Name: Claire Weeks
Class Year: 2021
Hometown: Oakland, Calif.
Internship Organization: Bryn Mawr College LITS
Job Title: Digital Technology Intern
What’s happening at your internship?
As a digital technology intern in the Bryn Mawr College LITS department I worked to create a website to house important language learning and cultural material for an indigenous community. We worked to develop existing resources as well as worked with an indigenous researcher to create new resources and features to make the website accessible and useful for many groups within the community. This internship has allowed me to develop coding and web design skills that I did not previously possess, as well as more familiarity with topics related to language acquisition. I also became very comfortable with working with a team remotely and how to manage the difficulties and stressors that come with that.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I first worked on this project during my Introduction to Linguistics course where we processed data for the website. In addition to interest in the project that stemmed from my primary exposure, I initially applied for this internship because, often, I find internships that focus on computational linguistics to be morally unregulated or just generally harmful to most of the communities that they impact or interact with. This project was really interesting to me as it served a purpose that extended beyond fulfilling my own personal career aspirations.
Working remotely for the first time? What has that experience been like for you?
This was my first time working remotely, but for most people involved with the project it wasn’t their first time working remotely generally, or even working remotely on this project. The College has funded internships for this project in previous summers and while the interns have been together, physically, there were many members of the team, including the primary researcher, who have previously worked remotely. That being said, it was really impactful working with people who had experience working far away from one another and definitely made me feel more comfortable and confident in my ability to work and communicate in this environment. I was very surprised that we were able to have a team that was able to develop a really positive relationship and get to know each other even though we were not interacting in person.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?
The biggest challenge that I faced at my internship had very little to do with the actual internship. I, like many college students, moved back to my childhood home this summer. I haven’t lived there for an extended period of time for a few years now, and definitely had issues setting boundaries with my family and establishing a work environment. While this was difficult for me, I learned from the professionals working on my team that working from home was very common in tech. Hopefully, having experience setting these boundaries will serve me well in the future if I ever find myself in a situation where working remotely is the best fit.
Visit the Summer 2020 Internships page to read more student stories.