Student Profiles Folder

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

Anna Foley

Internship with Campaigns and Elections Magazine through Penn State’s Washington Program
Up one level
Anna Foley

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Communication Arts & Sciences, Spanish
Hometown: Raleigh, NC

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I applied to and was selected to take part in the Penn State Washington Program. The internship coordinator, Scott Colburn, put me in contact with my supervisor and arranged a phone interview.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship allowed me to act as a Campaigns and Elections staff writer. The entire editorial department consisted of my supervisor, another intern, and myself. So we were tasked with the responsibility of writing the majority of the magazine's online content. I covered news in the campaign industry, court cases, election results, and conference panels. I also contributed to the magazine's print content. For my articles, I researched and interviewed sources myself. For a few of my articles, I was sent to various political conferences around Washington, DC. There, I took notes and extracted the most relevant story ideas for the magazine's readership.

"The hands-on nature of this internship was incredibly eye-opening. I came to understand the field better, expand my portfolio, and contribute to the news cycle."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was very helpful academically. I'm not in the College of Communications, nor am I a journalism major. I realize that this is difficult, especially because I am pursuing a career in journalism. So having hands-on experience in the industry is invaluable. At Campaigns and Elections, I was treated as a staff writer. The hands-on nature of this internship was incredibly eye-opening. I came to understand the field better, expand my portfolio, and contribute to the news cycle.

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

As stated before, I want to pursue a career in journalism. So this experience was invaluable, because I was able to experience the industry first-hand. I gained a variety of skills including interviewing skills, how to decipher press releases, note taking skills, and writing in the AP style. I was also able to network quite a bit during this experience. I met a lot of people in the political industry. While I'm not pursuing a career in politics, the people that I met are quite powerful. They now recognize my name from my articles, which could lead to name recognition and opportunities later on.

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

Yes. I got a lot of experience and the opportunity to add to my portfolio of work.

Christopher Antkowiak

Internship with B94.5 Summer B-Tern
Up one level
Christopher Antkowiak

Major: History

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

My junior year roommate was a Communications major and successfully obtained an internship at B94.5, which is a local radio station. When his internship ended he accepted a full-time job with the station. Fast-forward to March of 2014 and the station was entered into a dodge ball tournament at the local YMCA. However, they needed a few more people and my former roommate called and asked me to join in just for the afternoon.

During the tournament I talked with my roommate and his co-workers who turned out to be the people who essentially run the station. They liked my outgoing personality and called me a few days later inviting me to participate in an interview and shadowing opportunity. I stood out during my shadowing experience and was invited back for a final interview and was then offered the internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This experience was nothing short of one of the most rewarding and unforgettable of my life. I learned countless things in a field in which I basically knew nothing about going into it! Radio, communications, and production were all foreign to me; however a few months later I can now say I know how a radio station really works. I learned how a segment on a show comes together with so many different aspects and angles. A segment involves much more than just two or three people talking. These segments require writers, producers, social media and marketing experts, & more.

"This experience has shown me exactly how hard I have to work and that I am capable of doing these things and accomplishing my own personal goals in regards to graduating and moving forward with my life."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This absolutely impacted me academically. Although this internship may not have been exactly in line with my major I still received valuablehands-on experience. I also learned what kind of commitment it takes to really succeed in any career field. The people at the station I worked for work really hard. This experience has shown me exactly how hard I have to work and that I am capable of doing these things and accomplishing my own personal goals in regards to graduating and moving forward with my life.

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

I am still not quite sure what I want to do after I graduate. When I first entered college I wanted to be a police officer, but I really fell in love with history and thought of teaching at either a high-school or college level

I received an internship in the fall doing production work with Penn State Athletics which I hope will broaden my knowledge and extend my experiences in the field of communications and production. At this point, I am going to see where this internship takes me, while still considering pursuing graduate school and becoming a teacher.

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

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other liberal arts students. My advice would be even if you are not interested in that field of work, the experience is worth it because of the people you meet and the connections and friendships you make. After the internship, you will have so many more avenues to explore simply by having networked with professionals in the field who are extremely involved not only in the State College area, but also the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas too.

Rachel Patchen

Internship with Morgan Stanley
Up one level
Rachel Patchen

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Psychology and Economics
Minor: French
Hometown: Lafayette Hill, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the opportunity through a family member who worked in Operations at Morgan Stanley. I then applied online. I first participated in a phone interview, then a second round interview at their office in New York City.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I interned in Operations at Morgan Stanley. Operations is a division of the firm that strives to improve processes and make the firm more efficient. Specifically, my team was a Credit Derivative Trade Support team. We dealt with Credit Default Swaps, which is a financial product traded at Morgan Stanley. I lived in New York City. This was a paid internship, and Morgan Stanley gave a partial stipend for housing. Along with several other interns, I lived in NYU dorms in TriBeCa. I became very close with my Summer Analyst class through many exciting outings, such as going to Six Flags and a Mets game. It was an excellent experience to learn more about Operations and financial services.

"I sat with and shadowed a myriad of groups, which helped me to broaden my network and gain overall knowledge of the financial marketplace."

How did this experience impact you academically?

The internship program offered many different events throughout the summer. This included listening to senior members of the firm speak about their careers, professional development seminars such as 'Presentation Skills', a tour of the New York Stock Exchange, and networking events that allowed us to meet employees across Operations. I now understand the remit of Credit Derivative Trade Support and where my group sits between the client and the general ledger. I sat with and shadowed a myriad of groups, which helped me to broaden my network and gain overall knowledge of the financial marketplace. I am not a finance major, so it was an incredible opportunity to learn more about how financial services function.

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

Yes. This internship was an excellent experience. There are many professional and networking events available for interns. There are opportunities to meet senior management and learn more about several different components of a successful financial servicing company.

Zachary Zwinak

Internship with Spring Township Police Department
Up one level
Zachary Zwinak

Major: Criminology

Minor: Sociology

 

Hometown: Mt Airy, Maryland

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this internship through my football advisor because he knew one of the officers from prior encounters with former players. A teammate also said that it was a good opportunity because they are able to work with our schedules.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was an exciting and diverse one. Each time I would go out and ride around in the car and assist the officers on anything they needed. Often times on routine patrol we would run license plates numbers through the network system they use. In addition to this routine patrol, the officers were responsible for keeping an eye out for any activity that might raise suspicion. When we pulled over a car, I would run the plate and let the officer know if there were any problems with the person driving or the records on file. Then after the officer had made contact with the individual(s) in the car, I would approach the passenger side of the car and search for anything that might send some signals of wrong doing, such as alcohol or drug paraphernalia. As we went back to the car, I would then run the driver’s license if we found it necessary.

"I got to experience community relations, investigations, patrols, filing paperwork, and learning how important it is to uphold the law."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was good for an academic purpose because in many ways the officer and I would discuss topics or ideas that often came up in my classes. I ended up learning a lot and found it interesting to compare my coursework with this firsthand experience. I got a taste of what the real world is like and what it truly felt like to be a law enforcement officer. I got to experience community relations, investigations, patrols, filing paperwork, and learning how important it is to uphold the law.

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

I still don't know what my career goals are at this point. I discussed many different options with the officers. This did help me confirm that I would enjoy a career in law enforcement. This experience impacted me significantly because I got to see a side of law enforcement that most people don't see and I have gained further knowledge about what the job actually entails. I am very thankful to the officers I met in this internship. Because of their knowledge and wisdom, I was able to have a very good experience and participate in many different activities.

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

Yes, I would recommend the internship if students are interested in learning about law enforcement.  If a student is interested in doing police work, then I would encourage him or her to find a department and inquire about potential internships. It is a great experience to see things from the other side and to understand the perspective of law enforcement officials.

Kimberly Ednie

Internship with First Quality
Up one level
Kimberly Ednie

Major: Economics

Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts

Hometown: Hazleton, PA, USA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through the spring career fair. I saw that First Quality was coming and hiring finance interns, and I visited them at their booth.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I really enjoyed my experience with First Quality. My career goal is to become a financial analyst, and the tasks I was given have prepared me well for that. My supervisor was the senior financial analyst for the company, and he taught me how to complete projects that are a part of his responsibilities. I learned many accounting functions, and also learned how to use excel more effectively. The team was very friendly and willing to help me grow. We had luncheons with some of our department heads, and HR was very interested in intern feedback. Overall, I really enjoyed learning more about the manufacturing industry while also strengthening my analytic skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Before working for First Quality this past summer, I had taken a course here on Excel and Access. They were very thorough and prepared me a lot for the job. Once I started using these programs for real problems rather than theoretical ones, the functions I used stuck a lot more with me. It was a great learning experience having to organize and analyze company data. Seeing how our courses apply to the jobs we are seeking is helping me to learn from my current classes. I may have a homework problem now that seems unrealistic, but the theory behind solving it involves the same process in solving a company's problem. This internship has helped me appreciate more the theories we learn and their applications.

"I knew I enjoyed my classes, and this has shown me that I will love my job as well."

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

My career goal is to become a financial analyst. My supervisor was the senior financial analyst for the company, and he taught me how to complete projects that are a part of his responsibilities. I learned many accounting functions such as account reconciliations, invoicing customers, and general ledger inquiries, and also learned how to use excel more effectively for my projects like month end analysis. I was very relieved to have enjoyed my experience so much. I knew I enjoyed my classes, and this has shown me that I will love my job as well. I am still pursuing my goal to become an analyst after graduation.

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

I would definitely recommend this experience to other liberal arts students. It can be difficult for us to convince companies that we are qualified to perform in a business role, but being an economics student was not an issue for First Quality. I helped out with both finance and accounting, and being a liberal arts student did not hinder my development throughout the program.

Andrea Meyer

Washington Program: Internship with National Organization for Rare Disorders
Up one level
Andrea Meyer

Paterno Fellow
Majors: International Politics, Health Policy Administration
Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was lucky enough to be accepted into the College of Communications Washington Program, where a group of approximately twenty students work and live together in the nation's capitol. The program assists in finding their students internship opportunities and helped set up an interview for me with the National Organization for Rare Disorders. The program knew I wanted an internship that could apply to both my majors (International Politics and Health Policy Administration).

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

For ten weeks this summer I worked in the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) policy office based in Washington D.C. NORD has two other offices on the east coast, one in Connecticut and one in Boston. In the policy office I worked under the vice President of Public Policy, Diane Dorman, and her assistant, Paul Melmeyer. NORD is a nonprofit federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare diseases. Policy-wise, our staff’s main responsibility is to represent the rare disease community to the government, pharmaceutical industry, and insurance industry. While on staff, I met and interacted with the front-line healthcare leaders in D.C. and worked on a variety of small policy projects for the organization. I would primarily shadow Diane or attend meetings and Congressional hearings that she did not have time to go to. Our office was fairly small so much of the work I did was hands on and the individual attention helped accelerate my learning pace.

"At the beginning of the summer I could hardly understand the terms and issues that my boss discussed, but by the end they became second nature to me."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Working for NORD this past summer was an amazing experience both academically and professionally. Those that I worked for primarily wanted me to walk away from the experience with something of value. The building I worked in was the headquarters of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Brookings Institute was right next door so if I ever wanted to attend an event being hosted at either, they were completely open to it. About half way through my internship I really realized how much I was learning by talking to other health professionals and actually understanding the topics and concepts that they were discussing. At the beginning of the summer I could hardly understand the terms and issues that my boss discussed, but by the end they became second nature to me. I learned a significant amount about the rare disease community and the current federal government’s health agenda. Additionally, my knowledge increased considerably surrounding policy and how the "animal" that is Washington, D.C. functions.

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

Career wise I still have not figured out exactly what I want to do, but this past experience significantly helped narrow my frame of vision. Before the experience I thought that I might want to go into lobbying or work on the Hill specifically on health policy. However, my internship helped me discover that I would much rather work in development issues than policy. Though I loved working in the NORD office, policy work is extremely demanding and very dry. I found that I liked my work the most when I was working with other NORD staff on IT/Development issues. Additionally, I have always been more interested in international affairs and public health and still hope to pursue a masters in either issue.

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

Yes, this internship is an amazing experience to work in the health policy world and get your feet wet for the first time.

Alexandra Buslacchi

NBC Universal Internship
Up one level
Alexandra Buslacchi

Paterno Fellow
Major: Economics, Telecommunications
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA, USA
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this internship online through the NBC website. I also attended an information session that NBC held on campus, which helped me when applying.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As a programming intern with NBC Universal, I worked out of the Miami, FL, office and was on a team that acquired and scheduled programming for NBC cable channels in Latin America. I was responsible for compiling monthly programming highlights, creating themed movie weekends for the channels, screening potential acquisitions, and monitoring the channels' performances. The three channels I worked with were Syfy, Studio Universal, and Universal Channel. Over the course of the summer, I also had the opportunity to work with finance and ad sales interns on a research project which examined the viability of NBC acquiring a new digital channel in Latin America. The project culminated in a report which we presented to the top executives in our office.

"My experience has also solidified that I want to work in the media industry when I graduate, and has helped me to decide which classes to take to help prepare me for that field."

How did this experience impact you academically?

The work that I did at my internship has been reinforced by what I am learning in the classroom. The media programming class I am currently taking is reinforcing things that I learned at my programming internship, but I also get to hear different perspectives from my classmates and professor. My experience has also solidified that I want to work in the media industry when I graduate, and has helped me to decide which classes to take to help prepare me for that field. I am also working on my undergraduate thesis, which will examine the economic viability of content streaming services such as Netflix, and my work experience has given me a professional insight into the questions I am researching.

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

After graduation, I would like to work in the entertainment industry in a position similar to the one I held this summer. Before taking the internship, I was not entirely sure what a programming department did. Now that I understand what it takes to be a programmer and I have valuable, practical skills in that field, I plan to seek programming or development related positions. I also enjoyed working for NBC, and would like to work for them again, particularly in New York. Whether I end up at NBC or another media company, I know that the skills I learned at this internship will help me as I get my start in the entertainment industry.

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

I would recommend this experience to any liberal arts student that has an interest in media and knowledge of media content. The internship also required that I speak a small amount of Spanish, so I would recommend working in Miami for any student interested in improving their foreign language skills.

Alexandra was selected as a 2014 Chapel Executive Intern. If you are participating in a full-time internship in business or the private sector, consider applying for the Chapel Executive Internship Program. If selected, you would receive $5,000 in enrichment funds to support your internship!

Katie Quinn

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

Paterno Fellow
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.

Caribay Garcia

Internship with Day & Zimmermann
Up one level
Caribay Garcia

Majors: B.S in Psychology and B.S in Labor and Employment Relations

 

Hometown: Merida, Venezuela

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this opportunity through the department of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My responsibilities were to partner with the directors in creating strategic incentives of engagement that aligned with the leadership framework and assisted in delivering projects to accomplish the team´s goals. I assisted in creating guides, manuals, visuals, presentations, and training sessions in addition to contributing with solidifying the leadership model and framework that had been recently launched in the company. The projects were mostly focused on organizational development, change management, secession planning, emotional intelligence, leadership development, training, and diversity.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Leadership has been a reoccurring theme in my LER and PSYCH classes. However, it was during this internship when I understood that a leader is most successful under organizations with a defined framework and structure. Day and Zimmermann has recently made an effort to create this kind of framework.  For this reason, it was a great moment to learn and be part of this team as they were in the process of building the frameworks, programs, and structures for the organization.

Employment Law (LER 201) and Race, Gender and Employment (LER 136) came back to me when talking about diversity strategies (like reinforcing the role of women in the workforce). Day and Zimmermann does a good job when it comes to diversity in the workplace, but they want to make sure it remains as one of their core values and not just a recruiting guideline. One of the diversity initiatives I participated in was creating a mentoring program that focused on pairing mentors and mentees based on their developmental needs and diverse backgrounds. This experience helped to reinforce concepts that I learned in previous classes.

Day and Zimmermann has a leadership model that is based on the competency framework of Lominger -Korn Ferry international. I was lucky to receive official training in their competency program focused on learning and development strategies, and this allowed me to have a better understanding of the framework.  I also learned a lot more about the research and structure of competency models.

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

I am currently deciding between going to grad school and entering the work force. As an international student, it is difficult for me to find visa sponsorship for full-time employment in the United States. Therefore, I am considering pursuing graduate studies in I/O Psychology with a focus on assessments, personality testing, leadership models, and competency frameworks. After completing grad school I would like to pursue a career in consulting for a couple of years and ultimately, in 10 to 15 years, have my own consulting company based in my home country, Venezuela.

"I was treated as a professional, my opinion was valued, and my work was recognized as a contribution to the team."

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

Yes! Interning with Day and Zimmermann for 14 weeks was an incredible experience and it went beyond my expectations. I was treated as a professional, my opinion was valued, and my work was recognized as a contribution to the team.

Jule Walsh

Study Abroad in Sri Lanka with Malini Fellowship
Up one level
Jule Walsh

Jule Walsh

Paterno Fellow
Majors: History, Anthropology, Political Science
Hometown:  Canadensis, Pa

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I saw an initial posting on the Schreyer Honors College Listserv about the program. I then went to an informational program being held by one of the foundation interns about the experience. After getting all my questions and concerns answered, I knew I wanted to go.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The first day we spent touring the historical city of Galle and learning the history of the country. The following day we were briefed on the workshop we would be participating in with this program, which was based around the story "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". We ended up in a rural town, where there was a school created in order to have Senegalese and Tamil (the two ethnic groups in the country) children learn together, in hopes of ending the hatred between the two groups. Later during the trip, we participated in this workshop again, only in an orphanage in Kandy. During the rest of the trip, we traveled to many different cultural landmarks. This included The Temple of the Tooth, a Buddhist temple, an elephant orphanage, and a tea plantation.

How did this experience impact you academically?

During the course of the trip, between workshops and landmarks, we discussed the various problems with the non-profit organization and the different ways people are trying to fix them. The woman who ran the program, Valerie, made it clear that she did not want her non-profit to be one where people would go in for a few days, do volunteer work, and never return. Our workshops were extensions of bigger programs she was running with the school and the orphanage. Valerie’s method was to build up leaders in a community, and eventually have them help the leaders run the program. This “real-life” lesson is one that I could not have gotten simply hearing about a program in a classroom. I saw these programs in action, how they are organized, and how they were facilitated in the communities, which in turn showed why such programs are beneficial.

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

My career aspiration is to be a lawyer, more specifically one that works with contracts. I believe that one of the most important skills to have, one that will help you succeed regardless of one's chosen path, is to be well-traveled and to have a global perspective. Traveling to different countries helps you to understand where other people’s beliefs come from, and at the same time, they show you how similar everyone else in the world is to each other. It allows people to interact and work better with others. In addition, non-profit work is something that I have always been passionate about. This will most definitely help me later in life when I might be able to assist or create my own non-profit.

"Traveling to different countries shows one where other people's beliefs and actions come from, and at the same time, shows a person how similar everyone else in the world is to each other."

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

Yes, this is definitely a program that allows a student to experience something that they would never be able to experience elsewhere. Although the cultural shock is hard at first, it is an experience you could not get in many countries. Furthermore, Valerie created a program that mixed academic information, business advice, and a cultural experience all together. You are never bored, and always on the move, which quite frankly is tiring, but allows you to experience the most you possibly can in the country.

Jennifer Bet

Consultant Internship at CRM manager
Up one level
Jennifer Bet

Major: Psychology, B.A.

Minor: Labor Studies and Employment Relations

Hometown: Walnutport, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found a write up for CRM manager's internship on the Network Symplicity website.

"Working for a smaller company has big advantages. One of those advantages is the ability to develop close professional relationships with employees."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Having just graduated from Penn State, I didn’t know what to expect at a consulting internship, but I soon found that working for CRM manager was exactly what I had been hoping for. Working for a smaller company has big advantages. One of those advantages is the ability to develop close professional relationships with the employees. I was able to accompany salesmen and consultants at meetings and sit in on multiple conference calls. Additionally, my boss, Andy Atkins, went above and beyond to ensure that I had the necessary resources to feel comfortable with Salesforce. Overall, I had a wonderful experience at CRM manager.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I learned many valuable lessons from working at CRM manager. One of these lessons was how crucial it is to take initiative in the workplace. For example, most of the employees are very busy, so I learned how to approach them to offer my assistance and additionally ask for advice. Another lesson I learned was how important it is to understand the entire company prior to starting work there. For example, Salesforce is a very involved product. I definitely suggest that anyone hired on by CRM start to teach themselves about Salesforce prior to their first day. Overall, this experience greatly impacted the way I view businesses and I feel that this experience will change the way I learn.

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

I am attending West Chester University in the fall in order to earn my Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. I plan to use this degree to continue working in consulting. I also plan to stay on as a full-time employee at CRM manager at the end of my summer internship. My experience at CRM impacted the way I view businesses and all of the various levels of work that go into a successful company. I'm very excited to continue on at CRM and hope to stay at this company for as long as they'll have me.

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

Yes, I would definitely recommend this experience to other students. I learned so much at this summer internship about both the consulting and sales side of the company, and I believe this internship could be extremely helpful for anyone interested in either of these sides.

David Stack

Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) with U.S. Army War College
Up one level
David Stack

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Economics, International Politics, Chinese
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I received an email from the Schreyer Honors College's Career Services department. It mentioned that the U.S. Army War College was accepting applications for internship positions.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My primary assignment was assisting my mentor, Dr. Michael Spangler, who is a thirty-four year veteran of the Foreign Service. I helped revise the curriculum of the class that he teaches about China at the Army War College and develop a new curriculum for a similar class to be offered in a distance-education format. Additional assignments included helping facilitate a retreat for high-level officials from the United Nations Department of Field Support and performing a review of the document “Guiding Principles of Stabilization and Reconstruction.” Furthermore, the Peacekeeping and Stability Operation Institute (PKSOI) organized frequent professional-development seminars for the intern cohort. This typically involved someone from inside or outside the organization talking about what they do and how they got there, and answering any questions we might have.

How did this experience impact you academically?

"I also learned a considerable amount about the inner workings of the United Nations, especially how it conducts its peacekeeping operations."

Helping design the curriculum for the course on China made it necessary for me to conduct a significant amount of research on Chinese history, culture, geography, politics, and economic development. I can honestly say that I knew a moderate amount about China before my internship, but coming out of this experience I know significantly more. Now, I can think more effectively about the U.S-China bilateral relationship. While working at PKSOI, I also learned a considerable amount about the inner workings of the United Nations, especially how it conducts its peacekeeping operations.

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

I’m not positive about what career path I want to pursue, but I do know that I want to work within the broad field of international affairs. One route that I am considering is working directly for the U.S. government, perhaps under the auspices of the Department of State or the Department of Defense. Another options that I am considering is working for a “think tank” like the Center for Strategic and International Studies or the Center for a New American Security. I am also thinking about working for a non-governmental organization engaged in overseas development work. Whichever route I take, my internship experience working directly with the U.S. military will be a helpful addition to my resume as I apply to organizations in all three of those categories for summer internships.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes, particularly if they are interested in international affairs. This experience was a great way to do meaningful work in an interesting setting.

Venessa Murray

Study Abroad in Puebla, Mexico
Up one level
Venessa Murray

Venessa Murray

Paterno Fellow
Major: Spanish
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

As a Spanish major, I've always known that I've wanted to have a study abroad experience. I found the Puebla program by searching online through the Penn State Global Programs website and chose the program that allowed me to live with a host family.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

One of my favorite aspects of the trip was living with a host family.  My host family took me to family events, cared for me when I was sick, and gave me advice.  My host mother paid attention to my favorite foods and made them often. Did I mention that she is a world class cook?

The vast majority of the people that I met were incredibly warm, welcoming, and eager to teach me about their culture and learn about mine.  Additionally, my group visited many archaeological sites and museums. On varying weekends, we traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico City, and Cuetzalan. My ability to speak Spanish improved more in six weeks than in all of my prior years of studying in a classroom combined.

How did this experience impact you academically?

One of the classes that I took with the group of students in Puebla was an art class. Although I am not very knowledgeable about art, the class had a large impact on me academically. Because the class was taught in Spanish, I was taught new vocabulary words that I would not have learned otherwise. The professor was adamant about his students opening their minds and viewing the world from different perspectives. I was  able to apply this viewpoint to my life in general, including my other classes.

Additionally, I took history and short story classes that allowed me to learn about Mexican history and culture. Living in the country allowed me to understand what I learned in context. For example, after learning about the Mexican Revolution, I was able to go to a museum dedicated to the important time in Mexican history. I was able to see the effects of the history of the country on the modern culture. This experience had a great impact on my ability to speak Spanish.

"I have actually decided to pursue spending an entire semester in Mexico because my time there was so gratifying and influential."

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

My goal is to attend medical school and work as a primary care physician. My experience in Mexico helped me realize that I have a passion for speaking Spanish and would love to combine this with my career. As a result, it is now my goal to practice in an area in the U.S. with a large immigrant population. In this situation, I would utilize my Spanish abilities and make a positive difference by helping my patients feel more comfortable in their new country.

Furthermore, the experience taught me just how much I love to travel. Travel allows for experiencing other cultures and learning about the perspectives of others. I have actually decided to pursue spending an entire semester in Mexico because my time there was so gratifying and influential.

The decision to study abroad for an entire semester has impacted my future career because it requires me to take a gap year between my undergraduate education and medical school. In the past, I did not see this route as an option; however, now I realize that I must follow my passions.  Although my original plan will be altered, becoming completely fluent in Spanish will help me in the future career.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other liberal arts students. Although we were given a wide degree of liberty to explore Mexico as we pleased, I never felt neglected or unsafe. Despite how the media may negatively portray the country, I encourage students to give Mexico a chance. After experiencing the history, people, culture and, of course, the food, I could not be happier with my decision to study abroad there.

Garrett Kershner

Internship with Air Products
Up one level
Garrett Kershner

Majors: Human Resources & Employment Relations and Labor & Employment Relations

Minor: Business

Hometown: West Chester, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this internship with Air Products through the Penn State Career Fair.  I went to the fair and I talked to the recruiter. Later on that week, the same recruiter came to a meeting for a club I am involved in (Society for Human Resource Management). I talked to her again at the meeting and applied for the position online later that week.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This has been a great experience. Supplementing the knowledge I learned in the classroom with real life experience is crucial for my long term career aspirations. While working, I built my professional network and met many people who have similar career paths that I am striving towards. It is very beneficial as an aspiring professional in the field to meet with these people and get advice that will help me in my future career. Furthermore, this experience will make my resume more relevant for future employers because of the experience I developed this summer.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship will not only help me with my future career, but also academically. While interning, I was exposed to various situations which are often taught in the curriculum at school. By having relevant experience in topics discussed in class, I can contribute more in classroom discussions. My internship has also made me more motivated and excited about the career field that I am pursing. This excitement will carry over into my academic life and will provide a purpose to the topics learned in class.

"Through interning, I was able to gain valuable experience and knowledge about the field and how to eventually move into my dream position."

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

My career goal is to become a human resource manager. These positions are challenging to obtain and require years of experience and dedication. Through this internship, I was able to gain valuable experience and knowledge about the field and how to eventually move into my dream position. Through networking at this organization, I was able to learn how these individuals climbed their career ladders and learn from them. Overall, interning gave me early exposure to my career area of interest.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?

Yes, this was a great experience that gave me relevant work experience in a field I am interested in.

Stephanie Metzger

Estee Lauder Companies, Corporate Innovation
Up one level
Stephanie Metzger

Paterno Fellow
Major: Spanish and World Language Education
Minor: ESL Certificate and International Relations
Hometown: Doylestown, PA
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about the opportunity to participate in the Estee Lauder Company Internship Program through a family friend.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I spent 10 weeks interning for the Estee Lauder Companies under the Corporate Innovation department. Every project I worked on allowed me to work with different people, research areas of the beauty business, learn from professionals in a variety of departments, and develop my professional skills. As an intern, I was able to meet and learn from leaders of the company including Leonard Lauder, William Lauder, John Demsey, and Fabrizio Freda. The very highest people in the company wanted to take the time to get to know us and impart advice about the company and the beauty business world. It was incredible to sit next to, ask questions, and talk with some of the most successful people in the company that I worked for this summer.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My liberal arts education gave me an edge because I was able to bring a new perspective to the company compared to other interns who were either business or marketing majors. I was able to apply what I had been learning academically throughout my time working at Estee. For example, one of the biggest projects I ended up working on had a strong basis in linguistics. Additionally, I was able to use my Spanish major and talk to multiple different people in segments of the company doing research on Latino consumers and different marketing tactics for Spanish speaking consumers. Furthermore, there were so many things that I learned that could never be taught in a classroom such as how to act in corporate culture, what to wear, and the expectations of interacting within a hierarchy.

"This internship has shown me all of the opportunities that my Spanish degree can bring in helping me stand out."

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

I always planned on starting my teaching career right after graduating. Now I can really envision myself working in a corporate environment after graduating, hopefully to return as a better teacher. Understanding and working in the corporate world will help me better help my future students, as I know many of them will want to pursue a business or corporate related career. Before, I hadn't considered  that I would be able to successfully work for a company as something other than a translator. This internship has shown me all of the opportunities that my Spanish degree can bring in helping me stand out. I can bring new perspectives to certain areas of the business world.

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

I would definitely recommend this experience to other liberal arts students. The Estee Lauder Companies puts a ton of time and effort into developing their interns and strongly considers us for future jobs within their company. I learned an incredible amount while working there, and it provides you the opportunity to see all the different ways you can work within their company. I was able to go around to multiple departments and brands and talk with anyone about their day-to-day work. Everyone is so willing to help the interns learn and grow, that it makes for a great learning experience -- you just have to make sure to try to absorb it all, 10 weeks fly by!

Stephanie was selected as a 2014 Chapel Executive Intern. If you are participating in a full-time internship in business or the private sector, consider applying for the Chapel Executive Internship Program. If selected, you would receive $5,000 in enrichment funds to support your internship!

Todd Kahn

Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
Up one level
Todd Kahn

Todd Kahn

Major: Labor Studies and Employment Relations
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Roxbury, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I originally learned about this experience through the Liberal Arts Newswire. This Newswire always contains a wide variety of useful information for Liberal Arts students, and one day I was scrolling through and saw information about an info session to receive a mentor. I was in desperate need for career advice at the time, and I thought this would be a great learning opportunity. The rest is history!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience in the Mentor Program has been amazing. The College truly does match you up with a mentor that fits your needs, interests and goals. My mentor was in one of the same organizations I am currently in at Penn State, and our interests match up more often than not. My mentor came in at the perfect time because I was just about to start the ever-stressful internship search. I really was not sure where to start, how to format my resume, how to handle interviews, etc. and my mentor filled those gaps immediately! She definitely challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and push myself beyond I thought I was able to. Through mock interviews, cover letter and resume reviews, and all around career advice, I felt more than confident applying to companies and going through the interview process. I can truly say I would not have gotten the internship I had this past summer if it were not for everything my mentor helped me with.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The great part of Human Resources is that there are so many different facets. As a result, there is much variety when picking classes for students in my major (LER). After expressing my particular interests, my mentor recommended classes I could take to test out my interests and see where I find my passion the most. I always took her advice and it was a great help in gaining a better understanding of what field I could potentially go down once I graduated. She always expressed how it is better to experiment in college with different career paths so I will have more confidence in finding a job once graduation hit. I never really understand why she would say that, but now that I am looking for a full-time job, I have such a better understanding of what career would be more fit for my interests. The classes I took at Penn State were a huge factor in helping me discover my true career interests!

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

My career goals include starting off in a Human Resources related job and eventually earning my Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. The Mentor Program re-affirmed my love for HR and how much you could do in this field. My mentor has held a wide variety of jobs in various HR specialties, and that was a great perspective to be shown to me. I am not exactly sure what field of HR I want to go into yet, and my mentor gave me a large amount of potential career opportunities (as well as explaining how she got to the job she currently holds). Overall, it was very helpful to have someone who has gone through it already provide advice to someone who is just getting his or her feet wet. She has been a major help in my career search.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend the Mentor Program! I considered it almost like having a "work mom" who had all the answers to my never-ending questions. I haven't heard of a mentor that was not extremely eager to help their mentee achieve greatness, and mine did just that! I worked at a Fortune 100 company (Liberty Mutual) and I was more than prepared throughout the process to get to that point because of my mentor. You definitely have to put in the time to make your time with your mentor significant and beneficial, and you will not regret it!

Alecia Panuski

Internship with the Eberly College of Science Development and Alumni Relations Office
Up one level
Alecia Panuski

Hometown: West Wyoming, PA
Major(s): Political Science and History

How did you learn about this opportunity?

During my sophomore year I learned about Penn State's Division of Development and Alumni Relations Summer Internship Program through friends I worked with at Lion Line. I knew this program gave amazing experiences for students who are interested in fundraising or working with alumni. If I had not been working at Lion Line, I probably would have never known about the program because it was not widely advertised. I am very happy that the summer internship program is now advertised on Penn State's websites and through email listservs. I also recently took part in an information session for the summer program to help recruit potential candidates. I hope in the future this program is advertised more because it led to wonderful experiences for me.

Tell us a little about your experience.

I interned with Eberly College of Science on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays throughout the Fall semester. Occasionally, I would have to work nights and only once, a Saturday. I enjoyed the internship because it was not the same thing every day. Sometimes I would be at my desk for most of the day, working on lists for direct mail solicitations, the Dean's Holiday Cards, invitations to events, etc. Other days, for special occasions, I would be helping with events like the Millennium Society Reception, Distinguished Alumni Dinner, and Alumni Tailgate. I always helped with the planning of the events (invitations, keeping track of RSVP's, catering information, making name tags, day-of set-up) so when the events finally came together, it was very satisfying to see everyone having a good time. One of my favorite parts of the internship was traveling for donor visits. Mike, a Development Officer, and I traveled several times together. On these days, we would be on the road very early and go to meet with the donors, mostly for coffee. I love meeting with the donors in a one-on-one setting because you really get to hear about their interest in Penn State and you get the opportunity to have a more meaningful conversation.

At Eberly, I did not always feel like "the intern", I truly felt like part of the team. I realized this when I was sitting with people from Eberly's marketing team at an event for the new Planetarium at the Arboretum. One of the marketing team members said to me, "Alecia, I completely forgot to ask you how your classes are! You are always here with Eberly, it feels like you're one of us and not still a student!"

"If you think you are interested in working for fundraising or in philanthropy, please consider this internship experience"

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship experience provided me with real-world experience that I would not have been able to get sitting in a classroom. I learned so much about development, alumni relations and philanthropy. At Penn State, we do not have a Philanthropy major or minor. Students who want to pursue philanthropy as career have to partake in extracurricular activities (like THON or the Student Philanthropy Council) or internships to learn more. Through this internship, I learned about the donor cycle for fundraising, how to plan events, and how to interact with donors among countless other skills. I also believe my writing has greatly improved as a result of this internship. Writing a solicitation or writing a thank you letter for fundraising is very different than any style of writing I was used to before. I've realized that in my history classes I write one way, in my Political Science another, and then at my internship, yet another way. I would not have learned anything about development writing in my four years of college, had I not taken part in this internship.

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

Almost two years ago, I began considering development as a career. Today, I can say I am set on that path. This internship confirmed my passion for philanthropy and development. I realized that I love working with alumni and donors, and I love being able to connect their passion for philanthropy with the needs of the University. I am excited to begin looking for jobs within development this upcoming semester for when I graduate in May. This internship gave me a broad understanding of fundraising at the major gifts level, which is exactly what I wanted to learn. It is exciting and rewarding when you discover what you want to do with your future, and I truly believe for me, that is fundraising.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

I would definitely recommend this experience for other Liberal Arts students. Last year, in 2013, 95% of American households gave money to charity. That means 95% of American households are inclined to give back in the spirit of philanthropy. Fundraising is a huge field that is growing so much right now. There are literally countless jobs in every city and state looking for fundraisers. If you think you are interested in working for fundraising or in philanthropy, please consider this internship experience. It gives you so much information about working with donors and how to raise money. You will also learn transferable skills that you can take into any field. It is a very worthwhile experience and you will feel like you are part of a team, a team that wants everyone to excel.

Matthew Walker

Internship with Penn State Sports Properties at Learfield Sports
Up one level
Matthew Walker

Matthew Walker

Hometown: North Salem, NY
Major: Economics

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Someone who worked in my dad’s office in New York City knew the marketing coordinator here at Penn State. We started to email back and forth and then we met formally. After that meeting, she offered me a position as a game-day and marketing intern.

Tell us a little about your experience.

Some of the most valuable skills I have learned from this experience were the leadership and networking skills. Networking is important in all professions, but especially in the sports world. Getting a job in sports can include so many different careers. A person could work for a sports team and deal with the internal and external relations of that team. A person can also work for an agency that represents athletes when it comes to contracts, legal issues, finance, and/or marketing. A person can also work for a company like Learfield Sports and focus a variety of fields including sponsorships, hospitality, sales, marketing, and media relations. What I have learned from my internship with Learfield Sports is that you can never meet too many people. An aspect of my job is to interact with clients and ensure that they are pleased with the product we design and promote. I have met the CEO of our company, high-level managers within Dunkin’ Donuts, as well as high-level officials within the Penn State Athletics Department. I try to network and develop as many connections as I can because I might find that I enjoy that sector of the sports market.

Overall, this experience has taught me the value of teamwork, especially in sports.

How did this experience impact you academically?

In some of my courses, communication is key to doing well in the class and earning a good grade. My internship has provided me with another opportunity to develop great communication skills. We are encouraged to engage with our clients and to communicate with as many of our sponsors as possible. As a result, I now find myself communicating with my professors and developing relationships with them more than I ever have in the past, which will be useful if I ever need a letter of recommendation.

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

My short-term career goal is to get a job in the sports field. At this point, I have participated in internships in sports finance, sales, and marketing. I am open to working in any of these fields in the future. Overall, this experience has taught me the value of teamwork, especially in sports.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

I would recommend this internship because it taught me some great lessons in time management as well as networking. I interacted with officials from Penn State Athletics as well as clients and sponsors of PSU athletics. 

Steven Bogert

Volunteer Assistant with the Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Team
Up one level
Steven Bogert

Steven Bogert

Hometown: Carlsbad, CA
Major: Communication Arts & Sciences

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I attended Penn State and started for the Men’s Lacrosse Team. I put in four years of hard work so I already knew the team and staff. I was coming back for a semester and asked if I could be a volunteer assistant to stay close to the team and stay in shape.

Tell us a little about your experience.

My overall experience was fantastic! I was able to learn from the best lacrosse staff in the country and apply what they teach to my everyday life. If I want to coach after I graduate I now have the experience and tools to do so. I was with the team every day for multiple hours a day. I examined film and talked to the defensive unit on how to improve. I also created videos that show what the lacrosse team does and how hard they work. Overall my experience was awesome and I am thankful for this course.

"This experience was great for me to make more connections and it opened up doors for additional professional opportunities."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience also helped me become more familiar with what I want to do later in life. This experience was great for me to make more connections and it opened up doors for additional professional opportunities.

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

Someday I would like to become a collegiate coach. Being a volunteer assistant with the Penn State Men’s Lacrosse Team has enabled me to make this a reality. In general the lacrosse staff  really liked my work. This will help boost my resume and open more doors for collegiate opportunities. 

Alyssa Gurklis

Internship with The Malini Foundation
Up one level
Alyssa Gurklis

Alyssa Gurklis

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Major(s): Sociology & Global and International Studies
Minor(s): Civic and Community Engagement & Psychology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity after traveling to Sri Lanka with a program facilitated by the Malini Foundation in partnership with the Schreyer Honors College. By connecting with Valerie Handunge, my supervisor and mentor while in Sri Lanka. We decided to collaborate on visual development and marketing projects over the summer. At the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester, I decided to continue working with the Foundation as the senior program development intern.

Tell us a little about your experience.

My internship roles included working with our graphic designer to develop the Malini Foundation’s visual aesthetic, creating a library of photos taken over the course of the Summer Fellows trip, and developing the Foundation’s new website. I also worked to develop and expand upon the Foundation’s international programs designed for students and professionals. Having no formal training or experience with graphic design, marketing, or program development, a lot of the projects I worked on really pushed me outside of my immediate comfort zone. With some guidance from my mentor and my team, I have been able to explore and analyze what want to get out of my college education.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Being in Sri Lanka and working on projects that I became deeply invested in encouraged me to make my passions the focus of my academic career. I am now majoring in Sociology and Global and International Studies and I plan to focus on domestic and international civic and community engagement. Through my work, I also continue to learn about the issues that confront women and girls around the world along with the complex challenges that one encounters in trying to effect social change. I have also acquired insight into the effects of volunteer tourism, philanthropy, and aid on developing nations.

This experience has helped me to grow in ways that I could never have imagined.

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

As a result of my experiences I realized that I wanted to work in the social sector. Though I am still exploring, I hope to work with a nonprofit organization and I am exploring career opportunities in community development.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

This experience has helped me to grow in ways that I could never have imagined. I have been exposed to new opportunities and challenged in a multitude of ways. I have learned new skills that pertain to my academic interests as well as professional development.

Anna Rastatter

Internship with Strawberry Fields, Inc.
Up one level
Anna Rastatter

Anna Rastatter

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Major(s): Rehabilitation and Human Services & English

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I am a volunteer at the Community Help Centre in downtown State College. Many of my fellow volunteers also worked at Strawberry Fields and they spoke very highly of their experiences at Strawberry Fields. I began to ask CHC staff members about possible internships through the company. I went on the website and began filling out the online, general application. While I was completing the application, I met with my Rehabilitation and Human Services Adviser. I bounced the idea off her and she fully supported it. She was on their board and was able to tell me a bit about the internship program. I finished my application and was offered the internship position in my desired department a couple of weeks later.

 

Tell us a little about your experience.

My primary duty was to assist adults who have a primary mental health diagnosis in a residential setting. Responsibilities included providing emotional support, assisting with daily living skills, money management, household management, and social skills. I also was in charge of administering medication as well as logging all interactions with them. As my internship progressed, I began to run groups that focused on topics such as self-advocacy and physical wellness. I would create activities and research the topic in order to run effective, interactive groups with the individuals we served. I also ran weekly townhouse meetings in which we addressed any conflicts between roommates. During the last portion of my internship, I took on the role of a full-time employee by becoming the "goal-manager" for one of the individuals in Strawberry Fields. This entailed working with the person on developing goals and setting specific steps to accomplish the goals. It was a very fulfilling experience.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was so intense. It was the best thing I have done at Penn State. From the very start, my internship required me to constantly depend on my education to accomplish my job duties. The Psychiatric Principles that I learned in the classroom were recognized and used to help these individuals I worked with. I will take the valuable lessons I've learned from my internship and utilize them in my future career. I learned that a real-world experience can sometimes teach you more than a quiz or test ever could. This experience also impacted my confidence. I gained so much confidence by trusting my past education. Overall my internship taught me invaluable lessons about working in human services.

I learned that a real-world experience can sometimes teach you more than a quiz or test ever could.

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

I plan to apply for a full-time position at Strawberry Fields. I would like to look into Masters programs, particularly Penn State’s Counseling Education program. My dream is to get licensed to practice counseling and therapy in a clinical setting. I am excited to put in the work and finish my education in order to get there.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

I would definitely recommend this internship to other Liberal Arts students, particularly psychology majors. This experience has given me a wealth of insight into the field of mental health. I would recommend that anyone going into the field of human services gain some real world experience. Additionally, my internship provided me with many networking opportunities and contacts. The most important lesson I learned during my experience was how to better connect with people. I learned that even if a person has a mental illness, the ability to work to gain an independent lifestyle is completely possible. This belief is something I will stand by and advocate for as I continue in the field of human services.

Melissa McCleery

Internship with the State College Borough Office of Community Engagement
Up one level
Melissa McCleery

Melissa McCleery

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Coopersburg, PA
Major(s): Women’s Studies, Political Science, Spanish

How did you learn about this opportunity?

When I was looking for an internship I began communicating with staff and faculty at the university who knew me well and knew my interests. I wanted something that would be engaging and rewarding, and that could help me learn more about some of the fields I was interested in working full-time. I spoke with the advisor for one of my organizations, and he told me about an opportunity he thought would be perfect for me - and it was!

Tell us a little about your experience.

As a community engagement intern for the State College Borough, I was able to have a lot of hands-on experience working within a local government. My intern project was planning a community event in late August designed to help students and long-term residents of the Borough to interact and learn more about each other. In doing this planning, I worked with just about every department in the Borough, from Planning to Administration, to make sure things went smoothly. I also had the opportunity to sit in on lots of routine meetings, which helped me to understand how different offices work together to run a community.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience expanded on a lot of things that I learned through my academic classes. This internship has been very hands-on, and has allowed me to explore interests and ask questions in very engaging ways. My internship has also helped me to understand other disciplines that I didn't have much experience with, like Community, Environment, and Development. I was able to see how majors can be applied in the real world.

This internship has been very hands-on, and has allowed me to explore interests and ask questions in very engaging ways.

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

After graduation, I plan on moving to Washington, DC and work in the government or non-profit sector. I'd like to work in a think tank or government consulting agency, and do work that is meaningful and helpful to the surrounding community. My experience with the State College Borough has given me insight into what it takes to manage and improve a small community, and that has certainly increased my respect for the work of government in general. I've also gotten a lot of independence, and that has helped me to learn where my strengths in government lie and areas in which I need to improve.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other students. It has been rewarding, fun, and I've learned so much about myself and the work I hope to do!

Teressa Hamsher

Internship with The Malini Foundation
Up one level
Teressa Hamsher

Teressa Hamsher

Paterno Fellow
Hometown: Nazareth, PA
Major(s): International Politics & Psychology
Minor: Spanish

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through a Schreyer Honors College listserv announcement for an information session. After the information session, I reached out to the founder, Valerie Handunge and applied to be an intern.

Tell us a little about your experience.

My internship lasted a full calendar year including a trip to Sri Lanka. Throughout this time, my role evolved into a “Senior Intern” position, which included managing three other interns for the Foundation. Therefore, a large part of my responsibilities as a Foundation manager was to work collaboratively with these interns, and to provide guidance, assistance, and my expertise to ensure their projects were a success.

The Malini Foundation is a nonprofit based out of Sri Lanka which is committed to “inspiring girls and investing in women.” The Foundation accomplishes these goals through several programs in Sri Lanka and also here in the United States. Some of the Foundation’s projects include establishing a home for talented orphaned girls, building a collaborative grassroots network, EFL programing, and engaging students in building a global perspective. I have been fortunate as a part of my internship to be engaged in all of the different programs that the Foundation is working on, especially when I traveled to Sri Lanka and engaged directly in volunteering for two EFL programs in a school and orphanage. In the United States, I was the lead intern regarding all student programming that occurred at the Pennsylvania State University, the Foundation’s main student partner.

Not only have I grown academically but I also have made myself more marketable to future employers.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a part of managing this partnership, I have gained experience and expertise in building a supportive and passionate culture at Penn State, specifically the Schreyer Honors College, which collaborates with the Foundation to ensure the success of the Foundation in both its mission in Sri Lanka, humanitarian work, and here in the United States, encouraging students to build a global perspective. Building this culture demanded taking somewhat ambiguous and abstract goals and then formulating a strategy not only to accomplish these goals but also to execute that strategy with quantifiable components to measure success. While The Malini Foundation is a nonprofit, every program, event, or campaign is formulated around an analytical and strategic core to ensure optimal success. Because the Foundation is relatively new, my responsibilities include standardizing the processes through which I am building my partnerships to ensure the models we are using can be replicated in the future. I accomplish this duty through meticulous record keeping and effective organization.

Organization is a key skill I have developed through this internship because of the nature of my work. Interning remotely has forced me to manage my own schedule while still completing complex deliverables according to deadlines and with high quality. Working remotely also means that, at Penn State, I am the ambassador for the organization, and often the face of the organization. Therefore it is imperative that I conduct myself professionally, effectively, and with passion. Being professional extends into nearly every facet of my internship as I am also responsible for interacting with other professionals and building a network for the Foundation. Therefore, I have gained skills in researching and communicating with diverse persons, organizations, and companies.

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

This experience impacted my career goals because I now believe that I want to start my own non profit and work in international development. Additionally, it truly awakened in me a passion for women’s and girls’ rights, especially the right to have access to education. While I still plan on going to law school after college, I now want to focus in international law, especially international human rights. Additionally, I am far more open to different possibilities and paths that my passion can take me, especially in the nonprofit field. My internship has shown me that one person truly can make an impact.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other students. My work with an international nonprofit has given me valuable knowledge about the greater global community, humanitarian issues, government approaches to social issues, and effective grassroots strategies. This has supplemented my International Politics education in making me culturally sensitive and open minded. Additionally I have gained important skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. I believe that this experience has made my experience at Penn State unique. Not only have I grown academically but I also have made myself more marketable to future employers.

Shakita Jarrett

Internship with THE EPIS CENTER
Up one level
Shakita Jarrett

Shakita Jarrett

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Major(s): Psychology and Criminology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through the College of Health and Human Development website.  I found the EPIS Center called them to inquire about possible internships offered at the center.

Tell us a little about your experience.

During my internship, I gained valuable experience in understanding the different programs implemented to reduce antisocial behaviors in school-children along with reducing delinquency among troubled youth. This internship has given me the opportunity to work with former probation officers and social workers and gain insight into their professions. Also, I was given the opportunity to visit the Loysville Development Youth Center. Overall, interning at this center has been beneficial and I believe I will use the knowledge of programs learned during this internship in my future jobs.

Overall, interning at this center has been beneficial and I believe I will use the knowledge of programs learned during this internship in my future jobs.

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

I plan on pursuing a career in human services. Specifically I want to work with the mental health community and with juvenile delinquents to help them integrate back into society after placement and treatment. The internship has influenced my path because I gained knowledge of evidence-based programs used in my state to decrease juvenile delinquency.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

Yes, I would highly recommend this experience for anyone interested in working with juveniles or aspiring school counselors. Also this internship is relevant for criminology majors. Some of the employees at the center are former probation officers and social workers and they provide valuable insights in the field and can potentially help with seeking employment

Emily Edling

Research Internship with the English Department, specializing in Creative Fiction and Nonfiction Writing
Up one level
Emily Edling

Emily Edling

Hometown: Boyertown, PA
Major: English

Minors: Mathematics, Business and the Liberal Arts, Technical Writing 

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through Dr. Liz Jenkins who runs the internship program for the English Department.

Tell us a little about your experience.

As an intern for Professor Kadetsky, I was helping her prepare for the publication of her book, The Poison That Purifies You. I was in charge of managing her social media accounts, researching other publishing outlets, drafting professional correspondence, and proofreading her manuscripts. Professor Kadetsky was based in New York City throughout the semester, so I had to be available to her through email and phone conversations. I also made several trips into the city. On these trips into the city, I worked the table for Ms. Kadetsky's publisher and also helped with a reading.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship helped me choose a career path in publishing. It allowed me to further develop my skills in writing and communication. Drafting professional correspondence was great practice for what I will be doing on a daily basis with a career in publishing. Researching outlets in which Ms. Kadetsky’s work could be published was also great practice for my future career. Editing the manuscripts will be my main focus in publishing and through this experience, I gained invaluable skills.

This experience gave me more confidence in the skills I had already gained through my classes.

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

My career goals are to work in publishing, preferably as an editor in New York City. This experience gave me more confidence in the skills I had already gained through my classes. I really proved to myself that this career is something that I can do. This experience gave me insight into the publication process and allowed me to see the publishing world from every angle. This experience also gave me the opportunity to network with professionals in the publishing industry in New York City. All around, this experience made me even more excited to graduate and get out into the publishing world.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

I would recommend this experience to other students because it gives you a wide range of experiences that would be valuable for any career path. It was one of the most exciting experiences and I truly loved all of the work I was asked to do by Professor Kadetsky. Along with gaining experience in my chosen career path, I also gained a great mentor relationship with Professor Kadetsky.

Stephen Payne

Internship with Penn State University Office of Governmental Affairs
Up one level
Stephen Payne

Stephen Payne

Hometown: Dallastown, PA
Major(s): Communication Arts & Sciences, Education and Public Policy

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had worked in the past for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. APLU works closely with the governmental affairs offices of its member institutions. Penn State is one of those institutions, so after working at APLU, I thought it would be a great opportunity to see public university lobbying efforts from the institutional perspective.

Tell us a little about your experience.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Penn State's Office of Governmental Affairs as their Federal Relations Intern. This position was very rewarding because I believe this is the line of work I would be interested in pursuing after graduation. In my internship, I helped the federal staff research legislation, hearings, and the ways in which the activity of Penn State may be of interest to legislators. I have been exposed to both federal issues, state issues, and even some of the local government issues at Penn State. I've also gained an even better appreciation for the vast amount of federally-funded research.

Seeing how important rhetoric is in the public policy arena first-hand has continued to make a big impact on me.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I think this experience has impacted me academically by supplementing my coursework in both my Communication Arts & Sciences and Education & Public Policy majors. I've noticed how important it is to effectively communicate a message to legislators. Sometimes it can be about the importance of increased funding or even about why a certain regulation may not be the most effective. Understanding how important strong communication can be to the success of an initiative is something I'll take with me. Sometimes the winners in Washington and Harrisburg are those who can most effectively communicate their message to legislators. Seeing how important rhetoric is in the public policy arena first-hand has continued to make a big impact on me.

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

I hope to work on Capitol Hill following graduation. I want to work for a Representative, Senator, or a committee. Working in Penn State's Office of Governmental Affairs has given me a much closer look at what it is like to work on federal issues. Even though we are based here in University Park, PA, we are very connected to Washington. My boss works closely with the staff in Congressional offices, so having a deeper understanding of the day-to-day contact from outside the office has been very intriguing. I can further confirm that this is the field that I want to go into when I graduate from Penn State.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

I would recommend this experience. The staff is always incredibly willing to have conversations about higher education issues in Harrisburg and Washington. I can't think of a better place for me to have interned because the Office of Governmental Affairs combines my passion for Penn State with my interest in Congress.

Nina Boscia

Internship with PLEN 360 Summit Conference
Up one level
Nina Boscia

Paterno Fellow

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the PLEN 360 Summit Conference from an email newsletter provided by my internship coordinator. Washington, D.C. is a city that offers thousands of opportunities for summer interns and young professionals-- take advantage of them if you are able! If you're interning in Washington, don't hesitate to reach out to your coordinator or search organizations that you support to learn about similar opportunities. You can do this regardless of the city you're in-- it doesn't have to be D.C.! If you're interested in finding out about networking opportunities, leadership forums, or career preparation conferences, seek them out by asking your internship coordinator in your prospective city! Even if you're not in D.C., you're still able to participate in PLEN conferences and programs-- simply search the website for more information.

Tell us a little about your experience.

One of the most enriching experiences I enjoyed during my internship in Washington, D.C. was the opportunity to participate in a conference directed by the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN). PLEN is an organization that offers programs specifically geared toward public policy and leadership for women. Based in Washington, D.C., PLEN addresses the environment in the city from the perspective of female impact. Participating in PLEN programs help women prepare for a successful career in public policy by providing skills, knowledge, and networking opportunities. I was lucky enough to participate in the PLEN 360 Summit, a two-day conference allowing me to engage with numerous, successful women in many areas of policy work, gain resume and LinkedIn advice, learn about salary negotiation, and interviewing tips. Connecting with successful women in the professional D.C. area provided me with an overview of many career opportunities in nonprofit organizations, government, and the private sector. These programs are open to college women, recent graduates, and young professionals. I met many students and young professionals who I still stay in touch with today!

The PLEN conference really solidified my goals to live and work in Washington, D.C.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The PLEN 360 Summit stressed the importance of academic success. The workshops and guest speakers continued to promote academic involvement and showed me that success really does include doing well in school. The program allowed me to develop specific academic interests that could lead to particular job opportunities. It encouraged me to take this newfound knowledge back to Penn State and incorporate my interests to coursework. Ultimately, my academic experiences were definitely enhanced due to my PLEN involvement through new knowledge about policy, nonprofit organizations, and different areas of work.

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

I will be entering a graduate program in Strategic Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. That being said, my career interests and goals were definitely impacted by my PLEN experience. Hoping to live in the Washington, D.C. area, the PLEN summit provided me with so many contacts and information about the landscape of policy work in the city. I not only was enriched by the programs provided during the summit, but I also learned about career opportunities. The PLEN conference really solidified my goals to live and work in Washington, D.C. The women who participated in the conference were successful in many different areas, giving me the confidence to believe I could find a lucrative and fulfilling position after graduate school. After graduation, I hope to work in communication consulting, political communication, marketing, or public relations. Many of the speakers at the PLEN conference had experience in one or more of these fields, so I was able to learn about the type of work they were involved with, as well as gain positive advice about the fields themselves.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students? If yes, why?

I absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students! You don't have to be a political science major to gain worthwhile information from PLEN-- women of all majors and backgrounds have succeeded in policy work! However, many Liberal Arts majors tend to lead to career opportunities within PLEN's realm of expertise. Liberal Arts women have the opportunity to network with successful women in so many different areas of work and will gain insight and access to potential career pathways and passions. Due to the broadness of Liberal Arts degrees, women should take advantage of learning from numerous career trajectories. PLEN offers all of these opportunities for women!

Sanjana Roy

Internship with Scholastic
Up one level
Sanjana Roy

Hometown: State College, PA
Major: Economics
Minor: Entrepreneurship and Innovation 

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was contacted by a company called Dream Careers. They have an application process and once you are selected you are matched with the industry and type of company of your choice. After indicating that I was interested in their New York program and in Market Research, they matched me with Scholastic. I interviewed and got the offer 2 weeks later!

Tell us a little about your experience.

I was a Market Research intern at Scholastic's Consumer Research Department. Over the course of my internship, I supported business units within Scholastic on both quantitative and qualitative research initiatives. I also managed 6 research engagements including usability testing, focus groups (online and at a facility), and brand tracking. I absolutely loved my experience at Scholastic. My managers were friendly, easy to talk to, and willing to help. They took an interest in my personal and professional development. They even set up a Qualtrics training program for me after having shared my career interests with them. I would love the opportunity to work with them again!

This further sparked the entrepreneur in me and encouraged me to be a self-starter in every way possible.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Economics is teaching me to find the balance between thinking holistically and being analytical and detailed oriented. Those are the main skills required in a Market Research role, which is my career goal upon graduation. This internship helped me improve my Excel skills, graph analysis abilities, and business report writing. I feel more prepared to pursue my economics degree having participated in this internship. My manager's supportive leadership style also helped me take charge of my learning through the internship. This further sparked the entrepreneur in me and encouraged me to be a self-starter in every way possible.

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

Upon graduation, I would like to work in the Market Research, Data Analytics or Business Insights department of a company as a Market Research Analyst. This experience was directly correlated to that goal. This internship taught me valuable analytic skills, how to use industry specific software, and gave me insights on how research is conducted by the top players of the industry. I feel like this experience has honed my skills and prepared me for a Market Research Analyst role upon graduation.

Amanda Thoet

Adventure Literature Course: The Beach
Up one level
Amanda Thoet

Amanda Thoet

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

How did you learn about this opportunity?

One of my friends completed an Adventure Literature course before and loved it. I also saw advertisements for the courses through various Liberal Arts listservs.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As part of an Adventure Literature course entitled "The Beach," we spent a week over Spring Break in South Carolina exploring the low country. Prior to our trip, we read various literary works about the low country and we were trained for the kayaking portion as well. Once we arrived in South Carolina, we kayaked almost every day through swamps, rice canals and the inter-coastal waterway, culminating in a camping expedition on an uninhabited barrier reef island.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This trip opened my eyes up to a new way of learning and helped me to appreciate how education is interdisciplinary through the combination of an English class and a Kinesiology class. I also gained a greater appreciation for nature through my first time camping.

"This trip opened my eyes up to a new way of learning and helped me to appreciate how education is interdisciplinary through the combination of an English class and a Kinesiology class."

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

I am completing a Fulbright in Germany this upcoming year. This trip helped me to appreciate other ways of life and learn to adapt to different styles of living which will definitely be useful in my year abroad.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this experience because it was not your ordinary English class. We read works of literature about the low country prior to our trip and then got to experience first-hand what life was like for the authors who wrote those works. It was a very hands-on class and the professors and instructors were passionate about the class and adventurous.

Noah Lingwall

COMM 419H - World Media Systems Embedded Course Trip
Up one level
Noah Lingwall

Noah Lingwall

Paterno Fellow
Major: History and Global & International Studies
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Tacoma, WA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about Dr. Anthony Olorunnisola's COMM 419H course and embedded trip component through a Schreyer Honors College listerv. I also attended one of Dr. Olorunnisola's information sessions to learn about the course, its requirements, and structure.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The COMM 419H South Africa trip focused on visiting and analyzing local media outlets in an effort to better compare U.S. and South African media systems. For example, we visited the Daily Sun, a prominent tabloid, and the Beeld, a more formal Afrikaner newspaper. The dichotomy between these two publications proved to be the most intriguing part of the trip. Daily Sun Editor-in-chief Reggy Moalusi served as our guide to explain the philosophy and inner mechanics of his tabloid. I listened to Mr. Moalusi describe his journalists’ rabid desire to uncover locally relevant “scoops” and observed the editing team select stories that amplify previously silenced voices. Later in the afternoon, we ascended a single flight of stairs and entered a whole new journalistic world. The Beeld, led by editor Adriaan Basson, was professional, crisp, and internationally focused. In many ways, it was nothing like the Daily Sun. However, as I listened the editors and observed their story selection process, I began to detect some commonalities between the two papers. Both editors appeared interested in pursuing advertising profits. Both editors sought human-interest stories to populate the pages of their paper.

"COMM 419H expanded my view of global media systems beyond mere theoretical models and offered a glimpse into how highly complex media systems function in the real world."

How did this experience impact you academically?

My trip revealed commonalities between the U.S. and South Africa in terms of both journalistic practices and societal characteristics. Both countries’ media systems frequently bypass journalistic integrity in favor of pursuing advertising profits. High income inequality within both nations also leads to media representation issues. My experience in South Africa taught me a great deal about the intimate relationship between a country’s government and its media system and complemented my global media interests. I was particularly intrigued by the Beeld’s adversarial stance in regard to South African President Jacob Zuma and the ANC. Do they challenge the ruling party as means to serve as a national watchdog? Or, do they challenge the black-led ruling party in an effort to pander to their overwhelmingly Afrikaner audience? I’m still unsure. Additionally, the unique relationships shared between the South African government and various media outlets revealed the way in which media outlets can distort, amplify, and support issues within the national discourse. COMM 419H expanded my view of global media systems beyond mere theoretical models and offered a glimpse into how highly complex media systems function in the real world.

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

After graduation, I’d like to work at a think tank or within an international NGO. My experience in COMM 419H taught me that political realities often impede lofty development and/or democratization goals. In South Africa, I saw firsthand the way in which corrupt government officials use the media to strengthen their dysfunctional regimes. Getting a firsthand view of this reality helped prepare for me work in international realm, where political struggles are often highly entrenched and require extensive negotiation. As part of the trip, our class visited Media Monitoring Africa, a watchdog group that exposes media bias and demands governmental transparency. Getting to interact with individuals working for this group showed me an exciting prospective career path.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes. Dr. Olorunnisola structured his course such that the spring break trip supported material that we had learned earlier in the semester. I found that this arrangement allowed me to think critically about my experiences in South Africa throughout the remainder of the semester. Also, COMM 419H provided a glimpse into a subject area (international media) that isn't usually covered in communications courses. Though I'm not a communications major, COMM 419H taught lessons that enhanced my political and international interests.

Bridget Adduce

CIEE Shanghai, China Accelerated Language Program
Up one level
Bridget Adduce

Bridget Adduce

Major: Chinese
Minor: Spanish and Linguistics
Hometown: Lancaster, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this program through the Penn State Global Programs website.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This experience has been a life-changing adventure. Through my time abroad I have been able to travel to Western China, near Tibet, I went to Thailand on my spring break, and most importantly I stayed 3 1/2 months in one of the world's most modern, fastest developing cities, Shanghai. I am happy to have come to China and been able to break many preexisting stereotypes.

"There is truly no better way to learn a language than through absorbing yourself in the culture."

How did this experience impact you academically?

My classes with CIEE were definitely not easy. If you plan to take the accelerated language program you need to be sure you have a good work ethic. However, that being said, due to my hard work every day and my teachers continually challenging me, my Chinese has improved ten-fold.

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

My ultimate goal is to be a translator. I would be no where near achieving this goal if it weren't for studying abroad in Shanghai. There is truly no better way to learn a language than through absorbing yourself in the culture. After studying abroad here, I was able to decide that I want to find a job where I am required to travel back and forth between China and the United States.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, yes, and yes. Anybody can travel to Europe, but how many people can say they've been to Asia? It's truly a completely different world from the West that you will never understand unless you experience it with your own eyes. The nature is breathtaking and the cities are so modern. I am grateful to be able to experience living in a developing country as it moves into being a new world power!

Porche Maloney

Internship with MeadWestvaco (MWV)
Up one level
Porche Maloney

Porche Maloney

Major: Labor Employment Relations
Minor: Dispute Management Resolution
Hometown: Pittsburgh

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity from reading the Network Symplicity listings sent from the College of Liberal Arts, Career Enrichment Network.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As the returning Talent Development and Diversity Intern at MeadWestvaco (MWV) Corporation, my job is to give day-to-day support with respect to the management of their internship program and with their global diversity and inclusion initiatives. Last year, one of my primary projects was the creation of MWV's pilot Campus Ambassador Program. I was given the task of designing and maintaining a nationwide program that allows their interns to increase MWV branding efforts on their respective campuses. Therefore, my goal for this year is to analyze the program results and feedback received in an effort to improve its quality and what it offers students.

"I used my internship experience multiple times to talk about how to effectively lead, manage, and assist in a professional atmosphere."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience aided academically, by expanding upon the invaluable KSAO’s (knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics) I’ve gained from the MWV Human Resource (HR) department that can be easily utilized in the classroom. I used my internship experience multiple times to talk about how to effectively lead, manage, and assist in a professional atmosphere.

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

This MWV experience will continue to provide opportunities and work variability that is endless because of the MWV universal networks I work with. Moreover, this internship is unique because it allows me to develop my skills in all facets of the HR field (recruiting, compensation, training), while allowing me to collaborate with other departments (supply chain, tax, graphic design) to complete my projects. By being exposed to the varied HR functions, I will be able to gain valuable skills that will impact my future career goals. I find that I am motivated by opportunities that challenge me, so I know that I will not want to stay in one field my entire career. This internship program will allow me to asses my interests, strengths, and opportunities for growth.

Adam Virzi

The Hemingway Letters Project, Penn State University
Up one level
Adam Virzi

Adam Virzi

Major: English
Minor: Education Policy Studies / International Studies
Hometown: Queens, New York

How did you learn about this opportunity?

In the spring of my sophomore year I was enrolled in a prescribed course for the undergraduate English major, ENGL 201, with Professor Linda Selzer. She encouraged us, as English undergraduates, to seek out internship opportunities by setting up accounts with the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network. Several weeks later, as we were reading “Hills like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway, Dr. Selzer talked about a project at the university, The Hemingway Letters Project, headed by Dr. Sandra Spanier. Shortly after, I was in touch with the project and selected to be an undergraduate intern. After working with the project for a year, I decided that I wanted to get more in depth with the content while it was available to me. For this reason, I devised a topic for a research paper on the work ethic of Ernest Hemingway, and applied for enrichment funding to go about this research.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The Hemingway Letters Project, in general, has been a blessing in my life. It has provided me an incredible insight into the life, mind and works of my favorite American author. Moreover, it has provided me with practical experience in the field of publishing and studies in book and textual history. My responsibilities include the organization and maintenance of a large digital data base, preparing documents, reviewing editorial policy documents for our editorial policy manual, as well as assisting in various tasks which range from indexing to the writing of annotations for the volume itself. The enrichment experience of conducting a research study was complementary to my actual work at the project. Much of my methodology was the same as the tasks I carry out on a typical basis, which helped me recognize how the skills I developed as an intern translate to research in an academic / professional sense. While my original goal was to ascertain a reliable portrait of the work ethic of Ernest Hemingway, I came to realize that the volume I was working with was very early in his career and provided a portrait only of the emergence of this work ethic and artistic discipline, bringing me to the conclusion – both in the course of my enrichment experience and in the research paper itself – that this task is best set along an ongoing timeline, where with each volume of “The Letters of Ernest Hemingway” that is released, I can add and update the picture that my research has hitherto presented to readers.

"...I believe many of the skills I gained through working for the project will impact the way I go about my professional life. I have gained many skills in digital organization, pattern seeking, as well as insight into the world of literary publication that produces the books I will teach in the classroom."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Until carrying out this research project, I had never done something similar to it. During the course of my studies all of my engagement with literary studies was in actual literature, very rarely incorporating the study of textual artifacts/documents to draw conclusions about the compositional process literature itself. This experience opened my academic purview to this type of inquiry. While at first I believed this would be relatively straight forward, it has shown me the nature of research inquiries. That is to say, inquiries lead to realizations, which in turn lead to continued inquiry. By continually refining what the purpose and main point of my research study was, I was able to grow my original conception of this process from something that could be summed up in one paper to something that can only be accurately presented over the course of several papers, following the publication of the letters of Ernest Hemingway. This realization that a single inquiry can lead to a line of research that can potentially persist for decades was very revelatory for me. It demonstrated how one’s academic career can unfold and expand along certain lines of research. While I do not wish to engage professionally in literary scholarship, I do wish to carry on with this research project after I have finished with my academic studies.

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

I recently graduated from Penn State with a major in English and a minor in Education Policy Studies. I have always planned to teach English at the high school level. Next semester, I am beginning graduate studies at NYU Steinhardt in Secondary English Education in pursuit of that goal. Prior to the Fall semester, I will be teaching English in Cuenca, Ecuador in order to receive my TESL certification, which will allow me to teach internationally in order to expand the global perspective of my philosophy of education. This international experience will be valuable to me while teaching in the inner city of New York where I plan to establish a career as a public school teacher. In the midst of these academic and career plans, it is hard to incorporate the wonderful experience I have had interning and researching at the Hemingway Letters Project. Although the content of the experience itself does not present many opportunities for integration into a high school curriculum, I believe many of the skills I gained through working for the project will impact the way I go about my professional life. I have gained many skills in digital organization, pattern seeking, as well as insight into the world of literary publication that produces the books I will teach in the classroom. Although it has always been my ambition to teach at the high school level I can see myself teaching in colleges as well. If this were to be the case I would feel highly qualified to teach a course on Hemingway and, in fact, literary modernism as a whole. Lastly, although it is not my professional goal to be in literary scholarship, I do have ambitions to continue with the line of inquiry I began during this research experience, hopefully publishing my results in a literary journal.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. Few other internship experiences in the liberal arts are as unique as this one. Moreover, the autonomy for academic and intellectual exploration that I was given through the course of my research study was so incredible. I was able to pursue a topic of inquiry that I truly enjoyed while remaining engaged in work that was truly something I loved doing.

Veronica Joyce

Philadelphia Urban Seminar
Up one level
Veronica Joyce

Veronica Joyce

Paterno Fellow
Major: Sociology, Labor and Employment Relations
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Stroudsburg

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the Philadelphia Urban Seminar through an email sent out by the director of the program, Dr. Jeanine Staples.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

A group of pre-practice teachers and some other students with different majors - like myself - traveled to Philadelphia to observe inner-city schools. I was placed in a first grade classroom in a K-8 school. I aided in the classroom with discipline and lessons. The nature of the seminar was to get us, the students, to think critically about race/racism, gender/sexism, and ability/disability in the context of our schools and society as a whole. We went to school for the school day and then we had a big group class with a few other Universities involved in the program. Finally, we would meet with our specific Penn State classes to discuss our experiences. On the weekends, we performed multiple community service activities for organizations around Philadelphia. We were also exposed to the culture of the city through museums and evening trips to various tourist attractions around Philly.

"I want to work to reform the school system of inner-city schools and the laws that affect the poor and homeless in America."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience helped me to be more open-minded. While this may not be something that directly affects my academics, it has helped me as a person. I will take the lessons that I learned in this class and use them in all my classes. It helped me learn to write from a new perspective and think more critically about the things in my everyday life. This will help me to be a better student overall. I am now more comfortable working in small groups and sharing intimate talks with a whole group of people. I am more confident in my ideas and will be more willing to participate in my classes in the future.

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

I plan to get a master's in Sociology along with a law degree. I do not want to open my own practice/firm. I want to be able to advocate for the people who need it most. I want to work to reform the school system of inner-city schools and the laws that affect the poor and homeless in America. I would like to work with policy and also within the schools and communities that need it the most.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes. Absolutely. Even if you are not planning to major in education, this class is an amazing experience. You get to meet wonderful kids and see the ways that different schools are run. It is a great way to show people who live comfortably that not everyone lives the same way.

Meghan Loder

Study Abroad Program: Temple Rome, Italy
Up one level
Meghan  Loder

Meghan Loder

Major: English and Broadcast Journalism
Minor: N/A
Hometown: Middletown NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I attended the Penn State education abroad fair and took flyers for too many programs. Then I had many conversations with advisors in the Education Abroad office. Kate Fox, my advisor for the Temple Rome program was very kind and helpful during the whole application process and orientation events.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Going abroad was the scariest and greatest thing that I have ever done. It is such a cliche but it really was a life changing experience. I had the time of my life. Stepping out of my comfort zone was hard but in the end it was totally worth it. I went to 10 different countries, met incredible people, and developed friendships I know will last a lifetime. I thought I was a flexible person but going abroad definitely made me more flexible and resourceful in everything I do. I have never been so sad for a semester to end. Leaving Italy and all of my friends was really the hardest part of going abroad.

"This experience taught me more about myself, which will help me in my career because I am more self aware and able to understand my goals and aspirations."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Classes through Temple Rome were very different compared to Penn State. My professors all challenged me to have experiences outside of the classroom and to explore Italy. From extra credit opportunities earned by going to museums or having a meal in a different section of town, it certainly was a different atmosphere. The most challenging part abroad was balancing school work and traveling. But it made me become more productive with my time and to really focus when I needed to. This opportunity also gave me the ability to develop a different perspective about the world, which I know will change the way in which I analyze and write. This experienced challenged me to become more creative in all of my work which will help me academically.

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

This experience gave me a better understanding of the world and allowed me to see the world in a different light. This experience helped to expand my confidence, which will help me to excel in my career. My goal is to work in broadcast journalism, and during my time in Rome I became a more confident and decisive person. This experience taught me more about myself, which will help me in my career because I am more self aware and able to understand my goals and aspirations.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

YES! Everyone should have the opportunity to study abroad. It is the best thing that I have ever done during my time at Penn State. There is no other time in your life when you can go book a flight to Ireland on a whim and then have an incredible time two days later. It is truly a time where the possibilities are endless. Also there is no other time in your life when you can be challenged in the very best ways possible. Not speaking the language or being afraid to leave your friends at school are all real fears, but once you get there all of those things don't seem to matter too much. Living in a foreign country is so much different than visiting for the week. Truly absorbing the culture and figuring out how to go about your daily life is an amazing feat to accomplish.

Sarah Kim

Internship with Vanguard
Up one level
Sarah Kim

Sarah Kim

Major: Economics
Minor: Information Sciences and Technology
Hometown: Blue Bell, Pennsylvania 
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first learned about this opportunity through an information session run by a Vanguard recruiter. Vanguard's College to Corporate Internship Program seemed like a unique and engaging experience that kept my interest from the start. After talking to the Vanguard recruiter, I connected with the Vanguard table at the Penn State career fair later that week.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Through the College to Corporate Internship Program, I was able to have hands on training in the investment side of the business. I worked on multiple projects ranging from analyzing data to handling client funds while working on one 10 week-long capstone project. I was able to connect with senior leaders while gaining valuable business experience in an environment that fosters creative thinking and taking initiative. I was able to see and work with many other departments to complete these multiple projects and truly understand what it takes to run an ethical private investment management company. This experience has been an honest insight into how a profitable and client-oriented company succeeds in volatile markets.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As an undergraduate student earns her or his degree, courses focus on overall concepts and theoretical situations. While major-related classes can utilize real world examples, students are still not able to take this knowledge and implement it themselves. This internship has provided a concrete way in which to use my knowledge and hone it within the modern day work place. I was able to see how theories I learned in class applied to problems that arose during my time as an intern. This type of hands-on experience allowed for a further development that classes alone couldn’t provide. Studying compounded interest rates is one thing, seeing them happen live is another.

"I was able to connect with senior leaders while gaining valuable business experience in an environment that fosters creative thinking and taking initiative."

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

Before this internship, I had assumed that after college I would just enter the workforce as an entry-level employee and slowly climb the corporate ladder. As I experienced more and more of this internship, I realized that I wanted a more broad experience than an entry-level job allowed. I wanted to utilize my innate curiosity and love of challenges in a rotational program instead. This type of program after graduation allows for an all-encompassing experience at a large organization, which pushes businesspeople like myself to understand the big picture when it comes to companies. I would not have thought of taking this route if not for this internship at Vanguard.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would encourage all Liberal Arts students to apply to this program. Vanguard shows in this program their belief that diversity of thought (especially through different disciplines and majors) and their commitment to helping student interns grow as businesspeople. This program advocates and brings attention to many healthy and beneficial business practices to students while personally attending to each person’s growth and development as a businessperson. This internship is one of the most interesting and inspiring programs that I could have been a part of this summer. Any student that is lucky enough to be a part of this process will be immensely better off than they were before.

Carla Marano

Internship with GE Transportation
Up one level
Carla Marano

Carla Marano

Paterno Fellow
Major: Human Resources & Employment Relations
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: Green Brook

How did you learn about this opportunity?

GE contacted the Student Services Coordinator of the School of Labor & Employment Relations about graduate-level internships in HR across all of their businesses. Two Penn State alumni and current GE employees then came to campus to recruit students.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an HR Graduate Intern for GE Transportation this summer, I was responsible for analyzing the entire GET global supply chain footprint in order to devise an overall site complexity/structure baseline. This baseline will be used as the key determination for devising an integrated talent plan encompassing: 1) site by site needs by position; 2) a career pathing matrix/guide for movement of roles within the site and outside of the site amongst other GSC locations; 3) training needs based upon site such as general leadership and specific training tied to particular roles; and 4) a Workforce Planning guide and framework for all of GSC that will be used at both the macro and micro levels within the organization.

"Working for GE Transportation was incredibly insightful by providing a glimpse into a diverse pool of HR-related interests, including Union Relations, Talent Management and HR Analytics."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Working at GE this summer has allowed me to put my academic knowledge into play in a real-world setting. Doing so allowed me to have a more holistic view of the knowledge I learned in my classes, implementing analytical tools and reinforcing high-level concepts. With an objective that required working across multiple locations and with multiple ops and HR leaders to make a sound determination, these skills were used as a cornerstone of many of my workplace decisions in accordance with business acumen.

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

As a dual undergraduate and graduate student majoring in Human Resources & Employment Relations, my goal is to pursue a career in Human Resources upon graduating from Penn State in December of 2015. Internships are a cornerstone to obtaining a position in this field after graduation, in that they provide the fundamental exposure I need to become a more experienced professional. Thanks to this internship, I now stand one step closer to that goal.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes. Working for GE Transportation was incredibly insightful by providing a glimpse into a diverse pool of HR-related interests, including Union Relations, Talent Management and HR Analytics. This broad array of resources makes for an ideal learning opportunity.

Matthew Carrigan

Study Abroad: Arcadia-University of Westminster; London
Up one level
Matthew Carrigan

Matthew Carrigan

Major: Criminology and Psychology
Hometown: Rancho Santa Margarita, California

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this experience from talking to my adviser, Karen Sones in the Criminology Department. I was given the Penn State education abroad office's website link and was soon exploring the many options that they offered for study abroad.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

On the first day of the program, I met fellow students from various other universities, as well as the Arcadia staff who facilitated our orientation. Soon after, I was on my way to see my new home for the next 5 months! My en suite room in Marylebone Hall was absolutely perfect with a fantastic view of London. Two days after, we met at the University of Westminster campus named Little Titchfield for our orientation with the University of Westminster. After becoming settled in the following week before classes began, I began my two Criminology and two Psychology classes. The British schooling system was a little overwhelming at first, but I became very comfortable with it as classes progressed. Outside of classes, I did my best to immerse myself into the culture. I made sure to visit the world-renowned tourist attractions like Big Ben, the London Eye, and Buckingham Palace. They were absolutely fantastic! I also took trips offered through Arcadia University to beautiful sights like Stonehenge, Bath, and the Cabinet War Rooms in Central London. Additionally, I went to an exciting rugby game at Wembley Stadium and that allowed me to really feel like an Englishman! Living in London really allowed me to be independent and explore one of the world's greatest and most vibrant cities.

"Taking both Criminology and Psychology courses at the University of Westminster bolstered my confidence and confirmed my career goals."

How did this experience impact you academically?

First, it challenged me to except a new countries' academic system. England's schooling and grading system is very different than the United States'. Specifically, there tends to be only one or two assignments that make up your whole grade for a class. Additionally, the grading numbers are very different. For example, an A in London is equivalent to a 70 or higher. Furthermore, I was also challenged when I had to learn about England's criminal justice system in order to understand the more complicated material presented later in the class. Lastly, the professors and classes are run very independently in England, which can make it very difficult when looking for guidance and help towards class material. Thankfully, I eventually did get used to England's schooling system.

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

I would love to work for a government agency as a forensic psychologist or detective. I would be willing to work internationally if I was called to do so. Learning about Criminology and Psychology in a foreign setting allowed me to gain a solid foundation in the fields I would be working in if I took an international position. This study abroad experience opened my eyes and broadened my knowledge of a different, complex, and extremely interesting criminal justice system other than my own. Taking both Criminology and Psychology courses at the University of Westminster bolstered my confidence and confirmed my career goals.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would most definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Art students because it gave me the opportunity to travel while feeling extremely safe in my assigned housing. Moreover, it allowed me to truly experience a new and exciting culture while furthering my academic degree. London is such an amazing city to call home for five months and I still feel like there was more to see! If you choose to study abroad through Arcadia's University of Westminster program, you will never be short of sights to see and experiences to have! It is up to you to immerse yourself in this most wonderful opportunity. If you do everything you can to further your understanding of this beautiful culture, then you will surely have many stories to tell upon your return!

Alexandra Busalacchi

COMM419h - World Media Systems embedded course
Up one level
Alexandra Busalacchi

Alexandra Busalacchi

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Economics, Telecommunications
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: Easton, PA

 

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first learned about this class through other friends who had previously taken the course when it went to Prague. The Schreyer Honors College then hosted an information session with my professor in the fall, and a few weeks later I scheduled the course for the spring.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, was a supplement to what we had studied in the course all year, which broadly included the media in the United States and South Africa. In our week-long trip, we visited with a variety of media outlets in the city, and had the opportunity to tour their offices and speak with top editors and executives. The offices we visited spanned the print media, broadcast TV, and radio industries. At the South African Broadcasting Company, the home of the country's largest TV and radio stations, we met with the top editor and were able to question him about the company's role in today's media, how it has changed since apartheid ended, and how it interacts with the current government. We also visited radio stations in both Pretoria, one of the wealthiest areas near Johannesburg, and Soweto, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country.

We also had a chance to experience other cultural elements of Johannesburg, including visits to the Apartheid Museum and Nelson Mandela's former home. One of my favorite parts of the trip was an afternoon visit to a Lion Park, where I was able to pet a group of lion cubs and get a picture with one that climbed on my shoulder.

“After I studied abroad in London, I discovered opportunities to work in that city, and now with this experience, I am even more determined to work abroad.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

The embedded course trip to South Africa played an invaluable role in advancing my understanding of the course material. The things we had read about for class were suddenly right in front of me and much more understandable. The class discussions we had following our trip were much deeper and often pulled from shared experiences we had together in South Africa. During our trip, we also had the opportunity to attend a lecture from the former head of the media studies department at Witwatersrand, one of the top universities in South Africa. Having the opportunity to engage in an academic setting outside of the U.S. was another way this class helped me learn.

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

I have always wanted to work in media, and this trip opened my eyes to opportunities in South Africa. After I studied abroad in London, I discovered opportunities to work in that city, and now with this experience, I am even more determined to work abroad. My immediate goal is to work at a TV network in the U.S., but I would love to branch out and eventually work internationally. Last year, I interned with NBC, working with their Latin American programing team, and this trip has only added to my international experience and potential to get a job internationally one day.

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

I would absolutely recommend this class to other liberal arts students. Even if students do not have previous experiences in communications classes, this class covers the South African culture in great depth through the lens of media, and students from all backgrounds would be able to understand and contribute to class discussions. The trip is also very much affordable, especially with grants through various sources, and is a unique opportunity for Penn State students.

Cheyanne Ralph

Internship with Central Counties Youth Center
Up one level
Cheyanne Ralph

Cheyanne Ralph

Major: Criminology
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Union, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about CCYC through the Criminology department at Penn State. During a CRIM 250W class, I learned about a possible semester internship and contacted the department. Soon after, I received a student handbook along with a list of possible internship sites. After searching through the list I found CCYC and emailed the administrator.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

A typical day at CCYC consists strictly of interaction with the residents. As a part-time intern, you are restricted from performing certain tasks, especially if you are under the age of 21. Playing games and participating in activities with the juveniles would perfectly describe a typical day at CCYC. The best thing that happened to me during this internship was being given the opportunity to see what many fields in law enforcement are like. I am now aware of what types of juveniles I will be dealing with in my future career. The training I received fully prepared me to deal effectively with juveniles. I also received a CPR training that is valid for two years and can be useful when seeking a full-time position in law enforcement. CPR training is needed for almost any job in the field. While working at CCYC, I learned that within the facility you must prepare for misbehavior, in which an intervention assessment is usually needed. First, you must develop an intervention plan. Second, assess the behavior (meaning decide whether it is disruptive or attention seeking). Next, assess the resident, the environment, and then yourself. I also learned how to identify oppositional and defiant behaviors (e.g. individuals who like to make deals with authority figures, need to have the last word, violates blatant rules, constantly questions “why?” etc.).

“My internship helped jump-start my career in criminal justice. It was a fantastic place to begin navigating my way to my future career goal.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience allowed me to experience a different culture will still earning school credit. For the benefit of my personal growth, I’m eager to pursue a career in law and to absorb as much as I can from its various branches, like family, juvenile and international law. Exposure to a program geared specifically toward my major assured me a highly beneficial learning experience.

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

My internship helped jump-start my career in criminal justice. It was a fantastic place to begin navigating my way to my future career goal. I developed skills I didn’t have before. I can now identify signs of anger in an individual and can better handle difficult situations thanks to the training provided by CCYC. I have a clearer understanding of the criminal justice system because as a CCYC intern you not only come in contact with law- enforcement officials, but legal documents as well related to individuals detained at the center. The internship provided me with career direction that I did not have before. At the beginning of my internship I aspired to become a family attorney. But after completing the internship, I realized that I can do so much more while still working with kids.

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

If you are not interested in working with juveniles then my advice would be to seek another agency. As I mentioned before, a typical day centers on interaction with the juveniles. My advice to future interns would be to get fully involved from the beginning. Staff members understand this is a learning process for you and are willing to help.

Libby Rush

Study Abroad: IES Granada, Spain
Up one level
Libby Rush

Libby Rush

Paterno Fellow
Major: Communication Arts & Sciences and Spanish
Hometown: Wyomissing, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about the IES Granada, Spain study abroad program by speaking with the faculty in the Spanish department. I knew I wanted to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, so I met with many of my professors during office hours to see if they had any recommendations. From there, I researched their suggestions to see which programs made the most sense for my major. Eventually, I sought out past students to hear about their experiences and learn more about specific programs, like IES.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My time in Granada, Spain was magical. In a city of about 250,000 people, I lived in a home-stay with my host-grandmother, and her grandsons visited during lunch about twice a week. We spoke only Spanish at home, and I chose to take classes entirely in Spanish. While balancing my classes with IES and the University of Granada proved demanding at times, I was still able to travel to other parts of Spain and Europe during Semana Santa, as well as long weekends. At the same time, I spent much of my time around the city of Granada in order to better integrate into the community and appreciate what my host city had to offer. In my free time, I went outdoors, walking the cobblestone streets of the medieval Albayzin quarter, hiking around the Alhambra palace, and eating tapas at outdoor bars with friends — both American and Spanish.

"To foster personal growth and discover what you're truly passionate about, I think study abroad is important for all Liberal Arts students."

How did this experience impact you academically?

At the beginning of the semester, I made the decision to take all of my courses in Spanish, and my speaking and writing skills improved dramatically during my time abroad. Academically, I felt encouraged to study subjects I hadn't considered at Penn State, like theater and Arabic, which I found incredibly rewarding despite their challenges. I had to commit more time to reading plays in Spanish and learning vocabulary in Arabic, but my improvements in language comprehension were always worth the extra effort. At the same time, I had to adjust to a different type of pedagogy and teaching style at the university that was more lecture-based. Initially, this proved to be challenging, but I made a point to go to office hours and communicate with the professor. Overall, I think my educational experience abroad motivated me to be a more pro-active learner.

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

After studying in Spain, I feel more inspired than ever to go abroad again. Ultimately, I would like to go to graduate school to further my study of rhetoric, developing my skills in deliberation as well as improving my understanding of critical theory. But I would love to return to Spain to teach English and promote a global perspective to Spanish students, working with writing centers abroad and applying what I've learned as a peer tutor for the writing center at Penn State. Still, I see that my options post-graduation are wide open, and I feel encouraged to apply for positions that might have intimidated me in the past because my teachers and peers abroad taught me that it's important to put myself out there and aim high.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend IES Granada to all Liberal Arts students interested in Spanish language and culture. Considering the relationships I made with locals, as well as the language skills I developed, I'd say the experience of study abroad is irreplaceable. I've grown so much more independent as both a student and a traveler, and I'm much less afraid to to risk embarrassment in order to express myself and reach my goals. To foster personal growth and discover what you're truly passionate about, I think study abroad is important for all Liberal Arts students.

Alison Morrow

Study Abroad: CIEE, Alicante, Spain - Liberal Arts
Up one level
Alison Morrow

Alison Morrow

Majors: Labor and Employment Relations and Spanish
Hometown: Medford Lakes, New Jersey

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Since high school, I always wanted to study for a semester abroad while in college. At first, I wasn't actually sure if I wanted to continue with Spanish after the regular language requirements freshman year but then decided to stick with it. I was in the Division of Undergraduate Studies for my freshman and sophomore years and had no idea what major I wanted to choose, but I knew that Spanish was now something I wanted to have every semester. I declared my Labor and Employment Relations major at the end of my sophomore year and decided to search for a study abroad program. I immediately chose Spain, since it is the mother land of all Spanish, as my destination. I chose my host city by actually ruling out the other options. I didn't want Madrid or Barcelona because they were both too big and Americanized; I wanted to go somewhere where I knew I would be forced to speak only Spanish and not have an English fallback. My two options left were Seville and Alicante, and as soon as I saw pictures of the Alicante right on the Mediterranean, I knew I was going there. I ended up doing the CIEE Liberal Arts program after talking with my Spanish major advisor.

"...this experience has helped me reach a new level of Spanish fluency and has set me on a new career path."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I participated in the Liberal Arts program in Alicante, Spain which focuses on language acquisition. In this program, all classes are taught in Spanish and students agree to solely speak Spanish with everyone at the study center. This was perfect for me since one of my majors is Spanish. I saw how easy it is to slip back into English with the other study abroad students and had to constantly push myself through embarrassment and confusion to hone my Spanish speaking skills. Living with my host family greatly helped me with this because they spoke next to no English, and I participated in many family activities with them: family outings for the day, parties with the extended family, etc. Through CIEE, we had sponsored trips to go to Granada, Madrid, and a few other smaller towns in Spain. Besides these trips, I planned other outings with my classmates. We went to Valencia, Barcelona, as well as other smaller cities. For spring break I also planned with friends to travel more of Europe. We went to London, Dublin, and Rome. When I wasn't traveling, I was enjoying the beautiful beaches right in Alicante and swimming in the Mediterranean. I had a wonderful mix of learning inside and outside of the classroom.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Most of the courses I took abroad counted towards my Spanish major. One is actually transferring to my Labor and Employment Relations major because it was a gender studies class. As I mentioned before, all of my classes were taught completely in Spanish which pushed me to get to a new level of Spanish language proficiency.

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

Right now, my plan is to specialize in Human Resources and possibly be a human resources consultant or a training and management specialist. I am not certain if I will use Spanish in my career, but this experience has helped me reach a new level of Spanish fluency and has set me on a new career path.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes I would, but only if you are actually serious about becoming fluent and only if you realize that you are there to learn and it is still a college semester. If you find the right balance of working in classes, working to speak with your host family, practicing Spanish with your friends, and traveling to learn more about the Spanish culture and other European cultures, then the semester will be so fulfilling for you.

Christen Sheroff

Study Abroad: LER 497 G MHR China (Embedded Course)
Up one level
Christen Sheroff

Christen Sheroff

Majors: Labor and Employment Relations and Human Resources and Employment Relations
Minor: Dispute Management Resolution
Hometown: Ambler, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this opportunity through my professor, Sumita Raghuram. The information was also distributed through the School of Labor and Employment Relation's undergraduate student's listserv.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This experience was fantastic. We traveled to Nanjing for six days and Shanghai for three days. We were able to visit four different companies to learn about their human resources departments, which is going to really help prepare me for my career if I work for a company who has a business relationship with a firm in China. We also got to do a ton of sightseeing in Nanjing and Shanghai. One of my favorite locations was the Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum, which was located in the suburbs of Nanjing. This site was my favorite because the area itself was absolutely breathtaking. The area was surrounded by mountains and you had to climb over 300 steps to get to the beautifully made tomb of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. It was also a great site to visit because of its historic context. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen is credited, in the early 1900's, with bringing China into the modern age by helping to bring an end to the Qing dynasty.

"From this experience, I discovered that I would like to work for an international company so that I can be exposed to different cultures and business practices around the world."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience allowed me to learn about a different culture and ways of conducting business. I became more aware of how a different culture handles certain social and business situations, which is very helpful if I ever were to conduct business with a firm in China. One of the most interesting differences was how business cards are presented. When accepting a business card in the United States, people tend to grab it with one hand and quickly stuff into their pocket. In China, business cards are treated with much greater care. When accepting a business card, the person is expected to take the business card with both hands and admire the business card before carefully placing it into a business card holder.

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

My main career goal is to work for a private international firm. More specifically, I would like to work for a firm that would provide me with the opportunity to spend some time working abroad. I feel that working abroad would allow me to get a stronger sense of how to better work with a company's international partners and to learn how different nations conduct their human resources procedures and policies. This trip to China gave me some great exposure to some of the differences in cultures that I would need to consider before deciding to work abroad. This trip also gave me some insight into the differing business practices of firms that operate in China.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend a program like this to other Liberal Arts students. This program allowed me to have a more open and accurate view of China and the Chinese culture. Also, for me, this program helped me realize what I want for my career. From this experience, I discovered that I would like to work for an international company so that I can be exposed to different cultures and business practices around the world.

Vincent Trometter

IES Paris, France - Business and International Affairs
Up one level
Vincent Trometter

Vincent Trometter

Major: International Politics (International Relations Concentration)
Minor: International Business
Hometown: Williamsport, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I really hoped to study abroad but I wanted to make sure that my international studies would relate to my career plan. My major is International Politics with a concentration in International Relations. I am interested in business and my second language is French. The IES Paris, Business and International Affairs program was the best option for me because it was relevant to my academic major, my career interests, and my language abilities. I visited the Penn State Global Programs website and applied to the program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This study abroad program was such a wonderful experience. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am glad that I took advantage of the opportunity. Along with the intensive, yet meaningful studies and school work, I made so many interesting friends and expanded my network to another continent. It was an experience I will share with everyone I meet in the future. I encourage anyone who is thinking about spending a semester abroad in Paris to apply and go abroad!

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have to say, I worked harder in my studies than ever before when I was studying in Paris. The teachers really pushed you to perform at a high level, which I appreciated. I learned so much that cannot be reflected in a college transcript. Meeting new people and discussing their perspectives is something I will cherish more than anything.

"Overall, this program has provided me with meaningful experiences and knowledge to pursue my career goals with confidence."

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

I would really like to work for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) at some point in my life. One of my professors abroad actually worked for the OECD. I hope to continue that friendship and maybe expand on it in the future. Overall, this program has provided me with meaningful experiences and knowledge to pursue my career goals with confidence.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely! Studying abroad was such an amazing experience and something that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It will expand your academic horizons more than you can imagine. But more importantly, studying abroad will provide you with life lessons and the opportunity to find out who you are and what you really want in life.

Andrew Hoy

Manna Project International
Up one level
Andrew Hoy

Andrew Hoy

Major: Political Science
Hometown: Stone Harbor, New Jersey

How did you learn about this opportunity?

One of my friends is a program director with the organization. She has been living in Nicaragua and volunteering with Manna Project International for a year.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

While in Nicaragua, I lived in a house with sixteen other Americans, five of them were interns like me and ten were volunteers staying there for the year. During the week, I helped out in various programs that Manna Project International operates in Nicaragua. There were English classes, which were held twice a week and I got the chance to plan and teach a couple classes. There was a child sponsorship program in which we provided food, milk, and vitamins to malnourished children. I also helped with gym classes in the local public school. The last program I was involved in was called Camp Jam. In this program, we organized arts and crafts activities and games to provide local children with an opportunity to get away from issues they might be facing at home. During the weekends, I traveled all over the country. I went to the mountains in the northern area of the country, beaches in the southern, and a city in central.

"This experience confirmed my interest in living and volunteering in a different country after graduation."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience inspired me to advance my Spanish language abilities. Spanish was something that I’ve always taken since elementary school, but I never enjoyed it or really applied myself to it. I now wish I had taken my Spanish studies more seriously, and I’m motivated to become conversational by the time I graduate. This experience also motivated me to learn more about international communities. As a political science major, I learn a lot about governments in different countries and why they work or don’t. I learn about how the people play a factor in whether these governments are successful or not. What I do not learn about is the people themselves, and what the cultures are like. I met some of the best people in Nicaragua, and I’d like to learn more about people around the world.

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

After my undergraduate studies are finished, my plan is to go to law school. Before I went to Nicaragua, I was thinking about volunteering with the Peace Corps before law school. This experience confirmed my interest in living and volunteering in a different country after graduation. Learning a new language, living in a different part of the world, and meeting the people there are goals I hope to accomplish moving forward.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would. It was an experience that I'll never forget. I'll never forget the people I met, the places I went, or the things I saw. I worked with extraordinary people and I learned how rewarding it is to give to people less fortunate than me.

Susan Nahvi

Montpellier, France
Up one level
Susan Nahvi

Paterno Fellow
Major: International Politics and French

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I came to Penn State knowing that I wanted to study abroad, so I attended the education abroad fair in the fall semester. Then I talked to my French adviser, who recommended certain programs and other options for me. I did lots of research in Penn State's study abroad program search system. I ended up choosing the Montpellier program because it was the most integrated and still a program affiliated with the school.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was amazing. Montpellier is a city in the south of France that is full of students, so it's always busy and lively. It also just happens to date from medieval times (as many French cities do...). I stayed with a host family right in the heart of the city, which was unusual, as most students stayed more in the suburbs or on the outer skirts of the city. We all attended classes at Paul Valery University, and while I learned a lot in my classes, the real learning was in your everyday interactions and having conversations with the locals. That's why I joined sports practices, participated in events, and traveled! Studying abroad in France was such an amazing experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

"I took a lot of French credits abroad, but more importantly, having all of my classes taught in French really helped my listening skills."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Because one of my majors is French, this program helped me fulfill a lot of academic requirements. I took a lot of French credits abroad, but more importantly, having all of my classes taught in French really helped my listening skills. There are not as many chances to speak in French classes, so you really end up practicing your speaking skills outside the classroom. I also got to experience the French school system, which is very different from ours, so it was really interesting to make that comparison.

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

I'm considering working in government or an international think tank or as a translator. While my future career plans are not set at this point, I am so glad I studied abroad because one of my short-term goals was to become fluent in another language. While I cannot say that I am completely fluent after my experience, I know that I am leaps and bounds closer. Living the language is the only option to become fluent in a foreign language.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend studying abroad. It's an amazing chance to step out of your own world and to see things from a slightly different perspective. While France is also a western country, I found that there are still so many differences between French culture and American culture. It's also a great chance to do some traveling, for any avid travelers out there!

Rachael Knodel

Study Tour of Roman History and Archaeology
Up one level
Rachael Knodel

Rachael Knodel

Major: Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies & Anthropology
Hometown: North Royalton, Ohio

How did you learn about this opportunity?

The Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS) Department does a really awesome job advertising the study abroad experiences they offer. Dr. Mark Munn visited a number of my classes in the fall semester and I knew during that this was an opportunity I wanted to pursue. I also went to the Penn State education abroad fair to learn more about this program and others offered through the CAMS department.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I spent 17 days in Italy. Most of that time was in Rome, though we got to go to Sorrento, Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Paestum as well. Every day we would meet in the lobby of the hotel and walk to the day's destination. The professors, Mary Lou Munn and Pamela Cole, would point out interesting things along the way and then "lecture" once we got to the site. We had daily readings that really helped visualize some of the less preserved ruins and also helped us understand the importance of the sites. The students had to complete a site report for every 3 credits they took so everyone got a chance to look into something in depth that they were particularly interested in. I choose the gladiatorial games and found out so much information I never knew before. This trip was incredibly amazing, especially as a CAMS major.

"...this study abroad program will help my resume stand out when I apply for grad school."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Before this trip I had already completed my CAMS major, so the three credits I earned are not directly helping my graduation requirements. However, the experience of being in Rome and seeing the ancient monuments that I've studied for the last three years in person is an irreplaceable experience. I know that the experiences I had in this program will be meaningful for me in my future.

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

After graduating in Spring 2016, I want to stay at Penn State an extra year and complete the Ancient Languages Certificate. After that, I want to go to graduate school and earn my PhD so that I can one day become a professor. This experience will be helpful for two main reasons. First, this study abroad program will help my resume stand out when I apply for grad school. Second, I was able to build a close relationship with my professors which is hard to do in a normal classroom setting.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this trip in a heartbeat, especially if a student has a particular interest in the classics. Rome is a beautiful city and has an incredibly rich history. Besides that, though, the students who participate in this program become incredibly close and it's a great opportunity to meet new people and explore a new place.

Matt Veres

Penn State's Archaeological Field School
Up one level
Matt Veres

Major: Archaeological Science
Minor: none
Hometown: Wexford, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about the College of the Liberal Arts Enrichment Funds, when I was discussing financials for the summer with a friend.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The five weeks have been an intensive, hands-on dive into the world of fieldwork. We worked on a pre-Civil War farmstead in central Pennsylvania. The days involved laying out excavation pits, digging (in 5cm increments), and sifting through the removed soil to try and recover any artifacts that we could find. These included glass, nails, ceramics, brick/mortar/plaster, and bones. We had seven-hour days, and worked whether it was rain or shine. We also were in labs cleaning and sorting the items that we discovered. The students and staff were all great. Overall, it has been an amazing experience, and one that I would do again.

"The experience was enriching in ways for which I was not prepared. Working towards a common research goal, as part of a team was extremely rewarding."

How did this experience impact you academically?

The excavations opened my eyes to the reality involved with fieldwork. Even pursuing an academic path in archaeology, being out in the field to do research is normally needed and done over summers and during breaks. We had staff with knowledge bases in human physiology, faunal analysis, and ceramics. All of this specialization went a long way in picking up possible areas of interest. It also helped me to better understand the breadth of knowledge among our faculty and graduate students at Penn State. I will keep pursuing a degree where I can continue to have this type of field experience. In this field, this will require me to continue on to grad school.

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

I took this summer field school to determine if I wanted to pursue a career path that would take me into the field. I can say with almost a certainty, that now I do. The experience was enriching in ways for which I was not prepared. Working towards a common research goal, as part of a team was extremely rewarding. It has peaked my interest in becoming a researcher, possibly a professor, where I can do field research over the summer, and analyze my findings during the year. A possible specialization might be trying to tie faunal analysis and diet into the study of the peopling of the Americas and paleo-Indians.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Any undergraduate student, pursuing a degree in CAMS or anthropology should definitely participate in the summer field school, or another dig abroad. It is essential that you know if fieldwork is right for you, before you pursue a degree that will require it.

Christopher Nischalke

Embedded Summer Course in Dresden, Germany (GER 201)
Up one level
Christopher Nischalke

Christopher Nischalke

Major: German
Minor: Spanish, French and Francophone Studies, TESOL
Hometown: Johnstown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this program through my German 003 professor at Penn State Altoona, Dr. Jutta Gsoels-Lorensen. I met with her to discuss my future plans and goals for the German major.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience in Dresden was a wonderful time. The longer time (two weeks) helped me to live as a local Dresdner would, rather than as a tourist. I got to meet diverse, unique people who came from all over the world to learn German at the Goethe Institut. Dresden is a cultural and historical hub, which meant there were plenty of sights to see and activities to do there. I loved touring the churches, visiting the Semperoper, and tasting the delicious ethnic food in the Neustadt. Some of my favorite memories from this program were made exploring the city with new friends.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This embedded course provided the fourth semester of German language required for me to study abroad in fall 2015. During the two weeks of pre-departure preparation, I learned about Dresden´s rich history. The preparation spanned from the beginning of the city, through World War Two, and to modern times. By traveling to Germany, I was able to immerse myself in German culture and daily life. The Goethe Institut is a world renowned German language school, and studying in a natural environment made it easier to improve my German skills. In some cases, the other Goethe students did not speak English. We were forced to converse in German, which created many opportunities to practice our speaking skills.

"The skills, knowledge, and global perspective gained during this trip have helped me to greatly sharpen my German abilities."

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

As a Penn State student who is majoring in German, I plan to study abroad at the Albert Ludwigs Universität in Freiburg, Germany during the 2015-16 academic year. The GER 201 embedded summer course provided the fourth semester of German language required for me to be eligible for study abroad. After earning my four year degree, I plan to do an internship and complete a master´s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). My ultimate career goal is to teach English to high school students in a German speaking country, i.e. Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. By studying at the Goethe Institut with the embedded summer course, I feel much more prepared for my academic year study abroad program. My grammar and speaking skills have improved dramatically, and I have learned so much about German culture and customs. This experience will be a great help as I adjust to life as a study abroad student.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students without reservation. The skills, knowledge, and global perspective gained during this trip have helped me to greatly sharpen my German abilities. Students who plan to major or minor in German should definitely consider this course, as the learning opportunities extended far beyond the classroom.

Ahmed Mohamed

Study Abroad: Rome, Italy
Up one level
Ahmed Mohamed

Ahmed Mohamed

Major: Philosophy and Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: History
Hometown: Belleville, New Jersey

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this opportunity online after searching for the right program for me.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

We were in Rome for three weeks and we stayed in a very hospitable hotel with the rest of the class. One thing I really enjoyed about this class is that we were not restricted to sitting in a classroom. We were outside actually visiting the things we were learning about. I was able to meet students who I would have never met at Penn State and they turned into friends and I wouldn't give up my experience for anything. This study abroad experience was absolutely life-changing.

"This study abroad experience was absolutely life-changing."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this definitely was a change because we spent most of our time outside visiting the historical sites we were learning about. Visiting these sites in person helped me to learn the information much better since I was able to experience the sites directly.

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

I want to attend law school when I graduate from Penn State and become a criminal prosecutor and eventually a judge. This experience reassured what I wanted to do. I saw the passion that my professors had for what they did and it showed me that whatever you do, if you have passion for it, then you will love it.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. It's a different style of program but if you are looking for some intense traveling and an opportunity to earn academic credit, then this is the program for you.

Andrea Frank

University College Freiburg, Germany - Schreyer Honors College Program
Up one level
Andrea Frank

Andrea Frank

Paterno Fellow
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I discovered this study abroad program when an email was sent to freshmen enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College. It detailed a new exchange program that would be taking place between the Schreyer Honors College and the University College Freiburg Liberal Arts and Sciences program in Freiburg, Germany. It was the first time they were running the program, but they will be continuing to run the program yearly for rising sophomores in Schreyer.

"I grew a lot as a scholar, because my traditional viewpoints were challenged, and I gained an understanding of German and other global viewpoints"

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience in Germany was life-changing. I had never left the country before (besides Canada) and was nervous and scared at first. Because the program was new, it was structured to provide more flexibility for the participating students. I began taking classes in English in the Liberal Arts and Sciences program at the University College Freiburg in January. We got to choose our classes (2 classes per block, which is a half-semester). At the end of February, we took an intensive German course for four weeks. Then we had a long break, and we began the next block with 2 more classes at the end of April. Our classes concluded in the middle of June. While abroad, we had plenty of time to travel. We visited Paris and London during the first block. We took a week-long trip in March to Zurich, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague. I visited Cologne with my mother for a long weekend. We also went to the Fasnacht (Karneval) parade in the middle of the night in Basel, Switzerland. I later traveled with my parents to Basel and Lucerne in Switzerland, Colmar in France, and Neuschwanstein in Germany. For our last big trip together, the four of us on the exchange visited Brussels, Bruges, and Amsterdam. And to finish off my time in Germany, I visited Munich and Berlin. I got to see and try so many things that I will remember for a lifetime!

How did this experience impact you academically?

This study abroad program allowed me to experience a different university structure. Taking two courses at any given time may seem like an easy work load, but they take place over a month and a half. So classes are two hours at a time, and the coursework is mostly independent and expected even if it is not graded. The few things that are graded then weighed very heavily on my GPA. It was interesting to see how the German university system is much more similar to graduate school than it is to an undergraduate degree in the U.S. Additionally, I had classes with students from all over the world, which allowed me to access new view points about science, politics, ideologies, and more. I grew a lot as a scholar, because my traditional viewpoints were challenged, and I gained an understanding of German and other global viewpoints. Overall, I definitely learned self-control and time management, because the few assignments that we did have were very difficult and time consuming. I learned to sit down and start a paper for a class a month in advance, as opposed to the procrastination that is very common for many students in the US.

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

I am planning to graduate with a degree in Psychology, B.S. I will be completing an undergraduate thesis and graduating as a Schreyer Scholar. I then hope to go to graduate school for either Social Psychology or Sleep Psychology, depending on the graduate programs to which I apply. I hope to travel at some point before beginning graduate school. I am interested in social psychology in a corporate setting, or possibly in getting a doctorate and becoming a professor. If I pursue a sleep psychology focus, I will most likely be a doctorate researcher. I would like to consider living in Germany someday as a part of these plans, depending upon where I end up for graduate school.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes I absolutely would! This specific program is only available through Schreyer Honors College, but I fell in love with Freiburg, Germany when I was there! I would recommend any program that takes students to the University College Freiburg. They are one of Penn State's main partner universities, and they have so much to offer. It is a beautiful little college city, very green and eco-friendly, and ultimately just a great place to live.

Takako Inada

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - Internship
Up one level
Takako Inada

Takako Inada

Major: International Politics, Specialization International Relations
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Nagoya, Japan

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am mainly working for a visiting scholar at the Wilson Center. He has previously served as the Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times, as well as Beijing bureau chief and Shanghai correspondent, and he is particularly interested in the relationships between East Asian countries and the U.S. Right now, he is working on a book about the development (or deterioration) of Sino-Japanese relations from 1962, and specifically the role that the U.S. has played in their relationship. Consequently, my job is to read various documents in Japanese and Chinese and summarize or do some translation for him, or write a report on the specific topics that he assigns me to research.

"After this internship, I am now quite certain that I want to pursue a career related to global human rights and humanitarian issues."

How did this experience impact you academically?

The experiences at the Wilson Center is very beneficial to my future studies and career for a variety of reasons. First, I've learned how to make use of the Library of Congress databases, which is the largest library in the whole world. This would help me with my future research for my assignments from school as well as my senior thesis. Also, I've had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of international relations through my internship at the Wilson Center. At the organization, I've had the opportunity to participate in various events (mostly panels) held by experts of international affairs almost every single day. This has allowed me to learn more about contemporary international issues and to appreciate different perspectives.

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

I have always been interested in the field of international relations but I was not completely sure what I wanted to do with my degree. After this internship, I am now quite certain that I want to pursue a career related to global human rights and humanitarian issues. I would like to make a difference in the lives of people who are suffering from those problems. This internship allowed me to realize how passionate I am about these specific issues.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because even if you are not majoring in international politics, you can still learn a lot of things that could be useful in your later studies since the topics discussed at the Wilson Center are very broad. For instance, you could focus on economic or national security events, or other subjects in which you may be interested. Internships at the Wilson Center provide students with opportunities to learn more about a field of interest and to apply these lessons towards their future studies and careers.

Guelila Coupet

Internship with E.ON Global Commodities
Up one level
Guelila Coupet

Guelila Coupet

Major: Economics
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Teaneck, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

A member of the Economics Association mentioned it during a general body meeting.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

In May, I traveled to Germany for a unique experience to study at a top Energy trading company: E.ON Global Commodities. Upon my arrival, I was given the task of conducting research on energy systems in the US, specifically the northeast Region. I have been preparing a PowerPoint on my findings and will present my final results at the end of my internship experience. Along with working on the project, I have been given work in between. This work includes proofreading documents and correcting grammar as well as scanning credible sources for current news on our competitors which will be presented to the Board. Aside from working, I got the opportunity to travel in Europe a bit. From exploring the streets of Dusseldorf, Germany to weekends in London and Copenhagen, this experience has been truly worthwhile.

"This experience made me realize that company culture is an important factor in determining where to work."

How did this experience impact you academically?

I can say that because of this internship, I have honed in on my research skills. I spent half of my time at EGC researching the PJM market in the Northeast of the US. The other half was taking the information I gathered and putting it into a cohesive presentation. Another aspect of my academic life that I have improved because of this experience is my public speaking. I have no problem talking to people and presenting on basic topics, but presenting on something important to the company put a lot of pressure on me. I was able to keep my presentation concise and make as much eye contact as possible while projecting my voice. It's a skill that will always be useful to me.

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

My career goals as of this moment are extremely varied. I know that I want to work in an environment with a great work culture and a relaxed dress code but also a place that does meaningful work. I want to be able to contribute to a company and see my contributions benefit the company directly. This experience made me realize that company culture is an important factor in determining where to work. Luckily for me, everybody was pleasant to be around and that made my time at EGC more memorable. My coworkers were always around to answer my questions and give me feedback when needed.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I think every internship experience is different for each individual. Therefore, although I enjoyed my time at the company I worked at, I will only recommend it to people who enjoy economics and energy markets. But, I do strongly recommend any type of internship experience to other Liberal Arts students. It's beneficial to get some real world experience before graduation. This way, you know what to expect once you're starting your first job. Also, companies love to see internships on your resume, and if the internship is abroad (get some international experience) then it also gives you a bit of an advantage. So, if you have the chance, definitely go for it!

Caroline Briselli

Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
Up one level
Caroline Briselli

Caroline Briselli

Paterno Fellow
Major: History
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts, Middle Eastern Studies
Hometown: Hershey, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about the liberal arts alumni mentor program online, through a liberal arts email newsletter.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

After attending an information and orientation session at the end of my freshman year, I was paired with my mentor, Phil. Phil and I emailed back and forth to set up a time to speak over the phone, then had an introductory phone call where we discussed Phil's career, as well as my career and education aspirations. Phil is currently retired, but he is still active as a consultant. Before retirement, he worked at the Tennessee Valley Authority. Phil and I speak regularly, either over phone or email, and we both make a point of keeping each other up-to-date on what we are doing. When I hear about potential internship or study abroad opportunities, I like to run them by Phil to get his opinion. Currently, I'm interning with the State Department in Bridgetown, Barbados. Phil was one of the first people I consulted when I was considering applying for the internship, and he helped me with my application by reviewing my resume. We spoke over the phone right before I left and we've been in touch over email since I've been in Barbados.

"Having a mentor has definitely made me more reflective about my career goals, which helps focus me as I apply to internships and explore post-grad options."

How did this experience impact you academically?

While my mentor and I focus primarily on the internship search and career aspirations, I make a point of talking with Phil before I schedule my courses for the spring and fall semesters, and I keep him up-to-date on the projects and essays I'm working on in class. Phil and I enjoy discussing what is being taught in my courses. Phil has a big interest in history, so we often swap titles of history books we've enjoyed and Phil suggests different areas of history that I might be interested in taking a class on.

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

In the time that I have been mentored by Phil, my career goals have become less focused, but I have come to better understand what makes me feel fulfilled as a professional. I thought that I wanted to work in a museum as a curator or archivist, but, after an internship at a museum, I found that I much prefer working with people and advocating for a cause, which led me to apply for a State Department internship this summer. Now, I'm becoming interested in non-profit development or communications. College is a time to discover what makes you want to get up and go to work every morning, but lots of students don't take time to reflect on this. Having a mentor gives you the opportunity to unpack your thoughts and discuss them with someone who has gone through the same process of determining a career path. Mentors can also give valuable suggestions about career paths and internships to explore based on what you are learning about yourself and your work habits. Having a mentor has definitely made me more reflective about my career goals, which helps focus me as I apply to internships and explore post-grad options.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend that liberal arts students get involved with the mentor program. Mentors provide experienced career and educational advice, and can help students expand their professional network. Unlike family and friends, mentors are somewhat removed from your personal situation and can give very objective advice. For example, when I was having a difficult time choosing between two internships this summer, my mentor was really helpful as I decided, pushing me to weigh the pros and cons and providing a very objective perspective. Even if your mentor isn't working in the exact field you aspire to, your mentor can open your eyes to new career paths and provide applicable advice based on their experiences in the workforce. In addition, students can really craft a unique experience based on what they hope to get out of the mentoring relationship. Some students focus specifically on interview skills or resume review, while others ask their mentor broader questions about career fields and paths. Everyone can gain something from having a mentor, and I think every student should take advantage of this opportunity.

Emily Brokenshire

Internship with Alouatta Sanctuary
Up one level
Emily Brokenshire

Emily Brokenshire

Major: Anthropology
Minor: Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
Hometown: Tyrone, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was very interested in gaining experience working with monkeys, so I did some research online, specifically on the website, Animal Behavior Institute. Here, I found opportunities within and outside of the United States that provided experience in handling and caring for primates. I then emailed the addresses provided on Alouatta's webpage and got in contact with the directors.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience definitely was informative. This organization is still in the process of becoming a fully developed agency. Alouatta Sanctuary is first and foremost a conservation site that takes in illegal pet-trade, abused, or orphaned primates to rehabilitate them back into their natural habitat. This internship took place approximately an hour and forty-five minutes outside David City, Panama in a rural area filled with jungle. The atmosphere was amazing. We were surrounded by wild capuchin and howler monkeys, which gave us the ability to observe them freely and compare them to our monkeys we were attempting to rehabilitate back into the wild. There were also projects going on to map our property as well as document wildlife activity within our property boundaries using transects. In the jungle, there was limited contact with the outside world due to minimal electricity (we ran a generator every now and then to charge laptops) and internet access. It was an aspect of the experience I was able to gain a lot from.

Because the sanctuary was in the process of becoming a fully developed agency, the internship program was not as structured as I anticipated. Prior to arrival, we received intern handbooks that informed us we would be working alongside professionals. I had hoped to be working directly with primatologists and veterinarians. Instead, we worked most closely with graduate students or recent graduates who were familiar with the organization.

"With this experience and previous opportunities I have been able to have, I learned that I am more compelled to continue studying the cultural subset of anthropology."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This impacted my career path substantially. I wanted to explore the primatology side of anthropology to see if working with primates and comparing their behaviors to humans was something I was interested in doing. I learned through this experience that I am more passionate about working directly with people. With this experience and previous opportunities I have been able to have, I learned that I am more compelled to continue studying the cultural subset of anthropology.

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

My passions still lie with anthropology, but I think this experience helped me carve my future path for graduate studies. I am planning on continuing my education in cultural studies, specifically indigenous cultures in North America. Twice I was able to visit Ngobe-Bugle villages while in Panama, which added to my desire to learn more about the socioeconomic disadvantages they face.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I faced a variety of challenges in this internship experience, but if someone really wants an adventure, I would recommend this internship. Hopefully, once this sanctuary becomes a fully developed agency, the internship program will become more structured. In the meantime, if a student is interested in going, I would advise them to get in contact with the current managers on site and ask questions about the program, the professionals with which they will be working (e.g. their previous experience working with animals or conservation), and the projects the sanctuary is currently coordinating. This was information that would have been very valuable to me.

Sara Mehretab

Legislative Intern, Office of Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.
Up one level
Sara Mehretab

Major: Economics
Minor: Political Science and Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Harrisburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

In the summer of 2014, I completed an internship at United Concordia, a dental insurance company. During my time there, I expressed interest in pursuing a career in economic policy for the federal government. A staff member in senior management was impressed with my work, and reached out to his contacts in Senator Casey's office to recommended me for their summer legislative internship. Throughout the year, I applied and was interviewed for this position.

"This internship gave me a first-hand look at the legislative process. I was able to follow transportation and housing policy up-close."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Throughout my internship I was able to do a wide variety of activities. Different organizations throughout Pennsylvania would contact the office regarding federal funding opportunities for economic development projects. One of my tasks was to search for grants and other funding opportunities for these organizations, and then write a letter of support from the Senator. Throughout the internship I attended 11 hearings and wrote 11 briefing memos for my legislative correspondent. By attending these hearings, I was able to learn about different housing and transportation issues facing the Senate and gain valuable knowledge from the witnesses who were experts in these issues. My final project was a long term research project on the National Housing Trust Fund. I created an Issue Brief that included background information and current legislation before Congress. At the end of the internship I presented a copy to my legislative correspondent.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship gave me a first-hand look at the legislative process. I was able to follow transportation and housing policy up-close. By attending hearings, briefings, and meetings I gathered and had access to the same information Senators and their respective staff do when deciding how to vote on bills. Some of the information I learned on the job is not taught in the classroom. For example, there are no classes provided specifically on transportation and housing policy, and these were the issues I spent the most time on. Alternatively though, research I’ve done in class came up during the internship, and I was able to provide insight to those discussions.

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

I was very idealistic when coming into this internship. My ideas of the role of a senior economic policy advisor were very different than I expected. By participating in this internship, I learned what I should expect as a full-time employee. Through this internship, I was able to gain experience, which is required for many jobs on Capitol Hill. In addition, I made contacts who would be willing to write me recommendation letters in the future. Following policy was something I did enjoy, and can see myself doing in the future. I also enjoyed my previous internship experience in the private sector, so long term I see myself doing government relationship for a private firm.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students who are interested in working on Capitol Hill after they graduate. "Hill experience" is necessary for most jobs on Capitol Hill, so gaining that experience as an intern gives you an advantage once you graduate.

Kim Jurczyk

Internship with Haffert Group
Up one level
Kim Jurczyk

Paterno Fellow
Majors: English, Communications Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Williamsburg, VA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this opportunity when I met the founder of the Haffert Group, Kristin Haffert, at a PLEN 360 conference. PLEN is the Public Leadership Education Network, which helps girls and recent graduates lead and work in public policy. While at the PLEN 360 conference, I networked with women in DC who work in public policy and women's issues which are two subjects I am very passionate about. Kristin and I connected right away and she explained how she consults companies on how best to integrate gender equality and women's leadership into their business plans. I expressed genuine interest in her company's mission and so she offered me an internship position for the summer. I immediately took advantage of the networking opportunity PLEN provided for me and am so grateful I attended the conference. PLEN helps women meet professionals who are genuinely dedicated to helping students make a difference and forge connections that will aid them in the future.

"With the help of this experience, I plan on working for a communications department for a non-profit that focuses specifically on social inequality."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My work focuses on helping organize and facilitate focus groups meant to help the company understand how gender affects the workplace. I've also helped run the company's financial details, organize events for the company's clients and supporters, and create a social media strategy plan. I am learning how to run a small business as well as how the issue of gender can affect the political climate and workplace both on a national level and a global level. This experience is invaluable to me because consulting companies on how to better address gender equality is something I can see myself doing when I graduate in the upcoming year. This summer has helped me see what I can do to better achieve one of my dreams: addressing social inequalities and educating others on these inequalities.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Ultimately, this experience has allowed me to apply the concepts I have learned in the classroom to a work environment. I am using my writing skills to benefit the company's online presence and am using my communication skills to forward the company's mission during focus groups. During the upcoming year, I know I am going to choose classes that I know will benefit my future career goals and help me make more of an impact in my work.

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

With the help of this experience, I plan on working for a communications department for a non-profit that focuses specifically on social inequality. I am especially passionate about women's issues and gender equality so ultimately I want to work toward these two goals. Working for a company that works toward gender equality and women's leadership has helped me realize how difficult it is to fully understand the complexities of social inequality. But the reward of working toward equality will inspire me to pursue this kind of work in the future. I plan on using my communication, writing, and leadership abilities to understand social issues and do whatever I can to address these issues.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to students. In the end, you can see your work and efforts making a tangible and substantial difference. My work will go toward something important and something for which I feel like is worth fighting.

Shani Wallace-Romer

Internship with Human Resources Administration
Up one level
Shani Wallace-Romer

Major: Labor and Employment Relations
Hometown: Teaneck, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

In looking for a summer internship, I reached out to a family friend who I knew had been working for Human Resources Administration (HRA). I told her about my interest in Human Resources and she was able to forward my resume to the internship coordinator at HRA who then reached out to me.

"As a Labor and Employment Relations major, interning under The Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Labor Relations for the Human Resources Administration of the City of New York provided me with great exposure."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was fortunate enough to be granted the opportunity to intern for the Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Labor Relations for The Human Resources Administration of the City of New York. My internship was located in Building 4 of the World Trade Center. The preliminary plan of work and responsibilities entailed a review and research of current staff union contracts in order to check for accuracy in the seniority requirements that are listed in the Agency’s transfer system. During my internship, aside from my primary project assignment I was able to shadow my supervisor as well as the rest of the OLR staff. I attended Labor Management meetings with unions, attended OLR staff meetings, attended forums, and helped to create an OLR staff training. During the time of my internship, my supervisor’s personal secretary retired so I was able to take over her basic clerical responsibilities. Some of those duties included answering telephones; recording messages; organizing file cabinets and supply rooms; typing up meeting minutes, notes, or research about information my supervisor may need during a meeting; and providing guidance to the newer interns joining OLR.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My summer internship was directly correlated to my academic major. As a Labor and Employment Relations major, interning under The Deputy Commissioner of the Office of Labor Relations for the Human Resources Administration of the City of New York provided me with great exposure. I was able to see how things I learned in my classes are carried out in the field. I was able to gain insight into what it is like working in a Labor Relations department for a government agency. This internship allowed me to see firsthand how things such as grievances and labor management meetings are carried out within HRA. Also, I earned academic credit for this internship so I will be graded on my performance and hopefully this will impact my academic career in a positive way.

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

In the future, I hope to one day become the head of an HR department or an expert in professional training and development. Before obtaining these high level jobs, I plan to graduate from Penn State. Penn State currently offers a five-year master’s program in which the students who are accepted graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master's in Human Resources and Employment Relations. Now that I am in my senior year I plan to apply for this program. Interning for HRA was directly aligned with my career plan. Through this internship I was able to gain firsthand experience working in a Labor Relations department in a city where I hope to one day become a resident. I was able to connect and network with people who have been working in the industry for ten or more years and gather insight from them. They provided me with specific information about the industry, and their agency; as well as advice on how I can obtain a job in this field in the future.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. I would recommend this internship for many reasons. This internship was a good learning experience for someone who has had no exposure working in a Labor Relations department. It was very enriching academically, the location is beautiful, the staff is supportive, and the culture of the office is very relaxed and flexible.

Emily Mcdonald

The United States Department of Agriculture
Up one level
Emily Mcdonald

Major: Economics and International Politics
Hometown: Greensburg, Pa

How did you learn about this opportunity?

In the early fall I made the decision that I wanted to intern in Washington, DC this summer. At that time I applied for the Penn State Washington Program and got accepted. I began looking everywhere for internships. I utilized Penn State alumni, the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network, and many job sites in order to refine my interests. I applied to upwards of 12 places before I learned about the program with the USDA. I heard about it through the contacts that I developed throughout my previous involvement with 4-H and extension programs. I talked to some of the people who I was familiar in the USDA and found out that they were going to post a position for a student intern from a land grant institution. As soon as the position went live on USAJobs.gov, I applied because it was set to close as soon as 50 people applied. After a few weeks, I went through the interview process and was offered the position.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience with the USDA has been wonderful. I am an intern within the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Youth and 4-H division. I have gotten the opportunity to work on many projects during my internship. One of the highlights has been working on programs that serve to benefit juvenile youth across the country. I have been able to do research and help create programs to benefit youth who find their way into the criminal justice system at a young age. I even got to personally sit in on a council meeting chaired by the new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, on this topic. Another highlight was getting to work on the creation of a common measurement for federally sponsored military youth programs on military bases across the world. These programs have existed for a while, but there has been no common way to measure their success. This summer I got to help create a way to do that. Aside from the amazing opportunities that I have had within the USDA, I have also been able to live in and explore Washington, DC. I've taken in countless Smithsonian museums, tons of memorials, and met a variety of unique people. This experience enabled me to learn in an environment that challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone.

"This experience enabled me to learn in an environment that challenged me and took me out of my comfort zone."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship experience has enabled me to take what I have learned in the classroom and apply it to real life scenarios. I love my majors and my area of interest and I have learned so much in the classroom, but this out of class experience really helped me to think critically on another level. This experience has also broadened my horizons academically. It has peaked interests that I was not aware I had, and now I cannot wait to take classes pertaining to these interests during my last year as a student at Penn State.

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

I did not always know that I wanted to begin my career directly after completing my undergraduate degree. I have always been interested in seeking a masters degree, but this internship helped me to realize that I want to experience the working world before I decide on a masters program. I have always been interested in government work and had a desire to go into some form of public service. This experience really solidified that desire and I have been fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to return to the USDA when I complete my degree. So not only have I learned a ton, I also can relax a little during my senior year and do not have to stress so much about finding a permanent job to begin after graduation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this type of experience to other students. I have gained so much from stepping out of my comfort zone and interning with the USDA in Washington, DC. I got to learn about what I like and don't like in a job which has helped me to focus my priorities academically not just for my senior year, but for my future as well.

Amina Waltham

Internship with Transparency International Nepal
Up one level
Amina Waltham

Major: B.S Economics, B.A International Politics
Hometown: Cambridge, UK

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Transparency International (TI) is a well known international corruption agency. I decided that I wanted experience in the anti-corruption field and I wanted to work somewhere where I could continue to pursue my interests in Economic Development. I researched TI's international offices and found TI Nepal.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

While I am a British National I am also half Nepali (on my mother’s side) and I used to live in Nepal (from the age of 8 till 10). This meant that I wasn’t travelling to a country that I really considered foreign. However, Nepal is both a developing country and has recently been affected by two major earthquakes. This means that the environment is completely different to that of the United States. Transparency International Nepal is a small office with approximately 30 permanent staffers. Despite this small scale, TIN manages to operate a number of programs through partner organizations and hosts a number of interns throughout the year. The office environment was quite casual but also extremely fast paced. I never felt like the tasks assigned to me were redundant and I felt like they were trying to give me exposure to the variety of work that occurs in an NGO office (I mostly focused on proposal writing). In terms of organization, I learned how important it is to communicate plausible deadlines for work and to prioritize. Most of TI's work is advocacy and outreach based. They both campaign against corruption and offer the public an outlet for corruption grievances. This means that most of their work is focused on marketing and legal activities. While I found these things interesting, I was more interested in activism against corruption.

"I think working overseas is an extremely useful experience to have as it helps you become more flexible."

How did this experience impact you academically?

I am studying both Economics and International Politics with the aim of pursuing a master’s degree in development economics in the future. In my economics classes I’ve been focusing on development economics, but my studies in International Politics have been less focused. After this internship I’ve decided that I need to focus more on political systems and how they function which means focusing on my politics courses. However, this internship has made me more confident that I am studying subjects in which I am interested, which will also help me work in an area in which I am interested.

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

My career plans have stayed mostly the same and I’ve become even more certain that I am pursing a career I will enjoy. I would like to continue working in anti-corruption, but would rather work in more of a policy environment. I am thinking of working for development assistance agencies (such as the UNDP, World Bank, UKAid) and working in their anti-corruption departments. I would like to work in an area that would allow me to draft policies that combat corruption. Furthermore, I think I would like a specific focus such as education or health, and try to focus my anti-corruption work towards making those areas more efficient.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students if they are interested in law, advocacy, or human rights work in the future. I think working overseas is an extremely useful experience to have as it helps you become more flexible. I really enjoyed my time at TI and was really happy that I was given work that I found meaningful.

Matthew Feldman

Internship with Circle of Confusion (Los Angeles, CA)
Up one level
Matthew Feldman

Matthew Feldman

Major: Communication Arts & Sciences, Psychology
Hometown: Potomac, MD

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew I wanted to participate in internship in Los Angeles that was involved with the entertainment industry. With that in mind, I went to the internet and applied to internships at many of the large entertainment studios in Los Angeles. I also reached out to my Uncle and Aunt who live in the area and are involved within the industry. My uncle told me that his friend's company was looking for interns, so I forwarded my resume and interviewed with them. When I heard back from the internships I had applied to, I got into a few programs, but I chose to intern with Circle of Confusion because it seemed like the internship was most related to what I want to do with my career.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I would have to say this internship is a dream. Compared to other internships I've done in the past, this internship requires far less grunt work and significantly more work that makes me feel like I'm receiving training relevant for my future career. As a person passionate about the film and entertainment industry, I have found this internship to be fulfilling because I get to regularly read television pilots and screenplays that could potentially be optioned and turned into either television shows or movies. In addition, being surrounded by people who are equally passionate about your interests is a considerably rewarding experience which adds to the joy I've had thus far.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has positively impacted me academically in many ways. While I am not pursuing a film major in college, I came into this internship knowing as much about the entertainment industry as I could learn from reading articles and critiques of my favorite shows and movies. In this position, I am able to participate behind scenes of the industry and I am learning something new every day. For instance, during my first week I learned that when a pilot for a television show is created, they also create what is called a bible that complements the pilot, indicating what will happen in future episodes and seasons. From professionals in the field, I've also been learning about the most marketable parts of a television show or movie. For instance, one of my mentors indicated that strong characters are more marketable than strong stories, so they are more important.

"This internship has confirmed my interest in the entertainment industry and has provided me with valuable experiences to start my career."

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

My career goal is to get involved in the entertainment industry following graduation. This internship has confirmed my interest in the entertainment industry and has provided me with valuable experiences to start my career. First of all, the skills that I have learned will provide me with the knowledge needed to perform in a wide-variety of other positions.  Because of this internship, I will also have a stronger idea of industry expectations when conducting my own job search. In addition, this internship has provided me with the opportunity to network with professionals in the field who may be able to assist me in my future job search. Also, being part of a very selective internship program, I've been introduced to a number of other interns who come from well-regarded academic institutions who are passionate about getting involved in the industry. These connections have extended my professional network and may also assist me in my transition from student to professional.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would certainly recommend this internship experience to other liberal arts students. I've gained a vast amount of resources and knowledge after that will hopefully assist me in the near future. It will also hopefully help me when searching for employment as I try to look for opportunities after I graduate from college.

Shannon Sutton

New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness
Up one level
Shannon Sutton

Major: Criminology
Minor: Security and Risk Analysis; Psychology
Hometown: Rockaway, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned of this internship opportunity through my mentor, Kevin. Kevin and I met though the College of the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program this past fall semester. Speaking with my mentor has been extremely beneficial in networking and developing a work/life balance. After learning about this opportunity, I applied through the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness' website and completed an interview over the phone.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my experience, I assessed and analyzed critical infrastructure threats, vulnerabilities and potential consequences as a member of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Bureau. Each day, I would assist the full-time employees in their work that aims to improve the partnership between the government and state facilities in security and resiliency. Throughout the eight weeks spent with the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, I gained experience in the office as well as in the field of Critical Infrastructure.

"This internship was a stepping-stone into the government and gave me the opportunity to network within fields I hope to pursue."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This summer internship has allowed me to gain a better appreciation for the skill set that I have learned in my classes. It was beneficial to see the lessons I have learned in class applied to real work. I now hope to take the time and effort to continue to improve such skills in my coursework. Skills such as researching, critical reading, writing, and interpersonal communication have been very helpful in my internship.

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

I have always planned to obtain a Master's Degree in International Affairs and begin a career within the federal government as an Intelligence Analyst. This internship was a stepping-stone into the government and gave me the opportunity to network within fields I hope to pursue. After completing this internship, I am more confident in my dreams and will continue to work hard to meet my goals.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this internship to Liberal Arts students who are interested in pursuing professional careers within criminal justice. Since day one, I was extremely involved with the Critical Infrastructure Bureau and each member of the office was part of the learning process. I've gained a vast amount of resources and knowledge that will hopefully assist me in the near future.

Nicole Solano

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Protective Detail for the Secretary of State
Up one level
Nicole Solano

Major: Criminology
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned of internships with the Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security at Penn State's Fall Career Days. While the recruiters would not take resumes at the fair, they informed me that I should apply online. They told me that these were incredibly competitive positions and advised me that my personal statement would need to be very strong in order to land the internship. They recommended to me that as a Criminology major, I should apply for the protective offices, so I took their advice. I applied in October for their summer internship. Candidates are required to apply so far in advance because the security clearance can take months to obtain if you are accepted. I applied on the Bureau’s website and I also applied on USAjobs.gov. The day before New Year ’s Eve I got an email telling me I had been conditionally selected in the primary round for the internship, and the rest was history!

"As a liberal arts major I have always been a little nervous about getting a job after graduation, but I learned that the special agents come from a wide variety of backgrounds- from English majors to Biology majors!"

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The office I worked in was called OPSCO- Operations and Coordination. OPSCO is responsible for preparing all the passports, visas, travel vouchers, weapons organization, budgeting, and scheduling for the special agents who work on the Secretary of State’s Protective Detail. I had the opportunity to work directly with the special agents and the staff that supports the protective detail and the secretary of state. I produced reports, statistics, and maintained schedules, handled weapons, and organized countless products in the office. I had the chance to tour the 7th and 8th floors of the Department of State. I got to go into the Secretary of State’s personal office and see many historical artifacts on the upper floors of the Department of State. There were a few days that I was even within 10 feet of the Secretary of State himself! I got to observe the protective detail firsthand, and even got to shadow when the Cuban prime minister arrived at the Department of State for the first time. It was an amazing experience and there are many things I learned and observed that I will never forget.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this internship demonstrated to me that my education at Penn State has been extremely beneficial to my professional career. Although I was not extremely familiar with statistics and excel before this internship, the skills I had learned at Penn State allowed me to work through these hurdles. I am now extremely proficient with Microsoft excel and would feel comfortable doing any projects with it in the future. Another aspect of this internship that impacted me academically was meeting all the special agents and learning their backgrounds and career paths. As a liberal arts major I have always been a little nervous about getting a job after graduation, but I learned that the special agents come from a wide variety of backgrounds- from English majors to Biology majors! This has given me a newfound confidence to finish out my senior year and feel sure that I will find a career path myself.

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

My current career goals are to go into federal law enforcement and protection after I graduate. I have always known that I wanted to take on a federal career, and this internship has confirmed for me that the federal career path is the right choice for me. This fall, I will be applying for all the federal law enforcement agencies that have openings and hoping that I can get my foot in the door with one of them. If the Diplomatic Security Special Agent position has vacancies I will also apply - but it is very difficult to get into straight out of college. Because of this, I will try to get other federal law enforcement experience and continue to apply to the special agent position in the years to come. After landing a federal job, I hope to continue my education in the next few years by attending grad school and getting my masters in a field relevant to my career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, but I would only recommend it to students who are flexible and willing to work hard. I had to do a variety of different tasks and many of those tasks were out of my comfort zone. This pushed me to work in new avenues and explore my own capabilities. I would highly recommend this internship experience, especially to Criminology majors (given the nature of the work).

Kyle Cunningham

Rome Study Tour
Up one level
Kyle Cunningham

Kyle Cunningham

Major: Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Hometown: Tamaqua, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the Rome Study Tour through Professor Pamela Cole of the CAMS department in her CAMS 033, Roman Civilization class. Incidentally, Dr. Cole was a co-leader of the study tour this year. Specifically, a previous student of the trip came in to talk about the experience. I learned of the program in my junior year after moving up to University Park from a branch campus, but didn't actually apply until my senior year after pushing back my graduation to August. Aside from hearing about it from my professors, the program was very easy to find through the study abroad website in order to learn more about the specifics of the program itself.

"I found myself as a kind of teacher while in Rome, with my extensive classwork at Penn State contributing to helping my classmates who didn't take classes in Roman History."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The program itself was fantastic. I am an avid historian, and seeing in first-person sites you constantly read about in books and see in pictures is beyond incredible. Walking into the Pantheon, for example, a building built almost 2,000 years ago that has largely survived the ravages of time, and seeing its massive concrete dome and colonnade alongside renaissance sculptures and paintings, is a memory I will never forget. Just being in a foreign city for the first time in my life is an experience in itself. The food is incredible, and the people are helpful and considerate.

About the program specifically, it runs roughly two and a half weeks and you are very busy for much of it. The study tour is centered primarily in Rome, but the tour goes down into southern Italy to visit the sites of Pompey, Herculaneum, Naples, and Paestum for about four days. Obviously, we walked a lot. We visited sites like the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trajan's Market, the Roman port of Ostea, the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Tomb of Hadrian (the Castel Sant'Angelo today), the Palace of Domitian, the Baths of Caracalla, etc... In our spare time we visited many of the famous churches in Rome, many of which are built into ancient Roman structures. On our free days we took a trip to the Vatican to see St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, which holds a lot of Roman sculptures and artwork.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The program was basically a personal choice for me. As I stated above, I am a senior who was going to graduate in May 2015. However, I had never been on a study abroad experience and heard very good things about other programs, so I decided to apply to the Rome Study Tour and push back my graduation to August 2015 to fit it into my schedule. The program has two credit options: a 3 credit 100 level class, and a 6 credit 100 level class and 400 level class. Considering that I had already met all of Penn States needs in order to graduate, I chose to enroll in the 3 credit option.

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

My immediate goal is to find a job related to history, and after a few years, apply to graduate school. What this study abroad program has done for me is confirm my love for history. I found myself as a kind of teacher while in Rome, with my extensive classwork at Penn State contributing to helping my classmates who didn't take classes in Roman History. I want to continue with that after graduating and help teach others about how fun and helpful learning history can be. My ultimate goal is to become a professor of history.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend the Rome Study Tour, and any Penn State-led study abroad program, to liberal arts students. The university goes through great measures to ensure that everything runs smoothly, both by monitoring foreign threat to keep its students safe and by providing funding to students themselves and the faculty leaders to deal with minor programs like transportation. That is not to say that prospective students should give serious though to committing to a study aboard program. First off, they can be expensive, so definitely consider applying for funding through the university and your respective departments and colleges. Secondly, there is work required. My friends and I had a lot of fun going to restaurants and touring Rome, but we also had to put a lot of time into studying for our required quizzes. With that said, it is important to be respectful while abroad. The Italian people are very hospitable, and it’s only right that we as ambassadors of Penn State and the United States respond in kind.

Benjamin Thompson

Internship with Burlington Stores, Inc.
Up one level
Benjamin Thompson

Benjamin Thompson

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Long Valley, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity when I was browsing the career fair at Penn State. I stumbled upon the Burlington Stores table and spoke with a recruiter. I was contacted via phone to set up an interview the next day with Donna Norton, the internship coordinator. The rest of the process unfolded with the help of Donna.

"This internship experience exposes interns to a plethora of important opportunities and skills that translate to many career paths."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship is focused on the buying world of retail. We are essentially the middle man between a company/brand and our customers. On Monday and Tuesday I work from our south Jersey office in Burlington, New Jersey. Here, we are able to review what we call the 'style report.' This is the bible of the successes and failures of our recent products placed in all our stores. We then commute to New York City on Wednesday and Thursday to meet with different companies who want to sell us their products. These companies range from Ralph Lauren to Michael Kors. At these appointments we negotiate and try to get a good price for the merchandise we want to sell in our stores. Then, a typical Friday consists of browsing our competitors to see what they're doing in their stores and how we can improve from their successes. It is most definitely an exciting position.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship has helped to improve some of my personal skills that will impact my future academic career. Organizational skills are essential, especially in the boys shoes department where I work. With so many sizes and styles, it is imperative that I keep track of every detail and communicate effectively. So in addition to organization, communication is important as well. Not only in-person communication, but communication via media, especially email, is increasingly significant and essential to the success of a business. These are all skills I will use to further advance in my academic career as well as my lifelong career.

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

My career plans have always been focused on working for a company I respect and ultimately, in a position that makes me happy. This internship has allowed me to experience a career that I have always dreamed of doing. I look forward to completing the rest of the internship and hope to be able to gain more insights into this industry. I'm excited to see what the future holds and the projects I have coming my way. This internship has shown me that loving what you do is extremely important.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would most certainly recommend this internship experience. I have learned a great deal not only about interpersonal communication, but the world of business (which was always a scary world to me). This internship experience exposes interns to a plethora of important opportunities and skills that translate to many career paths.

Travis Pierson

Internship with PeopleShare Inc.
Up one level
Travis Pierson

Travis Pierson

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Nazareth, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity by searching online for human resources internships in the area.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my experience at PeopleShare Inc, I served as a recruiting/business/HR intern. I learned a great deal about several human resources tasks such as selection, recruiting, and the interview process. My duties included seeking out qualified candidates to fill positions for clients, pre-screening candidates before interviews, on-boarding candidates into the system, running criminal background checks on candidates, and interviewing and placing candidates with client companies. Additionally, in this position, I became more familiar with computer software programs like Microsoft Outlook and HR management systems. I also learned how to effectively navigate Careerbuilder.com and other employment websites, run expense reports, and generate sales leads.

"Many of the skills I learned at my internship correlate directly to what I may be doing in my future career."

How did this experience impact you academically?

My experience at PeopleShare taught me a great deal academically. As a psychology major, I have taken many courses pertaining to Industrial and Organizational Psychology and also Labor and Employment Relations and general business courses. While these courses were valuable to my knowledge and understanding of general organizational practices and human resources duties, nothing was as valuable as actually being able to apply this knowledge and learn first-hand by working in a company. At PeopleShare, I was given the opportunity to learn these processes by actually doing them, rather than reading about them in a book. I learned a great deal especially about the interview process and was even given the opportunity towards the end of my internship to participate in an interview process.

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

My career plans are to attend graduate school in the field of human resources management or industrial and organizational psychology and to become a human resources manager and, ultimately, a human resources director. This experience has helped me greatly in learning about several different human resources processes and it has given me a taste of the field. Many of the skills I learned at my internship correlate directly to what I may be doing in my future career. During my internship I also developed valuable professional relationships with the individuals working at PeopleShare which helped develop my professional network. I am also confident that this internship will look good on a resume when applying to graduate school and later on for jobs.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this internship to anyone who is interested in the fields of human resources or recruiting. I feel as if I gained so much from the internship that cannot be learned in the classroom. The staff at PeopleShare were extremely helpful and more than willing to take time out of their day to help explain or assist in anything that I wanted to learn or needed help in learning.

Jessica Chesloski

Penn State Washington Program / Interned at Citizens Against Government Waste
Up one level
Jessica Chesloski

Major: Political Science, Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: Global Studies
Hometown: Pennsburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I saw a flyer for the Penn State Washington Program, and I attended one of information sessions.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I interned at Citizens Against Government Waste, a non-profit organization that focuses on the elimination of wasteful government spending. My job entailed working on policy papers and collecting data for investigative studies. I also worked on their annual “Prime Cuts” report and produce an article for their monthly “WasteWatchers.” Besides my internship, I attended multiple networking events through which I got to meet tons of alumni in the area. I met alumni who previously interned in the city, and I got tips on what to do and not to do in the future. They also offered me advice on living and working in D.C.

"Thanks to this internship, I have already begun to build a network of Penn State students and alumni who can help me make the transition from student to professional."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically by confirming that I am on the right track with my majors. My political science background has helped me to better understand issues and topics that have come up in my internship. My Communication Arts and Sciences major helped me in meetings as well as with the writing aspect of my internship. This internship also helped me to develop a broad range of skills which will help when I return to my classes in the fall.

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

I have always known I wanted to be in D.C. because I have been interested in politics ever since my AP government class in high school. This experience has allowed me to get my foot in the door and make connections. I also had the opportunity to get published and enhance my researching skills. I plan to return to the District of Columbia after I graduate. Thanks to this internship, I have already begun to build a network of Penn State students and alumni who can help me make the transition from student to professional.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would completely recommend this program. The Penn State Washington Program helps you find an internship and provides you with housing with other Penn State students. Throughout the summer, there are numerous networking events with other Penn State alumni that you can attend. It is completely worth it if you are interested in possibly living in DC one day.

Alysha Muhammad Din Fikri

Internship with KPMG Malaysia
Up one level
Alysha Muhammad Din Fikri

Alysha Muhammad Din Fikri

Major: Economics
Minor: Media Studies
Hometown: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through my friend, Shamita. She had previously interned at KPMG Malaysia and told me it was a good platform. Once I heard good feedback about the company, I submitted my resume and cover letter to a recruiter. He got back to me about a week later and told me to complete some forms. The rest is history.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The Business Planning Services department I am in is project-based so the company assigned me to an interesting project related to my field of study. In this position, I have to think of strategies related to our project. The majority of my tasks involve research, preparing slides, and other duties as needed. The working environment is not as hectic as I thought it would be. I am friends with the other interns from the department and the staff members are very friendly. Overall, my internship has been positive and I see myself pursuing this line of work.

"I am glad that I chose an internship that allows me to utilize my academic background and apply it to specific projects."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship has allowed me to apply the content I have studied in class to hands-on projects. I am glad that I chose an internship that allows me to utilize my academic background and apply it to specific projects. I would also consider taking more classes related to this industry in the future so that I will be able to have more knowledge and skills in preparation for another internship. This experience has also allowed me to understand current economic issues, as the projects require up-to-date information impacting contemporary markets. This internship has also made me realize that there is no one path to your future career. Many of my coworkers came from different academic backgrounds. It is more important to have a flexible skillset and to adapt to a specific industry.

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

My goal after this is to obtain another internship to confirm the field of work I intend to pursue. This experience was just a stepping-stone to my career path because I had yet to complete an internship in this field. I wanted to learn and decide whether I see myself doing this in the future. As of this moment, I can see myself pursuing a career in an advisory or consulting role, but I feel that I would still like to explore my options by trying other fields of work.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this experience to other liberal arts students because an internship allows you to have a sneak peek of your future career. Internships are a great way of allowing yourself to see whether you would enjoy the job before it is too late. If you do not like an internship, consider it as a learning experience and an opportunity to choose a different career path.

Benjamin Black

Dalian University of Technology Program on the Chinese Economy and Language Studies
Up one level
Benjamin Black

Benjamin Black

Paterno Fellow
Majors: International Politics (International Relations Option), Asian Studies
Minors: Chinese and History
Hometown: Hollidaysburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

This study abroad program was mentioned to me by my Honors Advisor, and I later looked in to the courses that were offered at Dalian University of Technology during this program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was incredibly eye-opening. The weekend trips, some organized by the program and some independent, were crucial. I enjoyed seeing all the different aspects of China: the industrial cities and huge population, the rice paddies and farmlands, and China's fantastic High-Speed Trains. The hosts were extremely kind and accommodating, and the courses were engaging from the perspective of many different academic tracks.

"I learned a great deal about the Chinese economic system via the courses, but simply speaking with professors and people at the university was incredibly helpful."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this program reinforced my interest in China. It allowed me to hone in on the areas where my studies need to intensify, and satisfied the parts that had been lacking. I learned a great deal about the Chinese economic system via the courses, but simply speaking with professors and people at the university was incredibly helpful.

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

I plan to attend graduate school in the foreign affairs field with a focus on East Asia and China. This program had a significant impact by showing me where my true interest lies in regard to China, and where I need to invest more time and effort.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this program, but would caution that it is not the best option for learning Chinese if that is your goal. All told, this is a great program!

William Miceli

Internship with Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Up one level
William Miceli

William Miceli

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Broadheadsville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through a friend who had the same internship last year with the IronPigs. I was given the contact information for the supervisor who runs the internship and reached out to him for any possible position in the summer.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs was a great experience. The Game Day Internship Program is designed for college students to explore careers in the sports industry while getting hands-on experience and it allows students to learn from and work alongside IronPigs front office staff members. On a daily basis we assist in general game day setup including giveaways, programs, and sponsor tables. We also assist different departments around the ball park such as ticket sales, promotions, merchandise, community relations, and much more.

"This internship helped me out tremendously because it gave me the opportunity to exercise all the knowledge I learned academically, into a real work environment."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship helped me out tremendously because it gave me the opportunity to exercise all the knowledge I learned academically, into a real work environment. I found that Game Day Interns for the IronPigs gain valuable information for the future. This includes hands on sales experience, learning the importance of event logistics and timing, executing marketing promotions, and networking with a professional staff. These are all topics I came across and learned about at Penn State.

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

My career goal is to work in corporate sales. I understand that the sports industry is different than what I want to do however, this internship still prepared me for the future as I consider it my first professional job. Working for the IronPigs gave me great insight on the sales side of the sports industry and selling any product in general. Personally, learning about sales was very helpful while learning everything from the approach, language, product knowledge, objections, the pitch, and statistics.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to anyone who wants to pursue a career in the sports industry or business in general. By experiencing multiple departments, the game day internship program is designed to assist students in choosing which specific direction they are interested in. One of my favorite parts of the experience was being able to network with numerous people. Whether it be front office members, clients, or fans the amount of people you meet and connect with is endless.

Ian Button

The Heritage Foundation
Up one level
Ian Button

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Finance and German
Minors: International Business and International Studies
Hometown: Bellefonte, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I discovered this internship through a previous job at the U.S. Army War College. My then-supervisor invited me to go along with him on a trip to the Heritage Foundation for a presentation on China. The trip left an impression, and I applied in the spring.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked in the Heritage Foundation's Allison Center for foreign policy and national security, focusing specifically on defense-related issues. Heritage offered me the opportunity to work on the 2016 Index of U.S. Military Strength, one of its signature products. In doing so, I researched the status of Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) and attended congressional hearings on defense acquisition-related matters. I was also encouraged to write op-eds on military topics, especially those related to the Coast Guard and Navy. Over the course of my time at Heritage, I wrote four such op-eds for publishing on the Daily Signal.

"This experience reinforced my desire to develop critical thinking and analytical skills."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience reinforced my desire to develop critical thinking and analytical skills. I often found that I needed to write concise, timely pieces for publication while operating under a deadline. To produce products of sufficient quality, it was imperative that I hone my ability to sift through large volumes of information. Moreover, I spent significant portions of my time researching my thesis topic: terrorism finance with respect to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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

I aspire to be an officer in the United States Air Force. As such, this internship was tremendously helpful in preparing myself for a military environment. Many of my supervisors are either current or retired members of the nation's armed forces. They were able to offer mentorship and guidance to me and to other aspiring officer candidates. I also had the opportunity to familiarize myself with ongoing issues of concern to the military, namely defense acquisition programs and grand strategy.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

The Heritage Foundation's internship program is absolutely worth considering. Not only is it one of the only paid internships in Washington, DC, but it also provides interns with opportunities to work on real, meaningful projects. Heritage invests in its interns, setting them up with mentors and instructing them during First Principles luncheons with some of the think tank's best and brightest minds.

Allison Clifford

CIEE: Seville, Spain
Up one level
Allison Clifford

Major: Psychology (Neuroscience)
Minor: Music Performance (Flute), Biology
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I conducted a search on Penn State's Education Abroad website of programs that would fit the time period and area that I wanted to study abroad. From this search, I was able to identify and then select the program. I was able to discuss with my academic adviser as to how I should plan for my time abroad.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I went into my time abroad with an awareness that my understanding of "normal" was about to be challenged and that I would make memories that I would not ever forget. What I did not anticipate were the ways that I would be challenged to push past my own boundaries. Travelling by myself empowered me to do things for myself and to trust myself. Travelling to a non-English speaking country was scary but incredibly rewarding. The comforts of knowing the language, having family nearby, and knowing my location were not ones that I had while I was in Spain. In the absence of these comforts that, daily, I took for granted at home, I was empowered to move beyond it. Living in a homestay and taking time to learn about the culture and people of Seville, I can say with certainty that my study abroad experience was invaluable and once-in-a-lifetime.

Living in a homestay and taking time to learn about the culture and people of Seville, I can say with certainty that my study abroad experience was invaluable and once-in-a-lifetime.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I was challenged in a different way that I am usually challenged during the regular semesters. Being in a foreign country, my main priority was to experience the culture and my environment. I quickly found that this priority had to be balanced with my normal priority of academics. Time management became even more important to me because the more I was on top of my academic work, the more time I could have to explore the city and the culture. In addition, I was able to take an art and architecture class that I would not have normally been able to take. This class provided me with a new window to view the history and the culture of Seville.

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

My plan for my career is to first graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Neuroscience focus) with minors in Flute Performance and Biology. After that, I plan to attend graduate school to be a Physician Assistant. I hope to specialize in mental health. My time in Spain has given me experience with a culture and with people who are different from me. In addition to giving me a wider perspective and appreciation for other people and their stories, I now have a greater capacity to interact with people by looking for ways that we are similar rather than ways that we differ from each other. This seems a small distinction, but I feel that in both my career and my life, this will be something that I will have to constantly pursue. My experience abroad has given me an awareness of our human tendency to look for our differences and a motivation to pursue the opposite.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because of the challenges, the beautiful experiences, and the ways that your perspective will be widened. Before I went, I was the most nervous I have ever been, and when I returned, I was never more sure that I made one of the best decisions of my life.

Elizabeth Catchmark

Study Abroad: Literary London
Up one level
Elizabeth Catchmark

Paterno Fellow
Major: English
Hometown: Bellefonte, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew I was interested in a summer abroad program, so I utilized the online database that lists all available abroad programs for Penn State students. I weighted different factors when exploring options, including length of time abroad, distance from home, cost, and potential language barriers before deciding on the faculty-led, four-week London experience.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was a faculty-led, four-week study abroad program in London. Faculty led programs have a pre-selected schedule of courses, which included Insanity and Imagination, a study of the links between mental illness and literature, and Avant Garde London, an examination of several modernist movements. Our course work was supplemented with trips to several sites intimately related to our studies. One such site was Monk’s House, the country home of renowned writer Virginia Woolf and her husband. Another excursion took us to two famous Neolithic stone monuments, Stonehenge and Avebury. Our visit also involved experiences with many other historically and culturally significant locations, including Oxford University and the White Cliffs of Dover, and several museums, including the Freud Museum, the Bedlam Museum of the Mind, and the British Museum.

This experience was helpful in achieving both my long term and short-term goals, as international experience is vital for any aspiring professor.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The courses taken on this trip have been very valuable for me academically. As an English major who intends to pursue a doctorate after graduation, the first course, Avant Garde London, was particularly helpful. Though the movements studied were often small and short-lived, the concepts and general principles emphasized are vital for any student of English literature. The course provided an overview of modernist principles, enhancing my vocabulary for speaking about literature along with my understanding of different literary periods and how those periods are in conversation with one another. The second course, Insanity and Imagination, was similarly helpful. The class built a working vocabulary of different, but equally vital to literary studies, terms and concepts, including ideas central to psychoanalytic literary criticism.

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

My immediate goal is to pursue my doctorate in English Literature after graduation, while my long-term career goal is to seek a faculty position in my field. This experience was helpful in achieving both my long term and short-term goals, as international experience is vital for any aspiring professor. The specific courses taken provided me with valuable knowledge of different periods in English literature and different types of literary criticism, both of which will aid me in my graduate studies. Additionally, our guided tour of Oxford exposed me to a potential graduate program I could apply to in the coming year.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. The faculty led programs provide the benefits of study abroad, including learning about other cultures in an intimate way, with the added security of faculty members known to the students accompanying them on the trip. It provided me with occasions to experience sites related to my field that I would otherwise not have the opportunity to see.

Logan Paiste

Tel Akko TOTAL Archaeology Project
Up one level
Logan Paiste

Major: CAMS, Jewish Studies
Minor: Chinese, Greek, Hebrew
Hometown: Allentown, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the Tel Akko TOTAL Archaeology Project through my professor, Dr. Ann Killebrew. She is the co-director of the project. I had taken an embedded spring semester course with her called “A Study Tour of the Land of Israel” and visited the site before I registered for the summer program. Whether a student takes a class with her at the University Park campus or goes abroad on the spring semester study tour, Dr. Killebrew will announce the TOTAL Archaeology program to her students.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The program provides many options for the students. In addition to excavating my square, I dabbled in archaeometallurgy, which is the study of microscopic metal samples from excavated soil, as well as archaeobotany, which is the study of seeds from soil samples. I also utilized a GIS (Geographic Information System) in order to record the measurements of the square and plot the exact coordinates of where the students discovered important artifacts. Additionally, I dug survey pits outside of the archaeological dig site in order to determine how the land was used directly outside of Tel Akko. I even worked alongside leading specialists who study pottery shards in order to learn how to date and label pottery. On top of this, other students were able to study archaeozoology, which is the study of bone samples, and outreach to the local community of Akko to inform them about the project and to hear their thoughts about preserving the city of Akko.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I was able to receive nine credits of 400-level courses towards my Jewish Studies major. Through the independent study option, which is an additional ten days of study after the dig season is finished, I lived in the dormitory at the University of Haifa and I was able to envision myself as a student studying there. I discovered that I am interested in learning Hebrew and Arabic at a conversational level. I am greatly considering attending a language immersion program through an Israeli university in order to learn Hebrew and Arabic.

I think that the immersion within the Israeli culture plus the various options available for the students enables each person to create their own unique educational program.

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

My career goals are to be a linguist or a translator of Ancient Near Eastern languages and texts. Through the TOTAL Archaeology program, I learned about the precision in the documentation of the excavation and preservation processes which occur in order to recover and utilize artifacts such as the text fragments which I intend to study. I also experienced the latest technology being put into use. Especially for linguistics, I am very interested in using software which I learned about through the TOTAL Archaeology program. One example is MAXQDA (MAX Qualitative Data Analysis) which analyzes words and sentences and categorizes them based on what the researcher is interested in studying. Additionally, ArcGIS (Arc Geographic Information System) can be used to create maps which visually demonstrate the change of language development across a region as well as across time.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I certainly recommend this program for all students studying any major. I think that the immersion within the Israeli culture plus the various options available for the students enables each person to create their own unique educational program. The reason why the program is called TOTAL Archaeology is because archaeology is more than just excavating soil; it encompasses everything which we know about the past.

Alejandro Rodriguez Vanzetti

International Student Management Office, Department of Defense, National Defense University
Up one level
Alejandro Rodriguez Vanzetti

Major: International Politics (International Relations Concentration) and Print Journalism
Hometown: Miami, Florida

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity from the Career Enrichment Network. One of the staff members at International Student Management Office (ISMO) went to Penn State and she sent the internship requirements to the College of the Liberal Arts.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The only way to write about the ISMO is to describe the dedication that the office as a whole has shown since the first day I arrived. The National Defense University provides Joint Professional Military education to the United States armed forces and selected individuals from countries around the world. The International Student Management Office is responsible for making all International Fellows feel welcomed in the United States.

For many of these high ranking military officials, it is their first time visiting this nation. As the 104 incoming students enter the university this summer, they get a number of briefings involving U.S. regulations, NDU policies, American history and culture, and much more. These fellows are part of the ISMO program, which organizes events and trips around the U.S. to give a taste of American life from every perspective and meets the needs of the international students when it comes to U.S. related inquiries.

"With the help of the staff and even other interns, I learned where my interests and skills fit in the U.S. government workforce."

As an intern, I help make the jobs of the Program Specialists a little easier. I’ve completed a wide array of projects ranging from writing and designing reference guides for the alumni reunion in Colombia and the New York City field study trip to picking up fellows for special briefings at NDU.Due to the fact that I entered the internship at the end of the school year, I got the opportunity to see how grateful each fellow was for the ISMO staff. Dozens came by and thanked everyone for their support in helping them feel comfortable during their stay in the U.S.

As the new students arrived just a couple of days after the class of 2015 graduated, the team hit the ground running. The interns got the opportunity to do a little bit of everything during this time. This is where I really got to experience teamwork at ISMO. Every individual specializes in something different so the fellows don’t crowd around a single staff member. This strategy came in handy when dozens of fellows with questions started to line up in the office. When we picked up the fellows at their new apartments for their first day, we were trusted to be the face of NDU and the U.S. government. We respectfully greeted the fellows and held conversations with them that made them feel more comfortable.

As time went on, I got to know many of the fellows. With my Spanish-speaking background, I became friends with Lieutenant Generals and Brigadier Generals from Colombia, El Salvador, and Peru. But I didn’t limit myself to my comfort zone. I had daily interactions with fellows from Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, Canada and many more countries. It was an incredible opportunity to speak to them about their individual countries, and their views of the U.S. from an outsider’s perspective.

I learned the importance of this job after just a few weeks of working. If these fellows, many of whom have high ranking positions in their country’s military, do not have a good experience in the U.S., the relations between the U.S. and these countries could be impacted. This university has created a network for people from all over the world to study, learn, and grow together as a community. Without the ISMO office, the University would have limited avenues for helping these fellows connect with each other and guarantee a positive experience in the U.S.

As my internship comes to a close, I’ll be going to the New York City field study trip, where I’ll guide and lead a group of fellows around one of the most important cities in the world. After many weeks of hard work, I’m proud to say that I’ll never forget the incredible connections I’ve made and the hardworking people I’ve worked with at the NDU. This is without a doubt a challenging, but very awarding internship.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship has motivated me to learn a third language. Every staff member is specialized in a specific language, especially critical languages. They even lived abroad for some years. Now that I've been accepted to a study abroad program in Italy, I'm very motivated to become fluent in Italian, and possibly French in the future. I also learned that it's very important to specialize in a specific region of the world, and I plan on picking up a minor that involves European or Latin American studies.

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

Prior to this internship, I had minimal knowledge on the Department of Defense. Working at the ISMO office not only exposed me to the DoD work ethic, but also taught me about the U.S. government as a whole. With the help of the staff and even other interns, I learned where my interests and skills fit in the U.S. government workforce. I plan on applying for an internship at the Department of State and Southern Command next summer.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this internship not only to liberal arts students, but anybody who has an interest in different cultures and enjoys helping people on a daily basis. It's rewarding to hear the fellows and staff members thank the interns for the hard work we put in. ISMO is a great place to get your foot in the door if you're interested in international relations and cultures.

Fatama Ibrahim

CIEE: Seville, Spain Summer Language and Culture
Up one level
Fatama Ibrahim

Major: Sociology
Minor: Spanish, Arabic
Hometown: Dingmans Ferry, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first made an appointment with my academic adviser, as well as with an Education Abroad adviser to discuss my options. Upon doing so I was directed to the Education Abroad website where I could look up places I wanted to study abroad as well as see if I qualified for these programs. I knew that I wanted to travel somewhere that wasn't as popular, so I choose one of the smaller Spanish cities to study abroad in.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My study abroad experience can be written into a novel. It was one of the most magical and eye-opening experiences I have ever had in my life. From the moment I landed I could feel the presence of Spanish culture oozing into my body with the sound of Spanish music playing on the plane. My host family did not speak English, which I loved. I had the opportunity to force myself to speak Spanish, which in return has made me a little bit better at speaking Spanish. They were so welcoming and open to helping me out, that it didn't even matter how hard it was for me to speak Spanish with fluidity. The food is to die for. Tapas are a specialty served throughout Spain, but especially in Andalusia, which is the region I was studying in. They are small appetizers that are filled with tons of flavor and texture that I have never tasted before. A staple for Spanish cuisine is olive oil and bread. At every meal I had at my homestay there was bread and a salad drenched in olive oil. The people of Spain are a people of strong family and cultural values.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I was able to finish my minor while studying abroad as well as learn in a completely different way. Our instructor was of course from Spain so his style of teaching was better, in my opinion, only because he understands the Spanish dialect and he knew what slang words to teach us and what not. For so many years I thought Spanish grammar was so hard to understand and fully grasp, but our professor made it manageable and helped us incorporate it into our daily lives. Additionally, not many people spoke English where I was studying so this helped me use what I was learning in the classroom and applying it to the real world.

Studying in a different country can help you understand how important it is to know another language and can and will change your outlook on all aspects of life.

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

Well I had originally planned on attending law school immediately upon graduation, but after studying abroad I realized my true passion is within language and culture. I am looking towards working for the Peace Corps or going back to Spain to teach English. Another thing I noticed while in Spain was that the children are more appreciative of their studies. They don't stress about grades and GPA's, rather they focus on why they love what they're studying and how their knowledge can help make an impact in their lives and community. I had met a Spaniard who was studying Agricultural engineering and he told me that he finds this area of study to be beautiful. His response was completely different from American students studying engineering and that's something unique and admirable about the education system in Spain.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend studying abroad. Language is something that many employers look for in a candidate. Studying in a different country can help you understand how important it is to know another language and can and will change your outlook on all aspects of life. Even if you can only afford studying abroad for one month, like I did, it will still truly make an impact in your life. I guarantee it.

Joseph Kearns

BNY Mellon
Up one level
Joseph Kearns

Major: Economics
Minor: History, Business & the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Pittsburgh

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I searched online on BNY Mellon's website for internship positions and found the one I ended up being hired for.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked in the Treasury Services division of BNY Mellon this summer in Pittsburgh, Pa. My specific role was to work as an intern for the Credit Underwriting Group. I researched the bank's clients through financial statements, as well as Moody's and Standard & Poor's reports. Using this research, I wrote reports assessing the creditworthiness of clients like corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. I also had the opportunity to score a client's internal rating for the bank through subjective and objective criteria.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I already had a good idea before the internship that I wanted to delve into a career in banking and financial services, but this internship made me realize how much I already knew. The courses that prepared me the best for the internship were ECON 351 Money & Banking, ACCTG 211 Financial and Managerial Accounting, and ECON 434 International Finance and Open Economy Macroeconomics. My writing ability that I developed as a History minor was important for me to articulate the complex banking concepts in my reports and integrate relevant evidence. In short, the experience validated the importance of the coursework that I already did.

My internship experience helped me realize that I have the tools I need to have a successful career in banking.

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

I hope to gain an entry-level position for a bank or financial services company after graduation. I have also given strong consideration to pursuing an MBA with a concentration in Investment Finance. I knew very little about credit underwriting prior to the internship, but I could see myself returning to a similar role as a full-time employee. One path that has intrigued me is the job of a foreign exchange trader, as well as a stock or bond trader, so that is something I might embark on in the future too. My internship experience helped me realize that I have the tools I need to have a successful career in banking.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience for Liberal Arts students who want to pursue a career in banking. It might be true that a business student is the more traditional mold of a candidate for the internship position I had, but my supervisor saw traits in me that led him to believe I would thrive in BNY Mellon. My analytical writing ability made me an excellent communicator when I needed to write reports on the company's clients. My knowledge of current events was invaluable for my interview, as I showed that I am knowledgeable about the economic and even political influences on the banking industry. If you are interested in a banking position, you do not have to be a business major, but you will need to show that you are knowledgeable and curious about the industry. I would recommend taking some Economics and business courses to complement a Liberal Arts major, along with reading a publication like the Wall Street Journal, to develop a solid base of knowledge.

Cameron Lewis Stevens

CRCC Asia- DM Capital Harmony Fund
Up one level
Cameron Lewis Stevens

Paterno Fellow
Major: Economics, International Politics, and Finance
Minor: Chinese
Hometown: State College, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through the Smeal Global Programs office.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer I had the unique opportunity to participate in an internship in Shenzhen, China, one of the country's vibrant economic hubs. I worked with the Harmony Fund at DM Capital, an equity investment group. While there, my day-to-day duties included writing research reports for companies that the Fund was interested in and maintaining awareness of events in the Chinese and Hong Kong equity markets. I also conducted an independent research project focusing on the development of online grocery delivery services in the United States. That research will be applied in the future to analyses of similar companies that are developing in China.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this internship was an excellent opportunity to apply what I have learned in my economics, finance, and of course, my Chinese classes. Every day, I needed to maintain vigilant awareness of trends in the markets and the way that they reflected the economic health of the country. Without the academic work that I had done in my economics and finance classes, I would have not been able to clearly interpret the economic signals that I read about every day in the news. Also, of course working and living in China gave me an excellent opportunity to practice my practical language skills. Coming back to school this fall, I will be working with a much more full and experienced view of my courses because of my work this summer.

This internship gave me a taste of the financial industry and of living in the country that I have spent so much of my life getting to know.

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

My goal is to continue my study of finance, Chinese economics and politics in order to offer technical and topical expertise to a career in consulting or corporate finance. This experience confirmed my interest and fascination with China and encouraged me to continue my study of the country. In the future, I would like to continue learning Chinese, and will pursue internship opportunities that will lead to a career that will allow me to work in China. This internship gave me a taste of the financial industry and of living in the country that I have spent so much of my life getting to know.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Generally, I think that this internship would be better suited for a student in the Business College. But with that said, if a student in Liberal Arts was studying Chinese and had an interest in economics, I think it would be a great chance to use the language.

Haley Blazer

The Borgen Project Editor's Internship
Up one level
Haley Blazer

Major: English
Minor: French
Hometown: Lancaster, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this internship through the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network. After you create a profile, you can browse hundreds of internships based on location, type of internship, etc. A very useful resource!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Working for the Borgen Project through the Editor’s Internship was a mentally engaging way to improve my editing skills and better inform me about the issues surrounding global poverty. Each week I edited about fifty blog-length articles for the Borgen Project’s blog, checking for grammar mistakes and correcting any formatting issues in a two-round editing process. The Editor’s Internship is a web-based, telecommuting internship, which allowed me to make and follow my own schedule. On the first Monday of each month, the Borgen Project holds a mandatory conference call, featuring guest speakers, updates about the Organization and a word from Clint Borgen, the Borgen Project’s founder. Over all, my experience has improved my knowledge of many issues surrounding global poverty and its possible, effective solutions.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The Editor’s internship for the Borgen Project required me to edit upwards from fifty articles per week. As an English major, the skills I gained from my internship will be quite useful in my coming academic year! Over the course of the summer, I watched my editing abilities improve in terms of both speed and efficiency. I got better at spotting both common grammar mistakes and subtler, less frequently-used errors. An article that, at the beginning of the summer might have taken me twenty minutes to edit, took little more than ten minutes to edit a few months in to my internship. As one of my favorite professors once said, good writing means good editing. After my Editor’s internship, I anticipate a positive impact on my own writing!

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

Writing, travelling, and working in publishing are each something I consider a personal career goal. Accordingly, my internship with the Borgen project was a great way to unite all three. I got better at editing and was exposed to many different writers and non-fiction, journalistic writing styles. I also gained experience with new online blog platforms, notably Wordpress. Part of my editing duties included checking the HTML formats of the articles published on the blog. These were new skills for me and I believe they might come in handy down the road if I should decide to publish a blog of my own! The Borgen Project’s focus on international issues also helped contribute to my own awareness and understanding of the world outside of the United States.

After my Editor’s internship, I anticipate a positive impact on my own writing!

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this internship to anyone looking for a flexible way to get computer-based editorial experience. Also, it doesn't hurt if you're interested in global issues because you learn a lot more than just editing skills!

Jordan Klavans

Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
Up one level
Jordan Klavans

Paterno Fellow
Major: Economics and Political Science
Minor: Spanish and Business for LA
Hometown: Downingtown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had heard about the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program through Liberal Arts events and emails but really became interested from friends' recommendations. They spoke highly of the program and their mentors.

My mentor has really helped me at each stage of my college experience.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My mentor has really helped me at each stage of my college experience. Starting in my sophomore year, he helped me review my resume, look for internship and research opportunities, and provide professional career advise. Now as an upperclassman, the focus is more on finding internship/job opportunities. Since he is local, we meet over lunch or coffee usually once a month. At these meetings, we generally set goals, prep for interviews, discuss enrichment funding, and discuss progress with classes/internships.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I definitely became more focused. As someone who's still exploring specific careers, I know my mentor has helped me get in touch with professionals in those fields. Similarly, he has guided me to look into careers and internships which he feels might be a good fit. He's also helped me with goal setting. Whether it be working towards getting into the Paterno Fellows Program or exploring companies at the Career Fair, he has helped me along the way.

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

After school, I want to gain working experience instead of going right to grad school. Even though I'm not entirely sure what I want to do, I know that I want to do a job that involves economic analysis and government. While my mentor does not have a background in economics, he is knowledgeable of government and frequently recommends different exploratory avenues. I've pursued research in these fields and plan to find an internship next summer in order to get a feel for what a job would be like.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely, as I tell all of my friends, the program can only help. Mentors can serve any purpose that you need. I primarily needed a mentor to guide me in terms of internship and career opportunities. However, they can help you with classes, graduate school, public speaking and interviewing, etc. The program is a minimal time commitment but can provide huge benefits.

Divy Agnihotri

Indian Parliament Internship under Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Vijay Sampla
Up one level
Divy Agnihotri

Major: Political Science / Economics
Minor: N/A
Hometown: Lancaster, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I came upon this internship by my own means. It was not listed anywhere, I simply took the time to reach out to an Indian minister from the home state of my parents in India. I explained to him what I wanted to learn and accomplish, and he took a liking to the idea. I encourage any student looking for such an experience to simply do a little research and reach out to the person or company they would like to intern for, you never know what might happen until you try.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I traveled to India in June to begin my internship with the Indian government under the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Vijay Sampla. To get me acquainted with the Indian government, I was given the task of learning about the structure of a coalition government, the different branches of the government, and presenting my findings at the end of the internship. Along the way, I sat in on some meetings and functions relating to social justice and empowerment, for example in one instance, I had the opportunity to discuss the Tibet takeover and Diaspora with Tibetan refugees on the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Also being in India I got the chance to practice my multilingual abilities by conversing in Hindi and Punjabi with many of the locals. Apart from my internship, I got the chance to travel a good bit of Northern India. I explored everywhere from the chowks of Delhi, the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh, to the oldest-inhabited city on the Earth of Varanasi. It is safe to say, this was an experience of a lifetime.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has helped me grow academically. Students are often lectured at, given readings, assigned homework related to their majors. But I finally had the actual opportunity to go out and experience what I am learning in the classroom. I believe the best way to learn is hands-on. So being able to actually go to a Parliament session, seeing the ministers discuss various topics, and learning about the functions of the governmental system, I got the chance to receive some intellect I would not receive from a book or a professor.

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

My career goals lie in the field of public service and politics. I hope to one day work in some facet of the US government. Whatever that area may be is still up for debate. However, I believe my experience in the Indian Parliament has broadened my horizons in terms of what I can do. As the world becomes more and more interdependent, and nations like India and China become economic powerhouses, I believe there may be greater opportunities to cultivate more harmonious relations with such countries. I think my understanding of the Indian Parliament and the cultural aspects of India may make me better suited to help out in such situations. Overall, this experience can only help, not hurt.

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because we should all pursue our passions.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because we should all pursue our passions. This experience wasn't found on any website, or suggested by any adviser. Rather it was formed and driven by my desire to learn about foreign governments and international politics. So I encourage all students to follow their passions and create their own paths if one is not laid out before them.

Shaan Pattni

Intel Corporation
Up one level
Shaan Pattni

Paterno Fellow
Major: Economics and Supply Chain Management
Hometown: Newtown Square, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

In finding this experience, I utilized career fairs to interact with recruiters. Intel is extremely competitive and they usually do not take undergraduate business majors, but the positive human interaction I had with the recruiter gave me the edge I needed.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked within a Mergers and Acquisitions team in Intel's Supply Chain division in Phoenix, Arizona. I was tasked with improving the integration of employees from a supply chain perspective. It was an ambiguous project, which required a lot of interviews and analysis to find answers. Intel employees are extremely friendly and very willing to chat with interns. I was able to talk to individuals at every level in Intel, and they were open, honest, and very intelligent. Intel also made my settling in very smooth. They provided me with a buddy, mentor, HR program coordinator, manager, and relocation compensation to make sure any needs I had were met.

How did this experience impact you academically?

From an academic perspective, I was able to apply many of the concepts I learned in Supply Chain (technically) and Economics (theoretically). I was constantly doing cost/benefit analyses to understand how to allocate my and Intel's time and resources. In addition, working at a company that strives for optimization of employee time, I really improved my time management and ability to prioritize work.

In addition, working at a company that strives for optimization of employee time, I really improved my time management and ability to prioritize work.

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

One of my career goals is to build a strong foundation of technical and analytical business skills and apply them in a challenging environment. I want to further develop these with an MBA. These both will help me achieve my larger goal of using technology to help those in need - working at Intel is helping me attain this goal. My ultimate goal is to develop and run my own social enterprise that utilizes technology to help the poor in developing countries.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, because I truly saw the value of a liberal arts degree in a business environment. I think sometimes we're so focused on impacting the world through nonprofits, we shun the value of corporate companies. These companies have the resources to provide you with the training and business skills you need to succeed, ESPECIALLY in a nonprofit. Furthermore, because the goal in corporations is to optimize time, money, and resources to achieve value for shareholders - that pressure and mindset is what nonprofits need and miss constantly. So I think Liberal Arts Students have a lot to gain.

Sarah Graber

Weis Markets Inc. Asset Protection Internship
Up one level
Sarah Graber

Major: History
Minor: Economics
Hometown: Lewisburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I worked with the Weis Markets pricing team doing data entry work each summer since I graduated high school. After spending multiple summers around the corporate office, I’ve met many members of the Asset Protection (AP) Department and learned about their internship program offered to Penn State students.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This internship provides students with the ability to see numerous aspects of AP in retail. It’s a fast paced environment, in which interns have new experiences each day. This internship is a wonderful opportunity because it is so hands on. Interns follow a rotation, which places them in stores, the corporate office, the distribution center, manufacturing plants and the food safety lab. Some of my projects included in-store audits, food testing, CCTV video review, creating analytic reports, building upon the AP associate training program, touring facilities and assisting with department operations. The team creates a schedule, which allows for interns to return to areas that they were most interested in at the end of the 12 weeks.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship allowed me to gain a wealth of real world experience. I learned something new about the business each day, which built upon the foundation that my college courses (particularly in economics) had already set for me. I met and worked with many people this summer from company vice presidents to store level associates, which I feel improved my overall communication skills. The projects I was a part of helped further develop my analytical skills and I learned a great deal about business and the retail environment, as well as, Asset Protection which I will be able to use in my career. Most importantly, I discovered a whole new aspect of business that I previously knew nothing about. I now plan to pursue this field in my near future.

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

As a result of my internship experience, I have decided to pursue a career in Asset Protection upon earning my degree. I have learned the importance of actively working as part of a team to achieve goals and effectively working in a professional atmosphere. I would love to be a part of an AP team and would be thrilled if I could continue with the Weis Markets team. This field will continue to grow and offer multiple avenues and career options within. I am really happy to have discovered this field while at Penn State.

I have learned the importance of actively working as part of a team to achieve goals and effectively working in a professional atmosphere.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

This internship is great for Penn State students and I would recommend it even to students, who like me, are not majoring in Criminal Justice. Asset Protection interns at Weis are exposed to new experiences each day because there are so many different aspects of the department. These 12 weeks flew by and I truly believe that is because this was such a fun and unique internship. I recommend students consider an internship with Weis because I am really grateful for the people I met and the new career field I have found.

Emily

Internship: Bureau of Consumer Protection
Up one level
Emily

Major: Political Science/History
Minor: None
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through my Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor. She works at the Bureau of the Consumer Protection and suggested that I apply for an internship position.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My job as an intern involved me helping out the agents and attorneys that worked at the Bureau of Consumer Protection to the best of my ability. Most of the work I did involved me doing tasks that made life a little easier for the agents and attorneys. Daily, I summarized consumer complaints, conducted research on various businesses and individuals, organized documents to be used in court for the attorneys, called consumers and businesses asking questions about any conflicts, and filed away older consumer complaints. By completing all of these tasks, I was able to gain a knowledge about consumer law as well as business law within the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Throughout my time at Penn State as a Political Science major, I have learned a lot about government agencies and how state governments specifically work. I enjoyed work at the Bureau because I was able to see first hand what life is like working for a state government agency. The experiences I had interacting with attorneys, businesses, and citizens taught me how government really effects people's daily lives, which is something you cannot learn in the classroom. I also learned a lot about Pennsylvania's criminal, consumer, and business law. In addition, I now understand more clearly civil procedure and civil law within the court systems.

I would recommend this experience to fellow Liberal Arts students because, I believe that it showed what government agencies and bureaucracy is all about.

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

I hope to one day become a lawyer. Another career goal of mine is to work for the government. Because the Bureau of Consumer Protection staffed a few attorneys, I was able to talk to them specifically about their careers as a lawyer, as well as their experiences working for the government. I learned a lot about what life is like for an attorney, and how the occupation can be much more relaxed in a government setting as opposed to a "big firm" private practice setting. I liked the work that the attorneys at the Bureau did, and I look forward to practicing law eventually. After my internship experience, I still believe I want to become a lawyer, but I am not sure I would like to work in government.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to fellow Liberal Arts students because, I believe that it showed what government agencies and bureaucracy is all about. While we learn about government in class, it is very interesting to see where exactly our tax payer dollars are going. Any student interested in state politics or government should apply for this internship.

Rachel Yee

Internship: Langland Advertising, Design & Marketing
Up one level
Rachel Yee

Major: Sociology
Minor: French & Geography
Hometown: Singapore
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew I wanted to work in an advertising agency. I asked friends and family if they knew anyone in the advertising industry and if so, if they could get me in touch with the companies. I emailed my portfolio to various companies and told them I was interested in interning. Langland, got back to me and told me to work out what the VISA requirements were for international interns. I did my research and put together a comprehensive document on what was required of me and of the company. I made the paperwork exceptionally easy for them, forwarding only the necessary documents and handling the rest myself. This made the hiring process as uncomplicated as possible for them.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During the first few weeks of my internship, I went through a thorough induction process which detailed what the different departments in the agency did and how they worked together in the company. Subsequently, I was involved in the development of advertising campaigns and pitches, sitting in on meetings and learning about how an advertising agency is run. I found my experience to be very beneficial to my professional and personal growth. I have been able to further develop my skills in design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro and After Effects while working on projects with real clients and real deadlines. I have also been able to build my professional network. I believe that the opportunity I'v had to work with industry professionals has been invaluable, as it has given me direct insight into the industry’s current best practices. Langland is the world's most creatively awarded healthcare advertising agency and I am proud to have learnt from the best.

I believe that the opportunity I'v had to work with industry professionals has been invaluable, as it has given me direct insight into the industry’s current best practices. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship experience has taught me the importance of being disciplined and careful. As I was working on real projects, I had to be meticulous; I always made it a point to check and double check my work before passing it on. Sometimes the work was tedious and monotonous but I had to stick with it and always give my best as I was representing the company. I also learned to manage my time well as my workload would often get quite heavy and I had to make sure I was meeting my deadlines. I have found these principles to be transferable to my personal and academic life.

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

The internship will be beneficial to my career goals because I am interested in working in a creative field, specializing in advertising. While researching on graphic designer job posts online and from talking to industry professionals, much emphasis is placed on professional experience and having a good portfolio. I have noticed that most companies refuse to even consider job applicants without prior experience in the field, so my internship with Langland will definitely be helpful in getting my foot in the door. Most places look for at least 1 year of experience, which my additional 3 months of interning will get me closer to (I interned for a total of 9 months at Langland). I am determined secure a graphic design job when I graduate and interning at Langland has definitely helped me build my portfolio, which is mandatory when applying for creative jobs.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend an internship experience to other Liberal Arts students. There are some things that you just can't learn in a classroom. The hands on experience from interning has also given me insight into the working world and how it functions. Internships are a way to get a taste of what jobs you might be considering and can help you decide whether you want to continue pursuing it or look elsewhere. I've interned at a couple of companies so far and they have all helped me mould a general idea of what kind of jobs I like, I do well in, and also the kind of company culture I thrive in. Often times reading about a job and actually doing it can be two very different things, so it's good if you can test drive by doing a short internship. The professional networking you inevitably do during the internship can also be helpful in securing a job after you graduate. Even if you do not go back to the company you interned for, many times your colleagues know others in the industry and can either recommend you or point you in the right direction. That said, make a good impression and be as helpful as you can and you will find that people want to help you out.

Carolina Spiess

International Internship: atrain GmbH
Up one level
Carolina Spiess

Paterno Fellow
Major: Psychology
Minor: Business, Sociology
Hometown: Essen

How did you learn about this opportunity?

After having talked to a grad student in my lab (Dr Hunter's Innovation and Leadership Lab), he asked me about my summer plans. Hearing about my interests in HR consulting in Germany, he connected me with a former PhD student and lecturer from Penn State who works with atrain GmbH in Germany. She connected me with the respective internship recruiter and I underwent the usual application process.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Atrain GmbH is an HR consulting firm that specializes in Executive Assessment and Training. Our main products are assessment and development centers. I was part of the talent management team, which means that my tasks evolved around designing and delivering development centers; such as writing role-plays, designing workshops, creating schedules, and making sure the needed supplies and documents were packed and printed correctly for the delivery. The deliveries were usually held in a nice hotel where we would meet our clients and the chosen participants. I could go on two deliveries, which were my favourite part of the work. Although it was long hours from 8 to 10 at night, I really enjoyed interacting with the client and the employees of different companies. My job was to co-organize the center and to make sure the logistics and rundown of the development center went smoothly. A mentor was assigned to me who was responsible for introducing me to the team and providing and explaining the tasks to me as well as guiding me through this experience while giving me feedback whereas I could express mine as well. Due to her strong symptoms of her pregnancy, she fell sick for half of the time of my internship, which gave me the opportunity to take over many of her responsibilities. Even though I missed my mentor by my side, I am very glad to have been given the trust and respect to fulfill her role as best as I could. Hence, I moved up quickly from the regular intern to one of the main contact persons for a major project that I could assist in designing and delivering.

How did this experience impact you academically?

First of all, I knew little about assessment centers and nothing about development centers before stepping foot into atrain. Thankfully, atrain is built around a supportive and learning culture where lack of knowledge and failures are accepted and encouraged. These steps are perceived as crucial methods to learn and grow. Academically speaking, I learned a lot about the concepts of assessment and development centers and as I am currently taking a class on selection and assessment, I truly believe I will have an advantage as I know about the procedures and deliveries. More so, I could comprehend how the theory learned in classes is applied in the practical world. In a workshop that we presented, we explained a lot of the theories that I have recently learned about in a class last spring semester. On a very general level, I noticed how important Microsoft Office proficiencies are and how much I have to improve my skills in this field. So I am very eager to learn more about the tools that Excel especially offers. All in all, I gained a greater understanding of the I/O Psychology field and noticed how theories can be applied and communicated to a non-academic audience.

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

Upon completion of my Bachelors degree in Psychology, I would like to pursue a career in HR consulting. Whereas I thought of this career before completing this internship, this experience has deepened this desire. Although this opportunity only showed me a small portion of HR consulting, I am still certain and excited to follow this path. More so, I wish to complete more internships that would show me a different perspective and topics in the field to understand the overall context. Also, due to this opportunity, I have learned that I need a position with multiple and diverse tasks, as the design and delivery of development centers are very similar for every client. It is often the same content for a client multiple times a year. The only thing that changes are the participants. Another characteristic I noticed is the direct and immediate contact with the client, which I prefer more than the regular design stage and working on a desk from 9 to 5. That means that I will try and do my best to work my way up the ladder to have the responsibility to interact with clients and stakeholders.

I widened my network and realized how to use my abilities and theoretical knowledge I learned in college in the practical world.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, definitely! Having a Psychology or Business background would facilitate the experience though. However, I really enjoyed my time at atrain because I gained a diverse insight into the world of Personnel selection and development. Generally, getting experience in the business world offered me to understand the norms and habits that exist in such settings. Besides expanding my skills on Microsoft programs and learning about the procedures of assessment and development centers, I widened my network and realized how to use my abilities and theoretical knowledge I learned in college in the practical world.

Benjamin Berkman

Internship with Allee King Rosen & Fleming (AKRF)
Up one level
Benjamin Berkman

Paterno Fellow
Major: Economics
Minor: French
Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about my internship through a family member who used to work at the company. I contacted a senior worker at the company, arranged an interview, and was awarded the position a few weeks after interviewing. I learned about the funding available through the Chapel Executive Internship program through various emails sent by the College of the Liberal Arts' Career Enrichment Network. It seemed like an outstanding opportunity, and well worth the application requirements.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The internship was a truly incredible experience. The company, AKRF, provides economic, engineering, and environmental consulting to developers. An economics major, I worked with the economics group. For forty hours a week, I worked alongside full-time staff members, and was treated as a peer, not simply as a lowly intern. After a few weeks of training, I was tasked with conducting various analyses that would be used in our reports. Professionally, the experience helped me gain a greater appreciation for applied economics. Personally, through working at an industry leading firm and living in New York City alone, I acquired many other valuable skills. The Chapel award made this all possible, allowing me to live in Manhattan, not far from our offices.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this experience provided me with an entirely new understanding of economics. In class, economics is extremely abstract. Before this summer, I didn’t know what “doing” or “applying” economics possibly meant. Through my internship at AKRF, however, I became acquainted with one of many applications of economic skills. This is an incredibly valuable experience as it reinvigorated my interest in my studies of economics. I will continuously be able to think back to my summer work, understand how course work can now be applied to real-life situations. Moreover, working 40 hours a week provided me with new found time management skills, ones that I can undoubtedly apply to schoolwork.

This is an incredibly valuable experience as it reinvigorated my interest in my studies of economics.

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

Before this summer, I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation. After this summer, I have a much better idea. That alone suggests this summer was a profound success. I enjoyed the consulting aspect of my company’s work. I wasn’t as passionate about the type of consultation we provided: consultation to developers working on environmentally sustainable projects. I now know, however, that I would like to pursue a career in economic consulting. I enjoyed working with data, completing economic analysis, and learning the consulting process – from proposal to final project. Next summer, I hope to pursue another internship in consulting, hopefully one with a more economic concentration.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. In my mind, there are few experiences that rival an internship in a city for both professional and personal development. Just three weeks removed from my internship, I constantly look back fondly at my 11 weeks in the city, and think about how much it changed me.

Natalie Augustine

B. F. Saul Company & Affiliates - Human Resources Department
Up one level
Natalie Augustine

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Phoenixville
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this wonderful experience online through the "Liberal Arts Network Symplicity" career/internship website. Since the experience was in the D.C. Metro area, I was curious as to why this D.C. local company branched all the way out to Penn State to look for interns, so I asked one of my supervisors and, as it turns out, she attended Penn State herself and knew that Penn State students were quality candidates.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This internship was the best decision I've ever made for my career path. I went into this internship expecting to be completing mostly administrative tasks (filing, photocopying, grabbing coffee, etc.). When I started, I was blown away with the amount of responsibility and enriching tasks that were delegated to me from my superiors. Within my first week, I was assigned to head projects that would directly impact the company (for example, the biggest project I completed was to implement a harassment prevention training program to all 1,600 employees to keep the company compliant and help avoid harassment in the workplace). I was taught various aspects of the human resources function (anything from benefits, to hiring/recruitment, to employee relations, and more), and I learned something new and exciting about working in business every day.

This internship was the best decision I've ever made for my career path.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship taught me all about the various employment laws and regulations that companies need to be compliant with in order to continue conducting business. Since I am a psychology major (and in the "Life Sciences" option, at that - not even in the "Business" option), I had little-to-no knowledge prior to this experience about employment laws and regulations. However, working at B. F. Saul taught me about a lot of different employment laws and practices that I would not have otherwise learned about in my science-based courses. Working at B. F. Saul also strengthened the knowledge I had previously from my social psychology courses about aggression and hostility in the workplace, and how to effectively deal with these issues.

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

The primary reason I wanted to intern in a human resources department was so that I could narrow down my future plans between going to graduate school to conduct research, working in the human resources department of a company, and going to graduate school to receive my PhD in clinical psychology and open up my own practice. After completing my internship, I discovered that I truly loved every minute of working in human resources, and I strongly believe that is what I want to pursue a career in. The HR department of B. F. Saul helped me every step of the way this summer in deciding my future plans by providing me with the necessary exposure to all parts (good and bad) of human resources so that I could go on to make an educated decision about where to go after graduation. I am not only confident in choosing HR as my field of work, but I am confident in my abilities to get a job in the HR field, thanks to my training and experience working for B. F. Saul.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend interning at B. F. Saul to other Liberal Arts students looking to get into business/the human resources field. This past summer was the first year that the human resources department of B. F. Saul hired an intern, and I believe the program was an overwhelming success, both for me, and for the company. If they choose to recruit from Penn State again, I strongly recommend applying. At B. F. Saul, you receive the proper training and real-world experience to be successful in the field of human resources.

Kat Conedera

Dublin, Ireland: Representing the Irish Landscape, Literature and Visual Arts
Up one level
Kat Conedera

Major: English; Community Development
Minor: Sustainability Leadership
Hometown: New Sewickley Township, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was just browsing summer study abroad opportunities in the Education Abroad Directory. I highly recommend this resource!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I absolutely loved traveling and studying in Ireland! This was definitely the right summer abroad trip for me. Not only did I get to see many different parts of the country, but I also met many established artists and writers from Ireland. I had workshops with three well known poets including Ireland’s version of poet laureate, Paula Meehan. We had lectures and discussions with musicians, professors, and writers. In addition, we also had the privilege of touring the studios of several very talented Irish artists. There was not a single stop that I didn’t love. However, one of my favorite parts of the trip was the homestay. My host mother was so loving and made the best food. I really made a connection with my host family, and they accepted me as one of their own.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As an English major, this experience fulfilled several degree requirements. I took two 400-level Irish literature classes and one 100-level art class. Aside from the requirements, this trip allowed me to diversify my education. I would never have had an Irish art or literature class if I hadn’t gone on this trip. Even if I did, it could never compare to actually being in Ireland and experiencing the culture. Studying Irish literature in Ireland is a very unique experience, and it really adds perspective to the work. One could read about Irish culture all day, but it would never truly make sense unless one actually experiences the culture. This experience not only gave me some fun classes, but it also allowed me to truly understand the material.

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

In terms of careers, I am currently considering two different routes. The first would be to go immediately to graduate school and study to become a community planner. The other option would be to take a year off and do community development work with small rural communities in New England. Ultimately, I want to work with people to help them improve their communities both culturally and environmentally. The biggest skill in that job would be the ability to understand other people’s cultures. I will likely be working with communities that I have no ties to. In order to help them, I must understand their culture and what is important to them. Traveling to Ireland helped me broaden my horizons and gave me experience understanding other cultures. This study abroad opportunity helped me gain essential skills to work with communities outside of my own.

Traveling to Ireland helped me broaden my horizons and gave me experience understanding other cultures.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students! I had so much fun and made valuable friendships. Not only did I get to go to Ireland, but I got to see a large portion of the country. For a summer program, I really felt like I got the full immersion experience. This is a great program for those who cannot study for a whole semester. Even the classes were fun and the professors were exceptional. I was originally unsure about the art class, as I have absolutely no art experience. However, even the art class was fun, and I discovered that I had artistic abilities that I would never have imagined. I learned so much on this trip and would recommend it to anybody interested in art, literature, or Irish culture.

Angelica Bracco

Internship with UBS
Up one level
Angelica Bracco

Major: Labor and Employment Relations, Psychology; Business
Hometown: Ramsey, New Jersey
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I've been an avid browser on Network Simplicity for internship opportunities during the last two years, which is where I found and applied for the position at UBS. This tool was especially helpful by indicating how strong the match was between my credentials/preferences and the job qualifications and helped me narrow my focus to key opportunities.

"...liberal arts students fair extremely well in the private sector because we bring a different skill set and fresh perspective to our work than perhaps traditional business students."

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had the privilege of interning in a unique area at UBS as part of the HR Service Delivery Americas Change Team. This team is considered a "change the bank" function, which focuses on strategic transformation within Human Resources for the Americas region. My focus this summer was on a long term consulting project to redesign the welcome experience for New Joiners to the company. I joined the team at the beginning of the "diagnose phase" for the project, which lasted about five weeks. In this phase, I conducted interviews with line managers and new joiners, researched industry and functional best practices, and presented part of our report out presentation to senior management. The next five weeks were spent in the "design & plan phase" where my team and I developed a vision, principles, and designed the future state of the orientation experience. Even though this concluded my ten week program, the project has since moved on to the "implementation phase" and will wrap up with the "roll out phase" in the coming weeks, which I anxiously await for an update on the project's success!

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience solidified that the paths of study I chose were the absolute right choices for me and also clarified the type of work I hope to do after graduation. I feel empowered to seek out opportunities and tailor my senior year to experiences that will be valuable for this type of career in the future. I've also found it very exciting to see how applicable my studies have been thus far. There has been material and skills developed from multiple courses in my last three years at Penn State that have helped me significantly during my time with UBS.

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

Even though I've narrowed the scope of my career aspirations, I still have some options so I'm not exactly sure where I'll end up. Ideally, I'll work for a few years after graduation as a management consultant or as a human resources professional and then go to graduate school. Regardless of the direction I take, this internship experience has taught me a lot about my working style: autonomous, collaborative, and with variation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience! I have found in this internship, as well as a previous internship, that liberal arts students fair extremely well in the private sector because we bring a different skill set and fresh perspective to our work than perhaps traditional business students. As a testament to that point, I've attended many senior leader speaking engagements at UBS and interestingly, many of those extremely successful executives are the ones whose major didn't correlate perfectly with a career path. I think that really says a lot about the culture at UBS and the company values. Another reason I'd recommend this experience is that in a global organization with over 60,000 employees, there are so many jobs I never even knew existed. There were so many ways to learn about not only your role, but the roles of others and how the larger organization works together - a really useful experience when considering possible career paths.

Matthew Crager

The Abernathy MacGregor Group Summer Intern Program
Up one level
Matthew Crager

Paterno Fellow
Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this opportunity by networking with an alumnus of the Schreyer Honors College. Through my job with the honors college, I was planning an event with an alumnus and he took an interest in helping me find a summer internship. He emailed one of his contacts in the field of communications and forwarded them my resume. After that, I continued with the application process, interviewed and submitted required materials, and was eventually chosen to take part in the program.

I would not have even heard about this opportunity had it not been for the alumnus with whom I worked on that project. This helped to show me the importance of networking.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer, I worked at the Abernathy MacGregor Group in New York City, a corporate, strategic and financial communications consultancy. At AMG, I was able to work with a group of skilled professionals that service clients in the asset management industry. My group consulted clients on communications strategy and conducted day-to-day media relations. As part of this team, I completed tasks that included compiling media coverage and coverage reports, creating media lists, and drafting and editing documents like by-lined articles and Op-Editorials. In addition, I worked with eight other interns to complete a project in which we renewed the firm's new business materials such as case studies, capabilities decks, conference lists, and other items. My experience at Abernathy MacGregor provided me with a great introduction to the field of financial public relations and helped me narrow down my career interests so that I can return to Penn State with a better vision of what comes after graduation.

"I now trust more fully that my education in Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts is preparing me for a career in any field I want to enter because I'm learning the communication and critical thinking skills needed to make that happen."

How did this experience impact you academically?

Before embarking on this journey in New York City, I thought that if I wanted to work in Public Relations I would have to take all PR classes, or that if I wanted to work in business I would need to take a heavy load of classes in Smeal. However, this experience has shown me that pursuing a liberal arts education - even in its most "liberal" forms - provides one with the skills necessary to be successful in any line of work.

I now trust more fully that my education in Penn State's College of the Liberal Arts is preparing me for a career in any field I want to enter because I'm learning the communication and critical thinking skills needed to make that happen. So, this experience impacted me academically by encouraging me not to feel like I have to take classes that teach me specific skills relating to very specific occupations. Trusting in my liberal arts education here at Penn State proved to be enough this past summer, and I know it will be going forward, too.

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

I am still not sure what I want to do after graduation. However, this experience was my first big test in trying to narrow down the list of choices. No matter what I do, I know that I want to be in a field that requires me to use my communication and critical thinking skills. Before this experience, however, there was one field that I was positive I would never enter: finance. However, this experience has completely shifted my perspective by showing me that I can be involved in a niche area of a field in which I was so completely disinterested before, like the public relations side of asset management. In fact, I would really love to return to the field of financial PR after graduation.

But the biggest impact this experience has had on my career goals is in the way it encouraged me to see that liberal arts students can truly be successful in any field we choose. This experience has proven that to be true, and it has encouraged me to cast a wide net in choosing opportunities in the future.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to liberal arts students who are looking for a way to test their critical thinking and communication skills in a new and exciting way. Additionally, if there are any liberal arts students from any major looking to work in business and finance, this is a great way to start. Though I entered the job knowing little about business or finance, I left feeling so much more knowledgeable on those topics. Even if you don't plan to work in this field after graduation, there is so much value in putting yourself in a situation that stretches and challenges you to learn about a field you've never explored while using and developing the skills you've begun to hone at Penn State.

Joseph Nola

Johnson & Johnson Finance Co-op
Up one level
Joseph Nola

Major: Economics (B.S.)
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first learned of this opportunity through a friend who had completed the Johnson & Johnson Finance Co-op the previous year. He liked his experience, and it had put him in a great position professionally. However, I actually learned about this specific opportunity at the Spring Career Fair at the Bryce Jordan Center. I had a great talk with one of the Johnson & Johnson representatives (my future manager) at the fair about my experiences, my resume, and my interests. I interviewed the next day and was offered the position within about a week.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My position with Johnson & Johnson is a 6-month Co-op. Thus far, it has been a great experience and opportunity for me. As with most co-ops, I spent the first few weeks feeling out my position and learning the details of our team, our role, and our various processes. However, now I am really getting a feel for my responsibilities and making significant contributions to our team. I work with the Global Portfolio Team, and our function is to manage, organize, analyze, and report on Johnson & Johnson Consumer’s entire global portfolio of projects. We run analytics on project pipelines, provide insights, and improve processes to ensure the Consumer Group’s strategic goals can be met. I have had the opportunity to meet with Senior Directors, managers, and even the CTO (Chief Technology Officer), to attend various orientations and co-op events, and gain critical professional experience as I move forward with my career.

"I have had the opportunity to meet with Senior Directors, managers, and even the CTO (Chief Technology Officer), to attend various orientations and co-op events, and gain critical professional experience as I move forward with my career."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This co-op experience has had a tremendous influence on my future academic plans because it has actually convinced me to strongly consider attending law school after graduation (I discuss that further in the next question). As a result, I may be taking many more law based classes when I return to Penn State to verify my interest. In addition to that, this job has given me a lot of experience with business etiquette and structure, which is actually important academic knowledge I had not yet experienced in my coursework. I have learned a lot about Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, and even how to manage databases. These are crucial academic skills I can take with me from this co-op.

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

This opportunity has actually had a huge impact on my future career plans. I would love to work at J&J with the Global Portfolio Team after I graduate, but this position has actually helped show me what I do not want as a career. Technically, I am a “Finance Co-op”, so I have had a lot of interaction with the finance/budgeting department. I have had finance orientations, learned about Financial Development programs, and spoken to my finance friends about their work. This opportunity has helped me to realize that I want to pursue law school. I will take the time this fall to apply to some of the top law schools in the country. But no matter what path I choose, this opportunity has made me excited for my future.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this experience to other liberal arts students. If you can receive a position on the Global Portfolio Team (there aren't many people on the team), it is engaging work and allows you to network and learn about business practices and portfolio management. If you are interested in the position I described, then I would certainly recommend it. In terms of a Johnson & Johnson Co-op in general, I would definitely recommend that as well. There are so many opportunities in R&D, Marketing, Finance, really any role, and they look for majors of any kind. For instance, my roommate is a chemical engineering major in a Marketing Co-op. In the co-op, you get to meet a lot of other co-ops your age, as well as senior people at one of the largest companies in the world. The people and culture at J&J are great. The only downside is that I am going to miss the football season this fall.

Kaitlin Shartle

Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
Up one level
Kaitlin Shartle

Major: CAS and SOC
Minor: Information Systems an Statistical Anaylsis
Hometown: Middletown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this experience through the Liberal Arts emails. Also I heard about this program through meeting with one of the Liberal Arts Staff  in the Career Enrichment Network.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Through the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program I have had the chance to connect with an alumni of the College of the Liberal Arts. My mentor lives near my hometown so I have the opportunity to meet with her over breaks. Usually over every break my mentor and I meet for lunch. There we discuss the new things that have been happening in my academic career as well as discussing my future. Through our meeting I also get to hear about what she does in her job. I also email her with any questions that I have regarding career pursuits including trying to find a job or revising my resume.

My experience in the mentor program has given me the opportunity to build my resume, make contacts and give me the tools I need to find a job after graduation.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My experience in the mentor program has given me the opportunity to build my resume, make contacts and give me the tools I need to find a job after graduation. Through my talks with my mentor I have the chance to learn more about the health communication field. These talks have made me realize for sure that I want to go into health communication. This has allowed me to pick specific classes for my major. This program has also given me the opportunity to have discussions about things other than my career. Having intelligent discussions have improved my communication skills too.

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

After graduation my plan is to find a job in the health communication field. My mentor is the Vice-President of Government Affairs at Independence Blue Cross. She has also had other positions in the same area. Her experience helps me try to find jobs that match my interest. She also has a lot of contacts to connect me with to help me find a job. Her experience in the health field gives me a more detailed look into the field. She also helps me try to meet my goals of finding a job by helping me with things like resume reviews.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

The Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program is a great experience that I suggest everyone in the College of the Liberal Arts do. It is a good chance to see what someone does in a career related to yours. It is also a good networking opportunity and gives you a chance to build skills you need for your future. Always having someone to talk to about your future is nice to have. It also makes you feel more comfortable in your future. Also this person is a graduate of Penn State so you can share your Penn State Experiences with each other.

Sonja Rossi

Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program
Up one level
Sonja Rossi

Major: Anthropology
Minor: World Literature
Hometown: Saint Clair, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

An adviser at the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Campus, which I attended for two years, and my adviser here at University park both introduced me to the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience with the mentor program has been amazing. I love my mentor; she is so helpful and supportive. Honestly, getting involved with the mentor program and meeting Laurie has been one of the best experiences of my college career.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Laurie helped me make the final decision to attend the archeology school last summer as well has acting as a sounding board for various class selections and decisions regarding my minor selection.

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

Before I started the mentor program with Laurie, I was unsure what I wanted to do with my degree or even what I could do with my degree. Laurie has been able to guide me, introduce me to potential careers, and encourage me to gain experience in the years to come. From my interactions with my mentor I have gained a heightened confidence in my future plans and hope to work somewhere in the museum field.

I would recommend this experience again and again.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience again and again. Working with a mentor helps you look past the romantic ideal and see what a career in any give field actually looks like. Knowing this, one can make a decision on a future career path based in facts and third party experience instead of hearsay. Also, a mentor is able to offer their experience in terms of guiding a student to achieve their goals.

Jennifer Volz

Internship with Goldman Sachs
Up one level
Jennifer Volz

Paterno Fellow
Major: International Politics
Minor: Entrepreneurship, Italian, Energy, Business, & Finance (EBF)
Hometown: West Islip, New York
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about internship opportunities with Goldman Sachs through Penn State students who previously interned with the firm. A friend was aware of my interest in finance, and directed me to information about Goldman Sachs’ upcoming recruitment events. I attended several of on-campus events which gave me the opportunity to meet more former interns as well as professionals from across the firm’s 15 divisions. The recruitment experience was extremely informative and helped me determine where I best fit within the firm. I ultimately chose to apply to the Finance division where I was ecstatic to accept an offer.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Finance is broken up into a range of specialized groups and I joined the Merchant Banking Division (MBD) Controllers. Controllers recognize, measure, and mitigate risk for the desk or business they support. During my time at Goldman Sachs, I ran my team's daily reports which included reconciling the ledgers our business uses and calculating our desk's profit and loss for the day. I also worked with a member of my team in Salt Lake City to develop a new report tracking private equity flows. Before completing my summer, I trained an incoming analyst on how to run this report. This allowed me to have a measurable impact on my team even after I returned to school. I also had the opportunity to work on an intra-divisional group project with my peers.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a liberal arts student, I am very comfortable writing papers and analyzing journal articles, but I was less confident in my technical skills. However, after my summer at Goldman Sachs, I no longer shy away from complex data. My proficiency in Excel and other data processing systems has increased exponentially which has been extremely helpful in my classes dealing with complex economics.

"I was able to stand out from my peers with exclusively quantitative backgrounds by bringing a different perspective and unique strengths to my team."

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

When I first came to Penn State, I was unsure what career path I would take after graduation. I assumed I would go to law school or another type of graduate school. However, as I progressed through my college career, I realized that I enjoy business and working in a fast paced environment. Having chosen a liberal arts major, I was a little worried that I came to this realization too late to obtain a job in finance. I was happy to find out that diverse academic backgrounds and worldviews are extraordinarily valued and appreciated at Goldman Sachs. I was able to stand out from my peers with exclusively quantitative backgrounds by bringing a different perspective and unique strengths to my team. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship experience and it made me confident that a job in finance is the right fit for me. I am happy to report that I have accepted a full-time offer to return to my team after graduation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other liberal arts students! For anyone interested in business, finance, or a fast-paced, team-oriented environment, Goldman Sachs is an amazing place to develop yourself as a professional even if you're not sure what you'd like to do after you graduate. The culture of the firm is great because everyone who works there supports one another. You're constantly surrounded by those you can learn from and you'll absolutely never be bored.

Danielle Denham

New York Minute Magazine
Up one level
Danielle Denham

Major: Psychology, Public Relations
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: Monroe, CT

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I used Network Symplicity through the Career Enrichment Network. There are countless opportunities for internships posted on here every day, and that is how I found an opportunity at New York Minute Magazine as a Human Resources/Talent Acquisition Intern. My adviser was the one who informed me about Network Symplicity and it was extremely helpful in narrowing down my results in my search for an internship. I would recommend this site to all students in the College of the Liberal Arts.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I believe my internship experience to be unique. New York Minute Magazine is an entirely virtual start-up company run by all interns. Our founder and editor-in-chief is the only non-intern, who oversees all teams. I am an HR/Talent Acquisition intern and I have already learned so much. I started at NYMM in June and will be with them until December as it is a six-month commitment. I am in constant contact with my HR team members, in addition to contacting new applicants, interviewing them and evaluating them, among many other duties on a daily basis. My communication skills have greatly improved, as have my self-motivation and organizational skills. I'm extremely happy I chose the environment I did. This is because I participating in a virtual internship, so I am not in a physical office. I have to motivate myself to perform efficiently and effectively on my own time in order to produce success. This aspect has taught me a lot about myself and how I have grown as a more determined worker. Having the opportunity to have a great impact on a growing company is also a very rewarding experience.

My communication skills have greatly improved, as have my self-motivation and organizational skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically because I am getting academic credit for the internship. By taking LA 495 I will receive 3.0 credits as well as a grade for the class. I am hoping that the grade will raise my overall GPA so I can finish my college career strong. I am a first semester senior and I'm very glad I took this class when I did. If I had taken this class any earlier in my college career, I may have been overwhelmed with the thought of the real-world work experience the class makes you think about constantly. Since I am graduating in May 2016, the time has come in which I must start thinking about life after graduation. This experience has been very valuable to me because it is a combination of academic and real-world experience. Succeeding academically means doing well at my internship and succeeding at my internship means doing well academically. Each gives me that much more motivation to thrive in the other.

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

I honestly was not sure what my career goals and plans were until my internship at NYMM. Now I realize that I want to pursue a career in Human Resources after just four months in an intern position. I may even consider going to graduate school to get my Master's in Human Resource Management or something related to the field. This experience impacted me significantly because I was beginning to worry about what I was going to do after graduation. It was getting time to start thinking about what kind of company I wanted to work for after graduation. Once I started at NYMM, I knew that I had made the right decision. I felt that as a result of this internship, new doors had been opened for me. I am eager to see where this road will take me after my much-enjoyed experience at NYMM.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience because it gives you the opportunity to continue attending Penn State as you normally would while while participating in an internship. All of your tasks must be accomplished on your own time and you must learn how to manage your time effectively, which was a great learning experience for me. The environment is not stressful and all of my co-workers are young, enthusiastic undergraduate or graduate students.

Sadie Caccimelio

Penn State University Libraries
Up one level
Sadie Caccimelio

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Chalk Hill, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found the Bednar Social Media Internship on the Penn State University Jobs webpage under the part-time jobs for students.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As the Bednar Social Media intern for the Penn State University Libraries, I am responsible for the Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. I work with the platform Hootsuite to schedule social media posts every week. The posts include events happening in the libraries, things going on around the Penn State campus, national library events and much more. I am responsible for making sure that the libraries have a consistent social media presence and that all the information we are putting out is accurate. I collaborate with three other individuals in the Public Relations and Marketing office and also meet with interns in different departments to help them with their social media presence.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has helped with my time management skills, made me more accountable academically, and improved my communication skills. I have been able to balance my internship, which is close to 20 hours a week, with my other four classes. Having a busy schedule has been extremely rewarding because I have been able to see how much I can actually accomplish. I have also become more accountable at work . At my internship I report to my supervisor every day in person or via email to update her on my days progress. I am held accountable for my responsibilities and I have been able to apply this to my class work as well. Finally, I have become a better communicator with my classmates and professors because I have become accustomed to speaking with my coworkers professionally.

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

As a Communication Arts and Sciences student, I would like to go into public relations for a nonprofit organization or university. I've always been interested in working for a nonprofit, but my internship has made me realize how many opportunities there would be working for a large university like Penn State. This experience has made me consider working for a university in either a public relations or development department. It has also made me realize how important of a tool social media is when trying to publicize events and services. I will definitely be able to use the social media skills and knowledge I've learned from this internship in any career path I decide to pursue.

I will definitely be able to use the social media skills and knowledge I've learned from this internship in any career path I decide to pursue.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. It is a great way to apply knowledge learned in Liberal Arts classes to something practical, like social media. It has taught me many skills that I have never learned in class, such as social media analytics and Photoshop. Even though there are certain things that I am required to publicize on the social media sites for the libraries, there is a lot of creative freedom and opportunity to grow. This internship is also a great professional experience because it is in an office setting and there are plenty of colleagues who are willing to answer questions and give advice.

Michael Mische

Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union
Up one level
Michael Mische

Major: CAS and Economics
Hometown: State College, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this internship at the beginning of the summer while I was walking home one day from class. The new PSECU office was just being completed and there were employment flyers hanging on the front door. At the time I didn’t even know what PSECU really was but that night I got home and I ended up doing a little research on the company. Afterwards, I decided that working for a company like PSECU would be really beneficial, considering I have wanted to get into banking ever since I was a little kid. I applied online and two days later I received a phone call asking to set up a time for an interview.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My daily experience at PSECU can go one of two ways. Some days I am in the financial center answering phones, assisting members with any questions that they may have or assisting new members with opening accounts or loans. The other half of the time I am working outside of the office running engagement and promotional tables throughout the downtown area. When I run one of these tables I am engaging the community and making people within the State College area aware that PSECU now has a physical location in their area. Much of this also consists of answering questions concerning the community and teaching people about what PSECU has to offer or what a credit union even is.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship has had a profound impact on me academically. This semester I am currently taking 21 credits so I must always be on top of all my classes as well as my own personal life. Working for PSECU, along with this semesters course load, has taught me that the most important thing to do to be successful is to stay organized. Becoming much more organized has helped me a lot with my school work. Just half way through the semester I already feel that my grades this semester will be the best they’ve been in my four years of college.

Working for PSECU, along with this semesters' course load, taught me that the most important thing to do to be successful is to stay organized.

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

This internship experience has helped me discover what type of banking I would like to pursue in the future. Before this internship I was positive that I wanted to get into the banking sector but I wasn’t really too sure if I wanted to become a part of the commercial side, private side, or investment side. This experience has taught me that commercial banking is not really what I am truly interested in. I have learned that the private investment side of banking is what I am truly interested in and trying to find a job in this field is a top priority of mine after attending graduate school.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this internship to other Liberal Arts students. It can help provide students a very well rounded experience that allows you to learn things about banking and marketing, as well as how the corporate management world works. Many of the other interns that I work with come from completely different areas of the university. Currently I work with two people from the Communications school, one from Smeal, and one from the engineering school. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who is looking to give themselves an internship experience while still being able to stay in State College and attend classes.

Caitlin Bailey

Rehmeyer & Allatt
Up one level
Caitlin Bailey

Major: CAS
Minor: Vocal Performance
Hometown: Hopewell Junction, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I actually created this opportunity. When I returned to school I was looking for an internship experience in a law firm, and reached out to several law firms in State College. Rehmeyer & Allatt contacted me back and after a second interview I was hired on the spot!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My current internship experience is incredibly interesting and fulfilling. I currently have two major areas of focus for my internship, the first is my social media and marketing responsibilities designed at increasing the firms name recognition and bringing new clients to the firm. My second responsibility is assisting with various legal and secretarial tasks to help the firm run smoothly. I answer letters, pull documents, do legal research, and help put various legal documents together. I also work with the two lawyers at the firm, and they have been a phenomenal resource in helping to teach me about the legal world, provide wonderful insight into the law, and what steps I should take to further my future law career.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My current major is Communication Arts and Sciences and I believe this internship is extremely relevant to this major because so much of what I do at my internship involves communication and rhetoric. Within the marketing portion of my job I use targeted words and attractive marketing options designed to draw the reader in and absorb my message. Within my CAS major, I have taken classes in persuasion and propaganda that have taught me the difference between ethical and unethical forms of advertisement and persuasion. I also use my legal experience at the firm to help with many of the CAS classes I take, such as Rhetoric and Law and Argumentation.

My internship has been personally fulfilling and I would absolutely recommend a legal internship to other students.

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

Within a few years of graduating I would like to attend law school, but after immediately graduating next December I am trying to find a job as a paralegal or legal secretary. My internship has impacted my job plans by providing me with experience that will assist me in finding a job upon graduation. Furthermore my internship has helped me to decide that I absolutely want to attend law school. It has also helped me to decide that I have an interest in practicing criminal law, which is very relevant because my internship has given me my first introduction into that area of law.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other liberal arts students. Working in a law firm has been an incredibly beneficial experience because I have learned so much about what it really means to pursue a career in law. Starting this internship, I thought I knew a lot more about law than I actually do. Learning about just how vast and complicated the legal system is has shown me that I have a lot to learn, but am very excited about learning more about how the law works. Additionally I would recommend this experience to others because I believe that passionate advocacy is necessary for our judicial system to function efficiently. My position at Rehmeyer & Allatt has allowed me to work on both sides of plaintiff and defendant, help people who have been injured in a personal injury accident, and even help those who have been wrongly accused of a crime. My internship has been personally fulfilling and I would absolutely recommend a legal internship to other students.

Deanna Nagle

AFSCME/Harvard Union Scholars Program
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Deanna Nagle

Major: Labor Studies
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: State College

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship through the student organization United Students Against Sweatshops. They work closely with unions and have many connections.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This past summer I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with an amazing union, AFSCME, through their Union Scholars Program. The Union Scholars Program brings young activists together to support campaigns that will help improve the work lives of public sector workers. I spent 10 weeks in Louisville, Kentucky where I participated in union negotiations, mediations, grievance hearings, rallies, discipline hearings, internal organizing and more. I received first-hand experience on how unions work and met wonderful people who passed on knowledge and taught me skills I will use for the rest of my life. At the end of the internship I had the opportunity to attend a union education program at Harvard University (AFSCME’s partner in the Union Scholars Program) and officially graduated from Harvard Law School’s the Labor and Work Life Program. This was a great once-in-a-lifetime experience for which I will be forever grateful!

I received first-hand experience on how unions work and met wonderful people who passed on knowledge and taught me skills I will use for the rest of my life.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience taught me a lot about unions and organizing. I came back to campus with a lot more knowledge and felt ready to take on more this coming school year.

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

My current career goals are to work for a union or social justice organization after graduation. From this experience I have a gained a ton of contacts from people all over the country working in different areas of organizing. I feel confident that with the connections I made I will be able to find a place that fits my career goals after graduation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I definitely would recommend this internship to other students. It was an amazing experience where I learned a lot about organizing and about myself. It was a life changing experience!

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