemates on how best to showcase the park. I had to detail every trail and write up how they should best be used, the attractions they provided, and when was the opportune time to visit that park and those trails. I had a lot of fun doing that project. I also worked on setting up the annual Bike to Work Day, which involved getting vendors and local businesses to come and sponsor the event. That was a lot of work, but well worth it as the event was incredibly successful.

I think that this internship provided me with a lot of knowledge. That knowledge comes in a variety of ways. I think that I am much better equipped to deal with communicating effectively in the office space as well as being able to effectively communicate with other, outside businesses. I was able to gain the confidence to suggest that they get the University of Dayton more involved with the park by offering programs that the university students could participate in and even get community service hours for completing.

I expected a little bit more work on environmental stewardship work, but was happily surprised when that was actually translated into getting the locals to be more involved in the park system. I was really happy working for them during the six weeks. Although I would not do it again because I know that that isn’t where I want to be post college, I am incredibly grateful to Denison for receiving the stipend to make it all possible.