Directed by LILAC (Bryn Mawr’s Leadership, Innovation, and Liberal Arts Center), the Extern Program provides an opportunity for students to explore their desired field/s and get a firsthand look at the world after undergrad. During winter or spring break, externs shadow professionals (usually Bryn Mawr alumnae/i) in their workplace and throughout their normal routines; they have the chance to experience a regular workday and the opportunity to receive advice and guidance from sponsors and their colleagues.
Nina Yung ’19 spent her winter break in Bangkok, Thailand, shadowing intellectual property lawyer Eliza Stefaniw ’94—learning what goes into contracts and getting a hands-on introduction to the research that goes into patents.
Eliza is the intellectual property management and communications specialist at King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi. As a U.S. patent attorney and registered technology transfer professional, she works to internationalize the research university’s patent portfolio and technology transfer policies and practices.
While interested in intellectual property law, Nina is still surveying which areas of law interest her most. During the externship, she practiced interacting with clients, networking, and establishing strong connections: skills relevant to careers in any field. Nina was also able to meet lawyers from different practice areas.
“Eliza introduced me to more of the community—a bigger part of the law community that I didn’t think I was going to see. She gave me more resources to further my outside education and my general knowledge about law,” Nina says.
Eliza previously hosted two other externs, and sees the program as a great way to support current students.
“It’s also a fun and personal way to connect with the current student body and keep up with changes at the Mawr,” Eliza says. “I hope they all take away the knowledge that I care about them as individuals and am open to future contact, and that the alumnae network is active and a good resource that will always be available to them.”
A psychology and East Asian languages and cultures double major, Nina recommends the externship program as a way to explore a potential career.
“I just wanted to see how the job was, how people worked there, whether law was a potential career, and I personally got so much out of it.” Nina says. “I gained a lot more than I thought I was going to.”