Impilo Phambili Public Health Internship Program (South Africa)
I was afforded the extraordinary opportunity to travel to Cape Town, South Africa, and participate in the Impilo Phambili Community Projects and Internship Programme. My involvement in this program focused on public health, and allowed me to take on a leadership role to design projects suited to the specific needs of the NGOs that I was partnering with. The unique history of South African apartheid and the legal termination of this segregation in 1994 contributed to the distinct context of my experience, as I noticed social implications of apartheid are still very much evident. I worked closely with SHAWCO, a University of Cape Town student-run nonprofit community outreach organization, at their nightly clinics in various townships in surrounding areas of Cape Town. I conducted research to assist SHAWCO in improving patient flow and attempting to bridge the gap between its private complimentary clinics and the public healthcare facilities sparsely available to the working residents of the townships. In addition to examining patient flow, I was exposed firsthand to the major differences in healthcare services and accessibility among different areas in South Africa and also between South Africa and the United States. The contrast in treatment among the residents of the townships, refugees, and those living in wealthy neighborhoods was striking. Moreover, I partnered with two NGOs that provide assimilation services to refugees, United Family and Cape Town Refugee Centre. United Family organized the World Refugee Day event held at the Civic Centre in Cape Town. My attendance at this event showed me various accounts of harsh realities that are present in the lives of refugees in the form of narratives, song, and dialogue, and also information about various services available to these resilient individuals. At Cape Town Refugee Centre, I worked closely with the social worker to assist high school refugee students who were striving to achieve a tertiary education. The intense drive of these young students was astounding, and we provided them with counseling and access to additional resources to help fund their endeavors. I am extremely thankful for the Winston Center’s support in this venture to further expand my global knowledge of the oppressive barriers that many face, and to work toward creating a just world through this remarkable experience.
Meghan Bennett ’20
White House Internship Program (DC)
This past summer, I had the honor of being part of the White House Internship Program. In the program, I was assigned to the National Economic Council (NEC). It was an absolutely incredible 10-week experience—I learned so much, and made friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. As an intern with the NEC, I assisted with a variety of tasks, including conducting research, writing memos, and providing logistical support for officials and their guests within the focus area of technology, telecommunication, and cybersecurity. By sitting in on meetings and working with individuals at the NEC, I was able to gain a firsthand understanding of the process by which goals are accomplished at the White House. I was continuously struck by the level of dedication and patriotism displayed in the everyday work of those in the administration. Another highlight of the internship program was a speaker series which included presentations by several high-level members of the administration. These individuals spoke to the interns about their careers and offered advice. The NEC interns in particular had the incredible opportunity to meet NEC Director Larry Kudlow. Mr. Kudlow was very generous with his time and invited the NEC interns to lunch, during which he shared his insights regarding both work and life. This internship was a very unique and formative experience, and from it, I grew both professionally and personally. I learned more about working in the public sector and experienced collaboration in a team environment. After college, I hope to take the experience I gained in the public sector last summer and use it to improve my work in a public accounting firm. In the long term, I hope to use it to work either in the government or at a nonprofit organization.
Daisy Cherian ’20
Norfolk District Attorney’s Office Special Victims Unit (MA)
As an intern for the Special Victims Unit in the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office, I worked closely with the director of the unit, specially trained assistant district attorneys, and victim witness advocates. I co-managed the daily intake of reports of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, and disabled person abuse. I was fortunate to work closely with the victim witness advocate for disability abuse cases and completed various projects for her, including creating and maintaining a master list of her case files. Additionally, the Internship Program organized weekly field trips and seminars for further learning and experience. We had intimate and informative presentations by members of the State Police Homicide and Drug Units. The presentation by the state troopers from the Drug Unit was particularly interesting and exciting for me as I have been a research assistant in a Boston College psychology lab studying the opiate epidemic for several years. However, my internship experience taught me far more than the logistics of the law. As an administrative support for numerous assistant district attorneys and victim witness advocates, I was fortunate to witness firsthand how crucial teamwork is for the prosecution of a criminal case. Even the most experienced lawyers in the office regularly traveled down the hallway to ask for advice or thoughts on a case they were working on, and each member of the team, whether it be the director, attorney, or advocate, is instrumental to ensure a successful outcome. This experience taught me to never be afraid to seek help or advice from other individuals while working on a project. Reading through hundreds of police reports and child services reports also showed me that unordinary crimes and situations constantly affect seemingly “ordinary” people. Even though I already strive always to be open-minded, I will continue to do so more fervently because you never truly know what someone has gone through or will go through. I am even more dedicated now to becoming a lawyer so that I may be an advocate for anyone whose voice demands and needs to be heard.
Elizabeth Coughlin ’20
Americares Foundation, Inc. (CT)
Last summer, I had the opportunity to take part in an internship program at Americares Foundation, Inc., a global health nonprofit deeply involved in disaster relief efforts and community health promotion programs both domestically and globally. As a pre-law student and public health minor, working in the legal department of a health non-profit was the perfect fit for me last summer. I was able to learn about how a nonprofit operates while also gaining a deeper understanding of the legal requirements and regulations necessary for the operation of such an organization. I learned that without the legal department, none of Americares’ efforts would be possible. As part of the legal department, I assisted in drafting and editing contracts, organizing various permits and legal documents, creating a short presentation about some of the international permitting Americares does to be presented to headquarters staff at the weekly staff meeting, and assisted in the licensing applications for wholesale drug distribution and charitable organization operation within states across the country. Additionally, all of the interns took part in a group project that took place throughout the summer. Our task was to research and compile recommendations for an international disaster preparedness toolkit for local health clinics, so that they are better able to prepare themselves in case of emergencies such as floods, hurricanes, fires, droughts, or armed conflict. This internship helped me to make the decision to apply to law school this fall. I realized that I am passionate about health, and through my interest in law and supporting skillset, I believe that pursuing a career in a field such as health law would allow me to promote health while helping others. My experience at Americares provided me with invaluable tools in teamwork, organization, communication, and confidence in myself as a future professional. I plan to use these skills as I pursue my legal education in the coming year.
Kaylie Daniels ’19
Global Ties U.S. (DC)
As a recipient of a summer internship grant from the Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics, I had a positive and enriching experience interning at Global Ties U.S. in Washington, DC. I worked as the Public Diplomacy and Exchange Intern and was able to learn a lot about the work of Global Ties in relation to the US State Department as well as dip my toes into nonprofit management in general. I conducted preliminary research to contribute to the writing of grant proposals for exchange programming. I compiled a background guide on the World's Fair for distribution to a national network of members after a consortium including Global Ties was chosen to host the US pavilion at Expo 2020 in the United Arab Emirates. I created and assembled administrative materials for international exchange participants while streamlining material creation processes that will make the transition for the next intern much smoother than it had been for me. I also chaired an all-company staff meeting to facilitate clear and efficient communication between teams. I am grateful for the support I received from the Winston Center that made my summer internship possible.
Mary Grace Mitchell ’20
Boston Children’s Hospital (MA)
Last summer, I was given the opportunity to work as a Pediatric Epilepsy Clinical Research Intern at the Loddenkemper Research Laboratory. As a summer intern at Boston Children’s Hospital, I assisted in patient clinical chart review, data management, and data entry. Along with the research assistants, I was able to interact with patients and their families and inform them of the lab’s research as well as introduce them to new developments, including a mobile application used to document seizure activity. I was also able to participate in epilepsy conferences and shadow opportunities at Boston Children’s Hospital. At the beginning of the summer, my goal was to work in a clinical research setting in order to explore the fields of medicine and research, and their interconnection. The Loddenkemper Research Lab provided me with the perfect opportunity to learn more about clinical research, and allowed me to hone skills including collaborating with others and effectively communicating research projects to patients and their families. These interactions allowed me to witness firsthand the effects that this research has had on the epilepsy community, and the impact it will have in the future. My hope for the future is to attend graduate school to become a physician’s assistant, and I believe that this internship allowed me to take many steps forward in reaching that goal. I received my first exposure to the research side of medicine, and have spoken with many people about their experiences and what led them to their current career path. I am confident that the skills I have learned last summer will translate well into my future career, and I am more enthusiastic than ever about taking the next steps toward that goal.
Sarah Ryan ’20
Governor’s Internship Program (MA)
Last summer, I had the opportunity to be a part of Governor Baker’s Internship Program. I spent half of my time working at the State House in the Executive Office for Lieutenant Governor Polito and the other half working at the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI). Working in both of these offices was a unique experience that gave me a multidimensional understanding of state government. As an intern in the Executive Office, I was able to get an inside look into the major policies that the Baker administration is pushing, attend important State House events, such as the meetings of the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence and the Governor's reception for the prime minister of Portugal, and assist staff with the logistics and coordination of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s busy schedules. At the state house, the interns also participated in an Intern Speaker Series Program, where we got the opportunity to hear from influential members of the Governor’s team each week. My favorite speaker was our final one—Governor Charlie Baker—as we got the opportunity to tell him a little bit more about the specific projects we had been working on for him. He also gave us great advice that I will always remember as I move forward in my career. During the other half of the week at MOITI, I had the opportunity to combine my passion for international affairs and economics. My main responsibility at MOITI was creating recommendation documents for the Governor on some of Massachusetts’s largest international trading partners. I also got the opportunity to prepare official proclamations that Governor Baker would present during international cultural celebrations in Massachusetts. Although I do not plan to enter politics after I graduate, my internship with the Governor’s Office and MOITI allowed me to gain a newfound appreciation for the work that the Baker-Polito administration has done for the residents of Massachusetts. Being able to witness firsthand their effective leadership styles has allowed me to develop new leadership skills of my own that will be useful in any future career.
Julia Sandquist ’20
Asociación Argentina de Cultura Inglesa (Argentina)
Education and the arts are two of the most powerful tools for promoting inclusivity, empowerment, and cultural understanding; working with the Asociación Argentina de Cultura Inglesa (AACI) in Buenos Aires confirmed and strengthened this belief for me. This 90-year-old nonprofit dedicated to education and culture has a long history of supporting the arts, from providing rehearsal and performance spaces for theatre groups to counting iconic Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges among its former professors. One of the most significant projects I contributed to during my time with AACI was leading the launch of a biweekly arts newsletter to bring attention to the diverse range of genres and unique blend of influences that form the arts scene of Buenos Aires. Additionally, I assisted in planning and managing an annual conference of directors of Latin American language institutes held this year in Argentina in mid-July. Participating in the planning of the conference allowed me to observe interesting conversations among the directors about, for example, changing models of teaching, incorporating technology into learning, and improving offerings in terms of inclusivity and resources for students with special needs. Because the environment and population are vastly different between, for example, Brazil and Mexico, I was given the opportunity to learn about many different challenges facing educators throughout this region of the world. The increased foreign language fluency and communications experience I gained during my time with AACI will have an invaluable impact going forward as I explore my passion for helping to foster cross-cultural communication, acceptance, and respect across borders through promoting education and the arts.
Sarah Santoro ’20
Moolchand Hospital (India)
Last summer, I had the opportunity to investigate the clinical administration of the ketogenic diet at Moolchand Hospital in South Delhi. During June and July, I worked in the Ayurveda, Oncology, and Operation Theater departments to gain a comprehensive overview of local cancer management and treatment programs. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. I was particularly interested in the dietary treatments used to manage and treat benign or malignant tumors. Although I expected to be observing clinical administration of the diet in order to learn how the translation of our basic research might be improved, I gained far more knowledge regarding the implementation barriers to successful administration. In contrast to administrative barriers, however, I observed no conflicts between the doctors from different departments. Rather, they seemed to work in synergy to provide the best care. I observed that a patient's financial background was always a main consideration. When I asked why this so important, I learned that the doctors were concerned with the notion of financial toxicity. I was drawn to the values reflected in this concern and found it such a refreshing change from the norms of the American healthcare system. Separately from the administration of the ketogenic diet, I had the opportunity to assist neurosurgeon Dr. Mukherjee in his visit to communities in rural India. Traveling nearly 200 km outside of Delhi, he would visit three hospitals over the course of a single day and see over 80 patients. These patients would bring in scans and present new symptoms to Dr. Mukherjee and he would quickly evaluate their situation and provide advice and/or medication. He did all of this work for free and, though it took time away from his profitable work, he felt a strong desire and calling to help these communities that were lacking basic necessities. This was an absolutely incredible experience.
Evey Satterfield ’20
Samhita Social Ventures (India)
Last summer, I interned at Samhita Social Ventures, a social enterprise devoted to corporate social responsibility (CSR) consulting for corporations in India. Samhita acts as an intermediary between nonprofits and the corporate world, helping businesses become more impactful and ethical by assisting with CSR strategy, nonprofit partner identification, impact assessment, employee engagement, creating flagship corporate social responsibility programs, and organizing high-impact social platforms that engage with several stakeholders. Because Samhita is right at the intersection of the social and corporate sectors, this internship was an immense opportunity for me to see how these two sectors can collaborate to create high impact. During my time at Samhita, I primarily worked for the project management team, which was responsible for end-to-end management of projects, including pre-sales and implementation. This allowed me to see the wide range of social intervention and CSR activities. Because of this opportunity to learn about both the corporate and social sector throughout my internship, last summer was an immense learning experience. I plan to implement what I have learned at Samhita by using this experience to guide me in my post-graduate career choices. As I work toward graduation this year, I am continually reflecting on how I can use my experience and skills to choose a career path that allows me to create a positive impact. Samhita enabled me to grasp the wide range of avenues where one can pursue social change, and introduced me to a new avenue of creating meaningful impact. In the past, I thought choosing a career geared toward social change meant working in direct impact or within the nonprofit sector. However, Samhita showed me that corporations have an immense power to create positive impact through CSR activities. In the long term, I plan on implementing what I have learned at Samhita to pursue my own socially responsible and sustainable social enterprise. My personal passion is working with individuals with developmental disabilities, and I hope to one day start a social enterprise that creates employment for this population. My internship at Samhita will help me work toward this goal because being situated in a growing company showed me many of the components necessary to start a new business.
Kelly Stone ’19
Physicians for Human Rights (MA)
I am grateful to have had the summer interning at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), an incredible organization that works to secure justice for survivors of human rights abuses through the use of forensic and scientific evidence. At PHR, I supported the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones team. This team helps provide a variety of multisectoral training for medical professionals, law enforcement, and legal professionals to better support survivors of gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Iraq. During my time at PHR, I gained an enormous amount of knowledge about international and human rights law, implementing culturally competent training in different country settings and producing materials to support that training, and gained important insight about best practices when working in teams. I had the opportunity to produce an executive summary detailing the armed conflict in Colombia, which was used as comprehensive background for project expansion, and worked on a companion guide for physicians to reference to when filling out medical certificate forms used in future training and monthly security updates.Thanks to the support of the Winston Center and my team at PHR, I gained invaluable insight on ethical leadership and helping others both in the workspace and in an international context in order to work toward a moral, ethical, fair, and just world.
Kaitlyn Wilson ’20
Political development in conflict zones, United Nations
I served as the Political Development Intern on the Middle East and West Asia Desk of the Department of Political Affairs Department at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. My specific assignment was Yemen. As an Intern in the Political Affairs Department, I conducted political analysis of key conflict zones in the country, creating reports for the Secretary General's Office as well as other high level officials in the UN. I worked closely with colleagues to monitor and assess global political developments in order to detect potential crisis and solutions in the country. My time at the UN challenged me to think outside of my comfort zone. As the only American on my team I learned the nuances of international cooperation on a small scale. I was challenged to think from other perspectives and pay attention to cultural differences in workplace interactions.
Molly Davis, MCAS '18
Empowering Women, Cord Siruvani
I secured a GlobeMed’s Grassroots Onsite Work (GROW) internship to work with CORD Siruvani, a social work/public health nonprofit located in Tamil Nadu, India. My time there was spent in the field, shadowing the CORD community workers on Mahila Mandal visits. Mahila Mandals are women empowerment groups that seek to provide women with economic options, through micro financing and self-generated income projects, as well as a space in which they can support each other. I also had the opportunity to see the tangible outcomes of the BC GlobeMed-CORD Siruvani partnership through visiting different sites around Tamil Nadu. Our main partnership projects have been focused on improving the current waste segregation system as well as public health ventures. Through visiting these project sites and listening to the concerns of the CORD community workers and the Tamil Nadu citizens, we were able to see how our projects could be improved on.
Sierra Dennehy, MCAS '18
Social entrepreneurship, Flywheel Social Enterprise Hub
The Flywheel website promises a belief in the “power of social enterprises to make communities stronger.” I worked on the Welcome Project, a joint boutique/kitchen in the heart of Camp Washington. I was immersed in conversations, phone calls, workshops, and research to build out a business plan for this enterprise that would employ the local refugee population. I was inspired by the Welcome Project team, who had a clear vision and passion for building a sustainable venture that would support and enhance the Camp Washington area. I heard this same passion in the voices of social entrepreneurs who came to the “Business Model Canvas for the Social Entrepreneur” Workshop. I had never been surrounded with people who had this passion for community development, but also a drive to develop a high quality service or product to meet market demands. The entrepreneurs that I interacted with and worked beside accelerated my interest in entrepreneurship. The experience left me believing in the power of social enterprises to make communities stronger.
Phil McHugh, CSOM ’20
Domestic violence and the law, Queens District Attorney Office
In the Domestic Violence Bureau at the Queens District Attorney’s Office in New York, I was able to work alongside an Assistant District Attorney and learned the ins and outs of the courthouse. I learned how to initiate first contact with victims, meet with the police officers who responded to the scene, and later interview the victims themselves. I was also able to stand in the well of the courtroom and watch the outcome of the case unfold. The DA office also works closely with the non-profit Safe Horizons to ensure that the victims were able to obtain counseling and services outside of the legal assistance that we provided. Many victims I worked with had extremely inspiring stories that have shaped how I see and interact with the world. Being able to see the legal process through this lens and how it is possible to work through division barriers has led me to see the law in a multidimensional sense, and to understand that it is so much more than what happens in the courtroom.
Samantha Schneider, MCAS '18