Summer Internship: Syalomee Pradhan '24
Name: Syalomee Pradhan
Class Year: 2024
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Somerville, Mass.
Internship Organization: Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program and UPenn Lauder Institute
Job Title: Front-end Web Development Intern
Award: STEM Posse Fund
What’s happening at your internship?
I spent 10 weeks this summer working remotely as a web development intern at The Think Tank and Civil Societies Program. My role in this internship was to renovate the old TTCSP website and build a more intuitive and visually pleasing website.
The Think Tank and Civil Societies Program specializes in research on the government and the effects of public policy on society. TTSCP collaborates with think tanks around the world to analyze the major trends and strategic challenges faced in policy making. This program has spearheaded a series of global initiatives to bring attention to critical areas of policy such as peace, poverty, and global health in hopes of strengthening governments and societies globally. For more than 30 years, founder Dr. James McGann has directed this program and, with the help of more than 1,200 students, successfully led a strong think tank.
Why did you apply for this internship?
Summers are for exploration and discovering new interests. I am still exploring career paths and I found this opportunity fascinating. When I saw on the website,“computer science and engineering students are encouraged to apply,” I eagerly submitted the application. Throughout my academic career, I have studied the theory, methods, and technicality of computer science. However, this internship combines STEM and humanities to find the implications of technology on policy and society. I was excited to explore a different side of the field and apply my knowledge of computer science from a new angle.
Was this internship what you expected it to be?
The funny thing is that I did not know I was applying to be a web developer. I thought I would be doing policy research about the web. After all, with the power of the web comes the responsibility of regulating users’ activity and keeping netizens safe.
Although this internship did not directly involve research, I accrued valuable knowledge about think tanks, something that I had never heard of before in academics or otherwise. I attended weekly intern meetings and learned about the progress that each regional team was making.
I also participated in global summits and workshops where we presented our research and discussed next steps. I felt like a fish out of water because I was geared towards STEM and most interns were majoring in social sciences and interested in law. Nonetheless, delving into the world of think tanks helped me excel at designing and building an engaging and effective website.
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
I have previously designed mobile apps for competitions and the front end was always my favorite part. I was excited to use my artistic intelligence to bring some life to the website and attract more people to the world of think tanks. The web design process is iterative and dynamic and I enjoyed having the creative freedom to design and build the site. I also brushed up on my HTML skills.
Moreover, my supervisor told me that I had an eye for design and often assigned me to different research groups to design their final reports. It was then that I realized that what was once a hobby for me could be created into a career or niche skill. Thanks to this experience, I have discovered a new career that I will continue to explore in the future.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.