Alumnae Stories: Internships and Careers

Below are stories from students and alumnae (many in their own words) reflecting on their experiences with the academic departments, faculty, internships at Mount Holyoke College and graduate school and/or careers. The Lynk Initiative not only provides funding for domestic or international summer internships and research positions but also enhanced advising, mentoring, and a process of curricular innovation to incorporate opportunities for experiential learning into the liberal arts curriculum.

Allison Cressy
Allison Cressy: distinguishing between what people say and why, what is really going on, and the significance of the difference between the two is crucial.
Astrid Baumgardner
Astrid Rehl Baumgardner ’73: Because of the academic rigor and encouragement I experienced at MHC, I have a life and career of passion and purpose.
Margaret Murdock
Margaret Murdock ' 18 :One of the most critical parts of research is being able to communicate what you learn and discover.
Diana Katz
Diana Katz '12: it's important to keep an open mind, there is no limit to what's possible with a film studies degree from Mount Holyoke College.
Tenaya Vallery '10
Tenaya Vallery '10: my undergraduate research experiences at MHC were pivotal to my acceptance to Yale.
Photo of Maria Correa and Spanish Language Floor residents
Maria Correa FP '16 shares her responsibilities and challenges as the Community Advisor of a Language Living Learning program.
Samhita Arni '06
Samhita Arni 06: of utmost importance is that one’s education helps one develop one’s own moral compass through thinking through values and value systems.
Shelly T Hsiao '10: I love practicing medicine and feel confident in my skills because of the solid science education and chemistry research experiences.
Image courtesy of Diying Wu ’11
Diying Wu ’11: My independent study project contributed to my M.A. thesis on China-Latin American Free Trade Agreements at the University of Chicago.
Zhang Yang next to a tray of macaroons.
Audrey Zhang Yang ’13: My experiences and connections at Mount Holyoke continue to motivate me to thrive in many areas of my post-graduate life.
Katherine Kraschel ’06 JD, Associate Counsel
Katherine Kraschel ’06: each day at Harvard Law School, I apply the critical and analytic thinking skills my professors at MHC pushed me to sharpen.
Weixi Lei '13
Weixi Lei '13 explains how the critical thinking skills she developed at MHC help her contribute valuable perspectives when assessing business projects.
Ellie Rounds '98
Ellie Rounds '98: to read & write critically, understand historical context is important because policy work occasionally doesn't integrate it well enough.
Erica Keller
Erica Keller '15: atop a volcano in Mexico, I gathered real data that I would use later in the year to research galaxies billions of light years away
Mwikali Kioko, Class of 2001
Mwikali Kioko ‘01: history and the way people have related to each other in the past has a huge role to play in the way they continue to today.
Mika Weissbuch, Podcasts for Peace
Mika Kie Weissbuch '11: while researching privatization in and around Managua’s municipal dump, we got the idea to start a children’s community center.
Sarah Hastings' Rhiz Home
Sarah Hastings '15: my house has grown from a non-linear network of human interaction, books, coursework, resource flows, and online inspiration.
Mai-Anh Ha, a graduate student at UCLA
Mai-Anh Ha ’13: my graduate level specialization at UCLA and was inspired by my chemistry courses and lab experience.
Sarah Watkins '15, Geography Major
Sarah Watkins '15: I work to recruit students from around the world and help students in rural Michigan access a college education.
Stephanie Otema Dzandu ’09: I have gained a deeper understanding of petroleum activities, from well-drilling to the economics of how revenue is obtained.
Margaret Stevens
Margaret Stevens '14: Solar cell research at MHC led me to the electrical engineering Ph.D. program at Tufts University.
Michelle Grohe ‘13: whether it is difficult weather conditions, working among thorny invasive species, or walking knee deep in a mucky marsh.
Cheng-Yin Eng '17
“Interning is like test-driving. It allows students to choose or eliminate future career options without risking longtime commitment.”
Shoshana Walter ’07
Shoshana Walter ’07, winner of a major journalism award, revels in the challenging work of reporting in-depth crime stories that can have social impact.
Marta Checko
Marta Checko '14: Through my year abroad, I developed the language capacity to research German/Polish relations since WWII and defend an honors thesis.
 Kim Cameron-Dominguez
Kim Cameron-Dominguez '04: I was moved by the questions that anthropology requires that we ask of and about ourselves.
Lily Corman
Lily Corman Penzel '15: I learned how to effectively search databases, find elusive information and compile it into clear, succinct arguments.
A Zin Oo '06, Senior Index Manager
A Zin Oo '06: a rigorous curriculum, deeply engaged faculty and an extremely diverse student body pushed me beyond the many learning opportunities here.
Emma Carr and Lucy Pickett in the Chemistry Lab
Led one of the earliest collaborative research groups that involved faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students
Lillian Patierno Stafford ’15
Lillian Patierno Stafford ’15: Constructive criticism, crucial guidance and the overall knowledge/resources of my professors helped me in my arts career.
Helena Valvur
Helena Valvur ’18: the experience of working in a lab has taught me to be independent and confident in my own abilities
Lee Tae Cobb '10: As a film studies major I learned to look at visual mediums with a critical eye and experience film from the production side.
Dawn Zhang ’09: I built the skills in my scientific training to help my team synthesize information and advise senior management on strategic priorities.
Kelsey Schramma from MHC to Princeton
Kelsey Shramma '12 is a third year graduate student, recently published in Nature Chemistry
Photo of Lina Cashin ’88
Colonel Lina Rivero Cashin ’88 credits her dual-degree in math and physics for helping her enter the space operations career field
Dr. Gretchen L.H. Harris
Gretchen Luft Harris Ph.D. ’63: Mount Holyoke is a place where women are encouraged women to pursue their goals and this means beyond college
Christiana Axelsen
Christiana Axelsen '03: I was encouraged and challenged to pursue those things that I am truly passionate about with rigor and discipline.
Markeisha Miner '99
Markeisha Miner '99: At Mount Holyoke, "I learned to speak with the courage of my convictions without drowning others out."
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Abena Opoku ’10: The biochemistry program prepared me to be resilient and press through the challenges I face in the corporate world.
Fay Gartenberg
Fay Gartenberg ‘11: mentorship helped me resolve a conflict between a financially secure career choice and exploring my artistic practice and identity.
Phoebe Cos Postal Museum Intern
Phoebe Cos '16: after interning at the Postal Museum, I have a greater appreciation for the postal service, the art of stamps and postal history.
Rudo Makonza Goto '13
Rudo Makonza Goto ’13: The interdisciplinary nature of Biochemistry enhanced my critical thinking.
Michelle Brooks-Thompson ’06
Michelle Brooks-Thompson ’06: revealed her gale-force voice on TV’s sing-off The Voice, she brought down the house and amped up a flourishing career.
Ruilin Fan ’17 and Margaret Stanne ’16: how working in MHC's Archives and Special Collections has impacted their lives.
Natascha Martens (Nen) '05: through speaking multiple languages I started my professional career in academia and quickly moved to other fields.
Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson
Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson ‘94: A blended major combined my love of music and science and set me on an interdisciplinary path.
The Lynk: Connecting Curriculum to Career
Fanny Fennimore '14: experiencing a new culture, I gained insight into changed & unchanged aspects of South Africa's economic, social & political history.
Raheal Boadi-Yeboah ’11: my chemistry background from MHC has been helpful in my doctorate courses at the University of Buffalo.
Sophia Spector '15
Sophia Spector '15: my italian major helped me discover my true passion and prepared me for my career.
Julia Housten Nguyen ‘95, Senior Program Officer
Julia Husten Nguyen ‘95: not initially in the field of grant reviewing, transferrable skills as a history major and educator prepared her for her work.
Kiana Lussier '13 standing in a city office in Sydney, Australia
Kiana Lussier '13: It is exhilarating to feel passionate about your field of work and study! MHC Geography helped me put my career path in motion.
Susanna Gilbert
Susannah Gilbert '13: My love for Italy, the Italian language and culture have remained a huge part of my life and are a constant source of joy every day.
Sarah Gillespie as seen through a Fred Eversley sculpture.
Sarah Kate Gillespie '94: I love my work and can't imagine doing anything else.
Sonia Mistry '03
Sonia Mistry '03: Today, I know exactly who made my clothes, and every day I support these workers in exercising their fundamental rights.
Sara Rashid ’15 and Aladrianne Young ’16 reflect on their work at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum.
Photo of Anna Rose Keefe with garment
Anna Rose Keefe '13 thinks about her time as a costume shop assistant.
Anna Kudla '13: I found myself in places I never imagined, doing things I never thought I was capable of doing, connecting with people, and learning ...
Laura at microscope
Laura Breitenfeld '17: Raman Spectroscopy is just the beginning.
Michelle Johannes ’93, Research Physicist
Michelle Johannes ’93 is an expert in the physics of energy in the lab — and on the volleyball court.
Elodie Munezero '16: "When it comes to the industry, you’re never going to be able to do only what you like."
Julia Berazneva '04
Julia Berazneva ’04: MHC was a critical stepping-stone from my academic interests to a career bettering the lives of the poor and marginalized.
anne-elizabeth-konkel
AnneElizabeth Konkel ‘14: the difference between reading accounts of the Taliban in the classroom & talking face to face with a former Taliban negotiator.
Shehzeen Hussain. Photo by John Martins
A woman in the heavily male fields of physics and engineering, Shehzeen Hussain ’14 wants to solve community energy problems using both.
Lillian Smith
Lillian Smith '09: Because of my background in Anthropology, I bring something to the table that someone with a business or statistics degree doesn't.
Image of Ellen Chilemba ’17.
Social entrepreneur Ellen Chilemba ’17 is showing the women of the world's poorest country how to lift themselves out of poverty.
Jody Phelps
Jody Phelps ’18: Spanish has been a huge part of my career here at Mount Holyoke and in my other ventures, like my internship and studying abroad.
Shreeya Joshi '15, Public Affairs Office Intern
Shreeya Joshi '15: I worked in the Public Affairs Office which dealt with communicating to the public and news media about the EPA.
Lindsey Scannell '07
Lindsey Scannell '07: my Pugh Grant funded my primary source research at France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives in Paris.
Billie Jean Stirewalt '14: I've visited 12 countries, met the love of my life, adopted a Georgian mountain dog, and published research papers for USAID.
Biologist Koty Sharp ’98 employs metagenomics to reveal intricate relationships between interdependent organisms at sea.
Merli Guerra '09
Merli V. Guerra '09: taking Beginning Classical Indian Dance led to me touring the world with Devi’s company and the Deborah Abel Dance Company.
Gabriella Gonzalez '16
Gabriella Gonzalez '16: Language is one very important part of communication, but there is more to it.
Adrienne Picciotto
Adrienne Picciotto '16: My internship with the Media Institute for Social Change was one of my most life-changing experiences.
teachers gathered around a table.
Mount Holyoke’s new master’s in teacher leadership program seeks to change education from within.
Katia Vais Bienenfield '02, Attorney/Program Officer
Katia Vais Bienenfield '02: I now run a grant-making program for Holocaust survivors and Nazi victims in the greater NYC area and globally.
Clare Schweitzer '12
Clare Schweitzer '12: as a double major in dance and mathematics, I found that many threads ran through my two fields of study.
Laura E. Fernandez ’08: After my lab experience at MHC, I completed a Ph.D. in Theoretical Computational Chemistry and work at ACS Nano and Nano Letters.
Ruth Zager '49
Ruth P. Zager '49: the study of history aids one in evaluating the 'talking heads' and their analyses of the health issues in this country.
Evgenia Sokolova '01
Evgenia Sokolova '01: My passion is creating linkages at the water-renewable energy-food nexus, enabling small business opportunities and economic growth.
Naomi Rodri '15: like historians, theatrical professionals constantly question what a play means and how it can be understood in its historical context.
Mojun Zhu ’11: my strong science research background helped me better understand the fundamental aspect of medicine as it relates to clinical practice.
Image of Maimuna Ahmad ’09 with current students.
Maimuna Ahmad ’09, CEO of Teach for Bangladesh, shares how her organization is transforming the lives of children and their teachers
Hilary Pollan
Hilary Pollan '12: My Nexus Global/Local Experiences helped me the most in collaborating with diverse groups to improve community health.
Megan Brooks with student holding a sign that says "Be The Change"
Megan Brooks '14: I still carry what I learned in my Middle Eastern Studies major, the people I met, and my experiences abroad into all that I do.
Angela DiCiccio ’08: my work is a serendipitous mix of my experiences as a biochemistry major and my research with Professor Chen in materials science.
Chloé Zhao ’05
In her Sundance debut, Chloe Zhao ’05 brings modern depth to a familiar story.
Image of Aderike Ajao ’16.
For Aderike Ajao '16, career exploration at MHC leads to a summer internship in New York City at banking giant Barclays.
Jessie Babcock '03 with Secretary of Defense
Jessie Babcock ’03: When I decided to double-major in English & Spanish literature, I never could have guessed where my studies would lead.
Louisa Rader
Louisa Rader '18: I continued my summer internship research exploring craters on Mars into my senior project
Margaret (Mollie) Frederiksen '13
Margaret (Mollie) Frederiksen '13: My history as a dancer combined with my interest in the human body and how it works drew me towards dance medicine.
Tracey (Theresa) Gilrein Kry '04
Tracey Gilrein Kry '04: work, before graduate school- whether in library science or anything else, to make sure the fit is right for you.
Hayat R Ahmed ’13: After graduation, I sought to understand the elusive nature of HIV and engage in current strategies to search for a cure.
Alexis Holliday '16
Alexis Holliday ’16: I connected with the communities I was serving by communicating with lawyers, immigration officials, and youth in their own languages.
Kiana Lussier Holding a firefly in Costa Rica
Kiana Lussier '13: I wondered how many luciérnagas, fireflies, I could spot in the forest in one minute.
Yanni Lai at the seashore
Yanni Lai ’14: I found the psychology professors always ready to help students and their valuable guidance continues to inspire me after graduation.
Alex Adame
Alex Adame '04: My MHC experiences continue to inspire me to strive for the ideals of social justice, community, and close collaborative relationships.
Claire Ricker '95
Claire Ricker '95: I advise against devaluing your history degree & encourage students to explore opportunities besides traditional history-oriented paths.
Divya Chandramouli
Divya Chandramouli '14: I learned at Mount Holyoke that scholarship injected with an activist sensibility is all the more valuable and impactful.
Catherine Algor FP ‘92
Catherine Allgor FP '92: my training as an MHC history major gave me knowledge, confidence, and courage.
Maria José Correa FP '16
Maria Correa FP '16: the best way for me to learn is by working with and learning from Spanish speaking students and educators in their own voices.
Jailene Rodriguez '20 began her Mount Holyoke career as a high school summer scholar with the Restoration Ecology Program.
Future physician Jailene Rodriguez ’20 gained hands-on lab experience in high school via Mount Holyoke’s Restoration Ecology Summer Scholars Program.
Erica Berman ’05
Erica Berman ’05: In the theater department, I explored my artistry, gained confidence in my storytelling abilities and expanded my artistic world view.
Elizabeth Dickinson 'FP13: I can now work with any bird species and have solid biological fieldwork skills that will translate to a variety of job types.
Artist Joan Jonas ’58 in her studio. Photo by Joe Lawton.
Joan Jonas ’58 is representing the U.S. at Venice Biennale.
Alexa Birdsong ’84: My english and politics majors contributed to my interest and respect for the importance of the history of music.
Dana Reuter ’15 digging fossils.
Dana Reuter ’15 : I am very interested in what mammals eat and how that has changed through time with climate and vegetation changes.
Brook Huynh '15
"High Rocks is an alternative education program in Rural Appalachia where I did workshops to inspire, educate, and empower young women"
Felicity Emerson
Felicity Emerson ’17: I have grown into a strong, confident and competent individual and aspiring scientist after four years living and learning at MHC.
Alexandra Ekstein-Kon '11
Alexandra Ekstein-Kon '11: studying Italian at Mount Holyoke was the catalyst that gave me the tools I needed to make the move to Europe.
Courtney Long
Courtney Long '07: a realistic, optimistic, mindset while navigating the journey is essential to building relationships in any art history career.
Erica Metzger Hare '98, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Administration
Erica Metzger Hare '98: after graduating from MHC, I worked for several years in management consulting before obtaining my MBA in Economics and Management.
Katherine Bracher
Katherine Bracher ’60: Every night I sketched comet Arend-Roland and took pictures in the observatory dome and was hooked!
Carrie Phelan Thomas '74
Carrie Phelan Thomas '74: you can take your history degree and move into any one of thousands of career areas.
Molly Vigour
The ability to search for information, weed through various sources, and become comfortable with new topics is an important piece of her work in law.
Lyndsey Ingram standing in front of a painting
Lyndsey Ingram ’2001: my internship was the most meaningful and significant thing that happened at the start of my career.
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Nana Dufie Addo ’05: I co-founded the Ghana-US Alumni Network and was awarded “Next Generation Leader’ by the African Leadership Network.
Kate Bailey
Kate Bailey '08: as a dance major, my interest in formulating my own Pilates-based movement series based on spirals later turned into my honors thesis.
Laura Congreve Hunter
Laura Congreve Hunter '17: Processing astronomical images is how raw images taken by telescopes becomes useful information for astronomers
Amy Koler ’02 (left) and Sarah-Ann Lynch ’82 have a long history of working together.  - See more at: http://alumnae.mtholyoke.edu/blog/find-your-people-2/#sthash.sbWIje9s.dpuf
Alumnae pursue unique connections through a powerful network of powerful women.
Olivia Griffen with Camel
Olivia Griffin '13: everyone assured me, “your undergrad major doesn’t matter" but I am absolutely sure I chose the right major in Middle Eastern Studies.
Marly Stasi
Marly L. Stasi '12: I studied history, literature, language, art, and culture, because an italian major is by no means limited to a language alone.
University of Potsdam Exchange Program
Hannah Weisman '2000: I learned research skills; discovered beautiful and heartbreaking stories of loss, survival, and strength and found my career focus.
Christina Elder, Neuroscience Major
Christina Elder ’18 began with a study abroad experience in New Zealand and then returned to that country for an internship studying addiction science.
Tiffany McClain '01
Tiffany McClain '01: if every discussion about how to communicate or understand a social issue started with a history lesson, we would all be better off.
Lucy Picket in the chemistry lab
Outstanding research in ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy of organic molecules
Nelia W. Dunbar ’83 sits in an ice cave conducting field work in Antartica.
Nelia W. Dunbar ’83: My professor's curiosity, love of fieldwork, and self-confidence gave me the enthusiasm to go on really exciting adventures.
As a Mount Holyoke student, Sara R. Haviland ’03 interviewed life-long civil rights activists for her thesis — leading to a doctorate and her first book.
Liz  MacLauchlan drawing a parabola on the blackboard
Liz MacLauchlan ’13: I learned about teaching and managing a classroom through my tutoring and work as a teaching assistant in the Chemistry Department.
Kameliya Atanasova
Kameliya Atanasova '08: My arabic skills, writing experience in Cairo, and digital media training in the Five Colleges prepared my graduate foundation.
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Alexandria Decatur '16: take math courses and gaining some research experience, whether it is through an internship with a professor or writing a thesis.
Kaitlin McCarthy '09
Kaitlin McCarthy '09: As a writer and dancer, I look for the values expressed within the dance, and evaluate how well the piece fulfilled those values.
Gina Ciralli with painting
Gina Ciralli '14: my classes and professors at Mount Holyoke certainly inspired my interest in art and helped me gain the necessary internship experience.
Mount Holyoke Chamber Singers
Lindsay Pope '07: I could have gone to a conservatory, but because I went to MHC, I had more performance opportunities in a less competitive environment.
Lucy Gong
Yingxi (Lucy) Gong '13: The museum staff was not only my daily colleagues but also mentors — they trusted and supported my work and interests.
Debbie Fazen ’04: my independent research with Professor Gomez and the skills I gained were vital to my success as a Regulatory Affairs specialist.
Nooria Puri '15
Nooria Puri: history provided me with the necessary framework to understand a spectrum of subjects, and contemporary issues.
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"More well-funded institutions may be alluring, but at a smaller institution you can experience more diversity in your work and make a real difference"
 Emily McGranachan  '12 at the Madres de Plaza de Mayo
Emily McGranachan '12: The Spanish department fostered my passion for social movements in Latin America in a way that only language acquisition can.
Lynette P. Rizzo '96
Lynette P. Rizzo: Learning about many facets of dance opened my eyes to a range of possibilities and prepared me to take on each opportunity I encountered.
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Tea Gongadze '12: at MHC, I developed sophisticated analytical skills and prudent judgment necessary to address firm`s financial and strategic concerns.
Crystal Nguyen ’05: the people I met at MHC including my advisor have been supportive and helped me at every step of my career.
Merita Salihu '15
Merita Salihu '15: The cultural component of my studies allowed me to understand people beyond just having the language skills to communicate with them.
Carol Ueland
Carol Culley Ueland '69: When I applied to Columbia, they exempted me from writing their MA essay on the basis of my Mount Holyoke thesis.
Lisa Brunie '06
Lisa Brunie '06: by engaging people in our communities and together promoting environmental awareness, we can make a real difference.
Donna Williams ’84
Donna Williams ’84 used her business savvy to found Field Goods, which transforms the model of how to get fresh food from farms to families' dinner tables.
Kelsey Schramma from MHC to Princeton
Kelsey Shramma '12 is a third year graduate student, recently published in Nature Chemistry
Holly Sprague
Holly Sprague '11: my perseverance and the guidance I received at Mount Holyoke allowed me to make my vision of serving tribal communities a reality.
Barsha Dash '14: Pursuing internships outside MHC to amass technical skills and build connections which proved pivotal for acceptance to graduate school.
Photo of Veronika Kivenson FP’13 aboard a research vessel
Alum Veronika Kivenson’s NSF grant allows her to use a supercomputer to examine how microbes metabolize pollutants found in marine sediment.
"Emma O'Leary '16 "
Emma O’Leary ’16: Biochemistry fulfills my need to be intrigued, confronted with complex questions, and participate in independent research.
Yarrow Axford '97 working with a student. Photo credit: Eilleen Molony.
Yarrow Axford ’97: My undergrad research at Mount Holyoke College sparked a career in climate science.
R. Aleida Montejo '2003, Co-founder of Thread Collaborative
R. Aleida Montejo ’03: my fluency in Spanish, French and Italian allows me to support my business in sometimes unexpected ways.
Image of Iman Abubaker Abdulwassi ’14.
Iman Abubaker '14: I was introduced to the field of environmental governance and policy and made important connections.
Deborah M. Piroch
Deborah M. Piroch '89: I cannot recommend international internships highly enough before graduation.
Aubry Koehler
Aubry K Hildebrant '07: Medical Family Therapy presented a unique combination of social science, medicine/healing and understanding other people's stories.
Aurora-Seamon-Profile-Picture-SQ
Aurora West Seamon ’17: My critical social thought major equipped me to teach a diverse group of learners and field questions about American culture.
On the bridge of a ship during a recent transit down the Delaware River on a cargo ship.
Rachel Soraruf Medley ’02: Go outside your comfort zone — even rejections can be opportunities in disguise
Ellen Chilemba
Ellen Chilemba ’17 continues to explore ways to help Malawi women rise out of poverty through Tiwale, the community-based organization she founded.
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Emily McClintock '14: I would not be where I am nor would I be as effective a teacher as I am without the department, professors and courses.
Kirsten Reoch '90: as a docent in a historical art museum I was interested in the actual built structure of the house and its restoration over the years.
Haifa, Israel
Hannah Doherty '10: Since starting my graduate program at Duke, I am often reminded of the stellar preparation I had with my Environmental Studies degree.
Julita Penido - Best Laid Plans
Julita Penido '12: in the Astronomy Department, I learned to be open to new possibilities, even if they didn’t follow the conventional path to success
Making Samanu
Rose Wellman '05: The best classrooms center on collaboration, exchange, and diversity of thought and experience. This was something I learned at MHC.
Erin Jones ’17. Photo by Emily Weir
The Hollings award will help Erin Jones ’17 develop her deep love of oceanography by providing academic funding, contacts, and a paid research internship.
Image of Jessica Espinosa ’15 in the Brodie lab.
All MHC students are guaranteed one paid internship experience. This biology major landed lab work each semester, and paid research gigs every summer.
Mount Holyoke graduate Anna Berlin sitting at a desk surrounded by art.
"I came to Mount Holyoke excited to learn and to challenge myself. Painting allowed me to look more critically at things around me." -Anna Berlin
Three generations — Mei's sister Lina (left), her father Gary, Mei and her grandmother Nancy— help run Wing On Wo.
Mei Lum ’12, new owner of her family store — one of the oldest shops in the neighborhood — keeps community and family traditions thriving.
Nialena Ali ’17
“This year I have taken some actions to make Mount Holyoke a more inclusive and equitable campus and I am very proud of the work that I have accomplished.”
The Lynk: Connecting Curriculum to Career
Cristina Ghenoiu ’04: analyzing the latest breakthroughs in the scientific and medical world is part of my every day job, and exhilarating!
Tracy Whelen
Tracy Whelen '14: Geography has also allowed me the independence to chart a course through the projects that interested me.
Mary A. Francis ’86
Mary A. Francis ’86, Chevron’s chief governance officer, said critical-thinking skills fostered at MHC have proved valuable in her professional life.
Amy Norman ’95 (left) and Stella Ma, co-CEOs of Little Passports.
MHC alumna Amy Norman ’95 built Little Passports, a business working to get kids interested in other cultures with activity packages mailed to their homes.
Clarissa Leight '18
Clarissa Leight '18: As an intern, I met astronomy researchers and presented my findings at 2016 Division of Planetary Science conference
Saryu Fensin ’06: As a chemistry major I participated in research during my undergraduate training which is not possible at the larger universities.
Melissa A. Danz '17 backpacking in the desert.
Melissa A. Danz ’17: Studying philosophy helped me to explore how I can work toward justice for all when the needs of a country are very complex.
Zilin Cui '11
Zilin Cui '11: I learned how to engage with Spanish speakers on a cultural, intellectual and professional level, and became a true world citizen.
Ruth A. Miller '97 PhD, Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Boston
Ruth A. Miller '97: Twenty years ago, the History Department prepared me for an academic career, It’s difficult to overstate how grateful I am.
Mahmuda Afrin Badhan
Mahmuda Afrin Badhan ‘11: my MHC education taught me to appreciate my individuality as a woman in science and never sell myself short as I persevere
Lindsay Sceats
Lindsay Sceats '11: Preparing for my my senior thesis gave me practice in looking at data with a critical eye and forming my own scientific opinions.
Mengyuan Tang '16 with Professor Lipman
Mengyuan Tang '16: I will continue to pursue my passion in law school to fight against corruption, especially in international law.
Judith Hathaway Oliver ‘69
Judith Oliver '69 describes her journey as a graduate student and now professor specializing in Art History.
Jane A. Flegal '09 presenting on her most recent work
Jane A. Flegal '09: How do science—and scientific uncertainty—and human values influence decision-making in highly contentious areas?
Lydia Young
Lydia Young '75: MHC helped her become a strong leader in a field with few women
Jiaxi Song ’12: I pursued independent research that prepared me to work in a highly interdisciplinary research field.
Katharine Hinkle ’02 and her geology students underneath a glacial erratic in Franconia Notch, NH.
Katharine Hinkle ’02: Connecting students to the natural world they live in is why I am teaching and what Mount Holyoke gave me the ability to do.
Rita Kerbaj '14
Rita Kerbaj ’14: My Spanish minor gave me access to opportunities in emerging markets and the confidence to pursue them as a leader at a top startup.
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Osato Iyore Ayanru ’05: on my Fulbright in Ghana, I studied medicinal plants that traditional healers prescribed to to HIV + patients.
Jamie Theophilos
Jamie Theophilos '13: Through the insight, connections and encouragement of my professors, I launched my career in media.
Yixi Chen '16 in front of Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination
Chen '16 reflects on her summer internship with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and how it relates to her potential career path.
Sadaffe Abid ’95
Sadaffe Abid ’95: Circle helps women executives and entrepreneurs develop the capacity to exercise leadership.
Rebecca Rothstein
Rebecca Rothstein '14: One cannot divorce Russian politics from Russian literature.
Alaine Johnson
Alaine Johnson '10: To immerse myself in another language, culture, and in literature that was socially and politically significant was truly powerful.
Vickie Victor
When her advisor suggested computer science, Vickie Victor ’18 said no way. But she tried it anyway — and landed a summer internship at Google.
Libby Kao '17
"I’m investigating potential gender and racial discrimination in disciplinary action in the National Job Corps."
Anuja De Silva ’03: my interest in polymer and material science led to graduate school and my career in the semiconductor industry.
Julia Godinez
Julia Godinez 17: he friendships and bonds I made this summer exposed me to an entirely new culture, which accepted me despite all our differences.
"Alvin Ailey - Revelations" by Knight Foundation - http://www.flickr.com/photos/knightfoundation/5985641517/in/photostream/. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alvin_Ailey_-_Revelations.jpg#/media/File:Alvin_
Kristin Colvin Young '97: They can say no, and from the start, I relied on my love of Dance.
River Ecology
Sarah Hastings '15: I learned a ton from the campers, the Cary scientists, my supervisor, and the mosquitoes I collected for the researchers!
Victoria Schmidt-Scheuber
Victoria Schmidt-Scheuber ’12: Academic rigor, guest speakers and supportive atmosphere inspired me to continue onward to graduate school.
Anne Hyde '82
Alumnae Anne Hyde's book Empires, Nations and Families: A History of the North American West, 1800-1860 won the History profession’s most prestigious award
Kathryn Higgins '12 Ca' Foscari Internship
Kathryn Higgins '12: If you have always dreamed of being an explorer, or if you are in love with the Italian language, I recommend this internship.
Alessandra Geffner-Smith '14
Alessandra Geffner-Smith '14: As a MHC student, I gained the academic foundations of my field and the confidence to make valuable professional connections.
Black and white photo of Grace Ehlers '11 wearing a sweater.
Grace Ehlers '11: At work I synthesize/contextualize material, historical, financial and cultural sets of information into one reference point every day.
Loren Robertson '06
Loren Robertson '06: At MHC, I majored in Dance and minored in Film, now I run a videography business in California.
Rita C. Economos ’01 chiseling rock in the field.
Rita C. Economos ’01: At Mount Holyoke I learned grit and courage — I don’t think I could have learned them so well, and with such joy, anywhere else.
Woyneab Habte '17, Mount Holyoke College
Empowered by the skills she gained at Mount Holyoke, Woyneab Habte ’17 founded a copy shop in her country to provide peers an alternative to sex work.
Claudia Mazur ’16, sailing the Pacific aboard a tall ship.
Claudia Mazur ’16 spent a semester learning about the world's oceans and climate as part of earning a marine science studies certificate through MHC.
Rain Ross '2000
Rain Ross '2000: Studying at MHC, gave me a breadth of experiences that have given me choices in my professional and personal goals.
McKenzie Conner working as a docent in a gallery
McKenzie Conner ’13: Learning another language and culture led to insighta into the background of its artists I would never otherwise understand.
Emily Harcourt ’09: because of my student research experience working the chemistry lab, I work comfortably with different techniques across disciplines.
Lila Reid '15
Lila Reid '15: Mount Holyoke gave me the opportunity to fuse my interests in dance and teaching through a career-oriented and practical approach.
Caitlin E. Scott '07: the many opportunities at MHC for undergraduate student research are an early introduction to graduate level research.
Photo of Danielle Brown ’18
“The gates of the College truly open to another world. Each interaction requires us all to take an introspective look at our values as well as our biases.”
Aidan Diamond
Thanks to the support of her MHC professors, Aidan Diamond ’15 has been able to nurture an interest in Batman into a burgeoning academic career.
Gayathri Ramani '12
Gayathri Ramani '12: my education and internships paved the path to a better understanding of my research interests and professional aspirations.
Rebecca Malcolm-Nai '87, Adjunct Faculty
Rebecca Malcolm-Naib '87: the dance program at MHC nurtured and launched my multi-faceted career in dance.
Kim Meersma '15, USDA Internship
Kim Meersma 15: my junior-year summer internship was a large part of why I was able to find a great job so quickly following graduation.
Gerard van Honthorst's 1623 painting The Concert.
Allison Palmer '85: I encourage all my students, regardless of their major, to take at least one art history course and study abroad.
Photo of Shannon Seigal ’19
Shannon Seigal ’19 has combined her interests in environmental sustainability and social justice and taken advantage of every opportunity.
Eliza Skakel ‘13: I was exposed to an academic environment, process, and professionalism that I had not previously encountered.
Michelle ‘Misha’ Oraa Ali ’17: My thesis looked at neural signatures in auditory imagery by using poetry, specifically limericks.
Photo of Miranda Gontz
discusses her internship at the Academy of Television and her plan for career success in the future.
Felicia Harrsch ’14 (right) giving a poster presentation to the community at a public health outreach event
Felicia Harrsch ’14: MHC prepared me for graduate school, and my background in neuroscience and chemistry has given me a leg up in pharmacy classes.
Aviva Elzufon
Aviva Elzufon '10: through my Spanish major I developed the ability for critical, concise, well-written work throughout my post-graduate career.
Dancer Spotlight Zoé Emilie Henrot
Zoé Emilie Henrot '12: one of my favorite aspects of SPCB is the fact the Company artists have a voice in every aspect of each performance.
The Lynk: Connecting Curriculum to Career
Obdulia Valle '15: I want to teach students about the Spanish language, cultures and people that encompass this language in Latin America and the US.
Katharyn Fletcher ’09: my double major in chemistry and german studies inspired me to pursue post-graduate research fellowships in Hamberg.
Alison Bory '97, Assistant Professor of Dance
Alison Bory '97: my desire to explore dance as a physical, creative, and intellectual endeavor has determined the course of my professional life.
Photo of Julia Kellerbauer
IR student liaison Julia Kellerbauer ’18 adds a touch of home at work.
Mengjia Wan studying karate in Tokyo.
Mengjia Wan '14: during my study abroad in Tokyo, I listened to Japanese people's views on Japan's society, culture and foreign relations.
Mervnide Pierre
Mervnide Pierre '14: I would not be where I am without advising and guidance, so finding a mentor/advisor invested in my success was crucial to my journey.
Photo of Sabrina Smith
Sabrina Smith ’17 seeks alumna advice, opportunities, and experience during her internship at the Mount Holyoke College Joseph Allen Skinner Museum.
Emily Wells ’15—Curatorial Intern at Colonial Williamsburg
Emily Wells ’15: I researched toys and toy companies, wrote up my findings in brief reports and added them to the database, along with other materials.
Costa Rica
Sarah Hayden '15: it helped me realize how much I would like to continue my studies about Latin America and the environment.
Heather Southwick '90
Heather Southwick '90: While in graduate school, I began to combine my love of dance and medicine through an internship with Boston Ballet.
 Emily McGranachan '12 at the Marcha de la Diversidad Sexual, Santiago, Chile, 2011.
Emily McGranachan '12: I frequently think about my experience traveling and living internationally when talking about LGBTQ rights and the global movement
Entwined, 2014. Oil on cradled panel. 40 in x 60 in.
Jude Harzer’s ’87: her paintings explore the familial relationships that shape children.
Alexandra Horne ’12
Alexandra Horne ’12: My experiences at Mount Holyoke helped me grow into the sort of woman confident in her ability to do whatever she wants.
Marsha Allen FP’10
Marsha Allen FP’10: My final year at Mount Holyoke changed me. I realized that with hard work and the right support network, I could be a scientist.
Nora Bond ’14
Nora Bond ’14: my study of psychology helped me discover that understanding that people are people, first, is the key to better work.
Natercia Rodrigues
Natercia Rodrigues '06: it has been a priority to learn within the context of a supportive community that values mentorship.
Lauren in front of a painting in a museum
Lauren Parda Kusek '2014 FP: my student research of Roman and Northern Renaissance collections informed my work in the non-profit world.
SEEDS: Radicalizing Change in Tribal Jha
Varsha V Manoj '16: I compiled my internship interviews with women and children participating in SEEDS Model Village program into a short film.
Emma Singer
Emma Singer '14: I work with students who have vastly different outdoor experiences from my own and my ES major helped me to better understand their needs.
Image of Emily Wells ’15
Emily Wells ’15 discovered a “treasure chest” of knowledge about early American life after winning the envied Historic Deerfield Summer Fellowship.
Graphic depicting career outcomes
Mount Holyoke College research shows that the keys to successful career advancement are grade point average and internships — the more, the better.
Mount Holyoke graduate Allie Miller reading "1000 Chairs" while sitting next to a statue of Albert Einstein. Miller is dressed in their Masters of Industrial Design graduation regalia.
"More than 10 years after that first drawing class, I am now a professional designer and strategist working in an industry I didn’t event know existed."
Alexandra Ekstein-Kon '11 Ca' Foscari Internship
Alexandra Ekstein-Kon '11: My internship experience was fantastic because of the wonderful people I worked with and the magical city that is Venice.
Rebecca Brenner 15
Rebecca Brenner '15: in four days I preserved boxes of letters and this project became my honors thesis on the efforts of Frances Perkins to aid refugees.
Photo of Javeria Kella ’19 in Liberia
Beyond the classroom: Javeria Kella ’19 discusses her internship with Gbowee Peace Foundation in Liberia.
Ye Li '11, Graduate Student
Ye Li '11: one of my proudest achievements during my undergraduate journey is my thesis in Spanish.
Stacey Owens '06
Stacey Owens '06: After creating my own major, I could not stop creating, and still do in my career as a TV Producer.
Olivia Derks ‘13: I am considering a career in environmental psychology, so the internship allowed me a closer look at this field of clinical psychology.
Insun Yoon '09
Insun Yoon '09, My research experience inspired me to become a compassionate and competent dentist.
Evan Towle '97: The anthropologist knows that every family will make its own meaning and grieve in its own way.
Jennifer Trehey O'Malley '89
Jennifer Trehey O'Malley '89: I found surgery was not my life's work, but this thing called research I ended up loving.
"East Lake Creek," by Barbara Conviser ’66
Barbara Conviser ’66 was headed for a law career before a Mount Holyoke College professor encouraged her to major in what she did best—art.
Economics Students listen to Susan Bateson '76
Susan Bateson '76 talks to economics students about entering the workforce
Ariel Hayat '15
Ariel Hayat ’15: my passion for music, storytelling, and authentic connection has continued to be a grounding point in my life following graduation.
Nondie Hemphill in front of rockets.
Nondie Hemphill '10: MHC instilled within me the courage to follow my interests and unapologetically enter into the burgeoning field of Space Law.
Arielle Seriah Derival ’17
“I am proud that we have changed the conversation around immigration and undocumented individuals into a positive and purposeful one.”
Carrie Kortegast '98
Carrie Kortegast '98: there’s so much you can do with a liberal arts degree, yet there’s so much to do with a liberal arts degree.
Luong Nguyen
Luong Nguyen ’12: I learned to conduct independent research, program algorithms, and present my ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
Anne Bedford '60
Anne Marie Bedford ’60: I had the drive and endurance to pursue extremely demanding graduate studies because of confidence instilled in me by MHC.
Monica Chelliah ‘14 talks about her job as a Web Programming Assistant.
Drunk Cells, 2015. Silk screen print, 22 in. x 30 in.by Ariel Szabo White ’09
Ariel Szabo White ’09: I am thankful to my professors, who encouraged me to experiment.
Melissa Holmes ’90
Mount Holyoke Alumnae Make Meaningful Contributions Behind the Scenes: Melissa Holmes ’90
Laura Swanbeck '08
Laura Swanbeck '08: with the generous support of my professors, I turned what I considered a strange film obsession into an unconventional career.
Student in front of giant head statues on Easter Island
Julia Godinez 17: Camping outside, I had the privilege of truly bonding and connecting with my students.
Samantha Neally ’19
Samantha Neally ’19: I learned not only about plants, but also about how indigenous communities are impacted by globalism, tourism and other issues.
Allison Fisher '14: finding a rewarding career path after an unexpected beginning
Tiffany A. Goulet '97
Tiffany A. Goulet '97: I have taught grades 7-12 in MA, CT, Washington DC, Bangladesh, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and China.
Woyneab Habte '17, Mount Holyoke College
Founder of On-Her-Own, the first work-study program in Ethiopia helping to provide low-income female students with non-exploitative means of income.
Abigail Daane
Abigail Daane '04: Professors at MHC showed me it was possible to balance career and family.
Catherine "Katie" Dietrich ’12, Medical Student at University of Florida
Catherine Dietrich ’12: my work has benefited greatly from the skills I gained in higher level biochemistry classes and my undergraduate lab experience.
Alessandra Hickson
Alessandra Hickson '09: When I went to graduate school to pursue a career in journalism, my knowledge of art and film helped me in my reporting.
"My Search for Ramanujan: How I Learned to Count" by Ken Ono
Ono discusses his unconventional path and how he found inspiration from Ramanujan in a new book, My Search for Ramanujan: How I Learned to Count.
Catherine Herrold '00 PhD, Assistant Professor of Philanthropic Studies and Public Affairs
Catherine Herrold '2000: I gained the courage to pursue research in Egypt & I was "in the right place at the right time" when the Arab Spring broke out.
Krystiane Cooper (Cheetham) '92
Krystiane Cooper ’92: My MHC experience and education prepared me to use and engage my voice in the world for both singing and social justice.
The Lynk: Connecting Curriculum to Career
Carey Lang '14: I came in with some experience in outdoor education, and found I enjoyed leading full day teen hikes and gained the skills to do it again.
Kristina Varade
Kristina Varade '02: ... when academic curiosity becomes a professional reality.
Janet Buhlmann '89 PhD.
Janet Buhlmann '89: at Pfizer, I work with academic partners helping to translate their discoveries at the bench into novel therapeutics.
Image of bench at MHC Student Garden.
Allison Fisher '14: introduced me to a multitude of perspectives concerning the environment around us.
Claire Schwartz
Claire Schwartz '16: I created maps of mars missions for NASA using ArcGIS and MatLab, which I learned in my planetary science class
Dana Rubin
Dana Rubin '12: Working for an affordable housing director, I heard stories, many from first generation immigrants about public transportation issues.
Photo of Heidi Roop ’07 doing fieldwork in Greenland
Hooked on science after an unintended geology class in her first semester at Mount Holyoke, Heidi Roop ’07 has traveled the world as a climate scientist.
My-Linh Nguyen ’13: my chemistry and french background allowed me to connect with my scientist colleagues at the Embassy.
Ashley Kosa '15
Ashley Kosa ’15: my chemistry background was integral to my internship in art conservation and restoration.
Michelle Bennett Studio Headshot
Michelle Bennett '06: Cultural Anthropology helped me learn to navigate two different cultures and inspired me to pursue a masters degree.
Image of Anqa Khan ’17
A biology and film studies double major, Anqa Khan ’17 is gaining an intersectional understanding of public health through her research and internships.
Portrait of Natasha Ansari '13
After an internship in Pakistan leading to a thesis, Natasha Ansari ’13 coauthored a book on economic altruism and microlending with mentor Shahrukh Khan.
Laura Zingle ’03
Laura Zingle ’03: my academic/work experience made me a better stage manager and I thank MHC for shaping me into a more confident, worldly individual.
Carolyn Lau Picture
Carolyn Lau ’15: My lab courses prepared me for graduate-level research.
Shannon Lynch FP '16
Shannon Lynch FP 16: a once in a lifetime experience, as an intern, I lived on islands with only other researchers and the birds we were trying to protect.
Srishti Palani ’18
“I learned to ask questions fearlessly and make mistakes. No one knows everything. The only way to learn and move forward is by asking and doing.”
Ally Laforge interning at the Old York Museums
Allyson Laforge '16: I am bringing back multiple skills to Mount Holyoke, including a deeper understanding of material culture and public history.
Yaaminey Mubayi '90
Yaaminey Mubayi '90: I wanted to study Asian Art, Comparative Religions, languages and Cultures and chose South Asian Studies as a major.
Catherine Colello Walker
Catherine Walker ’07: the ability to chart your own unique path is tremendously valuable in becoming an independent thinker and researcher
Dr. Ashfia Huq
Dr. Ashfia Huq '96: Making lithium ion and other batteries better using neutron scattering.