Kendra Sykes ‘10


High School: Wellesley Senior High School

Hometown: Manhattan, New York

Major: Political Science, International and Comparative Politics Concentration

Activities: Bryn Mawr Posse 6, Study Abroad Coordinator 2009-2010, Phonathon Caller, Black History Month Co-Head 2008-2009, Sisterhood Co-President 2007-2008, Sophomore Traditions Representative 2007-2008

Interests: museums, traveling, international politics, photography, new experiences

Internship: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

As it dawns upon my senior year, I realize how lucky I am to have the chance to take full advantage of the ample opportunities that Bryn Mawr offers its students. I truly believe that this past summer has been one of best of my life. I got the chance to live in a new city, meet wonderful people and to intern at the National Portrait Gallery, one of the many museums in DC associated with the Smithsonian Institution. From day one I felt at home at the National Portrait Gallery. The tight knit community was very much apparent around the office and I even got the chance to meet Bryn Mawr alum that have worked at the National Portrait Gallery for years!  For my internship, I continued the work of another Bryn Mawr student on an exhibition called “From Marlene to Marilyn: Glamour and Desire on the Silver Screen”. My research was concentrated in the period between the world wars, roughly from 1930-1940, which is a very exciting time period in itself. I got the chance to utilize a search engine that is widely used around the Smithsonian Institution called Pro Quest, where I examined hundreds of newspaper articles from this ten-year time span. I was also very fortunate to have access to the very first issues of LIFE magazine that I spent weeks going through to fully understand the impact these glamorous celebrities had on the American public.  I learned skills and lessons that I could not have learned in a classroom setting, such as how much work is needed to construct an exhibition. It’s not as easy as it looks! I had a lot of fun doing my research and words cannot express how rewarding this internship has been for my future career ambitions. I have always been a big fan of museums and what they mean to the public and because of this, I know I want to pursue museum work post-graduation. Having the opportunity to work at the National Portrait Gallery through the Hepburn Center has been a dream come true and I am truly grateful for this experience.

Download Internship Presentation
Hepburn Center 2009 Summer Interns
Kendra Sykes