Terms to Remember: Interns Report
More than seventy-five
students experienced learning beyond MHC's campus and classrooms
during this year's January Term. With help from the Career Development
Center, they secured internships at sites as far-flung as South
Hadley and San Francisco, gaining work experience in fields ranging
from journalism to public relations. Whether they supported crime
victims at the Northampton office of District Attorney Elizabeth
D. Scheibel '77, compiled research for CNBC's America Now,
or developed hands-on activities for a new Art Discovery Center
at Springfield's George Walter Vincent Smith Museum, this year's
interns took full advantage of their three-week work experiences.
Some even discovered passions they plan to continue this term,
next summer, or after graduation. In the following short pieces,
some J-Term interns reflect on what they learned.
Amber Cushing '04
District Attorney's Office
Working for the Victim/Witness
(VW) Unit of the northwestern district attorney's office in Northampton,
I spent many hours in court observing and taking notes for the
VW advocates, whose job is to ensure that victims in all cases
prosecuted by the commonwealth understand the legal process, convey
victims' desired outcomes to the assistant district attorney (ADA)
handling the case, and emotionally support victims during court
proceedings. The advocates and ADA work as a team and depend on
each other to make cases run more smoothly. In my three weeks
working for the district attorney's office, I became more familiar
with Massachusetts law and the court system, as well as what goes
on outside the courtroom. I feel proud to have been part of a
system that helps ease the stress of crime victims. I also enjoy
knowing that my tasks had a purpose; if I had not been there to
take notes on cases, the advocates could not have spent as much
time with the victims while court was in session. Although I will
remain an avid viewer of the televsion law series The Practice,
in which lawyers single-handedly "save the day," I will
watch it with the understanding that a team effort is necessary
for successful prosecutions.
"She was fabulous,"
said Susan Manatt, director of the Victim/Witness Unit. "Amber
was competent and intelligent, and pitched right in. She did a
beautiful job on a special project, reorganizing and reinventorying
our lending library of victim books and brochures. She took the
initiative, ran with it, and did a very thorough job. Our experience
with Lanae Erickson '03 in our Greenfield office was equally positive.
At first we wondered how much work interns could possibly do in
three weeks, but we've been very pleased with the quality of their
work and how much they were able to accomplish."
M. Kim '02, America Now intern
Jennifer M. Kim
CNBC America Now
Fort Lee, New Jersey
I have a self-designed
major in communications and hope to have a career in broadcasting,
so completing an internship this January at CNBC's new show America
Now offered a great opportunity to glimpse the field of television.
America Now is a nightly show that discusses the day's
top stories from a business/economic perspective. I began a typical
day by finding online opinion and editorial articles relevant
to the show's topic, as well as assisting producers in researching
topics. Other responsibilities included logging press conferences,
shooting visuals, and obtaining videos from archives. Although
I mainly assisted the news associate by distributing scripts and
guest lists, setting up the anchors' set, compiling show files,
and greeting guests, I often shadowed producers and editors in
the control and editing rooms. My desire to learn was met by their
desire to teach. I was even given the rare opportunity to make
my own video package, which I have added to my portfolio. Having
a hands-on experience in devising my own story, editing the package,
and recording my own script was an opportunity I could never have
gotten in the classroom.
Palmer '04 (right) with Kerry Tymchuk of Senator Gordon
Smiths office, and another intern
Senator Gordon Smith
I accepted an internship
with Senator Gordon Smith (Republican, Oregon) in his district
office in Portland, choosing Portland rather than D.C., because
there were fewer interns there. Smith's D.C. office can take as
many as fifteen interns; in Portland, there were only two of us.
From the first day, I was thrown right in, answering phones, responding
to letters, researching appropropriations for the field representative
for natural resources. It was a little overwhelming but a great
experience for me in many ways, and one that helped me narrow
my career interests. I thought that being a senator was all glamour,
but after this job, I know I don't have the stomach or thick skin
to handle the criticism that comes with it. But I did like the
work of the legislative assistants, who compile information and
constituent opinions on state issues for the senator. I worked
long hoursmy day started at 5:30 am, and often I didn't
get home until 7 pmbut I loved every minute of it. The staff
was wonderful, and I made use of my networking skills. They must
have worked, because I was invited to a presidential dinner in
great," said executive assistant Kirsten Zimmerman, who coordinates
interns for Senator Smith's office. "She's a very quick learner,
someone who could jump right in at a very busy office. We would
have loved to have her here longer."
Graboski '03 (second from left) at the Empire State Building
with four other Museum of Jewish Heritage interns
Jill Graboski '03
Museum of Jewish Heritage
New York, New York
I was one of sixteen
interns from throughout the Northeast chosen to work with educators
at the Museum of Jewish HeritageA Living Memorial to the
Holocaust, located in New York City's Battery Park, to learn how
to teach about twentieth-century Jewish history and the Holocaust.
The training, which was supported by a grant from the Gruss Lipper
Foundation, consisted of readings, discussions, and meetings with
museum personnel. Besides working with the staff and other interns,
the most memorable and moving part of the training was meeting
with Holocaust survivors and hearing their stories. This semester
I will apply my training with local middle school and/or high
school students by presenting them a slide show, taking them to
the museum in New York, giving them the museum's "Meeting
Hate with Humanity" tour, and providing a follow-up visit
to discuss what they learned. I am honored to be a Lipper intern.
Not only am I applying my major in history and minor in museum
education, but I am also acting as an ambassador for a wonderful
museum with invaluable messages of social justice, remembrance,
hope, and tolerance.
Hayley Beers '05
Ronald McDonald House
I spent three weeks
as an intern at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House, the first
Ronald McDonald House created. The internship allowed me to explore
my interest in pursuing a career in a not-for-profit organization,
enabling me to experience the day-to-day routine of one. My goal,
to learn how a not-for-profit operates on a daily basis, was definitely
met, because I did not work in one set area of the house but instead
moved day-to-day between the administrative office and the office
of the director of volunteers. Among my duties were answering
phone calls and family queries, writing letters, and choosing
the graphics for the House's monthly newsletter. My supervisor,
Director of Volunteers Tina McDonnell, and the rest of the staff
at the house were incredible. They welcomed me onto the staff
wholeheartedly, inviting me to share not only in the work but
also in staff traditions, such as Friday lunch at a nearby restaurant.
I had a great time; not only did I learn a lot, but I was able
to see firsthand how organizations such as the Ronald McDonald
House are able to make a significant positive impact on the families
Director of Volunteers
Tina McDonnell said, "What a gift Hayley was. We were so
fortunate to have her. We ask volunteers to do hundreds of different
tasks that require commonsense decisions. Hayley was thoughtful
and mature. She had tremendous common sense and caught on very
quickly. In the short time she was here, she even showed longtime
volunteers shortcuts on the computer, and she did it in such an
unassuming and kind way that they took to her right away. She's
a fabulous kid who shared a lot of herself with us. I hope she
will come back."
Hafter '04 (left) with Global Exchange supervisor Dawn Fraser
Hannah Hafter '04
San Francisco, California
Global Exchange is
a nonprofit research, education, and action center charged with
increasing global awareness in the United States and building
international partnerships around the world. I accomplished far
more than I expected with Global Exchange: calling members of
Congress and setting up a network of town hall meetings to discuss
immigrant rights post-September 11; compiling a one-hundred-page
reading packet for a delegation traveling to the U.S./Mexico border
to examine increased militarization; creating a handout describing
President Bush's military tribunals and their dangers; writing
the text for a widely distributed pamphlet describing Global Exchange's
Public Education Campaign and how to get involved; doing preliminary
organizing for a speaker's tour; and more. Beyond learning skills
and contributing to something important, I gained a better understanding
of my role in global issues, from economic justice to civil rights.
I realized, for instance, that the cheap fruits and vegetables
I bought from street stands on my way home from work were related
to the poor labor conditions of the exploited migrant workers
I was researching eight hours a day. I plan to continue not-for-profit
work in the future and know wherever it takes me, the skills and
understanding I gained at Global Exchange will shape my direction.
Hartwyk '03 helps a young visitor at Springfields
George Walter Vincent Smith Museum.
Kate Hartwyk '03
George Walter Vincent Smith Museum
My experience at the
George Walter Vincent Smith (GWVS) Museum at the Springfield Quadrangle
was truly rewarding and helped me identify some of my strengths
and weaknesses. I researched symbols in Eastern art that will
be included in an activity in the Art Discovery Center, a permanent
installation currently under construction. I also researched the
life of Japan's samurai warriors, whose arms and armor are displayed
in the museum. In addition to doing research, I observed and led
tours for kindergartners through second graders at the GWVS and
at the quadrangle's Museum of Fine Arts. For one tour, I had free
rein to design a craft to teach two groups of Montessori schoolchildren
the creative process involved in designing the Discovery Center.
The tours gave me an opportunity to learn about collections at
the quadrangle and to overcome my discomfort with public speaking
and teaching. When I was not working on research or tours, I was
working with three artists, two from Tibet and one from UMass,
who were designing the Discovery Center through a tedious and
detailed process of chalking stencils onto the walls, then applying
a textured outline and several layers and colors of decorative
paint. Watching them allowed me to truly appreciate the creative
process sometimes overlooked by art historians. On the whole,
my internship was a wonderful opportunity to try my hand at many
different aspects of museum education.
a real fresh enthusiasm to the museum," said Julia Courtney,
director of museum education for art and history. "It was
clear to me that she has a love of art, art history, and education.
She was hardworking and had a real gift in developing rapport
with the students and helping them understand what they were seeing.
We were very blessed to have her, and I only wish she could be
here longer." The museum would like to have additional interns
this spring. Contact Julia Courtney, museum educator for art and
history, at 263-6800, ext. 323.
Lindsey Coyle '04
turned out to be the most fantastic learning environment! This
public relations office is divided into teams, and I worked on
projects for each of them. For the technology policy team, for
example, I compiled a comprehensive media list for a major press
conference for Dell Computers. For the administration team, I
attended a seminar regarding company security with CEOs of Capitol
Hill's top tech firms. My biggest, most exciting project was doing
press relations for the "Gala Concert" of Operalia 2001,
an international vocal competition for young opera hopefuls headed
by Placido Domingo. Pre-concert, I pitched the event to TV, news,
and daybook editors. During the concert, I was in charge of the
press table. I even met Mr. Domingo! Post-concert, I prepared
media clips and developed the wrap-up report book. During this
internship, I developed such sensitivity to detail that I could
quickly spot and rectify a journalist's error. I learned that
public relations is not a nine-to-five job; you work long hours
to produce a result synonymous with the client's idea of success.
I also learned that while it's hard to get motivated working towards
a vague goal in college, public relations clients make goals clear
at conception. You are motivated simply because you work against
deadlines and heavy competition. I was lucky to discover that
I love public relations. I'm heading back to D.C. this summer!
Caroline Dietz, internship
coordinator and technology policy team assistant account executive,
called Coyle's internship "a valuable experience for our
company." She said, "In three weeks, Lindsey became
very much part of our team. Her help was absolutely appreciated
by all. She showed dedication to the clients, was punctual, and
was always willing to helpand help in a very positive way.
Her enthusiasm will serve her well in this industry. We really
enjoyed having her here and hope she will come back in the summer."
Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services
I was an intern at
Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services (PHES),
in Houston, Texas. This organization provides services to all
of Harris County, Texas, except for the city of Houston. I worked
in the epidemiology section of PHES. This section surveys the
county for outbreaks of disease, provides information to county
residents about diseases, and tracks and reports certain diseases
and deaths. Before this internship, I thought epidemiology sounded
interesting, but I really did not know anything about it. Now
I have a much better sense of what disease surveillance is and
what career options are available in epidemiology. The best thing
about this internship was the people. They were all incredibly
nice and went out of their way to make me feel welcome. The chief
epidemiologist even gave me a tour of Houston and arranged for
tours of the Houston city labs and the Harris County jail so that
I could observe other kinds of public health jobs. I am not sure
if disease surveillance is the direction in which I want to go,
but this internship did help me realize the scope and importance
of public health.
"She was really
interested and really sharp and absorbed everything that was given
to her," said Cindy Kilborn, PHES chief epidemiologist. "She
was our first intern from Mount Holyoke, and we really enjoyed
having her here."
Cata '03 at Goldman Sachs
Raluca Cata '03
New York, New York
My internship in the
foreign exchange sales department at Goldman Sachs was extremely
challenging, interesting, and even more exciting than I expected
it to be. I worked in a huge room that occupied an entire floor
of the building and was filled with rows of small desks, each
with at least three computer monitors and a telephone with many
lines ringing all the time. It was very exciting to work in such
a frantic environment, listening to employees talk to clients
and shout out trades to each other. The days went by really quickly,
because I was so busy learning about the concepts of foreign exchange
trading and the specifics of the different jobs on a trading floor.
My responsibilities were contributing to the writing of the foreign
exchange newsletters and supporting the people in my department
with different projects. Besides the exposure to the foreign exchange
trading floor, I loved the challenge of figuring out things by
myself and doing everything quickly and well at the same time.
I loved the trading floor environment, the work, and the people.
The internship was a great experience, in which I learned a lot
about myself and my career goals.
McGann '02 worked with skeletal remains at the Florida Museum
of Natural History.
Sarah McGann '02
Florida Museum of Natural History
I spent two weeks
interning at the Florida Museum of Natural History, where the
skeletal remains of 143 Native Americans were recently returned
to the collection. These were the remains of Native Americans
who lived and died at a Spanish mission on Amelia Island in the
seventeenth century. They had been lent to the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill as part a study of the impact of colonialism
on the health, diet, and demography of Native Americans. A leading
anthropologist was conducting this research. I worked under the
supervision of collection manager Scott Mitchell to begin the
process of taking inventory, curating, and reintegrating the remains
that will go back into the museum's collection. We began by removing
the crania and bags of cranial fragments and teeth from the boxes
of bones. We placed each skull on a "doughnut," a ring
we fashioned out of thick foam and superglue, and placed all loose
bags with the matching crania. Next, we transferred all bagged
material into thicker, acid-free bags to ensure prolonged protection.
Each bag was specifically labeled to prevent any mix-ups. During
my time at the museum, we finished organizing all of the cranial
material and were able to move on to the postcranial remains.
Opening boxes of completely intact femurs and bags of whole vertebrae
was quite exciting, and being able to work with and handle these
remains proved to be an extremely rewarding and thrilling experience.
"She was terrific.
She did a great job. Send us more!" said curator Jerald Milanich,
who explained that the Florida Museum of Natural History is in
compliance with federal and state regulations on handling human
remains. "Handling human bones is a sobering experience,"
he said. "But through this process, archaeologists can learn
tremendous amounts and give these people a voice for the historical