As my internship has ended, I have taken a look back on the ten weeks I have spent in New York City with the Securities and Exchange Commission. I had experienced such great things that I would not have been able to see and feel anywhere else in the world. I was able to eat some of the best food in the world. This included an ice cream sandwich with two black and white cookies, vanilla ice cream, and everything bagel toppings around the ice cream. It sounds odd but is one of the best desserts I have ever had. Pizza does not compare to anywhere else in the world and I don’t know how many different types of cultural food I had eaten, but it is like I traveled the world in that aspect. I was present for multiple bomb scares. In times of great terrorist turmoil, I fully expected to be threatened by possible bombs and shootings. I fully knew the risks but knew that they could not change the way I live my life or they would win. One was on the subway platform I use to get to work in Grand Central Station. Another affected the commute of many colleagues that caused an eight hour standoff with NYPD in Columbus Circle. Lastly, another one was in the newly built and magnificent World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Seeing first hand what big city workers and dwellers have to live with quite frequently was eye opening. These may have only been threats, but a threat can turn into reality in a second. Lastly, I was able to participate in events in the city as well. I played in two different table tennis tournaments. One was with the SEC, which I ended up winning. The other was at Bryant Park and was truly humbled by a 21-17 win in the first round but a 21-2 loss in the second round.
Those are some of my experience in New York City with my internship but the most rewarding experience was probably finishing up an assignment and submitting it to my supervisor. It always felt amazing knowing that I was helping in some way in the examination of a broker dealer. I was taking work off the hands of the other examiners and we were collaborating and making sure all numbers and detail match up and there were no hints of suspicious activity. Every assignment I was able to work on, I learned something new that I have yet to experience in my college career. This was knowledge that helped me perform better on later assignments and in just a few weeks I was able to take home knowledge I had never even known existed in the financial world.
One of the biggest challenges of the internship was the traveling. My personal discipline was tested each and every day. I am a person that takes fitness seriously. I believe great fitness and discipline lead to a happy and healthy life. Commuting three hours each way to and from the city made it incredibly difficult to continue my fitness goals to the level I wanted. A typical day without working out would have me waking up at 5:45AM to catch a 6:30AM train. This would get me to work at exactly 8:40 with no delays. However, I needed to stay disciplined even in these times of early mornings and late nights, I had to stay disciplined and continue to reach for my fitness goals. That meant waking up at 4:30AM four out of five mornings during the work week to get at least an hour of training in before my work day started. This led to me being incredibly tired at some points but was something that needed to be done. This kept my motivation strong because, to me, it was a major accomplishment waking up so early day in and day out. This may have been the biggest challenge of the internship.
Overall, I was incredibly happy with how my internship experience played out throughout the ten weeks. I learned more than I ever could have imagined, met a few Scranton alumni that worked at the SEC, came home with many contacts, and ate GREAT food many times. I could not have had a more rewarding summer after only my first year of college.
The most rewarding part of my internship had to be the group work my team and I completed throughout the program. I was fortunate to be paired off with a great group of interns to come up with a performance management workshop. This task was rewarding to me, because we started with no background on what performance management was. However by the end of the ten weeks, not only did we feel like experts, but we were also teaching other city employees about performance management. The workshop that we created got great feedback from all the participants and the city is going to use this workshop in the future. We started a brand new project and to see the final result get such great feedback was very rewarding.
Another experience that I fond very rewarding was when the mayor spoke to us at the final ceremony. He seemed to be very appreciative of the work we were doing and handed us all certificates for our achievements. There were several news stations filming this event, and I was able to watch myself on 6ABC later that night. It was a great experience to see that all of our hard work was did not go unnoticed.
While the commute wasn’t great, the most challenging part of my internship was interacting with high level city employees. For the performance management workshop, my team was constantly presenting information to other city employees. At first it was difficult for me as an intern, to feel confident enough to present, and even teach a lot of this information to employees much higher up in the city. However with enough time and practice, presenting to these employees came a lot smoother. The final stage in this project was to present what we have done to the mayor’s “A – Team” who are employees who work very closely with him. We all had to memorize what we were going to say and present to over forty people. Speaking in front of all these people was challenge, but since we spent so much time practicing what we were going to say, and presenting to smaller groups, we were still very successful.
Upon reflecting on my time during my summer internship as a molecular biology research assistant at the University of Scranton, I am filled with a sense of gratitude and confidence. I am so grateful for the opportunity to grow not only as researcher but also as a professional. I had to overcome many challenges in the lab protocols that I had to perform. Reactions and lab procedures were unsuccessful and often resulted in poor data. When this happened I went back to the original protocol and did some trouble shooting. With patience, knowledge and some luck, I was able to modify a protocol used by other researchers in order to identify plasmodium parasites in avian blood. Solving the issues I was having with the protocol was like overcoming a large obstacle. It is great to have hurtled over that obstacle and carry out the project to completion. I also felt more confidence in my lab techniques and abilities in experimental design. This summer internship has inspired me to further continue this project and hopefully develop a research project of my own.
Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
My time at Good Grief has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Everyone I work with is so kind and devoted to the organization; it is incredible to see what goes on behind the scenes to keep this program thriving. As an intern, whether I am researching contacts to help expand to other communities, or making crafts for Family Fun Day, I can see that my work impacts so many families. Aside from assisting behind the scenes, I also worked with families on Good Grief’s nights of support. It was amazing to talk with the families and hear their stories. If I could sum it up, the most rewarding part for me is that the work I put in every day could potentially help change someone’s life. The most challenging part of my internship was being a facilitator on nights of support. On most nights the kids wanted to play and have fun, rather than just talking about their grief. But at other times the kids had some emotional conversations about the death of their loved one. It was challenging to hear the children talk about the death of a parent or sibling without becoming emotional myself. It was incredible to hear what they had to share with the group, and to see how other children in the group responded. Despite this challenge, I enjoyed every moment I could spend with the families, and I gained clinical experience and knowledge along the way!
The most rewarding part of my internship as an organic chemistry undergraduate research student was experiencing an atmosphere that could one day become my workplace. Although one can visit work sites and be told about what jobs in chemistry research will be like, I got the chance to actually live the life of a researcher for 10 weeks and immerse myself in it completely. However, the most challenging part of my internship is the effort that must be put in to dedicate oneself to one thing for so long. In school, I am used to working on a paper for a few days, turning it in, and being done with it forever. In research and a full time job, the work all relates and piles on itself, causing you to never actually be finished. It takes a large amount of dedication to continually immerse oneself in research, because a great discovery will never come overnight.
The most challenging part of my internship is navigating the transitional period that the Bureau of Disease Control is currently experiencing. At the beginning of my internship the Director resigned to take on a new job, the research technician went out on maternity leave, and STD typist also left for a new job. The changes in staff resulted in the department being understaffed and everyone taking on new responsibilities. This transition period has been difficult for me because there has not been one point person in charge of my internship. However, due to the transition, I have been given more responsibilities on research projects because of the lack of regular staff. I have more ownership and input on the projects which has helped grow my research skills.
The most rewarding part of my internship is helping out with the Refugee Assistance clinics. These clinics are held off site, in the part of the county where the most refugees live. The clinic is set up in the basement of an un-air-conditioned church and served roughly 120 refugees a week. This summer, Onondaga County has received an influx of new refugees entering the county. All of these refugees must be screened for Tuberculosis, which is what we do at the clinic. The clinic is often very busy and full of people from many different countries. On any given day, I can hear 5 or more different languages being spoken among the refugees. The staff sometimes finds it difficult to communicate with the refugees because of their limited English, however that does not diminish the level of care which is provided. The staff is compassionate and caring towards all of the patients and the staff serve as my role models for how I want to administer care as a future health care professional.
This summer has been full of learning and new experiences. I can’t believe how hands-on experience makes everything learned in the classroom come to life! The most rewarding part of my internship is watching my patients achieve their goals. Many of them come into the rehab center at a much more dependent level then their prior level of function. It is amazing to see my patients making gains everyday and knowing that I am part of the reason they get to return home safely with their family. I also love to be able to form connections with them and get to be apart of their everyday life while they’re in rehab. It is definitely a challenge when there are certain patients that don’t have the opportunity to make a complete recovery; Whether that be a person who has had a stroke and now has an inability to talk or a patient with aggressively progressing MS. Its hard to know that no matter how creative an intervention I design to uniquely benefit that person, that they will never get to be as independent as they were before the diagnosis. The story that really sticks with me the most is of one MS patient, John. John was bed bound due to his disease and was only in his mid-fifties. John’s wife was taking care of him at home until she became terminally ill with cancer. She died a few months after being diagnosed; leaving behind their special needs 30-year-old daughter that John was unable to care for by himself. The first time I met him my heart broke for his situation. I am sure this never how he envisioned his life would go. It inspires me everyday that despite the challenges life has thrown at him he is still able to go on with life and find the positive side of situations.
There were so many amazing aspects of my internship that it is truly difficult to pick just one of them as the most rewarding. After some thought, though, I would say that my favorite part was being able to interact with so many clients and learning their stories and struggles. When I had first decided to become a lawyer, a lot of my family and friends were concerned, worrying that I would eventually grow tired of such a “boring” and stressful job. While these comments did not deter me, this summer has given me the confidence to shut down these misconceptions about this line of work. I won’t lie and say that this summer wasn’t stressful or challenging because it definitely was! For the first time in my life, I was in an office situation working with a very busy and focused lawyer who didn’t always have the time to let me know what she needed from me. For me, this was very challenging because I didn’t have the experience to know how to assist her without guidance and so there was a bit of an awkward adjustment period while I tried to become more accustomed to the law office’s needs and the constructive criticism I received from my colleagues. While it was incredibly challenging, the takeaway was definitely worth it. I read several hundreds of case files during my internship and every single one was unique: each document and photo inside was its own special piece that only fit into that person’s puzzle. I really feel lucky to have had this experience; I learned that the best feeling in the world is to see relief wash over a client’s face as they learn that they are no longer going to be deported or that they have been approved for asylum or a green card. I can’t wait to devote the rest of my life to helping immigrants and this internship has only helped me to fully realize that this is what I am meant to do with my life.
The most rewarding part of my internship at the Friendship House was definitely the children. Working with them, creating those relationships was an incredible journey that I will take with me through my future career. Watching some of the kids seriously progress, grow, and mature through the work of the Friendship House was inspiring and wonderful. I was truly blessed to be a part of the team at the Friendship House who could help those kids get the help they needed. My internship was extremely rewarding because it taught me the importance of compassion and understanding. Working with kids who have been traumatized is difficult to say the least. However, it was rewarding to develop the skills necessary to work with such a group of bright young children.
Working at the Friendship House had its challenges as well. As wonderful as the children were, working with the parents or family members was usually stressful. Sometimes parents get overwhelmed and stressed and then take it out on the staff members at the Friendship House. Occasionally parents can be stubborn or aggressive. It’s very hard trying to schedule a child to see a psychiatrist when the parent is furious about something and is yelling and being stubborn. Although not all parents were hard to work with, most parents could be challenging to say the least. However, I worked hard to overcome this challenge and be patient with parents who were being difficult. I kept an open mind and understood that those parents definitely had a lot on their plate. Through everything, the Friendship House taught me a lot about compassion, patience, and understanding, providing me with an incredible experience, one I would do again in a heartbeat.