On the Job

Summer internships expand students’ horizons.

Working closely with seasoned professionals—some of them fellow Mawrters—they develop new skills, gain hands-on experience, and explore their career interests.

In the Archive: Hope Jones ’20

Museum of American Jewish History Internship

Site: Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Tasks: Processing archival materials in the B.Z. Goldberg Collection

Highlight: The collection Jones worked with is composed of the archive of B.Z. Goldberg, son-in-law of Sholem Aleichem and editor of the American Yiddish newspaper Der Tog. “The most rewarding part is being able to immerse myself in a time when Yiddish was a prominent language,” says Jones. “I love to be able to handle drafts of B. Z. Goldberg’s books.”

Takeaway: “Since high school, I knew I wanted to work in a museum, either in the archives or special collections. This internship will help me gain vital knowledge on how to process a collection and the levels of archival processing.”

In Motor City: Elena Luedy ’19

Hanna Holborn Gray Fellowship 

Project: From the Ashes We Will Rise: Building a Sustainable Detroit

Tasks: Analyzing the sustainable building efforts made in the public and private sectors. 

Highlight: “The ability to interview various Detroiters and to see the enthusiasm they had for their projects,” says Luedy, “Seeing their passion really motivated me in my own work, and made telling their stories even more important to me.” 

Takeaway: “I aim to look at the goals of these projects to assess whether they have achieved them, or are on track toward achieving them, as well as gauge public support for the project. The data I collect will be used in my senior thesis for the Growth and Structure of Cities department.”

City Hall: Ana Meta ’19

Mayor’s Internship 

Site: Department of Human Services, City of Philadelphia.

Tasks: Social media, event planning, website, and “so many meetings.”

Highlight: For the DHS Office of Homelessness, Meta has been helping with outreach for a food safety collaborative in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, which has a high population of homeless residents and an opioid crisis. “It’s personal for me,” says Meta. “I live in Kensington. I see people struggling every day, and I have seen people overdose way too many times. I want to actually help make a difference.”

Takeaway: “I didn’t realize how complicated and slow government would be….Young people want change, and the way we can do that is to be involved. I’ll be trying to make a change through government. Catch me working in the Supreme Court once I become a judge!”

In the Studio: Emily Oriel ’19

Studio Internship

Site: Zenos Frudakis: Public Monuments and Portrait Sculptures

Tasks: Sculpting a self-portrait and creating a catalogue raisonné of Frudakis’s work.

Highlight: “I get to meet many artists who work with or are friends with Zenos Frudakis,” says Oriel, “and each of them is an inspiration. I am seeing how artists never stop growing, criticizing each other, and asking one another for help and advice.”

Takeaway: “Being a sculptor is a lot different than being a sculpture student. A lot different. Assignments don’t just appear as part of a course curriculum. Artists need to prove themselves every day and fight to get the work. There’s also all the mingling and interviews to make sure you are ‘out there.’ Finally, a huge component of being an independent artist is that you need to make your own schedule and be on top of it 24/7.”

Wall Street: Joy Rukanzakanza ’19

Alladin Client Services Intern 

Site: BlackRock Inc.

Tasks: Client service:  fielding—and solving—client problems, maintaining relational databases and product logs.

Highlight: “The intensive coding drill sessions exposed me to new ways of solving problems and enlightened me on how much I did not know....,” says Rukansakanza, “Instead of that demoralizing me, this prompted me to develop strategies on how to be an excellent performer despite minimal resources and background knowledge.”

Takeaway: “I was honored to be part of an organization that not only cares about delivering high-quality service to its clients, but also cares about the communities those clients come from. It is such principles, coupled with a fulfilling summer experience, that aided my decision to return to BlackRock for a full-time opportunity next year.”

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