Meet Summer Intern, Emily Rivard ’19, Harvard-Amgen Scholar at Harvard University

Name: Emily Rivard

Class Year: 2019
Internship Position: Harvard-Amgen Scholar at Harvard University

Tell us about where you interned over the summer and the kind of work you are doing.

This summer I conducted research at Harvard University through the Amgen Scholars program, which is a residential summer research opportunity allowing undergraduates to partner with a Harvard faculty mentor and work under the supervision of graduate students or post-docs in his or her lab for 10 weeks.  I worked in Dr. Hopi Hoekstra’s lab in the Departments of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biology, studying the developmental and genetic bases of natural variation.  Using deer mice as a model system, we investigated the molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution.  I had the opportunity to give an oral presentation on my work, present a poster at a university-wide symposium, and attend the annual Amgen Scholars U.S. Symposium at UCLA.  This program also offered a number of pre-professional development opportunities, such as weekly networking events and graduate school preparation seminars, as well as fun community-building programs with the other members of my Amgen cohort, including Red Sox games, hikes in the White Mountains, and Boston Harbor cruises.

 

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

I was able to utilize information I had learned in a variety of my biology courses during my research this summer, including material from introductory courses on organismal biology and evolution and material I learned in my upper-level courses in genetics, genomics, and cell biology.  It was really exciting to conduct research that spanned such a wide range of topics within the scope of biological research.  I am glad that Holy Cross promotes such a well-rounded education, since I think it prepared me well for working in an interdisciplinary lab.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

Working as an undergraduate researcher at a university was a new and interesting experience.  My lab this summer had a different environment than what I have experienced at Holy Cross because it was large and composed of undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, laboratory technicians, a laboratory manager, and a PI.  I was pleasantly surprised by the incredible welcome and support I received throughout the summer from everyone in the lab.

 

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

As a biology major currently applying to PhD programs in genetics/genomics and hoping to one day become a professor, my research this summer was relevant and important to my future career goals.  This experience, in conjunction with the research I conduct in Professor Findlay’s lab at Holy Cross, gave me the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to be a competitive applicant for graduate school.  My research experiences as an undergraduate have also helped me determine the types of biology I would be interested in pursuing for my future research.

 

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

For students interested in conducting research at other universities, I would definitely recommend getting involved with research here at Holy Cross first.  Conducting research at Holy Cross during the school year and last summer was really important for me to get the experience necessary to be a good candidate for programs like Amgen or REUs.  My research advisor here at Holy Cross was also very helpful during the process of applying to summer research programs at other schools.  The research opportunities at Holy Cross are really amazing, so I would suggest chatting with the professors here about possibilities to help with their projects!

Meet Summer Intern Laura Escolero ‘19, Research Assistant, Boston City Councilor Kim Janey

Full Name: Laura Escolero ‘19

Summer Internship: Boston City Councilor Kim Janey

What were you up to this past summer?

This past summer I was a research intern for Councilor Janey’s office of the seventh district of Boston. Most of my work had to do with researching and brainstorming plans for many issues that the city of Boston is facing such as gentrification, gun violence, trauma, homelessness, and education. During my time working for the city councilor, I was able to sit in many briefs and meetings and understand the process of local government rulings and procedures. I was also able to meet many of the local constituents and hear their voices and opinions on the issues we were directly working on at town hall and community/neighborhood meetings. This was definitely an eye opening and transformative experience as I was able to network and learn about the many challenges my home is facing and how I individually can hold my city representatives accountable.

What was your favorite part?

My favorite part about the internship was that it was very student oriented and I was able to work on issues that I cared the most about. For example, every intern did a research project of their choice and I researched police surveillance through the use of new emerging drones as it was a very concerning issue for many of the residents in Boston. All of the other offices also had college interns and every Friday we would all take “field trips” to local service centers and other community venues to learn about organizations that are helping the city with issues of housing, emergencies, and law enforcement to name a few.

What surprised you?

The most surprising part about my internship was how city councilors and many employees in city hall work all hours of the day and really take into consideration every single complaint or petition of constituents. I really didn’t realize how local officials take their work home everyday in order to improve conditions for each of their districts and how they work tirelessly to really get to know and be in solidarity with their residents.

Meet CrusaderIntern Rebecca Stanton’18

Meet Rebecca Stanton’18 Research Assistant Intern at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

My internship is held in New York City at The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. My tasks mainly involve conducting extensive research and literature review for one of the organization’s on-going reports. This report is on early prevention programs and my job is to research and analyze the effectiveness of current programs and write overviews. These overviews will be analyzed and referenced in the report. Also, I am completing data entry for a report that will evaluate each state’s insurance coverage for substance use services. Additionally, I have been given the opportunity to write a blog post on opioid addiction and the elderly. Therefore, I have been researching the most recent data on this topic and its significance.

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

As a psychology major, I have taken a substantial number of courses on mental health and courses that reference addiction. Therefore, I understand the majority of terms that are being used at the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse and the organization’s mission statement. In my courses, psychology and others, I have conducted research and written research papers. At my internship, I have been using these writing and research skills that I have developed from my courses and help from my professors. For example, I have used my background knowledge of Psychology Statistics to evaluate studies and understand to what extent they are effective.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

The most surprising aspect of being an intern is how much responsibility I have been given. Before starting the internship, I expected that I would be writing and researching, but what I did not expect was the extent to which I felt part of a team. I frequently have meetings with my supervisors and research associates about the on-goings reports and find that my tasks are valued and appreciated.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

I plan to go into the healthcare sector, specifically as a Nurse Practitioner, and my experience thus far has reaffirmed my plans. What I have learned from my internship is the prevalence of addiction and the responsibility that healthcare professionals share in tackling this problem. From the extensive research I have done, I now have a better understanding of what influence I could potentially have in minimizing addiction.

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

For students interested in an internship, the best advice I can give is to be open-minded. There are going to be things that you find to be exciting and intriguing and others that you find to be tedious. However, an internship is meant to be a learning experience and there is always something you can take away from it.

Meet Caroline Legare ’18 Intern at Catchpoint Systems

Meet Caroline Legare ’18 Intern at Catchpoint Systems

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

This summer, I interned at Catchpoint Systems, a tech company in NYC. At Catchpoint, I worked on the marketing team, and completed a vide array of tasks. Some of my tasks included research projects utilizing Excel, writing a case study, and sending a biweekly company-wide report on the internal and external content produced by the marketing team!

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

It’s super refreshing to know that the skills acquired through my history major carried over into the workplace! A number of employees on the marketing team stressed the need for “good writers” in the marketing field– and that is definitely a skill that the history major demands of its majors. Similarly, the ability to analyze key information and write concisely is another skill I have acquired through my major. I definitely tapped into these skills while writing the case study and sending biweekly reports!

What has surprised you about being an intern?

The immense responsibility of your role! Many students associate internships with coffee-runs or completing mundane tasks. However, at least at Catchpoint, my work actually mattered to the company, which was definitely rewarding.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

I now can officially say I have a clear desire to pursue a career in marketing, which gives me somewhat of a game plan! Catchpoint provided me with an experience that makes me excited about the field, and gave me a great overview of what to expect!

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

Document your tasks! I made an Excel sheet and filled out my tasks for the week, including the skills I utilized and what I learned from completing the task. This will make resume adjustments easier, and will give you plenty to share when people ask what you did!

Meet CrusaderIntern Maureen Hodgens ’19

Maureen Hodgens’19 interned at SenseAbility Gym this summer. Learn all about the fun and rewarding work she is doing tutoring kids.

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

I am interning at SenseAbility Gym, a nonprofit corporation serving special needs children in the greater Worcester area. The gym, located in Hopedale Massachusetts, provides children a safe, clean, spacious area where kids can play and accommodate their sensory needs.

I run the Summer Refresher Program which provides one-on-one academic support (mostly reading comprehension and math) to students. The gym is an excellent location for sessions because students are able to earn break time where they can choose what they would like to do based on their needs (such as relaxing in the quiet room or jumping on the trampoline). The gym serves as a great setting for learning and focus, and the kids feel safe and comfortable going to the gym because many of them have been going since they were just 2 or 3 years old. In addition to tutoring, I also help out at open gym, which is unstructured time where parents and kids can play together while using the equipment. I have been able to assist instructors and other professionals (such as occupational therapists, special education teachers, social workers, and speech pathologists) to help teach children different social, emotional, and physical skills.

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

I took the course, Educational Psychology, last semester where I learned about many of the challenges that children face on a daily basis at home and in the classroom. These may include a learning disability, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental disorder, physical disorder, sensory disorder, speech and language disorder, autism spectrum disorder, or emotional and behavioral disorder. Reading about the descriptions of these types of disabilities in a textbook and then memorizing them was a good start, but definitely not sufficient enough to gain a real grasp of these challenges. In order to understand the obstacles that these children face, it is necessary to interact with them and get to know them as a whole person, which is what this internship has provided. Although these labels are used in order to identify and classify types of disabilities, I have learned that even children within these “boxes” are completely different and special in their own way. Through my internship, I have also learned that a child can never be expected to act the same or have the same needs as another child with the same diagnosis. This experience helped me to see students in a much more holistic way.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

It’s surprising that internships can actually be really fun! The work I do isn’t easy by any means, but after spending so much time planning a tutoring session and then executing it, the feeling afterwards is so rewarding. I was also surprised at how quickly I felt welcome at my workplace community. Thanks to my supervisors, Tina and Alysia, as well as the other members of the SenseAbility Gym community, I love going into work each day. I learn something new every day! I think that for a lot of college students, the word “internship” can cause some anxious or negative feelings. However, I have learned that an internship can actually be a positive experience that enriches your skills and helps you to grow as a person.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

As a future educator, it is a top priority for me to have exposure and experience with children of ALL needs, and most especially those who have special needs. This internship has reaffirmed my love of children and teaching.

I have learned about classroom strategies to help students with Sensory Integration Dysfunction (SID) such as reducing sensory overload, providing comfortable furniture, planning movement breaks between and during activities, and devising team or group experiences. When coping with sensory integration dysfunction, it’s important for future teachers to know that growing older doesn’t mean getting better at many physical or intellectual tasks. Many teachers don’t learn about SID in their educational training, but the child with SID often has enormous difficulty in the classroom. These students will play a key role in my future classroom, lesson planning, and ultimate execution of my lessons as a teacher.

As a content teacher, I will be able to collaborate effectively with my special education professionals to make the classroom environment more welcoming and effective for all students. Exposure to these children and their parents early on in my training will allow me to facilitate future collaboration with the special education department and enrich the experiences of my future students on IEP’s and 504’s. I’m so grateful that I have had the opportunity to work with children with a variety of needs in an educational setting so far this summer– I have already gained so much more confidence working with children of all abilities!

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

There’s no doubt that finding a summer internship can be really hard. Sometimes you end up accepting an internship that isn’t your #1 choice, and that’s okay. If you go into your internship with an open mind, you can end up applying what you have learned in ways you never thought were possible. Even though your internship may not be exactly what you want to do everyday for the rest of your life, you can still acquire skills that will help you in the future. If you don’t enjoy your internship even after coming in with an open mind, remember that crossing off a career field from your list is still beneficial. Make note of what you enjoyed doing during your internship, as well as what aspects of your day you didn’t love as much. Tracking what makes you passionate as an intern can help to determine what future job is the best fit for you. Narrowing down a career search is always a positive, so accepting an internship will always be a win-win situation for you!

Meet CrusaderIntern Paul Endres ’18

Meet Paul Endres ’18 Clinical Observer/Data Researcher at Winthrop University Hospital

Tell us about where you are interning and the kind of work you are doing.

I am interning at Winthrop University Hospital, doing something different every day! Part of the week I am in New York City at the NYCyberknife, Winthrop’s specialized Radiation Oncology office. There I get to observe the doctors, nurses, and radiation techs in the daily running of the office.

Additionally, I am am working on a research project! I am studying the effect different dosages of radiation to the prostate and surrounding organs have on short and long term quality of life. The days I am not in New York City, I am out in the main hospital in Mineola, Long Island. There, I get to shadow different medical professionals in different departments. Some departments I have been in include Emergency Medicine, Interventional Radiation, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Pediatrics, and the Intensive Care Unit! Every day is something new and exciting!

Give us an example of how you have applied your academic learnings to your internship?

I apply my academic skills every day at my internship. I often times draw on my studies of biology and chemistry to be able to talk with medical professionals regarding the cases I am observing. Additionally, I use my scientific research and data skills in my research of radiation oncology.

What has surprised you about being an intern?

I am most surprised by how helpful people have been if I just ask. I often times go into different departments, and am connected with one person there through my boss. However, by the end of one day, most people in the department know who I am and go out of their way to make sure that I am learning and enjoying my time.

How did this experience influence or connect to your future career plans / goals?

Through my time at Winthrop University Hospital, I have been able to experience a great sampling of the medical field. Before this experience, I did not know anything about some of the fields, such as emergency medicine and interventional radiology. Additionally, I thought I would never enjoy surgery, until this position placed me in the operating room and I was able to observe amazing procedures such as open heart surgery or a robotic hysterectomy. This experience has opened my eyes to the broad scope of medicine, and has made me realize how many options there are in the medical field!

Any internship advice to pass on to other Holy Cross students?

Go with the flow! Not every internship is perfect. Sometimes schedules change or you have to go somewhere you may not want to. Embrace these experiences! It is ok to be nervous, but do not let your fear keep you from trying something new. You would be surprised how much you may enjoy something you think you will hate!