Student Profiles Folder

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

Melissa Mendoza

IES Granada
Up one level
Melissa Mendoza

Major: International Relations
Minor: Global Security
Hometown: Greenwich, CT

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had always known I wanted to study abroad, so I looked online on the Global Website and talked to the Study Abroad Office about different programs. Eventually, I decided that this was the best opportunity for me. 

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

It has been a life-changing experience. The professors at the center are great and I find the classes very interesting. I love Granada and I think that it is a perfect fit for me. Outside of class, I have had the opportunity to travel to places that I've always wanted to go to, like Amsterdam and Morocco, during the weekend! The food is great here and I've met so many great people and have also had the opportunity to interact with locals. I have enjoyed everything about this experience.

"Outside of class, I have had the opportunity to travel to places that I've always wanted to go to, like Amsterdam and Morocco, during the weekend!"

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have been taking three classes in Spanish and two in English. The opportunity to take classes in a different language has made me a more well-rounded student overall. I have also had the opportunity to experience a completely different system of education, which has taught me how to adapt. Lastly, I have learned how to better manage my time with studying and other activities such as travelling.

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

I am majoring in International Relations, so this experience has given me some international experience, which is great for my future career. My career goals are either working for an NGO or getting a position with the government. I have had the opportunity to talk to people that work for NGOs and talk about their daily life. I am also helping with some research at the University of Granada by helping translate their Brexit project. This experience has pushed me to pursue my career goals further.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. It has been a life-changing opportunity with many cool experiences. I was on the fence about it at first even as I was applying but now I can't imagine not studying abroad. I encourage everyone to do it, Penn State will always be there but you might never get the opportunity to go abroad for four months again.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website

Danielle Metzger

IES Madrid: Language and Area Studies
Up one level
Danielle Metzger

Major: Marketing and Spanish
Minor: International Business
Hometown: Mountain Top, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

After my first study abroad in Ronda, Spain during the summer of 2015, I knew I wanted to do a full semester in abroad somewhere. Conveniently, I also had to go abroad to complete the remaining requirements for my International Business minor, so it worked out in my favor. I researched different opportunities on Penn State's Global Programs website, spoke with my advisers, and found that IES Madrid: Language and Area Studies best fit my goals.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Cliche as it sounds, studying abroad in Madrid has allowed me to grow tremendously as a person and really get to know myself. While my primary priority is my classes, I have learned much more outside of the classroom than in it. My life has transitioned from English to Spanish, making me hone my language skills more than ever. Living in a homestay has taught me a lot about Spanish culture, especially in the Madrid region. While here, I also teach English to Spanish elementary school students--to no one's surprise, it's been a really rewarding experience. Traveling to other countries has made me more resourceful and easygoing. After all, there's no satisfaction quite like the one that comes from navigating solo through a foreign country like France where you don't speak a word of the language. But above all else, being able to study abroad a second time has allowed me to see new parts of the same country with a different perspective.

"Studying abroad is a great opportunity to learn about another culture, get out of your comfort zone, and explore."

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a Spanish major, I knew studying abroad in a Spanish speaking country would be incredibly useful. The classes I am taking now will satisfy the remainder of my Spanish major requirements as well as the abroad portion of my International Business minor. Because all of my classes are in Spanish, I have simultaneously bettered my language skills while also learning about the subject matter. I quickly had to adapt to the new grading systems and expectations of the professors here, but I've adjusted to my new academic situation. In addition to the serious part of academics, I have also had the opportunity to have more fun with my studies than usual (I'm currently taking a theatre workshop class where we put on Spanish skits and plays!). Overall, it’s been a very positive and educational experience.

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

In the future, I want to work in International Marketing in the energy industry. I hope to be able to use my Spanish skills to conduct environmentally-based projects in both Spain and Latin America. It's true that living in Madrid has shown me the importance of understanding general market differentiation and the global impacts of each country. However, it's also proven just how pressing of an issue caring for the environment is, and I hope to be in a future field where I am able to do just that. I came to Spain knowing what I wanted to do with my future, and being here solidified it even more.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes! Studying abroad is a great opportunity to learn about another culture, get out of your comfort zone, and explore. It's unlikely that you'll ever have another opportunity to live and study abroad for an extended period of time again, so take advantage of it now.

For more on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website

Kelly Duffey

IES Granada
Up one level
Kelly Duffey

Major: Spanish, Finance
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Huntingdon Valley

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I spoke with my academic adviser and she told me about different study abroad options. She said that the Granada program was one of the best because it truly helps you dive into the culture.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am currently half way through my experience, and it has already had an immense impact on my life. I live in a homestay with a mother and two twin girls who are 18 years old. Even though my host mother knows some English, we speak only in Spanish. Everyday I sit down for a long lunch with them and we talk about current events in Spain, funny stories that happened to us that day, or stories of when the girls were growing up. I could not be more content with my choice to live in a homestay. My program gives us many opportunities to connect with local university students, and I have taken advantage of that and am developing friendships with Spaniards. I feel very at home here in Granada, and I hope this experience does not go too fast.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I am taking five challenging, yet rewarding classes through IES Granada. All of my classes are in Spanish, so each week my brain becomes more attuned to the language. My first class is a grammar class to improve my level of writing and speaking. I have a literature class about Garcia Lorca, who is actually from Granada. The literature class has helped expand my vocabulary. I am taking a European Union class that gets into politics and economics. This class will greatly help my studies in business at Penn State. I am also taking an Islamic art class that has introduced me to Islamic customs that I had little knowledge of before. I am also taking a flamenco class. Both of these two art classes have opened my eyes to the beauty of other cultures. I think that learning about diverse cultures on an academic level is just as important as learning about them first hand, because when we talk about culture academically, we can look at the socialization from different perspectives to learn why things are the way they are. I can connect these concepts to what I've learned in my sociology classes at Penn State.

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

I would like work in inner city real estate. In Philadelphia, there are many Spanish speaking communities who know little English. Many of these neighborhoods are low income areas, therefore I would like to work with Section 8 government assisted housing, and buy real estate in these areas. I would like to be able to communicate effectively with any Spanish speaking tenants I have. I would also like to spend a year or two doing social work in south america.

"There is nothing more rewarding than the process of learning a language."

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Stepping out of your comfort zone is a powerful experience. There is nothing more rewarding than the process of learning a language. It already has taught me patience, how to handle failure and keep trying, understanding of difference, and much more.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I am beyond grateful for the Paterno Fellows Program for helping students like me. The help I received gave me the opportunity to go on a trip to Morocco planned out by the IES program. This trip was not a touristy trip, it was filled with meaningful discussion with Moroccan students and I had the chance to live in a homestay with a Moroccan family. I learned so much about Arabic culture, and gained a new perspective on current events happening in the world right now.

For more on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 

Melanie Kovacs

JST 197: Embedded Program
Up one level
Melanie Kovacs

Major: History, Jewish Studies
Minor: Art History
Hometown: Newtown Square, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I sat next to Dr. Brinkmann at the Schreyer Gateway Dinner in the fall and he informed me about the trip. I was also taking a Jewish Studies class in the fall and my professor passed around a flyer related to the trip.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

We spent time in Warsaw, Oswensim, and Krakow studying subjects related to the Holocaust. We spent our first two days at the site of the Warsaw Ghetto and visiting the Jewish Cemetery. We then took the train to Krakow and went to Oswensim, the town a few miles from the Auschwitz death camp, in order to learn about the Jewish population of the town and visit the memorial. We spent two days on a private tour and walking around the grounds of the camp for personal research. We then spent the rest of the time in Krakow learning about the Jewish life there, including the Ghetto and the synagogues.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience allowed me to fully comprehend the material I have been studying for the past four semesters. It was valuable for me to be able to stand in locations I have been learning about, like Auschwitz and Birkenau, in order to make my studies less of objective ideas and more into solidified information, because I could place things that I had been studying in their locations. In addition, we learned from experts who were available to us on location whom we probably would not have been connected with otherwise. These experts included tour guides or professors that had connections to our professors through conferences or other meetings.

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

I aspire to go to law school and study the practice of art dealing and art restitution. With this, I would like to work for different agencies that participate in the efforts to return artworks looted by the Nazis during World War II to their original owners, or to the heirs of the owners. This enrichment experience, while not entirely related to the art industry of World War II, was valuable because it explained further the Nazi occupation of Poland and the repossession of the property of those living under the occupied rule, how it was sorted, and where some of it ended up.

"The opportunity to visit Auschwitz is not one that arises often."

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to Liberal Arts students because the opportunity to visit Auschwitz is not one that arises often, and is also not typically a vacation destination for most people. However, I think it is something that everyone should do at least once in their lifetime if at least just to see the camp and be able to cement the idea that the events we learn about actually occurred in this place.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program influenced me to understand the importance of studying abroad and learning hands-on in the locations of our studies. In addition, the funding provided by Paterno Fellows made this experience possible for me because it assisted me to have the funds necessary to pay for the trip.

For more on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website

Aniyah Nelson

IES: Paris, French Studies Program
Up one level
Aniyah Nelson

Major: Criminology
Minor: French Studies and Language
Hometown: New York

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience through doing research on my own as well as going to education abroad fairs held by Penn State. To help me with my decision making, I asked numerous questions as to why I should go to this country, what are the benefits of studying abroad, what the different culture shocks of coming here would be like, and others like these. At Penn State there are always people to help you, from peer advisers to counselors who have experienced being in particular countries as well.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am going on my third month in Paris, and I love it. Yes, there any many cultures shocks like groceries and clothing stores being closing on Sundays, the smell of fresh bread being baked at every boulangerie you pass but it’s all about embracing a new culture that is not your own. Studying abroad has allowed me to meet new people from different universities all over the United States as well as people from all over the world. I live with a host family, and it was the best decision of my life. I have learned more about France than I did in geography classes, from things like the Do’s or Don’ts, the reasons for each manifestations, the Parisian lifestyle, as well as improving my French. In my program at IES, I had the opportunity to take advantage making lifetime friends I have traveled across Europe with to enhance my knowledge about different cultures and see the world.

"It’s all about embracing a new culture that is not your own."

How did this experience impact you academically?

At IES, not only have I learned about the Parisian lifestyle, but also have had a very good academic experience. While studying abroad I am taking four courses, all in French. It sometimes gets difficult to manage them all but there are always people there to help me. All of my classes are about France, ranging from history and legends, immigration and diversity to poetics and politics of gender and French grammar. Learning about culture is one of the ways I compare and contrast the United States to France, and and think about ways to make the United States a better country. Learning about France allows me to have a better understanding as to why the country itself developed to be the way it is.

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

When it comes to my career path, I am still evaluating and considering all of my options, but having this experience on my resume is just another step towards greatness. Employers will see I have taken the challenge to study abroad, and recognize the advantage I am to their organization over others that haven't taken the same challenge. However, my dream goal is to work in a francophone country, and therefore utilizing and practicing French is definitely valuable to me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Without any doubt, I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. This is an experience you will not be able to get in the United States. Not only do you learn more about different cultures but the amount of people you network with increases as well, which is a huge asset for the future.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website

Jiwon Lee

United Nations
Up one level
Jiwon Lee

Major: Sociology, International Politics
Minor: N/A
Hometown: San Jose, California

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I searched for United Nations internships online. The organization has an online job/internship search and application system.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am interning at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Public Administration and Development Management. I assist my office in researching the world public sector, advising governments on sustainable policies, creating capacity-building tools, and more. I feel that my work is very valuable and appreciated, as I am contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Additionally, as a UN intern, I was able to attend a lot of fascinating UN events, forums, and workshops, making connections with people from all over the world. My goal for this internship was to learn more about the organization's work on strengthening international cooperation and building sustainable, developed societies. Overall, the experience has been extremely rewarding and inspirational.

"Overall, the experience has been extremely rewarding and inspirational."

How did this experience impact you academically?

I conducted research on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals for many countries, as well as any stakeholder engagement and participation channels they had. Through this work, I learned a lot about the characteristics and behaviors of the countries and how they interact with others. In addition, I observed and studied international negotiations and collaborations. For example, I attended a High-level Profile Forums, where representatives from each country came to the United Nations to share their progress and experiences on the issue of eradicating poverty. I believe that these experiences will enrich my knowledge on international politics and sociology.

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

I will be attending law school in the fall. I want to become a lawyer in International Human Rights and work for the legal department of an international organization. The United Nations is a great organization in that field, so it was nice to experience what it was like to work there. I would definitely want to come back to the United Nations after law school.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. You can observe international politics first hand and contribute to a global goal. Also, New York City is a great place to live, with lots of great food and entertainment.

For more on internship opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 

Melissa Gess

IES Abroad EU Program
Up one level
Melissa Gess

Major: International Politics and Criminology
Minor: German
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience while working one morning. I had expressed to a co-worker that I wanted to study abroad, but did not know what program I would be interested in. I told her my majors and that I had always been interested in studying abroad in Germany. She happened to be a part of the Penn State Global Abroad Program and recommended this program to me. As soon as she explained what it was, I knew this was the perfect program and applied immediately.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience has been great! I joined this program for three reasons: 1) to improve my German speaking ability 2) to travel and 3) to have a better understanding of the European Union. This program has fulfilled all three of those areas and more. I have traveled to more than twenty-two different cities within Europe, some with this program and some for personal experiences, and each place I have gone I have learned something new. I have grown both academically and personally. I have gained more of a sense of independence being on my own and away from family, and have also been able to find more of an inner connection with myself. This trip has brought me new friends and a new understanding of life, and I really have to thank this program for giving me that ability.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I did not understand much about the European Union upon entering this program, only a few things from the classes I had taken at Penn State. I have gotten to learn so many different things on both an academic and a personal level. The classes I took here were at times academically challenging, but in the end I feel as though I am more prepared for my major and have even found new areas of interest. Traveling to different cities was a mandatory part of this program, and we got to listen to different speakers, some of whom spoke academically and others of their life experiences. These trips really helped to tie things together with what we were learning in the classroom and gave me a new perspective on the things I was learning. We also were able to hear the perspectives from different Members of Parliament and politicians on their countries position within the EU. Through this program I was also able to expand my German language skills, although maybe not as much as I would have liked, since it is very easy to speak English with everyone here. Other than that, I have really been able to grow academically.

"These trips really helped to tie things together with what we were learning in the classroom and gave me a new perspective on the things I was learning."

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

My current majors are International Politics and Criminology, and I joined this program mostly to fulfill my degree requirements for my International Politics major. It took me awhile to find where these two degrees intersect and where my interests lie, but this program really helped me narrow it down. At the end of this program, I will be completing an internship with the European Parliament which will hopefully help my long term career goals of possibly joining the State Department and focusing on counter terrorism. Upon graduation from Penn State, I intend to join the United States Air Force before potentially looking at a career with the State Department. This program has really been able to affirm my interests and the career path I am going towards. I have not completed the internship yet, but I am hoping it will answer my remaining questions about where I might be heading with my future.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this to students fulfilling a major in international politics. This program really helps in understanding politics on a global level, and it helps that you get to travel and see how these policies affect these countries. You also get the opportunity to meet with Members of Parliament, politicians, and Foreign Affairs Ministers (if you are lucky enough) which is every Political Science major’s dream!

For more on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website

Kathryn Wroblewski

IES French Studies - Paris
Up one level
Kathryn Wroblewski

Major: Math and French
Minor: Economics and Statistics
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

This experience has allowed me to reach a new level of independence and understanding of the world as a whole. Experiencing multiple new ways of life and meeting a huge amount of new people has been absolutely amazing. This has allowed me to both fine tune and reevaluate what I am looking for in a future career. More importantly, it has given me the confidence to reach for new heights when pursuing internship opportunities.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

It was absolutely amazing! The beauty of Paris is that there is always something new to see or do. After class, I would head to museums, cafes, or parks. I took classes in French related to grammar, art history, and politics. My French improved through my classes, talking with my host family, and interacting with Parisians. If I could stay in Paris forever, I would.

"If I could stay in Paris forever, I would."

How did this experience impact you academically?

By taking coursework completely in French, I completed 12 of the required credits for my French major. I came to Paris with little confidence in my French language skills. After almost four months of living and studying in Paris, I have far more confidence in myself. I do not think I could have improved to this extent without living in a French-speaking country.

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

I hope to work as a consultant or data analyst for a global enterprise. As a math major, I have a strong technical background, but taking French classes has improved my diversity of thought. I believe that this experience will set me apart in future job interviews and careers. While living and studying abroad, I have developed skills far beyond just French. I have become a more well-rounded individual. I adapted to an entirely different way of life, became far more independent, and experienced many different cultures in Europe.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

YES!! If you ever think for one second that you want to study abroad, DO IT. I knew since freshman year of high school that I wanted to study and live abroad. As a sophomore, I went a bit ahead of normal to Penn State standards, but it has been the best decision I’ve made. You have to take advantage of each opportunity abroad in order to fully appreciate the experience.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program encouraged me to go abroad and gave me the resources to experience my time abroad to the fullest. The programs emphasis on global education and personal development allows me to focus on education outside of just State College. Additionally, the funds provided by the Paterno Fellows Program gave me the opportunity to fully embrace the culture of France and Europe without worrying about money.

For more on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 

Parker Michael Anderson

The Center for Global Studies
Up one level
Parker Michael Anderson

Major: International Politics, African Studies
Minor: International Studies
Hometown: Shermans Dale, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found the internship opportunity on a Penn State Job Board.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Interning at the Center, I was responsible for a lot of advertising, event planning, and writing blogs/newsletters. The Center for Global Studies hosts a lot of speaker events with very well known figures in international relations, and it was a great experience being able to speak to many of them personally.

Academically, I was able to learn a lot about international relations and globalization through the many speaker events.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I was able to learn a lot about international relations and globalization through the many speaker events. I was also able to learn a lot about the academic programs that the Center offers like the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship.

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

After graduation, I plan on joining the Peace Corps and then working as a lobbyist to push policy related to international relations and foreign aid that I think is the best to aid other nations.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would strongly recommend this experience, especially to people interested in public relations and marketing.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Mark Evan Klemencic

Dig a Little Deeper: Primary Literature as a Potential Enhancer of Undergraduate Psychology Education
Up one level
Mark Evan Klemencic

Major: Biology (Neuroscience Option) & Psychology (Neuroscience Option)
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

While I was an undergraduate teaching assistant with developmental psychology instructor Dr. Cathleen Hunt, I frequently conveyed my interest to her about starting my own research project. She introduced me to the opportunity of applying for enrichment funds for the Spring 2017 semester through the College of the Liberal Arts.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I acted as a teaching assistant with Dr. Cathleen Hunt in the Psychology Department at Penn State. Through this experience, I gained important insight into the world of education and pedagogy, which truly fascinated me. Specifically, I became interested in the efficacy of textbooks (secondary literature) in teaching undergraduate students about the scientific method. To further investigate this topic, I worked with Dr. Hunt and Dr. Hobart Cleveland (Department of Human Development and Family Studies) to brainstorm ways to test hypotheses about the efficacy of using primary literature (in addition to typical secondary sources, such as textbooks) in undergraduate psychology courses at Penn State. After brainstorming and conducting a literature review, we used online survey methodology and a student sample size of approximately 430 undergraduate students enrolled in psychology courses to collect pilot data for our research questions.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My experience conducting research with two faculty members at Penn State really opened my eyes to the process of developing and carrying out a research project—with this experience, I had the opportunity to go through all of the steps of the scientific method, including developing research questions, creating and testing hypotheses, creating research protocols, developing surveys, conducting literature reviews about research that has previously been done about the topic, and analyzing collected data to arrive at conclusions and identify gaps in the methodology and results that need to be corrected for future study. Although I have engaged with the scientific method in courses that I have taken here at Penn State, this experience allowed me to have more independence.

We are extremely privileged to attend a university that is so heavily involved in research; to not take advantage of the vast opportunities available here would be doing yourself a disservice.

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

After I graduate from Penn State, I will apply to either M.D., Ph.D. programs to specialize in psychiatry or Ph.D. programs in developmental psychopathology. Either way, my passion is to research behavioral, psychological, and genetic aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). My enrichment experience with CLA at Penn State allowed me to explore my passion for primary literature. Since I am so heavily interested in pursuing research, I am certain that my increased knowledge and appreciation for primary literature will aid me in the future. After all, it is only through keeping up with recent trends and treatment modalities, discussed in primary literature, that I would be able to effectively understand and treat individuals with ASD.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this research enrichment experience to other Liberal Arts students. We are extremely privileged to attend a university that is so heavily involved in research; to not take advantage of the vast opportunities available here would be doing yourself a disservice. Get involved! It's worth it.

For more information on research opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

David Michael Pitt

Nanjing University Foreign Exchange Program
Up one level
David Michael Pitt

Major: Chinese
Hometown: Severna Park, MD

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Though the course Chinese 120: Introduction to Chinese Literature and Culture with Dr. Shuang Shen.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This visit to Nanjing, China and Nanjing University (NJU) entailed that students from Penn State partner up with two or more students from the IAS program at NJU. The program lasted for two weeks and students were given opportunities to attend classes at Nanjing University as well as experience daily lives of Chinese students. In addition, we were able to visit the city of Nanjing as well as many historically significant locations in the surrounding area.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Because of the short duration of the program, as well as it taking place after the end of the spring semester, it did not impact my academics too greatly. However, this was an embedded course counting for one credit. Getting an A in this course has helped to boost my GPA slightly. Aside from letter grades, the experience of being in China gave me a good deal of opportunities to practice and improve my Chinese skills in a native environment.

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

This experience greatly affected my future goals and aspirations. Firstly, I am certain that I wish to return to China in the future, hopefully for work. I also am certain that I would like to come back for an longer period of time to study abroad and further increase my Chinese language abilities. This program really helped to give me a feel for China and a taste of the society and culture. It has greatly prepared me for when I come back in terms of how to live and interact in China.

This program really helped to give me a feel for China and a taste of the society and culture.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, though the course was only two weeks, it was extremely beneficial. I personally wanted to stay longer, but for those with majors unrelated to Chinese or with no language ability they felt that this two week program was the perfect length of time. The greatest part about this trip I think was the people we met. Our student partners at NJU were some of the nicest people I've ever met, and we had so many fun times with them. Because of this, I highly, highly recommend this program to anyone in the College of liberal arts who wishes to gain experience abroad.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Janelle Brassel

Internship: Baltimore Jewish Community Center
Up one level
Janelle Brassel

Majors: Anthropology, Jewish Studies
Minor: History
Hometown: Harrisburg

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I reached out the the Jewish Community Center of Downtown Baltimore in response to a job posting that I saw on their website. Explaining how an internship would work and what it would entail, I worked together with the Program Manager to create the internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was a great transition to a real world position because it combined intern duties with the duties of an already established job. I would open the center each day and go through every room to make sure that everything was in its place before members arrived. The location that I worked at was a center for parents to bring their small children to for free play as well as classes on arts and music. I also worked to reorganize and take stock of supplies to ensure that the center was using its space and supplies efficiently. I brainstormed ideas on how to market the center to boost membership, and thought of new event ideas that would facilitate more family togetherness time for our busy members.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship with the Jewish Community Center allowed me to apply my classroom education to the real world. By working in a contemporary Jewish institution, I was able to gain insight into how this specific Jewish community deals with several different obstacles that test the Jewish faith and cultural identity. Some of these issues include how to navigate an inter-faith marriage, especially when children are involved. Another issue today is the busy schedules of parents and children and how to fit religion into the mix. The Jewish Community Center was a good answer to that problem because it offered a space that was not overly religious for the community to come together, while giving hours that were accessible to a good portion of the neighborhood.

This internship provided me with insight into the Jewish community of Baltimore while getting me acclimated to the city.

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

I would like to go into museum education in the future, and the museum that I am really interested in is the Jewish Museum of Maryland, which is located in Baltimore as well. This internship provided me with insight into the Jewish community of Baltimore while getting me acclimated to the city. I think that eventually I would like to work as an educator for a university, and this internship provided me with real world experience to give me a well-rounded understanding. This experience may help me get into graduate school by demonstrating my ability to apply my education to a career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience because my supervisor did everything in her power to ensure that my experience was enriching, including setting up meetings between me and leaders in the Jewish community to discuss topics that would benefit my education.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Logan Paiste

Exchange Program: Nanjing University
Up one level
Logan Paiste

Major: CAMS; Jewish Studies; Chinese; Asian Studies
Minor: Sexuality and Gender Studies
Hometown: Allentown, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

During the Fall 2016 semester, I learned about the exchange program with Nanjing University and Penn State through the Asian Studies listserv. Additionally, I had heard about the program through word of mouth by the professors of my Chinese courses.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As someone who is studying Chinese and Asian Studies, I had not yet been to China. This experience really opened my eyes to Chinese university culture and allowed me to network with Chinese college students who are my age. I was able to visit several courses at the University which are taught in Chinese, and compare American and Chinese teaching styles and student expectations. In one of the courses, the professor asked me to speak in front of the class (in English) and answer questions about American culture. Many of the students had questions about academics at American universities, including the GRE and LSAT exams, while others wanted to know about American politics and controversial issues. There were a number of new expressions which I learned, as well as new greetings and farewell wishes, which are commonly used in the Jiangsu province of China. In spite of speaking a more formal version of Chinese, I was still understood by many of the Chinese university students.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As someone who had seen himself attending a Chinese University Masters degree program in the very near future, this program greatly humbled me. I realized that, while I am eligible to enroll in advanced Chinese courses at Penn State, such as CHNS 403W, 404, and 45X courses, my Chinese proficiency is not superior enough to start a Masters degree program at a Chinese university right away. I learned that I need additional academic preparation in order to pursue graduate school education. In the meantime, I realized that being in a Chinese university environment as a foreigner is very exciting. I feel inspired to schedule additional Chinese culture courses, such as CHNS 42X courses, while also practicing my colloquial Chinese vocabulary. Being at Nanjing University taught me that my Chinese should not just be limited to the Penn State classroom, but rather that I should take (safe) risks and practice my colloquial Chinese with my international Chinese-speaking friends at Penn State.

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

I have many career goals, and I see myself pursuing at least 5 careers in my lifetime. Relevant to the Nanjing University experience, one of my goals is to work for the United States government and assist with international relations. I could use my Chinese language skills to be an interpreter, or to be a diplomat, or even work at an embassy. Being at Nanjing University showed me that there is a need for native English-speaking people to foster American and Chinese relations, whether in a university context, a business context, or even a government context. Now, I feel better connected to China and have a deeper grasp in understanding the Chinese culture.

I feel better connected to China and have a deeper grasp in understanding the Chinese culture.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Certainly! Although this experience does not require a Chinese language background, I would encourage applicants with Chinese background to apply. Especially if this will be your first time to China, the Nanjing University and Penn State exchange program is unique in that you are experiencing an international university setting while not formally being a Nanjing University student. The program is virtually stress-free, and there are reasonable amounts of readings and homework assignments; therefore, you can spend two weeks at Nanjing University and focus on experiencing the university culture first hand.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jessica Klein

Americans for Peace Now
Up one level
Jessica Klein

Major: Global and International Studies and International Politics
Minor: Security Risk Analysis
Hometown: New Rochelle, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

When applying for internships I knew it was important to keep an open mind and by doing this I applied for this internship. I was just searching the web and came upon this internship. I liked doing this because it gave me the comfort learning about and understanding the company before I talked to them. Business fairs are hard because they are close to the end of the semester and sometimes companies pull out or come last minute and that does not give you any prep time.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship so far has been an amazing learning experience. I thought that I would come into to my internship and they would have a ton of projects and busy work for me to do but I was wrong. There is less work than I am used to so I have the flexibility to make my own work based off of my interests. This is a really interesting opportunity because it is hard to ask for what I want, but if I do not want to sit around bored all day then I have to speak up for myself and tell my supervisor what I want to help out with. I have also learned how to keep my mouth closed in a professional setting. I love to express my opinion even if I know that no one in the room shares my opinion. But, in a professional setting this is not always the way to go about your colleagues. I have to make sure that what I am saying is in line with our organizations mission, or otherwise why would I be working for this non-profit.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically I feel as though I have already grown incredible amounts. My boss already had me write an Op-Ed, which is to be published soon. I feel as though this has opened up doors for me in the future that I do not even know about yet and I am excited to find them. I have also been able to think of creative solutions for many problems that our office has been facing for a while now. I cannot go into to many specifics on that one but we are hosting an event and we could not find a co-sponsor and I remembered someone from my Temple at home told me to reach out to them when I was in DC. I did and now their organization is our co-sponsor.

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

I do not know what I want to do exactly because who ever knows, but I think this internship has narrowed it down a little. After college I want to enroll in Law School but after that I am unsure of whether I want to work for the government or for a private political risk organization. I do not really know what the latter means but I was at a networking event and met a woman who did that and it seemed amazingly exciting. I have a meeting with a firm to talk about possible internships for next summer and I hope that it becomes a little more solidified after my meeting with them. It would be an amazing job opportunity and I would not have been afforded this opportunity had I not gotten my current internship.

It would be an amazing job opportunity and I would not have been afforded this opportunity had I not gotten my current internship.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend working for every kind of different organization you can. This was my first internship and it just so happens it was a non-profit. This is different than I thought it would be but I like it for a lot of reasons I could have not even imagined. I am excited to pursue other career options through other internships to find what my niche is.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Daniela Rojas Medina

Friedensburg Oberschule Internship
Up one level
Daniela Rojas Medina

Majors: International Politics and German
Minor: Global Security
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this experience through the study abroad advisor in the German department. I talked to him about wanting to do an internship in Germany but that the only one Penn State offered was for Business and Engineering majors; he then gave me a list of study abroad companies that offer internship programs so I could begin my research. Eventually, I found this Berlin Summer internship program with IES. Being a non Penn State program, it was a bit difficult to get approval for it but the advisor was also my German professor and head of the department, so he helped me fill out my application documents and translate my resume into German.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience in Berlin has been absolutely incredible and one of much learning and realizations. I interned at a billingual German- Spanish high school and was involved in different tasks, including lecturing, translations of different documents from German and Spanish to English, event organizing and general administrative work. Although my internship was not necessarily what I expected or all that relevant to my primary major, I was still able to learn a great deal, develop different skills and immerse myself in German culture. Berlin is a great city for young professionals and young people in general, there are many opportunities here and it is truly an international city so even if you do not speak German you can still find your way. It does not take long to adjust and feel at home in Berlin, I already felt like a local by the second week. It was challenging at first to adjust to speaking German in a professional setting and having to be so indepenedent at my placement but I was able to learn and adjust quickly.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience helped me develop and improve different skills. My German skills have certainly improved, particularly my speaking as I am able to practice when I am at work. I gained so much knowledge about German culture and way of life, and was able to experience first hand all the topics we discuss in my German courses at Penn State, as well as apply the skills I learned in class. It is difficult to pratice or use anything I learn in my courses outside of class, so it was refreshing to go to German class, learn vocabulary or sentence structure and then apply it at work the next day. Moreover, I improved my public speaking skills as I had to give 50 minute political science lectures followed by Q&A to various 11th and 12th grade classes. This is something I had never done before and I was absolutely dreading since the longest presentation I have done at university is 20 minutes. I realized I can talk endlessly about the things that I am passionate about and it made me more open to the idea of becoming a professor later on in my career, an option I had not even considered before.

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

After I graduate I hope to pursue a career in international relations and politics working for various organizations such as the UN and other NGOs that have an emphasis on economic development, security, and human rights. This internship mainly helped me gain professional experience in Europe and more specifically, a German speaking country. I found the German work life balance and office environment to be very different to the U.S. and much more about independent work and initiative. I realized during this internship that I can see myself living and working in Berlin long term and pursuing a career in international affairs here, as there are many opportunities I can take advantage of and I am very interested in E.U. politics. It was important for me to get this experience in Europe and also improve my German speaking skills so that I may be better prepared in the future in the event that I do choose to come work here post graduation.

This internship mainly helped me gain professional experience in Europe and more specifically, a German speaking country.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend interning and working abroad because it allows you to learn a lot very quickly. International experience not only looks good on a resume but it is also sought after by employers back home. I am not sure I would recommend the exact program I did with IES however, because they match students with employers and give students their placements according to career interests and what the employers are looking for. We did not get to choose where we were placed or where we wanted to apply to from the beginning. I found that for some people they made good matches and placed them at internships that were very relevant to their majors but some were not at all. Even though I was able to make the most out of my placement and managed to find a way to make it relevant, I would have preferred working at a placement more closely related to my field of study.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Paterno Fellows has allowed me to push my boundaries and challenge myself, be independent, proactive and have initiative. These are exactly the skills that became so useful in my internship because my boss was not telling me what to do everyday or checking in on me, holding my hand throughout my internship. It was up to me to find people to speak to for different tasks, create my schedule and space out my work throughout the week to make sure I got everything done on time. The program I find prepares you for the real world because it pushes students to do their best and if they want something to go and get it. It is in part was has led me to working in Berin; I had to jump through hoops to get here but it was what I wanted so I made it happen. The College of the Liberal Arts and its various departments also supported me not only financially but with career and academic advising along the way.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Cecelia Bruno

AmWINS Program Underwriters
Up one level
Cecelia Bruno

Major: Economics
Minor: Business in the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Harriburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found my internship position advertised on the Nittany Lion Career Network this past winter. My advisers from Penn State had told me about this networking site and how it had many job and internship opportunities listed for students. I have secured two separate internships through this amazing resource for Penn State students.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience so far during my internship at AmWINS Program Underwriters has provided me with a wealth of knowledge about the insurance and underwriting industries. I truly believe that I have been fortunate enough to have found where my passions and skills could be combined to make a lasting career. The other AmWINS employees in my office are so knowledgeable about the industry, and they have been very welcoming and helpful to me the past several weeks. Every day is a new learning experience since the tasks are never the same. I believe this internship is a good fit for me, and I am hopeful to continue in this industry upon graduation.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience will help me academically in many ways. First of all, this internship course allows me to earn academic credits, which will help me to get closer to my goal of graduating this upcoming May. By earning three credits this summer, that is three credits less I have to take in the fall or spring semester. By lightening my course load my final year, I will be able to be more productive in the classes I am enrolled in. This internship is also a very educational experience and provides me with knowledge I could never learn in a classroom. Learning from those in the industry is a great learning tool, and may also provide me with some helpful information for the courses I still have yet to take in my final year. This internship is truly the most productive and educational course I could possibly take during my time as a student at Penn State.

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

My current internship at AmWINS Program Underwriters has drastically impacted my goals and potential future career path. I never considered entering the insurance or underwriting industry after I graduated college, but since working at AmWINS, I believe it is the most likely path I will take. I am very hopeful to be able to work for AmWINS once I receive my degree. It is a wonderful company with talented employees. I enjoy my work and believe I am optimizing my skills, challenging myself daily, and making a difference in the community through my work. This internship is definitely helping me to network in the field I wish to pursue, which is a major step in helping me to reach my goals in the future.

I enjoy my work and believe I am optimizing my skills, challenging myself daily, and making a difference in the community through my work. 

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend to all students to secure an internship at some point in their college career. I truly believe it is the best way to learn and get a feel for the industry you could potentially be a part of in the future. It provides an educational experience a student can not get in a classroom. AmWINS Program Underwriters has been a good match for my skills and interests. It is a wonderful company to work for and has provided me with much information about the industry. I would recommend this particular internship to any determined student with an open mind about the insurance industry.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jonah Kim

Office of Congressman Brendan F. Boyle
Up one level
Jonah Kim

Major: Political Science, Communication Arts & Sciences
Hometown: Lansdale, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I wanted to work on the Hill this summer and I wanted to get more involved with PA politics. I looked up who were the PA Democrats in the House and saw the Congressman Boyle was very close to home. I was already in Washington, D.C. for an internship in the fall of 2016 and so I was able to go to the Congressman's office in the fall and secure my internship then.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Obviously I have to do the usual intern grunt work, i.e answer phones, give tours of the Capitol, and process flag requests to be flown over the capitol. However, it is not all that bad knowing all your work is going towards supporting and helping the Congressman, who is incredible and makes day to day work seem less tedious. I am really interested in legislative work and have been getting experience in that field also. For the entire month of May I was the the only policy intern in the Congressman's office. This was advantageous because I got an opportunity to build relationships and trust with the various legislative staffers. So now they trust me to do some very interesting work on some very important issues. One of my favorite things about this internship is the fact that the news I read in the morning will be what I work on when I get to the office. Along with headline news, I have also gotten the opportunity to do some foreign relations and health policy work which are my two passions. Additionally, I have gotten the opportunity to do work on a number of other issues with which I was less familiar, like education and transportation. My two biggest interests are foreign relations and health/healthcare policy. I have been getting plenty of work in these fields ranging from drafting memos to attending briefings.

"...this internship reaffirmed my major and love of politics, but it also reaffirmed my love of the Hill. I know that I want to be back here working full-time as soon as possible."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience reaffirms my decision to major in political science. I have loved every second of being on the Hill and I hope to come here after I graduate. One way this experience has impacted me academically actually happened before the internship. I knew I was interning for the Congressman in the fall, so I picked a political science class with a focus on the Middle East and the Arab Israeli conflict because the Congressman is on the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. I wanted to be more knowledgeable in a major issue area for the Congressman. I hope to do more work on this issue as I found this class very interesting and the issue is so relevant to world politics today.

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

I hope to eventually work on the Hill after I graduate. I would love to eventually work my way up to become a senior legislative staffer in either a house or Senate office. Short term for immediately after I graduate, I would love to be part of a U.S. House Race in PA and work on a campaign. Like I said before, this internship reaffirmed my major and love of politics, but it also reaffirmed my love of the Hill. I know that I want to be back here working full-time as soon as possible.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely! First, I think everyone should have some experience with public service. It's hard work, but learning how to serve constituents and talk to everyday Americans in incredibly valuable. Next, you never know if you are secretly a political wonk. The environment on the Hill is something like no other. Walking the halls and seeing Senators and Congressman casually stroll by is still one of my favorite things ever. Lastly, an internship like this can help you decide whether or not working on the Hill is right for you. It may be a dream job that you never knew was possible or you may find out that this type of work just is not for you.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Daniel Pasquariello

Geller & Company
Up one level
Daniel Pasquariello

Major: Economics
Minor: Business
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

How did you learn about this opportunity?

To apply to this enrichment experience I networked my way into the firm. Through the guidance of my mentor, I recognized how important networking would be to securing an internship. I did my research and discovered a Penn State alumnus within the investment management division of Geller and Company. After making contact with him, he gave me a few interviews in the Human Capital department as well as the Chief Investment Office. After interviewing, I was awarded the internship for the summer of 2017

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My time at Geller and Company was an experience of a lifetime. Living and working in New York City is something that I have dreamed of for a long time. I am very proud to say that I have had this experience. More importantly I have learned so much while on the job in NYC. From the daily market valuation meetings, to the investor selection committee, to all of the ground work that goes on in between, I have truly discovered that I want to get into Investment Management upon graduation. This internship wasn't all about living and working in New York City, it was more about finding exactly what I want to do with my life and investments is where I want to be.

"Penn State truly set me up for success as I was able to obtain a strong base which not only allowed me to hit the ground running in my internship, but also allowed me to stand out in my cohort."

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship really opened the doors for me academically. It allowed me to put to good use everything I have used in the classroom from investment return calculation, research skills, and even how to use excel. Penn State truly set me up for success as I was able to obtain a strong base which not only allowed me to hit the ground running in my internship, but also allowed me to stand out in my cohort.

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

This internship truly allowed me to discover what I want to do in my future career.  I still don't know whether I want to work here in America, or back home in Australia. I am blessed with the option to choose from both when the time comes. Nonetheless, I have discovered that I would like to work in Investment Management. My experience here at Geller has given me intangible exposure to the field and great learning experiences.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would certainly recommend any kind of internship to other Liberal Arts students because the worst thing that you can get out of it is an unbelievable experience. Even if you work out that you don't want to be in a given field you have still learned something about yourself. Knowing what you don't want to do is almost as good as knowing what you want to do, and any kind of internship is a great starting point to finding out what you truly want to do in your career.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Shannon Capasso

Mann Center for the Performing Arts
Up one level
Shannon Capasso

Major: Communication Arts & Sciences
Minor: Theatre
Hometown: Yardley, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I originally learned about this experience through Network Simplicity, and then explored it further on the Mann's website.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship experience has been very hands-on. I have a few supervisors that I complete varying tasks for each day. Some of these tasks include emailing and/or calling donors, creating invitations for our events, creating schedules for our volunteers--the list goes on. I work here full-time, including time during the work day and also at our concerts in the evenings. My specific position is Communications & Volunteer Management Intern in the Development Department, but I also work with the Special Events Manager on many tasks.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacts me academically in many ways. I have to communicate effectively with not only my department, but also donors and volunteers that choose to be involved with the Mann. My experience here can help with my Communication Arts & Sciences Major. Also, working at a venue/theater is great experience to add to my Theatre minor!

Because the Mann is a non-profit organization, I am getting insight on the world of non-profits, and how they operate differently than your average business. 

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

I want to go into events, and I would love to work for a non-profit. Because the Mann is a non-profit organization, I am getting insight on the world of non-profits, and how they operate differently than your average business. Everything here leads back to the events we have at our venue and for our donors, so I am also gaining useful experience that way.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students, because the supervisors here make sure the interns are immersed in every part of the business, not just the specific role they applied for and received. We have meetings with the heads of every department, including the President and CEO of the Mann, to learn what they do and how they have gotten where they are today. This is so useful for any student, especially if they have a broad major and are looking for a specific path to take.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

William Schreiner

Active Interest Media
Up one level
William Schreiner

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Kemblesville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew I wanted to work out West this Summer because I love the outdoors. I also knew I would want to work for a company that had some sort of involvement with the outdoors. My father works for Gore-Tex (an outdoor company) so he reached out to a few people he knew that both lived out West and also had connections with people who work in the outdoor industry. After a few email correspondents, I was connected with my current intern director(Sharon). We talked on the phone and she offered me the internship position 3 days later.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience with Active Interest Media has been great so far! I have worked with a team on multiple marketing projects, including creating advertisements for a new online course they are starting. I was also taught what an RFP is, and how to create one. I am currently working on that. My favorite part was attending the Digital Summit series in Denver. This was an event similar to TED talks, except specialized for marketing. I was able to sit and listen from marketing genius'. Since I am working in the Outdoor Group for Active Interest Media, I have been on multiple hikes with clients. This has been great for me, as I have been able to network very well as well as enjoy some physical activity.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Working with the marketing team helped me to gain an understanding of the techniques as well as vocabulary that is best to use when advertising a program. I found that working on an RFP was difficult to do. I had to reach back into some of my old notes when I came across questions that forced me to answer questions in a professional format. However, after finishing the RFP I found myself very comfortably working on other small projects in which I had to write in a professional manner. I took a business writing class at Penn State, and this class prepared me very well for a lot of the work I would be doing in my internship. However, being able to practice a lot of this stuff real-time has been great for accelerating my familiarity with professional writing.

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

My career goals are not very well defined right now. I know I want to work in an environment where I really enjoy what I do. I value experiences and enjoyment more than money. Therefore, I am not interested in working a job in which I hate every minute just to make more money. I knew I had an interest in marketing, making this internship appealing to me. So far, I would have to say my interest in marketing is still very strong. However, after hearing many different speak at the Digital Summit it seems that creating my own agency or business would be most beneficial to me. I am an extremely hard worker when I am passionate about something. The best way for me to be passionate about something is definitely to create it from the ground up, and tailor it to something that consumers would love just as me. Also, living in an outdoorsy town and in an outdoors business at Active Interest Media has given me the desire to continue to work in the outdoors as well as in the realm of sustainability.

Experiencing different things in a work environment has been very beneficial to my growth as a person as well as a "businessman."

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this. Experiencing different things in a work environment has been very beneficial to my growth as a person as well as a "businessman." Engaging in the coinciding course has also been productive for me to understand what things experience I should be gaining from my internship.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jared E Myers

Kontos and Mengine Law Group
Up one level
Jared E Myers

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

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the opportunity to intern at Kontos and Mengine Law Group over Christmas break through mutual parties. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to network at a holiday party.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience so far has been everything that I have hoped for. I am able to be around the profession that I desire to be in every day. I have the opportunity to learn about new and interesting topics. There are days that I leave the office and shadow the actual attorneys. This experience is something that I will use in the future because there is no substitute for actual work experience. The experience of working in a law office such as Kontos and Mengine gives me the chance to see how a firm operates in a city environment. I will have the advantage of understanding what kind of work ethic it takes to work at an establishment like this.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience can be something that directly relates to political science. Some of the attorneys in the law firm were political science majors as undergrads. This gives me great confidence that when I attend law school I will be as prepared as I need to be. The law is something that is talked about in many of the political science courses I have taken. Now hearing the vocabulary in the real world will only strengthen my understanding towards the subject. One particular class that it has helped me out with my internship is American Politics. I have been able to see terms that we read about in the course material and use it in the real work experience. This gives me an advantage in the class room and the work area because I have the chance to learn a topic from two separate angles at the same time.

This internship is a great step in the right direction for my aspirations.

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

My career goals are to become an attorney. This internship is a great step in the right direction for my aspirations. Before this internship I did not have any experience in a law firm besides my father's firm. I have been able to meet many people who have shared their own personal experience of going through law school and going down the same career path. The connections I made will not only help me in law school, but down the line when I am in the same profession as my superiors. I will hopefully be able to gain some very strong recommendations at the end of my experience as I have been showing my determination every day in the office. I want the people that I work with to have confidence in me and be able to remain in touch as I progress through school.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. This is a great opportunity especially for those students considering the law path.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Shou-En Chen

Strawberry Fields, Inc.
Up one level
Shou-En Chen

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Taiwan

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience through my friend I knew from Centre Help. She introduced this great experience to me and I have been working with this organization since December, 2016. During my work, I heard from an other colleague that there are other sites in State College who also work with different mental disorders. In order to gain more diverse experience, I talked to my supervisor and she agreed to cross-train me to other sites.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I started working as a Psychiatric Direct Support Specialist in December, 2016. I enjoy being a Psychiatric Direct Support in different sites because it relates to what I want to be doing in the future, which is a clinical psychologist. The spirit of Strawberry Fields Inc. is to empower individuals with physical and mental disabilities through assisting them in their daily life. This can be achieved by setting goals based on the ability of different consumers. Different from the the patients who live in a psychiatric hospital, the consumers at the Bellefonte site are allowed to live at their own house and each have their own schedule tailored to their ability. On the other hand, the consumers at the State College site are living in a townhouse and they are expected to live their only 6 months, up to 3 years. The duty of a psychiatric direct support specialist is to provide emotional support and assist daily living of people with mental illness. We also need to bring the consumers to doctor appointments or daytime programs, administrate medication, assist with cooking and exercising, and other daily tasks. Based on the ability of the consumers, there are other activities that they can engage in such as watching movies and going to the Berkeley Creamery.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted my academics by allowing me to apply the theories I learn from advanced abnormal psychology class and observe those symptoms in an outpatient setting. This is a valuable experience because you cannot have this experience through reading a textbook. I also observed and learned skills which are rarely mentioned in the textbook. Through working here, I not only learned more but was able to apply it in a clinical setting. Moreover, it elicits new questions that I had never thought of in class. This job makes me realize that I genuinely love interacting with people. This experience has strengthened my aspiration that I want to be a practitioner instead of being a professor. After the training is done, I will have more opportunity to interact with people with other mental illnesses such as PTSD, Schizoaffective, Antisocial Personality Disorder... just to name a few. I am really excited because I did not have any experience interacting with people with those mental diagnoses.

This experience has strengthened my aspiration that I want to be a practitioner...

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

I am planning to get a PhD degree in clinical psychology and become a licensed clinical psychologist. I hope eventually, I will be able to open my own practice or have my own research lab. Through working as a psychiatric direct support specialist at the Bellefonte and State College sites and interacting with different consumers, I learned how to communicate and encourage people with mental illness. Moreover, this experience taught me how to think through their perspective. By engaging in their daily life, I learned and witnessed some of the struggles and challenges people with mental health illness encounter everyday in their daily life. Working as a Psychiatric Direct Support Specialist also prepared me to work with more severe mental illnesses in a mental health hospital.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I highly recommend this experience for students who want hand-on experience with mental illness. I would also recommend it to people who want to pursue career in human services. It is crucial to get some clinical experiences before applying for graduate school.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jessica Malerman

Penn State Student Engagement Network Internship Program
Up one level
Jessica Malerman

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: Women's Studies
Hometown: Abington, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found the opportunity on the Penn State Job Board.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I’m currently working as an intern in the new Student Engagement Network Internship Program at Penn State. I’m part of the first cohort of interns, and the Network itself is still in it’s beginning phases of development. If you are a Penn State student, the chances are that you haven’t yet heard of the Student Engagement Network, but you are likely to in the coming semester as things within the Network become solidified. As an intern, working at the forefront of this development is very exciting for me. I am able to see the decision-making processes that make an organization like this go from concept to reality. Specifically, I am doing a lot of work within The Grant Program, The Engagement Space, and the SEN website and app.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My major, Communication Arts and Sciences, is extremely broad, and I chose that deliberately. Through my studies within the Communication Arts and Sciences department I have obtained a lot of skills and learned a lot of theory surrounding interpersonal communication, rhetoric, deliberation, and organizational structure. This internship has given me the opportunity to put those skills and theory into practice, and figure out where the lines between academia and practice lie. As I head into my senior year at Penn State, I am excited to reevaluate the impact my academics have on my career now that I have some tangible experience to compare them to.

As I head into my senior year at Penn State, I am excited to reevaluate the impact my academics have on my career now that I have some tangible experience to compare them to.

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

Although my career plans are very much up in the air, being involved in student organizations at Penn State have given me a sincere interest in higher education, particularly within the context of student activities and student engagement. This internship has been my first experience actually working in a student activities office, and although I still am not sure about my future plans, I feel very optimistic about the possibility of working full-time in higher education and/or student activities in the future.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend the SEN internship for anyone looking to explore higher education or student engagement. I have been given the opportunity to continue my work throughout the school year, and I there are a multitude of other benefits to forming relationships with those who manage the student activities sector of Penn State.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Eduardo Trevino

Lux FTS
Up one level
Eduardo Trevino

Major: Economics
Minor: Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico

How did you learn about this opportunity?

One of the founding partners of LUX FTS is family and he also studied economics in college so when he found out I was studying economics at Penn State he offered me a chance to apply to the internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

It has been a great learning experience at work, from simple stuff like dressing professionally, to attending meetings with clients, and learning about problem solving when multiple companies are involved. I have also learned about product and project management; every morning I attend a meeting to see how everyone is doing, what is their next step on their project and if they need assistance. From a more technical side, I have learned the importance of tools such as Excel. While everyone has used Excel, it is unbelievable the amount of things you can get done once you learn more in-depth this tool.

There is a visible difference between my grades before my internship and after my internship. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

This is the second time I have interned at this organization. There is a visible difference between my grades before my internship and after my internship. Working here has taught me about doing things correctly and on time and bringing in mediocre projects or turning in projects after the deadline is unacceptable. Attending work everyday makes me more responsible and and has shown in my attendance of classes. So after great experience last year I believe my grades will continue to improve as I refine my sense of responsibility and take school more serious because I have realized that the skills learned in school are incredibly important.

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

I have realized my true passion is not in consulting but in areas like central banking. This does not mean I have wasted my time doing this internship because I have learned very valuable information about the financial system and more specifically Hedge Funds. These are not necessarily directly related to economics and central banking but are important enough that knowledge about them could have an impact regulation from central banking

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

This is a great experience if you are interested in accounting and IT but there is a very high learning curve if you do not have a finance/accounting/IT/CmpSc background

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Katie Hutton

HeidelbergCement Group
Up one level
Katie Hutton

Major: Mining Engineering & German
Hometown: Oakdale, PA
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

During the Penn State Fall Career Days, I spoke with a recruiter from Lehigh Hanson, a US based subsidiary of HeidelbergCement. Knowing that I study German as well, he thought it would be a perfect opportunity to combine my studies at their headquarters in Germany. He forwarded my resume to the Global Competence Center Materials department, and soon after a phone interview I was offered a position.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am an intern in the Aggregates Engineering department with HeidelbergCement. This department is a part of the Global Competence Center Materials (GCCM). I have gotten to apply some of my course work and experience from previous internships on engineering projects. During this internship I get to live in Heidelberg, Germany, which is a beautiful city with a lot of history. I am in a wonderful position to practice my German and travel to other cities. So far I have visited Munich, Cologne, the Black Forest, and have plans to visit Rothenberg, Neuschwanstein Castle, the Alps, and Lake Constance which borders Switzerland and Austria.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has really encouraged me to grow academically. At first, I felt that my assigned projects were above my head, but the more I worked with them, the more progress I made. So far I am quite pleased with how far I have gotten. This growth is giving me more confidence, not only to take on more challenging courses at Penn State, but to face problems in my career. I am training to be a problem solver, and I am becoming more and more confident about my ability to find solutions, no matter how intimidating the task feels at times.

This growth is giving me more confidence, not only to take on more challenging courses at Penn State, but to face problems in my career.

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

My career plans include working as a mining engineer in operations and becoming a professional engineer. I hope to eventually go back to school for an MBA or additional degrees in mining engineering or mineral processing. I also have goals to work my way up to management and executive positions. This experience has affirmed these goals. Working at the global headquarters has given me a special opportunity to work closely with top level engineering managers in positions that I aspire to be in. I have gotten to present my projects at a global engineering heads meeting, as well as during a global special projects teleconference. Activities like these are giving me a glimpse of what possibilities lay ahead.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I cannot recommend this particular experience to other Liberal Arts students, because it is very unique to someone in my position studying both engineering and German language. However, I would definitely recommend the city of Heidelberg. It is home to Germany's oldest university, so the city is filled with college students, creating a very fun and exciting atmosphere. The locals are friendly and happy to share their city. Studying in Heidelberg or nearby Mannheim would be spectacular experience.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Amanda Miller

Senator Ed Markey
Up one level
Amanda Miller

Major: International Politics
Minor: Arabic
Hometown: University Park, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I didn't use outside help or an advisor to find my internship, I found it myself. I knew I wanted experience in American politics and in a Congressional office, so I applied to Senator Markey's office since his views aligned with mine and was accepted.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I work at the Boston office, meaning the office handles mostly constituent issues. I am assigned to two staffers who handle immigration, criminal justice, housing issues, etc. They give me certain projects to work on such as writing memos, attending briefings, writing congressional inquiries, meeting with constituents, etc.

I hope to work in government or politics some day, so this internship has shown me how these offices work and allowed me to hone in on the issues I care most about.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have done a lot of research and writing for my internship, so it's definitely helped me academically. I've also become more politically aware and conscious about issues and legislation in the United States.

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

I hope to work in government or politics some day, so this internship has shown me how these offices work and allowed me to hone in on the issues I care most about. This internship has also allowed me to experience and adapt to a professional setting. I have also been able to learn more about other potential internships, such as with the DC office or with other federal agencies.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would because it will further your career and ability to obtain other internships.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Michael Sutnick

Congressman Josh Gottheimer
Up one level
Michael Sutnick

Major: Global and International Studies; Spanish
Hometown: Haworth, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Working for Congressman Gotthiemer has been a great honor. I applied online and had a phone interview the next day.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer, I am honored to have the opportunity of interning at the Washington D.C. office of New Jersey’s 5th District Congressman, Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Here, I will be writing memos on legislation that directly affects the residents in my district, giving tours of the Capital to constituents, and attending many important congressional hearings and briefings. I will be able to get hands on experience how decisions are made and the affects they have on the residents in my community, the people of our country and everyone in the world. This experience will give me useful skills on how to make critical decisions and how to read important legislation. All my memos and letters will eventually go to the Congressman himself.

This experience will give me useful skills on how to make critical decisions and how to read important legislation.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Capital Hill interns get special government access to unique hearings and briefing. I am taking advantage of this and attending The National Security Implications of Climate Change briefing and hopefully to James Comey’s testimony. Furthermore, since Congressman Gottheimer doesn’t have enough time to read every single piece of legislation, it is my job to do intensive reports on bills and amendments. Unlike most offices, the Congressman is serving his first term so this gives our interns the opportunity to work on more legislation. This previous week, I researched H.R. 1957, Safe Schools Improvement Act, an amendment that helps prevent bullying and harassment against LGBTQ students. I had to find out which Representatives sponsor and cosponsor the bill and carefully read through the entirety of the information.

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

I want to hopefully go to the Peace Corps after college. I believe that community service is the best way to give back to your community. I feel the best community service is public service and to ensure that your community is safe and in a good situation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this internship to anyone in any major. The experiences is like no other and you find great resources.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Saad Malik

Omega Notes
Up one level
Saad Malik

Major: Economics
Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I saw a job posting that had been shared on Facebook. Additionally, a friend knew about the firm and recommended it.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Working at a startup has been very rewarding and eye opening. I noticed stark differences between work here and my previous, more corporate experiences. The size of the work force is relatively small, with only a dozen or so employees, allowing you to develop meaningful professional relationship with everyone at the firm, including the founder and CEO himself. Even though the work environment was very relaxed, startups are like any other company when it comes to getting the job done. Punctuality is expected and your superiors want to see results. The experience has been the perfect mix of challenges and rewards.

Working at a startup has been very rewarding and eye opening.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The experience has been very beneficial to me academically. As an Economics major, you are inundated with a variety of different curricula. These can range from skills in mathematics, finance, computer programming etc. Working at a startup where you don’t have just one job duty, rather a range of tasks, was very rewarding, academically and professionally. I received ample practical experience for a lot of the topics that I had studied about in the classroom. The experience made me feel that I had picked a field of study that suited me, I would highly recommend a startup experience, especially those students who are pursuing a more general sort of major.

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

Currently, I have internship experience in a large corporate and soon, at the end of this internship, I would have experience in a startup environment. I hope that I will be compatible and effective in any sort of work culture that I may encounter in the future. I plan on seeking a full-time position as a Financial Analyst after graduation. I plan on increasing my skill set after this internship experience and frankly, throughout my professional career. I feel that success, in any field, is largely dependent on the quality of work that we do and the amount of time that we put in.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, it was highly rewarding, both academically and professionally.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Carly Hunter

Moonshine Archaeology Project
Up one level
Carly Hunter

Major: Anthropology
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Lancaster, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

During my Introduction to Archaeology course two years prior to my research experience, my professor, Dr. Kirk French, mentioned the project in class. He was using it as an example of humans leaving their mark on the environment. After mentioning that he wished to do a more extensive research project on illicit whiskey production in western North Carolina, I was intrigued. I emailed him after class expressing my interest of being a part of the project and kept in touch over the next year while the Moonshine Archaeology Project was taking off.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

For two weeks, Dr. Kirk French, three other students and myself, traveled to Maggie Valley, North Carolina to study the social and economic impacts of illicit whiskey production in the Cataloochee Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains. Through the owner of Maggie Valley’s first legal distillery, we were able to make many connections with people in the community who had experience or knowledge related to our research. Each day we were typically in the field from about 9am until 4pm. Our days consisted of ethnographic interviews with locals and people who were interested in our research. We also did two days of pedestrian survey in search of old stone furnaces which would have been used for illicit whiskey production, hidden from the public eye. Moreover, we also spent some time in the Waynesville Public Library looking through digitized newspapers from all over the area dating all the way back to the Prohibition years. All of these activities were documented through video footage, digital photographs, GoPRO and Drone video, as well as written records.

How did this experience impact you academically?

On the side of academics, this experience will introduce me to something I have never done before. In April 2018, I will be presenting my own research poster at an undergraduate exhibit here at Penn State, as well as at the Society for American Archaeology's (SAA) annual conference which is held in Washington, D.C. this year. This will teach me how to put together my own research, present it to people in an interesting and engaging manner, as well as strengthening my public speaking skills. I am both nervous and extremely excited for this experience.

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

My career goals are still undecided. More specifically, there are many routes my degree in anthropology could take me. Right now, I am leaning toward a career in Washington, D.C., whether that be in research, education, policy or government. I am very passionate about helping people and making a difference. I am not yet sure how I would want to make that difference or on what scale, but with anthropology, that goal is very possible. As far as this experience goes, I learned what it was like to work with people of a different culture than my own. That was beneficial for me simply because it solidified why I chose this major.

As far as this experience goes, I learned what it was like to work with people of a different culture than my own. 

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. This is a great way to make connections and begin networking with professors and students who are further in their careers than you might be. I learned a lot about people that are different than myself, I got a better sense of where I want my career to go, and I had a great time in the process.

For more information on research opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Brandon Levenson

ESPN 980
Up one level
Brandon Levenson

Major: Economics
Minor: Business Liberal Arts
Hometown: Potomac, MD

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship program through my Economics advisor Lori Campbell

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was great, although I am listed as the finance intern for the office my internship has touched on almost all aspects of the work there. From accounting to sales to management, I was able to do a little bit of it all in addition to mainly finance. This is great for me because I am not 100% certain what field I want to go into, so this touches on various fields with mainly focusing on what I am very interested in which is Finance.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I believe that this program has helped me out tremendously academically because it has instilled work characteristics that will carry over to the classroom. From working with a team to get tasks done, to meeting deadlines, to balancing multiple tasks, I feel that I have improved on all of these aspects. I believe that these traits I have worked on will better myself as a person and as a student at Penn State.

I believe that this program has helped me out tremendously academically because it has instilled work characteristics that will carry over to the classroom.

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

I don't know exactly what my career plans are thus far because as I stated earlier, I am not entirely sure what field I would like to pursue. What I can say is this experience has tremendously opened my eyes to the amount of work and dedication I have to put in as an employee to work my way up in a company. You are never going to start as the CFO of the company and it takes tremendous work ethic and dedication to get to a point where you can say your goals are completed and met.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend it because it has tremendously helped me in my efforts in becoming a better student and a better employee. It has given me the opportunity to focus on the little things that can make you better and realize what other skills are just as important to develop.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Amanda Beck

Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Up one level
Amanda Beck

Major: Psychology
Minor: Marine Science
Hometown: University Park

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about the type of internship through watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel when I was young. I have since been fascinated with marine life. I knew I wanted to further my education this summer and get to experience new things so I thought I would research online about open positions. I was telling a family friend about what my summer plans would be and she recommended I apply to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium near Tampa, FL where she grew up. Once I looked up the aquarium I knew this was something I wanted to do.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Interning at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium has been an experience of a lifetime. I can't even begin to explain how much I've learned from this opportunity. I started in the education department, helping take inventory of education supplies and prepping for summer camps. I worked on developing a camp that had been previously created but was missing all curriculum. From this work I developed a camp called Dinos of the Sea; a camp all about turtles, prehistoric dinosaurs, and other research-based topics that incorporate fun and learning for these full week camps. I never realized how much researching skills would come in use during real life projects. I also received many lessons in customer service, by dealing with parents of the campers, aquarium guests, and campers. During the day, I get stopped a minimum of 5 times while trying to complete a task or supervising campers by public aquarium guests asking about the resident animals and rehabbing guest animals. Another very important lesson I’ve learned is how critical wording can be, working in a field that has been under much scrutiny lately can cause many problems. Many conservationists and people who believe captive animals are being mistreated come to in a sense “spy” on how we treat our animals. Using the wrong phrasing can mean something very different to different people and that could be spread very quickly and cause immense repercussions. This is just the tip of the ice-berg, I’ve learned an incredible amount of knowledge about so many different topics, I am very thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have been impacted in a huge way academically. My internship experience has taught me more than I ever hoped to learn in one summer. I have completed tasks far beyond what my internship description called for, such as completing a week lesson plan about dinosaurs which involved a lot of research and a lot of extra time. I also became certified in scuba diving, a long time goal for me, and have already used my skills to join the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Dive Team. I get to help take care of the animals and clean their pools. Another part of my daily job is talking to aquarium guests; answering any questions, giving directions, and recommendations to tourists, this has given me a different perspective for dealing with customer service. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to keep all of the knowledge I've gathered.

My internship experience has taught me more than I ever hoped to learn in one summer. 

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

My career goals include working with my psychology major in the medical field while I establish myself in graduate school to receive my doctorate in neurology. I plan to use my minor in marine science to research and help with shark conservation throughout my life. I believe that this experience has truly helped to further my education and maturity in a way that I would not have received otherwise. I was thrown into this experience in a whirlwind after applying to this particular program on a whim. I have never been very independent or even had a job. I felt very inexperienced and naive going into this, now two months later I feel as though I am a very different person; I have gained a sense of responsibility that I never thought I would have. I am very aware that everything I do falls on me, whether that be an intern responsibility or personal. This job has taught me what it's like to be an adult, stuck in the routine but at a job I love. I will admit getting up at 5 am, five days a week has been very difficult for me. I am at the aquarium a minimum of nine hours a day, and I can honestly say I've never committed to anything that rigorous before. This internship has also confirmed a few suspicions of mine; before starting this I had been pretty sure I wanted to change my major to work solely on marine sciences, even if that meant relocating permanently and changing everything I had worked so hard to accomplish. At this point, half way through, I've realized that while I will forever have a passion for this, it's not my ideal career. I will continue my minor of marine science to pursue my passion for shark conservation, but I will not be changing my major. I will continue the path I'm on, for now, grateful for having this experience.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this program to anyone in the interest of marine sciences. To be completely honest if you are looking for a strictly liberal arts internship, this is probably not the correct one for you. Most of the tasks you do will be marine science based.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Beza Tirfe Yoseph

CIEE: Shanghai, Summer Business and Culture
Up one level
Beza Tirfe Yoseph

Major: Economics and Labor & Employment Relations
Hometown: Annandale

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I attended the Penn State Education Abroad Fair because I was very interested in studying abroad but had no idea where to start.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I studied in Shanghai for a month and focused on how Chinese culture influences law and business within the country. Our goal was to understand the Chinese perspective by traveling, communicating with locals, and studying influential documents, like the Chinese Constitution and the official People's Republic of China Communist framework. Fully jumping out of my comfort zone and taking this trip was such an amazing and fulfilling experience; the freedom and ability to explore a new culture was exactly the hands on experience I was looking for. From meeting the other American students in my cohort to speaking to the local students, I was able to teach and learn new things from every single person I had the opportunity to speak to. Studying abroad was such a memorable experience and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to go.

From meeting the other American students in my cohort to speaking to the local students, I was able to teach and learn new things from every single person I had the opportunity to speak to.

How did this experience impact you academically?

From improving my communication and public speaking skills to solving large and small-scale problems in extenuating circumstances, I believe this study abroad experience has prepared me in ways I could not even picture. The course I took while in China focused heavily on public speaking and presentations while showing an understanding of a combination of reading material and field trips that I plan on utilizing both in and outside of the classroom. Although traveling on our own around the city was an exciting option for us, there were challenges that we faced because of the language barrier and general lack of familiarity with the area. My cohort members and I did not let these issues hinder our experience, and we banded together and studied Chinese, memorized bus routes, and were open and receptive to locals and their assistance. I definitely plan to set many small and reachable goals for myself while heading back to school, like I did in China, to stay on track with my academics.

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

After I graduate I plan on attending law school and entering the corporate law sector to assist businesses and companies. Going to China helped me understand how global our economy is and how important understanding and respecting other countries' business practices can be. I think this experience has given me an edge when it comes to being able to work with and understand a huge global power like China. From the traditional business practices they have followed for hundreds of years like "Guanxi" and Mienza" to the growth of their technological economy thanks to the younger generation, China is a force that cannot be ignored and the importance of showing an understanding of business practices can be a huge edge to any business looking to expand globally.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend that all Liberal Arts students take the opportunity to study abroad. The College of the Liberal Arts has the privilege of being a very flexible entity when it comes to figuring out where we fit into the grand scheme of the workforce. When you take the opportunity to go abroad and see other cultures, jobs, people, and opportunities, you truly open yourself up to other fields and departments that you may have never even thought of!

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jonathan Muth

KPMG
Up one level
Jonathan Muth

Major: Applied Spanish, Accounting and Finance
Hometown: Ellicott City, MD
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Throughout my Penn State experience, I have been exposed to countless networking opportunities to meet with recruiters and other professionals to learn first-hand about the diverse experiences in the business world. These events ranged from etiquette dinners to Excel workshops, but each one provided valuable insight into exploring my interests after Penn State. I first learned about KPMG from a mentor at Penn State, which led to office visits and interviews to participate in their leadership program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The internship experience consisted of 8 weeks of training and client service, primarily in New York City. However, when I decided to step up to ask for more work, I was selected to serve a Fortune 30 client in Florida and received a hands-on experience dealing with one of the major issues in the accounting world today. I was able to experience what it would be like to work at KPMG in Advisory, especially regarding the expectations clients have for KPMG's service. Although this was my first experience in the accounting field, I believe my Penn State education prepared me to learn and adapt to the issues at hand at KPMG. For example, I spent most of my internship working in a small team, applying my strengths to best serve our goal of providing a service to the client. The most important attribute to our team's success was communication, such as knowing when to ask questions and how to present your findings. I practiced both of these in each Spanish class I took in the College of Liberal Arts.

I now have the opportunity to return to Penn State and apply what I have learned in the professional environment to the academic environment. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

I now have the opportunity to return to Penn State and apply what I have learned in the professional environment to the academic environment. The similarities include working in groups, working within a project that has a final product, presenting the final product, and receiving feedback on my performance. The ability to continue to experience these aspects during the internship will prepare me for my final year at Penn State. However, the differences also proved important to the experience because they demonstrated other ways I can make the most of my last year. For example, the professional environment required me to be on the job consistently for a long period, while academic environment might flow more depending on upcoming exams. If I spread out the studying required for an exam consistently over a longer period, similar to the professional environment, I might perform better on the exam and limit the stress induced.

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

I believe my long-term career goals lie with KPMG, so the internship was the start of my career with the firm. A major part of the experience was learning about the different opportunities KPMG has to over, such as global rotations and career advancements. The global opportunities would be especially important to achieving my career plans because I hope to combine my interest in Accounting and Spanish one day by working in the KPMG Madrid office. However, my path to KPMG must begin by proving myself to the firm through hard work and learning quickly so I can prepare myself for the opportunity to provide excellent service to clients in a foreign language. The problems European firms face can be unique to problems I helped clients solve during my internship, but the ability to adapt to unique environments will allow me to solve those problems.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend the experience, even if students do not have an accounting background, because KPMG at its core is a service-oriented firm. Service requires diverse backgrounds and unique skill sets. Although it may be an accounting firm, each project requires insight that accountants cannot provide. I also recommend the internship experience in general before students graduate because it will help students explore what they want to do for a career after Penn State in an out-of-classroom environment.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Ross Maietta

Textron
Up one level
Ross Maietta

Major: Economics, Finance
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out via the Smeal College of Business job site. I received an interview in the next couple days.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was in Augusta, Georgia at Textron Specialized Vehicles. I worked in the credit department as a Credit Analyst. I worked directly with portfolio managers for the Jacobsen product line to perform customer maintenance duties. This related directly to contacting customers and providing a better purchasing experience. I also began an initiative to consolidate the Jacobsen Customer master data sheet by identifying duplicate accounts and inactive customers. My final project resulted in me traveling to Indianapolis to the Dixie Chopper headquarters to map all the control plans for Accounts Receivables. I also was required to complete Leadership Development courses and participate in an LDP conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I gained valuable life experience that I simply could not get from a classroom experience. I learned the entire Order to Cash process from invoicing to cash hitting our lockbox. I was also able to learn two ERP systems while working at Textron. I am now proficient in both SAP and Oracle from my experience. Also, I have an enhanced knowledge of the Microsoft business applications. I now know how to use Microsoft Visio and Access, which I previously had no experience with. Lastly, I was able to gain soft skills, from giving presentations and asking co-workers for assistance with my projects.

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

My career path begins with my graduation in Spring 2018. I plan to be in a full-time finance related position and start building my experience. I would ultimately like to be in an economic consulting firm, analyzing firm to firm litigation. I think my experience with Textron in corporate finance has prepared me for this type of analysis and knowledge needed for that position. In the long run, I would like to go back to school and obtain my J.D. and work in corporate law. I was actually able to meet and talk to our general counsel at Textron, and he told me about his career and gave me recommendations. I would want to end up working directly for a corporation as a legal representative.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I found this experience to be worth while. I gained valuable corporate finance experience while also utilizing leadership skills and networking with employees and other interns around different business units. It was also interesting to learn a new area.

The Paterno Fellows Program has been extremely valuable to my success at this internship. 

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program has been extremely valuable to my success at this internship. It has taught me to be a leader both in and outside of the classroom and this reflected in my performance at Textron. I stood out from my peers as someone who takes initiative and completes work diligently. I was lucky enough to already come in with good time management and prioritization skills, which my peers lacked. These made me a valuable asset to my supervisor and the department I worked in. I also could not have done this without the financial support of the College of the Liberal Arts and the Virginia Todd Chapel Executive Internship Program.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Emily Bailey

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Up one level
Emily Bailey

Major: Economics; International Politics
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

As a recipient of the The Virginia Todd Chapel Executive Internship Program, I first heard about this opportunity through my counselor in the Economics Department. I also researched Enrichment Funding opportunities on the Career Enrichment Network webpage once I received an internship offer.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience as an intern in the FDIC's Financial Management Scholars Program. I have received amazing on-the-job training, and have participated in three real bank examinations throughout the Baltimore-D.C. area. I am interning in the Risk Management Division, so I get to travel to different financial institutions every 3-4 weeks and work with other FDIC examiners to look at things like capital, liquidity, market risk, and asset quality of the various banks. I am doing real financial analysis and bank accounting which is very interesting. On a daily basis, I am constantly learning how to analyze different financial documents and apply them to the bigger picture in order to assess each bank's overall condition. Everyone knows that their money is insured by the FDIC, but not many people know what goes on behind the scenes to make that possible. In order for banks to stay insured in the event of another crisis, their risk profile must be routinely examined by the FDIC. I love the fact that I am participating in meaningful work to help promote confidence in our nation's financial system.

I love the fact that I am participating in meaningful work to help promote confidence in our nation's financial system.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I think this internship experience with the FDIC has had an immense impact on me academically. I am taking all my knowledge that I have acquired in my numerous economics classes at Penn State, and applying them on the job doing real economic and financial analysis. In looking at the financial condition of the various banks that we examine, I must always keep in mind the underlying trends in the overall economy, on a local and national scale. My classes at Penn State have given me the foundation necessary to understand what I'm doing on a daily basis during my internship. I have put my skills from class into practice doing real-life work, and I believe that after doing this internship I have a much greater understanding of the financial system, the banking industry, and the economy as a whole, which will help me in my future academic endeavors.

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

My career goals have shifted since I started this internship. I never thought that I would work in a finance or accounting related field, however I have thoroughly enjoyed applying my passion for economics during this internship. I have worked extremely hard this summer to prove myself as a strong and capable worker, and I am hoping to receive a permanent position at the conclusion of the internship. If selected, I would work for the FDIC as a Financial Institution Specialist and eventually become a Commissioned Risk Examiner. There are numerous opportunities for career advancement within the FDIC, and I love everything about the corporation. In addition to working as a bank examiner, once in the corporation there are several opportunities to work in a more specialized field like capital markets or economic analysis. My ultimate goal is to stay with the FDIC after graduation and launch my career from there.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would 100% recommend this internship with the FDIC to other Economics students in the College of the Liberal Arts. I believe my economics courses through the College of the Liberal Arts have given me an invaluable education and skill set which not all majors seem to provide. This internship is an incredible opportunity that provides real, meaningful work, not just administrative tasks that are common in many other internships. The corporation truly values all employees, including interns. In addition, the FDIC prioritizes former interns in hiring permanent positions.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Gabriel Conger

Social Impact 360
Up one level
Gabriel Conger

Major: Communication Arts & Sciences
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Kensington, MD

How did you learn about this opportunity?

My academic advisor told me about the opportunity to gain academic credit while interning.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Interning at Social Impact 360 (SI360), I am working on communication and administrative tasks. SI360 is a non-profit located in downtown D.C. It is focused on providing the necessary resources and training for college students who want to be social entrepreneurs. SI360 aims to fix social problems that currently exist and to help mentor students at schools to help them meet their entrepreneurial goals. It has been eye opening to see how a non-profit operates. During a typical work day my supervisor tells me what I need to do for the day and also to be aware of any current developments so I am informed about the organization.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me in terms of connecting what I learn in school to what is expected in the work force. I learned needed practical skills that I would not have learned in school. Drafting reports helped me understand how people view my work outside of the classroom. The deadlines for some of the work I did was more fast paced than typical school work.

I see now how the different sectors of a business are interconnected and the constant communication that must occur between employees.

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

I hope to be working in marketing or business development in the near future. This experience did impact me. Although it is non-profit it still exposed me to how a business is run. I see now how the different sectors of a business are interconnected and the constant communication that must occur between employees.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience. It gives you needed experience.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Panini Pandya

Long Way Home
Up one level
Panini Pandya

Major: International Relations and Spanish
Minor: Human Geography
Hometown: Allentown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I encountered the NGO Management internship with Long Way Home through my Liberal Arts Network Simplicity account. As a freshman I was utterly lost as to how to find a summer internship, but with the help of the Career Enrichment Network at the College of Liberal Arts I was able to find and apply for the internship that best complemented my studies.

Tell us a little bit about your experience. 

This summer I worked for Long Way Home, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit operating in San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala. LWH uses sustainable design and materials to construct self-sufficient schools that promote education, employment, and environmental stewardship. Their pilot educational complex, Técnico Chixot, currently hosts 132 students k-9. The entire campus is constructed using alternative methods and materials including rammed-earth filled tires and polypropylene grain sacks, trash and glass bottle bricks, and off-grid power water and waste systems. At present, over 430 tons of garbage and 15,500 tires have been transformed into eleven classrooms, a dry-composting latrine and a library. Moreover, LWH employs 18 teachers and 20 greenbuilders, all of whom are local Comalapans. As an NGO Management intern I was responsible for various administrative tasks including grant writing, donor relations, fundraising pushes, website management, and report writing. At the beginning of the week I would be given a few tasks and their corresponding deadlines. However, I worked very closely with the project manager and thus I always had the opportunity to bounce questions and comments off of her throughout the day. Beyond office life, I also occasionally worked on the construction site to learn more about greenbuilding and how Long Way Home achieves its mission of sustainability. These experiences in the field were vitally important as I had the chance to have more personal conversations with the construction workers and gain insight into local life. Furthermore, because school was in session during my stay I also worked a bit with the teachers in regards to curriculum development. The teachers at Técnico Chixot teach beyond the mandated national curriculum so that their students have the tools to combat poverty and become the leaders of their community. However, it takes time and funds to develop an enhanced curriculum for each grade level and currently the teachers are in the midst of that process. From organic gardening to environmentally friendly construction methods, these teachers hope to teach local youth about the inextricable link between health and physical well being as well as their duty as global citizens. These new courses will also include a vocational school which is projected to open in 2018 and offer coursework in carpentry, masonry, mechanics, welding, and horticulture. The hope is to cultivate a new generation of entrepreneurs, uniquely skilled and equipped to be leaders with innovative solutions for the future.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship strengthened my Spanish speaking capabilities, my writing skills, and my understanding of foreign political and cultural landscapes. As a Spanish major, being thrown into a small Guatemalan community was the perfect language immersion experience. I had to use my language skills to both navigate life in Comalapa, whether it was grocery shopping in the market or riding the public buses for weekend travel, and communicate with my co-workers. I also grew as a writer. Over my two-month stay I wrote five formal grants, countless letters of interest, various donor letters, and Long Way Home's 2016 Annual Report. All of these tasks gave me practical experience in different writing capacities. While grants mandated that I focus on statistics and outcomes, donor letters were more centered on narrative. Alternatively, the annual report was a careful mix of compelling narrative and easy to digest statistical information. Furthermore, these writing tasks allowed me to experiment with different platforms such as email, written letter, graphically designed reports, and plain academic reports. Lastly, I grained invaluable insight into the cultural and political landscape of Guatemala and the larger Central American region. Through my conversations with my friends in Comalapa and my travels, I had the unique opportunity to converse with individuals around the country about the political situation as well as developmental challenges. While most seemed to agree that limited educational paths and employment opportunities were the greatest challenges to development, there was a clear division in opinion regarding the government between the indigenous Maya population and the ladino (mixed-race) population. The former was much more distrustful of political authorities while the latter held largely positive views. This difference in opinion captured my interest and the more I investigated the more explanations I found. In short, this divergence stems from a host of cultural, socioeconomic, and historical roots.

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

As an aspirant professional in the field on international relations, NGO management was one of the many career paths I am considering post graduation. I selected this internship with LWH to determine whether I enjoyed this kind of in-country field work. I not only loved my work with LWH, but these past few months confirmed my impression that I would like to focus on Latin America. LWH ignited a passion for community-building within me and I would be interested in working as a project-manager for a similarly oriented NGO. Furthermore, because I had such a wonderful time in Guatemala, I would like to work abroad, whether that be for an NGO or for some-sort of diplomatic purpose, for at least a portion of my professional career. My people to people interactions with Guatemalans also reaffirmed my interest in a potential career in diplomacy/foreign relations. I would love to work within the State Department, USAID in particular, to explore how the US helps countries like Guatemala achieve their development goals.

These past few months confirmed my impression that I would like to focus on Latin America

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this experience to Liberal Arts students studying Spanish and another social science. An internship with Long Way Home not only entails professional skill-building, but also exposure to a beautiful country with a rich culture and history. Whether interns are learning about green-building, compiling financials for a report, or working on curriculum development with the teachers, they are sure to gain valuable skills, perspective, and knowledge.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program exposed me to the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Center and it was though the center that I encountered this incredible opportunity. Furthermore, the Paterno Fellows Program helped me secure enrichment funding for my stay abroad. Above all, however, I am not sure I would have pursued such an ambitious internship if I had not had the support of the Paterno Fellows Program. Initially I was hesitant to pick up and move to Guatemala for two months, but I knew in the back of my mind that this kind of work is what Fellows are supposed to do. Fellows are supposed to jump on new learning opportunities, explore the world, and think with a global perspective.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Samantha Mayhew

The IRTS Summer Fellowship
Up one level
Samantha Mayhew

Major: Psychology and Advertising
Minor: Spanish and International Studies
Hometown: Highland, MD

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about it from an email from the College of Communications.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Surprises, huge media conglomerates, avid startups, multi-million dollar budgets, unprecedented access, 33 fellows, 40 interns and New York City – sound like the description of a packed (albeit plotless) blockbuster movie? Add in a storyline and that was my summer. Over the past two months, through the IRTS (International Radio and Television) Fellowship Program, I was given a thorough introduction to the whirlwind that is the media Industry today. There were 33 fellows selected from a national pool of 1,300 aspiring media professionals. Ranging from rising seniors to graduate level professionals- we were brought into NYC to live together, intern at different giants within the media industry, and soak up as much information as possible. Media Boot Camp We started off our time in NYC with possibly the busiest week of my life. We visited 10 companies, spoke with hundreds of people, and received an influx of information that I’m still processing. Highlights included running into Macklemore at Spotify, taking in the amazing views of the Hudson River from Google’s conference room and introducing ourselves in front of 400 execs for the IRTS Newsmaker Breakfast at The Pierre. We even had the opportunity to sit in the live audience at Good Morning America and then speak with the anchors after the show. (Yes, I did get a selfie with Michael Strahan.) From Nielsen and Facebook to JPMorgan Chase- we checked it out. The last day we participated in a speed dating style, mock interview session at HBO, which while nerve wracking, after ten interviews, my ‘elevator pitch’ had never been better. GroupM With our first week over, it was time to start our full-time internships. The 33 fellows split ways and headed off to different companies. I interned in the Broadcast Media Department of GroupM. Through GroupM, I learned more about the behind the scenes processes for media and advertising than I was even aware existed. I started off going through ‘Broadcast Media School’ and from there assisted Media Buyers and Client Service Directors in my department. Each day was packed, but two major highlights were attending the Mets game while sitting in the NBC suite and visiting Bloomberg. Overall, my summer was spent dashing between the different GroupM offices for weekly “Intern Lunch and Learns,” shadowing my supervisors at meetings with representatives from Fox, NBC, etc., and competing in the “Battle of the Interns.” Battle of the Interns GroupM’s 40 interns were split into 8 teams and given the task of creating a $40 million yearlong media plan for a real client. My team worked closely with an advisor from the Metavision division of GroupM and spent hours poring over new research, old slide decks, budget sheets and more. The project culminated in a presentation to the client representative and several executives from within GroupM. The Indescribable IRTS Community Through all of this, the IRTS program continued to be a defining aspect of my summer. ‘Media Boot Camp’ week may have been over but the events continued. Each week we visited a new company, heard a new speaker, or partook in a different networking event- sometimes we would do all three. Once we even went lawn bowling. Another time an IRTS board member invited all 33 fellows for a barbecue at his house overlooking the Hudson River. We were also tasked with the goal of setting up at least six informational interviews with past fellows or members of the IRTS Board of Directors. I was constantly surprised by how willing everyone was to make time for an intern and the level of insight to their career advice. However, most important was the class of 2017 IRTS Summer Fellows. From helping edit my job applications to getting dinners after a grueling day- these were the people by my side during this incredible summer. Life isn’t always a group of energized people thrown together in a room intent upon being the best versions of themselves- but that’s what IRTS is. This group has raised my standards for what I expect from other people. Overflowing with activity, new places, and inspiring people- this summer dramatically shaped my future career path and is certainly one I will never forget.

This helped shape my desire to combine my passion and psychology into a future career.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This helped shape my desire to combine my passion and psychology into a future career. I was exposed to multiple companies and careers. I discovered jobs within the field that I was not previously aware existed. As I return for my senior year, I am going to approach my academics with a whole new perspective.

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

After graduation, I intend to work at a company within the media industry. I am currently most interested in media or advertising agencies. This summer made me aware of the industry from a far more holistic perspective.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely! I was continually stunned by how open and welcoming everyone involved with the IRTS Foundation was. I made connections this summer that I believe will continue to impact my life for years to come.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Paterno Fellows helped give me the confidence to pursue an opportunity like this. Moreover, the education I've received from the Paterno Fellows program has helped shape the way I interpret new information I've acquired this summer.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Sydney Eckert

The Washington Redskins
Up one level
Sydney Eckert

Major: Economics
Hometown: Kennett Square, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I have always had a passion for sports, but I did not know a lot about the career opportunities in the industry. Prior to beginning my search for an internship, I learned about in the sports industry through the PSU Sports Business Club. The club brought in speakers who gave me an idea of what I needed to do, in order to land my dream internship. I applied for over 40 internships, most of which I found on Teamworkonline.com. In addition, I was constantly on my computer searching for internships. I researched various sports organizations to see what opportunities they had for students. Essentially, I wasn't going to rest until I was offered an internship.

Essentially, I wasn't going to rest until I was offered an internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer, I interned with The Washington Redskins in their Charitable Foundation. My main goal was to assist in the preparation and implementation of the 2017 Redskins Training Camp. I worked closely with the full-time staff to plan events that would take place during camp. From Youth Football Day to Kid's Day, we worked to create fun ways to giveback to the people in the Richmond area. In addition, I assisted in the execution of several other programs that the Charitable Foundation held including the Special Olympics Kick-off event. It was great to see the end result after all the work that went into planning the events!

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have certainly grown through this experience. My work with The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation was like nothing I had done before. I learned quickly how to operate in a high stress and fast paced environment. We would spend a lot of time planning events, but they would almost never go according to plan. I could have known everything about the event, but in order to succeed on event days I needed to be flexible. During Training Camp, there were numerous departments onsite that had separate events happening simultaneously. It was important not to get overwhelmed by all the moving parts and focus on the task at hand. In the end, this internship increased my knowledge of event planning and of the sports industry as a whole.

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

I want to further my education by attending Graduate School. In addition, I will continue searching for jobs/internships within in the sports industry. The energy and spirit that is associated with professional sports teams make for an exciting work atmosphere. This internship has made me realize that the sports industry is where I want to be.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes! I would recommend this experience to anyone that is interested in the sports industry. It is a great way to see the various jobs and opportunities within an NFL team.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Samantha Post

PopUp House
Up one level
Samantha Post

Major: Global & International Studies
Hometown: Basking Ridge, NJ
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

While studying abroad in France during the Spring semester, I found a summer internship to prolong my abroad experience. My study abroad University had an internship adviser who was helpful and active in helping me find an internship complementing what I wanted to the company’s desired profile. However, I was very active in this process. I wrote multiple “lettres de motivation” or cover letters, which were not only adapted to each specific internship but also to the structure and norm in France. I would recommend anyone looking for an internship outside of the USA to use local resources - local friends, advisers, professors - to ensure that your process of searching for an internship is corresponding with the local culture’s process of finding qualified candidates!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was not what I expected from a French company. I worked in a startup with approximately 40 employees, and 80% of which were under 30 years old. Therefore, the environment was very young and informal. We have a two-hour lunch break where we eat lunch together on the roof of our office, play ping-pong or work out. Another (good) surprise was that the work that I did as an intern was important and useful for the entire company. As they are in the middle of expanding internationally, I worked with the IT team, engineering team, sales team, and thermal design team to create English tools for our clients and professional partners. As I am reaching the end of my internship, I do not have the impression that I did work for a company. Instead, I have the impression that I worked with friends and acquaintances to improve something we created and continue to create ourselves.

My internship experience has been a window to the things in international business that are used in practice, and this has complemented and will continue to compliment my theoretical studies. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

Within my Global Studies major, I am specializing in international business. The study of cultural differences and their interactions through international business is something I am very interested in, and therefore my internship experience as an American helping a French company expand internationally fits right in with my academic career. As everyone knows, there are things we learn in theory that are not used in practice, and vice versa. My internship experience has been a window to the things in international business that are used in practice, and this has complemented and will continue to compliment my theoretical studies. It has provided me with a frame to analyze theoretical concepts, and having this additional perspective will help me get more out of what I learn in the classroom.

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

To be frank, as a rising junior I do not know what I want to do with my career. But, as my time at my internship comes to an end, I am reflecting a lot on what I enjoyed, what I was good at, and what was a challenge. I know that sales and customer communication was not my strong point, nor was it something I enjoyed. However, the internal communication and working with my team members to accompany them in the international process was enjoyable, challenging, and interesting. All in all, I loved working with the challenges of international communication and connection but the business aspect was not especially inspiring. With this in mind, I will strive for my next experience to be more focused in internal communication, but in the political or non-profit sector.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I strongly believe that there is no better experience than one that pushes you far out of your comfort zone. Whether you want to accompany PopUp House in its next steps, or if you are considering an internship in South America or Asia, I believe the challenge of learning a new culture, new language, and how a business, organization or administration works in that environment will challenge, teach and reward you far more than any experience within our borders. Yes, I recommend this experience to every Liberal Art student.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Erika Daniel

Air Liquide USA
Up one level
Erika Daniel

Major: Labor and Employment Relations
Minor: Business in the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Westfield, NJ
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I researched some companies and available opportunities before attending Penn State Career Days. I saw that Air Liquide was recruiting for HR Interns, so I stopped by their booth and talked to one of the recruiters. I had a great conversation, which led to an interview on campus that week. A few weeks later I was offered an internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

For my internship experience, I worked in Talent Management within Human Resources. My main individual project revolved around career mapping. Career mapping is visually displaying career progression / development. This is something that employees have been requesting in survey feedback. I worked on Career Maps for a HR Director role, Plant Manager role, Safety Specialist role, and a Commercial Director role. I had to research information and interview employees in these roles to find out what was necessary for an individual to move up to these roles. I also worked closely with Employee Relations. For a group project, I worked with 2 other HR Interns to create a Human Resources Toolkit for employees. This Toolkit is an electronic resource that contains important company information, contacts, and commonly reviewed policies. The Toolkit is completed and will be live on one of our internal websites shortly.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience showed me real world experience. I was able to take what I have learned in the classroom into my internship. I am now able to take what I have learned from my internship back into my academic learning at Penn State. I definitely learned a lot about what areas of HR interested me more than others. In some of my LER classes, we touched on different HR roles and areas. After my experience, I can say my interests are in Talent Acquisition and Talent Management. However, I am open to exploring other areas of HR. It was very beneficial for me to have this great opportunity working for a big company. I have definitely grown professionally throughout my 10 weeks at Air Liquide and I learned a lot.

Having this great internship experience on my resume is going to be a great talking point in any future interviews.

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

My career goal now is to secure a full time job offer for after graduation in May 2018. I would love to be considered for a position within Air Liquide. I love the company culture and the emphasis on safety. I also plan on attending Penn State Fall Career Days in September. This experience greatly impacted my career goals and plans. Having this great internship experience on my resume is going to be a great talking point in any future interviews. I will transfer my knowledge and learning experiences from my internship into my career. I also would love to secure a job in Human Resources for a large company.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I definitely would recommend this experience to other students. Having great internship experiences will help tremendously when looking for full time jobs. I also was able to experience a real work setting and working on real projects that will benefit the company. Internships may show you what you are interested in and what you are not.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Kelley Gaffney

Social Vision and Perception Lab
Up one level
Kelley Gaffney

Major: Criminology/Psychology
Hometown: Allentown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had applied for the Erickson grant and was not awarded it and thus began researching on my own for other opportunities. After receiving several emails about Enrichment Funding for internships I looked into it and discovered it could also be used for research and thus applied for the grant.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During this experience, I went into my lab on a weekly basis or completed the tasks on my own to finish the experiment so that we will be able to run it on a participant pool of Psychology 100 students in the Fall. I started by expanding the literature that I had on the conceptual idea so that more background knowledge could be obtained. I then looked into the scales that I planned to test the participants on to see how highly they scored on Dark Triad Traits, these were the Mach IV, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory-40, and the Levenson’s Self-Report Psychopathy Scale. These scales were then reverse correlated and coded into an experiment. Then, with the assistance of my grad student I chose neutral faces to include in the experiment as those that were rated on a 7-point Likert scale for their emotional residue regarding either happy or angry emotions. Additionally, I used faces from Dr. Holtzman Faceaurus database. I used the faces of those high and low on dark triad traits and asked how much these faces seemed to represent these dark triad traits. This concluded the creation of the experiment and it was tested and thus ready to run in the coming weeks when the Fall semester begins.

It pushed me to learn how to create a functioning experiment which is a skill that I previously knew nothing about.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically because it pushed me to learn how to create a functioning experiment which is a skill that I previously knew nothing about. I was able to learn about the different computer systems I used and how to program my scales into them. I was also able to insert neutral faces and allow participants to choose from different options and have the data recorded. This was all knowledge that I previously did not have. Additionally, I expanded my understanding of the research behind the Dark Triad traits and behind neutral faces and emotional residue. I was familiar with these topics due to creating the conceptual idea of this experiment but gained a much deeper knowledge through the literature research that this research allowed me to investigate.

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

My career goals and plans are to be in the Federal Bureau of Investigation and work in the Behavioral analysis unit, or work in a similar position somewhere in the government. This experience impacted that because the study of the dark triad allowed me to learn more about traits such as narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. These are all disorders that I feel would strongly relate to my field and be studied by those in the field quite frequently. In addition, learning how they react to neutral faces and their accuracy at identifying emptions in these faces is something that could be used in research of the behavior of criminals. Overall I feel that this experiment relates directly to my future line of work that I hope to be in.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would certainly recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts student. Having the grant money allowed me to research something that I previously would not have been able to create an experiment for and collect data on. I feel that it was a application process that was easy to complete and any questions I had were easily answered. Overall this is a valued experience that has advanced me in many different areas.

For more information on research for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Edward Holroyd

Bolton Partners, Inc
Up one level
Edward Holroyd

Major: Economics, Finance
Minor: Mathematics, Statistics
Hometown: Camp Hill, PA
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I received information about this position through the Penn State Actuarial Science Club. The Company sent the Club an email about the internship position. 

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was involved in two major projects during the internship. First, I was tasked with compiling a resource document for responding to requests for proposal. Requests for proposal frequently ask similar questions. It is tedious to search through past responses. A better approach is to create a resource document that contains extensive information on established procedures for pension and OPEB valuations, experience study, specifics questions that appeared in the past along with their response, common questions to ask before bidding on a project, and a list of clients served within the past several years. In addition, I participated in an experience study for a large municipal pension system. I constructed confidence intervals to evaluate the reasonableness of current assumptions when compared to the actual experience.

This experience offers me an opportunity to appreciate the application of materials learned in classroom in the business world.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience offers me an opportunity to appreciate the application of materials learned in classroom in the business world. While I was on the experience study team, the economic assumption was reviewed. During the review process, we estimated future inflation rates and the real investment returns on a blend of equity and fixed income assets. One benchmark we used for estimating inflation is the Treasury Inflation Breakeven Rate, which is the difference between TIPS yields and regular Treasury yields. I also performed duration calculations for the future liability payments of the pension system as part of the experience study. I was excited to see that the things I learn at Penn State are relevant in business and that I was also prepared.

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

After graduation, I would like to pursue a career in financial services or risk management. If I choose risk management as my career, then I would be motivated to pursue an actuarial designation, most likely from the Society of Actuaries. During the internship, I worked alongside with consultants who are Associates or Fellows of the Society of Actuaries and analysts who are pursuing such designations. I had several in-depth discussions with my colleagues on the exam process to obtain actuarial designation. Some of the analysts are recent college graduates and they offered me advice that is current and useful. The internship experience gives me exposure to the job of an actuary.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I strongly recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students who are interested in risk management. The people I worked with were very nice and patient. The managers and senior consultants were easily accessible for questions and to provide guidance.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Amy Poissant

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Up one level
Amy Poissant

Major: Biological Anthropology
Hometown: State College, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I went to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) several times as a kid when I visited family in Portland, and I wondered what sort of opportunities they offered. I found out about the internship program online, and that was also where they asked applicants to apply.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My first week at OMSI consisted of several different training sessions that got me comfortable with the museum and their method of educating the public about science topics. During the rest of the summer I worked in the Featured Exhibit section of the museum. The summer exhibit was Pompeii: the Exhibition. I learned and presented educational demonstrations to visitors at the museum, and I helped run the theaters in the exhibit. After presenting several types of demonstrations, we were able to create our own. I was tasked with training volunteers on the various aspects of the exhibit, as well as monitoring the exhibit floor. Interns were trained on the museum radios in case of emergency, and we were able to attend daily morning meetings.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I was expected to make two goals to complete during the internship experience. One was a personal goal and one was related to a project. My personal goal was about becoming more comfortable public speaking in front of all different types of people, which I was able to do every day that I interned at OMSI. I also worked to create an educational demonstration with two other interns, which we then presented informally to the public. We researched background information, gathered supplies, and wrote directions so that other people would also be able to present the demonstration in the future.

I found that it was especially valuable to learn how to oversee and interact with all different types of volunteers and visitors at the museum...

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

This internship allowed me to gain work experience in several different areas. I learned about science education, experienced a large non-profit museum and learned how to train and oversee volunteers. All of these were important to me because I still have a goal of learning about different career options that are relevant to my major while also gaining important experience that I can transfer to a future job. I found that it was especially valuable to learn how to oversee and interact with all different types of volunteers and visitors at the museum, because interacting with many types of personalities happens in any career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend the experience to other students! I was able to spend time learning how the exhibit and museum was run, and then I was encouraged to take on more responsibility once I felt comfortable. Interns at OMSI were also able to attend daily morning meetings, which allowed us to meet many other employees and interns. Two other interns and I were able to research and create our own project.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Erin Ferris

Human Resources Internship at Morgan Stanley
Up one level
Erin Ferris

Major: Labor Studies and Employment Relations
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Massapequa Park, NY
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about my internship through attending a networking event and information session at Morgan Stanley's Headquarters in NYC. I applied to this event though a link in the Liberal Arts Network Simplicity system.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked at Morgan Stanley as a Human Resources Summer Analyst on the Diversity and Inclusion team. My 10-week internship started in June and included countless networking, training, and professional development events in addition to my daily work load. Primarily I worked on three major projects. My first project involved researching and creating a database of all firmwide mentorship projects. Secondly I created a one page quick reference card for how to create a best in class mentorship program. Lastly, I developed and launched a global survey to mentees in a mentorship program. After analyzing the results of this survey I developed a recommendations report and presented my findings to my team.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I believe my internship experience will improve the way I approach my academics my senior year. Working under pressure enabled me to learn time management skills and how to determine which tasks are necessary at a given moment. Overall, I learned a lot of project management skills and improved my ability to collaborate with others for long term projects.

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

My short term career goals include working in a human resources role within the financial services industry. I have always been fascinated with finance and this experience truly solidified my desire to work in this industry. I received a full time offer at the conclusion of my internship and recently accepted this offer. I owe my full time employment to participating in this internship.

I received a full time offer at the conclusion of my internship and recently accepted this offer. 

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I cannot recommend a human resource internship at Morgan Stanley more. This experience was one of the most transformational of my life. Each day I was challenged and learned something new. If you are looking for a career in HR or finance, Morgan Stanley is the place for you. The company truly values HR professionals as strategic business partners.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Aliza Winneg

Senate Office of Robert P. Casey Jr.
Up one level
Aliza Winneg

Major: International Relations and Spanish
Minor: History
Hometown: Cheltenham, Pennsylvania

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the opportunity through discussions with advisers at the Career Enrichment Network.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As a legislative intern for the office of Pennsylvania Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. I had the opportunity to view the legislative process first hand during an especially exciting time to be in D.C. I interacted directly with constituents by fielding voicemails and conducting tours of the Capitol building. I worked directly within a set of legislative policies that included immigration, education, LGBT issues, and Medicare and Medicaid. Within this jurisdiction, I drafted letters, sorted constituent mail, and attended briefings dealing with these aforementioned issues. I also had the opportunity to attend lectures given by prominent members of the legislative branch such as Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Through working as a legislative intern I gained firsthand knowledge on how the legislative branch and our government operates. From gaining basic knowledge as to the steps of the process of a bill becoming a law to learning policy specific information this experience has been the peak of my civics education. Through researching bills and laws within my legislative cluster dealing with immigration, education, LGBT issues, and Medicare and Medicaid issues I gained a greater grasp on the problems and points of interest within these policy areas. Finally, through drafting letters to constituents dealing with the aforementioned issues I was able to improve upon my writing skills to write in a concise and professional manner.

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

I aspire to either work as an immigration lawyer or to work with some aspect of immigration policy. I was fortunate to be placed within the legislative cluster that covers immigration policy for the Senate office. Through this opportunity I was able to both stay up to date and learn how my supervisors, the Legislative Assistants and Legislative Correspondent, discuss and deliberate on both legislation and constituent issues dealing with immigration. I was also fortunate to have the opportunity learn and gain insight about the variety of post-graduate paths of the employees in the office. This experience solidified my interests in public service and immigration policy, however I also learned that law school might not be the only path to achieve these goals.

I learned more about the inner-workings of our government in this six-week experience than I have in all my years of education.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience in a heartbeat to other Liberal Arts students. I learned more about the inner-workings of our government in this six-week experience than I have in all my years of education. Both making even a minuscule impact on the lives of constituent as well as working in the midst of the excitement and history of Capitol Hill were incomparable feelings.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program provided me with the class that first incited my interest in civics. The opportunity to take the honors section of PL SC 001 provided me with the in depth basic knowledge to encourage me to apply to this internship to learn more about the actual inner-workings of our government.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

John Bernstein

First Data Corporation
Up one level
John Bernstein

Major: Economics & Spanish
Hometown: Broomall, PA
Chapel Executive Intern

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I spent 10 weeks as a Process Improvement Intern and gained valuable skills. However, more importantly, I gained a lot of wisdom not only from my experiences but also from my co-workers and managers. This information is proving extremely helpful in navigating the rest of my college career but also in searching for future careers, which will have a huge impact on how the rest of my life plays out.

This information is proving extremely helpful in navigating the rest of my college career but also in searching for future careers...

How did this experience impact you academically?

This was my first full time position in a corporate environment. There I felt a constant need to be focused and attentive and I gained a better grasp of how to buckle down and get projects done, even if they're tedious or unpleasant. This, as well as the rigor of my position, will directly translate into my study and work habits. I also now know I want to work with more numbers and more technology, so I plan on adding more courses to accommodate that desire.

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

My goals and plans were fairly amorphous prior to this position. Having a lot of options meant that I couldn't pick one without having regrets about not trying the others. Now I know that it's better to go into a position and get experience than it is to waste time considering all the opportunity costs. This lesson will help me to adapt myself to future roles in order to maximize my success and also to take full advantage of opportunities to learn and develop.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Definitely. I had a lot of expenses to defray this summer because my internship required my moving several hundreds of miles away. This scholarship helped me cover all those expenses and made sure I was able to fully enjoy the experience, learning as much as possible.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Colleen Corbett

Liberty Mutual
Up one level
Colleen Corbett

Major: Criminology
Minor: Rehabilitation and Human Services
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity from career fairs and professional events on campus.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an intern in the Claims Department of Liberty Mutual, I was responsible for contacting providers for work status and office notes, informing customers of the progress of the claim, investigating the claim to my best ability, interviewing injured workers about their accidents, and scheduling MRIs, X-Rays, etc for injured workers.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship confirmed for me that my major is my true passion.

"This experience opened my eyes to career paths outside of the criminal justice system, specifically in the private sector."

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

My internship with Liberty Mutual was very different from my prior internship experiences. Before this opportunity I never considered a career in the private sector or the insurance industry. This experience opened my eyes to career paths outside of the criminal justice system, specifically in the private sector. I strongly recommend that other Liberal Arts majors pursue opportunities outside of their predicted career path because you never know where they will take you!

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts majors. It opened my eyes to opportunities outside of the criminal justice system.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Christine Kavanagh

Publicis Health
Up one level
Christine Kavanagh

Major: Communication Arts & Sciences, Telecommunications
Hometown: Garnet Valley, PA
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I have been a part of Liberal Arts Envoys throughout my time at Penn State, so I was always informed and aware of various enrichment activity funding and internship opportunities. The Chapel Executive Internship Program was always one that was heavily promoted, so when I finally had the chance to take advantage of the opportunity, I knew what to do and who to talk to. From my application, I was awarded $5,000 to complete my summer internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an Account Management intern at Publicis Health, I was at first responsible for taking on small tasks from members on my team in order to make their work load more efficient. However, as I learned more I became responsible for larger assignments, such as using specific editing programs like ProofHQ to transfer client comments onto our agency's work so that the appropriate changes could be made. I also compiled brand competitor reports for internal use and assisted with client reports with supervision from a senior member on my team. On top of all this, Publicis Health interns participated in a team competition concluding with a pitch to judges who were actual clients of the agency. Interns were assigned to create a campaign for the Skin Cancer Foundation promoting safe sun behavior to college students. This project was four weeks long and involved interns from different offices and locations, which made it all the more challenging. In the end, my team made it to the final round of campaign pitches, but did not end up winning. Overall, I think this project was the most valuable part of this internship experience because I was able to use the skills and knowledge I gained from observing the team I was shadowing in the agency to a project I could actually take the lead on.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I had never worked in the advertising industry before and because advertising is not part of my major I felt that there was somewhat of a learning curve when I first started my job. I never felt overwhelmed with things I didn't know, but there were just minor industry things such as the process and terminology that I was unfamiliar with. My manager was really helpful when I voiced these concerns because his major also was not related to advertising and he had to learn on the job as well. He advised me to keep asking questions and stay up-to-date on advertising publications and news such as AdAge in order to educate myself. I think that through this real world experience working for a huge advertising agency I gained a lot of insight into the industry just as I would have taking advertising classes, if not more so.

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

I have always been interested in working in an agency setting, but I always thought I would be in the entertainment industry or something similar. I never considered the healthcare communications field and this internship really exposed me to a huge industry with a lot of career potential. In addition, I enjoyed my position on the account team working with clients and assisting in the leading of projects. I think the skills I learned are definitely transferable to any industry whether I decide to go into entertainment or not. I think healthcare advertising is an excellent industry to break into, especially in the position I'm interested in, and I would seriously consider a job if the company offered me one.

I think the skills I learned are definitely transferable to any industry whether I decide to go into entertainment or not.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other students. I thought the internship program overall was very well done. There were regular check ins with the HR people that ran the program and it was a great mix of real work with your team and also learning opportunities and workshops. Publicis really prides itself on its internship program and they reinforced how much they want to make it even better, which shows.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I think the Paterno Fellows Program impacted my internship in terms of adjusting to the fast paced work environment. After taking demanding honors courses I was used to the speed at which the company operated, and I think that showed in my work performance. My manager told me he was impressed with how fast I learned and was able to keep up, which was a skill that I had not even really thought about because it is just how I work now, but I am certain that being a Paterno Fellow was a huge reason for that.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Juliette Busby

IES Madrid- Language and Area Studies
Up one level
Juliette Busby

Major: Labor and Employment Relations and Telecommunications 
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Berkeley Heights, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I met with students who had gone abroad in the past and spoke with my advisors to find a program that matched best with my majors and minor. I knew I wanted to be in Spain, so then it was a matter of picking out of the available Spain programs.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Being in Madrid was the best experience of my life. I made so many incredible friends, learned about all different cultures around Europe and learned more about my self than I would have been able to at Penn State. Being able to live in a big city like Madrid and going to classes and exploring with my friends was an adventure every single day. I also was immersed in the language and was able to speak it with more fluency than I have ever been able to before. Living in a homestay was also a really important part of my experience. Creating those connections to native people was the best way to learn the language and culture.

I also was immersed in the language and was able to speak it with more fluency than I have ever been able to before.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As previously mentioned, this specific program helped me learn and grow in the Spanish language like I never would have been able to anywhere else. Being fully immersed in the language created a unique experience where I had no choice but to study the language more, challenge myself in my classes when I felt I was struggling, and make an effort everyday to cut English out of my daily conversations. Now, a few months removed from the program, I am still just as confident in the skills I gained and know they will forever be helpful in my future. Anyone with a second language will greatly benefit in the future careers.

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

After graduation, I hope to work in television on entertainment or news content. This past summer, I interned with a broadcast late night program and learned a lot about the industry. Working for the news, or shows that are extremely topical/news related (like most late night shows are), it’s important to have a global perspective so you can understand the information you are giving out. Knowing the politics in different countries, any conflicts that exist and different languages and currencies will make you an asset in this industry. While abroad, I quickly picked up on a lot of these things in the different countries I traveled to and felt I grew as a global citizen, which is important at these stations.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this program to other students. I would go back in a second and miss all the adventures I had while I was there. Spain is an incredible country filled with wonderful people, food, culture and passion. Having never been out of the US prior to my program, I learned so much and was just enamored with the new world I was opening myself up to. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler, or have never left the US like myself, spending a semester abroad is the best decision you could make in college. The lifelong friends you make and the memories you create will last forever.

For more information on study abroad for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Amelia Hare

Surgicorps International
Up one level
Amelia Hare

Major: Immunology and Infectious Disease & Spanish 
Hometown: Beaver, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this experience through a family friend who is a surgeon that regularly serves on the Guatemala trip. It was more luck and coincidence than anything else. Of course, I still had to apply to the program and take initiative on my own, but it was through Dr. Oleck that I learned about Surgicorps in the first place and it also helped that she put a good word in for me so that I could be selected for the trip. The application is pretty competitive for non-medical volunteers (anyone without some type of medical certification). As advice to other students, I would recommend always being open to interact with people in your field of interest and never hesitating to express your passion and interest to them. If I had not brought up my interest in medicine and my knowledge of Spanish to Dr. Oleck, odds are that she would have never thought to tell me about this program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I served as a translator for a team of 35 medical and non-medical volunteers at a charity hospital in Antigua, Guatemala. My role was to communicate between my English-speaking Surgicorps team members and the Guatemalan hospital staff and patients. There really wasn't a second of the trip where I was off duty. In the hospital, I translated for just about every imaginable scenario. I comforted crying children and mothers, I relayed pre- and postoperative instructions to patients and their families, I held patients' hands as they went under anesthesia and assured them that they were in good hands. I also filled out medical charts and translated records from English to Spanish, and towards the end of the trip, the director of the hospital had pretty much adopted me as her personal translator since her English was not strong enough to convey her administrative needs to our team. I tried my hardest to be available to every member of the team and to do whatever I could to help. Every second was challenging, but also so unexplainably rewarding. The end of the trip culminated in me being chosen to receive an annual award presented by the program director to the team member who most exemplifies "kindness, compassion, humility, and a willingness to help wherever needed".

Every second was challenging, but also so unexplainably rewarding.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this trip reaffirmed that I am on the correct course of study to pursue my dream career. As a double major in both Spanish and Immunology and Infectious Disease, this trip perfectly unified my two greatest passions: the Spanish language and medicine. Thanks to my scientific background, I was able to recognize key anatomical structures while observing surgeries, calculate medication doses with the anesthesia team, monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and other key vital signs in post-op, and gain a deeper understanding of how all the systems of the body work together. Furthermore, my Spanish education allowed me to successfully fulfill my role as an interpreter.

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

This trip has truly shown me what I want to do with the rest of my life. Now that I know my two passions can be unified so harmoniously, I am that much more motivated to succeed and pursue my path towards becoming a doctor. My dream is to work with underserved, Spanish-speaking populations, both domestically and abroad. Here in the U.S., many Spanish-speaking immigrants are restricted from receiving adequate medical care due to a language barrier between them and local healthcare providers. Furthermore, for undocumented immigrants, there is an additional barrier: a fear of seeking medical care even for serious illnesses due to the threat of being deported. As a physician, I hope to serve these populations and help to bridge the gap caused by language and legal status. I believe that every human being, regardless of nationality, socioeconomic status, or language should have reliable and adequate access to healthcare, and I intend to do everything I can to provide it to those in need. I also hope to extend my reach to Latin America. In the future, once I am financially stable enough to do so, I hope to move to Paraguay and work with local organizations to improve access to healthcare in rural areas. Eventually, I want to start an organization to build clinics in areas that lack them. My overall end goal is to extend access to healthcare to as many people as I can, surmounting the linguistic, socioeconomic, and geographical barriers that keep people from getting the care they need and deserve.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes. More specifically, I would recommend this experience to liberal arts majors who also have an interest or additional major in the sciences. Working as a medical translator requires specific knowledge of medical terminology that someone without a background in medicine might not be familiar with. Additionally, anyone who applies for this experience cannot be squeamish. I had to stand by a patient's side during dressing changes, be present for obstetric examinations, and converse with patients who were awake while receiving major abdominal surgery. Therefore, it is extremely important that those interested in applying are comfortable in a hospital setting and can keep calm and collected during uncomfortable situations.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Bevyn Mannke

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Up one level
Bevyn Mannke

Major: History
Minor: Pre-Med
Hometown: Glen Mills, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first volunteered for the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) through our Penn State Chapter. I traveled to Project Limon, Nicaragua, in March 2016 and then to Project Huancayo, Peru, in March 2017. After communicating with FIMRC Headquarters in Philadelphia, I applied for an internship online. I submitted two recommendation letters, a personal statement, and my resume. I then went through two rounds of interviews with Madeleine Randolet, Global Innovations Manager, and Meredith Welsh, CEO. Contact info: internshipprogram@fimrc.org

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My work, as the summer's primary intern, was centered around planning a Leadership Seminar for FIMRC's Collegiate Chapters. We held the event in Philadelphia, and over twenty college chapters were in attendance. The conference focused on helping these students plan their school's volunteer trips, organize fundraisers, and coordinate executive leadership as a board. I also worked on updating the non-profit's recruitment strategy for this coming year. I updated contact information at various universities, wrote blog posts that focused on the communities that FIMRC assists, and made suggestions for website improvements that would make the organizations' mission more prominent in the offered material.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My experiences with FIMRC thus far has not only confirmed my desire to pursue medical school, but also allowed me to begin to understand what healthcare truly means. The experiences of traveling to two Foundation sites and working in the non-profit headquarters have allowed me to appreciate the complexities of public health on a global scale. This organization has changed my perspective and the ways in which I now approach the dense logistics of any healthcare system. While observing different medical scenarios abroad, I have found myself analyzing each new healthcare experience with a critical eye in terms of the system’s public health implications.

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

My summer at The Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC) helped me solidify my own career goals and provided me with a stronger understanding of the complexities of global health. My FIMRC experiences, to date, have allowed me to appreciate the broad scope of health concerns that are unique to every international community. In order to combat these intricacies, my first goal is to complete a Master’s degree in Global Health, before pursuing medical school in the US. Following my graduation from Penn State, my ultimate goal is to establish and coordinate sustainable healthcare in the developing world.

My FIMRC experiences, to date, have allowed me to appreciate the broad scope of health concerns that are unique to every international community.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes. This is a great program for anyone interested in global health/international development.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

My liberal arts background significantly helped me relate to this internship. Through communicating with chapter conference attendees, constructing blog posts, and organizing web materials, I was able to observe and participate in developing the skills that are involved in overseeing a non-profit medical relief organization. My FIMRC internship helped me develop a stronger understanding of my own skills as well as an appreciation for global healthcare inequalities. I hope to bring my new understandings of health care disparities, and methods by which to overcome these disparities, to my future career as a doctor. FIMRC has given me the opportunity to connect public health to my pre-med curriculum, and I could not be more thankful.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Madison Plummer

Schreyer Honors College
Up one level
Madison Plummer

Major: International Politics, Spanish, Criminology
Hometown: Camp Hill, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

After "gatewaying" into the SHC as a Paterno Fellow, I scheduled an appointment with Lisa Kerchinski, the Director of Career Services at Schreyer, to discuss upcoming summer opportunities and post-undergraduate plans. During our appointment, the discussion led to talk of fellowships and "alternative" career paths (i.e., working for a non-profit organization, pursuing a scholarship abroad, completing a year of service after Penn State, etc.). Lisa wanted to promote alternative career path programming at Penn State, and since I demonstrated interest in this field, she asked if I would work with her as an intern over the summer. I assisted Ms. Kerchinski in the logistics of SHC Mentoring with Honors Program for the 2017-18 academic year, and I worked with her to brainstorm and develop the intended launch for Alternative Programming.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had a wonderful experience working with Ms. Kerchinski and the Schreyer Honors College this summer. I gained valuable experience in both the internal and external sides of program planning, learned and connected with various alumni, and attained information regarding post-undergraduate opportunities. I developed a new appreciation for the amount of hard work and detail goes into programming at Penn State. The wealth of information I amassed regarding alternative career paths has led me to pursue a gap year between my undergraduate studies at Penn State and my future plans of attending law school. If it were not for this internship, I would not have discovered exciting opportunities for all students, nor would I have established invaluable relationships with both Penn State staff and alumni.

The internship enabled me to explore the various career paths Penn State alumni have pursued since graduating.

How did this impact you academically?

This internship impacted me academically by introducing a variety of non-traditional, post-undergraduate opportunities, which I now intend on pursuing. Until this summer, I was unaware of the various fellowships, scholarships, and service prospects that exist for young professionals with a bachelor’s degree. I knew that I wanted to pursue a law degree after finishing my undergraduate education at Penn State, but after this internship, I now want to take a gap year studying legal systems in a foreign country through a fellowship grant. Furthermore, the internship enabled me to explore the various career paths Penn State alumni have pursued since graduating. I learned about the different ways to utilize a variety of degrees, interests, and backgrounds in the workforce.

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

After finishing my undergraduate studies at Penn State, I would like to pursue a degree in law where I practice either international law, civil liberties law or a combination of both. My ultimate career goal is to help others and society as a whole reach due justice. I originally thought I would attend law school immediately after undergrad, but after this internship, I am considering taking a gap year where I would pursue a fellowship grant studying or working in a foreign country. This internship introduced me to the plethora of opportunities that exist for young adults abroad; from English teaching positions, to advanced study programs, to service projects, it seems as though the opportunities are endless. Ultimately, this internship helped see the ways I can achieve my ultimate career goal through different, unusual outlets.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I highly recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. Whether it is working in Schreyer or another department on campus, working with a variety of different people and learning about the opportunities that the university has to offer can be a wonderful experience and can open doors in unexpected directions.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Without being a Paterno Fellow, I would not have become a Schreyer Scholar. Without being a Schreyer Scholar, I would not have met Ms. Kerchinski, nor would I have been offered this internship. Additionally, the Paterno Fellows Program pushes students to achieve excellence in strong leadership capabilities, service, and international awareness. Since my studies at Penn State are focused around these core values, I was able to demonstrate great interest in Ms. Kerchinski’s alternative programming, which ultimately led to the offer of an internship position. Being a Paterno Fellow allowed me to both find this amazing opportunity and work with a program that I have serious interest and commitment in.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Frederick Mateo

Goodyear Internship Program
Up one level
Frederick Mateo

Major: Labor and Employment Relations
Minor: Business and the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Allentown, PA
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I went to the Career Days and spoke to one of the recruiters from the Goodyear booth. I asked them if they had internship programs within human resources, and if they could tell me about the program itself. They were very motivated on telling me about the program and I was enthusiastic to learn more about it so the recruiter invited me to a next day interview.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My Goodyear internship experience gave me the opportunity to learn more about my career path within HR, improve my managerial skills, and expand my professional network. I was assigned 5 main projects to complete during the summer which dealt with research, compiling metrics, and forming a proposal to improve efficiency. They also organized several networking events for the interns to meet with Goodyear leaders and to learn about the different career paths that people have taken. Since Goodyear is a global company with many different departments and operations, we as interns were able to tour many of the functions. I toured the famous Goodyear Blimp facility, a warehouse facility, a retread center, the race tire creation facility, the testing center for innovation and current tires, and many more. Those ten weeks felt very pivotal for my career and I had a fantastic experience.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship experience expanded my knowledge about HR and the different functions that it could branch out to. I specialized within the executive compensation department so I learned about compensation as a whole, stock and different stock options, and incentive programs. During my final year at Penn State, I will be taking classes dealing with compensation, accounting, and finance so I have a great opportunity to use my real-world experience and utilize them in the classroom. The compensation department gave me great exposure to the business side of the company so some of the terms that I will learn in my business classes will not be new to me.

Goodyear did a phenomenal job at connecting me with leaders within my field and learning about their career paths.

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

Goodyear did a phenomenal job at connecting me with leaders within my field and learning about their career paths. In addition to their testimonials, I was able to work in and with several departments within HR and feel out some of the departments that I could see myself working in. Prior to my internship, I did not know what aspect of HR I wanted to pursue but Goodyear helped me put it in perspective. If I pursue HR as a career, I would like to specialize in a more technical department such as compensation because of its complexities and laws are constantly being changed. Then I would like to try a more generalist role to support a business function and expand my knowledge of HR. I also learned to try and have some type of growth every 2 to 5 years by either a promotion or changing roles, especially in the beginning of my career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, absolutely. Everyone that I spoke to or worked with during my internship did a great job at making me feel welcomed and was more than happy to help me with anything. This internship allowed me to be hands on in my field and gave me work that made a difference so it helped me grow professionally. I would recommend this internship to anyone.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Katherine Miller

American Lung Association
Up one level
Katherine Miller

Major: Economics
Minor: German, Labor and Employment Relations
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this internship on internships.com. I have been interested in non-profit work for a while and thought that it would be good to look into. I applied online through the website with my resume and a cover letter. I received an email requesting a phone interview and later was offered the position. I happily accepted.  After accepting, I applied for Enrichment Funding.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My position at the American Lung Association was Event and Development Intern. My primary overall goal was to assist with the planning of our event in October. The event is a 5K walk called the Lung Force Walk. I helped with finding sponsorships, helping out with volunteers, and much more. At the start of my internship I was tasked with drafting letters to potential donors and sponsors. These letters needed to be very persuasive and also informative. I was also lucky enough to sit in on a board meeting. It was interesting to see how members of the board, ranging from doctors to business men and women, interacted with one another. I also was allowed to sit in on meeting and share my opinions and ideas for fundraising. I made a lot of calls to past walk participants to let them know that the Lung Force Walk was coming up. I also was on the Lung Force Walk Committee and was able to become more involved that way. The Committee consisted of staff and volunteers who wanted to see the walk succeed. I learned how a non-profit works and what it needs to thrive. I gained valuable insight into the non-profit industry as a whole.

 I learned how a non-profit works and what it needs to thrive.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I believe that this experience greatly improved my writing skills. I was asked to draft letters to donors, sponsors, and event past participants of events. Each letter had to be different to fit its recipient. The past participant letters were less serious. They consisted of thanking the participant and telling them of future events that we have planned. The sponsor and donor letters varied from thank you for their donation letters to politely asking for a donation. These letters need to be very persuasive while also being tasteful. I was writing something new every day at my internship, because of this. It exposed me to many forms of writing that I was not used to. Because of this, I believe that my writing skills were strengthened. I will take these skills and use them in my upcoming classes and also future job searches.

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

My work at a non-profit this summer has been very impactful to my future career goals. My internship made me realize how much I value helping others and volunteering. When I am looking at companies for my future career, I plan to ask about opportunities to volunteer. I want to work for a company that also values community service. I believe that it is important for our values to align. I would like a career in human resources. I think that my internship exposed me to a lot of skills that would be valuable in that field. However, I am not sure if I would like a full time position at a non-profit. I enjoyed the work but I also want to explore other possibilities. In the future, I may return to the non-profit world.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to students. I learned a great deal throughout this internship. I learned about a whole industry. I also learned how to work in an office and be a part of a professional team. The internship also strengthened my fundraising and interpersonal skills. I feel that I learned a great deal from the internship and that other students can benefit from it as well.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Kylie Doran

Summer School of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Nazarbayev University
Up one level
Kylie Doran

Major: Anthropology, Russian
Minor: Arabic, History
Hometown: Collegeville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

My Russian professor helped me find and fund this program. After traveling to Russia last summer, I wanted another opportunity to practice my skills in a different Russian-speaking country, so Dr. Mikaelian went to a conference about Russian-language programs and recommended this to me.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This was one of the most valuable experiences of my college career- both in terms of my academics, but also in terms of personal growth. I spent eight weeks as an international student at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan. For the entirety of the program we had over 3 hours of class in Russian 5 days a week. We also met for at least an hour with student tutors to go over homework and practice our conversational skills. Our tutors also took us on excursions and tours throughout the city and even elsewhere in Kazakhstan, such as Karaganda and Borovoye. I also went on a four-day trip by train to Almaty, where I rode by myself in train cars with Kazakh and Russian families, which was a great real-world application of my language skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This program was extremely beneficial specifically because of the real-world practice and exposure we had to Russian and Kazakh languages. We lived with Kazakh students in dormitories, who helped us with our homework and conversed with us in Russian. We also met regularly with tutors, who by the end of the program, were not just tutors but genuine friends. At Penn State, it is challenging to gain real experience speaking Russian with native speakers, so this summer really helped make me more fluent and more confident in my conversational skills, which is not something that can be easily gained in the classroom.

This program was extremely beneficial specifically because of the real-world practice and exposure we had to Russian and Kazakh languages. 

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

I ultimately want to get my PhD in anthropology and study cultural preservation of indigenous peoples. This experience simply solidified my goals even more because we got to meet with many professors at NU, many of whom were visiting anthropologists from the US or UK. They were all very helpful and encouraging when I talked to them about my goals and research interests. They even offered to help me find connections with their colleagues. I really hope to work in with an indigenous group of people in Siberia, which is what I am currently writing my honors thesis about.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this program to other students of Russian language (or those who have interest in Kazakh). It is a small and dynamic program and aside from language experience, we had tons of cultural experiences, like trying kumys (fermented horse milk) and lessons in dombra (kazakh guitar) twice a week. It was like nothing I have ever experienced.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I went into the program with my eyes open for inspiration for my Paterno Fellows thesis. Because of this, I met with dozens of distinguished professors in my field of study, who shared their own research experiences. I am able to connect my experiences and observations in Kazakhstan with research interests that are sure to influence my thesis, and ultimately my future plans of research in graduate school.

 

For more information on study abroad for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Benjamin France

Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute: Leadership and the American Presidency
Up one level
Benjamin France

Major: History, Political Science
Minor: International Politics
Hometown: San Diego, CA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was able to find this internship program online. I knew I wanted to intern in D.C. and was trying to find a program that would allow me to intern and take a class in political science. I stumbled up this website called dcinternships.org which was paired with the Ronald Reagan Foundation and thought the experience sounded awesome.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The program I participated in was called Leadership and the American Presidency. It was implemented by The Fund for American Studies and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute. This program allowed me to intern at the Library of Congress, take a political science class through George Mason University, and explore D.C.. I was able to visit the Capitol, The White House, Mount Vernon, Lincoln's Cottage, and meet and discuss politics with Members of Congress and Senators. I truly got the full D.C. experience.

This program impacted me on an academic level by allowing me to get a hands on experience with what I was learning in the classroom.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This program impacted me on academic level by allowing me to get a hands on experience with what I was learning in the classroom. The class was called Leadership and the American Presidency and our classroom was D.C.. Each time class met it was at a different location through D.C. which pertained to the certain topic we were learning about. When we talked about refugees and FDR we visited the Holocaust Museum and the situation with Jewish Refugees. When we talked about the Civil War and the great stress Lincoln faced we were at his cottage. My internship also allowed me to realize the inner workings of the federal bureaucracy. I was able to see the vast amount of work the Library of Congress does that many people have no idea even goes on. From copyright, research, and even your library you call your own.

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

My career goals are to end up working in D.C. in some capacity. I would love to attend law school in D.C., work for a D.C. law firm and then end up in politics for the rest of my life. This experience impacted me because of how D.C. is, it's all about who you know and this summer allowed me to create numerous contacts that will be extremely beneficial in my later career. It also showed me that I could live in D.C. and love it.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes I would. This experience was amazing. Many of my friends' internships were 9-5 jobs and they did menial tasks and hope to get a job offer once they graduate. This experience was nothing like that, it allowed me to explore D.C. like I lived there and allowed me to create contacts that someone my age would not have the privilege of having. While the Library of Congress will not offer me a job once I graduate, it was not that kind of internship. It was preparing me for attending law school and getting into politics once I graduate from there.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Katherine Bartuska

The Foreign Policy Research Institute
Up one level
Katherine Bartuska

Major: International Politics, Economics
Minor: History
Hometown: Wilkes-Barre, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I originally found the internship via FPRI's website. I applied via email and submitted a cover letter and resume, and later conducted an interview over Skype.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an operations intern, I assisted in conference preparation, development, public relations, and research for various administrative projects. Specifically, I tracked scholar news appearances and published these appearances to FPRI's website, managed FPRI's Twitter account, and assisted in grant prospecting. I also aided in the development of historical simulations for high school students as part of FPRI's Civic Education program, where I helped plan the events and created the information packets for students.

I tracked scholar news appearances and published these appearances to FPRI's website, managed FPRI's Twitter account, and assisted in grant prospecting.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Throughout my summer at FPRI, I completed many different projects and got to do a variety of tasks. I enjoyed this, for I felt as though I got involved with many different aspects of day to day operations at FPRI. Since this was my first internship, I wanted an experience that exposed me to a lot of different aspects of a nonprofit. My position allowed me to interact with many members of FPRI's staff, for many of my projects were under various individuals. I also really liked being in an environment where I was able to learn quite a bit about foreign policy and international issues, as I was constantly reading articles to add to the website or Twitter. Additionally, every Friday, FPRI hosts an intern seminar, in which a different scholar spoke to the interns about their research and various topics. This was really interesting, for FPRI's scholars are widely published and spoke on a lot of different topics.

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

As I obtained this internship between my sophomore and junior years, I feel as though I still have plenty of time to decide what I would like to do following graduation. However, currently, two career paths that I am the most interested in include working for a nonprofit or the State Department. This experience gave me a great amount of experience in the nonprofit sector, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. FPRI helped strengthen my love of international affairs and education, and made me consider combining both in a future career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would strongly recommend this experience. FPRI's Operations Intern position is a great position for anyone interested in both nonprofit work and foreign policy. I felt as though I got an excellent introduction to various aspects of running a nonprofit, while also becoming much more informed about international affairs and current events.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Salvatore Vetri

WisEngineering
Up one level
Salvatore Vetri

Major: Labor and Employment Relations                                                                   Human Resources and Employment Relations (M.S)
Hometown: Montrose, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first learned about the enrichment experience through various emails and campus advertising. I then spoke with my career advisor, Jessica Steele, in more detail about the enrichment fund opportunity.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer I interned with WisEngineering as a junior recruiter, but I took on more of a consulting role for the organization. WisEngieering is a growing government defense contractor in Dover, New Jersey. The company also has a staffing side, which is where I spent the majority of my time. During my time as WisEnigeering, I initiated and implemented an online filing system that was previously nonexistent at the company. I also began to initiate a more formal hiring process that the company desperately needed. The company is located within the Picatinny Military Arsenal in Dover, New Jersey. Since it was “within the gate”, of the arsenal I was able to experience a workplace centered around military involvement and through this process I began to understand the ways that our government, military, and defense contractors interact. I also was able to view some government proposals, which was a neat experience.

This experience gave me valuable problem solving skills and I also developed a more confident approach when it comes to sharing and implementing my ideas.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically in many ways. For starters, I learned to be more of an independent mind. I had to think for myself and implement my own ideas to better the company. This experience gave me valuable problem solving skills and I also developed a more confident approach when it comes to sharing and implementing my ideas. To be more direct, this internship allowed me to build upon my academic studies in a practical workplace environment. I was able to use the tools I learned in various classes throughout my time at WisEnigeering, and it was surprising how often my studies overlapped with my internship

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

I am currently torn on my specific career goals / plans. My overall goal is to positively impact any organization via each of the nine components on the SHRM competency model. When it comes to a specific career, I am torn between HR business partner, Management consultant, or pursuing a PhD and becoming a professor. This experience showed me that I definitely do not want to be a recruiter. It also gave me a lot of respect for recruiters, that can be a thankless job at times. This experience also showed me that I do enjoy the tasks that a managerial consultant would deal with, but I am still uncertain if I am willing to work upwards of 80 hours per week as a consultant.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, 100%. The Liberal Arts Enrichment Funds enabled me to help a growing company for 3 months. It also allowed me to grow professionally and personally. If you have an opportunity but don’t have the capital, apply for enrichment funds!

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Tessa Sontheimer

The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Up one level
Tessa Sontheimer

Major: Global and International Studies & Community, Environment, and Development
Hometown: Gettysburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the experience from the Washington Program in the College of Communications. I also searched often on Idealist.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was in Tanzania for the month of May. I traveled to Arusha with the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship program (thanks to a PLA grant!). My team and I conducted research about the fired brick manufacturing process and interviewed masons, photographed existing methods to create a virtual reality experience, and constructed a test kiln and stove. For the rest of the summer I interned at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) which is a think tank founded as a memorial to the Marshall Plan and which seeks to improve transatlantic relationships and cooperation. I was in the Urban and Regional Policy Department and worked on a few projects, mostly researching/writing and helping with program development.

I learned how important global experiences are to me as an individual and identified specific steps I can take to enrich my experience as a global citizen. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

I learned so much about research, both in a policy setting and in the field. Not only was I able to author a report at GMF, I learned about how the process surrounding these papers worked which is an incredibly important insight. I learned how important global experiences are to me as an individual and identified specific steps I can take to enrich my experience as a global citizen. Never before has it been more apparent to me how important being bi- or multilingual is. I need to become fluent in 1 or more languages and have started to investigate fellowships that would help equip me with these important skills. I also learned about how I am more interested in non-European issues. I am much more drawn to Asia and African issues, be it development or creation of democratic institutions. I've been lucky enough to be able to explore both of these regions and validate my interests through generous funding, first to India with the Schreyer Signature Program after my freshman year and with funding that helped support my fieldwork in Tanzania. Being in DC and at GMF, also allowed me to build my professional network and I made lots of great connections that will help me with my future pursuits.

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

Going forward, it's clear my internship experience at the German Marshall Fund better informed what career path I want to pursue and in which geographic region my development and democracy interests lie. I learned so much about the intricacies of what it means to live in a world that is increasingly urban and increasingly interconnected and had the opportunity to live in the incredibly fun city of Washington, D.C.. The funding for my internship alongside the travel support I received earlier in my time in Liberal Arts have given me the opportunity to have diverse range of incredibly impactful summer experiences.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes definitely a great experience!

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Yage Zhang

Philadelphia Museum of Art
Up one level
Yage Zhang

Major: Communications Arts and Sciences, Art History
Minor: Korean, Information Sciences and Technology minor for Communication Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Qingdao, China

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked in the Marketing and Communications department as the Marketing intern. Every Monday (all day) and Wednesday afternoons consisted of Museum Studies program which included tours and presentations from all departments. The rest of the week we worked on projects in our offices. My job consisted of a couple different projects including strategic planning for digital advertising, exhibition title comparison, and creative partnership opportunities. It was a very good networking experience because we were able to reach out to staff across departments and were able to have private conversations. The experience also allowed me to explore my potentials in areas (such as marketing) that I was not familiar with. The hands on experience on projects and being present at meetings allowed me to understand the diverse opportunities a museum can offer.

The experience really allowed me to put information I learned in class into practice.

How did this experience impact you academically?

It allowed me to put what I learned in class into practice. For example CAS 483 Communication Information and Technology points out the importance of social media and I was able to see how social media is used in a large institution for advertising purposes. My Korean minor came into play as I discussed the Korean art market and ways of attracting audience with the Korean curator. The experience really allowed me to put information I learned in class into practice. I am currently taking CAS 452, Organizational Communications. Even though its only been less than two weeks in class, I can already relate my experiences from my internship to the lectures in class which allow the lectures to be much more applicable and relevant.

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

I was not aware of the different types of jobs at a museum setting and had not thought about pursuing marketing as a career. My supervisor at the job suggested that I pursue a marketing career, so this experience definitely allowed me to see new opportunities. I hope to begin my career in Auction or the Museum doing communications. Because I am an international student from China with a minor in Korean, my ultimate goal is to be the cultural bridge between the Asian and Western art worlds. Since art follows the market, and China has an increasing demand and interest for art I see opportunities for myself in that area.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would strongly recommend this experience because a Museum is not all about Art. There are research jobs, archival job, communications and marketing jobs (social media, press), exhibition planning, curatorial, and so much more! Although this is an unpaid internship, the experience and networking opportunities is worth the time. The internship has been done for many years and is very structured and well respected by the staff at the museum.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Alannah King

JusticeCorp
Up one level
Alannah King

Major: Criminology
Minor: Psychology and Political Science
Hometown: Pleasanton, CA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found it online after googling legal internships in San Francisco

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked in the Family Law Facilitators office in the San Mateo County Courthouse. The Family Law Facilitators office is essentially a self help center for self representing litigants who either couldn't afford a lawyer or just didn't want one. My job was to help the litigants through their paperwork and answer any questions they may have had during their legal process. I worked with many different types of people on many different types of cases such as: divorce, child custody or support, child abduction, emergency protection orders, restraining orders and domestic violence.

They provided a comfortable and safe environment for me to ask questions and develop my interpersonal skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I worked with an amazing team of attorneys and paralegals who were very interesting in teaching me as long as I was willing to learn. They provided a comfortable and safe environment for me to ask questions and develop my interpersonal skills. I learned a lot about the legal process and how to deal with people who are in a crisis. I learned a lot about relationships and how quickly they can fall apart. I was able to get a deeper look into the psychology behind abusive relationships which enabled me to understand them a little better. I become more sympathetic towards people and learned to not get too emotionally attached to cases.

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

This internship helped me to finally decide that law school was my ultimate goal and helped me narrow down which field of law I would like to go into. While I wouldn’t necessarily choose to go into family law, I now know that I have a small background in it and would feel comfortable in my ability to learn it in the future. Family law is an emotionally draining and highly technical field which is tough to enjoy. Because my office is a neutral third party, we were able to help both sides of a case which taught me to wait to understand both sides of a story before passing judgement.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, it was a very hands on experience which allowed me to dive deep into the world of Family Law.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Benjamin Black

U.S.-ASEAN Business Council
Up one level
Benjamin Black

Major: Asian Studies; International Politics
Minor: Chinese; History
Hometown: Hollidaysburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I started with internship databases through Penn State and those available online. Eventually, I stumbled upon The Council's website and decided to apply based on my regional interests.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

In this position, I was assigned a portfolio of a South-East Asian Country and a subset of topics (the environment, trade, energy, etc.…) for which I wrote a daily briefing memo. The memos that I write will be sent to American Corporations that are members of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, such as Apple, Amazon, and Coca-Cola, who have hired the “Council” to assist them in their Asia business ventures. I also contributed to academic reports and publications, drafted a white paper for the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Manila, participated in a lunch with the Cambodian Minister of Commerce, and wrote meeting scripts for the Council's business missions to meet with the Prime Minister of Thailand in Bangkok and the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

I was able to continue thesis research while doing my internship

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience tested my research abilities, expanded my resources by exposing me to the institutes and centers of study in Washington, D.C., and developed my ability to write succinctly, clearly, and professionally. I was able to continue thesis research while doing my internship and use the contacts I made to further explore topics that interest me. This included my ability to attend the South China Sea Conference at CSIS, which is the topic of my thesis.

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

This experience cemented my plans to attend law school through my connection with coworkers and others working in Washington. Furthermore, it allowed me to explore international trade in-depth, and became the focal point of my personal statements for law school. I also had an offer to intern at the American Bar Association's Rule of Law initiative, but am glad I chose to pursue this experience, which offered a completely new and ultimately highly beneficial exposure for my career plans.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes! The people there are fantastic and it is a wonderful way to network in Washington. I'd be happy to talk to anyone else who is interested in applying.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program provided the necessary background for me to be successful at my internship. The high standards allowed me to perform at a high level while working alongside highly qualified students from Berkeley, Penn, Smith College, GW, and others. My writing skills had been honed by my involvement in the PFP and my exposure to various topics through PFP lunches and other events gave me an advantage in general knowledge or my ability to quickly pick up on new topics.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Amanda Maresco

Mercer
Up one level
Amanda Maresco

Major: Labor and Employment Relations and                                                             Human Resources and Employment Relations (M.S)                                                   Minor: Italian                                                                                                   Hometown: Commack, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Many members of my major's faculty have told me about Liberal Arts Enrichment Funding and how many students have greatly benefited from it. They suggested I look into it to help fund some expenses I had during my summer internship in NYC. Also, I always get e-mails from the Career Enrichment Network that advertise applying for funding.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I interned with Mercer in NYC this summer. Mercer is a global HR consultancy that specializes in many HR functions such as: compensation, executive compensation/rewards, corporate communications, workforce analytics, HR transformation, talent strategy, and mobility. I learned about and worked on fun projects in most of these areas and was formally trained in many of these areas. I hope to receive an offer of full-time employment for post-graduation.

This experience really allowed me to transition into my second year of grad school with all of the valuable things I learned at my internship.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience really allowed me to transition into my second year of grad school with all of the valuable things I learned at my internship. Many of the HR functions that I learned about have directly carried over into all of the classes I am taking this semester and will hopefully make the courses easier for me! I'm taking a really challenging data analytics course this semester and I believe I already have a wide array of knowledge from my internship, especially being trained heavily in Excel and Excel formulas and shortcuts. I hope to be really successful in this challenging course and hopefully, if I get an offer of full-time employment with Mercer, I can also use what I learned in class to be successful in my future job. Additionally, I became more familiar with HR jargon that will undoubtedly help me here at Penn State for my final year of grad school.

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

After having a summer internship in consulting, I have solidified my interest in consulting and decided it is the career path I would like to follow. As previously mentioned, I hope to work at Mercer after graduation. If I were to be hired there, I would be able to immediately start work and hit the ground running. I am now well-versed in the company and what it does and I'm very familiar with Mercer's practices. I believe this internship has set me up for narrowing down my professional interests and preparing me for the consulting world. I hope to really enjoy consulting in the long run and stay there for a large portion of my career. I would love to work at Mercer for many years and grow and excel in the very supportive and friendly culture that it provides to me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students with interests in consulting or anyone with interests of working in NYC. The enrichment funding is extremely helpful, as NYC is a very expensive place to live. It takes the burden off of worrying about finances and making the enrichment experience the best it could possibly be.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Margaret O'Brien

Leadership and the American Presidency
Up one level
Margaret O'Brien

Major: Psychology, Criminology
Minor: French
Hometown: Montgomery, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this experience through my experience in Greek Life. I was able to attend the Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values Conference in February, in which my internship program was there promoting their program.

Our classroom was Washington, D.C., and we were able to have experiences across the entire city.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This program was a phenomenal experience not only to gain relevant work experience in my field and further my leadership journey. Through this program, I interned at the National Sheriffs' Association while attending classes at George Mason University. My program was sponsored by the Fund for American Studies and the Ronald Regan Presidential Institute and Foundation, providing me resources and networking connections across the world. Our classroom was Washington, D.C., and we were able to have experiences across the entire city. Through interactions with museums, Congressmen, former Presidential Cabinet Members, the White House Fellows, and other individuals, we were able to gain valuable insight to navigating the nation’s capital and to improving our own leadership and skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Through my program, I was able to learn in a variety of situations. Through my class, I was able to learn in a formal setting regarding improving leadership and looking at the leadership of the Nation's greatest leaders. Through my job, I was able to gain real world insight to the concepts I learn in class. As a criminology major, I have studied interactions between the law, law enforcement, and the general public. Through my internship, I was able to work and see how those careful interactions are crafted, and how to maintain them. I partook in overseeing communication of all types being that were sent to Congressmen, our shareholders, and to the media. This hands-on experience was invaluable and has allowed me to enhance the material I learn while at Penn State.

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

Following my education at Penn State, I hope to attend law school focusing in business and contract law. I hope to work for an international company in addressing legal issues that come along with having locations throughout the world and clients in various countries and of various nationalities. This experience in D.C., has allowed me to see the interworking of our government's legal process and how Congress operates. By having this knowledge, my understanding of the complexity of law has been bettered. I also was able to gain a better understanding of law school and what I can do with that degree, through interacting with individuals who have experienced this and by seeing a law class.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to others. This program had such a diverse group of students involved in a diverse range of careers and fields. I was able to gain experience that would not have been available outside of this program.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Paterno Fellows has prepared me for this experience because it has provided me with a strong educational background. Having been a leader at Penn State, I entered this past summer with the knowledge and skills that I needed to succeed. My advanced coursework as a Paterno Fellow has also allowed me to gain valuable knowledge regarding time management and having an intense schedule. Being able to discuss my classwork at Penn State has also given me a talking point that exhibits the skills and experiences that I have had at Penn State.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Adam Nihei

CIEE Shanghai Summer Accelerated Language
Up one level
Adam Nihei

Major: Mechanical Engineering, Chinese 
Hometown: Hudson, Ohio

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience through Penn State study abroad search through the Office of Global Studies.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience in Shanghai was fulfilling in many ways and has permanently changed the way that I view the world. It has also allowed my Chinese to reach a higher level, in ways otherwise unobtainable in the US. I met so many people, went to so many people, had so many great (and bad) interactions that I will cherish for the rest of my life. This experience has also changed my life plans, as I have decided that I want to go back to China after I graduate this spring to work. China in many ways is very similar and very different to the US, but overall the Chinese culture more suits my personality and attitude towards life.

My experience in Shanghai was fulfilling in many ways and has permanently changed the way that I view the world.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience allowed me to apply the 10 credits that I obtained over the summer to the 9 credits I had left in my Chinese major, thanks to the approval of Dr. Jessamyn Abel and Dr. Wenhua Du (no longer with PSU). Due to such, I now can fully focus on the last of my Mechanical Engineering classes and finding a job in China.

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

Before I went to China, my goal was to obtain a Masters of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering or a related field. Now though, while I still hold those goals, I would rather return to China to start a new life. In the US, I feel very limited and constantly challenged in negative ways by the culture here. But in China, I feel a lot more free and can capitalize on the opportunities available offered by a country that is still in the process of developing.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes I would. 华东师范大学, or East China Normal University's teaching method is vastly different from the teaching styles they have here at PSU. Besides that, Shanghai is a gigantic city full of great things to do. The night life is amazing, the food and other consumables are ungodly cheap, and the opportunity for improvement in all areas of one's life is 100% there.

 

For more information on study abroad for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Larissa Gil Sanhueza

Red-Apis
Up one level
Larissa Gil Sanhueza

Major: Philosophy and German
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Altoona, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew that I wanted to find an internship abroad so I did a lot of research before I found the program that worked for me! There is so much out there, and all you have to do is look a little bit.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I completed a three month internship at a company called Red-Apis in Santiago, Chile. This company creates and promotes "inclusive technology" for deaf Chilean citizens and for tourists and/or immigrants that do not speak Spanish. The product I worked with the most was a system of video-interpretation called Vi-Sor. I worked as head of marketing and led several promotional projects for this service. I also served as the English-Spanish interpreter and provided several translations for government agencies and local commercial centers. Because no one at the company spoke English, I was also able to greatly improve my Spanish and learn a lot about Chilean culture along the way.

I was also able to greatly improve my Spanish and learn a lot about Chilean culture along the way

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically speaking, I was able to fulfill one of my requirements for the Paterno Fellows Program, and I also received honors credits for completing an academic experience abroad. Although I do not study Spanish, I would say that my improvement in the language could be considered an academic improvement. Before this summer, I was only used to speaking Spanish with my parents. This doesn't really help my reading, writing, or vocabulary. Because I was in charge of all social media accounts for the company, I was writing in Spanish the entire time, and this was a tremendous help for my "Spanish word bank."

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

My current career goals are to attend law school after taking a gap year. I have not thought fully about what I would like to do during that gap year, but this internship got me very interested in doing translation work. I found out that translators can often be paid a substantial amount of money, and it would help me on a more personal note work even more on my language. I've always loved language, so this type of work sounds like a lot of fun. I would never have considered this option if I hadn't completed my internship this summer!

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend the Cultural Vistas program to other students. This program has connections and "sister" programs in countries all over the world. Although I completed an internship, this program also helps you find study abroad programs and opportunities for volunteer work.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Amanda Yarson

CIEE Seville Summer Language and Culture Program
Up one level
Amanda Yarson

Major: International Politics, Spanish
Minor: Business in the Liberal Arts
Hometown: Yardley, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I spoke with my advisor and the Education Abroad office before and after applying to my programs. I completed a search on the Penn State's Global Program's website to find my specific program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I studied abroad in Seville, Spain for 4 weeks this past summer. I stayed in a homestay with my hostmom, Rosa, and her dog. I absolutely loved the homestay experience. I was able to eat a lot of authentic food and have practice speaking Spanish every day. This definitely helped to enhance my immersion experience and I recommend this option to anyone who studies abroad. Almost all of the other students chose this option as well. While I was there, I attended class 5 days a week. We did tours and field trips multiple days a week and I met so many people. I traveled every weekend and tried to get as much out of my program as possible. This program specifically was very inclusive and included free tours, a cooking class and 2 weekend trips.

This experience not only taught me about the culture of flamenco and the geographical area where I was studying but it also helped to strengthen my Spanish language skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I took one 3-credit class while I was abroad, Flamenco History and Culture. This experience not only taught me about the culture of flamenco and the geographical area where I was studying but it also helped to strengthen my Spanish language skills. I learned a lot about Flamenco dancing from the culture and history to an interactive dance lesson. We also attended a Flamenco show in the area for the experience of how this specific piece of culture affects the people of Seville. This also helped my understanding of the culture specific to the area. It helped me to understand the people and what is important to them and why.

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

My career goals and plans working for an international company. I ultimately want to use my Spanish language skills in whatever career in which I end up. This experience not only helped to strengthen my Spanish speaking and comprehension, but it also helped me to be more confident in my Spanish language abilities.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. This is a once in a lifetime experience that most people might not get the chance to do outside of school. You can always go on vacation, but this experience is truly so much more. You are constantly learning something new or seeing something that you would never see. You do not just create memories, you create an unforgettable experience. You meet new people and form lasting relationships from people all over the world.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program played a huge role on my experience and I might not have had this experience if it were not for the 6-week study abroad requirement. The Paterno Fellows Program also made this and other opportunities available to me by advertising study abroad through Penn State and also providing information about funding.

 

For more information on study abroad for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Edka Wong

Children's Law Center
Up one level
Edka Wong

Major: Political Science
Minor: Global Security and Jewish Studies
Hometown: Purcellville, VA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned of the internship experience through my mentor through the Liberal Arts Alumni Mentor Program. My mentor is originally from Philadelphia and knew contacts in the city who he reached out and then directed me to their contacts in Washington, D.C. (close to my home).

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my time at the Children's Law Center (CLC), I was able to diversify my duties between legal, development, and investigation. Children's Law Center is a legal aid society for at-risk children in D.C. It is extremely comprehensive where clients often reach out regarding children's health issues to behavior issues in school. CLC trains many attorneys in the area who donate their services pro bono, which I was able to sit in and observe. In an official capacity, I served in the development department where I learned many donor relation, research, and planning skills that quite frankly cannot be learned in a classroom. Lastly, I spent a lot of time in investigator trainings where I was able to broaden my understanding of all the undertakings and efforts that goes into legal work. I am grateful for the comprehensive and flexible experience I was afforded.

Those skills are invaluable because I not only learned new things, but also reinforced things I have learned in the classroom.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I was able to learn many skills that I would not have learned in a classroom. Those skills are invaluable because I not only learned new things, but also reinforced things I have learned in the classroom. This internship also gave me a new perspective to approaching problems and a new creative mind to conjure solutions.

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

I intend to attend law school and become an attorney. Networking and observing attorneys in my area and in the area of law I am interested in has confirmed my career path. It also opened my eyes to many different cross sectional areas of law, debunking my impression I had to specialize in a certain area of law. This internship was truly a reward because I was able to see and be a part of the kind of work I hope to accomplish in the future. Networking with law students and lawyers also gave me the opportunity for them to mentor me and share best practices with me throughout my impending legal career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this internship to other students because it was comprehensive and flexible. I was able to truly shape the experience I had because the supervisors were great and interested in what I could get out of this rather than what they could get out of me.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The PFP curriculum and requirements made it so that I would challenge myself here at Penn State. This gave me a competitive edge amongst the applicant pool. I am also grateful for the advisors and mentors who dedicate their time to listening and advising me. With their advise, I was able to develop myself more professionally.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Abigail Micheel

Egypt Study Tour
Up one level
Abigail Micheel

Major: Classics and Ancient Mediterranian Studies 
Hometown: Montgomeryville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was in Dr. Redford's Egyptian Mythology class last fall and heard about her and her husband's Mendes dig there. I was immediately interested in it and was able to accompany them over the summer.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Originally, it was planned as an excavation of their site at Mendes, however when the Egyptian government failed to approve many sites' paperwork in time, the Doctors Redford turned it into a study tour. I learned so much in the company of students from all over America and the world - we had students from Canada and Australia as well. As such, we learned a bit about each other's cultures as well as that of Egypt. Traveling to many cities all over the country, we were able to learn about Egyptian history from the pre-dynastic era to modern times and got to see various sites for ourselves. This allowed us to experience first hand concepts such as the evolution of pyramid building by visiting pyramid sites from different time periods.

We were able to learn about Egyptian history from the pre-dynastic era to modern times and got to see various sites for ourselves

How did this experience impact you academically?

For me, this experience counted as a course and so furthered my academic career. I was able to learn a lot from it. The museums we visited in Cairo, Luxor, Alexandria, and elsewhere were very informative. While some, like the Cairo museum, took on more well-known topics such as Tutankhamun’s tomb and its artifacts, in Luxor we got to learn about relations between Egypt and the Nubians to the South, a topic I hadn’t much learned about before. The Redfords themselves are incredibly knowledgeable on the subject material as well, of course, having been in the field for so long, and taught our group a lot with periodic lectures, both while traveling or just in the hotel. Being able to learn from them while in Egypt was invaluable.

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

I am planning on attending graduate school to further my education and earn a doctorate degree in Egyptology. So of course, it was very important to me that I go to Egypt to experience the culture and history first hand. I wanted to get a feel for things and see if I could see myself doing Egyptology for the rest of my life. Thankfully, I loved every minute of it. The trip helped to further cement my career goals, and while we were traveling I was able to get some advice from the Redfords about attending graduate school in the future.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

If you are interested in Egypt, or just history, or even just in expanding your horizons, I would recommend this experience to you. What I was able to see and do as a result of this trip was amazing, and I still can't quite believe I did all of it. Swimming in the Mediterranean in Alexandria, descending shafts in tombs and in the Great Pyramid, making friends from all over the country and the world, seeing the mummies of pharaohs and the grave goods of Tutankhamen... it all sounds like something out of a storybook or a movie rather than from my life. It's an experience that I'll never forget.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Laura Gates

Penn State Center: Engaging Philadelphia
Up one level
Laura Gates

Major: Sociology
Minor: Education Policy Studies, Information Science and Statistical Analysis
Hometown: Wilmington, DE

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about the internship through the PSU jobs website.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The Penn State Center is an office in Center City that houses a couple different departments, including a branch of the Stuckeman School of Architecture and Agricultural Extension. At this position, I was able to experience different types of work environments, tasks, and projects that spanned a wide variety of topics. Every day was something different; on Mondays, interns were in the office taking workshops, listening to speakers, or working on projects. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays we were paired with a partner site as a way for Penn State to offer program support in the Philadelphia agricultural community. Fridays consisted mostly of field trips and workdays at other interns’ partner sites. The particular site I was paired with was the Federation of Neighborhood Centers, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening its neighborhood through youth and adult empowerment programs as well as workforce education and urban agriculture. In particular, I worked with Teens4Good, an internship program funded by the Philadelphia Youth Network. The purpose of the program is to give teenagers valuable personal and professional development in an agricultural setting.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I definitely learned a lot. I was the only person going into the program with no science background, so I gained a lot of practical knowledge about agriculture, farming, and nutrition. I was also able to gain valuable experience working with a nonprofit and living in an urban environment. I feel like I have a better understanding for what I do and don't want to do after I graduate.

I was also able to gain valuable experience working with a nonprofit and living in an urban environment

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

I have short and long term career goals - after graduation I hope to work in outdoor recreation and education. I love working with kids and am very interested in the benefits of experiential-based learning and personal development. I also like the immersive nature of outdoor recreation and how easy it is to travel for work. For the long term, however, I would like to go back to school and work in higher education, either in counseling or student affairs.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes! I had a great summer and learned a lot. I recommend it especially for people interested in urban farming or working with urban populations in general.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

PFP has been very supportive of my summer experience and I do think my involvement in the program has positively benefitted me. For example, its taught me to be proactive and prepared me to work in a fast-paced environment.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Rachel Fleischer

Washington DC Office of Congresswoman Dina Titus
Up one level
Rachel Fleischer

Major: Political Science and Music Performance
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship through Congresswoman Titus's website. This was a standard way of finding out about the internship because most Congressional offices have online applications for potential interns to fill out.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an intern, my duties consisted of answering the phone, attending legislative briefings, assisting staffers with various projects, and giving tours of the Capitol to constituents. Each duty allowed me to engage with the different tasks completed by the staffers and allowed me to gain a better idea of what a life in politics consisted of as a legislative assistant to a Member of Congress. One of my favorite tasks of working on the Hill was attending legislative briefings because I was able to learn in-depth about issues that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned about. Luckily, during my internship, Congress was in session the majority of the time allowing me to see the office in full swing. Every day there was a constant stream of lobbyists and constituents visiting the office to either meet with staffers and/or the Congresswoman in order to advocate for their issues. I always liked talking to them so that I could learn more about their advocacy issues and the proposed changes they would like to see happen in order to better Las Vegas. When Congress was in session I also noticed that the vibes of Congress, in general, depended on the news cycle. For example, when the Senate was voting to debate health care and then on the ‘skinny repeal,’ the office was buzzing as constituents were constantly calling and faxing the office and the staff was getting prepared in case the bill passed through the Senate and ended up going to the House floor for a vote. Other notable moments that occurred on my time on the Hill always tended to happen either in the elevators or around the elevators. For some reason, the elevators seemed to be the watering hole of the House and Senate buildings. In fact, I met both Representative John Lewis and Senator Bernie Sanders in the elevators and even made small talk with them.

Each duty allowed me to engage with the different tasks completed by the staffers and allowed me to gain a better idea of what a life in politics consisted of as a legislative assistant to a Member of Congress.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Attending legislative briefings impacted me academically because I was able to attend briefings on immigration in the U.S. which will help me write my honors thesis on immigration legislation. Some of the briefings that I went to were either specifically about upcoming immigration policy, policies for political asylum seekers, and the future of DACA and DAPA. These briefings were my favorite because I was able to gain exposure to a field that really interests me and will be able to apply what I learned to my thesis.

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

Upon graduation, I would like to complete a J.D. program in order to pursue my goal of obtaining a law degree. This experience positively contributed to my future career goals because it solidified my resolve to enter into the world of politics once I graduate with both my undergraduate and J.D. degrees.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because it allows students to gain a better understanding of what the policy-making process looks like from the perspective of a staffer in a Congressional Office as well as helps students gain real-world experience that will help set the foundation for a future career in politics.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Nay Min

Center for Diversity and National Harmony
Up one level
Nay Min

Major: Political Science
Minor: Economics
Hometown: New York City, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience through an older friend who has some of the same interests as I do. I asked him to recommend a few internship opportunities while I was also looking for them online. One of the internships that he recommended stood out so I applied for it. After a long application process, I was excited to learn that I was selected as their intern.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I interned at a research department of a local NGO whose mission is to enhance social harmony and mitigate ethnic violence in Myanmar: a country with 135 ethnic groups and stricken by the longest and ongoing ethnic conflicts in the world. At CDNH, I not only had a chance to contribute to the publication of a peace assessment of Myanmar through desk research, but also had a chance to assist in the accomplishment of a research methodology training for a group of young people from all over Myanmar. In addition, I was able to travel to the northern part of Rakhine State, the hearth of communal violence between Arakanese majority and Muslim minority, to access the migration situation through survey interviews and in-depth interviews. The whole experience was life-changing, especially the month that I spent in Rakhine state talking with people from both the Arakanese and Muslim communities.

How did this experience impact you academically?

It is one thing to learn political science in class, but it is a whole another experience to interact and talk with the people who are experiencing the topics- such as ethnic conflicts- that you are covering in class. Such an experience changed the way I think in a way that I have started to value the political education way more than I ever had. In another word, I now understand that political science is much more than just interesting theories and arguments. It can have a tangible impact on many people. Furthermore, political science education or education in general are things that can change people’s lives. For instance, Rakhine is the second poorest state in Myanmar with 73% poverty rate and access to education can reduce it drastically.

Such an experience changed the way I think in a way that I have started to value the political education way more than I ever had.

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

I have an interest in politics, economics, history, and the law of Myanmar, but I was unsure how to learn more about it besides reading the news, scientific papers, and books on the country. This experience had given me the opportunity to learn about the country in a more intimate way and that had definitely shaped my plans for the future. I would like to study comparative constitutional law eventually, but during the few years I will take off after college, I would like to go back and work on a serious and impactful issue facing the people of Myanmar, whether at an NGO or a governmental organization.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I recommend this experience to those who are passionate about the country and the immensely interesting issues facing it. Myanmar is a whole different world compare to the US, and you will only be able to immerse in it only if you care about it.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Ryan Wilson

FanCompass
Up one level
Ryan Wilson

Major: Economics
Minor: Business Administration
Hometown: Lancaster, PA

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship with FanCompass in San Rafael, CA was a truly invaluable experience that will hopefully propel my career. I was able to work with a small tech consulting firm whose clients consist of some of the largest sports franchises in the world. Our office was located just 10 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge and this was my first time being in San Francisco. During my time with FanCompass, I learned computer programming languages, attended conferences with executives and increased my caffeine consumption significantly.

I was able to work with a small tech consulting firm whose clients consist of some of the largest sports franchises in the world

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I was able to gain invaluable technical skills in both web development and statistical analysis. I used google analytics and the back end of our own native platform every day which gave me hands on experience with day to day maintenance for a small tech company.

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

I now view tech/small business consulting as a field that I am passionate about & want to join. This gave me exposure to a very niche market and the array of problems a tech consulting firm can solve. I saw the processes that tech companies utilize on a day to day basis. Additionally, the culture of the workplace in the Bay Area was much different than that I was used to.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. Stepping out of your comfort zone and going across the country was incredible. I feel that there is a connotation that tech and innovation is reserved only for programmers or geniuses or people in California. This really opened the doors for me to see that the sky is the limit and disruptive companies can come from every day hard working people in any industry.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jake Springer

Tel Akko
Up one level
Jake Springer

Major: Classics and Ancient Mediterranian Studies & Secondary Education
Minor: Jewish Studies & Education Public Policy
Hometown: Downingtown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about it through my CAMS 100 professor, T. Olson, which I had honors optioned with and was required to write a lengthy essay for. In my essay, I focused on possible locations of habitation for the Sea Peoples, and identified Akko (Acre) as a possible location. He then told me about the opportunity and how he loved it when he previously went on it.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Tel Akko completely pushed me into the pool that is archaeology. I learned an incredible amount about the nuances of this profession, and not only the digging. We discussed and experienced the issues concerning politics, limitations, and documentation within archaeology. Being a mixed city in Israel, Akko provides an incredibly unique perspective concerning the cultural and geopolitical issues within the modern state. We delved into these with a focus on conservation efforts made by the state.

We discussed and experienced the issues concerning politics, limitations, and documentation within archaeology.

How did this experience impact you academically?

It definitely showed me the realities of archaeology, and assured me that this is not my path. Also, the biases and issues concerning historical interpretation of material remains was really brought to light. For example, the term "cultic objects" carries such abstract power. In more practical terms, it provided me with 9 of the 18 required credits for a Jewish Studies minor, which is an amazing amount for a five week span.

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

My immediate goal post-graduation is to teach in Secondary Education. Having understandings and experiences such as those offered at Akko allow me to really push my students into challenging the readings their being provided and critically analyze the findings cited within textbooks and historical documents. Seeing the beginning of the process for interpreting remains really sheds light on the entire process, and it's a consideration I want to share with my students.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

The only way I would recommend this to other students is if their response to the question "Are you interested in archaeology" is some form of a yes. The program spends 7 hours digging and 2 hours pottery washing Monday-Friday, and then more labor on Sundays. This level of commitment demands a parallel amount of interest. Further, the rigid curfews and extremely structured tours leave very little room for independent activities that are common in most other study abroads.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows program led directly to this experience as I would have never honors optioned my CAMS 100 class. Without doing so, I would never have created a relationship with my professor who then pointed me in this direction.

Allison Slate

The Fresh Air Fund
Up one level
Allison Slate

Major: Political Science, Education and Public Policy
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Hawley, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

When I was younger my family hosted a Fresh Air Child. So I wanted to see if there was a way I could help the organization that helped change the lives of the people in my family and the child we hosted from New York City. I just looked on their website to see if they offered internship opportunities; however, they also posted information on Idealist, which is a great resource for people interested in nonprofit work.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The job was 9-5 Monday through Friday with occasional overtime and travel. I worked with a small group of interns to coordinate transportation for the children who would not be taking the bus provided by The Fresh Air Fund (the traditional travel method). We organized spreadsheets, information packets, medical information and anything else that was necessary to ensure the children's safety. I also had the opportunity to escort children on the buses occasionally. I loved this because I got to talk to the children benefiting from the experience and I got to see new places. My favorite trip was overnight in Portland, Maine. I took the bus with another intern up to Maine, explored the city, and took a plane back the next day.

This experience impacted me academically by helping me realize the information in the classes I'm using I can actually apply to the future.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically by helping me realize the information in the classes I'm using I can actually apply to the future. All of the children who participated had to qualify for the program based on income. It enhanced and applied the information I learned about poverty, social programs, and the education system. It's one thing to read a case study about gentrifying areas of the city such as Harlem or Chelsea, but to see it in action and talk to people who are impacted by it enhanced what I learned in the classroom.

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

I'm not entirely sure what I want to do in the future. However, when I started college I said I would never do non profit work. I loved it this summer. It opened a whole new set of doors for me. Working in a non profit was gratifying, I saw the changes I helped implement. It gave me hope for the future. This fall I have an internship at Senator Casey's Bellefonte Office so I am gaining experience working for a federal office and I am enjoying it. However, I would like to try working in the corporate world for a little while. Eventually, I will probably end up at a nonprofit again.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely, the staff I spent a lot of time with was young and loved to interact with the interns. The environment was not scary and asking questions was encouraged. Upper level management was very accomplished and enjoyed meeting with interns to talk about their career goals. It was a fun, positive, learning experience.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Priscilla Mariani

Centre County Historical Society
Up one level
Priscilla Mariani

Major: History
Minor: Anthropology
Hometown: Curwensville, PA 

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I looked up the Historical Society myself after other internship prospects fell through. When I found it, I emailed the executive director of the Centre Furnace Mansion. I sent my information and resume and after a bit, she got back to me and set up my internship for credit through Professor Milligan in the Department of History.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

At the Mansion, my duties were to set up a small exhibition on Alice and Hilda Thompson. The exhibit was about their service in the Red Cross during World War II, it was also dedicated to the Central Pennsylvania Red Cross's Centennial. For my academic credentials, I had to write a research paper that was at minimum 20 pages in length also dedicated to the Thompson sisters and the Central PA Red Cross.

I learned more about putting together an exhibition and how to handle artifacts carefully. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I further intensified my research and writing skills. I learned more about putting together an exhibition and how to handle artifacts carefully. Furthermore, I was invited back to intern at the Mansion for my dedicated work and skill.

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

Part of the reason I searched out the Historical Society is that I want to work eventually in a museum-like setting and do intensive historical research. I had a lot of fun during my internship and it cemented my career goals even further.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes! Working with the women at the Historical Society was a wonderful experience. Everyone there is extremely flexible and encouraging of your academic goals and endeavors. There is a lot of teamwork and skill-building while working at the Mansion.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Erin Flannery

Nanjing Univeristy Exchange
Up one level
Erin Flannery

Major: Chinese
Minor: Security Risk Analysis
Hometown: Garnet Valley, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about my experience from the Career Enrichment Network in the College of Liberal Arts. I met with the Coordinator of Global Programs in the fall semester, and she let me know about the different embedded courses running in the spring semester. She also explained what an embedded course is and how affordable this option can be.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was a part of a cultural exchange between Penn State and Nanjing University in China. For the cultural exchange, I was enrolled in an embedded course and was then accepted by the professor to visit Nanjing for two weeks immediately following the end of the semester. I traveled with my professor, a graduate student in the department of Asian Studies and a group of 14 other students from the class. Each of the students from Penn State was assigned two partner students from NJU. Together, we visited some sights around the city and attended our partner's classes. The PSU students also enrolled in a one credit class with our professor.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a Chinese major, this experience really helped me improve both my Chinese language skills and cultural understanding. Since I had only studied Chinese for one year before this trip, I was nervous that I would not be able to interact with the Nanjing University students, or function independently. However, being immersed in the language was an amazing experience, and I saw great improvements in a short amount of time. Our close personal interaction with Chinese peers, coupled with our one credit class that served to overview and debrief these interactions, cemented new cultural understandings that are very valuable to me. Even students who were not studying Chinese felt as though they took away important lessons about Asian culture and cultural exchange.

Being immersed in the language was an amazing experience, and I saw great improvements in a short amount of time.

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

Because I traveled to Nanjing the summer following my freshman year at Penn State, I feel as though it really helped me narrow down my future career goals. After visiting some well-known graduate schools located in Nanjing, I both had a better understanding of international graduate programs and a greater desire to purse specific certifications. Moreover, this trip confirmed my aspiration to live and work in Asia after graduation. I had the opportunity to talk we many different professors who shared their knowledge of international fellowships and related programs. On the other hand, the trip highlighted some professional outlets that are not as well suited to my goals. I am now confident that I am more interested in corporate careers than those in academia.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

While this specific embedded program is only running for one more year, I strongly recommend that all students at Penn State become aware of embedded trips in their professional fields. Embedded courses are a unique and affordable way to go abroad that you can help you get some experience before spending a summer or semester abroad.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Through the Paterno Fellows Program, I was able to secure additional funding for my trip in addition to an award from the College of Liberal Arts. Though the embedded program had already secured some funding, resources from both the College of Liberal Arts and Paterno Fellows Program made this trip even more affordable for my family. I also felt more supported throughout the entire process. Many other students on the trip were also aspiring fellows, and traveling in this community was both comforting and fun. Moreover, many of my peers on the trip received similar support to the fellowship program, and took advantages of additional resources.

 

For more on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 

Alexandra Marotta

House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Up one level
Alexandra Marotta

Major: International Affairs-International Security option
Hometown: Memphis, TN

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had an informational interview with a senior staffer on the committee and after forwarding her my resume, she recommended me for the position.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked 9am-6pm Monday through Friday doing things like writing memos, answering phones, running errands, and doing preliminary research for the reports of staffers. I was able to attend congressional hearings and be present during votes. I, along with the other interns, was responsible for setting up our committee's hearing room prior to major hearings.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was truly the first time I was able to use everything I have learned in school in a real world setting. I was constantly using research and analytical skills to write one-page memos daily, on anything from cyberterrorism to the ivory trade in China. I relied on my writing skills in a way that truly mattered, not just for a grade.

This experience was truly the first time I was able to use everything I have learned in school in a real world setting.

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

After college I hope to secure a job in the Foreign Service for a few years and then pursue grad school. This internship reaffirmed my desire to be apart of the diplomatic services in America and I was able to meet so many people with a wide variety of career paths so I am now more aware of just how many paths I could follow. It was reassuring to know there was not just one right answer to get where I want to be.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend working on the Hill, no matter your major. I learned valuable networking skills and met so many people that wanted to help get me started with a career. The Penn State connections came in handy many times as well. I even had coffee with the Chief of Staff of the Foreign Affairs committee because she was a Penn State alum!

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Natasha Nagle

An Irish Odyssey: History and Culture of Ireland
Up one level
Natasha Nagle

Major: Geosciences, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Anthropology
Minor: International Studies, History, Jewish Studies
Hometown: Perkasie, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I attended one of the tabling events for embedded study abroad programs where I met one of the professors in the AgSci department who taught and ran the course.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This was a wonderful eight day tour around Ireland, during which we were partnered with EF Tours and a few other colleges from around the United States. We began in Dublin and had the opportunity to experience Irish culture through food and dance, see the Book of Kells, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Storehouse, and several museum collections housed throughout the city. We then traveled further into the countryside and had the opportunity to see a bog village, the Ring of Kerry, watch a sheepdog herding demonstration, and observe the beauty and greenery of Ireland. We also stopped at Blarney Castle and the Rock of Cashel among many other cultural and historically important sites.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I had always been interested in the history and culture of Ireland and had wanted to travel there for many years. As a result of this experience, I had the opportunity to take a course during the spring semester which went through the history of the area from the first human settlements through to modern day, as well as travel to Ireland for credit during the Maymester as well.

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

I have majors in geosciences, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and Anthropology and as such would be very much interested in using my geochemical training on archaeological excavations throughout graduate school as well as into my professional career. I am interested in learning more about history and people, and how certain regions of the world developed as they did and what their particular cultural markers are and how the world in which they lived affected those markers. As such, this experience provided a wonderful connection to a part of the world in which I had always been interested, and yet had not had much of a chance to explore further. Learning more about the world in which we live and the people with which we share that world is never a bad idea, and having many opportunities to do so is something for which I am very grateful to the College of Liberal Arts and Penn State in general.

I would largely recommend this experience to any student who is interested in Ireland and its history and culture. 

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would largely recommend this experience to any student who is interested in Ireland and its history and culture. Whether this be because they are interested in the history, the culture, the geology, or simply because they have familial connections to the region, having the opportunity to learn so much more about the world and those connections is invaluable. There is so much one can learn through studying abroad that is not necessarily able to be taught on a college campus and experiencing different cultures and interacting with the material you are studying is something better done through study abroad and first hand experience.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Through my interaction and participation within the Paterno Fellows Program I was able to garner a bit more monetary support for my study abroad experience than I may have otherwise been able. This support was necessary to help my goal of participating in this experience come to fruition and it was extremely appreciated. The Paterno Fellows' dedication to expanding their students' perceptions of the world through increased interactions with other cultures and with people from different backgrounds is something which I highly support, and I am grateful that they were able to help support me in doing so as well.

 

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Veronica Joyce

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)
Up one level
Veronica Joyce

Major: Sociology, Spanish
Minor: Labor and Employment Relations, Sustainability Leadership
Hometown: Stroudsburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I run the Student Conduct Advisors at Penn State. In December, I was invited to a conference for students defending student rights. FIRE invited people like me to help them develop a guide to help students at other campuses across the country set up organizations to protect student rights. FIRE protects student/faculty rights across college campuses, and they want students to also be involved in protecting their own rights. There, I learned about their summer internship. It would be a good experience for anyone looking into First Amendment law or protecting the rights of Americans in general.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I learned a lot more than I thought possible. I went into it thinking that I would learn about what FIRE did on a day-to-day basis, but I learned about the whole history of the First Amendment. I also thought that free speech was more or less a conservative issue, but as I learned, it is for everyone, and everyone is for it regardless of politics. I feel more educated on a subject I was not previously, as well as feeling more passionate and ready to protect people's rights in general. I was exposed to law, non-profit work, conference organization, office life, having a 9 to 5 job, living in Philadelphia, writing professionally, collaborating on projects, movie-making, and much more. We had speakers every week, worked on projects with the employees of FIRE, planned and ran a conference, and ate bagels every Thursday.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I think it will help me with future schooling. It is an intense but educational program which I believe will give me a step up with any further education I end up pursuing. It also helped me to figure out that I do not want to go to law school. I saw so many other paths to take this summer and was able to consult with lawyers and law students alike on their thoughts about getting a JD.

Advocacy is a path I am interested in pursuing, so this summer was a good window into how advocacy works in the real world.

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

I am not sure. I know that I want to work with people and hopefully use my Spanish language skills in the future but I do not yet know how. This program helped me to see the inner workings of a non-profit. Advocacy is a path I am interested in pursuing, so this summer was a good window into how advocacy works in the real world.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes. You do not need to know much about free speech before you get there. I would do the readings they give you to understand FIRE more fully, but it is so much of a learning summer that you do not need to go into it being an expert already. This is great for Liberal Arts students because you can really put your skills to use here. We wrote, debated, learned, and critiqued every day.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Paterno Fellows helped not only monetarily but also in the preparation for this summer. Philadelphia is not the cheapest place to live, so being able to apply for enrichment funds was crucial to my ability to participate in this program. PFP also helped me feel confident in my ability to show up and be a leader in a new place. I always feel encouraged and supported by PFP and know that I have people to turn to if need be.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Hannah Standish

HDFS in Florence, Italy
Up one level
Hannah Standish

Major: Psychology
Minor: Human Development and Family Studies
Hometown: Harrisburg PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience online. I was looking at several study abroad programs and this one appealed to me because it was during the summer and applied specifically to my minor.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience in Italy was incredible. I learned so much and made great memories. I took 3 classes while there and I loved all of them. My favorite of the three was my Italian Childhood class where we got to go into Italian kindergartens and observe the children and how they are taught for 3 days. We got to interact with the children and learn about how the schools in Italy are run. As a class, we went on a lot of field trips to places that I would not have been to otherwise. These field trips taught me so much more about Italian culture and what daily life is like for someone who lives in Italy. I also had the opportunity to travel somewhere new almost every weekend I was there so it was amazing to be able to see so much of Italy and even other countries. I had the most incredible experience that I will always remember.

I learned about Italian culture and family life in a way that you can only really learn about by experiencing it.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Studying abroad impacted me academically because I had the opportunity to take classes I would not have been able to take if I stayed in America. I learned about Italian culture and family life in a way that you can only really learn about by experiencing it. Being exposed to a new culture has opened my mind to new things and ideas that I would not know if I hadn't lived there for a short time. It also gave me the opportunity to complete my minor. I received 9 credits while I was abroad and they all applied to minor, which was really exciting because most of the time when students go abroad they take gen ed classes, so to be able to complete my minor in such a different way was great.

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

After I finish my undergraduate studies I plan to attend graduate school and eventually become a counselor. This experience made me even more excited to become a counselor because it showed me just how different everyone is from me and I can learn so much from everyone I come into contact with. It also made me think about working with kids and families. There is a growing need for all types of counselors and working with the kids in kindergarten inspired me to want to help children.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. Studying abroad is an opportunity to expand your knowledge of the world and experience other cultures firsthand instead of just reading about them in a textbook. It changed so much about the way I view the world and made me a more well-rounded person. And the enrichment funds I received played a huge part in making my experience what it was. I loved every second of my time in Italy and would encourage everyone to go abroad if they are able.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Candice Crutchfield

Federal Bureau of Investigation Honors Internship Program
Up one level
Candice Crutchfield

Major: Criminology, Communication Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Woodbridge, VA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I initially heard about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Honors Internship Program after attending a career fair in the Bryce Jordan Center during my freshman year. Although I did not qualify for the internship position at the time, I engaged in conversation with the recruiter and was encouraged to research the program and requirements online. After obtaining additional work experience, enrolling in courses I knew would help set me apart from other applicants, and maintaining positivity, I decided to apply for the internship during my sophomore year. I discovered the application online, and after completion, I made sure to keep in touch with the initial recruiter and religiously checked the application’s status. I was offered a conditional offer before the summer of my sophomore year and have since been an intern in the Honors Internship Program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Returning to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Honors Internship Program for a second summer, I was overjoyed to commute to the nation’s capital each week. With the assistance and motivation received from the College of the Liberal Arts, I was afforded the opportunity to intern within the Criminal Investigative Division’s Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section, offering assistance in the investigation of civil rights violations, fraud, prison corruption, and international relations. Throughout the summer, I traveled to the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA and the Washington Field Office and met with agents, intelligence analysts, and support staff that help to continue the mission of the FBI. Although there was no “typical” day as an FBI Intern, I spent a large portion of my time researching, analyzing data, creating resource guides, and redesigning web products for my assigned unit. One of my most memorable experiences of the summer included planning the FBI’s annual National Public Corruption Conference. I, along with my supervisor, traveled to Dallas, TX, to network, review case presentations, and discuss best practices with Federal Agents and Intelligence Analysts from around the nation. Throughout the summer, I was able to work alongside the best of the best, engage in valuable conversations, and was provided with the knowledge and additional skills needed to pursue a career of service within the federal government.

I was able to work alongside the best of the best, engage in valuable conversations, and was provided with the knowledge and additional skills needed to pursue a career of service within the federal government.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a student double majoring in Criminology and Communication Arts and Sciences, I looked forward to using my classroom experiences in the real world. Having taken a variety of courses focused on the U.S. Correctional System, federal courts, and legal rhetoric, I was more than prepared to delve into the various files, documents, and research needs of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section. In fact, on my first day back in the Headquarters office, I was asked to take my past research on prison systems and brief fellow interns on the rising social concern. Currently writing my honors thesis on the intersectional topics of legal representation, race, and the criminal justice system, I utilized my time in Washington, D.C. to engage in the difficult, yet necessary conversations with those who see such cases on a federal scale. I was provided with direct access to established researchers, agents, and civilian personnel who assisted in my research and discussed a variety of ideas. Returning to campus, I feel motivated to continue working toward my degrees and am reassured that I pursued majors that will enable me to make an impact in a variety of ways.

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

With a lifelong interest in dedicating my future to public service, I have been passionate about the mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation since I was 12 years old. Aside from being able to pursue my long-term career goals as a college student, this unique opportunity opened the door to a possible full-time position. Working in the Criminal Investigative Division, specifically under the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section, I was able to translate my passions into action on a national scale. Briefing leaders within the Department of Justice, sitting in meetings with our nation’s top professionals, and assisting in day to day operations, I was exposed to a variety of positions such as Special Assistants, Program Analysts, and more. In addition to the exposure to diverse professionals in a variety of fields, I left Washington, D.C. with solidified goals of pursuing a legal education and working on the federal scale.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I encourage all students interested in being a part of something bigger than themselves to actively pursue an internship or career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The beautiful thing about the federal government, specifically the FBI, is the ability to find something that aligns with your passions. From opportunities within the Public Relations and Congressional Affairs unit to working with the Critical Evidence Response team, there is something for everyone at the FBI. Speaking from interactions with students, faculty, and staff, the College of the Liberal Arts is full of motivated people who wish to impact the lives of others, become changemakers, and advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. The FBI is a perfect place to pursue everything previously mentioned. Every experience is what you make of it — my time in Washington, D.C. was definitely the most rewarding summer of my life.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The courses taken on campus as well as participation in the Paterno Fellows Program and Presidential Leadership Academy have allowed me to gain insight and the necessary skills to think critically, work outside of my comfort zone, network, and effectively enact positive change, all of which I was able to accomplish during my summer in Washington, D.C.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Caroline Dorf

The Israel Project
Up one level
Caroline Dorf

Major: Global and International Studies, Studio Art
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Garnet Valley, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

The program that I participated in, Onward Israel, is structured for students who have had a prior short term experience in Israel and are looking to return for a substantial period of time. I learned about the program after having traveled to Israel during winter 2016. From there I looked on the program website and determined which program would best fit me.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my time abroad in Israel, I worked Monday-Thursday every week in the Israeli Headquarters for The Israel Project. For the first part of the summer, I worked under the Communications team and during the second part of the summer, I worked under the Research team. When I was not working I was able to travel around Jerusalem and Israel to learn more about the people and the culture. In terms of my living accommodation, I lived in an apartment building with the other 30 members of my program who all had different internships around Jerusalem. One day a week the program would provide an excursion where we could travel somewhere in Israel and learn about some of the topics and issues facing the country such as gender and sexuality, race, religion, etc.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I was able to learn an incredible amount about the Middle East and the complexity of the region. Specifically, I spent my day to day in my internship focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict and now feel very confident in my basic knowledge on the topic. In my internship, I was able to do hands on research and work with a team of 4 other interns working directly under the heads of each department. As many of my classes at Penn State have been political science classes, I felt that this was the first time I was able to see first-hand the applications of these classes in action. Additionally, the experience of being fully immersed in a different culture and society was extremely enlightening and educational.

I was able to do hands on research and work with a team of 4 other interns working directly under the heads of each department.

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

After I graduate, I hope to work abroad as a volunteer or on a service program. From there I would like to work with an NGO or in the international department of a company. Being able to live and work abroad for the summer gave me the confidence to pursue this goal as I know that I can be successful in living and working in a different country and culture than my own. Also, I learned a lot about the Bedouin population while living in Israel and if I ever return to Israel to work I would like to work with an NGO that helps the Bedouin population.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to a Liberal Arts student looking to have an abroad experience outside of Europe. What is really amazing about Israel is that while there is a lot of Western influence, it is very distinctly in the Middle East in regards to the culture, language, and people. Additionally, I feel that the internship opportunities offered to me and my fellow program participants were broader and overall better than what we could have found in the states for our level of education and experience.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I was influenced to pursue this program in order to fulfill the Paterno Fellows Study Abroad/Internship requirement. I would not have been able to take part in this experience if it were not for the funding I received for this as a Paterno Fellow from Liberal Arts Enrichment Funding. The Paterno Fellows Program was great in encouraging and supporting me to pursue this opportunity and allowing me to feel that here were resources available to me.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Sarah Elizabeth Henry

Josiah Venture
Up one level
 Sarah Elizabeth Henry

Major: Criminology & Sociology
Hometown: State College, PA 

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this experience when I went on a mission trip to the Czech Republic when I was 16. I later looked into it online to get more details. My church was a major part of finding and doing this internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This past summer, I lead a team of college students throughout Latvia to teach music and spread the word of God. Over the summer our main focus was reaching out to kids ages 12-20 and really forming relationships and connecting them with the local church. Throughout the summer, we visited many different towns and lead three camps. During these camps, we taught students how to play instruments and sing while also showing them the love of God through our actions. We played games and sports while also holding music workshops. We spent a lot of time learning about the culture and the language so that we could better connect with students. At one of the camps, I gave my testimony and it opened the door for some incredible deep conversations with students. We were able to bond over struggles and life experiences that showed even though we've grown up an ocean apart our experiences can still be similar. While most of the internship was relational, as a leader there was a lot I had to do that was organizational. I loved running camps and connecting with students while also supporting my team, short term church teams, and the local Latvian church teams.

Being a sociology major we talk about people and how they relate to one another. By being very relational and seeing how cultures collide and people work together, I was able to see that in real world contexts. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically by giving me a real life look at how cultures are different. Being a sociology major we talk about people and how they relate to one another. By being very relational and seeing how cultures collide and people work together, I was able to see that in real world contexts. This summer also forced me to be organized and diligent in my work. These are skills I have carried over into school especially in working on my thesis. This summer also taught me how to be a leader and what my strengths and weaknesses are.

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

My career goals have been majorly shaped by this experience. Because of the two summer internships, I have done with Josiah Venture, I plan to work with them full time. After graduation, I hope to move to Latvia and continue the ministry there. I have a dream that one day I will be able to translate lessons and sermons in Latvian and build stronger connections with students by communicating in their first language. I love the people and the culture and I would not have found this desire and love if it would not have been for this internship.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this internship. During the internship you learn so much about yourself, who you are, and where you come from. This internships has shaped the person I am today. This internship provides you with a loving community like you've never experienced while having the opportunity to grow as a leader and learn and experience other cultures.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program is what made this internship possible. By requiring me to do an internship or study abroad, I looked for one. I do not know if I would have done one otherwise. Also, their dedication to opening other students to new cultured caused me to look to go abroad. Without the financial support I would not have been able to do the internship. Sadly, money and finances can become a roadblock for people to achieve great things. I am so thankful that that was not my case.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Sarah McKenna

Rome Summer Study Program
Up one level
Sarah McKenna

Major: History and Secondary Education (Social Studies Teaching Option)
Hometown: Collegeville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was looking into doing a summer study abroad program as a way to fulfill a lifelong goal and to keep up with my classes. I spoke with a career coach at the Career Enrichment Network where she gave me a few programs to look into, including the Rome Summer Study Program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my experience, my classmates and I mostly stayed in Rome. We attended class everyday with our professors lecturing at the various sites rather than in a classroom (imagine listening to a lecture on Roman History while sitting on the floor of the Colosseum...amazing!). We did travel to the Bay of Naples and Sorrento for four days, where we visited Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Ostia. During the 17 day experience, we had two free days, which I spent at the Vatican and exploring other parts of Rome that weren't included in our class.

During my time at Penn State, I got used to learning history through photographs and documents, but being able to learn about Ancient Rome at the physical sites was an incredibly powerful learning experience.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically because I was able to learn history by actually visiting the site. During my time at Penn State, I got used to learning history through photographs and documents, but being able to learn about Ancient Rome at the physical sites was an incredibly powerful learning experience. This experience has also inspired me to branch out with my learning and research by traveling to sites to complete my work in a unique way.

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

My career goal is the become a high school history teacher, but I am looking into the idea of continuing my education by working towards a PhD in history and teaching and researching at the university level. This experience has impacted my career goals because I was able to experience a new method of teaching and learning history. No matter where I end up teaching, I hope to be able to take this experience and pass it on to my students by motivating them to learn from study abroad and travel experiences.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because of its uniqueness. Although this was only a 17 day experience, we did so much while we were in Rome that it felt like a whole semester. We were constantly seeing new sites and learning as much about Ancient Rome as possible all while exploring a new city and learning about a new culture.

 

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jaclyn Rothenberg

Intern through the Massachusetts Governor's Internship Program
Up one level
Jaclyn Rothenberg

Major: Political Science
Hometown: Needham, MA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had heard about this program through high school peers who participated in it as well.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I shadowed employees through all units in the Department of Industrial Accidents of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. I learned about the Trust Fund, defense lawyers, judges, investigations, claims, office of safety, impartial scheduling, health policy, public information, and IT. I also interviewed the managers of each unit and created a survey that was sent out to 200+ employees of all 5 regional sites in Massachusetts. I collected and analyzed the responses. I gave the results to the senior managers in a presentation in order to determine how to improve the agency as a whole. I also had the opportunity to listen to speakers at the Massachusetts State House such as Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, and Chief of Staff of Governor Baker to name a few.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I had an amazing opportunity to learn about how a state agency truly works. With 200+ employees and 5 regional sites in Massachusetts, it takes a great deal of organization, which is very difficult to maintain. There are also people from extremely diverse backgrounds and experiences, which surprised me how well they worked together. I learned that it's important to create a warm and open work environment. The managers' line communication had to be open as well in order to be successful. It's also tough to be a state employee because the technology provided, with the limited budget they have, was far from ideal. The technology would shut down, update throughout the day, and the servers/programs would overload, causing less productivity. I was fortunate to learn firsthand about the experiences from lawyers and judges, which interested me the most. They allowed me to ask them about how they might rule on a case, or what factors they will take into consideration before coming up with an order.

I was fortunate to learn firsthand about the experiences from lawyers and judges, which interested me the most.

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

This experience really helped me pinpoint exactly what type of work I'd like to try after completing law school. I was definitely inspired even more to go to law school after working with lawyers and judges. The senior judge reminded me that no one can take away my degrees, so it's something that I'd really like to be proud of having. Even though I liked the work environment, I'd really like to have my own practice/business or work in the private sector first because I don't have the patience to work with such limited resources that they had. Often times they didn't have control over policies, resources, access to databases, etc. I was also inspired to be a good manager/leader thanks to the amazing Director I worked for.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I think it's a good experience to have even if it means eliminating options or thinking about what you don't want in the future. Sometimes that's even more helpful. I think being an intern in general shows that you're willing to do what you can just for the experience even if you're not paid or getting credit. You learn important soft skills like appropriate dress, timeliness, working in a team, etc. You also build a larger network at the same time.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Alice Greider

Migration Policy Insitute
Up one level
Alice Greider

Major: International Politics, Global and International Studies
Minor: History, French
Hometown: Elizabethtown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I'm an IUG student at the School of International Affairs, so the internship was required and I was aided in my search by their Career Services Center. My Honors Thesis is on asylum and refugees, so I looked for an internship where I could learn more about migration.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I spent the summer as a Research Assistant intern at the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan research think tank in Washington DC. I was officially an intern for the Transatlantic Council on Migration within the International program at MPI, but worked mainly under one supervisor on whatever projects she was working on, which turned out to be quite the variety. Last spring, I set about looking for an internship at a research-focused think tank, figuring that since I had already completed an internship at the government level at the European Parliament, this would be a valuable opportunity to see the other side of the policy process. I ended up doing research for the Assistant Director for Research on the International Program, Meghan Benton. She studies labor market integration of migrants in Europe mainly, but I was accepted as an intern to work with her on a project mapping the rights of UK citizens living in the EU after Brexit. My task was to figure out what EU and national laws the newly ex-EU citizens would need to be aware of, and for what populations this might present a problem. For example, I researched what it took to get legal residence, healthcare, and access to social services in France, Spain, Germany, and Ireland. My next project was to write a large overview on immigration in the EU, identifying regional and country specific trends or factors such as colonial ties, labor market characteristics, and responses to the influx of Balkan asylum seekers in the 1990's. Later, I researched and wrote a summary on the nexus of employment and immigration precarity to identify if those without access to legal work will benefit from changes to the economy. Another project included research on existing quantitative studies on the cost-benefit analysis of immigrant integration projects for a mapping paper for a conference of the Integration Futures Working Group, which MPI organizes. For this conference, I also contributed background research on the effect of employment on health and crime, identified possible scholars and policymakers to invite to the conference, and wrote a memo on future and scenario planning for my supervisor. Aside from work for my supervisor, I also did many side projects for others. I was in charge of manning the front desk for a while, answering calls from reporters, government officials, students, and immigrants themselves about our research. I also compiled news articles and wrote a weekly International Migration News Update that was sent out to the entire staff. I created visual presentations of asylum data for an upcoming publication, and helped develop the source data for a data tool on asylum in Europe for MPI’s website using Tableau and Excel Macros. Sometimes I was given translation or citation and proofreading to do for a variety of projects, and I even got tasked with helping the outgoing President and co-founder with organizing his files to clear out his office. He worked in Clinton’s Department of Labor and helped negotiate NAFTA, so there were plenty of stories shared as we worked on sorting through decades of written and saved work. My favorite accomplishment however, was writing and presenting an article on the Western Balkans route which will be published on MPI’s online journal The Source. The chance to do original research on as aspect of the migration crisis that has geopolitical implications for the continued democratization of an area I care about, and to create an interactive map to go along with it, was really interesting.

I love carefully organizing my research to craft a seamless narrative that guides the reader through the policy problem and solution.

How did this experience impact you academically?

In addition to vastly widening my knowledge of migration issues, my internship certainly helped develop my writing and research skills. While I enjoyed research, on topics both new and old to me, either of the fact-hunting type or survey research, it is more enjoyable when I get to turn it into writing later. I love carefully organizing my research to craft a seamless narrative that guides the reader through the policy problem and solution. At first I struggled because for all of my other classes my writing has been for academic audiences. One of the main takeaways from the writing I did for MPI is that audience matters. The difference between writing the international news updates and the policy research summaries I did for my supervisor hinged on the difference in audience. Framing an issue as a policy think tank is very different, and that nuance was important to learn. Writing for policymakers or even for public awareness was a new skill for me. In all types of writing, precision is arguably the most important factor. This lesson, although imparted on me since freshman year, was reinforced at MPI. In school, our work does not undergo the editing process that my work at MPI did. My supervisor would continually ask me to further specify my claims with statistics or more detail, demand more clarity, and better references. My preoccupation with “flowy-ness” means too often I get hung up by interrupting the narrative with data. I did get the chance to write for the purpose of data when I wrote a Source article on the Western Balkans route, focusing on asylum applications and border closures to make my point that many were stuck in the Balkans, an unwanted presence in some already-unstable countries. Again, writing something that would be published under MPI made me hyper-aware of precision and clarity, knowing we work with experts who can question every fact and allegation.

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

While I could easily see myself working at a similar think-tank eventually, first however, I wish to work somewhere with more of a support and services angle. One day while at the front desk I had a call from an immigrant needing legal help, and while I unfortunately had to tell him that we are only a research organization and cannot help him, I wished him an Eid Mubarak. He was so touched and happy and thanked me to the point that I realized that before I devote my time to research, I’d first like to work somewhere I can help people directly. I also experienced a shift in research interests while at MPI. Previously my focus within migration was on refugees, especially those seeking asylum in Europe. This was the result of studying in Europe during the migration crisis and generally being interested in refugee protection internationally, but both my work for Meghan and learning about some of the work that others at MPI do (and don’t do) changed my focus. While I will still finish my thesis on asylum in Europe, I’m now planning on going to graduate school for conflict studies to focus on refugees in conflict. Internally displaced persons seem to represent a gap in policy research yet constitute the majority of all displaced persons and refugees. I hope to do my next dissertation on return migration and resettlement of displaced persons post-conflict, and I have MPI to thank for that re-direction.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Think-tanks and research centers do a wider scope of things than most people realize, and to students who like the research and writing element of school, working at a place like MPI can be a continuation of that. The chance to continually be learning new things and writing pieces for public and government use is exciting, and can be done outside of academia just as easily. Interning at a think-tank is also helpful if you are considering government work because it allows you to approach the same policy issues from a different angle. To students who know what types of issues they find interesting, but not the way in which they want to work with them, this sort of internship gives valuable context and experience.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Tessa Miller

State College Police Department
Up one level
Tessa Miller

Major: Criminology 
Minor: Political Science, Global Security, Women's Studies
Hometown: York, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

A co-worker interned there in the past and recommended that I apply since he enjoyed the experience. He also knew that I wanted to become a police officer which is why he also told me about it.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I went to several trainings that officers must go to every year or every other year such as firearms training and a driving course. Besides making observations, I assisted the trainers and also participated in portions of the trainings. One of the main features of the internship involved patrol. Going on patrol is the best type of experience because every situation is unique and unpredictable. You could be monitoring a speed trap, helping with an investigation or responding to a variety of calls. Another part of the internship dealt with the detectives in Criminal Investigations. I was fortunate enough to be able to work on a few cases in their phone forensics lab. The best part of my experience was meeting a lot of the officers and getting to know them during the patrol shifts. They shared stories, their experiences and advice about the job and how to go about applying for jobs.

The best part of my experience was meeting a lot of the officers and getting to know them during the patrol shifts. They shared stories, their experiences and advice about the job and how to go about applying for jobs.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I have a better insight into what police officers deal with on the daily basis. Currently, I am taking CRIM 435 (policing) and I am able to add another perspective to the conversation as well as debunking myths. I think that the public has a certain viewpoint where some parts are completely wrong or result from stereotypes in movies and television shows. I was able to see the reality of the job and real world situations. Being able to see things from different perspectives has given me an edge when it comes to breaking down scholarly information. I am also able to see how topics that I have learned in the past, are applicable in the real world. Some things look good on paper but the practicality is not always doable in reality.

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

I am in the process of applying for Officer Training School for the Air Force since some departments, such as State College Police, are civil service. Therefore, veterans get preference points which push them above civilians most of the time. However, I am still going to apply to other police departments. Eventually, I would like to become a police officer. My goal was to become a PA State Trooper but I have learned to break down my goals and work my way up because the average age of cadets in the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) is 26 years old. The PSP take a hard look at previous law enforcement/military experience. Even though I put in my cadet application, I have learned to keep an open mind and to be patient. Many of the officers said to be patient because the hiring process for police departments (local and state) usually take months to get through. Through my experience, I am interested in getting specialized once I become a police officer. Many police officers have specialties and go through extra training such as getting onto the bomb squad or TRT (Tactical Response Team) as well as being trained to process a crime scene (fingerprint dusting, evidence collection, etc).

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I highly recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because you go on patrol shifts and observe the daily life of a police officer. This first-hand experience cannot be taught in a classroom. Professors can teach you about the causes of crime and recidivism but until you experience the underlying struggles or the family environment of that individual, it is hard to truly understand why people make certain decisions based on factors that we do not talk about in class. Your perspective will widen and you will see everything a little differently.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Kaylani Chang

Morgan Stanley Operations Summer Analyst Program
Up one level
Kaylani Chang

Major: Economics
Minor: Mathematics
Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My summer at Morgan Stanley was better than I had ever expected. Going into the program, I was expecting the office to have a strict corporate culture with a management hierarchy of which I would be at the very bottom. It was the exact opposite. I was fortunate to have been a part of an amazing internship class - people from different places and backgrounds but with the same ambitions and drive. The people that worked at the office were the most welcoming; they genuinely wanted you to succeed during your summer at Morgan Stanley and provided you with more resources than you could ever imagine in order to accomplish all your goals for the summer. I would highly recommend the program to anyone considering a career in operations or even in finance. Morgan Stanley has one of the greatest cultures in the workplace that I have ever experienced.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Something interesting that I learned in terms of your academics and your occupation is that ultimately what you major in does not matter. I have talked to a million people that are so worried that they picked the wrong major, and after networking with tons of different people at Morgan Stanley over the summer I've come to realize that you can really do whatever you want regardless of your major (not including technical jobs like engineering or health services). My Vice President was a music major; she wanted to become an opera singer, and now she works at Morgan Stanley - something she did not expect at all. I think that doing well in college shows employers that you can manage your time well and can handle responsibility.

I was fortunate to have been a part of an amazing internship class - people from different places and backgrounds but with the same ambitions and drive.

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

My career goals from this point on are not related to finance whatsoever, and my internship plays a big factor in that decision. I went into this internship already unsure if I wanted to pursue a career in finance, but I had an open mind. Morgan Stanley was probably the best company I could have worked for under these circumstances because it was the best possible environment in which I could make a decision. There were no other factors contributing to me not liking the work content because the environment was so positive and supportive. Because of my internship this summer, I came to realize that although I do enjoy working with numbers, I would rather do something that was a bit more creative.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes - the experience helped me so much in being able to enjoy fully my time in a different city with different people and a bunch of different things that I wanted to experience.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Delaney Karg

SuperValu
Up one level
Delaney Karg

Major: Spanish
Minor: Psychology, Women's Studies
Hometown: Narvon, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship through LinkedIn.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was the Human Resources intern with SuperValu at the Lancaster DC. My main project for the summer was retention. I worked with the managers of various departments on this project so I could collaborate with the people who knew the most about each subject. One of my co-workers had to go on a 4-6 week medical leave, so they trained me for two weeks to be the interim HR Generalist II while she was out. During my internship, I learned about and helped with the interview, application, and termination process, retention, Off Job Injuries, Unemployment, FMLA, and orientations. Additionally, 65% of their employees speak Spanish, so I translated and communicated with the Spanish speakers almost every day.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically because I was able to learn things that I would never have been able to learn in a classroom. I not only learned all of the things I listed above, but I also learned how to interact in an office environment. I learned how to successfully use my knowledge of the Spanish language in a business environment. I learned the HR lingo in both English and Spanish. I expanded my network and gained many new mentors. They also invited me back to work with them over winter break. This internship taught me how to be confident in my abilities. It also showed me that I can use both of my passions (HR and Spanish) in my future career and that I do not have to give up one to have the other.

This internship...showed me that I can use both of my passions (HR and Spanish) in my future career

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

My career goals are to have a job after I graduate as an entry level HR professional with a company that will allow me to use Spanish in my everyday work. This internship impacts my goal because it provided me with the knowledge and skills that I need to be successful in my career. Additionally, the people that I worked with are mentors for me to help me know what step to take next. This experience showed me that the perfect job does exist and that I should never settle for something that is less than what I want. I could not have asked for a better internship.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to any other Liberal Arts student that wants to work in the business world. This internship provided me with information to help me in the future.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Natalie Angelo

Lisa Harmon Mollicone, LLC
Up one level
Natalie Angelo

Major: Psychology
Minor: Human Development and Family Studies, Child Maltreatment and Advocacy Studies
Hometown: Freehold, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through a college near my hometown, Monmouth University. Lisa Mollicone has her own private practice and usually takes students from MU but was open to letting me intern with her.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my experience this summer, I was able to see the logistics behind running your own practice. There is a lot more that goes into it than I originally thought. I was shown how to budget, how to apply for grants and funds, and how to manage clients' payments. I also learned how to complete bio-psycho-social assessments for clients. Mrs. Mollicone taught me the importance of confidentiality and how to act when a client oversteps the boundaries. I also was in charge of doing questionnaires with clients over the phone either before they came in for a session or for the purpose of grants.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I felt as if I kept my mindset in that of school mode. I wrote assessments which improved my language skills and helped me become a better critical thinker. Having this internship kept me organized and helped me understand what I want to do career wise. It is very easy to lose track of all of this during the summer when we are not in class, but having an internship prevented this from happening. It can be really challenging for some students to return to school after the summer, but I did not have this trouble this year.

I wrote assessments which improved my language skills and helped me become a better critical thinker.

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

I have always known I wanted to be a therapist of some sort helping clients who have mental illnesses. I have always thought I wanted to work with children. However, after this internship I may want to work with adults who have substance abuse issues. After having a luncheon with Mrs. Mollicone and her colleagues, who range from drug and alcohol abuse counselors to therapists for children, I was guided in ways I never would have received otherwise. They each gave me their advice about their profession and what they do. This internship helped me see that there is possibly another route I want to take with my psychology degree.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes I would. I learned a lot from this experience.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Angelique Santiago

Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE)
Up one level
Angelique Santiago

Major: Political Science, Communication Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Peekskill, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) program at a Global Brigades meeting. The Global Brigades is an organization on campus that raises awareness of global health, development, and poverty issues through various fundraisers. One Sunday afternoon, at our meeting, a Penn State graduate who had been heavily involved with HESE and Global Brigades talked about her experience with the program and how it shaped her career path after college. At the end of the meeting, she gave the name of another undergraduate Penn State student who was currently involved in both Global Brigades and HESE and told the group to visit her office hours if we were interested and that is exactly what I did. I followed up for more information about the classes that I would have to take, and it seemed manageable and fit my interests, so I went for it!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I took the my first HESE class during the Fall 2016 semester. It was a 400-level class on Social Entrepreneurship through the College of Engineering. In this class, we had a chance to pick the issue we wanted to focus on, and I chose disabilities in Sierra Leone. Once our interdisciplinary teams of six were set up, we did research on the social issue and created a business model to provide a practical solution. My team and I created a business model for a helpline that would improve education, comfort, and support to the disabled and their caretakers in Sierra Leone. We had to create a value proposition for our venture and spreadsheets, and we connected with real world NGOs to help fund our venture and give us the credibility we needed in the Freetown, Sierra Leone context. I learned so much from my team and the professor, Khanjan Mehta. As a result, when I was asked to join the HESE Field Experience during the Summer 2017 semester by Dr. Esther Obonyo, I could not say no! The Field Experience is when students of the HESE program travel to the country in which their business model is based and try to implement their venture to solve the selected societal issue. After being chosen as a Grand Challenge Scholar and receiving enrichment funding from the College of Liberal Arts, I embarked on a journey with 18 other Penn State undergraduates to Arusha, Tanzania. We worked alongside Community Sector Organizations and Tanzanian scholars from the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology on projects modeled to combat selected societal challenges. Specifically, I worked on a team of six to address vision impairment through affordable 3D printed reading glasses. It was amazing! We interviewed local optometrists, business owners, professors, students, and lawyers. Sure, we faced many obstacles when it came down to the implementation and design of the venture, but we formed sustainable relationships and gained firsthand knowledge from the local people of Arusha, which made our achievements in that context even more rewarding.

We formed sustainable relationships and gained firsthand knowledge from the local people of Arusha, which made our achievements in that context even more rewarding.

How did this experience impact you academically?

HESE has given me real world experience in which I am able to apply key concepts and theories from my Political Science and International Relations courses. Academically, HESE has been very impactful. 

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

The HESE program has helped me solidify my interest in international development. I am currently working at a nonprofit that seeks to promote bipartisan solutions to critical foreign policy and national security issues, and I love it. HESE was my first real experience in this line of work, and because of the program, I can genuinely say that this is the field I belong in. After Penn State, I want to receive my degree in International Human Rights Law.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. Penn State has so much to offer. Why limit yourself to just your academic college? Explore anything and everything that sparks your interest, even if it is in the College of Engineering. We need to participate in these holistic, interdisciplinary programs on the college level so that we can hit the ground running when we graduate.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Philip Chwistek

ServiceDock (through Sage Corps)
Up one level
Philip Chwistek

Major: English, Information Sciences and Technology
Hometown: Warrington, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this internship opportunity advertised on the IST job bulletin system.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Through Sage Corps, an internship abroad program, I was matched with ServiceDock, an Irish startup that specializes in customer service software. At the time of my arrival, the company's main product was a web application that provided customer service solutions through messaging apps (e.g. Facebook Messenger). My task was to flesh out the company’s side project, a visualization tool for customer feedback. ServiceDock had already developed a system for people to complete short customer experience surveys through Facebook Messenger, and needed a way to present all that data. Ideally, the platform would be used by franchises to analyze both company-wide and location-specific feedback. Most of my work revolved around designing and developing the visualization solution. Towards the end of my tenure, the company pivoted focus, and my project became a part of ServiceDock’s primary product.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I learned the importance of side-projects, especially when it comes to the tech world. Class is really only there to teach the fundamentals. It is with projects, internships, and other hands-on activities that one can really shine as a potential employee. I also discovered the effectiveness of my English major in the workplace. The tech sector in Ireland is incredibly diverse, and in my case, over half of ServiceDock was Brazilian and, naturally, not native English speakers. Quite often, my Brazilian colleagues would comment how much easier it was for them to communicate with me, as my language was cleaner and more precise than that of my other native English speaking colleagues.

It is with projects, internships, and other hands-on activities that one can really shine as a potential employee.

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

After my internship experience, I have become significantly more interested in data visualization and data science. These new interests have led me to the realm of visual journalism, where big data, data visualization, and writing meet to tell stories, especially ones that relate to civic life. Great examples can be found at pudding.cool and fivethirtyeight.com. I also believe that I can leverage my English degree a bit more in this discipline as compared to more standard data visualization careers. My newfound interest in data science also means that it would be best for me to fill some of my elective space with more statistics and math courses. I would like my next internship, ultimately, to be related in some form to visual journalism.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students only if they are able to receive funding for the Sage Corps program from various grant sources. The internships through Sage Corps are mostly unpaid (I received a symbolic 50 euros a week), and the program itself is quite expensive, perhaps a bit overpriced.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Katierose Epstein

United States Senate
Up one level
Katierose Epstein

Major: Political Science and Women's Studies
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience through prior internships I have had.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My enrichment experience was an internship in United States Senator Catherine Cortez Masto's Washington, D.C. office. She is one of my senators in my hometown of Las Vegas, NV. Throughout the internship, I researched potential future legislation for the Senator in the areas of international affairs, armed services, and foreign trade. I also had the opportunity to compose meeting memos, constituent letters, and appropriations letters on behalf of the Senator. The last of my duties included interacting with constituents through tours of the Capitol, phone calls, and physical mail.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically in that I broadened my understanding of political policies. Prior to the internship, I had little to no knowledge of current legislation on foreign affairs, armed services, and international trade. After consistently researching these topics, my political understanding has grown immensely.

This experience impacted my career goals by showing me what it means to advocate for people on the statewide level as well as the national level.

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

My current career goals are to advocate for diverse populations and better local communities. This experience impacted my career goals by showing me what it means to advocate for people on the statewide level as well as the national level. Also, I learned a significant amount about what occurs behind the scenes in a political office where people do not necessarily receive credit for their work. This proved to me that politics is more about helping people than most Americans believe.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would most definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. Very few people are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to intern on Capitol Hill while in college. The internship will allow students to have a hands-on experience to what their potential career may be.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Brenna Lamson

Ronda, Spain: Spanish Language and Culture
Up one level
Brenna Lamson

Major: Psychology; Spanish
Hometown: New London, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through the Spanish Majors/Minors night and also heard about it through my Spanish advisor.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Through this program, I lived with a host family in Ronda, Spain and had the amazing opportunity to visit other cities in Spain including Seville, Granada, Salamanca, Madrid, Segovia, and Toledo. Actually living in Spain rather than just touring the country made the experience much more valuable, as I expanded my worldview. I lived the Spanish life – eating the traditional foods and speaking with locals in the city. I got to work with professors originally from Spain and was constantly surrounded by the Spanish language – which immensely improved my Spanish abilities. It was also an incredible experience in terms of personal growth, as I learned to be more confident and made many friends.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Studying abroad greatly improved my abilities within the Spanish language. Being immersed in the language improved my listening skills and also provided me with the opportunity to practice speaking Spanish multiple times each day. I learned colloquial words and phrases and improved my pronunciation. By the end of the program, I found it easier to understand my host family and other Spanish speakers, as well as speak the language more fluently. I’m also much more versed in Spanish culture. Through living in the country and learning its history, I now have a much better understanding of its customs, values, and beliefs.

Through living in the country and learning its history, I now have a much better understanding of its customs, values, and beliefs.

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

After completing my education, I plan to work in human services or education. I wanted to study abroad so that I could learn to speak Spanish more fluently, as I will likely be working with the growing Hispanic population here in the United States throughout my career. Over the summer, I returned to my assistant teaching job and was able to communicate effectively in Spanish with the parents of the students that knew very little English. I was able to explain their students’ progress and any concerns of which they needed to be aware. I now feel much more confident moving forward in my career knowing that I can communicate in Spanish.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this program to other students. It was the experience of a lifetime, and helped me grow personally and academically.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Kelly Friday

Grant Thornton LLP
Up one level
Kelly Friday

Major: Economics and Finance
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this internship at the Smeal College of Business #MegaFair. I saw the recruiters at one of the recruiting events and ended up talking to them and applying. The recruiters were very helpful and friendly, so I figured I would at least apply.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had a great experience with this firm. I was hired for process controls, but they were very flexible about allowing me to explore all different industries. I ended up testing controls for clients across several industries, including hospitality, real estate investment, cyber security, and IT. Additionally, the firm did a great job of helping us to network with a variety of different team members and coworkers. We had weekly intern events, in addition to events with our "buddies," coaches, mentors, and other team members. I cannot speak more highly of the experience.

The firm did a great job of helping us to network with a variety of different team members and coworkers.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I learned a lot about consulting and controls testing. I honestly did not know what to expect going into the internship, but I definitely got a better sense of what it means to work in advisory. I learned about where my academic weaknesses lie and about how I can continue developing my academic skill sets as I prepare for full-times.

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

I want to go into consulting right after school. Early in my career, I just want to explore as many industries as possible and figure out which industry I would later like to potentially enter. This experience showed me that this is what I would want to do prior to going to graduate school down the road.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. The company is great, and everyone really makes an effort to provide you with opportunities and to help you grow professionally.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Gloria Xu

Learning Enterprises
Up one level
Gloria Xu

Major: Economics
Hometown: University Park, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was talking with my friends at other universities, and there was already a Learning Enterprises chapter at one friend who attends Georgetown. She recommended that I apply. Asking friends who are also seeking summer internships can be very helpful.  

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

We traveled to a small village-town in China (mine was named Banjing, which neighbors Rugao City) to teach English to elementary and middle school age kids. We also lived with a host family in the village, along with a native Chinese Nanjing University student teaching partner. The program lasted a total of four weeks. Each day, we taught classes from 8:00am to 11:00am, had lunch provided for us in the school cafeteria, and then planned lessons for a few hours with our teaching partners before heading home to our host families. I enjoyed most having conversations with my teaching partner and living partner about the differences between American and Chinese culture, as well as interacting with my host family every night (and the weekend excursions to cultural historical places!).

How did this experience impact you academically?

Through this experience in China, I was pushed to experience a whole other culture, and this has led me to view my academic life at Penn State differently. Firstly, this experience helped me value my education more. As I was teaching English, I learned some of the difficulties in trying to design a lesson plan that is both engaging and informative. I began to understand some of the struggles that teachers go through and how difficult it is to make a class both informative and engaging; this increased my appreciation and respect for their daily efforts. I also saw that in this small village, native English speakers are extremely uncommon, and this made me value the amazing and extremely qualified teachers at Penn State more as well. In addition, experiencing other cultures helped me cultivate a desire to work in something more global, as well as to strive to understand other countries. It made me more interested in the economic systems of other countries, especially since my host dad happened to work in the local government. Academically, it has encouraged me to take more globally oriented classes at Penn State.

...experiencing other cultures helped me cultivate a desire to work in something more global, as well as to strive to understand other countries.

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

I am currently an economics major and am interested in learning about consumer behavior and the way economic systems work. In that line, living in an entirely different country for more than a month really helped stimulate and cultivate my interest in different economic systems, with the different currency and pricing and standard of living. In China, it seems that food and transportation are much more affordable than in the United States. It was interesting to see how that impacted my daily life (it made me feel like I was saving an inordinate amount of money, even though native citizens would find the prices to be normal).

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

The experience was something I would not trade for anything else. I loved being surrounded by Mandarin, and I loved being able to communicate with my living partner and teaching partner, who were both university students as well, and learn more about their culture and answer their questions about American culture. If a student is interested in learning a foreign language, this is a great opportunity for them!

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Without the support of the Paterno Fellows Program, I would not have been able to experience this amazing opportunity to spread global culture to the beautiful small town of Banjing this summer. I was able to purchase teaching supplies to try to create a very warm, welcoming English learning atmosphere for the students, and for this, I am extremely grateful. In addition, the Paterno Fellows Program's emphasis on creating globally aware students pushed me to embrace this opportunity even more!

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Matthew Jentis

IES: Madrid (Summer)
Up one level
Matthew Jentis

Major: Labor and Employment Relations, Spanish, Human Resources and Employment Relations (M.S.)
Hometown: Millburn, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about my study abroad experience through the School of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State. I originally found out about this program through Katelyn Perry, the advisor in the school of Labor and Employment Relations. I learned about all of the Spanish language programs and was able to study abroad in a Spanish speaking country, as well as earn credit toward my Spanish degree. I also used the website Global Penn State to learn about my study abroad program as well as how to apply to it within the deadline timeframe.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience studying abroad in Madrid, Spain this summer was one of the most enriching and fulfilling experiences of my life. As a human resources, labor and employment relations, and Spanish triple major, this experience allowed me to understand what it feels like to work, study, and live on a global stage at a later time in my career. Since I was around 10 years old, I have wanted to study abroad in a Spanish speaking country. This past summer, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime through Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts and the Schreyer Honors College to live in Madrid with a host family, meet students from across the United States and the world, and take classes taught by Spanish faculty. Additionally, I was able to travel across Spain, as well as to nine European countries and Morocco! This experience truly taught me the importance of international education and self-development and plenty of new information about foreign cultures. Most importantly, I recognized that I could live on my own and apply skills I learned at Penn State, such as leadership and hard work, in a brand new environment.

This experience allowed me to understand what it feels like to work, study, and live on a global stage

How did this experience impact you academically?

I believe my experience in Madrid was academically beneficial because I took Spanish classes that challenged my speaking and communication skills. While I was in Madrid, I took two courses: an advanced Spanish language course and a History of Madrid course. I found the History of Madrid course incredibly interesting. Each class in this course consisted of students walking around the city of Madrid to learn about its different historical sites. One site that truly stuck out to me was the Arc of Triumph, which was a symbol of the dictator Francisco Franco. Overall, these courses were very fast-paced, yet allowed me to understand the importance of language and history within Madrid. Since I returning to Penn State, I have a greater appreciation for Spanish courses and learning how to speak the language well.

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

I truly believe that my study abroad in Madrid this past summer will be extremely beneficial for my career in human resources and employment relations, Spanish language, and labor studies. By living abroad this past summer, I was given the amazing opportunity to learn about Spanish lifestyle and culture. Additionally, I believe that my experience living abroad in Madrid has improved my Spanish language skills in unprecedented ways. I was given amazing opportunities to speak with Spaniards as well as other students. With regard to my overall career, I want to work on a global stage, specifically by incorporating my Spanish language abilities. Consistently speaking and thinking in Spanish were crucial for the development of my language skills for my career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to any other liberal arts student interested in studying abroad. I believe that my study abroad in Madrid was truly life changing in that it allowed me to live in another country and become accustomed to the language and culture. This experience will allow other liberal arts students to explore, travel, learn about history and the humanities, and grow as individuals by studying abroad and living on their own.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I believe the Paterno Fellows experience had an extremely positive impact on my study abroad experience. Through the Paterno Fellows program, I have been fortunate to study two undergraduate majors, one of which is Spanish, and pursue a master's degree. My study abroad experience was partially influenced by my goal to obtain a Spanish major through the Paterno Fellows program. By studying abroad, I was able to improve my language and communication skills in ways that I would not be able to otherwise. Additionally, I was able to learn more about Spanish culture which I plan to incorporate into my honors thesis for the Penn State Schreyer Honors College.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jack Shea

United States House of Representives
Up one level
Jack Shea

Major: History, Political Science
Minor: Philosophy
Hometown: Scranton, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through Penn State's Stanley E. Degler Washington Program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer I served as a legislative intern in the office of Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Ohio’s 9th district. I spent twelve weeks assisting the Congresswoman and her staff to correspond with constituents and advance legislative priorities. During my time on Capitol Hill, I ran dozens of errands, sat in on a variety of meetings, and attended major congressional hearings. Some of the highlights of my internship included collaborating on financial reform legislation, witnessing the Congressional appropriations process firsthand, and giving tours of the United States' Capitol Building to constituents.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship impacted me academically by making me aware of the many pressing and important issues facing the United States that often fail to capture headlines. I sat in on and participated in a variety of meetings with constituents, stakeholders, and other advocates hosted by the Congresswoman or her staff. I was confronted with the imminent ecological disaster facing the Great Lakes due to the evasive fish species known as the Asian Karp. I heard about the struggles engineers face in containing these fish, and I helped aid policymakers' efforts to craft the federal government’s response. I also helped staffers shepherd funding requests through the congressional appropriations process. I confronted the harsh funding realities facing many distressed communities that are attempting to combat the opioid drug epidemic and the changes wrought by globalization. It was fascinating to see constituents interface with their elected representative and see the issues that may not dominate the 24 hour news cycle, but do affect the daily lives of ordinary Americans.

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

My career goals are to complete undergraduate studies in history and political science, earn my juris doctorate from a top tier law school, and pursue a career in the field of law. My long-term goals are to either use my legal skills to serve the public good, maintain a private law practice, or one day run for public office. This experience impacted my career plans by galvanizing my interest in public service and providing an inside look at how the United States government works. Furthermore, my internship gave me invaluable networking experiences and allowed me to build dozens of new relationships with professionals pursuing similar career goals.

This experience impacted my career plans by galvanizing my interest in public service and providing an inside look at how the United States government works.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. The United States House of Representatives is an incredible place to intern with myriad opportunities for anyone interested in government, law, or politics.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows program impacted my experience by providing me with the resources to not only succeed but also thrive during my internship. Through the program's honors courses I developed the critical thinking and reasoning skills necessary for a fast-paced work environment like the United States Capitol. Besides honors courses, Paterno Fellows events like the weekly Lunch with Honors series made me aware of global issues that proved to be highly pertinent to my work. Furthermore, the College of the Liberal Arts' financial support allowed me to participate in this unpaid internship. An unpaid internship is a tremendous financial burden that I never thought I would be able to shoulder. However, due to the College's enrichment funds, I was able to spend my summer working and living in Washington, D.C.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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