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Student Profiles Folder

Profiles of Liberal Arts majors participating in a variety of enrichment experiences, such as internships, education abroad programs, for undergraduate research.

Joshua Branch

Internship with the United States House of Representatives and Study Abroad at the University of Oxford, St. Catherine’s College
Up one level
Joshua Branch

Paterno Fellow
Major: Political Science
Minor: Sociology 
Hometown: Lebanon, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about these opportunities?

I learned about the House of Representatives internship through the Liberal Arts listserv advertising the Penn State Washington Program. I learned about the study abroad experience by visiting the Penn State Global Programs website.

Tell us a little bit about your experiences.

During my United States Congressional Internship I had the privilege of interning with the office of Congressman Tim Holden in Washington, D.C. At first I was really afraid that the congressional workers might be unapproachable, but they were really nice, laid back, and incredibly helpful. In fact, I have received several letters of recommendation from both assistants and the congressman himself! I held multiple duties such as giving tours to constituents, summarizing the impact of legislation, and attending briefings. One of the most memorable experiences however, was meeting Vice President Joe Biden at Congress and having the opportunity to take a picture with him. He was personable and full of humor, which I’ll never forget.

“My experiences have impacted my decision for graduate school study by opening my eyes to areas of research I thoroughly enjoy.”

My time at the University of Oxford was also memorable in a different sense. When I first arrived in England, I was the first student from my program to land into London. I remember feeling like the loneliest person because all the other students were arriving a day later. The next day the students from the Oxford program arrived and we immediately hit it off. We traveled to Scotland together, different parts of London and Paris, and we experienced the academic rigor of Oxford. We still get together when our schedules permit and bumping into each other on campus is priceless because they are friendships you’ll never forget; I mean you were a close-knit family in a foreign country for 4 or 5 months.

How did these experiences impact you academically?

The Congressional interning opened my eyes to the reality that Congressional professions really do entail a lot of work. I thought prior to interning that I wanted to work in a Congressional office in Washington, D.C. Although I enjoyed the people I interned with and the internship itself, I think the experience opened my eyes to the fact that I didn’t necessarily want to do that my entire life. I did however, become interested in policy and evaluating the effects of policy, which is very research oriented and has led me to thinking about pursuing a PhD in Political Science, Master’s in Public Policy, or law degree.  I never really considered any of these options prior to my internship.

Studying at Oxford also impacted me but in different ways. The undergraduate coursework at Oxford is styled similarly to graduate school here in the states. It was nice to see that I was able to keep up with graduate school pace of work. More importantly however, I fell in love with research at Oxford, which I never thought I would prior to leaving. Also, studying at Oxford helped me to develop a more global perspective. I have been very focused on American public policy, American politics, American—well everything. I think we often forget there is more to the world than our own country. I had the opportunity to meet students studying at Oxford from the Middle East, all countries of Europe, and Africa.  It was amazing to talk about public policies issues on a world level.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did these experiences impact them?

Right now I’m torn between pursuing my PhD in Political Science or my law degree. I never imagined that I would be very interested in analyzing public policy, but it turned out to be a topic that that I found extremely fascinating.

Would you recommend these experiences to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend interning in general to anyone interested. Specifically if there are students interested in government or political science I would highly suggest participating in an internship program in Washington, D.C. There are a couple things one can get out of any internship experience. You may decide you love what you are doing as an intern and confirm the career path you hope to pursue. Or, you may decide you don’t like what you’re doing that much. I think this is almost a more important experience because it makes you think more critically about your future career. Lastly, you can have a hybrid experience in which you like certain things about your internship position and dislike other aspects. I think this is what most students experience as an intern. In my internship, I realized that I loved dissecting policy and found a passion in an unexpected career field.

As for studying abroad I am a big proponent of experiencing the world as much as possible. I don’t necessarily believe the Oxford program is for everyone because it’s one of the most academically challenging programs we have. However, I would say that studying abroad in general is by far a great opportunity. You’ll go through an experience with people you’ll never forget, have the opportunity to be exposed to different cultures, languages, foods, and sports. At the end of the day I always ask my friends who are considering studying abroad this one question: when will you ever be able to spend months in a foreign country at a relatively low cost? The answer is now – while you are in college. College students can study abroad for 3-6 months at a college cost, with housing provided, and be able to travel without having to worry about kids, your career, etc. Students are in college to educate themselves and get a better understanding of the world, and you really can’t do that without experiencing the world first.

Chris Edwards

Externship at West Penn Hospital
Up one level
Chris Edwards

Major: Psychology B.S.
Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was looking for a summer opportunity related to medicine to gain clinical experience and bolster my resume.  My father had a contact with a Highmark employee who had connections to the director of medicine at West Penn in Pittsburgh, PA.  I called the director of medicine and he helped me to set up an 8 week externship in the Pain Institute and the Burn Center.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

In the Pain Institute, I spent most of my time shadowing the resident and attending physicians who interact with chronic pain patients.  I was also able to overhear the discussions the doctors had behind the scenes about the individual treatment plans developed for each patient based on their unique history and physical examination.  I had the opportunity to ask many questions and was surprised by how willing everybody was to teach.  I learned from a variety of people and saw that many had different perspectives on how best to treat pain.  I learned a lot about pain medication and how to handle opioid drugs to prevent addiction behaviors. In addition to standard outpatient visits, I also observed injections and spinal cord stimulator implants and learned about the technology behind the equipment being used in both procedures.  Even when I wasn’t seeing patients, simply talking to the doctors at various stages in their education was helpful to get a sense of what the next ten years will be like for me.

“Overall, my experiences in the hospital gave me great exposure to the medical field which will surely help to inform my decisions regarding my own career.”

In the Burn Center, I followed a group consisting of physician assistant students, a medical student, a physician assistant, and two general surgeons with a specialty in burns.  I saw severely burned patients and watched skin graft surgeries being performed to promote skin growth in the affected areas.  I learned a lot about proper sterile surgical techniques and the theory behind healing burns in a cosmetically appealing way while preventing infection.  I also learned from a variety of other people who specialized in nutrition, physical therapy, and social work, as taking care of burn patients is an extensive process which requires the help of many experts.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I learned a lot about medicine from the students and professionals I had the opportunity to work with.  I saw people from a variety of educational backgrounds, including people who chose to become nurses, allopathic doctors, osteopathic doctors, physician’s assistants, and more.  This experience helped me to confirm that medical school is what I want to pursue after graduating from Penn State.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I think students should try to actively find opportunities to gain more experience in the area they are interested in.  It will help students make informed decisions about their future careers and will strengthen students’ resumes.  I also encourage people to go to a location unfamiliar to them as opposed to finding something near home.  It is a good way for people to branch out and experience living in a different city.

Thomas Holt

Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) Program in China
Up one level
Thomas Holt

Majors: Chinese and International Politics 
Hometown: Downingtown, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I began working as a research assistant for the Brain, Language and Computation lab under Professor Ping Li. I was looking for opportunities to study abroad in China and was interested in conducting my own research and he helped me apply for the program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I honestly didn’t expect to be selected for this program, seeing as I was only a sophomore. When I received word over winter break that I was accepted, I was ecstatic. I’ve spent this past semester preparing my experiment, and I’ve really come to enjoy conducting my own research. I’ll be studying the ability of students learning Chinese as a second language to distinguish between the lexical tones of Chinese compared to native speakers of Chinese. I’ll also be studying how this ability improves among non-native speakers in relation to learning environment and levels of proficiency in Chinese. In support of my research, I’ve also received a Summer Discovery grant and a College of the Liberal Arts Enrichment Award made possible by a donation from Ms. Catherine Rein.

“I feel like the chance of reaching my career goals improved immensely because of this experience.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

As I said before, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to conduct my own research. In addition to raising my GPA, I feel that this experience has allowed me to bond with my lab members, and allowed me to discover where my academic interests really are. I’m also thrilled at the opportunity to conduct my research in China. I had studied abroad in Shanghai before and had planned to return as soon as possible, but I honestly think I wouldn’t have been able to afford to study abroad again without this enrichment support.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My original career goal was to become fluent in Chinese and eventually use my language skills to serve my country by working for a government agency. This is still one career path I’m considering, but due to this whole experience I’m also considering going to grad school in China and eventually earning a PhD in linguistics. Either way, conducting my own research in China will definitely help prepare me for each career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Without a doubt.  I would also recommend that other students apply for any opportunity that presents itself, even if you think you’re a long shot. You never know what could happen.

Matt Jewitt

Internship with White & Case LLP International in New York City.
Up one level
Matt Jewitt

Paterno Fellow
Major: Crime, Law, & Justice
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: West Chester, Pennsylvania
Twitter: @MJewitt5021

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through a friend whose father worked for the law firm. I was given the contact information for the HR staff and inquired about any possible internship positions available for the summer.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During summer 2011, I worked as an intern in the Library & Research department of White & Case LLP International’s headquarters in New York City. My primary job was to complete competitive intelligence research by compiling Pro Bono and Year-End Reports of top law firms into a firm-exclusive database. In addition, I was able to assist in several research requests for partners while working on litigation cases. This included research on the New York Stock Exchange and various other legal encyclopedias. I was also fortunate enough to attend training sessions with the firm’s summer associates. In these sessions I became well-acquainted with legal research services such as Westlaw, LexisNexis, and Bloomberg.

“This experience allowed me to see a possible outcome and career path to devoting yourself to your education and putting forth your best academic efforts.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this experience taught me that hard work and determination can get you where you would like to be. I was able to talk with many of the attorneys and summer associates who were dedicated to their studies and found that their efforts were what eventually got them to their current positions.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I plan to attend law school and hopefully focus on banking and financial legal studies. I would also like to complete a dual degree in order to receive my JD and my MBA. After law school, I would love to work for a large firm in New York City. This experience helped me confirm that I do want to attend law school and practice finance law in the New York market.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this, or any internship, experience to other Liberal Arts students. I feel as though it is one of the best ways for someone to explore a possible career path and gain first-hand insight into the actual operations of a company or career position.

Brian Kilkelly

Research with Penn State's Child Studies Center in the Psychology Department and Study Abroad in Galway, Ireland
Up one level
Brian Kilkelly

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Hanover, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about these opportunities?

I learned about the research opportunity through the Penn State Psychology Department website and my honors adviser. I learned about the study abroad program through the Penn State Ed Abroad website.

Tell us a little bit about your experiences.

For the past two years, I have worked closely with Dr. Sandra Azar in the Penn State Psychology Department. I’ve helped administer individual tests as part of larger research studies. I have also worked closely with the data of a NICHD funded research project based in Philadelphia. This past year I have conducted interviews with parents and children as part of Head Start and school readiness research conducted through the Child Studies Center.

I spent the spring semester of my sophomore year (Spring 2010) in Galway, Ireland. It was an incredible experience, and I was able to take advantage of so many amazing opportunities. The academic program offered unique courses and the ease of travel allowed me to explore Ireland, the United Kingdom and mainland Europe. This experience exposed me to so many new places and experiences, and made me a more well-rounded individual and student.

“I would very strongly recommend these and similar experiences because they greatly enhance your educational experience and help to give you better future prospects.”

How did these experiences impact you academically?

This experience in Dr. Azar’s lab gave me first hand exposure to the field of psychology and a one-on-one mentoring relationship with an experienced and knowledgeable professor of psychology. This lab experience allowed me to develop my own questions and find out how to answer these questions. My experience conducting interviews gave me exposure to how education and psychology are related and expanded my interest in education public policy. 

My study abroad experience offered me so many unique opportunities to study Irish history and literature. I was also able to appreciate how valuable diverse topics of study are for every student.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did these experiences impact them?

This August, I will begin a 10-month assignment with City Year DC working with high school students to help them stay on track to graduate. After that, I hope to obtain a Master’s degree in Public Policy with a focus on education.

Lauren Perrotti

Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) Program in Granada, Spain and Study Abroad in Todi, Italy (Italian Language, Art History, and Visual Arts Program)
Up one level
Lauren Perrotti

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Spanish, Italian, and Global & International Studies
Minor: Linguistics
Hometown: Springbrook, PA
Twitter: @LaurenPerrotti

How did you learn about these opportunities?

I learned about these opportunities through different professors I had in class.

Tell us a little bit about your experiences.

In Granada, Spain, I worked in the lab of Dr. Teresa Bajo with the graduate psychology and linguistics program to execute my unique experiment using eye-tracking equipment and the visual world paradigm. Participants heard a sentence in Spanish and chose the corresponding image on a computer screen while a camera reflected light off the cornea to record eye movement. I collected data from 60 participants and presented my research at the university. I attended weekly lab meetings and listened to a variety of presentations in Spanish. Since this was an independent research project supported by a National Science Foundation grant, it was complete immersion into the Spanish language, culture, and education and research system. I continued this research at Penn State where I executed my experiment with English-Spanish bilinguals and continued to analyze data. Throughout this process, I was advised by Dr. Giuli Dussias. This research culminated in an honors thesis for the Schreyer Honors College.

“I recommend that every Liberal Arts student has some kind of international experience during their time at Penn State. It will build your knowledge base and strengthen your character.”

During my study abroad program in Todi, Italy, I took classes in Italian grammar and literature, art history, and visual art. I compiled a sketch book and presented on ancient art in Perugia. Every four days or so, I traveled to a new city within the country to explore and learn about the art, culture and language. My favorite sites include Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice, and Naples.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did these experiences impact them?

I will be pursuing graduate studies in Spanish and Language Sciences at Penn State as a part of the MA/PhD program. The above experiences have helped me to become a well-rounded individual and gave me insight into the world of research and international collaboration.

Charlee M. Redman

Internship with Penn State Press, Acquisitions Department and Study Abroad in Paris, France
Up one level
Charlee M. Redman

Paterno Fellow
Majors: English and French & Francophone Studies
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Twitter: @CharleeMyranda
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/charleeredman

How did you learn about these opportunities?

I learned about the internship at the Penn State Press through my own research. I learned about the study abroad program through my professors and the Education Abroad office.

Tell us a little bit about your experiences.

I recommend that students look for internships. They give you valuable experience in a field or industry, allow you to make contacts for your post-graduation plans, and help you figure out what you want to do for your career. As an acquisitions intern at the Penn State Press, I was able to get involved with publishing, from reading manuscript submissions to working with art and contracts. I had the opportunity to learn a great deal about publishing in a friendly atmosphere where I could take on responsibility and get hands-on, practical experience.

“Studying abroad definitely made me more confident in my academics and my internship helped me to discover what career path I want to take.”

Studying abroad was wonderful because it allowed me to fully immerse myself in the language and culture of France. My language skills improved greatly – more than I think they could have possibly improved even if I stayed in college and took French classes for years. I was able to fulfill a dream of mine to attend the Sorbonne, and I got to travel throughout Europe. Studying abroad forces you to develop a greater degree of independence, self-reliance, and self-discipline than you would normally exercise here in the US. I highly recommend everyone participate in a study abroad program.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did these experiences impact them?

My career plans are to work in either academic or trade publishing. My internship experience directly influenced these plans and has helped me to learn more about how to enter the publishing industry.

Kathleen Schulberg

Study Abroad in The Netherlands, Internship with Centre County Probation, and participant in the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program.
Up one level
Kathleen Schulberg

Hometown: Des Plaines, Illinois
Major: Crime, Law, and Justice

How did you learn about these opportunities?

I learned about the study abroad program and alumni mentor program through my adviser. I learned about my internship by researching and contacting local organizations that involved probation departments.

Tell us a little bit about your experiences.

The criminal justice study abroad program was an experience I will never forget. Students get the chance to learn about a foreign justice system and to visit many historical places involved with the justice system worldwide such as the peace palace and the international criminal justice court. Besides the awesome field trips, you hear from guest lecturers from all over the world who talk about controversial topics such as euthanasia, the history of drug trade, rehabilitation tactics, and juvenile delinquents. Furthermore the program is led by passionate Penn State professors who guide you throughout the whole learning process.

“All of these Liberal Arts experiences have led me to my career goals and really helped me to find my passion in the criminal justice field.”

The Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program was something I found to be incredibly beneficial. Before this program I knew I had an interest in the criminal justice system but had no idea what I wanted to do with it. Through this program I was paired with an alumnus who shed light on his career path and career opportunities for me. His advice led me to the field of probation, where I found I had a strong passion and interest. This program is such a wonderful way to connect with Penn State alumni and learn from others who have been out in the workforce to see what paths they took to get to where they are today. 

My internship with Centre County Probation and Parole was a great way to experience all different aspects of the criminal justice system. While working in the probation department I was able to interact with the corrections department, district attorney’s office, public defender’s office, police officers, etc. Also, I was able to sit in on various court cases and learn how the court process works. I eventually was able to meet with clients who are on probation, assist with reports that are submitted to the Judge for review, and assist in transporting clients to and from the court house. Everyone at Centre County is really friendly and willing to help, and the office is always accepting applications for future interns. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in the criminal justice field. It a fun and exciting way to earn college credit, while gaining work experience.

Would you recommend these experiences to other Liberal Arts students?

I considered all of these programs to be extremely beneficial to my future career plans and would highly recommend them to other Liberal Arts majors.  These experiences helped me to realize that I hope to work someday for the U.S. Probation Department. These programs not only enhance your resume and work skills, but they really help you to understand who you are as a person and what your strengths and weaknesses are. They are also fun ways to get involved with your major and really feel like you got everything out of your Penn State experience.

Ginnelle Sroka

Study Abroad in Florence, Italy (Institute at Palazzo Rucellai) and Summer Discovery Grant and Research in Ireland
Up one level
Ginnelle Sroka

Paterno Fellow
Major: English
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about these opportunities?

I learned about the study abroad program through my own research on the Penn State Global Programs website and the research opportunity through my thesis supervisor, Jessica O’Hara.

Tell us a little bit about your experiences.

I spent the spring semester of 2011 in Florence, Italy. There, I was able to take classes to fulfill many of my General Education Requirements, such as Oil Painting (in Florence!), Cross-Cultural Perspectives and, of course, Italian Language. Also, the school only had classes on Monday through Thursday, giving us Friday through Sunday to travel. During my four months abroad, I visited 6 different European countries and 26 cities. I traveled everywhere from Amsterdam to Spain. These are places I certainly would not have gone if it weren’t for choosing to study abroad at this point in my life. This opportunity was also made possible with the assistance of College the Liberal Arts Enrichment funding.

“Studying abroad opens new perspectives and horizons, and is an excellent addition to any resume or CV.”

Since my thesis was on Irish poetry and there was a trip offered to Ireland with an opportunity to meet with influential Irish poets, it seemed only natural that I participate in the program to conduct hands-on research. Unfortunately, with time and financial conflicts from my previous semester abroad, I was not able to accompany the group on the entire trip. Fortunately, I received a Summer Discovery Grant from Penn State’s Office of Undergraduate Education and an Ambassador Travel Grant from Schreyer Honors College. I was then able to fly to Ireland and meet with the group in Allihies, where the poets would be meeting. The grant money covered my flights, my stay in Allihies and my subsequent stay with family for the rest of the summer to write my thesis. There, I met poet Paula Meehan and decided to base my thesis on her poetry.

How did these experiences impact you academically?

Besides fulfilling Gen. Ed. Requirements during my study abroad experience, I was able to take an English course that focused on Dante’s Divine Comedy taught by one of the foremost Dante scholars in academia. I became well-versed in a text and author I had previously known very little about. Also, I developed a fair understanding of the Italian Language and culture while living there. This experience has influenced a large amount of my academic work since then, including my E-portfolio which is focused on the theme of international communication. 

After research in Allihies, I changed my thesis topic to center on the poetry of Paula Meehan and the effects of gender repression in the Irish poetic canon. Finding a topic that I was passionate about and having firsthand research made my thesis immeasurably better. Thanks to this opportunity, I now have an 86-page thesis and an invaluable connection with one of Ireland’s foremost contemporary poets.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did these experiences impact them?

After I graduate, I will be doing Teach for America for two years before returning to school to earn my Ph.D. in English. This experience has undoubtedly given me the “travel bug”. I have already begun to look into graduate schools abroad, in places such as Ireland and the UK. It has only strengthened my resolve to obtain a position in which travel and research abroad is encouraged and funded, such as academia.

“Researching and writing my thesis has enhanced my desire to eventually attend graduate school and enter academia.”

My thesis itself will be an invaluable asset to any graduate school application and prepare me for my dissertation. This experience has taught me that I can write and research lengthy academic works, and that I thoroughly enjoy it.

Would you recommend these experiences to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely! I cannot stress enough how beneficial a term abroad can be. In interviews, I am always asked about my time abroad and consequently I can’t talk enough about it. Some say that experience is the best teacher. If that is the case, I am confident that I learned more about the world in 4 months in Italy than in all my years of conventional schooling.

Additionally, many people who receive Summer Discovery Grants use the funding to stay home and do their research (it essentially takes the place of a summer job). However, I felt that I took full advantage of the funds by traveling and gaining an inside perspective on my thesis topic. I would recommend applying for the Grant to anyone conducting thesis research over the summer, and highly encourage using those funds to find primary sources in interesting places.

Peter Szekeres

Internship with the Special Collections Library at Penn State University
Up one level
Peter Szekeres

Paterno Fellow
Majors: History, English
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: Wayne, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

The English Department internship coordinator, Professor Liz Jenkins, recommend this program to me.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my time in the Special Collections Library, I learned about the archival process, practice, and theory. After gaining a better understanding about the nature of the work done by the Special Collection archivists I was given a collection – The Ken Lawrence Collection of New Left Posters, Buttons, and Other Materials, 1940-2010 – to research and describe.

“Academically, this experience sharpened my research, organizing, and writing skills."

One of my first assignments was to understand the collection as a whole as well as in its subdivisions. Afterwards, it was my task to research certain subseries – like posters pertaining to Africa or buttons relating to civil rights movements – and provide descriptions for them so that the collection may be more easily accessible for future researchers. Another assignment was the creation of a virtual exhibit, which is currently on the Special Collection Library’s Flickr site. I was given creative license to choose which pieces to include and I had to provide brief descriptions and metadata for each item. I also conducted an interview with the collector, Ken Lawrence. Lastly, I thoroughly researched the collector and wrote an extensive essay outlining his intellectual biography. Much of the essay and research for this project was self-directed, but it was meant to enhance the collection as a whole by shedding more light on its creator.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Understanding what you’re working with is a big aspect of the internship, which required a good amount of research. Furthermore, I had to remain organized when dealing with such a large collection. As a byproduct of research and organization, I was consistently writing and note-taking and my analytic and descriptive writing improved as a result.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I will be going to Grad school for English at Penn State, and the skills I mentioned above will greatly enhance my future research and work. I also plan to join the publishing industry, and such an internship demonstrates my ability to perform self-directed research. Furthermore, I will now have several online sources that can be easily seen and can attest to the quality of my research, analysis, and writing.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this internship to students who wish to pursue research and writing heavy jobs. The applicant should have a keen interest in history and literature. My imagination went wild with some of the historical pieces I worked with. A notable plus: the internship is paid!

Juliana Viau

Study Abroad in Paris, France and Internships with the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network and the Pennsylvania Literacy Corps
Up one level
Juliana Viau

Paterno Fellow
Majors: English, French
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: Mullica Hill, New Jersey

How did you learn about these opportunities?

I discovered this program through the Global Programs office here at Penn State. My position as a Network Assistant for the Career Enrichment Network was offered to Liberal Arts Envoys, a student group that I am a part of here on campus. The tutoring internship I had with the Pennsylvania Literacy Corps was a requirement for my ENGL202H class.

Tell us a little bit about your experiences.

My study abroad experience impacted me most significantly in an academic sense, being that I am a French major and I studied in Paris. I took four classes with my program which was taught completely in French by all French professors. I took one of my French courses at the Sorbonne, which included all French students and professors.

“This study abroad experience allowed me to learn French in a completely different way than I had previously at Penn State.”

I worked as a Network Assistant at the Career Enrichment Network, mainly focusing on marketing and outreach projects but I also held open office hours for students to come in and find out what services the CEN offers. I helped promote career-related events on campus, internship opportunities, and enrichment funding. My main goal was to figure out ways to encourage Liberal Arts students to take advantage of programs, events, and information sessions that were career- or enrichment-related and to help them understand the breadth of opportunities they have in the College and at Penn State. 

Interning with the Pennsylvania Literacy Corps was certainly an eye-opening experience for me as a student. We tutored adults in a variety of situations – some were ESL learners, others were just now trying to receive their GED, and some were even trying to test for LPN or other basic examinations. This internship made me realize not only how fortunate I am to have such wonderful educational opportunities but also that not everyone learns at the same speed or even at the same time in their life. I also realized that at any moment our physical conditions can be jeopardized and our learning abilities may be taken away or severely changed.

How did these experiences impact you academically?

My study abroad experience impacted me academically in a significant way. In speaking with natives on a daily basis (I was not permitted to speak English to my host family) I acquired a larger vocabulary base and was able to speak more fluidly. I did not realize how much I improved until I returned to Penn State: in my two 400-level classes, I was able to answer questions and understand my professors very easily, which came as a surprise to me.

What are your career goals and plans? How did these experiences impact them?

My career goals range from editorial or publishing to working with an education-related nonprofit or in international relations or possibly even in marketing or communications. I also enjoy working with children and encouraging literacy and language education in that sense, so I may eventually get certified to teach.

“I would recommend interning because it makes you think on your feet and present yourself in a professional manner before you set out in the “real” job world.”

I would also like to use my French major and work in a field, perhaps governmental or cultural, that encourages exchange between France and the United States. I came to the understanding that LA students do not fall under the category of “I’m never going to get a job” but more under one that says “I just need to figure out how I can apply what I know in an interesting way and one that is most appealing to employers.”

Would you recommend these experiences to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend both studying abroad and interning to students of all majors. Both experiences were so enriching, and I cannot imagine having the same college experience without them. While studying abroad, I was exposed to a completely different culture and was faced with problems of what it is like to be an American abroad. Every day was a challenge in some aspect or another, because I could not resort to my first language in times of need. I had to figure everything out in a language I was not fluent in, which taught me a lot about myself and my learning abilities. It also opened my eyes so much to how other countries view the United States and how closed minded one can be without going abroad and seeing these other viewpoints. I think any student would benefit from this kind of learning. With an internship, it is possible to network and also gain strengths as a potential employee within a company.

Emily Wilhite

Undergraduate Conference Experience: Society of Interpersonal Theory and Research (SITAR) Conference in Montreal, Canada
Up one level
Emily Wilhite

Emily Wilhite

Majors: Psychology and Spanish
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Through the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Studies Listserv

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had the opportunity to attend the annual Society of Interpersonal Theory and Research (SITAR) conference in Montreal, Canada this year.  This is an annual psychology conference that focuses on research in social, personality and clinical psychology that utilizes the Interpersonal Theory.  I not only had the chance to attend this conference, but I also presented a poster.  This poster was based on my senior honors thesis research and was entitled, “Pathological Narcissism and Affective Reactions in Social Interactions”.

“Overall this experience was extremely valuable.  I will be able to take what I learned from this conference experience with me into graduate school.”

Through this experience I was able to meet many of the authors of papers I used for my thesis.  I also was able to meet other graduate students and future colleagues.  This was my first conference, which I believe was an essential step in my transition into graduate school.  I was able to experience a conference and better understand the presentation and conference process.  I was also able to learn more about research in the field of interpersonal theory.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this experience allowed me to better understand the research process.  I was also able to learn about other research in the field of psychology and make connections with other researchers with whom I will potentially be able to collaborate in the future.  Attending the SITAR conference also cemented my excitement about my future in graduate school and academia.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I will be attending the University of Texas at Austin starting this fall to receive my PhD in Clinical Psychology.  I eventually want to pursue a career in academia in psychology.  Being able to attend my first conference further cemented my desire to pursue a career in academia.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend that other Liberal Arts students attend a research conference during their time as an undergraduate.  It motivates students to pursue research as an undergraduate and being able to present research at an international conference is also rewarding.

Stuart Yacobian

Internship with Octagon Sports Agency
Up one level
Stuart Yacobian

Major: Economics
Hometown: Needham, MA
Twitter: @stuartyacobian
LinkedIn Profile

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through knowledge of the industry and networking.

“Prior to the internship, I knew little about public relations, but after experiencing the role this summer, it opened my eyes to the field and made me realize that was the career path for me.”

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was fortunate enough to serve as a public relations intern for one of the most notable sports agencies in the industry, a position that saw me carrying out everything from drafting press releases to booking flights for their athletes. Ultimately, my internship served as a well-rounded and enlightening experience, and I couldn’t have asked for a better internship.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This impacted me academically because there were often situations where I found myself relying on many of the skills and ideas I learned in class. Whether it was implementing a certain writing technique, or even using math calculations, many times I relied on the academic experience that Penn State has provided me.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This experience was greatly beneficial for my career goals in that it gave me a clearer understanding what I want to do in the future. Prior to the internship, I knew little about public relations, but after experiencing the role this summer, it opened my eyes to the field and made me realize that was the career path for me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. The internship program was incredibly structured and filled with meaningful work. Whether it was the speaker series or the company-wide group project, the internship was an incredible experience and one I would recommend to every Liberal Arts student.

Arielle Singleton

Study Abroad in Prague, Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
Up one level
Arielle Singleton

Arielle Singleton

Major: Biological Anthropology
Minor: Sexuality and Gender Studies
Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI

How did you learn about these opportunities?

I looked at programs after attending the Education Abroad fair during the fall of my sophomore year. With the help of the Education Abroad staff, I chose the CIEE: Prague program and started preparing. I learned about the Alumni Mentor Program through former LAUC president, Lauren Perrotti, who stressed the program’s benefits. I applied and was paired with my mentor during my semester abroad. My mentor was kind enough to wait while I was away and we began our sessions the week I returned to the U.S.

"Being a senior can be very stressful, and my mentor gives me the advice and encouragement that I need."

Tell us a little bit about your experiences.

Studying abroad was definitely the best experience of my life, as I traveled to nine countries including Croatia, Malta, and Spain. My favorite parts of studying abroad were learning the history of each city and enjoying regional food such as fried cheese in Prague, cupcakes from Aida in Vienna, and four course meals in Rome. Since forming a relationship with my mentor, we hold hour-long meetings every two weeks to discuss job searches, career goals, résumés, and my personal questions. She even mailed me two networking and job guide books that we read together and discussed chapter by chapter. Also, there are meetings where we just talk about life. We have a good balance that allows us to complete the goals we set without putting too much pressure on either of us.

How did these experiences impact you academically?

My most challenging class was about women’s rights in Europe. I had to write research papers and read articles that were translated to English from another language. They were not the easiest reads, but it reminded me to take my abroad classes seriously.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did these experiences impact them?

I would like to work as a type of foreign ambassador, human rights activist or researcher. While abroad, I interned with a nonprofit organization, an experience I found challenging because I worked with people who spoke very little or no English. I now believe one of my most impressive professional skills is the ability to communicate in different situations.

"I now believe one of my most impressive professional skills is the ability to communicate in different situations."

Would you recommend these experiences to other Liberal Arts students?

As an EA Peer Advisor, I tell everyone to study or travel abroad when the opportunity arises. Also, the mentorship program has helped in so many ways; I honestly look at my mentor as a friend. Being a senior can be very stressful, and my mentor gives me the advice and encouragement that I need. 

Danielle Austin

Internship with The Spenser Project
Up one level
Danielle Austin

Major: English
Hometown: Bellefonte, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship in the fall of 2011 through an email from Paul Zajac, an English graduate student who assists Dr. Cheney with the Spenser Project.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

“Through my experiences with the Spenser Project, I not only had the wonderful opportunity of being introduced to a beautiful piece of writing, but also acquired useful skills in editing, research, and even translation—skills that can be applied to any position in life.”

My internship is centered on 16th century poet, Edmund Spenser and his work, The Shepheardes Calendar. The goal of this project is to make both the poet and this particular piece of work more accessible to students in the literary world by releasing a book. During the early part of my internship, my duties involved research and translation to make sure that both the form and definitions of otherwise archaic vocabulary were accurate.  I also had to make sure that certain passages in the various documents sent to me were correctly cited and not plagiarized.  Currently, my duties include taking part in the early stages of developing a bibliography by combing through the commentaries and looking for cited sources.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this internship has been extremely beneficial. Through my experiences with the Spenser Project, I not only had the wonderful opportunity of being introduced to a beautiful piece of writing, but also acquired useful skills in editing, research, and even translation—skills that can be applied to any position in life. I even learned how to use various tools of research such as the OED (Oxford English Dictionary). Overall, this was a wonderful opportunity that really helped develop my reading and writing skills.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Sometime in the future, I’d like to go to graduate school and earn my PhD in medieval literature and possibly, teach it myself one day at the university level. I hope to focus in Anglo-Saxon/Old English, Norse, or Celtic literatures—possibly even all of them if I can! Even though Edmund Spenser is in no way a medieval writer, the skills acquired from this internship are universal to any English-based career—I can easily apply them to any future projects I may have in the future. I can confidently say that I feel a lot more prepared for the future, be it graduate school or my career, after taking part in this project.

Doyoun Kim

Internship with the Center for Children and Families, Summer Treatment Program at Florida International University
Up one level
Doyoun Kim

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan

How did you learn about this opportunity?

A psychology professor mentioned this program during our course together.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

“This experience has encouraged me to continue my education at a higher level, so I plan on enrolling in a graduate school program for Clinical counseling.”

I would like to share with other Psychology majors that my experience at a real treatment site for two months taught me more than three years of Psychology courses all put together. I learned so much about the intensity of working with individuals who are mentally disabled and what it means to pursue a career in the field of Psychology. In working as an Academic Assistant for the Summer Treatment Program at Florida International University, I assessed the intelligence level of students with ADHD, Conduct Disorder, Autism, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Learning Disorder, Mental Retardation, and Callous Unemotional traits and recorded their daily behavioral functioning level based on the point system. The Point System, developed by scholars from the Florida International University, is similar to a type of behavioral modification system, and it is compatible with the Token Economy theory that is taught in regular Psychology courses.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Gaining the hands-on experiences on some of the concepts that I learned from classes gave me a strong urge to continue my education in this field, and now I am looking at different graduate school programs related to clinical/counseling Psychology. This experience showed me a different perspective in approaching certain disorders, and it was breathtaking to witness the symptoms of such disorders being displayed right in front of my eyes.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This experience has encouraged me to continue my education at a higher level, so I plan on enrolling in a graduate school program for Clinical counseling. I plan on getting my license as a clinical therapist so I can work as a family and marriage counselor.

Alyssa Augustine

Internship with MMI Marketing
Up one level
Alyssa Augustine

Major: Psychology (Business option)
Hometown: Connellsville, PA


How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through job recruiting websites, such as CareerBuilder.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had a very well rounded experience during my internship and learned various things about the human resources field. Many of these lessons came as a surprise to me, and I think this really helped me grow professionally. I dealt mostly with recruiting, interviewing, and office management and learned about everything that goes into running a small office and how to do so efficiently. One of my tasks was to collaborate with a local charity, the Make-A-Wish foundation, and assist with event planning. I also worked with small businesses to solicit donations for MMI’s own events to ensure financial support. I was very happy about this part of the internship because I was surprised that I was able to participate in such an activity. Another advantage of interning with MMI was the small environment in which I worked, because it allowed me to form strong relationships with my coworkers. I feel that I would personally like to work in a larger environment in the future but the small environment really suited me for my internship.

“I was able to incorporate subjects that I learned in the classroom into my daily life during my internship. I also feel that the internship has impacted my organization and time management skills a great deal, which will be extremely useful when returning to school in future semesters.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

I was able to incorporate subjects that I learned in the classroom into my daily life during my internship. I also feel that the internship has impacted my organization and time management skills a great deal, which will be extremely useful when returning to school in future semesters.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I would like to move into a position that will allow me to manage a team of people, such as becoming a human resource manager or director. During my internship, I was able to interview many candidates which was something I really enjoyed. I hope to be able to continue this and also be able to decide who the most qualified candidate is for a job.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend for any student in general to seek internships during their college career. It is a truly rewarding experience and I am very glad I was able to have such a successful one with MMI. 

Dulce-Marie Flecha

Research through the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program
Up one level
Dulce-Marie Flecha

Dulce-Marie Flecha

Paterno Fellow 
Major: English 
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Twitter: @DulceFlecha
LinkedIn: Dulce-Marie Flecha

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had no idea about the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, which is one of the eight Federal TRIO Programs, until the fall of sophomore year when the program contacted me.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Outside of giving me complete funding and housing to perform a self-driven research project, the means to present it in a conference, and helping me get it published, McNair is putting me through grad school prep boot camp. For a long time, I was the only one of my friends with business cards. I both knew what a CV was and I had mine reviewed by the McNair staff as a homework assignment. I took my GRE a year before any of my friends had even begun studying. McNair’s development workshops and summer research program are difficult, but they put me ahead of the game.

“I took my GRE a year before any of my friends had even begun studying. McNair’s development workshops and summer research program are difficult, but they put me ahead of the game.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Aside from the very important lesson McNair taught me about critical analysis research – mainly that I didn’t want to do it for the rest of my life – all the workshops and homework assignments have made me a much better student. I don’t just understand how important time management is; I understand how to actually manage time, which is a life saver now that I’m balancing classes, job applications, grad school applications, and my extracurricular activities. Mostly, though, it gave me confidence. I’ve been to conferences; I’ve talked to recruiters; I’ve talked to faculty; I’ve worked 40-hour research weeks for months. I have the support of peers in my situation and a staff waiting for me in their office. I know I am a valuable researcher, student, and intern. I know I can and will be a very valuable employee. Mostly, I know that I can handle my own life.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I spent the summer of 2011 performing a fully funded critical analysis research project. I loved it for what it was, but I knew the moment I saw my name in that publication that I was done. I now spend a lot of my time researching and talking about the relationship between literacy, literature, and the internet. I’ve found a new home in digital humanities and really enjoy it. If I attend grad school I really hope to continue my research and explore how the internet can be used to promote and share literature through the publishing industry. 

Emma Watts

Democratic Research Internship for Representative Mark Cohen through the Penn State Harrisburg Semester
Up one level
Emma Watts

Major: International Politics
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity by browsing the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts website and through my peers and family.

“I feel that I have begun building a professional network, which will help me when I graduate, and the internship also helped me gain skills in the field in which I hope to work.”

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was fortunate enough to be able to intern for a representative, a position that gave me the best access to learning about policy making. In the beginning of the summer, I was asked to write a resolution to be presented on the House floor. Also, after doing research on the minimum wage, I was given the task to write a bill analysis, which was eventually showcased in my final policy paper. Looking back on the internship, I definitely created a web of connections that I will refer to for years to come as I met many different representatives who held very similar views as me. This gave me hope that I will possibly get a job working for the Pennsylvania government later in life because some of the most important relationships I developed were with lobbyists. During my volunteering at the Voter ID Rally, I met many people who are campaigning for President Obama. As a result, I was asked to join State College’s Obama Campaign force when I returned to campus this semester.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I feel that I have begun building a professional network, which will help me when I graduate, and the internship also helped me gain skills in the field in which I hope to work.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I hope to attend law school in Washington, D.C. and to work for a lobbying firm, an idea inspired by this internship.  It is one that would combine my college dream of becoming a lawyer and my major which concerns politics.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes – working as a Democratic Research Intern was an eye opening experience and it definitely prepares an individual for a job in the political field or the legislature. 

Heather Hodge

Internship with the National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD
Up one level
Heather Hodge

Major: Crime, Law, and Justice (business option)
Minor: French, Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Hometown: York, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Freshman year, I attended a presentation where upperclassmen spoke to us about their summer job experiences.  I became interested in one student's internship at Zoo America at Hershey Park decided to apply to similar experiences, such as the position at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I mainly worked with the visitor programs staff within the education department during my internship. I was also afforded the opportunity to work with the Outreach team that worked off site and with field trip experiences for 4th and 5th grade students. The field trips conclude a year-long partnership with the aquarium in a program called AquaPartners. During my internship, I mainly worked with visitor programs: I led a jellyfish parade  with a “jelly wand” (a tube filled with moon jellyfish), discussed “nature’s recyclers” (decomposers) while holding a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, hosted “discovery stations” with various animal artifacts for guests to touch and explore, and engaged visitors in a new exhibit called Dolphin Discovery. I also witnessed a Bonnet head Shark give birth and swam in two of the exhibits.

“If you participate in an internship experience that is mentally engaging and that challenges you to learn new things, you will never regret it.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship solidified my interest in science and made me realize that I will most likely be pursuing a career related to my minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Science. I also discovered a love for teaching and experiencing that “wow” with someone who learns something new, loves it, and gets excited about what they have learned.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I am not quite sure what I would like to do for a career, but I know that I absolutely loved what I did at my internship at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. At the moment, I would say my plans are to do something very similar.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience or one similar to it to other Liberal Arts students.  Don’t waste your summers working a mindless job flipping burgers. If you participate in an internship experience that is mentally engaging and that challenges you to learn new things, you will never regret it.

Jacqueline McAfee

Study abroad at University of Sussex in Brighton, UK
Up one level
Jacqueline McAfee

Major: English, Secondary Education
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through Ruth Pflueger, the study abroad advisor at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my experience abroad, I learned a lot about traveling, history, and monuments you read about in textbooks (Big Ben, the Parliament Building, the Eiffel Tower, Stonehenge). I met so many people that I never would have met otherwise: a group of witty British electricians enjoying a cider after work, a couple from Prague who told me how they fell in love, a lovely English woman director who worked with Orlando Bloom and Alan Rickman. Finally, I was taught the greatest lesson of all – what I want from life. Many people say traveling teaches you a lot about yourself, and I am a firm believer in this statement.

“I am now eager to look into moving abroad for a few years before obtaining a more permanent residence here in the States.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

I took a British Theatre course with Faynia Williams, who taught us about theatre, acting, directing and playwrights. My class attended field trips to see performances at classic British theatres including Chichester, the West End and even William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, where I saw my favorite performance, Richard III. I found that reading a play and seeing it acted out can be two completely different experiences; each actor and director has his or her own unique way of telling the story of these characters. We also learned how directors go through plays and break down the meaning behind the lines, an approach I will use with my students when I am an English teacher.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My goals are to receive my B.A. in English and then become certified to teach secondary education. Before this opportunity, I planned on becoming a teacher in Pennsylvania while considering the possibility of moving to the south. Study abroad mixed up that entire plan. I am now eager to look into moving abroad for a few years before obtaining a more permanent residence here in the States.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend studying abroad to anyone. Moving to the UK is definitely something I am now considering that I never had before. To someone who wants to study abroad and is faced with the same financial roadblock I faced, I would say do not give up. I applied for several scholarships, enrichment awards, used savings bonds and stashed away every paycheck I received.

Ho Kwan Cheung

Internship with New Wide Group of Taipei, Taiwan
Up one level
Ho Kwan Cheung

Paterno Fellow
Major: Psychology (Business option), Spanish (Applied Spanish option)
Minor: Sociology, Business and Liberal Arts Minor
Hometown: Hong Kong
LinkedIn: Ho Kwan Cheung

How did you learn about this opportunity?

A friend introduced this opportunity to me and I was offered an interview.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer, I lived abroad by myself for the first time and interned with New Wide Group in Taipei, Taiwan. Before I started working, I was interviewed by the HR department to discover what I wanted to gain through my internship experience. My orientation also included an introduction to the company's history and values and short training courses. During my seven weeks in Taipei, my daily routine included editing and translating weekly newsletters and training material between Chinese and English. I was also actively involved in the company’s seminar planning process and attended all major HR meetings. In addition, I regularly interacted with the company’s branch offices in China to coordinate programs and projects. The internship program also allowed me to travel to Shanghai for two weeks, where I worked in the HR headquarters of the company’s Chinese office. This showed me a lot about the cultural differences between Taiwan and mainland China. One memorable experience was when I organized a seminar talk hosted by the leading management expert, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith. Besides gaining event planning experience, it was an honor to speak with Dr. Goldsmith in person.

“This internship made me realize how textbook knowledge comes into place in applied settings.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Because I am interested in Human Resources Management, which is heavily linked with Industrial and Organizational Psychology, my internship experience allowed the things I learned in the classroom to become more concrete. This internship made me realize how textbook knowledge comes into place in applied settings.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I wish to attend graduate school for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and eventually work in an HR management-related field. This internship gave me my first real-life experience in the field and allowed me to apply what I learned in school to outside work. Working in a foreign country also broadened my perspectives, which is essential in today's increasingly globalizing business climate. This unique experience further solidified my interest in the field. 

Leslie Sotomayor Zoebisch

Study Abroad and Research in Havana and Santiago de Cuba
Up one level
Leslie Sotomayor Zoebisch

Leslie Sotomayor

Major: Women’s Studies, Fine Art (Painting and Drawing)
Minor: African Studies, Latino Studies and Latin American Studies

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Both of these opportunities have been made possible through the academic, artistic and financial support and encouragement of professors and faculty mentors here at Penn State.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My research topic was about the Arab migration into Cuba and their footprints that have marked culture and society. I specifically looked at themes of race, gender, religion, art, and architecture in Cuban society and the overlapping influences of migrant groups primarily from Lebanon, Syria and Palestine since the mid 1800’s. I had the opportunity to learn from scholars in the field from the University of Havana and the Cuban Arab Cultural Center and Historical Society as well as from other artistic organizations. This research topic is an umbrella theme for many layers of understanding the impact of the Arab community in Cuban culture and the influences and diversity of migrant groups in Cuba and abroad.

“This experience has impacted my academic and artistic paths significantly, adding a layer of academic, testimonial, and historical context to my research and creative spaces.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has impacted my academic and artistic paths significantly, adding a layer of academic, testimonial, and historical context to my research and creative spaces.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I have plans of pursuing graduate studies in Fine Art and a doctorate in research, using this exploratory field work as a basis for further work both academically and artistically.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I recommend fully engaging in your interests and fields of study. I am a firm believer that my motivation for my work is due to the inspiration I find in my studies. My yearning to learn, bridge parts of my history and life, and to see the interconnectedness are all important for understanding larger global contexts.

Reva Baylets

Study Abroad, CIC Quebec City, Laval University Program
Up one level
Reva Baylets

Paterno Fellow
Major: Comparative Literature (B.A./M.A.), Women’s Studies (B.A.)
Minor: French, English, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Hometown: Spring Mills, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through the global programs website.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I stayed on campus and studied at Laval University for five and a half weeks and had three different French teachers for class every morning. This gave students the evenings to work on homework and participate in the events that the animateurs (French-speaking mentors/leaders) organized, such as canoeing or a high ropes course. The set up was good for different types of learners since we had traditional classes, then more informal activities with the animateurs, and then daily conversation with random Québécois for on-the-spot interaction. People were very friendly and the city was absolutely beautiful. Though it was my first Canadian trip, I am ecstatic that I had the opportunity to experience Québec in particular. The ten day music festival was also an experience that I will never forget.

"Studying abroad is the best thing that I could have done for my language skills."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Studying abroad is the best thing that I could have done for my language skills. I’m usually very shy in my French courses at Penn State because I don’t always have the speaking ability and diction necessary for explaining my complicated thoughts. Going abroad helped me to gain the confidence to say things out loud and not worry so much about saying them incorrectly.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

In the future, I want to be a professional educator, either in a university or in a resource center, so I will need to continue to develop my skills for interacting with others. Although French doesn’t have a direct application of use for central Pennsylvania, it is now a better possibility that I could work in places that are more bi-lingual.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I absolutely would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. So many people go to France to study French, but I had such a good experience in Québec that if I was given the chance to do it over again, I would pick Québec over a place in France. My only regret is that the program didn’t last long enough! The locals, as a whole, were very patient and friendly towards us learning the language, and campus was gorgeous.

Sadie Buckallew

Internship with The Penn State University Press
Up one level
Sadie Buckallew

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: World Literatures
Hometown: Allentown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through the Liberal Arts Network Symplicity website.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My personal tasks as an intern always keep me busy, and I’ve had the opportunity to observe my coworkers dealing directly with many different aspects of the publishing process. They’re all very intelligent, savvy business men and women, and their enthusiasm for what they do is inspiring. Publishing is just as interesting and exciting to me as it was when I first decided I wanted to explore it as a career option. There are a lot of very interesting changes occurring in the publishing world, from eBooks to Print-On-Demand supply. I’m lucky enough to be able to observe these changes first-hand and assist a great, non-profit publisher in transitioning into a new era of both academia and books overall. I’m learning new things every day and I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity so close to campus.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My experience at the PSU Press is giving me the tools, experience, and opportunities necessary to make it in the “real world.” I’m supplementing my classroom experience with workplace experience and gaining the traction I need to succeed.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I plan on entering the publishing industry after I graduate, and my experience at the PSU Press will help me do this.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely! The environment at the PSU Press is very positive and there’s so much to learn every day. It’s definitely a valuable experience that I would recommend to anybody interested in the field.

 

Susan Lee

Internship with Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Up one level
Susan Lee

Major: English (Publishing emphasis)
Minor: Asian Studies and Technical Writing
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this program through the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot about working in the publishing industry and especially in marketing. In working with the marketing team for the Audio department, I assisted with promotion of current and upcoming titles. I set up giveaways for upcoming titles on goodreads.com, reached out to bloggers for review opportunities, and sent out review copies of audiobooks to bloggers and magazines. Along with this, I created documents that contained all links to purchases for all Simon & Schuster titles in this publishing season. Another one of my tasks was to sit in on and take notes during weekly marketing meetings. I was also in charge of researching social media accounts of authors to look for chances of promoting backlist and frontlist titles. I was able to learn a lot from working here – how every department is connected and that things cannot get done without the other departments. I learned how much marketing helps to increase sales and how to use social media to market products. I also learned about what the departments do and how they function through weekly intern “lunch and learns”. This experience was fantastic and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to work at Simon & Schuster.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I was able to receive three credits for my internship. I was also able to use certain skills that I learned in English 417 during this internship.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to work in the production or editorial department for children’s books in a publishing company. This experience has helped me to solidify my choice of working in the publishing industry. It has also opened me up to the option of working in marketing as well.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this internship to other students.  It was an amazing experience in itself and I didn’t feel as though I was just working in an office but that I was working with a family. Everyone was so friendly and they are so willing to help you when you ask them.  It was a fantastic internship.

Kristen McAvoy

Internship with the Penn State Justice and Safety Institute
Up one level
Kristen McAvoy

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: Business
Hometown: Easton, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship after visiting the Career Enrichment Network.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I benefited in numerous ways from my internship experience. I had the opportunity to assume leadership roles, collaborate with others, demonstrate my areas of expertise, and reflect on my experience as an intern during the process. My internship consisted of a great deal of communication and marketing skills, which highly interests me. 

The highlights of my fall internship included: creating a twelve page marketing mailer for our Spring 2013 International Conference, doubling our class registrations from last fall, reviewing résumés and cover letters, creating new and improved communication plans, and gaining well known speakers for our International Conference. Proudly, I was selected to attend our annual International Conference in Arlington, Virginia in May of 2013. I look forward to attending the conference and participating in the events that I have been a part of all semester.

“Taking part in an internship is a truly challenging and rewarding experience that every student should partake in to further themselves in college and prepare for the future.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship taught me to be more organized and to make the most efficient use out of my time. I was able to use my internship experience and provide examples in the classroom setting of what we were learning.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

I plan to graduate in December of 2013. My communication skills were strengthened tremendously during my experience and I would like to pursue a career in business. By participating in this internship, I have formed connections and have broadened my networking group.

Alyssa Wyvratt

Study Abroad IES Granada, Spain
Up one level
Alyssa Wyvratt

Majors: Sociology and Psychology
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about these opportunities?

I researched different locations and eventually decided upon the IES program in Granada which I found on the Penn State education abroad website.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Granada was the perfect city to study abroad in. It is middle sized with a decent amount happening, but lacks the big-city chaos and clutter. IES encouraged us to embrace the culture, attending Flamenco shows, cooking classes, and engaging with language exchange partners. In southern Spain the majority of the people don’t speak English, and to this I owe much of my Spanish language improvement. I had to adapt to the culture in order to do simple things, like order food or go shopping. In addition, the best decision of this process was to live with a host family. My host mother is one of the most wonderful women I have met, and I give her most of the credit for my Spanish progress. 

The best study trip of my semester abroad was to Morocco. The experience was like no other because the trip was designed to immerse us in the culture rather than as American tourists. The trip allowed us the opportunity to have a glimpse into the Muslim world, which most of us had little knowledge of beforehand. I can positively say that the trip was one of the most enlightening and meaningful experiences of my life.

“This experience has given me the passion to continue to learn Spanish.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Throughout my semester abroad I learned more about Spain and Islam than I could have imagined. Southern Spain holds a unique history and it can be seen today in the architecture, food, and language. This experience also broadened my knowledge of interesting topics like Islam and women’s rights that I had previously learned about.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

I intend to go to graduate school for counseling psychology after graduation. In my profession I will deal with patients of Hispanic descent. I hope to continue to perfect my Spanish so that I can better connect with a wider span of students and allow them to feel comfortable talking to me about their concerns. The increase in my Spanish proficiency during my study away in Granada makes me hopeful that someday I can become fluent and exercise this skill in my profession. 

Carolina Morales

Internship: The Fund for American Studies Programs
Up one level
Carolina Morales

Paterno Fellow
Major: Psychology
Minor: History
Hometown: Raleigh, NC

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I saw an announcement under internships in the Schreyer Honors College weekly announcements email.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This fall, I interned at the Department of Justice in the Consumer Protection Branch. The Consumer Protection Branch’s mission is to enforce and protect the consumer protection programs of four client agencies: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thus, the projects and cases that I worked on dealt with consumer fraud and protecting consumers. Some of the assignments I worked on were digesting consumer depositions to be used for summary judgment and use at trial, listening to recordings and transcribing information that indicates unlawful behavior, creating spreadsheets based on discovery materials and writing and responding to consumer letters dealing with fraud.

“Through my internship I was also able to attend a Supreme Court oral hearing and got to see and hear my idol Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speak!”

How did this experience impact you academically?

I took three stimulating courses: one on economics and its effects on public policy where I learned about Austrian economics and one on Constitutional Interpretation where I delved deeper into learning about the foundation of our government - the Constitution.  The other course was an Internship Seminar where we learned about the inner workings of Capital Hill and the different professional opportunities there are in Washington, DC.  These courses helped me in developing a better understanding of how to use the law to affect and make better policy decisions and also gave me a better understanding of economics, the Constitution and DC politics in general.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to become an attorney and one of the areas I’m interested in is health law. Working at the Consumer Protection Branch in the Department of Justice was a great way to be immersed and gain firsthand experience in this area, particularly because this branch deals with protecting consumers from fraud, much of which is related to health.  

Gerald Ulmer

Internship with Penn State Career Services Mock Interview Internship Program
Up one level
Gerald Ulmer

Majors: Communications Arts and Sciences
Labor Studies and Employee Relations
Minor: Business

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity from a walk-in counseling session at Career Services.

Tell us a little bit about your experience?

As an intern with the Mock Interview Program I would conduct at least two interviews per week with fellow undergraduate and graduate-level students for any position in which they were interested in applying for in the near future. I would conduct a professional interview with each student and then follow it up with a feedback session in which I offered my advice and help with the interview process. 

This program has helped to shape me as an individual both professionally and personally. From this experience I have gained amazing new skills such as learning how to properly conduct a professional interview, how to give effective, constructive feedback, how to improve my listening and communication skills, and  much more.

“This experience was rewarding in many ways from the skills and knowledge I gained to the help I was able to provide and offer to fellow students.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Through this experience I have become a well-rounded student with more direct drive to achieve better grades and follow my career goals. I have become a more organized individual and have learned to manage my time and values. Through this experience I have learned more about Career Services and what they have to offer me as a student and have taken advantage of these great resources.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

Upon graduation, I plan to begin my career in the field of Human Resources for a large corporation or company in either the New York City or Washington DC areas. After getting acquainted with this field, I hope to move my way into an entry-level management position with one of these companies and begin my climb up the network latter. This experience opened the doors to exploring the field of Human Resources. After hearing about my co-workers’ majors and future career goals I begin to investigate this new interest and area of study. After exploring further, I decided to enroll in the Labor Studies and Employment Relations major as well.

Hannah Kendig

Fulbright US Student Program - Online Croatian Language Course
Up one level
Hannah Kendig

Hannah Kendig

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Political Science and Economics
Minor: French
Hometown: Monroeville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I have known of the Fulbright program for some time, and I wanted the opportunity to travel and research after I graduated.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I have applied for a research grant to work at the University of Zagre, Croatia’s capital. Choosing a feasible topic and country that I wanted to live in was a challenge, however, I contacted many of my Political Science professors and my Liberal Arts mentor to aid in the process. I decided to study ethnic fractionalization and the effect on election outcomes in Croatia through data and regression analysis. 

My mentor connected me with one of his co-workers who was familiar with Croatia and made my application that much stronger. From here, I began to revise my statement of grant purpose and personal statement, and was fortunate to receive a letter of affiliation from a contact through a graduate student at Penn State.  Throughout this application process, I learned a considerable amount about a part of the world I was unfamiliar with, as well as made contacts with people who could help me with my career.

“The 5-month long process of designing a research project and submitting an application has been a learning experience unlike anything I have done before.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

This gave me the practice of how to pursue my own research interests, and it gave me a realistic idea of what it would be like to pursue a thesis for graduate level work. Applying for a Fulbright grant put into application the analytical and communicating skills that I have gained in my Political Science and Economics courses, and I see how the tools that I have gained as a student at Penn State relate to the type of work I am interested in pursuing.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend other Liberal Arts students to apply for a Fulbright research grant. The application process alone has been a learning opportunity to work with Penn State faculty and other connections about how to pursue my goals and to make use of the skills I have gained as a student.

Heather Hodge

Global Water Brigades Trip to Ghana
Up one level
Heather Hodge

Heather Hodge

Major: Crime, Law, and Justice
Minors: French and Wildlife and Fisheries Science

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I went on a previous brigade to Honduras Spring Break 2012 and wanted to participate again this year with a new experience.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Global Water Brigades is a student led sustainable development organization that focuses on establishing access to clean water in developing countries. We worked to improve water quality, and as brigaders cooperate with local community members on different water projects. Our mission was to build household rainwater harvesting systems. The system size is determined by the size of the family, the size of their roof, as well as their individually expressed water needs. This winter I helped construct a cement tank in Srafa Aboana. I helped tie steel mesh together, plaster the inside and outside of the tank, and contributed in various other ways to the project. While in Ghana I also got to experience the culture of the country and way of life for the locals. There is a significant friendliness throughout the country.

“As a brigader, I learned more about myself than I ever could have imagined when I first signed up for this service trip.”

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

After learning so much about a foreign culture I not only realized my interest in experiencing others but also gained a greater appreciation for my own.  I hope that whatever career path I follow after graduating will allow me to either travel globally in order to gain more world culture knowledge or at least allow me to interact with citizens of other countries.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

This alternative spring break experience is unlike any other and I highly recommend it to other Liberal Arts students.  It is a trip that you will never forget. The Global Brigade slogan accurately describes the strength of their program.  The words “Students Empowering Communities” encircle a globe in such a way that it is also meant to be read in reverse.

Jessica Harwick

Internship with Department of English, The Pennsylvania State University
Up one level
Jessica Harwick

Majors: Comparative Literature and English
Minor: Italian
Hometown: Pine Grove, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through discussions with professors in the department.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

For the academic year of 2012-2013, I interned with the Department of English in the College of the Liberal Arts. I worked under the supervision of a department professor as a researcher of textural support for the projects (papers and presentations) she was working on. Through this internship I learned a variety of skills that I never would have had the chance to learn in a traditional classroom. I learned how to use a variety of databases, how to read 17th century secretarial script, and how to use microfilms, just to name a few things. I also refined my ability to find textual support for arguments and analyze texts.

“The experiences I had as an intern convinced me to continue my studies in graduate school.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship was for credit, taking the place of regular classes that would have given me a less personalized experience. Upon deciding to apply for graduate school, I received valuable advice from my professor about the entire process. My application was stronger because of my internship, and allowed me the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to excel in graduate school as well.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

My goal is to attend graduate school for Comparative Literature. This internship reinforced my interest in literature-related research, and it therefore helped me to make the decision to apply for graduate programs.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend that other students participate in an internship with their departments if given the chance. It is a rewarding, educational, and worthwhile experience.

Katie Quinn

Internship with The Center for Strategic and International Studies
Up one level
Katie Quinn

Majors: Political Science and Economics
Hometown: Lake Ariel, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity from a Penn State alumnus who completed an internship at this company the previous summer.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer I worked as a Research Intern for the CSIS Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation (C3). I spent the majority of my internship working on a project that documented a history of U.S. responses to international potential regime transitions in order to analyze the effects of past U.S. policy responses in these areas and make policy recommendations for future U.S. responses. This aspect of my internship greatly improved my research and citation skills.  My other responsibilities included planning and attendance of events. Interns at CSIS also had the opportunity to participate in a summer debate clinic hosted by Colonel William Taylor, a retired Director of Debate from West Point Military Academy.  Participation in this debate clinic taught me valuable listening, and critical thinking skills, and helped to improve my public speaking abilities under pressure.

“Working at CSIS and spending my summer in D.C. was an exciting experience that opened up many new horizons when thinking about my future.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

The internship provided many opportunities for clear and concise policy writing which was critiqued and reviewed by my peers.  Peer feedback and consistent writing practice greatly improved my writing abilities during my time at CSIS. This gave me the unique opportunity to gain experience in good research methods outside of the classroom and will greatly impact my future academic work as I prepare to write my thesis.

What are you career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

I am currently unsure of my future career plans. However, I gained an increased knowledge and interest in international politics working at CSIS. My experience opened up my mind to many possible career opportunities that I look forward to exploring more fully in the upcoming year.

Kate Thompson

School for Field Studies (SFS) Study Abroad Program in Kenya and Tanzania
Up one level
Kate Thompson

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Anthropology and Community, Environment, and Development
Minor: World literature
Hometown: Danboro, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

In the middle of my freshman year, I sought out a study abroad experience that would open my eyes to how I could use anthropology to make a real world difference. I discovered SFS Kenya and Tanzania and contacted professors here at Penn State inquiring about doing research while abroad.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked in two labs while studying abroad. In the first, I studied animal bones and the second I assisted with primate research. East Africa changed my life. I wanted to explore my neighborhood, connect with people, and learn about wildlife. I woke up and went out into the wide world even when I was tired or shy!

“Living in a foreign country, in a non-English speaking culture, challenged me to leap out of my comfort zone.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

My experience studying abroad laid the foundations for my own research. Living and working in Africa helped me to understand some important things about myself that have shaped my academic career. I discovered I could live in the foreign places where I wanted to do research and I loved learning about wildlife and human interactions. My experience was like a check-up to make sure what I thought I enjoyed in school was really what I wanted to pursue in the real world! This experience refined my academic dreams and then showed me a way to attain them.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

I hope to pursue a PhD in Anthropology, continue my research, and become a sort of “scholar activist.” I dream of using my research in archeological contexts to help us understand how humans have impacted wildlife populations in the past and what it means for us in the present. I want to study how humans perceive and affect their non-human primate neighbors and vice versa. When working to conserve wildlife, it is critically important that local people’s needs are understood and met in the process. I would like to use what I learn to aid in improving the way we balance human needs and primate biodiversity in East Africa and Madagascar.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. Get out and explore!

Shannon Brace

Internship with Center for American Literary Studies (CALS)
Up one level
Shannon Brace

Major: English
Minor: Business
Hometown: Hunlock Creek, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was informed about this internship from Professor Jenkins in the Department of English.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship within the Center for American Literary Studies (CALS) has provided me with the opportunity, but also challenge, to sharpen the writing abilities I have learned in my many English courses. I am currently working on a hybrid business proposal between a marketing analysis and demographic writing proposal for marketing mediums pertaining to CALS. As an avid hobbyist photographer, CALS has requested that I bring my photography skills to our many events, requiring me to perfect my multitasking skills. 

In addition, I have been able to associate with other community groups, such as the Centre County Library. Through spending time outside the office, I am able to see the results of our planning, making the process extremely rewarding.

“I have learned new forms of writing and communication and continue to challenge myself and my abilities.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship provided academic credit, but more importantly provided me with professional internship experience.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

I am seeking a career in State College where I can use my writing and marketing abilities to make the community and environment a better place. I also plan to start my own photography business. CALS has allowed me to become a more active member of the community, introducing me to new people and resources from the surrounding area.

Elizabeth Rutere

Internship- New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission
Up one level
Elizabeth Rutere
Majors: Crime, Law, and Justice
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Rahway, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was able to network with a friend’s family member, who put me in contact with someone at the Justice Commission.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The second week of the program, I got an opportunity to supervise the juveniles in the Elizabeth Day Program. My supervisor is in charge of all the write ups that the juveniles get. Every 30 days in the program, my supervisor and the person conducting the probation review holds a meeting with the juvenile and whoever has legal custody of them, and they review his progress.

“I would definitely recommend doing an internship to other Liberal Arts students. This experience really helped me work toward my future goals.”

I sat in on three probation reviews. Watching the reaction of the staff and their interaction with the probationer, I realized how much the staff really cared about the kids. These young men have broken the law and it is the staff members’ jobs to make sure that punishment is being implemented. However, although they want to discipline the young men, they also want to help these individuals make better life choices. Looking from the inside, you can really observe the care they have for these kids, and they are harsh with them because they want them to realize the seriousness of their crimes.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Interning with the JJC has given me an opportunity to get hands-on experience working with juveniles. It has taught me that people really do not know how much work the JJC and its staff puts into helping these individuals on their road to becoming law-abiding citizens.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

I plan on becoming a probation officer and helping these kids make better life decisions and make sure they get the supervision necessary to keep them off the streets. This experience impacted me in that it gave me an opportunity to speak to these individuals and watch them work.

Jason LaFata

Global Business Brigades Trip to Panama
Up one level
Jason LaFata

Jason LaFata

Majors: Finance, Philosophy
Minor: International Business
Hometown: Wyomissing, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

A friend informed me about this group and abroad opportunity.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My trip to Panama was like no other experience. I lived in a room with 41 Penn State students. Our compound had limited water and electricity, and we used latrines. There were no walls around our room, so most of us used mosquito nets to prevent bugs from crawling over us at night. Living in these conditions made me appreciate what we normally take for granted in the developed world.

Interacting with the community members was also an amazing experience. The community members were fairly interactive and told us about their lifestyle, and asked for help in marketing, accounting, business strategy, and savings. Despite being poor, the community members were very active and ambitious. They want the best for their children and their families. When we finished the training activities, we had the opportunity to practice Spanish and play with the kids. Many of the community members really appreciated our help and wanted us to come back soon. The fact that they said this to us is very special, and I would recommend this rewarding experience to all majors.

“Because of this experience, I will continue volunteering in ways that will make a difference in other people’s lives.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

The biggest thing I learned from teaching the Ipeti community is that simple concepts go a long way. My group made an accounting sheet for one of the community family members so that she could keep track of money coming in and out of her business. After a few practice examples, Elsa understood how to use the accounting sheet and how to link it to a simplistic income statement.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

After graduation, I will be working for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia as a management consultant. This experience has reinforced the idea that I want to pursue consulting as a career.

Jenna Ebert

Internship- REACH Child Program, Bridgeport Hospital
Up one level
Jenna Ebert

Majors: Psychology
Hometown: Newtown, CT

How did you learn about this opportunity?

A family member works at Bridgeport Hospital, where REACH takes place; she told me about the program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I will be working in the Children’s Program at the therapeutic treatment center. In this facility, I will be training with the Children’s Program staff, helping children who are struggling emotionally, behaviorally, and mentally at home, school, and in the community. I will be sitting though the weekly reviews of patients, learning how to read patients’ charts, observing therapy, sitting in on family sessions, and helping the children apply therapeutic approaches to better the quality of their interactions. The program is typically a short-term experience for the kids, lasting between 4 to 10 weeks and includes weekly family involvement.

The REACH program is the last step before hospitalization for these children. The coping and therapy offered by the REACH program can change the direction of their lives forever, which will be very gratifying for them and their families. Since most of the children enrolled in this program are on medication, the treatment and therapy are expected to be extremely intense.

“This internship has given me the opportunity to have hands-on experience that has been similar to many of the emotional therapy techniques I will apply later in life.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

It is giving me hands-on experience about things that I have only heard about in lectures or read about in my textbooks. Seeing some of these abnormalities unfolding in front of me is so intriguing. It is an incredible experience that is undoubtedly incomparable to in-class learning.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to become either an Occupational or Physical Therapist for children. The reason why I want to work with children is because on December 14, 2012, 26 innocent lives were taken in my home town, Newtown, CT. I realize the importance of mental health and the innocence of children at such an impressionable age.

Malory Sanchez

Study Abroad- The Umbra Institute, Perugia
Up one level
Malory Sanchez

Majors: Labor Studies and Employment Relations; Pyschology
Hometown: Syosset, Long Island, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through friends at Penn State and alumni.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I knew that I did not want to be in an overwhelmingly large tourist-filled city in Italy. My education abroad adviser told me about the Umbra Institute in Perugia, and it fit perfectly with what I had wanted. I feel like I’m getting so much out of this program, because I am able to get help with anything I need right away from the staff and there are always events going on that allow us to immerse ourselves in the Italian culture. It’s easier to learn more about the culture and even the language when you’re in a less touristy area.

I feel like I learn something new about this small city every day. I’m also meeting a lot of new people. Interacting with them is great because they are more than willing to help improve my Italian speaking skills. I feel that I have learned so much Italian in the small amount of time that I have been here. I try to use it whenever I possibly can. It’s a great way of practicing. Also, being in Italy gives me the opportunity to study all over Europe. A dream of mine has been to travel around Europe, and I have been able to do so by doing this program. Cities in Italy are different in many ways and offer you so much, even if you’re visiting just for the weekend. I also made new friends on my program when traveling together.

“I am interacting with many different people and it’s great to see any situation from all different perspectives. I feel that this study abroad experience in Italy is teaching me to appreciate diversity and how to deal with unfamiliar situations.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

I am given the opportunity to learn in a different country and learn different ways and styles of teaching and learning. Classes here are smaller than classes I am used to taking at Penn State, so I am able to have a new experience in the classroom.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

I am hoping to either work in human resources for an entertainment company or become an entertainment lawyer. This experience is helping me mature and become more independent and heighten my cultural awareness.

Melissa Gettle

Internship- Naval Criminal Investigative Services
Up one level
Melissa Gettle

Majors: Crime, Law, and Justice; Forensic Science
Minor: Chemistry, Women's Studies
Hometown: Myerstown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through online research into agencies allowing student internships.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

For the first month of my internship, I was with the special operations unit, which does undercover work.  Their primary interests are drugs, stolen property, and sexual predators.  While I was with this unit, I was able to go out with them when they carried out controlled purchases of drugs.  One of the highlights of my time with the special operations unit was when a drug buy turned into a bust and a suspect was taken into custody.

During the remainder of my internship, I assisted agents working in different crime units.  I was able to view several interrogations, an experience I really enjoyed.  One of the main things I learned is the importance of exceptional verbal communication.  Individuals of all ages and backgrounds have been interrogated and being able to communicate with them is imperative.  My duties included going to crime scenes, making photocopies, preparing templates with crime scene photos, and any other tasks assigned by the agents.  The highlight of working with these units was being able to attend an autopsy.  I never went to one before and it is definitely an experience I will not soon forget.

Overall, one of the best things about my internship experience was the opportunity to interact with and learn from the agents.  They really included me in what they were doing whenever they could.  They were also very open to questions and always tried to explain what they were doing and why.

"I learned a lot and I was able to relate what I learned at Penn State to a ‘real world’ experience.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Being able to experience many aspects of federal law enforcement related to my coursework at Penn State. I found that each of these aspects, in some way, related to my coursework at Penn State whether it was crime scene processing practices, laws, or general practices and procedures for working a case from beginning to end.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

Prior to this experience, I was unsure which path I wanted to take for my career. Due my experience with NCIS, I now know that I would prefer to work in law enforcement at federal agency.  I was able to see that law enforcement can incorporate many of the forensic science concepts I have been taught.

Roman Rogalla

Internship- Radio Station WOWY 97.1
Up one level
Roman Rogalla

Majors: Sociology, Advertising, Global and International Studies
Minors: Business, German
Hometown: Berlin, Germany

How did you learn about this opportunity?

A friend had a previous internship at the station, and informed me about the opportunity.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I feel very fortunate to have been chosen as one of four interns at WOWY 97.1. My experience thus far has been great. I arrive to the station at 6 am and start to prepare for the show. My official position is morning co-host and the sports producer. I write the sports report and make sure we have a trivia question ready for listeners to answer and win prizes. Additionally, I prepare things for some other segments including famous birthdays and what’s on TV tonight.

Around 6:30 am, I head to the studio and the show starts. It is mostly music with weather, sports, and a trivia segment mixed in. Occasionally there is some banter back and forth with the host of the show. At 10 minutes before the top of the hour and 20 minutes after the hour I go on and do the sports. I write a one page sports report and have one minute to give the sports update. The show is sponsored by Penn State sports so we start with any Penn State sports news. After that, we cover any professional sports teams in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as national headline sports news.

“The people at the station are very friendly and were eager to help me succeed, not only at the radio station, but also later in life.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship is giving me experience in a professional work environment. It allows me to show prospective employers that I have professional experience in addition to my degree and good grades.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

Following college I plan to take the GRE and apply to graduate school. This experience helps me to show schools that I was active beyond the classroom at Penn State. Also, working here is given me more confidence and has helped me to be a better public speaker.

Gerald Ulmer

Internship- Rex Energy, Human Resources
Up one level
Gerald Ulmer

Majors: Communications, Arts, and Sciences; Labor Studies and Employment Relations
Minor: Business
Hometown: Renovo, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found the posting for the internship online and applied for it.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I have had an amazing time working with a talented group of individuals at Rex Energy in the Human Resources department. I have been afforded a great amount of knowledge and hands-on experience in nearly every area of human resources, from payroll and benefits to employee relations and recruitment. Not only am I able to learn new and exciting aspects in the field of human resources, I am applying my classroom knowledge first hand.

The biggest highlight of my internship experience has been working in the area of recruitment. I thoroughly enjoy recruiting, interviewing, and reviewing résumés, while also getting to meet so many talented individuals. This experience has helped me to develop my communication skills while also affording me many new skills and knowledge pertaining to the field of human resources. Throughout this experience I am also getting to see the multiple functions throughout Rex Energy such as accounting, finance, geology, legal, and many more that help to make Rex a successful energy corporation.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has allowed for me to apply my classroom knowledge first hand to nearly every aspect of my internship experience. I am also gaining new and exciting knowledge that I will be studying in my upcoming semester. This allows for me to get a jump-start on much of what is to come.

“It has been an amazing experience that has provided me a great amount of opportunities to improve myself professionally and personally.”

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

After graduation I plan to enter the field of human resources with a focus on recruitment. After gaining experience at the entry level, I hope to reach a management level, while also exploring more avenues and aspects of the business world. This experience has opened my eyes to so much more than I could have ever imagined. I have learned a great deal of how business run both efficiently and effectively in both the public and private sectors.

Patrick Boynton

Internship with Council on Foreign Relations Meetings Department
Up one level
Patrick Boynton
Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Mechanicsburg, PA

Major(s): International Politics and Geography
Minor(s): French and Middle Eastern Studies

How did you learn about this opportunity?

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) website maintains a listing of internship openings. I applied, interviewed, and was accepted.

“Interning at the Council on Foreign Relations brought my academics to life. Working at CFR, I was fortunate to be able to network with a variety of high-level individuals from government, media, and business.”

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My job was rewardingly practical. I was essentially an assistant to the Meetings Department and each day I started by walking from office to office, asking how I could help. From my first day on the job, I staffed events: checking attendees in at the door, handing out nametags, and working microphones during question-and-answer segments. I also sent invitation packages to speakers and Council members, compiled nominations for CFR’s annual book award, reviewed speaker suggestions, and proposed complementary panelists, among other tasks. I have already applied my experience directly to the student organizations I am involved with at Penn State, and I can talk about the concrete tasks I performed at CFR in future job interviews.

As an International Politics major, I fully expected to intern in Washington, D.C., having visited regularly with my school and family. However, I cannot overstate the value of interning for a think tank in New York. I discovered one of the world’s most important cities and its neighborhoods: the Upper East Side, the Village, Brooklyn, the Financial District. I met individuals in a range of fields outside politics. I attended film screenings, networked with alumni, shared experiences with some of my oldest friends, and spent a memorable day canvassing for a mayoral candidate in the South Bronx.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Interning at CFR impressed upon me the importance of salary and career flexibility. I learned that UN staffers dislike being posted in New York because the cost of living exceeds their salaries. At the same time, I noticed that the most energetic and outgoing individuals at CFR had jumped from job to job and organization to organization. Rather than the government career and I had long envisioned, I am now looking into doing similar work through law or the private sector.

Jessica Maynor

Internship with White & Case LLP
Up one level
Jessica Maynor
Paterno Fellow
Hometown: State College, PA

Major(s): Crime, Law, and Justice B.A.
Minor(s): Disability Studies, Sociology, and Human Development & Family Studies

How did you learn about this opportunity?

A friend’s dad works at the firm and I spoke with him about general pre-law advice. He put me in contact with HR and I went through the hiring process.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

White & Case LLP is a 400-lawyer corporate and litigation firm in New York City. One of the biggest firms in the country, White & Case LLP provides expertise in virtually every practice area all over the globe. I was placed in the knowledge department of the firm, similar to an information technology field. The project I assisted with was redesigning and reorganizing the firm’s intranet site. On this site, there is an endless amount of information from how to file a new matter, the profiles of all firm employees, details of all of the firm’s top clients, to all training and marketing services. This site is the homepage on every firm employee’s computer and because of the depth of information, it is visited quite frequently by partners, associates, paralegals, and business service personnel alike. Although my internship was not as law focused as I expected it to be, my experience in the knowledge department still proved to be extremely valuable. 

Through working on the intranet, I was exposed to every type of law that the firm practices on a global scale. I was able to see the inner workings and organization of a law firm and I acquired respect and understanding for the people who work behind the scenes to make what the attorneys do, easier and faster; all experiences that will ultimately help me achieve my goal of becoming a lawyer. On a more basic level, this was my first office job and I took a lot away from that experience alone. Working from 9am-5pm takes getting used to and often times requires some sacrifices in other areas of your life. I learned about the technology used at law firms, how they manage all of their documents, how to schedule conference calls and request spaces for meetings. I learned the type of language used in a firm-wide email, how to lead web-based meetings, and handle conflicts when the person you are meeting with is on the other side of the world. I also mastered the use of Microsoft SharePoint, a web application platform used by the majority of Fortune 500 companies and law firms. In my opinion, the combination of all of these experiences and exposures made my internship well worth it.

“Through my internship at White & Case, I not only narrowed my academic interests, was exposed to the inner workings of a law firm, and acquired new technological skills, I also made invaluable networking connections that I know I can tap into upon graduation.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

While my internship did not focus primarily on the legal field itself, I made sure to capitalize on any and all networking opportunities. I picked the brain of any partner, associate, or paralegal that I met and found out how they got to where they are and asked for any advice they were willing to give. As I helped reorganize the intranet, I learned about all the different types of corporate law and litigation practices.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Upon graduation, I plan to obtain a legal assistant/paralegal position and work for two years before attending law school. I hope to attend law school in NYC or Boston, become a lawyer, and practice family law. 

Working in a big global firm in New York City was eye-opening in many ways. I learned that firms must consist of a lot more than just attorneys to function, especially when there are 40 offices in 27 countries! There are paralegals, professional support lawyers, marketing specialists, human resources professionals, a technology department, managing clerks, librarians, and a whole floor of knowledge managers. This showed me that there are many ways to use a law degree and that if I want to take a break from trial work when I start a family, there are numerous positions in a big firm that would be suitable for me. That being said, my exposure to such a large firm made me decide that I would rather start my law career in a smaller firm. White & Case treats all of their different employees very well and allows for them to interact in unique ways, but the field I am interested in, family law, is mostly practiced on a smaller scale. White & Case gave me my first exposure to corporate law and litigation and helped me see that, if I do work in a bigger firm that focuses on these practices, litigation is what I am most interested in. This is something most people don’t realize until they are in law school.  Because of my internship, I am ahead of the game.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this internship, and ones that are similar, to other Liberal Arts students.  Internships on the most basic level translate to work experience and will make you a more desirable hire. I would advise other students, no matter what their major, to seek internships or co-ops in large cities. Having so many opportunities at your fingertips at any time is worth the money you pay to live there for a summer. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments! 

John Satira

Internship with J.A. Green & Company
Up one level
John Satira

Hometown: Murrysville, PA
Majors: History and International Politics
Minor: Italian

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the opportunity through the Penn State Washington Program, which is run through the College of Communications. Since I was interested in public policy, the coordinator of the Washington Program helped me contact J.A. Green & Co. I reached out to the company, sent my résumé, and was invited for an interview.  Once I received the email that I had been offered the position, I happily accepted.

“Almost everyone that I worked with had a background in Liberal Arts, and it was great to see fellow Liberal Arts students grow to be just as successful in their careers as their counterparts in the businesses and technical sciences.”

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The work that I do with J.A. Green & Company has been interesting, fast-paced, and plentiful. Every day, I assist the full-time employees in their work that aims to improve the government relations and public affairs of client companies. The work has focused on a variety of topics like conflict minerals, supply chain security, rare earth elements, and other topics relevant to the defense-industrial base. I conduct research, write memos and letters, and develop summaries and roadmaps of various government processes and policy initiatives. While I’ve been enjoying the work, being a young professional in the city of Washington, D.C. has truly been the icing on the cake. The city is full of young, vibrant people from all walks of life and I have made a ton of great contacts. I took advantage of Penn State’s alumni network and attended various alumni/student mixer events.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This summer has allowed me to gain a better appreciation for the skill set that I have learned in my classes, and I will now take the time and effort to continue to improve such skills in my coursework. Skills such as researching, critical reading, succinct writing, and interpersonal communication have been very advantageous in my internship.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I have always planned on going to law school to be an attorney, but I wanted to experience the working world before I decided to dedicate another three years to academics. Since I enjoyed my internship so much, I am considering working for a year or two and then applying to law school in order to make a dent in my student loans as well as to rejuvenate myself after four very aggressive years in the academics at Penn State.

Kaitlin Bass

Internship with Miami Jewish Health Systems, The Stein Institute
Up one level
Kaitlin Bass

Hometown: Frederick, MD
Major: Labor Studies and Employment Relations

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through the Liberal Arts Network Symplicity site.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an intern with the Stein Institute at Miami Jewish Health Systems, I played an integral role in helping develop the organization’s Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). This is an IRS required form that helps to establish an organization’s role within the community in order for it to keep its not-for-profit status. As an intern working on the CHNA, I was able to incorporate a wide variety of skills, including data collection and information gathering, survey design and analysis, and report preparation. In addition, my boss, Dr. Moty, allowed me to assist in other functions of the Stein Institute at Miami Jewish Health Systems, including project development, updating outcome assessment databases, and tracking productivity metrics.

My internship was a truly fruitful experience being able to incorporate a multitude of skills, as well as getting to witness firsthand how multiple facets within an organization collaborate in order to reach a common goal. Interning with Dr. Moty and Miami Jewish Health Systems was an experience that I would highly recommend to any Liberal Arts student at Penn State.

“Many of my day to day tasks required me to use skills that I have learned in my Liberal Arts classes. This internship experience has reaffirmed the importance of my education.”How did this experience impact you academically?

Many of my day to day tasks required me to use skills that I have learned in my Liberal Arts classes. This internship experience has reaffirmed the importance of my education. In addition, I have enhanced and refined many of my previous skills, such as the use of Excel that I hope to be able to further incorporate in my future work. This experience has also enlightened me to the Health Care field, and has sparked a desire to incorporate Health Policy Administration classes into my Labor Studies and Employment Relations Degree.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

For the past couple of years, I thought that I would be looking and applying for Human Resources jobs upon graduation. Although that door is not completely closed, after this internship I am open to applying to jobs outside of the HR field that would incorporate many of the skills that I have learned over this summer.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

With the fullest confidence, I would recommend this experience to all Liberal Arts students. Dr. Moty is an incredible mentor and a very well respected individual within his field as well. Working at Miami Jewish Health Systems was valuable because it showed me the importance of cooperation among all functions in an organization, much like how a Liberal Arts degree is able to teach us the importance of knowledge among a variety of subjects. Interning in Miami was an experience I’ll always cherish. I can’t put into words how thankful I am to have broadened my horizons and lived in a city unlike anywhere else.

Jessica Tucker

Internship with Vanguard
Up one level
Jessica Tucker

Hometown: Phoenixville, PA
Majors: Communication Arts & Sciences and Sociology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew about Vanguard from family and friends who work for the company. I met with representatives at Penn State's fall career fair in the Bryce Jordan Center and then applied to the College to Corporate internship program online.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I spent 10 weeks with Vanguard in their College to Corporate internship program. I worked in the public relations department. There were approximately 30 business interns spread across different areas of the company. About half came from financial backgrounds and half came from non-business backgrounds. 

There were professional intern events approximately once a week where we had brown bag lunches with different group overviews, resume tips, etc. The Leadership Development team also organized overviews regarding Vanguard’s Culture and Diversity Department and their Total Rewards Package. Outside of these events, everyone in the company was more than willing to meet and provide information about their roles. The interns also participated in a Facebook Challenge where we split into teams with each team creating a Facebook post about their experience, which was a fun way to get to know the other interns. 

In my role, I was given multiple projects. First, I compiled weekly press reports that were distributed around the company. After conducting these reports, I ultimately compiled a proposal to streamline the report distribution. I spent some time analyzing Twitter trends in the financial industry and broader private sector to develop a recommendation on whether the public relations group should utilize a specified Twitter account. I handled press releases and local press efforts for Vanguard’s annual food drive. I also handled all press activities for Vanguard’s My Classroom Economy, their free financial literacy program. My favorite project was working with the corporate strategy department by researching media trends in 22 international markets and presenting recommendations on viable press markets. 

Throughout my experience I was given valuable, concrete feedback that I was able to use to improve my work, even in just 10 weeks. If interested in a fulltime position, the process for applying was streamlined for interns and interviews were conducted during the internship program. Vanguard worked hard to make my internship a valuable experience and it showed.

“Working at Vanguard gave me the opportunity to apply what I learned in class to the real world.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Working at Vanguard gave me the opportunity to apply what I learned in class to the real world. I took writing techniques that I learned in my CAS classes and applied them to press releases and staff communications. I was even able to use my sociology experience when presenting about change management in one of my proposals. I also had the opportunity to practice my public speaking and presentation skills in multiple forums, for my fellow interns as well as senior leaders.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Ultimately I hope to work for a large international corporation in the corporate communications or human resources department. This experience gave me exposure to a large international company and experience in the public relations field. Working at Vanguard made me realize my passion for corporate communications and exposed me to different communications leaders in the company.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. An internship at Vanguard is a great way to get into finance, or business in general, because they value the diversity that Liberal Arts majors can bring to the table. 

Almir Hodzic

Penn State Harrisburg Semester Internship Program; Internship with the Winter Group
Up one level
Almir Hodzic

Hometown: Greencastle, PA
Majors: International Politics and History

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship program at The Pennsylvania State University career fair.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had a great experience with Penn State's Harrisburg Semester Internship Program. Not only did I have an the opportunity to intern with the Winter Group, but the program also required students to take a course in conjunction with the internship. The course added the educational background needed to understand Pennsylvania politics and helped me to be successful at my internship. Working at the Winter Group for two months not only gave me guidance, but also immediate hands-on experience. I am now very confident in working in the kind of professional environment involved in politics and consulting. At the Winter Group I was given the opportunity to coordinate events, call legislative offices, and perform research for our clients. The associates at the firm were always helpful throughout the program and gave me guidance to successfully complete the assignments at hand. I truly enjoyed getting acquainted with the various aspects of Pennsylvania politics, whether it was calling legislators for co-sponsoring initiatives or organizing lobbying days for our clients. The experience I gained from the Winter Group was more than I could have expected. I can honestly recommend the firm for any participant interested in gaining hands-on experience in the field of government affairs.

“I found the experience of the Harrisburg Semester Internship Program to be extremely enjoyable because students gain the educational background needed to succeed, while also attaining hands-on experience at their internship location.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, the program enhanced my knowledge of Pennsylvania politics. I gained sufficient information while taking the Public Policy 490 course at the Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg campus. The instructor highlighted the history of the Keystone State’s political framework. But also, the class allowed students to talk about the current political situation of the legislature in Harrisburg and how things might change in the near future with noticeable political shifts. Even more helpful than the course was the actual internship experience. Performing research assignments has enhanced my ability to go out and attain necessary information. Also, coordinating events for our clients at the Capitol helped strengthen my communication skills. Most importantly, just being in a professional environment related to government policy has given me the confidence of continuing to pursue my career goals.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My ultimate career goal is to be involved in government policy-making and diplomacy. Even though I have focused on the international aspect of government policy at Pennsylvania State University, I am also gaining an interest in local administration. By working at the Winter Group I had the perfect amount of guidance and hands-on experience in regards to local Pennsylvania politics. All the knowledge I attained during my internship can be utilized in either the local or international level of government administration.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would definitely recommend the Harrisburg Semester Internship Program to other students. By participating, students are situated in the middle of policy-making. Being in Harrisburg allows the participants to fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere of government affairs. I found the experience of the Harrisburg Semester Internship Program to be extremely enjoyable because students gain the educational background needed to succeed, while also attaining hands-on experience at their internship location. Participating in the Harrisburg Semester Internship Program is a life-changing experience for anyone interested in government policy and affairs.

Julia Schrank

Undergraduate Research: Department of French and Francophone Studies
Up one level
Julia Schrank

Julia Schrank

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Monroeville, PA
Majors: French and Francophone Studies; Spanish

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I asked my thesis adviser if she had any projects for this summer with which she would like assistance. She was more than happy to have me and we found an appropriate side-project for me that gave me independence while furthering her research goals.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I conducted research under Dr. Willa Z. Silverman that contributed to her current research while simultaneously exploring new questions and uncovering new information. Dr. Silverman’s current project is a transcription of the diaries of the jeweler Henri Vever, whose primary activity took place in turn-of-the-century Paris, where he rubbed elbows with the biggest names in the art, politics, and entertainment spheres. However, one period of Vever’s life that has not yet been brought to light is his service as the mayor of a small town in northern France called Noyers. During that time, Vever’s diaries recount his life as a bureaucrat, an urbanite in the boondocks, and an avid bicyclist.

With the information that I gleaned from Vever’s colorful personal diaries, I reconstructed Vever’s world by creating an online cartographic resource that displayed Vever’s adventures from a geographical standpoint. Furthermore, this resource raised questions about certain areas of Vever’s stomping grounds that were depicted by Impressionist painters in works owned by the affluent jeweler himself. In conclusion, the map paired Vever’s “impressions” of the landscape recorded in his diaries with the Impressionists’ paintings to create larger questions of the nature of perception in written and artistic works.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This project solidified the research habits that I already gained from working on my Honors Thesis and allowed me to learn, on a project basis, how to code literary texts using a language called TEI (Text Encoding Initiative).

"This project gave me even more experience towards those goals and allowed me to gain skills that will be useful in my chosen field."

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I want to become a professor of French and also make a contribution to the growing movement known as the Digital Humanities. This project gave me even more experience towards those goals and allowed me to gain skills that will be useful in my chosen field.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

 

I would recommend summer research to anyone considering going on to M.A. or Ph.D. programs because it gives a great picture of the nature of research, which is, more often than not, a relatively solitary endeavor. I often found myself alone working for days at a time, and I know that working in such a way does not appeal to everyone. Hence, I would only recommend projects like this for students already interested in a serious academic career.

Sabrina Volpe

Study Abroad: University of Exeter
Up one level
Sabrina Volpe

Paterno Fellow
Majors: French & International Political Economy
Minor: Geography
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through the Undergraduate Fellowship Office.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This was an amazing experience. As a student of the International Relations: Security, Conflict and Peace pathway I was able to discuss pertinent aspects of international relations with people from around the world. We looked in depth at the problems facing Syria and Egypt along with Eurocentric views on the United State’s international involvement over the late 20th and 21st centuries. As an American student, it was great to be able to hear unbiased opinions on the US’s involvement in Iraq, as well as listen to multiple viewpoints on many security issues facing our world today. Exeter was a delightful town, and the people were so generous and eager to showcase southern England’s charm.  Staying in the heart of London for three days and being able to take day trips to many famous towns and landmarks throughout my stay really helped with the immersion into British culture.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Becoming fully immersed in British culture and studying at The University of Exeter offered me different perspectives on many social and global issues. It was a challenge to adapt to the rigorous amount of work that was presented, but it was necessary for the enhancement of the in-class discussions. Overall, this experience has really pushed me to want to study abroad for a full semester next year, and has given me the tools to be able to handle the unique styles of education abroad.

"The art of diplomacy cannot be learned from a textbook. It can only be refined through practice and experience."

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This benefited my future aspirations, because I want to become an ambassador. The art of diplomacy cannot be learned from a textbook. It can only be refined through practice and experience. Studying with students from around the world really presses you to think about how you represent your own nation. Diplomacy is a constant line that must be maintained between nations. It becomes easier to uphold when we all are focusing on the same goals. Studying with international students made me realize that, at the bottom line, we are all working towards a better life. We need to stop making things so difficult on the international front.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes!

Sarah DeMartino

Research: Undergraduate thesis
Up one level
Sarah DeMartino

Sarah DeMartino

Hometown: Downingtown, PA
Major: International Politics
Minor: Environmental Inquiry

How did you learn about this opportunity?

As a student in the Schreyer Honors College I connected with my honors advisor to pursue research and conduct in-person interviews.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My thesis examines why corporations begin to seek corporate social responsibility, particularly within the cocoa industry. The funding I received helped me conduct research and gather data. Part of the data I collected was through interviews; I was able to speak with interest groups such as the International Labor Rights Forum and cocoa companies like Hershey to better understand their perspective of corporate change. I was able to hire a student to transcribe the interviews, which sped the data collection process up greatly.

"I am anticipating much more research in graduate classes and future thesis work, and this experience has provided me confidence."

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have worked on research before as an undergraduate research assistant and have conducted smaller projects for some of my classes, but have never engaged in research to this depth. My hope is that through this thesis, interest groups, corporations, media outlets, and other organizations will better understand the benefits of bringing about ethical change to the consumer world. I am very grateful for the support I have received at Penn State, for the life changing opportunities I have been presented with, and I hope that the rest of my academic career will be rich with more opportunities.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

Conducting a thesis has been a rewarding experience. After graduating, my hope is to go directly into graduate school and enroll in either a PhD or Master’s program in International Relations. Exposure to research as an undergraduate has prepared me for the kind of thesis and dissertation work I’ll have to do as a graduate student. I am anticipating much more research in graduate classes and future thesis work, and this experience has provided me confidence. While I still have a lot to learn about how to conduct scholarly research, my undergraduate thesis has helped to make this a constructive experience and given me a positive outlook about future projects.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Marta Beczek

Study Abroad: CIEE Santiago, Chile
Up one level
Marta Beczek

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Edison, NJ
Majors: Spanish & International Politics
Minor: Media Studies

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this program by investigating online through the various University resources.

"I want to work in the media industry and by going to Chile I have improved my conversational ability in Spanish."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Chile was wonderful! Santiago was the perfect mix of Latin American culture with a  metropolitan atmosphere. This study abroad program is designed for the adventure seeker. There are two short trips that the program organizes for the students: the first to the historic city of Valparaiso and the other to La Serena. On this second trip we biked more than 80km over a period of two days. The sights that we saw were beyond words can explain. Chileans are very friendly; I came back with life-long friends and almost perfect fluency in Spanish.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I love languages and Spanish is the third language that I am learning. I believe that in the career market today, languages are essential. I want to work in the media industry and by going to Chile I have improved my conversational ability in Spanish. I hope to work for a business where I can utilize the languages I have learned. Chile also provided me the opportunity to become more open-minded to new cultures and people, another essential skill for the future. Lastly, I learned a great deal about myself as an individual through this experience. I feel like I have a new self-confidence and new motivation to succeed because of this trip.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

I recommend this trip 100% because it changed my own personal view on the world.

Caitlin Gest

Internship through Penn State's Washington Program
Up one level
Caitlin Gest

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: State College, PA
Major: Political Science
Minors: Sexuality and Gender Studies & History

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I initially heard about the Washington Program from a fellow member of an organization I am involved in. After our conversation, I went online and found the Washington Program's website. I had been thinking of looking for an internship in DC, but didn't know where to start. After doing a little research on the program, I submitted my application early and subsequently interviewed with Dr. Richards, the head of the program. Several weeks later I heard that I had been accepted.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Soon after my sophomore year ended, I was contacted by Scott Colburn, the program coordinator, and was given several leads about organizations to apply to. He instructed me on the application requirements for each of them, and I subsequently submitted the information. Several months later, in August I received another email from Scott informing me that I had been placed with the DC Office of the Attorney General in the Child Protective Section.

Once I started my internship, my experience was nothing but positive. Both of my supervising attorneys were Penn State graduates, and were more than willing to allow me full participation in all of the work. One of the attorneys was even an alum of the Washington Program and is currently one of its board members. They provided me with many opportunities to advance my own skills and were open to communication about which aspects of the job I was most interested in and curious about. It was a fantastic experience.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has had a profound impact on my academic interests. When I first entered the program, my initial thought was that it would serve as a litmus test of sorts, in order for me to discover whether my interest in law was serious and something I would pursue post graduation. My supervising attorneys were very willing to talk with me about the realities of a career in public interest law, and the advantages and disadvantages of their particular job. This experience greatly affected my current academic plans. As a part of the internship, I read many psychological and psychiatric reports, which I actually found very interesting. As a result, I am taking two psychology classes this spring, with the hope of getting involved in some research and taking more psychology classes in the fall.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

When I entered my internship, my tentative career plan was to go to law school and find a legal job in the public interest sector. My goal with the internship was to determine whether this plan was viable. That is, I wanted to experience what that career path could be like and see if my interest was serious, or if there was some other path I was more interested in pursuing. Because of the high level of participation I was allowed in my internship, I did get a firsthand look at what a career as a government lawyer in child protection is like. My career goals have shifted and are now less concrete as a result of my exposure to other areas of study. I found that I was particularly interested in the psychological component of the job that I discovered through reading parental mental health assessments, so I am considering paths related to that area of interest.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Nishant Pandya

Study Abroad: Theater Department, London Study Tour
Up one level
Nishant Pandya

 

Hometown: Washington, PA
Major: Psychology 
Minors: Labor Studies and Employment Relations and Business in the Liberal Arts

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I received an email from the Schreyer Honors College list-serv and followed up at the information session. I learned about the application process there and decided to apply.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This experience was an embedded learning and study tour. The trip had two purposes: to learn London's culture and to study its theatre. We spent 10 days in London with day trips built in to visit Bath, Richmond, and Greenwich where we were encouraged to explore and learn how the United Kingdom differed and compared to the United States. We were all given an aspect of diversity to study. I had chosen interracial relationships, so I tried to learn about my topic through our travels. We also saw 8 shows while we were in London and often had class discussions to relate them back to what we learned in the classroom.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As an Economics and Pre-med major, I have not strayed from my specific outlined coursework much in the past. Therefore, the opportunity to take 10 days and truly immerse myself in theatre and the arts was a truly wonderful opportunity. I entered the experience knowing very little about theatre and its various elements. As I saw more plays and increased my exposure to theatre, I certainly was able to pick up on nuanced and detailed elements of the art. I was able to see how the music, plot, set, and acting are integrated with each other and form great theater. Overall, it was an opportunity for me to learn something I was not familiar with and knew very little about.

"I will always be exposed to topics in which I do not have expertise on, however this should not encourage me to run from them."

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

Upon graduation I will be volunteering with AmeriCorps for one year while I apply for medical schools. My career goal all along has been to become a physician and focus on pediatrics. While this study abroad experience does not tie into the medical or scientific field at all, I appreciated the opportunity to learn something I knew very little about. I was pushed out of my element and comfort zone as I was discussing, writing about, and studying theatre. It was frustrating and humbling from time to time, but provided me with a very important lesson moving forward. I will always be exposed to topics in which I do not have expertise on, however this should not encourage me to run from them. Rather, I will learn to attack them and try to master them as best I can.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes!

Bria Leyden

Study Abroad: IES Amsterdam, Netherlands
Up one level
Bria Leyden

Hometown: Queens, NY
Major: Psychology
Minor: Neuroscience

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I started looking into international programs my freshman year, because I had always wanted to study abroad. In my junior year I went to the Education Abroad office to look for opportunities in countries that sparked my interest and that would be a good fit for me academically.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Studying abroad in Amsterdam was nothing short of an amazing, life-changing experience. I went alone without any friends or anyone I knew, and do not regret it at all. Being in a strange place, not knowing anyone and not being able to speak the language forces you to become close with other students in the program. Over the course of four months, I went from saying I was studying abroad surrounded by random students from all over America, to saying I was traveling with those same people who I now refer to as lifelong friends. Being able to take a train from one country to another, embarking on journeys and exploring the city, long weekend trips with other students to Barcelona, Paris, and London, program excursions throughout the Netherlands and learning about Dutch culture in the courses I took, all provided me with an amazing study abroad experience. The people I met and the memories we created did not leave any room for homesickness. I find myself deeply considering going back to Amsterdam to live, perhaps for graduate school. Being immersed in Dutch culture made me love, appreciate and connect to the people, the city and its customs. I absolutely loved my time abroad and truly wish I had chosen to do a year, as opposed to a semester. I became attached to the city, and the friends I had made. Those were truly the best four months of my life thus far.

How did this experience impact you academically?

After my experience abroad I find there are many things I now perceive differently. Being in a classroom with other international students as well as Dutch students was much different than my academic experience at Penn State. Learning about the Netherland's history, social trends, problems and policies, and its cultural norms was a truly enriching experience. The classroom environment was different in terms of openness as well as diversity, being that I was one of the few native English speakers in each of my classes. I now have extensive knowledge about the European Union and its relation to the world, as well as how the EU state came about. Industries that are not tolerated and are illegal in the U.S such as the sex and drug industries, were also a major part of my studies.

"I absolutely loved my time abroad and truly wish I had chosen to do a year, as opposed to a semester. I became attached to the city, and the friends I had made."

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

Prior to this experience, my career goals were not set in stone. I had a plethora of things I was interested in: criminal psychology, international relations, and gender studies to name a few. After going abroad and studying in a place that sees over 1 million tourists a year, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with many people from fields I had never previously heard of. Being able to connect with these people made me realize that a career goal does not have to be a straight and narrow path, a traditional occupation, nor does it have to be limited. This experience helped me to realize that whatever career path I choose, I want traveling to be an essential component. Traveling for a job I love is now my goal, and studying abroad helped in making me realize that.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes!

Jennifer Fox

Research: Department of Psychology
Up one level
Jennifer Fox

Jennifer Fox

Hometown: Brookeville, MD
Major: Psychology
Minors: Sociology & English

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I have been working under Dr. Levy on a research project within the Laboratory for Personality, Psychopathology, and Psychotherapy Research.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I gained invaluable experience as a research assistant within Dr. Levy's lab.  Under his supervision I worked as a Trier Study Coordinator and was also a co-participant recruitment coordinator. As part of these positions, I worked directly with a clinical population on various studies, collecting valuable data. I am honored that I was able to contribute to our knowledge on psychological disorders by assisting with important studies. I was able to gain experience regarding working with participants and data, as well as working with various psychological measures and equipment.

"These experiences have allowed me to take my textbook knowledge from the classroom and apply it to real world studies and scenarios."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has given me skills that I can use in my academic career. I now have a working knowledge of SPSS as well as various psychological equipment. I now have experience working with a clinical population which has helped me tremendously in understanding mental health illnesses. These experiences have allowed me to take my textbook knowledge from the classroom and apply it to real world studies and scenarios. This opportunity has enhanced my understandings of psychology and has given me skills that can translate to a number of real world occupations after graduation.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My future career goal is to continue my education and receive a PhD, focusing my time on research within the field of medicine and mental health. This enrichment experience has tremendously helped me reach this goal. I now have invaluable research experience, including statistical analysis, working with participants, and running experiments. Not only will this help me stand out as a graduate school applicant, but I will also have viable research skills once I attend graduate school. I am excited that I was able to partake in such a wonderful opportunity that has given me vast research skills and has expanded my opportunities post-graduation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes!

Brendan Tomoschuk

Undergraduate Research
Up one level
Brendan Tomoschuk

Brendan Tomoschuk

Major: Linguistics
Minors: Italian & International Studies
Hometown: Glen Mills, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this opportunity online. The enrichment award helped me go to a conference to present my research in Montreal, Canada.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was able to travel for 3 days to Montreal to present my research at McGill University. At this international conference I presented a poster entitled "Priming effects in color perception in Greek-English and Russian-English Bilinguals." Staying right near the university, I was able to participate in every event that the conference put on. There were several talks and two poster sessions. Additionally, I was able to walk around Montreal to see a beautiful city that I had never visited before. I was also able to sample the food of the region, and meet several locals. Montreal is an incredibly interesting place that is unlike any city on this continent.

"This kind of experience gives me a significant advantage in that it shows I am capable of presenting my research."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This opportunity allowed me to disseminate my senior thesis, as well as network with several academics. In preparing for graduate school, this kind of experience gives me a significant advantage in that it shows I am capable of presenting my research in addition to running the study and analyzing the data. Furthermore, it gave me much to discuss in graduate school interviews. I know several new aspects of the literature and therefore have a much firmer grasp on aspects of a research-based graduate program. Additionally, it gave me the opportunity to perform even better in the lab environment here at Penn State. I now know many of the other aspects of the field to which my lab belongs.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

As previously stated, I plan on attending graduate school in order to pursue a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. The enrichment award has given me the opportunity to both practice the dissemination of my work and network with several fantastic academics in the field. As such, it gives me a much stronger foundation on which to build my graduate research. In applying, I can discuss my experience presenting work, as well as the conversations I have had with some of the most prominent members of the field.

Seth Godfrey

Study Abroad: IES Beijing
Up one level
Seth Godfrey

Hometown: Stewartstown, PA
Major: Chinese

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about the IES Beijing program through the Education Abroad section of the Penn State website. I found it to be an invaluable resource for finding, comparing, and applying to study abroad programs.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This was a language intensive program which means that every week we spent five hours a day in classes taught entirely in Chinese. In addition to this we were required to take two area studies courses taught in English. Outside of class we were subject to a 24/7 language pledge which required that we only spoke Chinese while on school grounds. We lived with Chinese roommates selected from the business school of the Beijing Foreign Studies University, which acted as our campus. Everything about this program was designed to promote students' immersion into the language and culture of Beijing.

"My time in Beijing has given me the language skills, cultural understanding, and self confidence necessary to return to China."

How did this experience impact you academically?

My time spent in this program has easily been the most strenuous of my academic career, while at the same time, the most fruitful. I spent many hours a day in the classroom, and even more were spent studying and preparing for daily quizzes designed to monitor students' progress. The IES staff are some of the most intelligent, helpful, and friendly educators I have ever studied under and I owe most of my extensive progress to their dedication and expertise. Even after class was finished, I found myself immersed in the language. Watching TV, ordering food, socializing, everything I did in my free time furthered my education more so than my work in the classroom as I learnt to focus my academic knowledge into real life communication skills. When I came to China, I had no idea of the amazing progress that this fantastic program would lead to.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My goal following graduation is to return to Beijing and continue my study of Mandarin Chinese while doing work in translation. The two major impacts my experience in China has made on these goals are as follows. First, my time in Beijing has given me the language skills, cultural understanding, and self confidence necessary to return to China at my leisure. What was once a strange and confusing place has now become like a second home to me. Secondly, during my time here I have had the pleasure of meeting many graduates of this program, and others like it, who have gone on to find careers using their Chinese knowledge.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

 

Yes.

William Dawson

Undergraduate Research: Department of Sociology
Up one level
William Dawson

William Dawson

Hometown: Dover, MA
Major: Economics & Sociology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I talked to a professor who I had for class in a prior semester, Dr. Jenny Trinitapoli who put me in contact with The Population Research Institute.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked as Research Assistant for Dr. Trinitapoli to open up a new line of research into a dataset she had recently gained access to. I dug through the data to produce descriptive statistics, recoded variables to eliminate missing cases and coding mistakes, and ran analyses on the data to find out more about the two Ghanaian communities where data collection occurred. I worked mostly independently, with weekly or biweekly meetings with Dr. Trinitapoli. It was my responsibility to not only complete the tasks given to me but to creatively move the research forward by using my own intuition, critical thinking skills, and curiosity. Eventually we had a compelling enough story that we applied to a conference, which I attended in November (Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in Boston, MA). There I presented our preliminary findings and received feedback on our approach and technique from other academics and graduate students. The project is now in the write-up phase, we are hoping to get a paper out of the work I've done since last May and we are optimistic this can be done.

"It was a great experience and my analytical, critical thinking, and data analysis skills improved a lot through the process."

How did this experience impact you academically?

I gained a lot of experience working with data, specifically the challenges faced by researchers and how to use Stata, a statistical manipulation software. Beyond that, I was able to focus on how a research project works, from the investigation phase to formulating hypotheses, testing them with statistical techniques, and drawing conclusions. I also gained experience in how to put together information succinctly when I prepared my weekly briefs for Dr. Trinitapoli. My writing skills improved and I also learned to communicate my results more clearly, an invaluable skill. Teamwork is my strong-point, but this project really helped me go through academic exercises mostly on my own, as I had very little direction most of the time. It was a great experience and my anaytical, critical thinking, and data analysis skills improved a lot through the process.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I have accepted an offer at Bates White, an Economic Consulting firm in Washington D.C. This project really helped me discover my love of working with data and finding out the 'story' it tells, which is really what Bates White does, just with economic data instead of demographic. Through working with Dr. Trinitapoli I found out that Economic Consulting was work that I would enjoy and I gained some skills (e.g. data manipulation) that are valued by employers, including Bates White. The experience made me a much stronger job candidate and I doubt I would have gained employment there had I not had the opportunity to do this work.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Keef Davidson

Internship: Americorps
Up one level
Keef Davidson

Hometown: Bellefonte, PA
Major: Psychology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was offered a full-time internship through the Women's Resource Center of Americorps and subsequently enrolled in LA 495 for credit.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my time at the Women's Resource Center of Americorps I worked on several different projects. One project in particular was the Point In Time count, which is a nationwide count of homeless people. I was designated to do the unsheltered count for Bellefonte and parts of State College. This means that I walked around and went to local businesses to try to find unsheltered homeless people. I did this twice, once in the fall and once just last month where I encountered several individuals. I also coordinate our hotline volunteers, coordinate volunteer events, co-facilitate support groups, counsel over the phone and in person, and I have been working on providing supportive services to Beaver Heights, a low-income housing development in Bellefonte. A typical day for me means that I am taking a lot of hotline calls, trying to get people to where they need to be, coordinating with my team, and working on anything that came through on the hotline the night before.

How did this experience impact you academically?

It has been a hectic year balancing a full-time internship and course load, but I have noticed a real connection with what I learn in the classroom to what I apply at the Center. I think the most helpful courses for my internship were my social psychology courses and a well-being psychology course. I really enjoy learning about aggression and how that can play a role in how someone acts and the processes of thought behind that, and I have been able to gain a first-hand look at this through the position.

"I have noticed a real connection with what I learn in the classroom to what I apply at the Center."

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I eventually want to become a counselor, yet haven't decided what specific field of counseling I want to go into. With the work that I did at the center, I had the opportunity to merge multiple types of counseling in one session, giving me the opportunity to learn about a variety of fields. When I was taking a call, or talking to a client, I could be working with them around anything from empowerment counseling to systems advocacy. During a call, I could be giving people referrals or I could be helping them make a plan for safety in a violent incident. This kind of variety was really helpful in preparing me for having to deal with things that are greatly unexpected.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Juliana Wade

Internship: Northampton County Prison
Up one level
Juliana Wade

Paterno Fellow
Major: Crime, Law, and Justice
Minors: Psychology, Sociology, & Political Science
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this internship through a family friend in order to fulfill my rehabilitation and human services major requirement.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

For several weeks, I have been working in a rotation in each of the departments within the Northampton County Prison. This rotation is scheduled in a way that I can observe the various responsibilities connected with each job position and department. So far, I have been monitoring inmate activities and behavior, including both supervision and inmate interactions. I have also assisted with the classification and reclassification of various inmates in order to assess their required security level and have entered their information into the Jail Management System. In addition, I have fingerprinted and photographed the incoming inmates in the Central Booking Center. Thus far I have become acquainted with the prison's policies and have gained experience with interpreting Court orders, remands, and releases. My next project will involve an analysis of past inmate records to learn if inmates with mental illness are more likely to recidivate than inmates without mental illness and to learn the average sentence length for an inmate with a mental illness.

"This internship exposed me to a variety of positions within the criminal justice field and made me even more confident in my plans for post-graduation."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This opportunity gave me real-world experience and has further educated me about working within the Department of Corrections. I learned case management skills, including the classification of inmates and their subsequent housing within the prison and how to administer the MMPI to inmates that are eligible for work release. It has afforded me a better understanding of criminal offenders and the criminal justice system. I have also assisted with fingerprinting and booking inmates, while learning how to complete the multiple forms that are included in the offender's case file. It has also been interesting to hear the personal stories from the various inmates and how their life choices/lack of resources has resulted in this interaction with the justice system.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My future plan after graduation includes applying for graduate programs with an emphasis in clinical psychology and mental health counseling, as well as obtaining my Juris Doctor. This internship exposed me to a variety of positions within the criminal justice field. I have worked with inmates with mental illnesses and have observed the issues that affect a large sum of the inmate population. Overall, this experience made me even more confident in my plans for post-graduation. It also made me realize that community interventions may be the most beneficial for at risk individuals so they do not fall into the cycle of violence.

Meilen Teklemichael

Model African Union
Up one level
Meilen Teklemichael

Meilen Teklemichael

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Majors: Psychology, Political Science, & African Studies

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this opportunity through the African Studies Department sponsored club known as the Model African Union Club at Penn State. Three representatives including myself attended the Model African Union in Washington D.C.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Upon arriving to the Model African Union you are split up into several different committees in which you prepared topic based resolutions, proposals for the conference. Once each representative from your committee receives a copy of your resolution all of the delegates search for resolutions with a common purpose in order to consolidate and propose a new resolution to the committee. The consolidation process requires the discussion of your country's current situation and struggles; we also decided the necessary structure that would be used in the consolidated resolution. Once each delegate in your group does this, the groups use the the new structure to draft another resolution to present to the entire committee. In a formal moderated caucus this resolution is proposed, debated, and amended. We then voted to see if the resolution would be passed to the general assembly. If passed, such as mine this year, the same formal moderated caucus procedures ensued.

"It was a great experience representing another country because it opens your mind to new opinions and perspectives."

How did this experience impact you academically?

The formal proceedings at the Model African Union conference were a great experience, teaching me the motions that actual AU and UN delegates perform in real-world situations every day. Proposing and debating the resolutions requires one to think critically and structure speeches in a nature that can be easily understood by everyone in attendance. It is a great experience in order to learn how to formally and appropriately work constructively with others, especially those with opposing views. The process also shows the difficulties in addressing serious issues and pushing different legislation when so many minds have the liberty to vote and express their opinions. It is a great experience representing another country because it opens your mind to new opinions and perspectives. I was able to gain real experience that I had only read about in my studies and improve my presentation skills through the proposal/debate of my resolution.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

The Model African Union provided me with a unique and once in a lifetime experience. It provided me with great experience of the field I wish to enter within International Politics and Security Studies. Passing legislation and assessing issues through various eyes and opinions is an invaluable skill that will aid me significantly in my career. This conference allowed me to apply what I learned in the classroom and put my mind to work as I proposed new plans and strategies. Such experiences are what I will talk about in future interviews in order to make my candidacy more appealing.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Casey Lynne Watt

Global Environmental Brigades
Up one level
Casey Lynne Watt

Casey Lynne Watt

Hometown: Collegeville, PA
Major: Biological Anthropology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I joined Global Brigades in the beginning of the year after going to the involvement fair. Once I heard that they go on brigades to other countries to work on a variety of projects, I became really interested.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The Penn State Global Environmental Brigade traveled to Darien, Panama for one week during spring break. We visited the indigenous community of Piriati Embera and built greenhouses for three of the families in that community. We had workshops that the women and some of the men from the community attended to teach them about sustainable agriculture methods such as composting, long-term planting methods, and waste management. We also got to learn a lot about their culture and the history of their community during a cultural day on the last day of visiting the community. As a supplement to the trip, our coordinator was generous enough to take us around Panama City and to see the Panama Canal. The trip was really eye-opening and definitely gave me a new perspective on how to live life and how I impact the environment and world around me.

"After going on this trip and learning more about ecology, I definitely want to incorporate conservation into my career goals."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience definitely showed me a whole other way of living and allowed me to experience a completely different culture than what I am used to. I believe with this new found knowledge, I have a more holistic perspective on how the world works and how each and every individual impacts it. I learned a lot about ecology and gained experience in teaching other people what I have learned. I worked with a great team of 17 other students and gained teamwork skills while learning how to communicate with people who speak different languages. I think all of these skills will culminate into enriching my academic experience and motivating me to work even harder.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I am planning on working as either a paleoanthropologist or primatologist. Essentially, I would like to research primate behavior and morphology. Before this trip, I had minimal knowledge about how conservation efforts could fit into my career plans. However, after going on this trip and learning more about ecology, I definitely want to incorporate conservation into my career goals. One avenue would be to connect the conservation of primates to human impact on their habitats. I believe there is a connection between what I want to do and conservation efforts, and am excited to explore this path. This experience also made me realize just how much I would like to travel as part of my career because it is essential to understanding the world in a holistic way.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Amanda Thoet

Undergraduate Research: English Department
Up one level
Amanda Thoet

Amanda Thoet

Hometown: Allentown, PA
Major: English and Communication, Arts, & Sciences
Minors: German and Rhetoric

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about my internship opportunity through meeting with Dr. Liz Jenkins who is in charge of coordinating internships for students in the English Department. Dr. Jenkins then matched me with an internship that fit my field of study and future career aspirations.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This is my second semester as an intern for Dr. Cheryl Glenn in the English Department at the Pennsylvania State University. I am one of four interns for Dr. Glenn and we all work directly with Ph.D. student, Laura Brown. As an intern, I have performed various research and editing tasks throughout the past two semesters. I have completed tasks such as analyzing articles about emotion and effect, copy editing the new version of the Harbrace Essentials, helping to complete Dr. Glenn’s Faculty Activity Report, and researching commonwealth campus English 015 and CAS 100 courses and other University Writing Programs. I also had the opportunity to attend Camp Rhetoric this past February and interact with current Ph.D. students and rhetoricians.

"This internship has given me experience during the school year that has provided me a competitive edge in the internship search over the summer."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship experience has dramatically influenced my academic writing and research skills. I have acquired research and editorial skills that have proven to be beneficial in my current coursework as an English and Communication Arts & Sciences undergraduate student. In addition, I have found that I have applied many of the new skills I have learned through this internship to my training as a Peer Tutor at the Writing Center.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I have applied for summer internships in the editorial field and this internship has definitely provided me with experience that potential employers deem worthy and significant. Therefore, this internship has given me experience during the school year that has provided me a competitive edge in the internship search. Furthermore, after my undergraduate career, I plan to apply for graduate school in the field of English studies. Therefore, this internship is not only helping my short-term goals but also my future career of working in the editorial field or as a professor.

Lasanthi Fernando

Global Brigades: Human Rights
Up one level
Lasanthi Fernando

Lasanthi Fernando

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Gaithersburg, PA
Major: Economics
Minor: Business in the Liberal Arts

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about Global Brigades at the Penn State Fall Involvement Fair.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

We provided legal assistance to rural communities in Panama (the province of El Tirao specifically). Legal assistance came in the form of working alongside Panamanian lawyers and by presenting legal speeches to the community; the speeches indicated the steps and procedures of obtaining divorces and alimonies. Additionally, we hosted talks with 2 schools (one middle school and one elementary school) where we spoke to the children about career choices, benefits of education and in general encouraging them to continue their studies because it opens the door for a better future. By the end of the week, we had begun 3 cases (one divorce case, one paternity case, and one alimony case).

"My spoken Spanish has improved immensely, I now have no difficulty speaking with a Spanish accent in class."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, though I only spent a week in Panama, my spoken Spanish has improved immensely! Prior to this trip, my spoken Spanish was a combination of Spanish words and English pronunciation. Through the help of our translators, I learned how to roll my R's and now have no difficulty speaking with a Spanish accent in my classes. Additionally, though this is not a direct academic influence, I have made connections with my fellow brigaders. I met someone who had taken an Economics course (which I'm currently taking) and he has been incredibly helpful with this class post-trip.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

Through this experience, I learned the general procedures to handling cases and interacting with clients. One thing that I had overlooked was the relationship between a lawyer and his client. Prior to this trip, I would have met with the client and begun talking about his/her case. After going to Panama, I saw that the first step taken by our lawyer was to build an amicable relationship with his client. He knew that some of them were embarrassed by their cases, thus only began to talk about the specifics of the case after he got to know them on friendlier terms (their lives, their children, their likes/dislikes).

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

John Macaulay

Study Abroad: IES European Union
Up one level
John Macaulay

Hometown: Chambersburg, PA
Major: Political Science
Minors: History and Global Studies

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity from a counselor at Global Programs. We were searching for possible programs and this one to Freiburg, Germany caught my eye because of the traveling involved.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I studied in Freiburg, Germany, a little town located in South Western Germany about 30 miles to both France and Switzerland. During my time in Freiburg we participated in mostly European Politics based courses. During the semester my courses included European Union Integration, European Political Cultures, European Foreign and Security Policy Analysis, Migration and Ethnic Minorities, and the required German language course. While also studying the European Union, were given the opportunity to do field study trips. The first took us to Berlin and Prague and the second to Luxembourg, Brussels, and Paris. For the final field study I chose to travel to Rome, Madrid, and Barcelona. While on field study trips we were required to attend many meetings with various government and non-government members to discuss problems within the EU or simply deepen our knowledge of what the EU is. Finally, one of the things that drew me most to this program was the opportunity to intern at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium after the semester is over. The internship is very selective but is well worth the time and effort put into it. Overall, I could not be happier with my decision to study abroad here in Freiburg, the people are great, the area is beautiful, and the opportunity to increase my knowledge and awareness of a different culture is more than I ever expected.

"I could not be happier with my decision to study abroad here in Freiburg, the people are great, the area is beautiful, and the opportunity to increase my knowledge and awareness of a different culture is more than I ever expected."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience opened my eyes to a field that I had never even thought about before. I had heard very little about what the European Union is before I came to Freiburg and getting to widen my knowledge on a little known topic to those outside the EU is a very rewarding experience. I am very happy to be in such an academically rigorous program because I feel that I am learning an immense amount every day. The field study trips really rounded out the program because I was able to see the places I learned about in the classroom with my own eyes.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I plan on attending Law School after graduation. I had never before specialized in International Relations but I feel that this program has opened my mind to other people and cultures that I never would have thought about before. I now understand the complexities of different cultures and studying abroad offered me a great chance to “debunk stereotypes” about Europeans. I believe this program will continue to help me as I progress in my career as a lawyer and I hope that I will always be able to understand people and their unique cultures.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Kelsey Tamborrino

Study Abroad: University of Leeds
Up one level
Kelsey Tamborrino

Hometown: Easton, PA
Major: English
Minor: International Studies

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Very early on I started looking into study abroad programs through the Global Studies website. At the time, I thought I wanted to study abroad in London, but after searching the possible destinations, reading different GeoBlogs from various locations and weighing my options, I decided on Leeds, England.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Arriving in Leeds was a whirlwind experience. Leeds is a small city in Northern England, where the accent is thick and the people are genuinely nice. Classes in Leeds consist of lectures and seminars every week. The seminars provide us the chance to discuss topics in smaller groups. All in all, it was intensive work, but a lot of the reading and research occurred outside of the classroom as well. Outside of schoolwork, the nightlife and atmosphere in Leeds is flourishing. I have made plenty of British and exchange student friends, and it's hard to find a night when there is nothing to do. Leeds also presented me with the opportunity to travel for the entire month of April, for the Easter holidays. Because of this, I have the chance to travel wherever I want in the world before returning back to Leeds for exams. As I write this, I am in Vienna. I travelled to Geneva and Munich and next week I'll be in Budapest, Barcelona, Italy and Amsterdam. If that's not incredible enough, I've already travelled to other counties and areas of England on weekends throughout the semester. Travelling from country to country is so much more affordable and easy when abroad. But mostly, my experience has provided me with so many interesting stories and I've learned so much. Whether it is the people I meet or the classes I take, every day I feel myself changing and growing.

"My career goals revolve around the realm of storytelling. Whether in books, or through newspapers, I want to help publish the written word."

How did this experience impact you academically?

While I am only taking three classes in Leeds, each provides intensive work. Being in the classroom with students from England has certainly changed my perspective. For example, I'm taking a class on reporting on British politics and it is filled with native English students. Their perspective on their nation and how it relates to their perspective of America is enlightening. The classroom environment in Leeds allows me to step outside of myself and see subject matter with new eyes. In my English class, I am exposed to new authors and I get to participate in discussions on poems and books with people who have grown up on a different side of the world. It's interesting to see how literature affects people, no matter where they are born. Essentially, academics while abroad have forced me to manage my time better, especially if I want to travel on weekends, but they also open by eyes to a new way of learning. A new culture is a wonderful thing and it certainly opens the door to new ways of thinking.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

After I graduate from Penn State, I hope to get a job in the publishing industry. Books have always been a passion of mine and the industry is a way to blend that love, with my love of journalism and editing. In such a field, I get to help an author tell a story. In simple terms, my career goals revolve around the realm of storytelling. Whether in books, or through newspapers, I want to help publish the written word. Being abroad, I have met so many interesting people and have experienced a great deal of new things. Studying abroad has helped me to open my eyes and create my own story, so to speak. Any advance in creativity is an advance in my career path. As I grow as a person, I grow as a writer and a thinker, all of which will help my future endeavors.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes

Nikita Mann

Study Abroad: CIEE: Prague, Central European Studies
Up one level
Nikita Mann

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Majors: International Politics, Global Studies, and Chinese
Minor: Global Security

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through research on the Penn State Global Education Abroad website. Additionally, members of my sorority had studied abroad as well and greatly enjoyed it, encouraging me to do the same.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience thus far in the Czech Republic has been profound. This culture is amazing and has helped me grow in ways that I could have never imagined. By exploring the city by myself I was able to interact with locals and improve my Czech. I enjoy learning about cultures and learning new languages; being able to speak such a difficult language like Czech has been a great accomplishment for me. Prague is one of the most beautiful and amazing cities and I know in the future I will definitely return to visit all the locals I befriended during my experience.

"The exposure studying abroad has provided me with through experiences with different languages, unfamiliar customs, and foreign countries will characterize me as an asset to future companies."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically this experience helped me to understand time-management better. It is difficult traveling and maintaining course-work, but studying abroad helps you to understand time management skills that you would not have known before. When you are studying at home you typically do not have to factor in elements such as foreign transportation, foreign language, and maintaining a travel schedule that works with your academic responsibilities. It was very challenging but it has helped me realize the importance of time management and prioritizing my work and stabilizing my work ethic.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

With majors in International Politics, Global and International Studies, and Chinese, studying abroad is the best thing I can do in terms of my career goals. I desire to travel and work in different diplomatic agencies or governmental agencies as a future career. The exposure studying abroad has provided me with through experiences with different languages, unfamiliar customs, and foreign countries will characterize me as an asset to future companies or agencies that I would aspire to work with. Because my major focuses on global studies and national security, experiencing time in another country, learning a new language, and adapting to a foreign culture is undoubtedly something that will only assist me in my future career objectives.

Samantha Baskin

Penn State Center for Democratic Deliberation
Up one level
Samantha Baskin

Hometown: Quakertown, PA
Major: Economics
Minor: Political Science

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity after a meeting at the College of the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Networkwhere I was notified of the position’s availability.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my time with the Center for Democratic Deliberation, I improved upon my written and oral communication skills while working on the projects I was assigned. I wrote several pieces for the CDD, including monthly blog posts for Voices of Democracy (a website sponsored by the CDD in conjunction with the Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership), short articles for the CDD’s annual newsletter, and various website edits. In mid-August, I plan on acting as a moderator in the State College Public Issues Forum, and will have formal training in preparation for doing so. My time at the CDD has been rewarding, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from various Penn State faculty and scholars.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this experience has greatly improved my writing capabilities. I have been able to hone my stylistic writing skills and grammatical accuracy by having my work edited by my supervisor, who always gave me constructive feedback to help me improve. The projects I was assigned while with the CDD also helped me develop my abilities to direct my writing to different audiences. I worked on a project where I composed blog posts for Voices of Democracy which aimed to help educators better teach major oratory pieces from the past century. Additionally, my time at the CDD has allowed me to improve upon my time management skills, as many of my projects were assigned deadlines.

"My time at the CDD has been rewarding, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from various Penn State faculty and scholars."

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I am not sure what I want to do in the future. As an Economics major, there are several career paths that I may embark on, though I am not positive which one I will end up choosing. My time at the CDD helped prepare me for working at a professional organization. I’ve learned how to network, how to interact with supervisors, and how to produce quality materials in a timely fashion in order to meet deadlines. This internship experience is something that I would not trade away, as it has allowed me to develop as a student, a professional, and an individual.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes

Stacey Kim

CIEE: Cape Town
Up one level
Stacey Kim

Hometown: Exton, PA
Major: Labor Studies and Employment Relations
Minor: Dispute Management Resolution

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first discovered this program researching through the Global Studies search engine. This tool helped me find several possible options that seemed like great possibilities. I discovered a Cape Town program and spoke to a few students who had gone in previous years. After getting some good reviews and doing additional research, Cape Town soon became my top choice for my spring semester study abroad experience!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Cape Town is an amazing destination for a semester abroad experience. This city has the perfect elements to truly immerse oneself in a different and unique culture. With such rich history, including the social and ethical issues of Apartheid as well as the economical struggles and class differences, there are so many layers to the city and country that I am always discovering and embracing new things! This is such an exciting period to be studying in Cape Town, especially with their 20th year of democracy approaching and a new presidential election, the politics and social issues are much more pressing at this time. However, this is not to say that I am only learning about the history of this country, but also living and keeping up with the present time. Capetonians love their city, and provide opportunities to celebrate and be involved with ongoing events such as Pride, Cycle races, Carnivale, HOLIone festivals and much more. For example, the Cape Town Carnivale, themed "Imagination," was a parade created, managed, and performed by citizens solely to celebrate their wonderful city.

"I believe studying abroad will help anyone who is thinking of continuing their education beyond their undergraduate degree because studying at a different university offers you a new perspective on education."

How did this experience impact you academically?

One of the most important things I learned from attending the University of Cape Town is to appreciate all types of academia. This university teaches and grades on a completely different scale then I am used to at Penn State. For one, they use a different grading system, and the majority of your grades are based on essays and essay formatted exams. They are much more centered around research-based and theory supported teachings. This helped expand my writing abilities and allowed me to practice writing research supported essays that were tailored to different teachings and styles. I believe studying abroad will help anyone who is thinking of continuing their education beyond their undergraduate degree because studying at a different university provides you with an idea of what it would be like to attend another university later on.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

The University of Cape Town is one of the most elite schools in Africa, ranked in the top of world universities. Attending this prestigious school opened my eyes to see how many students cherish the opportunities granted to them. This opportunity furthered my desire to attend graduate school. It gave me more realistic ideas and goals of where I want to be within the next five years and then the next ten years. One of the most truly open conversations I had was during my home stay with a young man. He expressed how lucky I was to be able to come and study here in Cape Town. We had been talking about racial issues and affirmative action, and then he asked me to not forget about the little town of Oceanview who hosted home stay students. He asked for us to come back, take what we learned in America and what we learned at UCT and create, provide, and manage jobs for South Africans. That conversation truly inspired me to return to South Africa or another country and help bring new ideas and jobs for those in regions much like Cape Town.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes

Melissa Rae

Model African Union
Up one level
Melissa Rae

Melissa Rae

Hometown: State College, PA
Majors: International Politics and African Studies
Minors: French, International Studies, and Global Security

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this opportunity through the African Studies Department’s sponsored club known as the Model African Union Club at Penn State. Three representatives including myself attended the Model African Union in Washington D.C.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Upon arriving to the Model African Union all students are split into separate committees. In preparation for the conference, everyone prepared their own resolutions, it was at this time that we dispersed them to our committee. The delegates then read through the various solutions to find a common purpose. We consolidated and proposed a new, overarching resolution to the committee. The consolidation process required each person to express the opinions of their representative countries and articulate the arguments they would have toward the resolution. In a formal moderated caucus this resolution is proposed, debated, and amended. It then passes to “voting” to see if it will be passed to the general assembly. If passed, such as mine was this year, the same formal moderated caucus procedures will ensue.

"It was interesting to watch as so many unique minds debate and express their opinions on such important legislation."

How did this experience impact you academically?

The formal of the Model African Union offered a great experience in learning the real motions that are utilized by AU and UN delegates every day. Proposing and debating the resolutions required each of us to construct speeches that were tailored to a wide audience. This helped teach the model delegates how to work constructively with others, especially others of opposing views. This process also showed the difficulties when addressing such serious issues. It was interesting to watch as so many unique minds debate and express their opinions on such important legislation. Taking on the persona of a foreign delegation allowed me to open my mind and act on the behalf of others. I was able to gain real experiences that I had only read about in my studies. Additionally, I improved my presentation skills through the proposal/debate of my resolution.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

The Model African Union provided me with a unique and once in a lifetime experience that I will cherish as long as I am eligible to participate. It provides great experience into the field I wish to enter within International Politics and Security Studies. Passing legislation and assessing issues through various eyes and opinions is an invaluable skill that will aid me significantly in my career. Such experiences are what I will explain to my future employers as a critical aspect of my qualifications.

Teressa Hamsher

Study Abroad: Israel
Up one level
Teressa Hamsher

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Nazareth, PA
Majors: Psychology and International Politics
Minor: Spanish

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience though the Schreyer Honors College Listserv promoting the Distinguished Honors Faculty Dinners. A professor in attendance, Dr. Ann-Killebrew, was offering a Spring Break travel opportunity to Israel.

Tell us a little bit about your experience

My experience in Israel was nothing short of awe-inspiring. While I had travelled abroad before, I had never travelled to a place that holds so much meaning for many different types of people. It was sobering to go to sites where people had waited their whole lives to attend, pray, and be close to their God. Also, I was able to experience a wildly different culture from my own. The Middle East has very different expectations and social norms, especially for women, and I grew as a global student by learning these norms and being sensitive to them through my dress and actions. Of course the food and landscapes were amazing, but the historical, spiritual, and personal value of the different places we went is what truly defined my experience.

"I gained a very scholarly knowledge base on the history of Israel and the Middle East through lectures and museums, but was also able to witness it for myself."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I was positively impacted, especially as an International Politics student. The role that Israel plays in the Middle East is integral to understanding modern International Relations. The creation of Israel is one of the most cataclysmic events in modern history, and the reaction of the surrounding areas to Israel has complicated and revolutionized relations in the Middle East, as well as US relations with these other countries. While we were in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem, these political factors were largely and visually at play, and my professor made a point of explaining them when she needed to. Therefore, I gained a very scholarly knowledge base on the history of Israel and the Middle East through lectures and museums, but was also able to witness it for myself.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My career plans include working with women, hopefully internationally, in a legal or humanitarian aspect. Going to an area of the world where the role of women is very different from the United States, I was able to gain a stronger understanding for how women are viewed, how they view themselves, and how this impacts their ability to thrive. I think it is often a misconception of “The West” that women in different areas of the world are seriously oppressed, but travelling to Israel showed me that one must understand the religious and cultural context before passing judgment on what oppression means. This taught me a very important lesson which I believe will make me more successful with my career goals in the future.

Timothy Sullivan

Study Abroad: University of Minnesota Montpellier Integrated Program
Up one level
Timothy Sullivan

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Harleysville, PA
Majors: Psychology and French
Minor: Dance

How did you learn about this opportunity?

From the start of my studies at Penn State, I knew I was going to study abroad. I first found out about the Montpellier Integrated program by searching through the Global Programs website, however, what really solidified my decision to choose this program was talking with other students. Additionally I discussed programs with French faculty members and Peer Advisers at the Education Abroad office; the culmination of all of my research pointed to the program that best matched my needs of language immersion, instruction quality, and atmosphere.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

While incredibly cliché to say, this experience has been life changing for me. I discovered so many things about myself that I never knew before. I have formed so many new relationships and have been exposed to so many diverse and interesting people. Each of them has taught me something that I can take with me. I have taken on a new perspective and view my country, my culture, and my own life differently. Living in a foreign country teaches you humility as you struggle to find the words to order something in another language or are forced to make hilarious hand gestures to get your point across. I have lived each day with gratitude knowing that each new thing I encounter, each new conversation I have, and each new thing I learn helps me evolve into a better person. The opportunity to travel to immensely different locations has been an eye opening experience as I have voyaged to see places I have only learned about in history textbooks. I have gotten to see and to observe with a critical eye the stereotypes that are circulated throughout the respective French and American cultures and form my own opinions about their validity. I have had long conversations over a dinner with my host family and have helped strangers with navigation in a completely different location, and have occasionally been mistaken for a French person. In all, this experience has given me insight into a world I have never known and strive to learn more about.

"I have a broader perspective in regards to my own culture, which can help me take on different perspectives in other domains of my life. With the ever-growing possibility of international research/collaboration, this experience will no doubt prove beneficial for me."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Studying at a French university has certainly been an academic challenge for me. The higher education systems in the United States and France are very different, so it took a good bit of time getting used to the way everything operates in France (and, of course, the fact that all of my classes were completely in French). I found that I was always comparing the United States and France when I was at Paul Valéry University in Montpellier because they are in fact so different. I found myself having to work harder on assignments because of the additional language barrier. The grades they assign here are on a scale of 0 through 20, so adapting to the grading scale was something so simple but definitely necessary from the get go. They teach very differently in France; it was at first difficult getting used to a new method of learning that differed from the way I approach each of my courses in the United States. I found that I was working harder towards my work, but in a different way. Each class required additional energy so that I could understand the lecture in a different language. The most important attribute to this program, however, is that my French has improved dramatically from taking university courses in Montpellier. I can speak, read, and write on a completely higher level, which will only help me in my future studies and beyond.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

For me, French is just a passion. My primary major is Psychology, so I plan on continuing onto graduate school after Penn State to pursue a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Another potential career path for me would be to obtain a Masters of Social Work. However, I have also considered joining the Peace Corps to volunteer abroad for 27 months once I graduate from Penn State. While my experience in France may not contribute directly to these potential professions (depending on what is involved with each or if there are international components), the skills I have learned from studying abroad will no doubt be an asset to me. Now, I am very attentive to communication as I have had to put forth an extra effort to do so in the past few months. I have learned to take initiative and deal with times of stress, particularly from my experiences travelling with groups. I have a broader perspective in regards to my own culture, which can help me take on different perspectives in other domains of my life. With the ever-growing possibility of international research/collaboration, this experience will no doubt prove beneficial for me.

Mary Fisk

Study Abroad: IES Paris, French Studies Program
Up one level
Mary Fisk

Hometown: Susquehanna, PA
Majors: French and German Studies

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this program by reviewing programs on PSU Global Programs and speaking with my advisor.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Studying in Paris was a great cultural experience and I thoroughly enjoyed my fellow students and professors while in Paris. While in Paris, I moved from one homestay to the other. The Housing Coordinator at IES Paris was very helpful and my new host family was terrific. I lived one block from the Champs-Elysees, a two-minute walk from a metro stop, and my biggest difficulty was trying to decide which historic landmark, museum, park, etc. to visit each day. I was very studious while there and it paid off well in terms of my grades. I do wish I had traveled a bit more, but I did get to know Paris very, very well. I have to say that I made some great friends for life and they were, quite honestly, the best part of the whole experience.

How did this experience impact you academically?

It was invaluable because I got to see the history and culture of Paris that we were studying in my classes. I took two history classes, in architecture and the city of Paris, and we went on five "class trips" around Paris for each class. The History of Paris class was fantastic and that was all because of our professor, Claude Rabate. He is a walking historical encyclopedia of Paris history and he was able to give us personal anecdotes from his life and point out historical landmarks that you would never have seen or known about otherwise. Absolutely invaluable!

"I have to say that I made some great friends for life and they were, quite honestly, the best part of the whole experience."

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I would like to teach at a university level once I have completed my graduate studies. I also plan on studying abroad again, this time in Germany, next spring. I firmly believe you cannot be the most effective professor possible if you have not visited the land of the language and/or which you are teaching. My first French professor studied abroad as well many years ago and I found her experiences that she shared with us to still be true today. It helped immensely in that I had some idea of what to expect and what might be expected of me.

Caitie Bernson

Internship: PA Office of the Attorney General
Up one level
Caitie Bernson

Hometown: Mountain Lakes, NJ
Major
: Crime, Law, and Justice

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this experience from the Criminal Justice office through their news and announcement emails. I talked to a friend who participated in this program before and decided to apply.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As a non-legal intern at the PA Office of the Attorney General-Bureau of Consumer Protection, I had the responsibilities to mediate consumer complaints that were filed with our office. These complaints were sent when consumers believed that they were treated wrongly by a business or if they believed the business was participating in bad or fraudulent behaviors. From here, we would investigate the claims to see what we could do further for the consumer. On a typical day, I contacted consumers about their complaints, sent out letters, investigated the business, and even alerted participating parties of changes in the complaint. I then tried to mediate the situation so that both parties were satisfied with the outcome. This was a great experience because I was doing important work and investigating consumer claims for the office.

"This internship has allowed me to become a more rounded professional in this field, as I now have experience working with classified government documents and handling my own case files."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Overall, this internship has been more rewarding that I originally expected. For one, I was able to plan my days and hours of my internship around my classes. All majors are accepted into this program, so I did not use direct skills I learned in my criminology courses. Instead, as an intern you must have good interpersonal skills. From this experience alone, I have noticed a great difference in my overall communication skills—whether written or oral—as I have gained insight in negotiating and listening, and have been able to eliminate any nerves while talking to individuals. Secondly, this internship has allowed me to manage my time and become more organized, which has definitely helped me academically. As a mediator, multiple complaint files are assigned to us to manage and resolve. From this, I have become more prepared, organized, and have learned to management my time better. All of these transferable skills allowed me to become more successful in my courses.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

For my future, I hope to work for the government or a large corporation and help investigate situations. I have always been interested in security and criminal justice, so any path that will allow me to do that is currently my goal. While I don’t have concrete plans for after graduation, at the moment, I know this is the course of action I would like to take. The internship alone has been very beneficial—for a related career or even for a career outside of this filed—since I have gained so much out of my experience. My new communication skills will be beneficial in any career. I have become a stronger writer, communicator, negotiator, and team player. In another sense, this internship has allowed me to become a more rounded professional in this field, as I now have experience working with classified government documents and handling my own case files. Any career choice will see this and know that I am an honest and trustworthy candidate.

Katelyn Basalla

Internship: Penn State University Police
Up one level
Katelyn Basalla

Hometown: Port Matilda, PA
Major: Crime, Law, and Justice
Minor: Sociology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

One day while working diligently in the Penn State Auxiliary Police office, I was approached by, Stephen Shelow, the Assistant Vice President of Police & Public Safety at Penn State and he asked me if I ever thought about completing an internship for my Crime, Law & Justice degree. I proceeded to tell him I was looking into various local departments and the programs they had to offer, but did not start applying to any positions. After a few questions, I was then officially asked by Shelow to participate in the mentorship intern program at Penn State Police which was developed as a learning experience for students pursuing a career in law enforcement. I was extremely honored to be asked to participate in this wonderful opportunity and could not wait to start my internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an intern at Penn State Police, I have been able to learn a great amount of useful law enforcement information. My internship shifts consisted of ride alongs with assigned patrol officers, working with Detectives in the Criminal Investigation Unit and communicating with the public in the dispatch center. I definitely learned something new on every shift and experienced police work in a very practical way. I was able to write traffic citations, write non-traffic citations, write warning cards, type incident reports, communicate over the radio, process evidence, fingerprint individuals, take pictures, observe roadside field sobriety tests, witness hospital procedures, transporting people to the county jail, sit in on interviews and feel the effects from pepper spray mist. I was also able to work various events on campus including the Jay-Z Concert, Kanye West Concert, State Patty's Day and the Blue & White Football Game. These were all interesting experiences because I was able to see all of these events from a police perspective. All of the Penn State Police employees turned this internship program into a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.

"I am very confident in my decision because my internship at Penn State Police helped me focus on a specific career path."

How did this experience impact you academically?

The best part about my internship experience was that I was able to learn in a hands-on setting compared to the everyday classroom lecture. I always felt like I was in the shoes of a police officer during my internship shifts which allowed me to obtain an immense amount of law enforcement knowledge. I was completely engaged in each incident I responded to and every case I helped investigate. I asked numerous questions because I viewed my assigned officers as my professors for the semester. I also had the chance to integrate my observations and acquired information into many different class assignments. I believe it is important to be able to participate in an internship opportunity, but it is just as important to relate the practical experiences to relevant coursework.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

After graduation, I plan to continue to pursue a career in law enforcement as a police officer. I am very confident in my decision because my internship at Penn State Police helped me focus on a specific career path. I am also keeping my doors open to other exciting opportunities including: Liquor Control Enforcement, Parole & Probation, Corrections, and even Casino Security Departments. I have received an outstanding education here at Penn State and the completion of this internship will look excellent on any job application. This internship at Penn State Police could ultimately be the deciding factor between me and another candidate receiving a job offer for a department. My academic achievements range from in the classroom to in the real-world and I cannot describe how thankful I am to have been given the opportunity to be an intern at Penn State Police.

Ashley Clauer

Study Abroad: Montpellier, France
Up one level
Ashley Clauer

Hometown: State College, PA
Major: World Language Education (French)

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Given that I have a major in World Language Education, it is required for me to spend a semester studying abroad. Knowing that from the beginning of my first year at Penn State, I tried to get as much input as I could in order to ensure that I was picking the program that was best for me. I spoke to three advisors: Dr. Heather McCoy in the Department of French and Francophone Studies, Ms. Kathleen Shannon in the College of Education, and an advisor in the Global Programs office. I also spoke with a few different students who were past participants of the program, all of whom spoke very highly of their experience in Montpellier. I also did research online on the Global Programs website to read about what types of classes were offered, if there was a homestay option, and how the costs differed.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This semester, I am studying abroad in Montpellier, France. The program I am participating in is run through the University of Minnesota, although there are students from a wide variety of universities here that are participating in the program. There were two options I could choose from: Integrated Studies or Language and Culture. I chose Integrated Studies, which allows me to take classes with French students at Paul Valèry University. Due to the courses offered and what I found interesting, I am only taking one integrated course and four courses that are specifically designed for American students.

In addition, I am living with a host family in the suburb of Le Crès. My host parents are both elementary school teachers and are incredibly patient with my developing language skills. They have also gone out of their way to ensure that I experience traditional French dishes and see some of the local sites.

I have had the opportunity to travel to several different places throughout France and Europe and am looking forward to even more traveling before I leave in a month. I have been to Paris, Brussels, Toulouse, Nice, Venice, Rome, Chamonix, and Marseille, along with many other places. I am most looking forward to my trip to Morocco in the beginning of May that has been organized through my program here.

"I think this semester has given me an invaluable insight into the cultural differences and the values that drive those differences. I will definitely use my experiences in my future classroom to help my students understand French culture."

How did this experience impact you academically?

I came to France with the main goal of improving my proficiency in the French language. Many of my classes have helped me with that, especially my phonetics class here. In taking phonetics here with a French professor, I have pinpointed some pronunciation errors that I have been continuously making and have learned how to correct them. In addition, living with a host family has been incredibly helpful. They will always make sure to include me in conversation and help me develop my vocabulary. They also will gently make corrections when I make grammatical mistakes. I have noticed that, over the last few months, my comprehension level has increased and I can respond quicker as well.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

Given that I want to be a French teacher at the secondary level, the language skills that I have developed here are essential to my career goals. However, I have also had the opportunity to learn about the French culture from being immersed in it daily and getting to know the French people. I think this semester has given me an invaluable insight into the cultural differences and the values that drive those differences. I will definitely use my experiences in my future classroom to help my students understand French culture beyond all of the stereotypes that exist. If anything, this semester has reinforced my desire to share my passion for the French language with my future students.

Erik Kerns

Embedded Course: Curacao
Up one level
Erik Kerns

Hometown: Harrisburg, PA
Major: Psychology
Minor: Marine Biology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this opportunity by meeting with my Marine Science Minor advisor, Iliana Baums, who runs the trip. She suggested this course would help me to fulfill my future goals in Marine Science.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had an amazing experience throughout this spring break trip to Curacao. The people I went with were great, Curacao was beautiful, and I learned a lot about coastal biology and the culture on the island. Every day we were either doing research in the water or traveling the island to learn about its culture and biology. Everyone had to write a research proposal before going on the trip. When we got to Curacao, we sat down in panels and decided which research projects we would focus on; mine was selected along with 5 others. The projects took place on coral reefs, in mangroves, and in a lab on the island. We did not use SCUBA, so we snorkeled at all of the cites. I am SCUBA certified, so in some ways snorkeling made it more difficult to conduct some of the research, especially when it required us to dive to deep depths. But, I am glad that I had this experience because it has made me an all-around better diver. The only complaint that I have about trip is that it was too short.

"I did not just learn about coastal biology, I had hands-on experience with it and learned how to conduct research on it."

How did this experience impact you academically?

I learned a lot during this trip. I learned so much more than I would have sitting in a classroom. I did not just learn about coastal biology, I had hands-on experience with it and learned how to conduct research on it. I also learned a lot about myself and the culture on the island. Learning about biology in a classroom is not enough. It's important to experience it and that is what I did on this trip. I feel like I learned a semester's worth of material in a week's span of time. From talking to people who lived on the island, I learned a lot about their culture, education system, and their day to day lives. This gave me another perspective on life, which helped me grow as an individual.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I am a Psychology major with a minor in Marine Science. Psychology is a great field and offers a lot of opportunity, but my passion is in Marine Science. This trip helped me to realize this even more. My challenge is figuring out how to use my degree to fulfill my goal as a Marine Scientist. This trip showed me what research is like in Marine Science. Some of it is fun, but other parts are cumbersome. Knowing this will affect what direction I go in when I apply to graduate school in the future.

Brittany Colton

Global Brigades: Panama
Up one level
Brittany Colton

Brittany Colton

Hometown: Troy, PA
Major: Anthropology
Minors: Latin and Sociology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I am the current President of Global Brigades and am responsible for motivating other students and encouraging them to go on our yearly trips.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The experience was unbelievable! For anyone who is interested in working for human rights or in the non-profit field in the future, I would definitely recommend going on a Global Brigades trip! I was able to work with Panamanian lawyers to provide pro-bono legal assistance in rural communities. Many of the problems these families faced seemed to be issues that we don't necessarily deal with in America. For instance, we dealt with families looking for divorces, child payments, and alimony. In America, we know exactly how to go about getting all of these done, while many Panamanians do not know their basic legal rights. It was a great experience being able to help with that.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have really been considering attending law school in the near future and this experience allowed me to realize the passion I have for law and the exact path I would like to take to achieve my academic goals. As an anthropology major, I felt it was necessary for me to travel to another country to experience a different culture. By traveling with Global Brigades, I was able to mesh my passion for pro-bono legal work and my love of working in diverse cultures. Furthermore, my minor in Latin helped me with speaking Spanish in Panama.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

While I mentioned above that I love law and have been considering law school in the future, I am currently enlisted in an Americorps program called City Year. I will be working in Miami this upcoming school year to keep middle/high school students in school and on track for graduation. After my year of service, I plan on getting my MSW. As for the future, I'd love to become a forensic social worker. This would allow me to incorporate my desire to work in a legal profession even though I won't technically be a lawyer. I also plan on working for the Peace Corps in the future, but I am unsure when that would be.

Shannon Greenbaum

Internship: The Malini Foundation
Up one level
Shannon Greenbaum

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Carlisle, PA
Major: Undecided

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I began my preliminary internship in the fall of my freshman year after receiving an email from the Honors College Career Service department about a potential internship with the Malini Foundation. All colleges send out emails that detail certain internship, job or volunteer opportunities. It is important for students to read these emails because this is how I was able to discover my internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The experience has been one long learning curve. I was put in charge of PR and social media management for the Malini Foundation (something I know very little about) and had to spend a lot of time researching. I researched social media management tools, learned how to use Excel, and posted weekly blogs about my experience in the Honors College. I also created blogs about my interviews with various partners of the Malini Foundation. I was also very busy this semester with different clubs and organizations and 21 credits and had to learn time management skills. There were various times when I did get off track and I had to learn to be accepting of helpful criticism.

"The Malini Foundation internship helped me to realize that I do have a passion for PR and am very good with working to organize people and trips. It also solidified my belief that I belong in the College of the Liberal Arts  and that the majors they provide align with my interests."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience not only allowed me to get 2 credits academically but also helped me to develop skills that will assist me in my future academic career. I had to learn time management and how to prioritize, with so much on my plate it was a crucial part of my internship. I was also brought into contact with many Schreyer administrators which was a great networking opportunity. I also became very interested in the study abroad aspect of working with the Malini Foundation (a two week trip to Sri Lanka) and am thinking about traveling to Sri Lanka with the Malini Foundation for more credit.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

Currently, as a freshman I am still undecided with both my major and minor. I took a gap year in between high school and college which I thought would help me determine my future career goals but it made little impact. The Malini Foundation internship helped me to realize that I do have a passion for PR and am very good with working to organize people and trips. It also solidified my belief that I belong in the College of the Liberal Arts  and that the majors they provide align with my interests. I hope to continue my work with PR and non-profits in the future with the Malini Foundation and other organizations. I also hope to continue my weekly blooging as it is something that I have become accustomed to and enjoy.

Christopher Damiano

Internship: Impressions WHQ
Up one level
Christopher Damiano

Hometown: State College, PA
Major: Communication, Arts, and Sciences
Minor: Business

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this internship through word of mouth and networking. My father is friends with a business owner who is a client of Impressions and he has them manage all of his marketing, advertising, and trade show exhibits. I was put in touch with my father's friend who gave me the contact info for Impressions when I told him I was looking for a local internship. I sent my resume and cover letter to the company and was invited in for an interview.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Impressions is a full-service marketing and advertising agency. In my internship experience, all the interns participated in orientation for the first couple days we were in the office. We all had different schedules based on our classes, but we were in the office at least 15 hours per week. We were given assignments based on what the staff decided to task us with. I participated in the account management internship and therefore took part in planning a couple events hosted at the office, made sales calls, and developed and executed sales campaigns. As time went on my administrative skills were recognized and I was able to retool the company's properties management system that governed the distribution and return of rental trade show displays.

"This internship has given me insight into how businesses operate and communicate within themselves, amongst other businesses, and eventually to customers."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Some of the things I learned included proper business communication etiquette. When corresponding via email, I was always encouraged to respond to every email I received even if it is just a confirmation of receipt of the message. A simple, "Thanks for letting me know, I will take care of this immediately." is like grease between the wheels and lets other people move forward with the knowledge that their message was received. I also learned how to develop campaign strategies and tactics. I was doing this mainly in regards to sales, so tactics often included emails, phone calls, and drop-ins to businesses. The entire semester I was watching the inner workings of a business-to-business company operate and I was able to compare and contrast this with a business-to-customer company, which would seek to expand in different ways.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I hope to move into the entertainment and music industry after I graduate. Specifically I would like the position of a road manager to a major musical artist; I possess the skills necessary to operate audio mixing consoles, manage merchandise, and design stage lighting. This internship has given me insight into how businesses operate and communicate within themselves, with other businesses, and eventually to customers. The interaction I have had with clients at my internship gave me experience in how to comport myself when communicating with other business professionals. This will be greatly applicable in the music industry as I will constantly be working to expand my personal network and maintain relationships. Recently I was offered a position as a merchandise manager and lighting designer with a nationally touring band. With inventory not always being a commonly understood task by those who have worked with this band in the past, I was able to highlight my experience constructing the properties management procedure at my internship site in order to convince my interviewers that I understood the importance of record keeping and logistics and was able to implement these skills usefully in the position I was later offered.

Aaron Nadolsky

Internship: Penn State Athletics
Up one level
Aaron Nadolsky

Hometown: Altoona, PA
Major: Communication, Arts, and Sciences
Minor: Sociology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned of this opportunity through my former internship with Penn State Cross Country Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan, who suggested it would be a good idea to intern with the Director of Operations of Penn State Athletics to get a better understanding of the administrative portion of coaching as a career.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was actually a lot of fun and very educational. My work days were often split up due to a constantly changing schedule. Some days I would be working in the office. This could include filing papers, doing projects for the coaches, researching prospective recruits, and many other tasks that are essential to maintaining an athletic program. One specific project I worked on was compiling a play list that was both popular and appropriate for collegiate and high school track meets. Another project I worked on was compiling a spreadsheet of past qualification requirements to the NCAA championships, school records, and qualification standards to make national teams. Other days, I would attend meetings, observe our Director of Operations (Ryan Foster) in action as he would typically be the one who spoke to the Track and Field team about details on upcoming competition, gear distribution, and other organizational information. The Director of Operations position at a major Division 1 athletic program is a fun and face paced work environment that is constantly changing and keeping me on my toes.

"I had some major projects that I worked on sporadically throughout the semester for my internship that really forced me to manage my time well to meet deadlines. This was challenging at times, but I feel it really prepared me well for a future career in this field."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Being in my final semester, I had the freedom to take online elective classes, so most of my academic commitments were online only. This allowed me to really immerse myself in the internship during the day, continue with my athletics, and focus on my schooling in the evenings. However, I did have some major projects that I worked on sporadically throughout the semester for my internship that really forced me to manage my time well to meet deadlines. This was challenging at times, but I feel it really prepared me well for a future career in this field if I am fortunate enough to find a position in athletics after I graduate in a few weeks.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I have been pursuing a career in athletics at the university level. Preferably I would love to coach track and field at the Division 1 level, but the reality is it is tough to immediately break into that type of position right out of college. Usually, one must start at a smaller university or even a high school, gain experience, and then eventually work their way up the ranks to a Division 1 program. This reality allowed me to broaden my career search to other positions within collegiate athletics, which include academic athletic advisers, director of operations, and recruiting coordinators. As I would love a career at a university within their athletic department, I am open to all career opportunities at this time, and I have been actively going to career fairs and seeking other career fields as well.

Geraldine Pena

Study Abroad: IES Barcelona, Spain
Up one level
Geraldine Pena

Major: Psychology

Hometown: Nutley, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I talked to my psych adviser about this opportunity. I was worried about being able to afford this experience but everything worked out!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had waited to study abroad for so long and I could not have been more excited to receive enrichment funding from the College of the Liberal Arts. I used the money to go to different places in Spain and experience as much of the culture as I could. The funds helped me worry less about money and enjoy my experience as much as possible. I stayed in touch with my donors throughout my experience and got to know them very well. This was definitely a great experience and made me extremely grateful of all the opportunities I have received at Penn State.

How did the experience impact you academically?

This experience helped me get ahead in my classes and allowed me to graduate early which was very nice. Not only did I learn from the classes I took abroad, but I was able to focus on my core classes once I got back to Penn State. I learned Spanish the way the Spaniards speak it and learned about sports in Spain which are so different from sports in America. I was already a fluent Spanish speaker but learning the language in Spain gave me a new perspective, which is an asset when looking for a job.

Not only did I learn from the classes I took abroad, but I was able to focus on my core classes once I got back to Penn State. I learned Spanish the way the Spaniards speak it.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I want to go to graduate school and study child psychology. I think this experience helped me with that goal because it allowed me to demonstrate that I am adventurous.  Most students do not study abroad because they are afraid of getting behind in classes, worried about fitting in with another culture, or worried about being able to afford it. However, I took the chance and grew as a person due to all the different things I learned and was able to see.

William Provost

Internship with the Republican Party of Pennsylvania
Up one level
William Provost

Majors: Political Science and History

Hometown: Wallingford, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship opportunity through talking to my Political Science Adviser one afternoon.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was very good. I learned how the PA GOP operates regionally on a daily basis and was afforded the opportunity to create connections with people and organizations that will help me once I graduate and continue to move further along in my career. I was able to work under the regional field director who is in charge of 23 counties here in Pennsylvania, including Centre County. During my time as an intern, I was able to complete a variety of projects, including: voter contact, petition circulation, door to door survey opportunities, and researching potential candidates in upcoming elections.

How did the experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically because instead of sitting in a lecture hall or seminar class I was able to get hands on experience and to develop my skills in the professional world.  I was also able to learn from a supervisor whose position is one that I could potentially see myself holding in the future. Finally, I was able to learn information that will be incredibly pertinent as I move forward in my career including, but not limited to, researching potential candidates and developing strong communication skills.

I learned how the PA GOP operates regionally on a daily basis and was afforded the opportunity to create connections with people and organizations that will help me once I graduate and continue to move further along in my career.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

The career I see myself in ultimately is working as a lobbyist or owning my own lobbying firm. To secure this type of job there are many steps that need to be taken along the way including, of utmost importance, getting to Washington D.C. One of the best ways for me to open the door to Washington D.C. is to work for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. This internship provided me with the opportunity to make connections within the Republican Party and will hopefully help me make it to Washington D.C.

Erin Chuss

Internship with Easton Police Department
Up one level
Erin Chuss

Major: Sociology:

Minor: Information Systems and Statistical Analysis (ISSA)

Hometown: Easton, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

My Sociology adviser gave me a very large packet of possible internships and I looked through them for some criminal justice possibilities at police departments. I saw some in my area and then began making calls around mid-October. One of my first choices was Easton Police Department and I heard back very quickly from them. Things progressed from there

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was nothing short of exhilarating. I was excited to get up every day, even if it was at 5 a.m. on a Friday. My first day began with a tour of the city and I got to see how officers interacted with people. The traffic division showed me how to set up a speed trap and how their equipment worked, as well as how the street cameras tracked past activity to catch perpetrators. I worked with officers when they collected evidence and saw how they determined if the drugs are authentic. I was able to observe a SWAT raid on a house and a few accidents. There was also a car chase or two. The thing I learned and observed the most is that no day is the same and no two officers are the same, but they all want to make the city safer and a better place for everyone.

How did the experience impact you academically?

This internship has taught me more than any classroom ever could. I got to experience so many different types of criminology, sociology, psychology, and so much more. I also saw the things that flourished and prospered in the unit, as well as the things that could be improved. Many of these issues were common problems that towns and cities everywhere are facing. This made me realize that I was in the right field and it made me ask so many more questions.

This internship gave me a completely different insight into how things work in a police department.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My main goal is to get into the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) division of the FBI. I want to get into the criminal data analysis side of the law to help people and the entire system itself. This could be to help the officers, the perpetrators (to prevent crimes), the judicial system, etc. This internship gave me a completely different insight into how things work in a police department.  This internship also showed me the day to day responsibilities of police officers and the amount of training they must receive. I was able to read a significant amount of the manual and went through many of the trainings. When I said I liked reading the manual, some of the officers thought I was crazy. But that is how I knew this was the right area for me! I realize that working for the FBI would be different because I would be working primarily with data. However, in order to know how to interpret the data, you have to have a realistic idea of how the data actually occurs. This internship showed me that and so much more.

Mary Beth Spang

Research: Center for Language Science PIRE program
Up one level
Mary Beth Spang

Mary Beth Spang

Paterno Fellow
Majors: English, Linguistics (via B. Phil), Spanish

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Initially, I learned about the PIRE program through my professors/advisors Giuli Dussias, John Lipski and Janet VanHell. I have been hearing about this program since I was a freshman getting involved with research in the Center for Language Science, and each of these professors mentioned that the opportunity existed. I also heard about it through two of my friends who participated in it before their senior years, Emma Hance and Lauren Perrotti. Additionally, I heard about the program via the Spanish major listserv and Center for Language Science listserv.

This experience has helped me to realize how much I truly love research. This is going to impact my decision about when, where, and whether or not I would like to attend graduate school in this field.

Tell us a little bit about your experience

I have just completed the first part of my experience in Palenque, Colombia. We were there for 13 days, and I am surprised by how much we were able to learn in such a short period of time. We lived in a house within the town, and each day walked around the town with resident members of the community to ask for participants. My study consisted of a series of open-ended response questions and translation responses. I ran 49 participants ranging from 21 years of age to 65 years of age. Each interview lasted between 12 and 20 minutes. In addition to our specific research, we were able to learn some of the language that they speak in this community, Lengua Palenquera. It is a Spanish-based creole language, so there were various aspects that were similar to Spanish. We learned from the family that we stayed with, as well as various community members who were excite d to help us learn. I have not yet completed the second component to the project, but will be leaving for the Netherlands soon to do so.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has given me a firsthand look at what it takes to put together your own research project. Additionally, it gave me the opportunity to learn about language field work. I have worked in a lab for two years now, but this type of research was very different. I learned that I prefer the field work setting.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

This experience has helped me to realize how much I truly love research. This is going to impact my decision about when, where, and whether or not I would like to attend graduate school in this field. It has helped me to realize that I would like to attend graduate school at some point in the future, and would like to continue studying Spanish Linguistics.

Christopher Bradley

Internship with Unequal Technologies
Up one level
Christopher Bradley

Majors: Communications Arts and Sciences, Sales

Hometown: Garnet Valley, Pa, United States

How Did You Learn About This Opportunity?

I reached out to local people throughout the community who worked in corporations who could possibly hire an intern. The biggest problem was finding a paid internship because of the economy. My contact was a well-known person throughout the community and he knew a lot of people so I contacted him to see if he heard of any possible internships. He immediately got back to me with an opportunity for which I could interview . I was persistent with the company and I eventually got it. Persistence and having a drive every day is the only way I secured this internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The corporation that I work for is quite dynamic and it represents the future of sports and military. This company could eventually be as well-known as Under Armor or Nike, so it is amazing to see all the inter-workings of a company from the start-up. My tasks change every day and I love it because I don't sit in a cubical.

Academically, this experience has given me more knowledge about the skills I have learned in school and has given me the opportunity to apply these skills to the real world.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this experience has given me more knowledge about the skills I have learned in school and has given me the opportunity to apply these skills to the real world. The job requires multi-tasking at all times. I really enjoy this aspect of the internship because it requires me to constantly be creative and proactive, which is a lot of fun. There are many deadlines for the release of products which requires strong communication skills and teamwork. My whole major is focused on communicating with others, so I appreciated this opportunity to apply these basic fundamentals in a specific field to solve actual problems. I love my major and the teachers who helped me succeed in the field so far.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My career goals and plans are to hopefully continue working with this corporation when I graduate, and if not, to apply to other companies. This experience will look great on my resume and will translate to a wide variety of fields and companies. I have impacted this corporation by helping in the release of products and managing people in the process. I am confident that I made a strong contribution to this company, especially by taking a leadership role in the warehouse.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Sarah Ann Kovalesky

Study Abroad in Athens, Greece
Up one level
Sarah Ann Kovalesky

Majors: History and Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Hometown: Collegeville, PA

How Did You Learn About This Opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity from Anne Killebrew during my first-year seminar, where she encouraged us to keep the program in mind. I was then reminded of the program by Mark Munn during my sophomore year in class and he answered my questions and played a large role in my interest in the program. I actually ended up not applying for the program because I had other plans for my junior year, but when those plans fell through, Christopher Moore and the Study Abroad Office let me apply late.

My semester abroad in Athens, Greece was hands down the best three months of my collegiate career.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My semester abroad in Athens, Greece was hands down the best three months of my collegiate career. Immediately upon arriving, the Athens Centre made us feel right at home and prepared us well for living in Athens for the coming three months. They provided us with maps, tips, and much more in addition to the immediate tour of the neighborhood and a tour of downtown Athens. Almost every weekend was filled with travel as part of our program and the weekends were flawless, exposing me to all the major sites in Greece and some that I had never heard of. Trips included places like Crete, Olympia, Sparta, Mistras, the Argolid, Delphi, Meteora and day trips to Marathon, Sounion, and Corinth. I also had the opportunity to do a little traveling on my own to Istanbul, Santorini, Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. This trip provided me with the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture, learn a new language and see parts of the world I had only ever dreamed of. Classes were just like any other class for the most part, my favorites being Greek and Byzantine History.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience had an incredible impact on me academically. It was actually my best semester in terms of academic success. I was constantly motivated to get my work done ahead of time because I was in a huge, history-filled city that was waiting to be explored. However, after studying Greek history for so long, the most impact probably came from finally seeing the places I had only ever imagined I would see in textbooks. Also, being abroad made me realize the importance of knowing other languages, which is something I plan on working on now that I have returned home.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My career goals or plans are to go into the field of higher education and work in student affairs. I would like to work in admissions or study abroad programming. Originally, I had never thought about working with students who like myself find themselves in the situation of studying abroad, but after being abroad twice (Rome - Summer 2013, Athens - Spring 2014) I could definitely see myself looking into a job doing programming for a program like the one I participated in.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Rupal Kankariya

Internship in Human Resources in Business and Industry, Facility Services (Aramark)
Up one level
Rupal Kankariya

Majors: Labor Employment Relations and International Politics

Minor: Business in the Liberal Arts

Hometown: Tenafly, New Jersey

How Did You Learn About This Opportunity?

I found this internship through the career fair website. One of the tools on the website allows you to see a list of attending employers with interest in the majors you may be involved in. Through this and after doing research on the company, I made it a point to go and see the company at the career fair. I spoke to Ripp Kardon, who is the head recruiter for all college campuses and he suggested applying online as well as signing me up for an interview the following day. If I had not attended the career fair, I would not have received such a great opportunity!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience gives me insight into the role of a Human Resource generalist. This position is extremely integral to the company because it is the way an employee can reach directly out to the administration regarding anything they are unhappy or happy about. I have worked with several different people to get an understanding of dealing with something as small as entering someone into a New Hire System, to as large as dealing with accusations of noncompliance issues. The most interesting aspect of this internship was the variety of situations I was introduced to, there was never an easy day. Each day brought a new obstacle that was just as important as the last since it dealt directly with the employees and their ability to do their job.

Academically, there could not have been a better decision regarding an internship.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, there could not have been a better decision regarding an internship. I am a Labor Employment Relations major who would like to further her career in human resources. Prior to this internship, it was difficult to decide whether I wanted to be a specialist or a generalist – and here I am confidently willing to say I would like to start my post graduate career and become a generalist. The internship also gave me a taste into the real world, where mistakes are not just poor grades they are in fact hours spent to fix the issue, and multiple people needing immediate answers.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

Post-graduation, I would like to pursue my working life in the field of Human Resources. I would like to be a generalist, but I am not sure what type of company I would like to work for. I have also learned that getting a Master’s Degree would be essential; I would like to get this degree in either Business Administration or Industrial-Organizational Psychology. I believe this will only further my knowledge and understanding of Human Resources, and deepen my understanding of other aspects of a business as well. I hope to continue working in Human Resources and also spend some time working for non-profit organizations.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Samantha Baskin

Facilities Management Internship Program (Aramark)
Up one level
Samantha Baskin

Major: Economics

Minor: Political Science

Hometown: Quakertown, Pa

How Did You Learn About This Opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity while searching for summer internship openings online.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

While completing my internship with the Facilities Management Team at an institution of higher education, I helped to maintain the accuracy and completeness of a work order database management system, among other things. I learned how to develop effective and efficient solutions to issues occurring within the custodial, maintenance, and grounds departments, and collaborated with management and hourly employees to improve upon standard operating procedures. In addition, I compiled cost analysis data and various other pieces of financial information, transformed this data into easily-consumed graphs and tables, and created a presentation to be given to the client.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has provided me with the opportunity to witness firsthand the importance of client relationship management in sustaining a successful long-term business relationship. The Facilities Team I worked with had a very strong and trusting relationship with their clients, and the relationship continued to strengthen each day because of the little things the Team went out of their way to complete on behalf of the client.

I've learned how to network, interact with supervisors and produce quality materials in a timely fashion in order to meet a deadline, among other management procedures and best practices.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

As an Economics major, there are several career paths that I may embark on, though I am not positive which one I will end up choosing. My time with ARAMARK has helped prepare me for working at a professional organization. I’ve learned how to network, interact with supervisors, and produce quality materials in a timely fashion in order to meet deadlines, among other management procedures and best practices. This internship experience is something that I would not trade away, as it has allowed me to develop as a student, a professional, and an individual.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes.

Michael Ianniello

Internship: Bridgeport Sound Tigers
Up one level
Michael Ianniello

Major: Communication Arts & Science (Marketing Department)

Minor: Business

Hometown: Southbury, CT

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found about this experience online and through a family friend.

Tell us a little bit about your experience

In my experience I am working in the Marketing Department for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Sound Tigers are the minor league affiliate for the NHL's New York Islanders and I get to work closely with both organizations. Some of my responsibilities include running the team's social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to interact with the fans and community and keep people up to date on team news. I also operate the team's official website and make sure all the information is up to date, and post press releases as new information or announcements are made. The team also sends me to Long Island anytime the Islanders have an event so that I can cover it for the Sound Tigers. I am working closely with the VP of Marketing to come up with a promotional calendar for the upcoming season and planning theme nights and giveaways in order to help d rive ticket sales and insure and enjoyable game experience for all of our fans and customers.

This internship has helped me academically because it has provided me with a great experience to learn in a real life setting and get in-the-field experience.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship has helped me academically because it has provided me with a great experience to learn in a real life setting and get in-the-field experience. This internship gives me an opportunity to use different skills that I learn in the classroom and apply them to real life. After taking CAS classes, I have learned a lot about communication techniques and how to give public speeches. I have learned a lot about persuasion and how to give persuasive and informative speeches. This has helped me during my internship when I have to give presentations or pitch idea I have to my boss. The background knowledge I gained at school has helped me to articulate my ideas and clearly show that I know what I’m talking about. Now when I go back to school in the fall, I will have real life examples to apply to the things we are learning about and it will help me be able to relate to things that we are learning and I will be able to grasp the concepts clearer. I will be able to apply lessons to situations from my internship and be able to think “this is something I have done” or “this is something I could have done” and I will understand what we are learning easier and quicker.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My career goals are to work in Sports Marketing for a professional or Division 1 college level sports organization. This internship will further my career goals because it will give me experience working in my desired future career field. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers are a minor league hockey team affiliated with the New York Islanders. Working for this organization will give me familiarity with working in sports at a professional level. In this internship I will be working for the Sound Tigers’ Marketing and Graphic Design department and practicing how marketing works in the sports industry. I will be working every day at the Sound Tigers arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut getting a hands-on look into the sports world and the behind the scenes operations of a sports organization by helping their marketing department with day to day operations as they prepare for the up-coming season. In addition to working for the marketing department, I will have an opportunity to participate in community relation events with the team on weekends in local communities in Connecticut. I will also get to work on organizational group projects with the other interns such as coming up with a promotional plan for a Sound Tigers game next season. This internship will give me an excellent opportunity to get hands-on experience for my intended future career.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students? If yes, why?

Yes I would recommend this experience to other liberal arts students. This internship was a great experience for me. I really enjoyed myself and was able to have a lot of fun working in my desired field. I was able to work with some really awesome people and learn a lot of valuable things that will help me throughout my future careers. This internship was an excellent experience for me and I would recommend it to anybody who wants to pursue a career in the sports industry.

Scott Tomensky

Internship: The Dannon Company Inc.
Up one level
Scott Tomensky

Major: Psychology B.S. - Business Option

Minor:Labor and Employment Relations

Hometown: Denville, NJ, USA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through Network Symplicity - Penn State's Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network. This internship was posted in the 'Jobs' tab.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This experience is an Internship that provides me with the opportunity to work in an open work environment that is rich in cultural diversity.  I interact with our Human Resource team, as well as employees of our business and I have been empowered to lead projects for a growing company. My current tasks include working with the Learning & Development Manager to create a program that sustains our 1 Learning A Day architecture, to include communication to employees in multiple methods, redesigning/designating office areas for learning labs, assist employees in becoming Ambassadors of our Campus 2.0 Learning & Development Platform, as well as other innovative concepts for support. I also work with the Learning & Development Manager to improve our current new hire onboarding 2-day program to include best practices from other business units, as well as a consi stent experience/platform for new hires before their first day.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has aligned my academic goals with my future career aspirations. I have learned many skills and gained an abundant amount of knowledge about business models, different business functions, human resources programs and systems, organizational culture and learning management systems. Many of these topics have been briefly covered in classes I have taken and this experience has given me the real world experience in those areas.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I aspire to be a Human Resources consultant. I know that I will need experience in the field of HR. My plan is to become an HR Generalist for a year or two and then become a Human Resources associate in the area of Talent Acquisition or Learning & Development for a few years. Once I gain about 3 to 5 years of experience I ultimately would like to become a Human Resources consultant.

The Dannon Company Inc. is an amazing place to start your career and gain functional skills in the area that you are studying.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students? If yes, why?

Yes, I would absolutely recommend this Internship experience to other liberal arts students! The Dannon Company Inc. is an amazing place to start your career and gain functional skills in the area that you are studying.

Rachael Knodel

Study Abroad in Tel Akko with the Total Archaeology Project
Up one level
Rachael Knodel

Rachael Knodel

Majors: Archaeological Sciences, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies - Archaeology Option
Hometown: North Royalton, Ohio

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Since coming to Penn State, I knew I wanted to study abroad, and it was just a matter of finding the right program for me. Last fall, I was searching the Education Abroad website's summer programs when I came across the Tel Akko field school. As an archaeology major, I knew that this would fit perfectly into my plans. I met with my adviser to make sure that the credits I earned in Akko would count for my field school credits. My adviser was so excited for me because everyone who has gone on that dig has loved it, and now I see why! After meeting with my adviser, I began emailing Dr. Killebrew, the dig's co-director and Penn State professor. I eventually met with her and once discussing it with her, I knew that was where I wanted to spend my summer.

Tell us a little bit about your experience

The Tel Akko field school is about a month long experience. Monday through Friday you wake up pretty early (around 4:30AM) to go to the tel. We're at the tel from about 5:45AM to 12:30PM, and we get what's called second breakfast on the tel at 8:30AM. Though it seems like a long day, it never feels as though the day is dragging on because there is always so much to do. After we get back to the Nautical Academy, where our temporary home was, we have lunch and the a few hours of break. A lot of the time we would spend this break either napping or going to the beach. Around 4pm we started pottery washing, which is really cool because you get to see what everyone is finding and spend time with your friends. After the pottery washing we have a lecture where either the professors with us or guest lecturers from the area come and teach us about things from conservation to archaeometallurgy. Then we have dinner and the rest of the night is ours. Saturdays are the best, though! That's when you get to see other parts of the country: Jerusalem, Caesarea, and the Sea of Galilee! Unfortunately we did not get to go to Jerusalem, but that just makes me want to go back even more next year. On Sundays we had tours around Akko, one week focusing on the Crusaders, another on conservation of the Old City, and the last week a tour through the Underground Prisoners Museum. Though you're constantly busy, you're also constantly meeting people and making friends. Four weeks doesn't seem like a lot of time, but I know that I just met some of my best friends.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This program is only 4 weeks, but you earn 6 credits in the process. Dr. Killebrew assesses your grade by a final paper and by talking with your supervisors in the field. Also, if you wanted, there is the opportunity to stay for an extra 10 days and earn an extra 3 credits by doing the independent study option. I only participated in the regular 6 credit course, but I know that this is going to be super helpful for my degree. In just four weeks, I took care of my field school credits for both of my majors, and am also now halfway done with a Jewish Studies minor, if I choose to pursue it. The Akko program also allows you to take an advanced course for returning students and even graduate school credits.

This experience was absolutely perfect for me because I now know that I definitely want to do field work, now I just have to figure out what I want to focus on and what area.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

Before this trip, I wasn't sure what direction in archaeology I wanted to pursue. I knew I like field work theoretically, but I had no idea if I would like it once I actually did it. I loved it! This experience was absolutely perfect for me because I now know that I definitely want to do field work, now I just have to figure out what I want to focus on and what area. I'm currently deciding if I want to participate in Penn State's new IUG program for Archaeology and CAMS dual-majors. It would have been a much more difficult decision without knowing exactly what direction of archaeology I wanted to pursue. Now that I know I like field archaeology, determining a master's thesis topic will be much easier for me.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students? If yes, why?

I would recommend this experience to anyone. Even if you aren't interested in archaeology, it's worth it. So many of the students were not archaeology or anthropology majors, we even had a math major and a political science major. Everyone loved it. I can't exactly explain why it was such an amazing experience, it's just something you have to experience for yourself.

Carly Racanelli

Internship with Yahoo!’s The Thread
Up one level
Carly Racanelli

Major: Communication Arts & Sciences

 

Hometown: Brightwaters, New York

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about my internship through my neighbors. I previously worked as a model on their show, The Thread, so when it was time for me to get an internship I immediately thought of their company. I had to go through an interview process, but thankfully I was able to get the internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had a really great experience during my time at The Thread. I mostly worked in wardrobe as an assistant stylist, but I also managed finances/expenses, and helped produce videos for the company. My tasks as an assistant stylist included shopping for videos that were featured on The Thread, returning clothes, keeping track of all purchases and expenses, and taking shots of the models in the outfits. I helped video production by organizing the set with the associate producer, and helping with the lighting. My responsibilities were challenging at times, but it definitely taught me a lot. I definitely improved on leadership, organization, and communication skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me in many ways, including academically. Since I was managing expenses during my internship, I became significantly better with numbers. I was also able to learn about spread sheets, and Microsoft Excel, which will be extremely useful throughout my college years. Another way that this experience impacted me academically was through communication within the workplace. The employees at The Thread are all well spoken and professional. This challenged me to be more thoughtful about my speech and written communication. The position required me to improve my writing skills as I communicated with other companies, models, and employees at The Thread.

This internship really helped me see both the creative and marketing aspects of advertisement.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

As a Communications of Arts and Sciences major I hope to be involved in public relations or advertising. This experience furthered my career plans because by interning at The Thread I really got a feel for both public relations and advertising. Most of the videos that are produced at The Thread are advertising some type of product. For example, there was a Clairol hair product shoot that I was on set for. This internship really helped me see both the creative and marketing aspects of advertisement. By working with different clients and models, I was able to experience aspects of public relations, which also was great for my future career plans.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students? If yes, why?

I would one hundred percent recommend this experience to other liberal arts students. It was an extremely enriching experience that I will look back on forever. When interning at a company, you really get to see what really goes on behind the scenes. You also meet a lot of successful people who are great to have in your contacts for future references or job opportunities. Also, since I am very interested in fashion advertising and production, this experience was even more beneficial for me. Throughout my internship I have learned a lot from a my mistakes, which will help me to succeed in the future. I am very grateful that I was able to get this opportunity because it has made me a more professional, goal-oriented, and harder working person.

Nicholas Klass

Internship: Business Consulting Internship with CRM manager
Up one level
Nicholas Klass

Major:  Economics

Hometown: Chester Springs, PA. USA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this internship through Penn State's Career Enrichment Network site. CRM manager posted an internship opportunity through "Network Simplicity" and then I read the description and decided to apply for the position.

Tell us a little bit about your experience

The internship at CRM manager was a great experience, I worked directly under the CEO of the company, Andy Atkins. CRM manager is a third party consulting firm that helps clients best implement and integrate salesforce.com into their business platforms. Mr. Atkins wanted me to get my feet wet in all aspects of the business. By shadowing a handful of experienced professionals at the firm, I learned a lot about consulting, sales, marketing, business development, and analysis.

Interning with CRM manager gave me a clear overview and taste of all the aspects of business. Having a diverse and comprehensive understanding of many different trades is everything that the liberal arts education can provide.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This helped so much in an academic respect because I finally learned how to apply my school knowledge to my everyday life. In class, professors always want to know how the students use what we learn in the course to our real life, from this internship I now have a better idea on how I can have an intelligent conversation with a professor about that topic. Also, the reports and projects that I did for the company allowed me to learn more about competition, business, and the financial markets which are all topics that I come across in my courses that I take at Penn State.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My career goals are to work in the financial services world. I know CRM manager is not in the financial service industry but this internship really helped me get experience in the business professional realm. I learned so much about how to conduct myself in a business setting from my internship this summer, plus gaining real world experience and expanding my professional contact network can never hurt. Although I was not necessarily in the specific industry I would have like to have been in, my daily activities and responsibilities like analyzing data, doing projects, meeting with clients and running reports closely resemble what I will one be doing once I am in the financial services industry.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students? If yes, why?

Absolutely, interning with CRM manager gave me a clear overview and taste of all the aspects of business. Having a diverse and comprehensive understanding of many different trades is everything that the liberal arts education can provide. I was not pigeonholed into one particular part of the industry, I was allowed to explore my interests and use my strengths in some activities. This is a great opportunity for any young college student who wants to explore the business world.

Adam Scott Goldberg

Internship with Elevate Fitness
Up one level
Adam Scott Goldberg

Major: Psychology B.S. with Business Option

Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania

 

How did you learn about this opportunity?

My employment at Elevate Fitness did not come about in an ordinary manner. In high school, I attended the Hun School of Princeton and the gym was run by a fitness company. My parents signed me up to work with a man named Dr. Leming, who changed my life. Since that day, Dr. Leming and I have developed a great relationship that has continued into my collegiate career. It was his ability to help me physically and mentally that created the genuine interest in his profession. Thus, I called Dr. Leming and said I wanted to work for him because I have great knowledge of his business and am a living model of what it is intended to do.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience at Elevate Fitness has provided enormous growth in my knowledge of the exercise industry. Over the course of the summer, I have worked at two prestigious country clubs, Forsgate and Shackamaxon, as well as a tournament training tennis camp run by Princeton Tennis Program. While working at Shackamaxon and Forsgate, I learned the intricacies of exercise program designs, stretching, and business operations. At the tennis camp I took more of a group fitness instructor role, as I coached larger groups of athletes at the same time. By having such a large variety of clientele, I have learned how to associate and tailor the business to individuals of all age groups.

How did this experience impact you academically?

In terms of education, this internship gave me the opportunity to learn unique information about the human movement system, business networking, and behavior modification through exercise. Aside from increased knowledge, the amount of applicable experience was great because it coupled the classroom and workplace settings for an ultimate learning environment. Dr. Leming, my supervisor, has a PhD in psychology, which is my major, so I was able to learn a lot about its relationship with the fitness industry. During the course of the internship, I became motivated to receive my certification in personal training, which I was able to achieve. It entailed taking a 10-week interactive comprehensive course in all categories associated in becoming a successful personal trainer.

At the end of the day, I would like to know that I am helping people in a unique way.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

My ultimate career goal is to receive my PhD in psychology and start my own fitness company that combines all facets of exercise. Dr. Leming has inspired me to follow in his footsteps of being a pioneer in the behavioral modification of exercise program. His company changes lives by becoming active and using exercise as a stress relief or a catalyst of change. I have already received my certification in personal training and would like to continue my education in the fitness industry by expanding my credentials to PES or CES. This would separate me from the dime-a-dozen personal trainer. By having a PhD, I would be able to provide counseling to clients who want it in addition to the fitness side of things. At the end of the day, I would like to know that I am helping people in a unique way.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students? If yes, why?

I would recommend this experience to other liberal arts students, especially if they are interested in psychology or fitness. It expanded my knowledge and qualifications for jobs in those industries, and taught me a lot about life. There is always a benefit to engaging in work outside of school, so that you are able to gain "real life" experience.

Cole Beauchat

Internship: Office of Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson
Up one level
Cole Beauchat

Major:International Politics

Minor: Economics

Hometown: Titusville, Pennsylvania, United States

How did you learn about this opportunity?

One day in early March 2014 I drove to the Congressman's office and asked if they had any opportunities for an internship. I submitted a cover letter and my resume and called back once or twice a week to check on the status of it all. Eventually, Susan, the main caseworker at the office, called to offer me a position as an intern. She then informed me that I could potentially get credit for it for school, and I then researched how to go about doing that.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

At my internship I have talked directly with constituents about opinions, started cases on the behalf of constituents, attended luncheons with the Congressman's field representative, Mike Glazer, met and spoke with the Congressman on several occasions, and I have gone to various events with the Congressman himself. But day to day, I am in the office speaking with constituents and writing letters informing them on the status of cases as I hear back from whichever agency the constituent has the issue with. My favorite part of the experience has been attending events with the Congressman and Mike. These events include legislative luncheons, fundraisers, Ag Progress Days. Also, I will be attending public outreach events, and local industry, specifically farming and agriculture, tours.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically this experience has given me some insight into the practical application of my degree in the real world. It has also given me a little bit of hope for a career following my collegiate career. But more importantly, it has shown me the reality of some political theories and schools of thought. Politics is very much a science, despite what some people may say, and it is important to study. One of the theories that I have experienced first-hand include; the Median Voter Theory, especially with this year being an election year for the Pennsylvania 5th District. Every time something in the world happens, constituents call in to voice their opinions about it and, most of the time, they are all clustered around one point on the political spectrum, but it is always interesting to hear from those outliers in the population.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

As of now, my long term career goals are to move to Washington D.C. and work for the Department of State. However, in the short term, I am going to attempt to be admitted to the payroll of Congressman Thompson or one of his colleagues in Congress. I would like to work my way up the bureaucratic ladder to a place of importance. I believe I have a fairly good chance at being hired by Mr. Thompson or one of his colleagues. I have networked with many people on Mr. Thompson's staff, other representatives' staff, and even some staffers of state representatives. For now, I plan to continue to network and build a good base of contacts in the industry and make a good name for myself as a hard worker.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students? If yes, why?

Yes, I would absolutely recommend this position to any other Liberal Arts students. Susan is a very caring and easy going supervisor. Not only that, but the entire staff and the Congressman himself are very easy to get along with and talk to. Susan is also immensely knowledgeable, as she has been working at that office for several years and has seen three congressmen pass through.

Nora Frumento

Study abroad in Nyeri, Kenya through Penn State
Up one level
Nora Frumento

Nora Frumento

Major: Global and International Studies & Community, Environment, and Development
Minors: Arabic and Spanish

 

Hometown: State College, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this opportunity originally from a professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences. This is an embedded course, meaning that you study during the semester with the class and travel afterwards. There are many courses like this offered at Penn State and students should talk to professors in their colleges.  For more information on this course, students should contact Janelle Larson because she is the professor in charge of this course. Janelle Larson can provide information about this course and will help students figure out if they want to take the course or not. I encourage students to go to the study abroad office and talk to someone there because they are incredibly helpful and great resources as well.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This course travels to the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre in Nyeri, Kenya. We work alongside dedicated staff and youth. This course is part of an initiative to develop viable economic and youth development options for a program for street children in Kenya. During the past trip to Kenya, I worked with two other students to develop and deliver two sets of workshops. The first set included helping the youth at the Centre develop their business skills. We were working with both high school students and youth who are interested in starting their own youth enterprises at the CYEC. These workshops focused on interviewing skills, resume building, and discussing the basics of business. In the second set of workshops, we collaborated with staff members at the CYEC and went to the local informal settlement and worked with women in a group. We had two meetings, where we discussed small business, managing money/savings, challenges and obstacles these women face, and other topics they were interested in. While my team focused on these workshops, there were other projects going on at the Centre as well. If anyone is interested in learning more about what the course did this past year there is a blog which details our different projects, days, and experiences: http://cedkenya2014.wordpress.com. Many things were going on while we were at the CYEC that my course was able to be a part of. Having the opportunity to travel back to the CYEC for a third time was incredible because I've had this unique opportunity to watch the kids grow up. The little kids are getting bigger and it's been a real blessing, as a Kenyan would say, to be in their lives even if only for a short periods of time. I feel like the CYEC is a home away from home for me. I have had this amazing opportunity to connect with the staff and youth there and at this point, they feel like family.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I recommend and encourage experiential learning because this course has impacted my academic career, and my life in general, in a variety of ways. When I first took this course I was a sophomore with two minors but no concrete major. Now, I'm starting my final year at Penn State with two majors and two minors. This course has given me the unique opportunity of seeing the things that I've learned about in my courses firsthand. It has challenged me to think in situations I've never been in before and has pushed me to become more confident in myself. This course brings together people of many different majors and backgrounds and it's clear to see that each of our strengths come out while we are abroad. This trip has given me the opportunity to use the skills I've learned throughout my college career and gain new skills along the way as well. This course changed my college career and impacted me academically because before I took, I did not know what I wanted to major in and focus on. After I returned I knew that I wanted to learn more about the things I saw and the things that the professors and other students discussed during the trip. So, this class helped me find my way two my two majors that I am grateful to have found.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

At the moment, I think the next step for me will be graduate school. I had no idea as a freshman that I would find an area of study that I would want to pursue further but now I know that I want to find a graduate school where I can study international development. There are also various programs that I would like to apply for like Fulbright, Princeton in Africa, and Jet for example. These programs I have learned about primarily from people and professors in this course over the past three years. It's been encouraging to be in a course with people from different disciplines and in different places in their lives because I've seen and had the pleasure of knowing people who are doing so many different things with their lives. Studying alongside graduate students in this course has really instilled in me a want to follow in their footsteps, find a specific area of study, and pursue it. Ultimately, I would like to find a career in which I can continue to travel to the CYEC and be a part of all that is going on there.

These kinds of programs are made for people who want to learn more about the world around them, speak different languages, meet new people, experience different cultures, and have the opportunity to travel.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students? If yes, why?

I would most definitely recommend this experience to other liberal arts students and students of other majors as well. This course allows a unique opportunity that I think more students should take advantage of. If it's not this course, I recommend other liberal arts students to find an embedded program that they are interested in and to go for it. Traveling teaches people a lot about themselves and traveling to places so vastly different teaches students about the rest of the world. The College of the Liberal Arts is filled with students who are studying different languages, cultures, history, and worldly topics. These kinds of programs are made for people who want to learn more about the world around them, speak different languages, meet new people, experience different cultures, and have the opportunity to travel. This course has been a fundamental part of my college career and I feel so fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to be in it. I would recommend other students find something like this and pursue it.

Margaret Elise Purcell

Internship with Congressman Fitzpatrick's District Office
Up one level
Margaret Elise Purcell

Majors: International Politics and Criminology

Minor: History

Hometown: Yardley, Pennsylvania, United States

How Did You Learn About This Opportunity

I was looking for an internship in my community in this field and was looking online. I knew one of the workers in Congressman Fitzpatrick's Office when I was younger and this person recommended that I apply for the internship.

During this time I learned a lot about the various agencies within government and how they interact.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my internship at Congressman Fitzpatrick’s District Office I performed a variety of tasks. The office focused on constituent work and my main job was answering the phone and recording constituent’s comments. I also answered their questions and helped them with their problems. In the office we focused on casework and were required to deal with a variety of government agencies. During this time I learned a lot about the various agencies within government and how they interact. I was also required to write letters for constituents about various bills that the Congressman had sponsored or cosponsored. This gave me greater insight into how Congress works and the processes that a bill goes through.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Prior to this experience, I learned a variety of political science concepts. However, being able to work in a political office allowed me to see how these concepts actually worked. After working in Congressman Fitzpatrick’s Office, I better understand the way these topics work and have real life experiences to tie to the knowledge that I gained. For instance, I learned more about the client-agent relationship that exists in politics for Congressman Fitzpatrick had to represent the interests of his constituents. This also led to greater understanding of the different types of representation, descriptive and substantive. The office also had to work with the State Department, which allowed me to see comparative politics especially in the way different nations judicial systems work. By working in Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office I will be able to apply my experiences not just to things I have already learned, but things I will learn in my continued education.

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

After graduating from Penn State, I intend to attend law school. From there I would like either practice law or enter politics. By working in Congressman Fitzpatrick’s Office I was able to see one aspect of the political field. I learned a lot about how a Congressman’s office work, especially one like the one I worked that focused on constituent work. Before fully committing to working in the political field, I would like to explore the legislative side of politics. The work I have done this summer allowed me to learn a lot about constituent work, but this represents only part of working in the political field.

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