Summer 2013 Intern Blog Posts

Rollins students intern in many different locations during the summer months.  We have asked them to share their internship experience with others by periodically posting blogs, chronicling their summer internship experience.  Their three blog posts from the summer are listed below.

“I Can’t Believe It’s Over!”

Third Blog Posts  (August 5, 2013)

Taylor Wejkszner @ Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PATaylor Blog Post 3 Photo 1

As I come to an end as an intern at Lehigh Valley Health Network, I feel so blessed and appreciative for being chosen for this internship position. This experience has not only helped me grow as a student, but also solidified my future career goals. Though I still plan on working for Dr. Martino in Fall 2013, I have completed the first part of my research project. I presented to the President of Research at LVHN on Friday, July 26, 2013.

My project was titled “Impact of Robotic Surgery on the Open Surgical Rate at Lehigh Valley Health Network from Fiscal Year 2008-2013.” I looked at not only the quality benefits, such as length of stay and readmission rates for robotic patients but also the cost benefit of performing more robotic hysterectomies at LVHN. I compared robotic surgery to three other cohorts: open, vaginal, and laparoscopic procedures. Overall, I found that robotic patients have the shortest length of stay in the hospital post-operation (1.2 days) while also only have about a 1% readmission rate. In addition, there is an adherent cost savings of roughly $2500 dollars with performing more robotic hysterectomies each year instead of open hysterectomies. Also, post-operative costs of robotic patients under $1500 dollars per patient while open hysterectomy patients cost the hospital roughly $4000 dollars post-op. In the upcoming months, I hope to be able to include how much each readmission cost the hospital as well as comparing the operating room cost of robotic patients and open patients.

This research is only stepping-stone to what I hope to accomplish in my future. After taking another statistics class at Rollins, I think I will be more prepared for the future research I will complete at LVHN. I hope to use this experience to further my interest in doing research and getting a dual PHD/MD degree while in medical school. In addition, I hope I have the opportunity to publish other papers about the impact robotic surgery in the upcoming years.

While completing research, I also had time to shadow in the operating room (and no I didn’t faint!). It is definitely a different atmosphere than I have experienced before. I have been in surgeries that have lasted an hour and also procedures that lasted up to eight hours. I think each time I felt more nervous for the doctor than he felt for himself! Though I do not see it being an area I would like to specialize in the future, I would definitely like to explore the labor and delivery department in my future shadow experiences.

The most important advice I would give a student if he or she is interested in an internship in the medical field is to make sure this is an area that he or she is interested in. I was lucking that going into this experience, I knew that the medical field is something I want to someday be apart of. My passion for medicine made working 70-hour weeks, waking up at 5 am for 6:30 am surgery and the heavy workload a little more bearable.  It is no joke when an internship at LVHN or really any hospital will be time consuming and draining. But in the end, if it is something you want to do, it will make for big rewards at the end!

Mary Stufano, WKMB Local 6 News, Orlando, FLMary Stufano Blog Post 3 Photo 1

During my internship with WKMG Local 6 news in Orlando I have learned a lot of tasks and completed all of my learning objectives. For example I have been able to floor direct many shows on my own. This means I have been able to work on live 12, 5, 6, and 7 o’clock shows in the studio. I communicate on headset between the director and the anchors and let them know which cameras they are on, how much is left in the package, how much time is left of the commercial breaks, when to cue them, and more. I also have worked with the robotics and operated the cameras myself during a few blocks. I also worked at a few Orlando Predators games and commercial shoots, so I got a variety of other experiences accomplished. The variety of things I learned during this internship is what is really special because I now have knowledge in a variety
of areas, which will be so useful when looking for a job.

In the fall I will be interning with the Alumni Center at Rollins and interviewing alumni and editing those videos. I plan to use what I have learned by working at a news station at this job. I see how interviews are done everyday at work and this will help so much during this process. I think my knowledge of news will also help with my Critical Media major because it gave me a very good perspective on media and what is shown on television. After Rollins I think this experience will help me find a job because it started my path towards a future and a career. I know I want to work on television, but now I have experience in that field.

I now have a lot of experience in the production side of news. I created an anchor demo during my last week of work, and I want to expand that. I hope to do another internship before my career search starts, and I want to work with news again, but more so the reporting end of the spectrum rather then the production end. I really enjoyed my day out with a reporter doing a story and this is something that really interests me for the future. I think just gaining more knowledge about all ends of news will help me get a career path figured out.

I definitely recommend thiMary Stufano Blog Post 3 Photo 2s internship to anyone who wants to work in news or television. I think that coming into this internship would be impossible however if you have zero prior knowledge. If I had done this internship without my previous experience at my high school or at Emerson College I would have struggled a lot and have been way to behind in. I think it is also very important to take advantage of every moment and every opportunity because internships are about learning as much as you can and making those contacts needed to get a job afterwards. I am so happy about my internship, and I am so sad that my time is already over.

Maria Gutierrez @ The DC Center for the LGBT Community in Washington, DCMaria Gutierrez Blog 3 Photo 2

I feel grateful that I had the opportunity to intern in WashingtonD.C. and particularly at the DC Center because I learned very valuable personal and professional life lessons. Professionally, I have gotten a glimpse of what the non-profit sector can be like. Besides general work-experience, I learned two very important things; the first is the vitality of funding your organization because it is the only thing that will let you fulfill its mission. Second, the importance of outreach because when you’re working for a cause, it is important to widen the visibility of the organization, not only for the community you’re serving, but also so that the word is out there so that you can reach a new group of supporters that can help sustain it.  My greatest accomplishment this summer was helping find sponsors for events (i.e.: HIV Working Group Reception) that raised money for the DC Center because I felt that I was indirectly helping the community.

Now that I have completed my internship, I want to learn more about the field of focus that I have decided to take, which is work in media. Interning in WashingtonD.C. has made me realize the importance of finding something that ‘something’ that you’re really good at so that you can craft your skills into something that an employer would like. That is precisely what I plan on doing for the following semesters that come.

Maria Gutierrez DC Blog Post 3 Photo 1The advice that I would give to a person interested in working at my host organization is that you have to be very independent because it can be very tedious if you’re not used to sitting in front of a computer all day soliciting for donations, or waiting for clients to call with questions — so if you want something more hands-on or more demanding of work out in the community, you might want to keep looking. As far as working in non-profit sector, you have to make sure that you love wherever you’re working on because it is a lot of work and it’s not going to be financially rewarding so you have to make sure it rewards you personally.

I do think that my ideals on LGBT advocacy have been challenged as a result of this experience. As an ally to the LGBT Community, it is impossible to experience, first-hand, the types of hardships that the community faces. I had been aware of the types of prejudices that they face, but working at the DC Center, I really actually saw the violence that trans* people experience. It was disheartening to see, that in D.C. (one of the gay-friendlier cities in the United States), this type of violence towards the trans* community still goes on every day. With that in mind, I think that even though there has been a tremendous amount of change that has occurred for the community, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

As far as becoming a more effective problem solver, I have learned that you cannot be shy when reaching out to people when you want to get things done. Working with volunteers can be stressful, so it is always important to be pro-active in asking questions so that you can actually get stuff done.

Lastly, in my seminar Course, I learned a lot about Foreign Policy in the United States. We have met every week with a different person that speaks about the school of thought that they believe in. As a result, I now can say with confidence what school of thought I believe in, which is very important. Finally, with regards to my final paper, the prompt was that I had to interview my supervisor and ask them about their professional experience along with writing about my overall experience interning in D.C.
(A link to a Book Fair Festival for the LGBT Community  that the DC Center was planning before I left)
(A link to the one of the working group receptions that I helped find sponsors for)

Stephanie Garcia @ Orlando Business Journal in Orlando, FLStephanie Garcia Blog 3 Photo

Looking back on my summer at Orlando Business Journal, I have accomplished all of my learning objectives. I have shadowed and networked with senior staff reporters and photographers to gain professional contacts and experience within the journalism industry. I have gained exposure as a writer, covering everything from banking to technology. To understand the publication process, I have sat in on staff and department meetings.  I have strengthened my interpersonal communication skills by collaborating with editors, covering media events, and interviewing sources.

After accomplishing so much with my first internship, I would like to tackle new opportunities. I would love to partake in the internship programs that Rollins offers in London and Washington D.C.  Furthermore, as a professional writing minor, I look forward to growing academically and professionally through those courses.  Furthermore, I plan on seeking other internships in the areas of television and daily newspapers.

Being savvy with social media is a useful skill since digital journalism is on the rise. I want to implement more social media into my reporting and learn how to become a well-rounded journalist. Orlando Business Journal implements social media into their publication, everything from twitter to blogging. I have learned a few things here by recording video, taking photos, and tweeting at events, but there is so much more to learn. Also, during my time as an intern, I have grown to love photography and would like to develop my skills in that area.

For those interested in journalism internships, I would say write as much as you can and take classes that challenge your writing ability. Also, be sure to have some publication experience, whether that is writing for your college paper or being an editor of your high school yearbook. Also, save your clips or published articles; it will come in handy during interviews. Above all, don’t be afraid of criticism. Editors and other writers will be reading and critiquing your work; you are bound to make mistakes and learn from them.  For those interested in interning with Orlando Business Journal, the previous advice applies as well. As a news intern myself, I can say that volunteering goes a long way; it shows your initiative and positive attitude.  Also, always communicate with your editor if you have any questions, especially if it concerns a deadline.  Always proofread your work before submitting it, and if you are superb at multi-tasking, this is the internship for you. Be punctual and professional when interviewing or covering events; also, take your time when writing an article and don’t be discouraged by the edits you’ll receive.

Sebastian Sanchez @ The Hispanic Business Initiative Fund in Orlando, FL

Summer interns Bow-Tie Thursday

Summer interns Bow-Tie Thursday

It’s a good feeling realizing that I got the chance to sharpen my professional and personal skills during my last summer as an undergraduate. Having had the opportunity to intern with the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida, I have been able to reevaluate my present career aspirations as well as future endeavors. During my time with HBIF I got assigned various tasks, but only a few sparked my interest to further adapt and implement what I learned towards my future goals. For example, I was assigned my own client’s case to draft and present in front of HBIF’s board of directors. I was able to complete this assignment due to my constant shadowing during one-on-one business counseling sessions with the business consultant. Trust me, this was one of the most nerve racking assignments since I presented my client’s case to a room full of corporate and public leaders throughout Central Florida. The best part of this assignment was the fact that all the work I needed to do prior, and during my presentation incorporated all of my summer learning objectives. I was able to sharpen my professional skills by attending one-on-one business counseling sessions, introduced to business strategies being used in the market by working under a business consultant, and fostering a creative fast paced mindset by undertaken various assignments surrounding entrepreneurial analysis.

Presenting my first client case to the Technical Assistance Committee

Presenting my first client case to the Technical Assistance Committee

As I near the end of my undergraduate journey this coming fall, I will incorporate all that I have gained throughout my summer both professionally and personally. I can honestly say that HBIF has rewarded me with invaluable professional leadership skills, since every day I was either being introduced or meeting with high ranking officials or future entrepreneurs in the Central Florida region. Not only will I incorporate my new leadership skills, but also a creative fast-paced mindset during my last months at Rollins as well as beyond. Working for an economic development organization has taught me to be creative as well as fast paced with attention to detail to every assignment given to me. As my time with HBIF is near its end, I want to take the skills learned and manifest innovative strategies within the public sector, in particularly with youth education/empowerment. Half way through my summer experience I realized my immediate inner passion isn’t necessarily with economic development but rather in education. I never pictured myself as an educator, but after attending as well as solidifying education workshops with HBIF, I was able to feel good about my work. I am eager to place myself within the youth education and empowerment sphere.

During Brown Bag Initiative that I I implemented, staff share their personal and professional stories with the summer interns
During Brown Bag Initiative that I I implemented, staff share their personal and professional stories with the summer interns

As for future interns interested in working with an organization that promotes economic development, I highly recommend applying to the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida. HBIF is the only Hispanic economic development organization in the state of Florida and has set an example for future replicas nationwide. My biggest advice to future interns with HBIF is to immediately immerse yourself with the organization in order to gain the most out of this experience. The economic development field is unique by the fact that its small staff size but powerful economic footprint. Due to the small staff size, I was able to fully immerse myself and take on tasks that are usually assigned to business consultants. This enabled me to get a firsthand experience on the different entrepreneurial strategies being used in the market. The fact that interns get assigned projects that are usually undertaken by staff members is a key to getting real work force experience, since other internships limit the work/responsibility given to interns. Besides the invaluable experience, each department intern gets the chance to build on friendships and a continuation of support as we each continue towards our future endeavors. I had the chance to meet and work with an intellectual group of interns that made sure to support each other during and after our time with HBIF. In overall, working with HBIF has allowed me to grow professionally as well as personally, but also increased my respect for the local entrepreneurs who are the key to a community’s success.

Raul Carril @ Ashoka South Florida in Miami, FL

Ashoka's Youth Venture's first graduating class of changemakers in Miami

Ashoka’s Youth Venture’s first graduating class of changemakers in Miami

I want to highlight a few memorable tasks and accomplishments that have supported my learning objectives during my internship at Ashoka South Florida. One thing I wanted to learn during my time at Ashoka was how partnerships among public and private sectors (individuals / Ashoka Fellows, schools, government, businesses, etc.) are created and maintained by Ashoka. I learned relationships are one of the most valuable possessions a person can have. Ashoka, while certainly interested in finances and resources others can bring to the table, focus more of the development of a relationship. When working with The Sarnicola Foundation, I learned that Ashoka builds and wants to build long-lasting relationships to achieve it’s “Everyone a Changemaker” strategy. Likewise, Ashoka has developed strong strategic relationships with The Miami Foundation and Breakthrough Miami to broaden its impact and reach in South Florida.

Another memorable project I worked on was the creation of a banner for Youth Venture. The banner for Youth Venture is marketing tool Ashoka will be able to use on many occasions. I am proud of this banner and it hangs majestically in the Ashoka office when not in use. In addition to the banner, I did plenty of designing at Ashoka through the creation of PowerPoints, brochures, forms, and internal documents.

My favorite experience at Ashoka was working with an amazing, talented, and inspiring group of young changemakers from Ashoka South Florida’s first Youth Venture. I explored my personal leadership style when working alongside the facilitators and changemakers of the Youth Venture program. I loved playing icebreakers, brainstorming, collaborating and communicating with the students in the Youth Venture program. I was able to help empower them by using questions about their actions and motives to lead them to larger ideas and concepts that related to the social issue they were attempting to create a social venture for. My work with Ashoka’s Youth Venture participants reminded me significantly of the work I do with the Rollins Immersion program and helped me learn about my own leadership style and interaction with others.

Ashoka ad in Poder Magazine

Ashoka ad in Poder Magazine

Without a doubt, I know my internship experience at Ashoka South Florida will be beneficial to me in the future. At Rollins, I will bring a new level of communication and collaboration. These skills will undoubtably be useful not only in my day-to-day interaction with my peers, Rollins faculty and staff, but also when working in group settings. For my time at Rollins and beyond, I plan to carry forth my technical skills, strong work ethic and professionalism.

Having completed my internship at Ashoka, I want to learn more about specific social entrepreneurial ventures and professional networking. While I had the opportunity to meet a few social entrepreneurs while I was in South Florida, there are so many unique and innovative individuals around the world creating systemic change. Additionally, one of my biggest challenges during my summer internship included professional networking. I would like to learn how to conduct myself in networking settings. Finally, since I now have the experience of working at a nonprofit, I would like to have the experience of working in the private sector. Preferably, I would be interested in pursuing something with more of a business focus rather than a social focused.

Members of the Ashoka South Florida Team at Espirito Santo Bank's 40th Anniversary Celebration.

Members of the Ashoka South Florida Team at Espirito Santo Bank’s 40th Anniversary Celebration.

If someone is interested in an internship at Ashoka, I would advise them to have a good understanding of social entrepreneurialism and how it plays a role in the social sector. With Ashoka, it is imperative to heavily research the organization and its various initiatives. I wish I would have had a better, more robust, understanding of Ashoka and social entrepreneurship before beginning my internship. I spent a good chunk of my first few days orienting myself with the organization and its lingo. Other important qualities someone interested in an internship with Ashoka South Florida may want to consider is knowledge of the Miami-Dade school system, an understanding of Miami and its neighborhoods, and at least having intermediate-level experience in Spanish. Spanish is so common in Miami it is difficult to avoid. One never knows when speaking Spanish will be necessary, useful, or even easier to communicate than in English. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, the ideal intern would need to have strong communication skills, both written and verbal. Ashoka conducts lots of correspondence through email, phone, written documents and proposals, presentations, meetings and events.

All in all, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity Ashoka has provided me. I hope I was as valuable a resource and influence to them as they were to me. I look forward to seeing how I have grown throughout this experience in the months and years to come. Ashoka has taught me that I am an entrepreneur, I am making an impacting, and most importantly, I am a changemaker.

Jasmine Cohen @ Behavioral Associates of Central Florida in Orlando, FL

New Work Station for Therapy Sessions

New Work Station for Therapy Sessions

This summer during my internship at Behavioral Associates of Central Florida (BACF), I managed to shadow a few therapists that are employed full time at this facility. I also accomplished a lot of independent research and tasks that allowed me to familiarize myself with the type of work Applied Behavior Analyst (ABA) do. By shadowing the different therapist and also sitting in on meetings with the therapist I quickly began to pick up on the ABA and behavioral therapist vernacular that is mostly utilized in todays practice. This helped me not only to expand my vocabulary, but also helped me to use some the behavior terms I had been studying in classes I have taken previously during spring semester at Rollins. During the shadowing days, when I was out on site with the therapists, it was a good, firsthand experience to actually see the application aspect of ABA and behavioral counseling as a whole. By being able to sit in on a session with actual clients, suffering from an array of disabilities and behavioral problems, it really opens up a new view on this career field to see how the techniques are actually applied during a session. All of the many techniques that I witnessed all were very unique but all helped to get the child to a desired behavior or target behavior. During a few sessions I was able to assist in certain activities and after seeing a few clients actually accomplish a task during a tasks I assisted in, it reassured me this was the field I wanted to go into. On the days I did not shadow I would perform independent research on Autism, with a main focus on children. I accomplished this by reading many of the client goal plans, that all provided an in depth analysis of the behavioral disabilities the client was suffering from. I also researched other institutions that provided services to individuals with specials needs and compiled a list for BACF to send out to their clients just as an informative guide. Towards the end of my time at BACF I was able to work with the VB-MAPP, an assessment that BACF uses a primary assessment for incoming clients to gage the appropriate level to start them at. I also helped to update BACF’s in house goal library that allowed the therapist to make client goal plans electronically. I updated the goal library by inserting the goals from the VB-MAPP into their in house system.

This experience has helped me solidify my future plans and helped me realize exactly what I want to study upon entering graduate school. Just seeing how fast pace and rewarding this business is, is what really hooked me to this career. Within this career there is going to be a continual growth and new techniques being discovered that will keep this career from getting too routine and boring. During my time at BACF I was not able to sit in on any family or drug counseling sessions due to my education level and not having other credentials, but this is another area of counseling I am intrigued by and would like to learn more about also.

To any other individual that wants to intern at BACF or at any other behavioral counseling facility, be prepared for a fun and rewarding experience. There is a lot to learn, but do not allow it to over whelm you, just soak up as much of the information as you can, because the real learning with ABA comes with the application and practice of the techniques. It is one thing to sit and learn about ABA and other counseling techniques, but until a person actually gets to practice these techniques, is when an individual experiences the “real” aspect of ABA and counseling.

Ariel Rivera @ Where Orlando Magazine in Orlando, FLRivera Blog 3 photo 1 logo

I could proudly say that I have accomplished all of my learning objectives and more in my time spent interning at Where Orlando. I have learned the process of magazine publishing and advertising by working closely with the circulation manager and editor on various tasks including e-blasts, mass emails, newsletters, and event invitations. I have developed skills in social media and promotion by creating posts and updates for the company’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. This improved my writing skills immensely by pushing me to find enticing ways of promoting local events or the magazine as a whole. I was also determined to improve my skills in Microsoft Excel by creating spreadsheets of company contacts and client lists. These constantly needed modifications and for the first time I learned how to use the Excel in a practical way that was an essential tool for the circulation aspect of the company. My final learning objective was to connect with the community by staying up to date with events to promote through Where Orlando and by attending company events. I certainly accomplished this goal through my work on social media and by attending the Where Wednesday event at Bon Posh and another that I will attend next week at Taverna Opa.

My time Rivera Blog 3 Photo 2 where traveler pinterestat Where Orlando has greatly influenced my perception of my classes at Rollins and has helped me narrow down a possible career field. It was my first opportunity to put into practice the things that I had learned in my Critical Media/ Cultural Studies classes, like advertising techniques and demographics. It makes me look forward to classes I will take in the future as I now can picture how the things I learn will apply to the real world. This internship also expanded my horizons and made me realize other things that I want to learn in the future. For example, I have focused on marketing and advertising but was able to get a glimpse of the work of the art director, the editor, and the publisher. I now have a sparked interest in editing and I plan on researching the job further and possibly taking some classes that would expand my knowledge of the career field. My first experience as an intern has also encouraged me to pursue other internships in the future through Rollins so that I can build my resume and prepare myself for the working world.

It was a great honor to work with the staff of Where Orlando and I would encourage any student interested in interning at this organization to take advantage of all of his/her resources to make it as successful of an experience as mine was. Although we may learn many skills in the classroom, applying those teachings to the real world and getting a taste of a possible career is a valuable experience that enhances our perception of ourselves and who we want to be in the future.
Online article in Where Orlando. Many of the Facebook posts I wrote were similar and dealt with the Orlando music scene.
Facebook page of Taverna Opa, the location of the next Where Wednesday (on Tuesday) event on August 6th

Diego Villasenor @ The Nur Spirituality Institute in Longwood, FLVillasenor Final Blog Post Picture 1

And so my summer comes to a close. I have had a very hectic, very busy, but most of all very productive summer. I spent my first ten days traveling  the rainforests of beautiful Costa Rica with Dr. Barry Allen. I returned from that both tired and passionate, and in just two days was back at Rollins writing a paper for publication with Dr. Hoyt Edge (a full six week research project). Finally in the midst of this, I was spending the majority of my day working for Dr. Eren Tatari at my internship.  Yes, it has been a full summer, filled with new experiences, new skills, and new understandings. I wish to start my blog post off by sincerely thanking Rollins for all of it. I would have been unable to do so much if it were not for this school. So thank you, truly thank you.

Like my research and my trip to Costa Rica, my internship was filled with new experiences that at first seemed absolutely horrifying and a bit scary, but upon starting them I quickly find myself gaining a firm hold on them. For example, within a few weeks of working at my internship, I was charged with being responsible for setting up the publication deals with a very long list of publishers, and acquiring the interfaith books we wished to sell wholesale in the little break room we have. For this task I had to truly dive into the business side of nonprofit organizations, and learned quite a bit about the publishing world as well.

Shortly after that, I was tasked with our interfaith planning and recruitment, this was a myriad of activities involving working and contacting other organizations, and working within our own organization as well to set up a list of events and ideas. While I could spend entire pages talking about every task that went into this, suffice to say interfaith planning is neither easy, nor terribly straightforward much of the time. This taught me a tremendous amount about how to truly succeed as a nonprofit/religious organization.

The experience of working in a newly formed nonprofit organization has offered me understandings and skills that will carry with me through my last year of Rollins and beyond. Not only have I had to truly learn how to work with others and compromise when schedule clashes occurred (as they often do when working with a different organizations) but also how much work, effort, and understanding is needed to succeed. One cannot simply open a location and leave it at that, effort, advertisement, and truly considering who you are doing this for is of utmost importance. These skills are not limited to this site, but will apply wherever I go.  I wish to continue to learn and experience this nonprofit world, and look forward to working for one that is more established, and what changes over time.

If I could give some advice to a student Interested in the Nur Spirituality Institute, it would be this, come in with an open mind. This internship is certainly helpful, and supplemental if you are a practicing Muslim. However the wonderful thing about this site is that even if you are not a practicing Muslim, what is taught here transcends beyond that. If you believe in God, you will find much offered here. What they teach is not worried about labels such as Muslim, Buddhist or Jew, and can be understood by all who believe in God. Yet even if you do not believe in God, then what they teach goes beyond the question of God or no God. At the heart they teach a way of compassion, which just needs to be seen beyond all preconceptions. In my tradition of Buddhism, we vow to cut through all delusions, and save all sentient beings.  We can often get caught up in minor doctrinal differences, and to get the most from this internship, cut through your attachments and preconceived notions, and listen with an open heart and mind. Then the message, experience, and work will be realized with no barriers.

Bethany Eriksen @ The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA

Hi Everyone! As I begin my final blog post, I have learned so much this summer that I don’t know where to begin. My knowledge of marine mammal training has increased tremendously through participation in this internship. Prior to starting this internship, I had little comprehension of the steps necessary to properly train dolphins, however I now possess an extensive understanding of the professional techniques and tools of the trade for training animals. I also now have a much better grasp on what it takes to run a marine mammal show. It is incredibly fast paced, as most live show productions are, and involves a lot of running around backstage. However, unlike most productions, our shows involve animals with unique personalities who can decide to deviate from the script and perform their own adlibbed version of the show. I’ve learned to think on my toes and be ready for anything!

I have gained a lot of experience in animal husbandry by preparing the dolphin food, cleaning up the areas and maintaining their cleanliness by completing AM, PM and weekly cleaning duties, as well as assisting the trainers as they care for the dolphins. I have also gained an incredible amount of knowledge by standing back and observing how the trainers react and work through each situation with the animals. Through my internship’s lecture series, I have learned even more about dolphin physiology, training, and troubleshooting situations. I have been able to get to know a talented team of trainers who each possess a unique background and lots of experience in the field. Through conversations with them, I have been able to gain personal insight that will help me navigate this competitive field.

Moving forward, I hope to continue to learn more about the marine mammal field and about the conservation efforts of zoos and aquariums. I am interested in experiencing other animal training facilities too, to gain as many different perspectives as possible. One of my new goals is to visit Marineland, the Georgia Aquarium’s sister location in St. Augustine, FL! Check it out: I believe that the more people I can talk to and the more I can learn, the more successful I will be in my future career.

As I come back to Rollins, I hope to apply this internship to my academics and Environmental Studies major. Through my study of the world’s environment, I will continue to reflect on the value of zoos and aquariums and the important role they play in addressing today’s environmental issues. My previous studies combined with this experience will help me as I persist in defining my career path and the role I hope to play in making the world a better place for animals, the environment, and people.

My advice to students interested in pursuing a career in the world of animals is to gain as much animal experience as possible through volunteering at zoos, aquariums, vet clinics, shelters, etc., but to also talk to as many people as possible. When you visit zoological parks, talk to animal care takers, animal trainers, education staff- ask them questions and try to get a feel for what each job involves so you can figure out what might be the best fit for you. Even spend a day shadowing at one of these facilities if possible. Attend an IMATA conference to meet current animal trainers and network- students are allowed to attend too! Sign up for a membership and attend this year’s annual conference:

For students interested in interning at the Georgia Aquarium, be ready to work hard, do dirty work, be a good communicator, and have a positive attitude. Above all, when pursuing any internship, don’t give up! Apply for EVERYTHING- you may not always be accepted to your ideal internship the first time, but if you are persistent you never know what may come your way.

Tracy Murray @ The Gravity Arts Initiative in Dunellen, NJTracy Murray Blog 3 Photo 2 art_installation

The summer months have flown by and so have the moments I have spent working at my internship, Gravity Arts. Working with the nonprofit arts organization has allowed me the chance to attend art galleries, survey music venues, and meet professionals who have given me insight into their particular field of expertise and encouraged me to continue on my journey.

An art gallery event I attended this summer was a fundraiser that showcased over one hundred artists whose works were donated as gifts in kind for the benefit of the gallery. I met several of the artists, volunteers, and the gallery owners that evening. I also had the chance to explore other parts of the gallery and view their studio spaces, also known as pop spaces, which afford emerging artists a place to create and showcase their work. Pop spaces are strategic economic and cultural initiatives that Gravity seeks to offer communities.

Tracy Murray Blog 3 Photo 1 maggie_murraysWhat do you get when you cross an Irish pub with a visual artist? A music venue! What? The proprietor of a pub agreed to repurpose an unused back room that was already housing a baby grand piano into a music venue that would not only benefit the pub, but also the cultural enrichment of the community. They also agreed to curate a work of art in the entrance hall of the pub!

Conversations and collaborations over the past three months have spurred me on to finish well my last year at Rollins and grow my network of artists, marketing professionals, and community leaders. I also look forward to my senior project where I will be working at the Bach Festival Society and with the Patron Engagement Manager to study capturing and retaining patrons for cultural organizations. Opportunities like these will offer me a solid platform to launch my career as an advocate for the arts.

My reasons for choosing Rollins was the liberal arts education and a self designed degree that would prepare me in the disciplines of music, visual arts, theatre, dance, and communications. No other college offered this compilation of coursework. As a nontraditional student whose college education began more than thirty years ago, I have been greatly encouraged by the professors and administrators to continue to pursue my passion for the arts and make a difference in my community.

Throughout this summer, I have been reading the book, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, by Sir Ken Robinson, who addresses the importance of creativity in education and business institutions. He states, “Our best resource is to cultivate our singular abilities of imagination, creativity, and innovation.” I would urge those that have not participated in an internship to consider one that integrates the arts and innovation. No matter the career choice, creativity is an essential part of any discipline.  As an advocate for the arts, my journey will take me across all disciplines of the arts as well as businesses to promote cultural and economic revitalization in our communities; a new approach known as creative placemaking.

After I leave Rollins, I hope to make a difference in my neighborhood, community, or wherever I have the chance to invest my abilities to make it a more dynamic and enriching place to live.

Ed Leffler @ Congressman John Mica’s Office in Washington, DC

Some of the specific tasks that I was able to accomplish this time around were great projects. I was able to work on preparing an e-newsletter to go out to constituents. Having become a dependable intern the LD put me in charge of having my fellow interns gather information for the newsletter. Then they all sent what they had discovered and sent it back to me. I was able to crank out a draft for the LD on Friday before I left for the last time. I was satisfied with finishing a project just on my last day.

As I go back to Rollins I will wonder how I will be able to translate this experience back to campus. I know that I will be able to work within College Republicans a little differently, but I’m not 100% sure how I can bring back everything that I learned to school. I can encourage people to search out and examine their career choices.

Now that I have completed my internship I want to learn a little bit more about the other side of politics; the campaign. There are two halves of politics, running the office and then running for office. To get to one you have to be good at the other. I hope to run for office later in my life so I want to experience as much of the political life as I can. I want to go and work for a campaign. I’ve thought about it before, but I’m not sure that I will like it. It will be hard to beat the office experience here in D.C., that’s for sure!

For any student that would want to go into the same career and a similar internship I would absolutely tell them to give it their all. Don’t do an internship because you think that it will look good on the resume. Do it as a chance to explore the career that you are interested in and to explore how you will work in a particular setting. Working at an office in politics is great, but if you aren’t interested in politics then don’t do it. There are so many people who are willing and able to take that internship or position and you are filling in their space. Don’t do it unless you know that you are going to love it. If you have an interest in politics but aren’t 100% sure than do it. Experience any career field before you actually dive into it. I’ve had friends who went into a career that they thought they loved, only to find out that they actually hated the job that they were doing.

I had an amazing time in Washington and I would tell every American to visit it at least once. Even thought it was my second time I still loved every second of it. I felt like I fell in love with it all over again.

Lauren Silvestri @ Clear Channel Communications in Philadelphia, PA

Photo credit: Loraine Ballard Morrill

Photo credit: Loraine Ballard Morrill

My internship is now over, yet my first day literally feels like yesterday. I’ve completed over 200 hours here, met a bunch of new people, andexperienced some awesome activities. Some of my most memorable moments were when I worked the off campus events. I worked two of the Radio 104.5 summer block parties, which are super popular and always draw in a big crowd. I also worked at an Ed Sheeran event hosted at the Philadelphia Art Museum. It was an honor to be asked to work these events, and I learned so much about what effort goes into creating, planning, and then executing a high profile event such as these.

I also am really proud of organizing two public affairs segments that were broadcasted on air. I organized one for Philadelphia’s Center for Literacy and another for Women’s Way, an advocacy group for women and girls in the Philadelphia region. Women’s Way has become an organization that I highly respect, and I encourage everyone to check out its informative and insightful website, For these segments, I coordinated, developed, edited, and produced the interviews, and for the Women’s Way segment, I was also the interviewer. Hearing my voice on air was so exciting! I did these segments under the supervision of Loraine Ballard Morrill, who has been working in the radio industry for over thirty years. The advice she has given me on the interview process is priceless.LaurenSilvestri_ClearChannelPhilly_Sum2013. Blog 3 Photo 1

At Rollins, I already am very involved with its radio station, 91.5 WPRK (, and its newspaper, The Sandspur ( However, after my experience working in News and Public Affairs at Clear Channel Philadelphia, I want to increase the exposure of community affairs at WPRK and The Sandspur. As local media outlets, WPRK and The Sandspur should always make the audience aware of the issues occurring in the Orlando area. I want to continue learning about the radio industry, because I feel like I have only just scratched the surface. I want to explore the other major stations around Rollins College, although after this internship in corporate radio I have a deeper appreciation for college and local radio. I also believe that I should not limit myself to just a career in radio, because I can take what I learned here and apply it to other professions, especially media-related ones.After this experience, I realize how important it is to take initiative. I worked with forty other interns this summer, and it was hard to stand out. I needed to exceed what was expected of me and demonstrate to the employees that I was serious about this internship. Taking initiative would be the most important advice I could give a future intern for Clear Channel. Having proficient oral and written communication skills, organizational skills, and above all a great attitude is essential as well.

I truly feel so grateful that I had the opportunity to work for such a large and reputable company. I definitely will keep these lessons and memories with me forever!

Nicole Franco @ Christian HELP in Casselberry, FLNicole Franco Blog 3 Photo 1

This summer I was able to work on the majority of my learning objectives. My tasks ranged from researching, creating jewelry, to writing business proposals. I guess you can say I learned a little bit about everything. It definitely made the experience more enjoyable to know that I would be assigned a different task everyday that was challenging and gave me the ability to learn. Although I was able to work on a wide range of tasks I would have liked to focus more on networking. Unfortunately, my tight schedule made it almost impossible. I had to balance my regular job, the internship, and a social life all at the same time. And honestly, it wasn’t always the easiest but I managed somehow.

Before starting the internship, I knew I wanted my dream job to involve helping people. But I didn’t really know of a specific job title that would involve what I wanted to do. I figured I would be involved in a non-profit organization that would focus on some sort of mission and that would allow me to help others like I’ve always wanted. However, working alongside Royce, the Program Coordinator for Social Entrepreneurship was an enriching experience.  She is very knowledgeable in business consulting, grant writing, and networking. Many of the conversations we shared were about social entrepreneurship and once I became more familiar with the term I soon began to realize that I wanted to continue doing social entrepreneurship work.

Nicole Franco Blog 3 Photo 2We worked extensively on the jewelry line from writing the business proposal to compiling a list of supplies to begin working on samples. I became very passionate about the jewelry line and even came up with a name for the program. During one of our meetings, the team and I were brainstorming on what we could name the program and that’s when I thought of W.I.S.E which stands for Women’s Initiative for Sustainable Employment. The purpose of the jewelry program is to provide transitional employment for women who are active seekers by assembling jewelry and selling it online and in local boutiques. It’s a great initiative and I was ecstatic to know I would be making the samples for the W.I.S.E. jewelry line. W.I.S.E. has inspired me to become more passionate about my creative talent and I have begun to create jewelry for my online boutique.

I have become well aware of what my future goals consist of and I feel that the experience helped me realize what I want to do when I graduate this Fall. My plan is to either seek employment or find another internship in a non-profit organization that focuses on human rights and empowering women. With these future experiences I hope to continue learning more about social entrepreneurship and give a voice to the voiceless.

I can’t believe that these two months have flown by and my internship experience has come to an end. During these months, I have learned so many different things not only about myself but also about the non-profit world.  I encourage others to apply for an internship at Christian HELP if you want to gain experience at a non-profit organization that works hard to make an impact in the community. In my opinion, this was a great opportunity and I will be forever thankful for the wonderful staff and volunteers I was able to interact with at Christian HELP.

Devin McCreary @ Mosaic Wealth Management in Winter Springs, FLMcCreary Blog 3 photo

As I end my time with Mosaic I can truly say this internship has had a profound impact on my future. This summer I have done extensive work in personal finance and really learned all that it takes to be successful in this field. During my time here I have discovered strengths in myself that I never fully recognized before. To target one specifically, I learned this summer that I am extremely effective at problem solving. During the internship Mosaic had a client come in for a meeting that we had been preparing material for several days to accommodate. During this preparation my fellow intern and I were struggling through a complicated excel spreadsheet project to analyze some of the client’s information. We hit a point where my fellow intern became extremely frustrated and was ready to give up, however I kept my cool and kept digging. After a several minutes of calculations I figured out a way to set up a series of equations that would solve the problems we were having and allow us to complete the project. This and other situations really made me realize that I never fully grasped my abilities at problem solving and really gave me a boost in my self-confidence as an employee and future applicant to this field.

Leaving this internship I look to use momentum from this internship to push me to succeed academically more than ever before. For the past two years I truly questioned whether or not I belonged at such a high-level institution as Rollins. This internship has given me confidence that I have never known before and upon its completion I can firmly say to myself, “Yes, you do belong.” Fueled by this self confidence I look forward to excelling beyond my expectations throughout the rest of my program and look forward to standing in success on graduation day.  My internship experience doesn’t stop there however; I will continue to carry these experiences with me into my career. I will be able to sit in interviews and point to my internship as a building block for who I have become. I will be able to cite specific processes I implemented at Mosaic that will carry on into the future. I will be able to understand concepts and cite experiences with programs relevant to the field I never could have without Mosaic. I truly am excited to see how far this internship experience will carry over into the rest of my professional life.

As I have said this internship has had truly tremendous effects on my future. If I was approached by one of my fellow students and asked about the prospect of interning at Mosaic I would strongly encourage them to do so, regardless of the field they wish to pursue. Mosaic teaches a student how to manage their wealth and make wise informed decisions, skills I feel are invaluable regardless of field of interest. I feel that any students with hard work ethic and desire to learn could benefit a great deal by spending some time under the direction of the leaders at Mosaic. I would suggest that my fellow student spend some time researching basic financial vernacular just so they feel up to par when they step in the doors or Mosaic. Other than that I feel anyone could gain from time spent with Mosaic, even if all they learned was how to be a little more responsible with their own finances.

My summer with Mosaic has truly changed my perspective on things and grown me in so many ways that I could not put them all into words. They have helped me grow and more clearly define my vision for my future career, they have helped make me more conscious of my own financial responsibility, and most importantly they have helped me become a more self confident individual by making me realize that I have abilities I do not even fully understand yet. I am so thankful for my time at Mosaic. I am a Mosaic Man!

Andrew Shipman @ The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC

The national Portrait Gallery-Walkway Installation

The National Portrait Gallery-Walkway Installation

Wow, what a summer it has been.  I can not believe it has come to an end.  The wide array of experiences that I have had the opportunity to take part in has been so diverse.  I have started to understand more and more about where I see my career path leading.  My greatest accomplishment I believe throughout this summer experience has been the ability to adjust and thrive in an environment that put me out of my comfort zone.  I was introduced to a new place that I had to learn to understand and figure out my lifestyle.  This came with many challenges including using public transportation, preparing meals, and budgeting.  These things are important lessons that I learned outside of any classroom.

After completing my internship, I am curious to explore other nonprofits and see what other opportunities there are for individuals with experiences similar to mine.  I now have a better understanding of nonprofit work, as well as how they operate.  I am also interested in other areas of business as well, now that I have seen such a dedication to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.   

For someone who is interested in seeking an internship in the future, I would say to you before you apply to understand the level of applicants that they are fielding for and what kind of candidates they are seeking out.  This is a great lesson for any internship that you make prospectively be seeking.  What I found is that my experience would have been a great experience for a student in a position from first to second year of college, or second to third year because I felt as though sometimes I was not being fully utilized to my maximum potential.  Also, you should try and be very specific about the roles you are interested in in the organization so you can get the experience you need.  Finally, if you feel as though you are not being kept busy, speak up.  Sometimes you have to get the attention of people, for them to fully understand what you are capable of.  Lastly, network all the time.  You never know who you might meet in any part of the organization, so always be ready to greet people with a smile and perfect you small talk abilities.      

The National Archives Building

The National Archives Building

My interest in LGBT advocacy has nonetheless been reinforced through this experience.  The most interesting thing by far has been the ability to see how many organizations there are that work in this field.  It has opened my eyes to many different areas where I may find opportunities in the future.  One organization that I am quite interested in learning more about in the future is The Family Equality Council.  

My AU course wrapped up this week and overall it was quite interesting and engaging.  I enjoyed how passionate the professor was about the content he was teaching.  During the last week here I made a point to revisit all of my favorite museums and places that I like the most in DC.  Some of these places included The National Portrait Gallery, The National Archive, and The Library of Congress, as well as many others.  I even had the pleasure of eating lunch with two men that worked at The National Gallery who had lived in DC for over 20 years approximately.  To hear their stories about how much the city had changed, as well as the social landscape towards LGBT individuals was very interesting.  What an amazing summer it had been in DC and now I am ready to return back to Rollins and Finish my final year of study.  I have to extend gratitude and thanks to both the Grant Committee as well as The Johnson Family Foundation for extending the opportunity to me; it has been an amazing experience.

“Half Way There!”

Second Blog Posts  (July 10, 2013)

Maria Gutierrez @ The DC Center for the LGBT Community in Washington, DCMy work space

I definitely feel that there has been some personal and professional growth that has come out of this internship. For starters, I am starting to get an idea of how small organizations (particularly community centers) in the nonprofit sector work. I originally thought that the DC Center would do more work with people, but it turns out that the center is simply a place that guides its community to the resources that can actually help them.  One thing that I have learned here is seeing the impact that grants, donations, and volunteers like myself make in helping the LGBT community. Another way that I have been growing is that prior to working at the DC Center, I did not had a lot of opportunities to meet and see firsthand who the most marginalized people of the community are. Now, I can definitely say that the majority of individuals that come into the center identify as Trans. Not only are many of them impoverished, but they are also victims of hate crimes here in Washington D.C.

The skills that I have built here at the DC Center have been learning about how to blog, and what goes into running a website. These skills will obviously be transferable to my future because media is what drives any type of movement (whether social or economic). Along with this, I have learned first and foremost what really goes into development. Last week, I went to a briefing for The City Fund which is a $15 million dollar fund that is given support non-profit organizations in Washington D.C. There, I met the mayor and got saw the process of how (small or big) organizations apply for funding for grants. Getting a better idea of what the development realm is like is going to be transferable to my future career and on/off campus involvement plans because I will be more realistic when planning any type of event. Along with this, as a result of this internship, I have realized that development is not the career path that I am going to pursue.

glov3Since I am in the office a lot with interns, networking at the DC Center has been difficult.  One person, I have interacted with via email is Matthew Corso, leader of the Victims Assistance Initiative of GLOV an Anti-Violence LGBT Organization. I have also had the opportunity speak with my supervisor Brant Miller with reference to career planning. The most valuable advice that I got from him was that I should continue to volunteer in things that I love because it gives me the ability to become connected with the places where I would potentially enjoy working. Most importantly, he has told me to look for an area of focus in what I want to do because even though it is very important good to have experience in many things, it is better to have that “one thing” you’re really good at and develop it as much as you can.

Overall, things have been very relaxed at the DC Center because the busiest time of the year is right before the Pride Festival (early June).  It is very important to note that the thing that I am the most proud of is finding sponsors for our HIV Working Group Reception.

Andrew Shipman @ The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC

ASIt has been a busy summer so far.  I have learned so much about LGBT issues and other areas.  It has been very interesting working at the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for many reasons.  Mainly, I feel as though my work is strongly utilized by my supervisors.  I am getting more actively engaged with the organization day by day.  I can tell that they are starting to trust me with more complex tasks and bigger projects.  Working with both the corporate relations team and the supplier diversity team has been very rewarding to further understand the organization as a whole.  

Two wednesdays ago something momentous happened.  DOMA and Prop 8 were ruled on by The Supreme Court.  This was by far the most exciting time to be in DC thus far.  Sadly, I was not able to be at the Supreme court for the official decision ruling because I had class, but as we awaited the verdict everyone in class was thrilled to hear what the official ruling would be.  When it was announced it was such a surreal moment for this country.  It was a very lively night out in DC.  The next day I went to my internship and everyone was very excited and had a lot to say about the decisions.  

Another very interesting thing that I had the opportunity to take part in the past two weeks is a boxed lunch series hosted by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.  They invite anyone who is working on LGBT issues to come hear speakers of the movement.  It has been a very interesting experience to hear many different perspectives on the state of the LGBT movement.

Throughout my time here thus far I have experienced a wide array of contacts within the LGBT movement.  Mainly on issues related to the workplace and advancing economic activities for LGBT business owners.  It has been a very interesting time in this unique setting.  I have enjoyed getting to know other interns throughout the city who are also working in a variety of positions like the white house to a wide array of non-profits.  

In terms of my future plans, this experience has broadened my horizons on how a non-profit.  I now understand how complex it is to run a non-profit, as well as the variety that exist.  I believe this experience will have long term influence on what I choose to do in my career and post-graduate work.

Tracy Murray @ The Gravity Arts Initiative in Dunellen, NJ

Working through a to-do list can be very exciting for me; especially when I get to cross off the items on my list that I have completed. As my summer internship continues, the to-do list seems to grow in to an “I want to do list!” As I peruse the World Wide Web for cultural news, I have discovered many new and innovative ways to communicate and effectively articulate the importance and value of the arts.hootsuite_logo

One of the items on my to-do list this summer is becoming more proficient in Hoot Suite, a social media-marketing tool. They published a blog post recently about reaching out, inspiring an audience, and pulling them in by telling a story. Storytelling has the ability to create a dialogue about the product or service and its value to the consumer or audience, when pertaining to the arts. This process has the potential to establish an ongoing relationship, which, in turn develops a loyal following. As I read this article, I remembered discussions in my New Media and Public Relations course on how New Media marketing is no longer a one way street of information to the consumer; it has now become a two-way conversation that focuses on values and benefits and marketing the arts is an important conversation that converges on cultural and personal value. Thank you Dr. Mesbah.

arts_annexIn a recent office meeting, I shared about the blog post from the Hoot Suite site and suggested that we, too, have a story to tell. Not just the story of an arts initiative, but, the story of artists whose lives have been molded by the very gifts and talents they possess; a dialogue that brings an interest into what we are doing as an arts initiative. The staff thought this was a great idea and we began to brainstorm on what this might look like for Gravity Arts. Capturing a story for its personal interest value is an effective tool in developing and maintaining an audience. After the meeting, my brain was in overdrive and I had a million and one ideas that we could undertake at that very moment! Remember the growing “I want to-do list?”

My list now includes writing or videotaping a story that will engage and build an audience that identifies with the arts. Telling a story through social media has the potential to build your brand and connect with an audience to form a relationship. YouTube and Vimeo have been popular platforms for marketing. But, video marketing now has new options, Vine, a six second, looping video and Instagram video, a fifteen second, editable video. You might be thinking, there is no way to convey a message in only fifteen seconds. Yet, popular musicians, such as Paul McCartney, Emilie Sande, and 30 Seconds to Mars, are using Vine to promote their brand. With new social media platforms being developed so quickly, my challenge will be to stay in tune with what will work best for communicating the arts and the value it brings to our communities.

Raul Carril @ Ashoka South Florida in Miami, FL

Ashoka has helped push me out of my comfort zone to move forward in achieving my learning objects. Over the past several weeks I have been able to network on different opportunities, practice my Spanish skills, and gained a better understanding of building relationships. Many of these situations seem intimidating or uncomfortable at first. In fact, they are. However, when taken step-by-step or simply preformed, the intimidation or discomfort quickly disappears. While I have been able to learn significantly first-hand, observation is just as important a learning tool. I admire watching my coworkers handle relationships and meeting new people with ease. Through observation, I have learned how Ashoka leverages the vast global network of relationships it has built through the Ashoka Support Network which is composed of individuals, businesses, and various other organizations and foundations. Overall, I am content with what I have learned and the progress I am making toward the learning goals I set for myself.Raul Carril Ashoka Photo 2

At Ashoka, I love working in what Ashoka calls a “team of teams.” Essentially, a team of teams is the collaboration and communication that goes on between coworkers and amongst everyone’s various roles and responsibilities. I also like the relationships we have built amongst our team. We are all an empathetic group of individuals and recognize that among ourselves. Therefore, our team wants to know more about each other; we are naturally inquisitive and seek to understand each other both emotionally and ideologically. I also love Miami’s food. The cuisine is amazing! I love Cuban cuisine, but have been exposed to cuisine from a variety of different cultures during my time here like that of Spanish, Peruvian, and Argentinian cultures. Outside of Ashoka, I have been challenged by the city of Miami. Miami is huge, diverse, and crowded. I spend nearly an hour in traffic each day to get to and from Ashoka. Getting anywhere in Miami takes a long time because it so crowded. Despite this, I enjoy the ethnic diversity and love being located in downtown Miami. I admire the beautiful high-rise glass buildings that glisten with the reflection of the sun and beach.

I am most proud of the work I have done with regards to The Sarnicola Foundation and being a part of a new initiative South Florida wishes to pioneer, the Ashoka Youth Venture Changemaker Celebration. I took lead on developing two documents to build a partnership with The Sarnicola Foundation, which focuses on social entrepreneurship. I believe that my role in this is unique because I am leaving behind my own footprint on Ashoka South Florida. The Changemaker Celebration also has the potential to be bigger than South Florida; it could eventually be an event across all cities with Youth Venture and even be implemented on a national and global scale. Over and above all that, the Sarnicola Foundation has taught me about building relationships, not partnerships. Although difficult, it is more meaningful and valuable to show others the benefits of a long-term relationship rather than a short-term partnership. People and organizations want to know how they can grow and be mutually beneficial to each other.

Raul Carril Ashoka Photo 1Personally, I am also proud of the connections and networking skills I am gaining as a result of my internship. I enjoyed attending the Latin America Trade Expo on behalf of Ashoka. The trade expo featured ambassadors, dignitaries, businessmen, and other representatives of all Latin American counties. While I struggled at first to inform Spanish-speakers of Ashoka and their mission, after practice, the task did not seem as daunting. It was great to meet and casually, yet professionally, talk to individuals who were interested in Ashoka’s work. I also met a fellow Rollins graduate student and the CEO of Goodyear!

Networking and leadership are amongst many skills I am building as a result of my internship. I am excited to take these skills back to Rollins. I look forward to being able to build new relationships with offices I have not been as exposed to and perhaps even trying to incorporate them into my extracurricular activities as public relations chair for the X Club Fraternity and as Student Coordinator for the Immersion program. Without a doubt, I am sure that my networking and bilingual knowledge will help me in business courses and have a greater cultural and emotional intelligence. I can also see these skills of work ethic, initiative, networking, and communication as essential to my future career plans and I am thankful and grateful for the opportunity I have to learn and grow as a person with Ashoka.

Ariel Rivera @ Where Orlando Magazine in Orlando, FLAriel Rivera Blog 2 wherejuly

As I approach the midpoint of my internship with Where Orlando I have realized the hard work and dedication that goes into not only publishing each issue of the magazine, but organizing advertisements, dealing with clientele, and informing the community of our publications. I feel that I have progressed immensely on completing my learning objectives. For example, as I work closer with the circulation manager and editor, among other personnel, I have learned the process of completing each issue and assignment by working together to make everything from articles to emails as effective as possible. Most of my work entails posting on the company’s social media sites, which has made me proficient in using these tools for successful advertising and as great sources of information. I have always felt intimidated by complicated computer programs and now I find myself using Excel and design software with ease. Embracing the power of online interaction and realizing how useful websites like Facebook and Twitter can be in promoting a company has helped me to feel connected to my community and a helpful asset to the company.

 Learning to be in a new environment was initially the hardest part of my internship. I am used to working in fast paced environments so being in a cubicle for hours at a time took a lot of getting used to. However, I now enjoy going to work and I definitely see myself working in this field as a career. Seeing the power of group work has impressed me the most. I am used to doing things on my own, including homework and other assignments. Working together with everyone on staff step by step in creating e-blasts (emails sent out to clients and advertisers), newsletters, and event updates has taught me that it takes a lot of time, energy and teamwork to keep a magazine running. Especially when I attended my first Where Wednesday event at Bon Posh Fashion Jewelry was I able to see how advertisers, concierge, clientele, and those on the magazine came together to create a fun way to connect with each other and sponsor other projects. Helping with that event and finally seeing it unfold was perhaps my most proud moment with the magazine thus far. I was able to see how Where Orlando actually affects the community and it helped me connect to other businesspeople and feel the satisfaction of a job well done.

Ariel Rivera Blog 2 whereeatThrough this internship I have developed skills in effective advertising and marketing. For example, some of my tasks have involved directly calling hotels and clients, thus developing communication skills and learning how to run the business. I was also asked to write a section of an article for the upcoming issue of the magazine and often given the assignment to post exciting and effective posts on the company’s social media sites, which has benefited by writing skills immensely. By seeing the various tasks that go into the magazine and each person’s job I think that I could see myself working in a similar field. For example, I never considered being an editor, yet I have now become enthralled by the editing process and am interested in looking into it as a future career. This may seem like a far jump but it gives me a starting point to find a job that I will love and work hard at.

We did an event at Bon Posh Fashion Jewelry on International Drive last week to connect  advertisers and clients.

Company Twitter page:

Sebastian Sanchez @ The Hispanic Business Initiative Fund in Orlando, FLSebastian Sanchez Photo 1

It is hard to believe that I am at the mid-point of my summer internship program with the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida. Looking back at the work that I have accomplished and continue to do, I can say my interest in business as well as the non-profit sector has grown. I recently began and completed a rough draft of a business plan for a client of HBIF. If I were asked what type of information is presented in a business plan two weeks ago, I would be dumfounded. I wasn’t nervous in taking on the responsibility to accomplish the business plan. Throughout this endeavor I made sure in referencing to my past academics, such as a simulation paper I did for my Politics of South Asia course, which provided me a starting structural base. As I completed and presented the business plan to HBIF’s business consultant I realized that I was able to complete one of my Learning Objectives, by being introduced to a business strategy that’s being used in the market.
I continue to be impressed by the work that HBIF does for the Hispanic community throughout Florida. I have attended all of the workshops that HBIF provides, and have been extremely impressed by the professional services they provide free of charge. Besides the informative workshops, I have enjoyed my time working with my fellow interns. We are each working under different departments at HBIF as well as majors, but have managed to create a positively enjoyable atmosphere. I have also greatly appreciated the mentor-like atmosphere that HBIF has established between the staff and us, the interns. I did not expect to have a professional and personal connection with the staff members, but have been able to have one on one conversation that influences my future goals from their passions.

Out of my summer experience, I have finally been able to increase my time management skills. I have had a difficulty to fully time manage my work and personal life, but my summer internship has brought a high demand of my iphone calendar use. I know this might come as a necessity for most people, but I never fully engaged in mapping out a calendar of my tasks in the past, but I have managed to do so for a month in advance. I’d say a job well done and something I will continue to use as graduation nears this coming fall, and afterwards of course.

I look forward to the coming weeks, but in particular this coming Wednesday July 10. I have been asked to present my first client case to the Technical Assistance Committee (TAC). I am extremely nervous, but excited to present my work to all of the professional members that are on the board. I can’t speak for everyone, but public speaking isn’t something I look forward to. But I know that with experience I will adapt and build on my comfort level towards public speaking. Besides my presentation this week, I can transfer my knowledge of writing a business plan toward my future goals in international economic development.

Lauren Silvestri @ Clear Channel Communications in Philadelphia, PA

I cannot believe I am already halfway through my internship! It has truly gone by so fast. I think I am making great progress with my learning objectives; I have met new people who I may be able to network with in the future, I have attended Promotions department meetings, I constantly ask my supervisor questions about her position and learn so much through watching her, and have already worked at a major event Clear Channel organized. By taking initiative and making it clear to the staff what I want to accomplish through this internship, I am confident that I will fulfill all my objectives by the end of the experience.

Me with the band Ballyhoo along with other interns after their studio session, photo credit to WRFF/Stephen Eckert
Me with the band Ballyhoo along with other interns after their studio session, photo credit to WRFF/Stephen Eckert

Luckily, I have found many things I enjoy about my internship at Clear Channel. There are forty other interns with me this summer. I do not get to interactwith many of them often, but all of them have been nice. Some I see every time I am there and when there is occasional downtime, we talk or go on our lunch break together. One of my favorite things about working in the Promotions department is that I get to help out with studio sessions. I tend to the artists that come to perform, and handle the listeners that come for the session. Working these sessions helps me build Artist Relations and leadership skills. I also loved working the off campus event in June, a Radio 104.5 block party. Watching a huge event that took so much coordination and time come together perfectly was awesome. You can watch a bunch of these studio sessions here:

Loraine Ballard Morrill, the Director of News and Community Affairs at Clear Channel Philadelphia, photo credit to AIDS Walk Philly

Loraine Ballard Morrill, the Director of News and Community Affairs at Clear Channel Philadelphia, photo credit to AIDS Walk Philly

So far, one of my favorite moments was organizing an interview with Philadelphia’s Center for Literacy for our News and Community Affairs department. I knew that the department organized a wide variety of interviews constantly to put on-air. The Director of News and Community Affairs, Loraine Ballard Morrill, told me I could organize my own, and I wasted no time finding a topic to share with the listeners. I chose to contact the Center for Literacy because illiteracy is a huge issue in Philadelphia, and as an education minor at Rollins, literacy is something I really care about. (You can learn more about the Center for Literacy here: After setting up the interview, Loraine conducted the interview while I observed to learn more about the actual interview process. Afterwards, I edited the interview and it is set to air on three of Clear Channel Philadelphia’s six stations next week. I am proud of myself for thinking of the idea and coordinating the entire process. I cannot wait to hear the interview on-air. Before my internship is over, I would love to be able to conduct my own interview on-air.

My internship is allowing me to develop a wide range of skills to apply elsewhere in my career and daily life. As an intern in the Promotions department, communication skills are essential, as I talk to dozens of people daily, as are organizational skills. Managing hundreds of tickets and winners, and numerous concert giveaways, demands extreme organization. From talking to many people, particularly listeners, my customer service skills have definitely improved. All of the skills I have mentioned, including Artist Relations and leadership skills, are skills I will definitely need in any career path I choose, because almost every career involves working with people. I am proud of what I have accomplished so far, and plan to push myself to do much more by the end of my internship.

Stephanie Garcia @ Orlando Business Journal in Orlando, FLStephanie Garcia Blog Post 2 Photo 1

It is hard to believe my internship will come to an end next month.  I have been at Orlando Business Journal for the past two months, and I see myself growing each day as a person, student, and journalist. This summer has been jam packed with events, deadlines, fun times, and challenges. I never pictured myself enjoying business journalism this much or changing from this experience. This internship has cemented my professional goals and aspirations.

Inside the OBJ office, it is exciting to be among others who share a similar passion for journalism. Speaking to experienced professionals and learning how they got their start is thrilling. Our photographer, Jim Carchidi went to art school in Philadelphia and learned the ropes of photojournalism while on the job. Senior staff reporter, Anjali Fluker wanted to be a news anchor in college but fell in love with business journalism instead. The environment outside of the office is just as hectic and fast paced. The uncertainty of getting an interview, making a good impression, and having sufficient time to write a story makes covering media events exciting. I never know how a story will end up, and that uncertainty is half the fun before the rewarding finished product is published.

Stephanie Garcia Blog Post 2 Photo 2I have made great progress with two of my learning objectives, networking and learning from journalism professionals. Last week, I assisted senior staff reporter, Anjali Fluker, in covering the restaurant opening of Marlow’s Tavern in Winter Park. I took pictures at the media event while Anjali interviewed the establishment’s owner and chef. My photographs were featured alongside Anjali’s online article. I volunteered to help her with coverage, and because of my initiative, Anjali asked me to assist her with another media event the following week. I have included some pictures from the opening of Marlow’s Tavern; the restaurant is nearby Rollins and could be a good hangout or lunch spot to relax in between classes.

I am very proud of my published work thus far. There is so much work and edits that go into an article before it is published or goes to press. Seeing my name on page three followed by my story is beyond amazing. Though I have been on newspaper since high school, being published on a national scale makes me feel that my dream of being a journalist is possible.

This internship is a starting off point for my career. I am learning invaluable skills; networking, editing essentials, and time management are just a few. I can transfer these skills in college when completing written assignments, and with my experience meeting deadlines in a vibrant newspaper setting, juggling due dates for course work may run more effortlessly. This internship has introduced me to other facets of journalism such as television and photography. Along with editorial internships, I want to seek opportunities in alternative fields of media to gain a more broad perspective on my profession. Also, along with working for The Sandspur at Rollins, I would like to join other clubs that relate to my goals, possibly in the Communications and English department.

Nicole Franco @ Christian HELP in Casselberry, FL

Citrus Club

Citrus Club

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I started my internship. Time has flown by so quickly, yet I’ve learned so much within the first month. Today, I will be joining Royce, the program coordinator for social entrepreneurship at a networking event at the Citrus Club. It will give me the opportunity to work on one of my learning objectives of learning how to effectively network and create work relationships. It’s something different from what I’ve been working on for the past month, but I think it will be a great experience. It will enable me to gain a better understanding of how networking should be done and help me improve my communication skills.

Aside from networking, one of my major tasks has been to research. During my research, I have learned so much about the non-profit sector. It has enabled me to get a better understanding of how they operate and most importantly how they sustain themselves. Every now and then during my research, I have came up with several questions about non-profits. The great thing about doing an internship at a non-profit is the knowledge you receive by the hands on experience. I’ve learned about misconceptions and how to carefully select potential donors.

Another learning objective that I’ve been able to focus on is how to write business proposals. I had no idea the requirements for business proposals were so complex. In order to successfully write a business proposal, one must spend HOURS of researching to come up with specific details and come up with a logic model to facilitate the completion of the proposal. The constant changes or rewriting of the proposal is what makes it a lengthy process, but it’s definitely a gratifying feeling once all of the above has been accomplished.

120NIKON2One of the things that I most enjoy about my internship is that I am able to fearlessly throw my ideas to the table. It makes me feel as though my opinion is considered during the projects that are taking place. Since I have experience with e-commerce, my main focus has been on the jewelry line. Recently, I had the opportunity to join another member of the jewelry project on a “mini” shopping spree for jewelry making supplies at a local supply shop. Not only was I able to pick out supplies of my choice, but I was allowed to freely design pieces. I received positive feedback upon showing my samples to the women part of the jewelry project and other employees at Christian HELP. Creating the jewelry and doing extensive research has been one of my major accomplishments, as well as networking.

As a result of the internship, I am learning to effectively and fearlessly communicate my thoughts about projects, ideas, etc. It has enabled me to become even more passionate about social entrepreneurship. This experience has taught me so much in such a short amount of time. Not only has it enriched me but it has enlightened me. I always knew that I wanted to help the community, but taking part in the social entrepreneurship aspect of a non-profit has become my passion. I am grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to continue learning and growing as a person.

Devin McCreary @ Mosaic Wealth Management in Winter Springs, FL

As I approach the middle of my Mosaic journey I am extremely pleased with all that I have accomplished. I have made healthy strides in accomplishing each of my learning objectives. If I could pick one to say I have gone the farthest in it would have to be the growth of my understanding of Mosaic’s strategy for investment. Each and every client at Mosaic is approached as an individual with individualistic wealth management needs ranging far and wide based on an individual’s circumstances. I have learned that you don’t handle 35 year old Farmer Frank’s wealth the same way you handle 65 year old widowed Martha’s wealth. Mosaic works tirelessly to make sure that each and every client is set up with an investment model that fits based on a wide variety of circumstances. As I have gone through this internship I have gained understanding of their evaluation methods and spent time thinking of how I could use and improve upon this system for my own business.

Going beyond the aspects of learning this has also been a most enjoyable internship. I have really molded in well with the advisors and become a part of the office environment effectively. I carry on good relationships with each of the advisors to the point that a few of them I would even count as close friends if asked. I also have grown a great friendship with the other intern in the program Michael and spend quite a bit of time with him outside of the Mosaic environment.

As of today, I am immensely proud of all I have done at Mosaic. I really feel that I am able to come in everyday and be of true assistance to each of the advisors, making their jobs as easy as I am able. However, I am most proud of the problem solving skills I have discovered within myself during this internship. Last week one of the advisors approached me with a project that he was having trouble analyzing based on limited information we had to construct a glimpse of a clients past holdings over the past five years only having access statements from within the last six months. The advisor described himself as being “at his wits end” with the project and asked me to try my best to see if I could make something work. After three extremely strenuous hours I had a breakthrough. I developed an equation using excel that not only enabled us to get a very good idea of the holdings for the past five years but even enabled us to discover a share split within the data that explained the main issue in the numbers the advisor was frustrated by.  Definitely one of my proudest moments in the internship was walking into his office and having him open the client’s file to see the problem solved.

My skill set has drastically increased as a result of the internship up to this point. The greatest growth I believe has been the development of problem solving skills I never knew were inside of me. I have encountered many problems and had to dig up creative solutions to see a multitude of projects through to completion.  This development has also greatly increased my self-confidence and reassured me that I belong in the financial sector. As I grow closer to leaving Rollins College, I am anxious to see what my future holds and the doors that my time here as well as at Mosaic Wealth Management Group will have caused to be thrown wide open.  As Walter Reuther said ” There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.” I truly believe that my time at Rollins College as well as my time with Mosaic will make me able to go forward in my calling and to do it well.

Taylor Wejkszner @ Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA

As I pass the halfway marker of my internship, I cannot believe all I have accomplished in the last four weeks. Securing this internship at Lehigh Valley Health Network has not only been a blessing, but one of the most hands-on learning experiences I have had to date. Though in the past I have shadowed in many departments, such as Dermatology and Respiratory Therapy, I have never been able to get the opportunity to scrub in for surgery or have so much direct patient contact as I have in my current position. I am beyond fortunate that I heard about this opportunity but feel as though now that I have had so many great experiences in this program, it is my duty of spread the word to other college students interested in the medical field. As a person who grew up in the Lehigh Valley but went out of state for college, it can be difficult to stay on top of open positions or opportunities available at home when I am in Florida nine months out of the year. I spoke with Jean Hoffman, Internship Coordinator for LVHN about researching where high school students attend college if they do not stay in Pennsylvania and sending out flyers about the research program to the school’s in that particular area. This will ensure that every student who has gone to high school in the Lehigh Valley has a fair shot at scoring such a great summer internship.

In addition to spending time in the Operating Room, Gynecologic Oncology doctor’s offices, and the Labor and Delivery floor at Lehigh Valley Health Network, I have also been in the process of collecting data for my research project which I present on July 26th. As of now, I will have all the data I need by the end of the week and then will be working with a biostatistician at the hospital so we can analyze cost of the hysterectomies, rate of readmission and complications based on type of surgery (i.e. robotic, laparoscopic or open) and post ICU times. With this analysis, the focus is to show the payback of performing robotic hysterectomies vs. open hysterectomies based on the economic and quality of life benefits. I chose to undertake this research topic because of the skepticism toward robotic surgery. Though it is a relatively new way to operate, it has repeatedly and consistently shown its advantages.

I have also had time to reflect on the learning goals I created in the beginning of my internship. I feel as though I have been able to accomplish most of my goals but still have a lot to learn before I can say I have what it takes to be a doctor. As I continue to read the book, Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Dr. Atul Gawande the reality of the medical field and healthcare become more noticeable as I walk around the hospital each day. One of the most relevant topics in the book is how doctors cannot help patients if they do not take responsibilities for basic acts such as washing their hands in between each patient. The book goes into detail about the contentious history of hand washing in hospitals. Though rubber gloves are used in each examination, they do not substitute for using hand sanitizer in between patients. It is these simple rules that must be followed to allow doctors to continue to help patients and keep disease out of the hospital. In addition, I have still been learning about the psycho-social aspect of being a doctor. After seeing 25 or more patients who are suffering from different forms of abdominal cancers, it is hard to go home and go back to everyday life knowing that 25 more people in this world may not see tomorrow. I spoke with Doctor Martino about this and he said it takes time before anyone who becomes a doctor can accept that he or she is only human and can never or will never be God. He said it never really sinks in until you lose your first patient. Though a sad fact, it is one everyone has to come to terms with.

I have also attached a video of the “Robotic Surgery Olympics” event that took place last year to increase awareness of this innovative surgical technique.

Alaine Jolicoeur @ The Aqua Foundation for Women in Miami, FLAlaine Jolicoeur Blog 2 Photo 2

I am currently interning at Aqua Foundation for Women and we are based in Miami, Florida. And I am the Assistant to the Program Director. The mission of the Aqua Foundation for Women is to serve as the funding catalyst for lesbian, bisexual, and transgender wellness and equality in South Florida through grants, scholarships and initiatives. Our office floor is shared by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and as well Save Dade which is an LGBT advocacy group. Promoting future leaders of the South Florida Community, is a cornerstone of Aqua Foundation for Women’s mission, which is accomplished by awarding scholarships to benefit graduating high school, college, and graduate students who are active in our community. 15 scholarships were awarded through the organizations. These scholarships were awarded to promising young women who were selected due to their outstanding academics, consistent commitment to the community, and their leadership potential.

The women awarded AFW scholarships are pursuing a variety of disciplines including information technology, religious studies, law, music, politics, and therapy, which positions them to contribute to the LBT community in unique ways. Aqua Foundation believes that its scholarship program enables LBT women to grow personally and professionally by reducing their financial burden and by providing them with a mentor for guidance and support as part of our AFW Mentoring Program. Each year Aqua Foundation’s scholars and mentors tell them how deeply pivotal mentoring is to the scholar’s experience, how crucial it is for them to have positive LBT role-models. Each scholarship recipient is paired with a mentor whose expertise is typically in the same field as the recipient’s field of study. The mentor’s objective is to lend support to the recipient with her education, personal development, and community goals.

Last January duringAlaine Jolicoeur Blog 2 Photo 1 a conference that I attended in Atlanta, during a LGBT employment event I had the opportunity to meet the executive director of Aqua Foundation for Women. She informed me of the internship opportunity with the Foundation. Upon my return from the conference I applied and not long after I was offered the position. My first few weeks went really well, I was able to quickly grasp all the expectations and the tasks that I will be doing during this internship. So far I have made incredible relationships throughout the office and I really enjoy working with my colleagues. My goal for this internship is to be able to grasp all the knowledge that I my supervisor will instill in me. I look forward identifying my strengths and weakness in this new field of work. The learning objectives that I have developed for this learning experience are as follow: The opportunity network and connect with Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender women leaders in the South Florida region.  I want to improve my skills with Google Drive, and learn to use GiftsWorks the donor management software. I plan to learn about the mentor selection process for the mentor program and how mentors and scholarship recipients are oriented into the program. Moreover, shadow the Program Director to gain a better understanding of how the grant and scholarship programs are managed.  Lastly, I want to develop better time management skills and increased efficiency & productivity in my tasks.

Diego Villasenor @ The Nur Spirituality Institute in Longwood, FLNur Spirituality Second blost post picture 1

After about six or seven weeks at the Nur Spirituality Institute, my work load has drastically increased. I am constantly kept busy in a very good way. All of my learning objectives revolve around learning how to run a nonprofit religious organization centered on teaching and practicing with others and what goes into making one successful. As part of this mission I have recently  been given the task of managing our interfaith events, and have been working with our Internship Coordinator Jean to reach out to local religious organization, and form working connections between us, and them.  It is both rewarding, and difficult. Humans are absolutely wonderful for being so difficult to fit into organized charts and plans. I have learned the importance of being flexible, for we humans are certainly the wild card in deadlines and planning. Especially when you’re trying to bring more than one into the same place at the same time!!

Despite the hardship and learning experiences that really come from having to work with others, especially outside your own work place, I am thoroughly enjoying my time here. IT is truly the people that make the internship site a joy. The experience of sitting in a room filled with people that treat you as a friend, even though you just met, while listening to the intelligent, passionate discourse of Dr. Omar Tatari is something I could not quite find anywhere else.  It is a mix of ideas, people, and passions that truly brought to life the look, as a group, into the nature of the divine.

Here, was a chance to relax, enjoy good company, and most importantly; turn inwards with the light of understanding. I am most proud of the relationships I have formed with the people here, and the amount I have learned not just about business, but about myself and Islam as well.  The internship is not all lofty spirituality and philosophy however! Most practically I am learning how to take these wonderful (if indeed a bit lofty at times) spiritual goals and aims and actualizing them into grounded events, publications, and advertisements.

Second Blog post picture 1This is done not just through workshops, but how to create publications through what you do, how to apply these spiritual understandings to every day life, and how to make everyday people relate to what can be sometimes be understood as both obscure, and beautiful. This is something I can immediately take with me as I go into the world as a practicing Buddhist, with the hope of becoming a chaplain. Further, even outside the realm of spirituality, the people management skills, the in and outs, the faults and bumps that are all part of business will be experiences that will prepare me even more so for life in, and outside of college.

Jasmine Cohen @ Behavioral Associates of Central Florida in Orlando, FLJasmmine Cohen Blog Post 2 Photo1

During my internship so far at Behavioral Associates of Central Florida, I have learned so much more already in this short time period than I ever would have or possibly could have by just sitting in a classroom learning about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Although ABA is very difficult to grasp and can be done in different styles, actually seeing the techniques done first hand and actually being able to practice some of them with patients is a great experience. I have made progress on all of my learning goals thus far and have also embarked on a few more learning goals. I have defiantly been exposed to autism spectrum through shadowing different clients and doing some research on my own. Although autism has no pin point age, I have really been focusing on how it pertains to children. I have also been taking notes and paying close attention during the sessions that I shadow, at the proper behavioral analyst vernacular that is used during a session and the vernacular that is used after the session is complete. I have learned that the difference between a good therapist and great therapist in this field is that a good therapist will go and run a great session with the client, get some goals accomplished, and go home and be satisfied. The great therapist however will not only run a great session with the client, but will also record the session and at a later date go back and critique their own techniques in order to improve them even more. I have also been able to assist in certain activities during therapy sessions and observe different techniques that are utilized to get the client to progress toward the same goal. Also I have been exposed a great deal to the VB-MAPP through helping with the input of the goals that are associated with the VB-MAPP. I have not however been exposed to a new client intake meeting or testing situation, being that no new clients have started yet at Behavioral Associates of Central Florida. The learning goal that was added to the list is that I got to, for a short period of time, help with the scoring of the different assessment tests. This was really exciting for me because I was always being exposed to the final write up of what the client had been diagnosed with. With this exposure I got to see how numbers were compiled and calculated to determine certain diagnoses.

Jasmmine Cohen Blog Post 2 Photo2The environment at Behavioral Associates of Central Florida is very welcoming, loving, caring, and of growth. This type of environment is very much suitable for any student to intern in and leave feeling like they have learned something and have a better understanding as to what they might be exposed to in this field of work. Right now I would be most proud of the learning advantages I am receiving by being present and getting to see firsthand, the ABA techniques and getting to practice them myself as well. I believe that anyone can learn about these different techniques and about autism, but until an individual is submerged into the environment and have to deal with an actual client, there is no comparison. I am building so many skills through this internship from ABA to just general customer service skills that will defiantly transfer over to and future career plans that I have. I went into this internship with the mind frame that it would probably be a lot of reading and not a lot of doing, but I was mistaken big time. This by far has been a great internship experience and I am almost sad that it is coming to an end soon.

Bethany Eriksen @ The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA

Hi Everyone! It’s hard to believe I am already close to half-way through my internship. The days are long and tiring, however I try to always keep in perspective what we’re there for- to provide the best care possible for some of the world’s most incredible animals! I am here at the aquarium during the busiest time of the year- summer. The dolphin department has three shows during the week and four shows during the weekend, as well as four dolphin encounters every day. Our team is constantly running around preparing for the shows, cleaning up after the shows, and making sure the dolphins receive the care they need.

My role as an intern is to provide the support the trainers need to make sure these jobs are completed properly. I’m definitely progressing towards my learning objective “to gain experience in providing exceptional animal care by partaking in daily cleaning and husbandry tasks of the area.” A lot of my day consists of “dirty work:” cleaning buckets, preparing diets, maintaining the dolphin area, and helping trainers with veterinary procedures. I’m also gaining perspective for one of my other goals: understanding a marine mammal show environment. Being part of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the show is unlike anything I expected. It takes a special person to be an animal trainer in a show environment, as you must be extremely versatile and ready to change roles from an animal behavior expert, to an athlete, to an actor at a moments notice.

Learn more about the GAQ marine mammal show:

Overall, I am learning a lot and gaining great experience at an institution with a world-renowned reputation. Additionally, I have the opportunity to live on my own for the first time in downtown Atlanta! Coming to a new city was a little daunting at first, but I have adjusted quickly and now feel comfortable getting around and finding my way. There’s a lot to see and do in Atlanta, and I’ve made some great new friends not only through my internship, but also through where I am living. I have two amazing roommates who are a lot of fun to hangout with and have been huge help in lending me a ride to the grocery store!

 Right now, I am most proud of simply making it this far. I am extremely blessed to have secured this internship at such a young age. Most people do not do what I am doing until they have graduated college or later. As a rising junior, I feel lucky to have the opportunity to pursue this experience now. I am learning so much, not only about the field of marine mammal training, but about myself as well. This internship is teaching me a lot about teamwork, communication, and above all self-discipline. Although the day is filled with tedious tasks and repetition, I am learning what it takes to excel in this field, and conversely excel in any job that I am faced with. By the end of this experience, I know that I will emerge with a better sense and direction of what it is I want to do in the future and how I can apply both my skills and passion to get there.

IMATA (the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association) outlines different positions in the marine animal world:

Mary Stufano, WKMB Local 6 News, Orlando, FLMary Stufano Blog 2 Photo 1

For my internship at WKMG Local 6 news in Orlando I have been working since May as a production intern. So far I have gained so much knowledge in just the past few weeks. I have worked in a variety of different positions including floor director, robotics director, control room, and director. These positions are all very different, but they come together to create the newscasts that are shown every single day to Orlando and the surrounding areas. Even though one day I hope to be part of the other side of the field I still think this has been a great opportunity so far and there has been so much that excites me about working there. I want to one day be an anchor or reporter, but it is so important to know everything that goes into creating the newscasts. Everyone who works at WKMG is so important and his or her role is needed to have the final product come out how it does. I also think their roles go under appreciated sometimes by the public because the anchors are the ones the viewers see. During my internship I have been able to floor direct shows by myself, which I am so excited about. Being able to accomplish something like this is so exciting for me. I worked on these live news broadcasts, which means if I were to mess up, it would be noticeable on air. I really enjoy the position of floor directing because you work directly with the anchors and communicate with them through the director of the show. This job is right with the action and crucial because this person tells the anchors which camera to look at. I hope to in the next few weeks start to be able to run the cameras on my own during a live show.

Mary Stufano Blog 2 Photo 2Besides the newscasts I work on every day I also have gone out of the studio a few times. I have worked on two Orlando Predators arena football games at the Amway Center. I am interested in the sports journalism field so getting to see how one of these games is put on the air was so informative and also a lot of fun. I worked one game in the box with the cameras and sports anchors. I also worked another game in the director’s room, which involved running commercial breaks, directing camera angles, showing slow motion and instant replay shots, and communicating with the studio. I also worked one day on a commercial shoot for Insight Credit Union. WKMG films these commercials as well as produces them. This was such an interesting experience because I had never seen a commercial being filmed. It was such a process from start to finish, whether it was taking multiple takes, or driving to different locations. It took about 10 hours to film a 30 second commercial. The process is so technical but it final product came out wonderful, and it is obvious why it took so much time. I am so happy with my internship and can’t wait to learn more.

Ed Leffler @ Congressman John Mica’s Office in Washington, DC

So I’ve reached the halfway point! I am having an amazing time here in DC and love the work that I am doing. I find myself looking forward to when I will go into work after the end of the weekend. DC is a great place to live, but while here I have had trouble meeting friends, but I’ve made some good friends with the interns in the office, getting to know them on a personal level as well as working with them every

I’ve been doing real well with getting towards some of the learning objectives that I set up at the beginning of the course. Learning how to use the constituent database is something that I’m trying to learn more and more about. Getting familiar with different computer systems adds to the skill of troubleshooting, or being able to solve problems by exploring different solutions. Becoming more familiar with different systems allows me to expand my ability to adapt to new environments as well. Another thing that I’m working on is the networking that I am able to do here in Washington. Having become one of the interns to have become familiar with the issue of the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA) I was able to attend a briefing on it off campus from Capitol Hill. I was pleased to attend this briefing and was a little intimidated when I first arrived, immediately realizing that I was the only intern of the whole crowd. Even so I was able to converse with many of the different people there about the bill and was able to talk quite knowledgeably about it. I really enjoyed going to this briefing and rubbing shoulders with powerful Washington lobbyists and other Congressional staff members. We also had rooftop access at the building, which had a beautiful over look view of the Capitol. (Attached photo) Related to my goals of news analysis I have been watching every single one of Mr. Mica’s hearings. In the office it’s important to do so for work so that we can get quotes from Mr. Mica and get them to the internet or the press. We love getting them up to Mr. Mica’s Facebook Page, which is actually quite important I was also a part of the team that developed the new cover photo for the site. Watching everything that is happening and analyzing what all of the different hearings do is one of the “ways that Washington works” – understanding why people are doing what they are doing and what they are saying. Watching the back and forth between chairmen and ranking members allows for a nuanced understanding of what is going on in the greater scheme of things. One particular case that I watched very closely was the IRS hearings for the Oversight and Government Reform Committee .

What I love about my workplace is that I am really becoming quite friendly with the other people in the office. There is a fellow coffee lover in the office that I am always able to talk to. The scheduler is always ready to share some stories about her long time on Capitol Hill. The Deputy Chief is always quick with a joke or retort. Everyone gets along and gets the work done. It makes for a great work environment and adds to the productivity of the entire office. Outside of work I have love exploring different parts of the city. DC is so big that I don’t think I could explore it all in one summer. The food is probably the best part of the whole experience, whether it be Mexican, Cuban, Fusion, or pizza!

What I’m most proud of right now is that I am able to discuss with my staff the high level of policy that is going on here in the Capitol. Being able to navigate the waters is no mean feat. Learning the ins and outs of a bill and becoming familiar with it is something that is not easily accomplished. Then working with the staff to analyze when and who will or should offer amendments to a Bill is a cherry on top of the whole skill set.

7983_10151685325609420_1145456894_nOne of the best things about this internship is that I have demonstrated, mostly to myself that I am capable of working and getting a job in this field after I graduate. I am much more confident in my career abilities and opportunities after this internship. Having worked hard here I proved to the people in my office that I also am worthy of a glowing recommendation. This internship has become more than just a blip on my resume, it has become a real and concrete foundation from which I can base much of my later work experience on. I hope that I can work in a similar environment doing a similar type of work in the future. If I can, I’d be very happy!

“Just Getting Started”

First Blog Posts  (June 17, 2013)

Maria Gutierrez @ The DC Center for the LGBT Community in Washington, DC


Photo Jun 06, 6 41 10 PMThis summer I am interning at The DC Center for the LGBT Community. The Center’s mission is “to celebrate, strengthen, and support community among the GLBT residents and organizations of Metropolitan Washington, DC.” It is an organization that focuses on promoting LGBT community programs in the DC area. The center is the “middle-man” organization for everything LGBT between the community and the organizations that are supportive of them. It has programs that involve, but are not limited to: “Addiction and Recovery” (Substance Abuse Awareness), “HIV Working Group” (HIV Prevention & Advocacy), “Center Arts” (LGBT Art and Artists), etc. Along with this, The Center works to bring together different sub-communities within the LGBT Community (African-Americans, Latinos, Women, Deaf etc.).

My first impression of the first two weeks is that the nonprofit sector it is somewhat of a chaotic environment compared to the private sector. Also, I have learned that due to lack of funds, projects are very unpredictable. Since the DC Center only has a staff of three people, and 5 interns including myself my internship responsibilities vary every day. The DC Center’s main goal is to have the website up and running smoothly so that people can navigate through it and find information easily. My tasks have included blogging about upcoming events that The Center is hosting and doing clerical work.

Originally, I was going to work as a “Center Global” intern. My job was to help put together a resource guide for LGBT asylum seeking refugees. A couple of days later, when I finally got in contact with the Center Global committee, I was told that Center Global’s projects were going to be delayed because the committee was made up of solely volunteers. Instead, I was told to start to do some development work which involved reaching out  (via phone and email) to potential “Professional Partners” that would be interested in buying an advertisement spot of the weekly newsletter. As of next week, I am going to help put together an HIV Helping Group Event by looking for and contacting potential sponsors for the event.

My internship seminar course at American University is in International Affairs with Dr. Christian Maisch. The courses main focus is to discuss the five schools of American Foreign Policy. The first day was an introduction to the course. The next week, the professor introduced these schools of thought. Now, every week we are going to have a speaker come into class and discuss their school of thought to the class. Moreover, the readings, and the field trips that we have planned for the course are going to be directly connected to the school of thought that we discuss on that specific day. On the other hand, the course assignments are related to our internship so that the professor can be aware of our progress.

Finally, living and working in DC is quite the experience. This city is different than most cities that I have been to because even though it is a city it still has a rural charm to it. My roommate and I have visited the Smithsonian, the White House, and the National Zoo. I really like that there are lot of free forms of entertainment here.

Nicole Franco @ Christian HELP in Casselberry, FL

logo4I found out about SESi while looking through my Rollins email account and decided to find out more information. When I contacted Chrissy Garton at the Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Initiative, I knew little about the subject but was immediately intrigued. I began to read more on social entrepreneurship and soon realized that it was something I wanted to take part in. I knew that I wanted to make a change yet I didn’t know how or what is was called. This summer I have embarked on a new journey as the Social Enterprise Intern at Christian HELP. As a Social Enterprise intern I am learning how to develop social enterprises and how non-profits work.

Some of my objectives for this summer include:

  • I want to improve my communication skills by learning how to successfully network and build relationships.
  • I want to learn how non-profits operate and how they are developed.
  • I want to improve my marketing skills while trying to launch a new business.
  • I want to learn how to properly create business proposals
  • I want to learn more about fundraising works in the non-profit sector as well as the application process for grant funding.

Christian HELP is a non-profit organization located in Casselberry, Florida, that strives to help people find employment by providing the necessary resources and material to enable them to become skilled workers. Some of the services provided to its clients include employment counseling/assistance, access to the food pantry, and spiritual guidance.

The employment counseling at Christian HELP includes a one-on-one session with one of the many counseling professionals who work with their clients to find the right job that will suit their needs. Some of these sessions may include spiritual support if the client is open to prayer. Recently the organization developed an online job board known as CFEC or the Central Florida Employment Council that provides job seekers with a platform in which includes local entry level and professional job listings. CFEC also allows for networking opportunities between job seekers and employers in order to connect online as well as through job fairs and employment seminars.

4345aMany of the clients that seek assistance at Christian HELP have access to the food pantry which includes a variety of products from fresh vegetables, dairy products, cold cut meats, and bread. There is also pet food available upon request for those who unable to feed their pets.

My first week as an intern at a non-profit was really great. I was able to attend a “Come-and-See” lunch where I was introduced to the founder and the history of Christian HELP. The lunch was a great opportunity to get a better understanding of the organization and its work. I was also able to meet the Executive Director, Sandi Vidal and the Central Florida Jobs Initiative Program Manager, Zeynep Portaway and the other two interns from Rollins, Mackenna and Lucymar. I thought it was great that everyone was so welcoming and the flexible atmosphere allowed me to feel less tense and more at ease. During my first week, I was exposed to several different business plans and grant proposals. It was definitely something new for me, but I’m excited to be part of launching a business.

I hope to get as much exposure to the non-profit sector as well as develop and improve my skills in order to start up my own non-profit.

Mary Stufano, WKMB Local 6 News, Orlando, FL

IMG_20130601_165234_563My internship is with WKMG Local 6 News. It is located in Orlando, Florida only about 15 minutes away from Rollins College. WKMG is an affiliate with CBS news. I am working as a production intern for WKMG. My responsibilities include working with different members of the production team to learn the different positions that make up the crew. This includes, camera technician, floor director, director of the show, photography crew, and master control. During each workday I will be assigned to a different team member and follow around and learn from them throughout the day, to really grasp their position. I work during the 12, 5, 6, and 7 o’clock news Monday and Wednesdays. By the end of my 10 week internship, my production manager wants me to be capable of running the different positions on my own without instruction or guidance from the production team. Gaining all this knowledge will be so beneficial on a resume, and will give me great experience, but it will also help me narrow down my different interests for my future.

I found this internship on Jobs for Tars with the help of Career Services. I really wanted to work for a news company and this one seemed like the best fit. I sent my resume and all the information they asked for. Shortly after I had an interview with Robert Kotek, and he hired me right then. So far during the 3 weeks I have been working I have gotten to work in pretty much all the different positions. So far I really have enjoyed being a floor director. This position allows me to be right by the cameras in front of the news anchors. The job of the floor director is to communicate between the director and the anchors and to make sure that they know which camera will be used for the next shot and to make sure they are ready. This position involves a lot of communication and interaction with colleagues, which I like a lot. Master control is also a very interesting position I worked in because I had never experienced anything like it. This position involves communicating with CBS to play their shows 24 hours a day as well as our nIMG_20130605_162604_250ewscasts. This involves timing out their commercials as well as our local ones, and fitting them between commercial breaks and the shows. This position is being run 24 hours a day because there is always programming on the air. The first week I also worked as part of the crew at the Orlando Predators arena football game at the Amway Center. WKMG is the only station to cover their games. I sat with the sports anchors in the press box and helped set up the equipment. The game was a very cool experience, especially since I got a media press box. The learning objectives I set up for this internship include learning the different positions and being able to really use the information I am taught and to put that towards my future and making a career out of news and production. I have also attached two pictures. One is at the Orlando Predators game, and one is of the control room in the directors’ area.

Stephanie Garcia @ Orlando Business Journal in Orlando, FL

6Greetings! This is Stephanie Garcia. I am sophomore at the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Communications with minors in Art History and Professional Writing. On campus, I am an editor for The Sandspur, a writing consultant at T.J’s, and research assistant for the Political Science Department.

This summer, I am interning at the Orlando Business Journal. I obtained the position through Jobs for Tars, an internship and job database provided by the Career Services Department. This educational experience will serve as a milestone in the pursuit of my professional goals. As an Editorial Intern, I will grow as a writer and gain journalism experience under the guidance of seasoned editors and staff reporters. This opportunity will also provide professional exposure as I produce articles that will be published nationally.

Interning at Orlando Business Journal for the past month has been an exiting, terrifying, and challenging experience. I have interviewed local business owners, met consistent deadlines, and written both online and print articles. Remembering my first day as an intern, I felt like an outsider in the office; I made phone calls from my desk the entire day and went home weary of the weeks to come.

5Then, during the same week, I covered my first news event — a manufacturing seminar.  The seminar was about 30 minutes away from the downtown office, but it took me an hour to get there. My heart was racing the entire drive there, and I arrived five minutes before the event started — frantically showing my press badge and rushing to an open seat. After hearing speeches and taking endless note, I was set to the task of summing up the event in 300 words or less. After endless edits and consulting with the Web Producer, my first article with Orlando Business Journal was published online.

The sense of accomplishment and excitement I felt was indescribable and propelled me to volunteer for additional story assignments to gain more experience. Currently, I see myself becoming a stronger writer with each deadline. I have learned so much from those around me, whether it is the Web Producer teaching me how to format an online article or the Research Director helping me conduct interviews with local companies.

This summer, I anticipate being challenged as a writer and journalist. I predict that the coming weeks will be consistently busy and filled with more time constraints. My learning objectives include growing as a writer through exposure to various beats and styles of writing: real estate, tourism, health care, technology, and economic development.  Furthermore, I will learn the editorial process of newspaper publishing by attending monthly staff meetings and weekly news department meetings. Above all, I will gain publication experience by meeting deadlines within a fast-paced newsroom and receiving professional feedback from knowledgeable journalists.

I will keep you posted on my internship adventures over the summer. In the meantime, take a look at the links below to read my published online articles.

Raul Carril @Ashoka South Florida in Miami, FL

1I first learned about Ashoka in the fall of 2012 when Rollins was designated a changemaker campus by Ashoka U. Ashoka is the world’s largest organization of social entrepreneurs, known as, Ashoka Fellows – individuals with system-changing solutions for the world’s most pressing social issues. Ashoka is home to a global network of more than 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in over 70 countries. However, Ashoka believes that empowering the world’s leading social entrepreneurs is not enough. Ashoka envisions a world in which everyone has the potential to make a difference – an “Everyone A Changemaker” world. Ashoka seeks to enable “a more empathetic and equitable world” by teaching a new generation of youth to be changemakers through Start Empathy, Youth Venture, and Ashoka U. I was studying abroad in China during that semester and did not wholeheartedly understand what was so special about Ashoka or Rollins’ designation as a changemaker campus. It was not until I returned to Rollins in the spring that I became educated, interested, and excited about Ashoka, their mission, and work. I had planned to pursue an internship during the summer and knew that I wanted an internship that would help advance my passion for social work and community engagement.

One evening, I discovered an email from the Office of Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (SESi) promoting different summer internships and job opportunities in precisely the field I was interested in. Among the names on the list was Ashoka’s. After numerous discussions with the Office of Student Success, Career Services, and the SESi Office, I submitted a polished resume and cover letter to several organizations. I managed to secure an interview with all of them. Ashoka was my first interview. I would be lying if I said I was not nervous about the interview; I was. As the interview wore on, my fears slowly subsided and I felt at ease; I felt as if John Galt of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged had just had a life-changing conversation with me. I left almost an hour and a half later (and probably could have spent another few hours talking) feeling more nervous than ever. After the interview I knew that I passionately wanted to be apart of the systemic change Ashoka is creating in the world. I waited anxiously for a response regarding the internship opportunity; an acceptance, a denial, a pending consideration – I wanted a definitive answer and I was in a war with patience. My answer came a week later in the form of a personal phone call. It was then that I knew, I would be interning at Ashoka for the summer.

Ashoka South Florida, located in the heart of downtown Miami, has been designated an international hub – a bridge between the US and Latin America. The mission of Ashoka South Florida is to expand the vision of “Everyone A Changemaker” to make Miami and South Florida an “Everyone A Changemaker” city. South Florida was selected to be an international hub for Ashoka because of its close proximity to Latin America, ability to generate strategic partnerships, diverse cultural population, and myriad of social issues that make the region ripe for social change.

My internship responsibilities at Ashoka South Florida include, but are not limited to, supporting Ashoka’s Start Empathy, Youth Venture, and Ashoka U. Start Empathy is a new initiative that focuses on instilling empathetic values in K-8 students through the use of an Empathy Toolkit. Through Youth Venture, older students are provided the skills, training and guidance to launch their own sustainable social venture.  In developing their own changemaker skills, older participants will be able to recognize opportunities, lead, set goals, and think critically to transform their communities. Last but not least, Ashoka U is a designation given to college campuses who focus on empowering their students who are changemakers and  social entrepreneurs creating a culture of changemaking on their campus. I will be working alongside Elliot Jones, Ashoka Project Manager, on these projects that are heavily based on strategic partnerships between Ashoka, schools, universities, and other partner organizations and businesses.

My first week at Ashoka was highly introductory. Ashoka is a very large organization and has a lot of different parts that create the whole. I was a slightly astonished to discover that Ashoka South Florida consisted of a team of less than 10 people! It is remarkable that a small, yet talented group, can have a such a large impact. The Ashoka South Florida team is like a small family; close, energetic, empathetic, hard-working, collaborative, and dedicated to their work. I spent much of my first week reading materials, learning the lingo, becoming familiar with the story of Ashoka, and delving into smaller tasks like emails and preparing documents among others. I was also fortunate to arrive at a time when three Ashoka Fellows were in town promoting a new social venture called Puddle. I worked to check-in and gather contact information from attendees who were attending panels to learn more about Puddle. There were two panels I attended and assisted Ashoka with; one in the morning at Miami Dade College and another in the evening with esteemed members of the South Florida community. As the week wore on, I was given more responsibilities that came naturally with the knowledge that accompanies knowledge of one’s work ethic and responsibility.

This summer, I am excited about the prospects of being able to be a better public speaker by representing Rollins and Ashoka’s vision for Ashoka U. Ashoka is an organization with deep ties to businesses, brilliant social entrepreneurs, and many other leading influential individuals and organizations. I look forward to the prospect of being able to network and work with them through Ashoka. Another learning objective I have set for myself is to continue to expand my cultural intelligence by learning about and meeting outstanding individuals from other countries and cultures. Furthermore, I look forward to putting some of my 21st-century tech skills to work (Word, PowerPoint, Excel). Over and above all that, learning, recognizing, and developi3ng my own leadership qualities during my internship is, what I believe, personally, will be the most valuable experience I gain.

In the near future, Ashoka is preparing for a big event with Soccer Without Limits Fight Against Racism. Moreover, as Ashoka approaches the launch of Youth Venture with their first partner, Breakthrough Miami in July, I stoked to see participants brainstorming, planning, and launching their social ventures in South Florida. All in all, I am incredibly excited to continue this amazing opportunity with Ashoka and look back upon this experience in retrospect. As Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”

Ariel Rivera @ Where Orlando Magazine in Orlando, FL

where orlandoMy name is Ariel Rivera and I am currently interning at Where Orlando Magazine in Downtown Orlando, Florida. The mission of the organization is to reach tourists in the area with their visitor guidebooks, maps and magazines in order to give them ideas of things to do during their vacation. It is a worldwide publication that covers more than 100 destinations and is closely linked with Orlando Magazine and Orlando Wedding among other publications. My internship is focused on marketing and advertising so most of my work is associated with connecting to the magazine’s advertisers and partners. For example, I work alongside my fellow interns in creating a monthly newsletter that contains articles about different advertisers and events in the area and is distributed to more than 2,000 businesses and corporations in the Orlando area. I also create and send out the monthly e-blasts, which are similar to the newsletter but are specifically sent out to big advertisers as a form of thanks for their partnership with Where Orlando. Other assignments include attending Where Wednesday events with local businesses, shops, and restaurants to promote a new location for tourists. I will be attending my first Where Wednesday event his upcoming week.  There are many other facets of my internship, including constantly updating and modifying the company’s Excel spreadsheet of contacts which is absolutely vital for them to connect to the community and their partners.

I found my internship through the Rollins Internship/Job Expo that took place last semester. I spoke to Debra Flippo, my current supervisor, about the Orlando area and some of the work I did with one of their partners Cocina 214. Mrs. Flippo was actually the first person to contact me through email and a week later I went into the office for an interview. It was a long process figuring out how I would get credit and applying for a scholarship but I am so appreciative that I now am able to gain experience with Where Orlando.

My first week in the office was very enjoyable. I was nervous at first to get used to a new work environment but the staff made me feel right at home and showed their genuine interest in my abilities and my position with Where Orlando. From the first day I got right to work at finishing up the newsletter that was started by another intern. It was a hectic first day as everyone in the office was rushing to finish up the newsletter that was supposed to be sent out weeks before. However, I soon became accustomed to the environment even though I am not used to working in an office. I have found that by speaking to my associates on a pebonposh adrsonal as well as professional level we are all able to be more comfortable around each other when we conduct business.

I have high expectations for the rest of my time with Where Orlando and I’m sure that they will all be met. I am extremely excited to attend my first Where Wednesday event and be able to see firsthand how the company connects with the community. I want to continue getting closer with the personnel and understand how their job keeps the magazine running. I also have already seen how my skills in social media and Microsoft programs like Excel have been improving as I am constantly given assignments to advertise through social media and update spreadsheets. I have become more aware of the city in which I live as I am always up-to-date on new events and locations in the area. Overall, I hope to fully understand how the publishing and advertising process of a magazine works and I have already learned more than I ever expected to.

Tracy Murray @ Gravity Arts in Dunellen, NJ

An opportunity to be immersed in the arts is at the top of my bucket list. This summer I am privileged to be part of an organization that is a catalyst for the arts. Gravity Arts is a nonprofit organization that works with communities to provide innovative strategies to bring about economic and cultural renewal. Gravity connects with business and community leaders as well as artists, gallery managers, and industry professionals throughout the region to participate in the proposed strategies to help in the revitalization process. Making connections in this industry is vital to its success. About ten years ago, my husband’s job took us to New Jersey, where I met an art educator who worked with a nonprofit arts organization. Fast-forward ten years to the summer of 2013 and I am now interning at that same nonprofit arts organization as a communication and marketing intern.

My first weeinside_gallery_rahwayk felt like orientation week for school. You receive lots of information that I will continually refer to and names I will most likely forget. Overwhelming as it may be, I am happy as a kid in a candy store who gets unlimited samples. My first office meeting we discussed marketing strategies for gathering potential art participants within the township for its revitalization initiatives. This proved to be a valuable breakout session that gave me a better understanding of those involved in the process and how to reach them. I also had the opportunity to attend an art show where I met a patron who has been a jazz musician for more than forty years. His experience in the music industry was a wealth of information that I could not pass up. He has played in the most notable jazz clubs in New York City such as Blue Note and Birdland, and recorded with the best of the best. His journey in an industry that has seen great changes in the way musicians are marketed has been discouraging. Yet his passion for the art he embraces gave me goose bumps on my arms as I listened intently to his words. Sadly, times have changed for this classically trained musician and so has the delivery of music. What part do I play in being a catalyst for the arts?

As I look forward to the weeks ahead, I hope to learn more about the art and the artist and how they are able to initiate economic and cultural renewal. Strategies are unique, yet numerous; but the journey is a sweet reminder of how my life was forever changed by my first music lesson so long ago and how it set me on a path that has brought me opportunities to share the incomparable world of the creative arts.

Lauren Silvestri @ Clear Channel Communications in Philadelphia, PA

block partyHello! My name is Lauren Silvestri and I am entering my senior year at Rollins College as an English major and secondary education certification minor. This summer, I am interning at Clear Channel Communications, Inc., which is a mass media and entertainment corporation. Its mission statement, found on its website, is to “focus on providing a spectrum of multi-platform advertising and marketing opportunities for partners and world-class entertainment for listeners and users.” Clear Channel currently claims to have 243 million listeners in the United States, and it owns 850 radio stations in 150 cities in the United States. For more information, I encourage you to check out the company’s website,, where you can learn more about Clear Channel’s impressive history.

I am interning specifically at the Clear Channel branch in Philadelphia. Clear Channel’s Philadelphia branch owns Radio 104.5, one of my favorite radio stations. I originally wanted to intern there, but then found out on Radio 104.5’s website that I had to apply through Clear Channel Philadelphia. I mailed in an application, which included three recommendations and two short essays, and was able to go in for an in-person interview during my spring break. I was accepted on the spot and was so relieved! I felt that it was imperative for me to secure an internship for this summer, because it was my last summer to do so. Even though I am an English major and education minor, I have developed a passion for journalism, radio, and media. I have worked at Rollins’ radio station, 91.5 WPRK, as Public Relations Coordinator and then Promotions Director for the past three years. I also have written for The Sandspur since freshman year. Therefore, I really wanted to experience an internship related to these areas. During my time at Clear Channel, I will be working mainly in the Promotions department and focus on its on-air (and web) giveaways for all of its six stations. I also will help with its studio sessions, which is when an artist comes in to perform an intimate set for chosen listeners.

I was one of the first interns to start in the summer, but now all forty are here. However, only one other intern works with me in Promotions. I’ve met the other staff in the department, including my overseer, along with staff members in other departments. I have my own cubicle and so far have called many winners about their prize information. I answer phones, and have created some spreadsheets for all our contests. I learned how to enter winner information into the database as well. I also was able to help out at one of our off-campus concert events for Radio 104.5. I helped set up and break down, and I took pictures of the bands performing. Some of those pictures are now on the Radio 104.5 website!

The atmosphereindia arie has been a little more impersonal than I thought it would be, and quieter as well for a radio station. I spend a lot of time doing solitary tasks, and I thought being in the Promotions department would be a more collaborative experience. I still have so much time left here, though, and I believe I will continue to have more responsibilities. The following learning objectives I have created are: I want to improve my Microsoft Excel skills by creating spreadsheets for our concert events; I want to learn more about the demands of a career in promotions by shadowing one of the promotions directors, Janine Brunson; I want to gain a better understanding of the corporate radio industry by attending department meetings and completing tasks for a variety of departments; I want to develop better production and interview skills by organizing and producing my own on-air public affairs segment; and I want to learn more about the process of event planning for a major corporation by attending promotional event meetings and assisting at multiple events/concerts that Clear Channel organizes. I also want to have some fun and meet some great people! I am confident that I can complete these objectives.

Diego Villasenor @ The Nur Spirituality Institute in Longwood, FL

ToDiego Villasenor Blog Photo 2 me, the greatest thing about Rollins is the close connection that I, as a student, get to form with my professor. Dr. Eren Tatari is one of those wonderful professors who I became close to. We both started Rollins at the same time (so I understand, I could be wrong) and I recall taking classes with her at every opportunity I could get. We connected over our mutual interest in philosophy and spirituality and though we were from two different religious backgrounds (I a Buddhist and her Muslim) this never was an issue.  It is through this connection that I was offered the opportunity to work at an intern at her new nonprofit organization. The Nur Spirituality Institute (nur meaning light) located at a brand new location in Longwood Florida. The Nur Spirituality institute is an organization dedicated to (primarily) Islamic spirituality, workshops, education and  to be community center.

They are recently however with my help moving into different interfaith activities. I have the extreme pleasure of being the assistant to the Interfaith Manager and largely responsible for marketing and public relations. It is a wonderful experience to see how a nonprofit starts up, and everything that goes into making it successful. The people I have met who come in and are all extremely friendly, kind, and willing to teach me as well as learn from me, a truly open environment.  Already during my first week I have been contacting publishers of spiritual Diego Villasenor Blog Photo 1books to set up accounts so we may order some a wholesale price and sell them in our little bookstore. We are proudly moving into the interfaith area, and as such I have the pleasure of contacting many of the religious leaders in central Florida and invite them to a roundtable discussion of a common theme in these faith’s. We are looking at our first table discussion and education session on July 1st, looking at sustainability in different religious traditions! I hope to continue to serve the Nur Spirituality Institute as best I can, and plan on utilizing my interfaith background to support and add to the Nur mission. I am honored to be support Dr. Tatari, and I am honored to build, support, and add to Nur. and with The Academic Internship Programs help in creating  my goals of, I will learn quite a bit as well!

Devin McCreary @ Mosaic Wealth Management in Winter Springs, FLMosaic Logo blog 1

I will be spending my summer working as an intern for Mosaic Wealth Management Group Inc. Mosaic is located in Winter Springs, Florida; Right off of State Road 434 near the intersection of State Road 417. Mosaic is a group of four financial planners and two office assistants managing nearly $200 million in assets for clients from all around central Florida. Mosaic attempts to bring together estate, tax, investment, and retirement planning in a one-stop shop for strategically planning a clients financial present and future. The majority of Mosaic’s focus is placed on the finances of individuals rather than corporations or large groups. They really hone in on the client advisor relationship and stress maintaining positive working and personal relationships with each and every client.

I first encountered Mosaic at the 2013 Rollins College Career and Internship Expo. I came in to the expo with a plan to meet every company in the room with an internship that related in any way, shape, or form to finance. Never did I dream, based on the size and spectrum of professions in the financial field, that I would find an internship that correlates so closely to my career plans as Mosaic did. After speaking with John, who would later become my cite supervisor, I was completely sold on Mosaic and wanted their internship to be the way I spent my summer. Lucky for me they were just as interested in me as I was in them and within two weeks of meeting John I was sitting down for an interview in one of the company conference rooms. The Interview process was an extremely good dialogue with me answering all of John’s questions and me asking him a few educated questions of my own gained from researching the company further before the interview. In the end, I was one of two to be selected out of 40 applicants for the internship.

The first week at Mosaic was a great experience for me. Instantly, I was thrown into projects and assignments that had immediate implications on the firm. It also was a time of awakening for me professionally. I began to realize how much the role fit my personality and I found myself doing research outside of the internship to grow my understanding further of the financial institutions I was working with every day. It was also a time for me to really gain some humility as I sat in meetings and had to ask questions that seemed remedial when hearing the depth of my employers’ knowledge in many different sectors of finance. I quickly found myself growing a strong friendship with the other intern in the program, Michael, as we both tried to help each other in this time of rapid learning and to be quite frank weakness. On the last day of our first week, we got to sit down with one of the advisors for a Friday learning session and once he opened up the floor for any questions he was barraged on both ends as Michael and I took turns picking his brain with profound questions that we would not have known how to ask before this internship. The first week was an intense time of trial by fire learning but at the end of it I stood tall knowing that I made it through successfully.

This summer I want to maximize every chance for learning I can get my hands on. With this in mind, my cite supervisor and I sat down at the end of the first week and set up objectives for me to accomplish during this internship. These objectives contained goals such as growing my understanding of current financial markets by participating in financial planning conference calls; learning the specifics of Mosaic’s modeling programs; as well as maximizing the utility of our weekly learning sessions wmosaic-defined Blog 1ith the advisors, learning from their experiences running a successful practice in order to carry some of their knowledge into my own non-for-profit ventures later on in life.

All in all, I am extremely excited to continue in this internship and to get as much out of it as I can. I look forward to looking back to months from now and smiling, knowing all that I will have accomplished. I truly believe this internship has the potential to be a truly life molding experience for me and am eager to see where it leads me.

Taylor Wejkszner @ Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA

11This summer, I am interning at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania as a Summer Research Scholar in the Gynecologic Oncology Department. Lehigh Valley Health Network is comprised of 3 hospital facilities, with over 65 specialty departments. The mission at LVHN is to heal, care and comfort the people of the community by providing advanced and compassionate health care. I am located at the Cedar Crest offices, with the occasional visits to the Muhlenberg campus for selective surgeries. As a Summer Research Scholar, I am working along side a doctor and not only getting experience in the operating room, but also learning how to write a medical journal that will hopefully be published by March 2014. I am usually in the office/operating room with the doctor three days a week, with the remaining time taken up by research or other case studies I am responsible for writing. In late July, I will be presenting my medical journal to the Board of Gynecologic Oncology at LVHN and also submitting the journal to the Society of Gynecology Oncology, in hopes of being selected to present my research at their annual convention. I am currently collaborating with my advisor, Dr. Martino, as well as a resident in the Gynecology department on the research. Dr. Martino has also invited other doctors from surrounding hospitals to visit and help us write the journal. I am looking forward to meeting them in the upcoming weeks.

I learned about the Summer Research Scholar position through a friend who participated in the program during Summer 2011. She attends Lafayette College and is majoring in Biochemistry. Unfortunately, the hospital does not advertise the internship to schools outside the Lehigh Valley. The only perquisite for the internship was that you have to either have gone to high school in the Lehigh Valley or currently attend college in the Lehigh Valley.  In addition, my friend highly suggested waiting until the spring of junior year to apply. I did not take her advice and applied a year early. After the first few weeks, I definitely can see why she made her suggestion. It is a lot of work and you really must be able to work independently and be self-motivated. In addition, taking a biostatistics class or something similar is crucial in succeeding in the internship. The application process for the internship is a simple online application. You can submit applications to up to three different departments.

My first week of w9ork was definitely overwhelming. My supervisor, Dr. Martino, was out of state at a conference for the entire week so getting in contact was very difficult and the nurses were not very helpful in relaying messages to him. The internship coordinator at LVHN kept saying, “Dr. Martino is a one man show.” She was exactly right! After sitting down to talk with him, I am surprised he has time to blink. He is not only the Chief of the Robotic Surgery Department at LVHN, but also has offices around the Lehigh Valley. Unfortunately, the slow start of the first week put me behind on creating my goals, research topic, and simply getting accustomed to the office. However, during the second week, I felt like it went from  gear one to one hundred really fast! I shadowed an eight and a half-hour long hysterectomy and was also in the office for upwards of 25 hours. In addition, I sat down with Dr. Martino to create my research project. This summer, I am researching the cost and quality of life benefits of performing robotic surgery in hospitals.

My main expectations for this internship are to identify the principles of research and the steps that need to be taken to find good evidence, apply classroom knowledge to a real-time setting, learn how to evaluate patients symptoms and form a plan through observation, and finally understand the psycho-social component to medical care. By accomplishing these objections, I believe I will be one step closer to my dream of going to medical school.

Jasmine Cohen @ Behavioral Associates of Central Florida in Orlando, FL

Untitled2This summer I will be interning at Behavioral Associates of Central Florida (BACFL) which was founded by Dr. Maria R. Ruiz, BCBA-D in 2005. BACFL provides “individualized, goal-oriented mental health counseling for children, adolescents, adults and families.” They also provides Applied Behavioral Analysis for children with Autism, developmental delays, and other behavioral challenges. This is what makes Behavioral Associates of Central Florida such a dynamic place being that the services they provide bring in a vast amount of clientele.

The mission of BACFL is “to address the community’s growing need for comprehensive behavioral health services through integrated psychological and behavioral programs that address the needs of the individual and family.” With this mission statement in mind, I will be integrated within the BACFL team, with the title of an intern and will be shadowing different cases with different clients who have different behavioral problems. I will also be involved in the office work. I will be exposed to how the paper work is handled in the office and the proper filing of the paper work as well. I will be limited to these two aspects of Behavioral Associates of Central Florida due to confidentiality reasons and for the sake of time.

I obtained this internship by speaking with Dr. Ruiz, the founder of BACFL, and luckily it was already in the Jobs for Tars data base, which made the process a lot easier.

The first week of my internship week consisted of a lot planning and organizing of materials and setting up a schedule for the internship. I received a list of items to complete during the duration of my internship and also a lot of materials to read to help me become more knowledgeable about Applied Behavior Analyst (ABA). One of the major tasks that I started within the first week was analyzing a recorded session of a therapist and a client during an actual session.

Untitled1The two learning objectives that I wish to accomplish by the end of this internship is that I want to become more knowledgeable about autism as a whole, but particularly how it pertains to children and also I want to be able to utilize the proper behavioral analyst vernacular when analyzing a session between a therapist and a client. Both of these goals will be accomplished by simply observing sessions and by reading the material provided to me by Behavioral Associates of Central Florida and by doing my own active research online and other scholarly data bases. Other learning objectives that I have for this internship are I want to be able to help assist in certain activities during therapy sessions and learn different techniques to help the client complete the task at hand by shadowing and helping during sessions. Also I would want to be able to assist in determining the appropriate level in which a client is at upon starting at Behavioral Associates of Central Florida utilizing the VB-MAPP by being present at the primary assessment of the client. Lastly I would like to understand each client’s base behaviors by shadowing sessions and help formulate a client plan/goal sheet to help them excel in their everyday lives.

Sebastian Sanchez @ The Hispanic Business Initiative Fund in Orlando, FL


This summer, I am interning with the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund. I first learned about HBIF from my father, a small business owner, who participated and benefited from one of their many educational business workshops. HBIF is the leading Hispanic economic development nonprofit in Florida that specializes in providing free bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs establishing or expanding their business. I was attracted to HBIF due to their strong economic footprint with Hispanic entrepreneurs in the state of Florida.

As an International Affairs major, I have worked alongside different international NGO’s during my undergraduate cafriend of mine, I realized that I have interned or volunteered with different organizations either abroad or out state, never in Florida. Much of the work that I have been introduced to has involved social change geared towards education, economic, or cultural initiatives. This is when I realized that even if I end up working abroad or out of state after college, I never took the time to understand the social initiatives in place throughout Central Florida. This thinking became the ultimate force to research and locate an organization that correlates with the work I seek in doing, international economic development. Thus I reached out to Rollins Career Services for guidance in structuring my resume. After polishing my resume, I attended a conference hosted by ALPFA, a national non-profit for Latino business professionals and students to connect. I was extremely nervous, and of course out of place, since I held no prior knowledge of the business sector. I came across a friend that introduced me to a business consultant and my future HBIF intern position. Needless to say, I had no idea on what to talk about or how to carry our conversation, but we connected in our aspiration towards economic good. I was offered an office interview, and next thing I knew I was accepted as HBIF’s summer intern with their business consulting team.

During my first week interning with HBIF, I was quickly presented with many of the services and work the organization provides for Hispanic entrepreneurs. I was able to help organize and attend HBIF’s weekly “How to Start your Business” workshops as well as their Technical Assistance Committee (TAC), that approves entrepreneurial grants for Hispanic entrepreneurs. I’ll admit, I had no real sense of the large economic footprint that manifested from Hispanic entrepreneurs in the state of Florida. When I think about economic stability, big corporations always came up, but small businesses a key in providing a strong economic benefit to our state. I can’t say that I have become an expert in business consulting or a guru in economic development, but I continue to gain a sense of a creative, educational, and economic mindset towards the future work I seek in doing. My first week at HBIF, has been a reflection of how much I seek and will benefit from this experience with the organization this summer. I look forward to evaluating my current knowledge to where I will be at the end of this experience.

Andrew Shipman @ The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC


View from the plane.

Day one entering Washington, DC I was not sure what to expect.  I boarded the plane headed to a place I had never been before.  Traveling alone has neverbeen a challenge after spending time abroad last summer, so mostly I was just excited and thrilled to go to a new place full of new things to see and explore.  When the plane began to come into the Washington, DC area, the first thing I saw from my window seat was the Washington Memorial, standing out among all of the monuments in the distance.  I was shocked that planes could fly so low to such high important pieces of history.

I then began my journey to American University.  When I arrived I was excited to meet my roommate and explore the area.  Tenleytown is a suburb of the Washington, DC area that is accessible by bus and the red metro line.  On day one I explored the local area and got settled in, buying necessities like sheets etc.  The next day I went to orientation and got acclimated with American University’s campus, which is very different than Rollins.  I also met the other members of my conference course.  It was a very fast paced day and after most of the activities I decided it would be a smart idea to take a practice ride to my workplace so I would be on time for my first day.  This was the first time I saw Washington, DC.


Alaine (a former NGLCC intern from Rollins College) stopped by to say hello.

As I arose from the metro station I noticed how all of the buildings were such low in profile over the overcast sky, which was very different than other metropolis cities like New York or Boston, with grand skylines.  It had a certain character about it, embedded with history, which was unlike any other place I had been before.

After walking through the city, I returned to American University and got ready for my first day on the job.  I awoke at 7:00 a.m. on the dot, so I would not be late.  I wanted to make the best impression possible.  I got a cup of coffee and was on my way to The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for my first day of work.  When I arrived my first day was mainly orientation and procedures, as well as getting acclimated with the office environment.  I learned about the core mission of the organization, which is to connect LGBT owned businesses and suppliers.


An Art Installation at The National Mall. Bringing awareness to the Genocide in Darfur.

I learned about their big conference coming up in the next month in Dallas, TX, which we would all be working tirelessly to prepare for.  The whole day Flew by so quickly that by 6:00 p.m. I could not believe my first day had come and gone.The week continued to flew by and then it was finally the weekend, which was quite exciting for many reasons.  I finally got to catchup on sleep from working my first 9-5 job, as well as something very unique, DC Pride.  This was such a great experience.  I had been to other pride festivals in Atlanta, Madrid, and Paris, but DC offered something completely unique.  You could feel it in the atmosphere and it radiated through the crowd.  After enjoying a free concert and meeting locals as well as some of the many interns in DC during the summer, it was time to return back home to Tenleytown and get ready for another week of work.

Bethany Eriksen @ The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA

Hi everyone! My name is Bethany, I am an environmental studies major at Rollins, and this summer I am interning in the Animal Training (Dolphins) Department at one of the largest aquariums in the world[m1]  – the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA! During my internship, I will be exposed to all aspects of dolphin care and training, as well as show production for the aquarium’s dolphin show, AT&T Dolphin Tales. I applied to the internship through the aquarium website and was fortunate enough to be offered a spot!

I am already a few weeks into my internship, and so far it has been an amazing learning experience. My main responsibilities include assisting in diet preparation (aka preparing all of the fish for the dolphins!), assisting in cleaning and maintaining the animal areas, observing animal behaviors, and learning different segments of the dolphin show. Each day, I shadow and work closely with an expert team of animal trainers who care for the dolphins. The trainers are incredibly skilled, knowledgeable and have a great deal of experience in the marine mammal training field. So far, they have been wonderful resources and extremely helpful in answering questions.

Check out a video by the Georgia Aquarium to learn the story behind bringing dolphins to Atlanta!

I additionally have two mentors (also trainers) who assign me goals each week and assist me each day in progressing towards those goals. I have also created my own personal learning objectives for the summer, some of which include, learning professional animal training techniques by observing training sessions, guest interactions, and shows, developing a professional network by establishing good relationships with my co-workers and the rest of the staff, and expanding my knowledge of the marine mammal training field by utilizing all tools available to me throughout my internship. One of the great things about my internship is that the department conducts a lecture series throughout the summer to help the interns gain a professional education in the training, care, and natural history of Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins. This educational background is not only beneficial in helping me progress towards my goals this summer, but it will also ultimately help me develop into a more competent individual for future opportunities in this field.

Learn more about the majestic Common Bottlenose Dolphins:

There is certainly a lot to learn, however I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work in a place that is world-renowned alongside people who are the best of the best in their field. Although this internship is a lot of hard work, I am reminded daily of the greater purpose that the aquarium serves. Without places like the Georgia Aquarium, most people may never have the opportunity to see and learn about creatures like dolphins. Hopefully, by connecting people with the underwater world, they will gain a better understanding and appreciation of the environment we all depend on. I look forward to continuing to follow my passion for environmental stewardship this summer by learning how to care for some of world’s most incredible animals.

Alaine Jolicoeur @ The Aqua Foundation for Women in Miami, FLAlaine Jolicoeur Photo 1

It has been three weeks since I have been an intern here at Aqua Foundation For Women, so far I have been learning all about the services which the organization provides.  I was given the task to create an itinerary for the first Aqua Leadership Retreat schedule for this fall for the scholarship recipients. This leadership retreat will be the first of its kind for the organization and it will be an integrated component to the scholarship programs for years to come. The theme of this retreat is solely based on women leadership. I have been busy working on the preliminary works required for this retreat. This works entails developing a basic curriculum focused on the theme of this retreat that I will use to incorporate in the itinerary.  I feel very prepared to complete this project because a lot of the knowledge that I have gained through my minor in Women Studies at Rollins have provided a solid foundation to gear this leadership retreat. I am looking forward to create a solid itinerary for this leadership retreat.

I am currently focused on networking and connecting with Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender women leaders in the South Florida region. Since I have been working on the preliminary plans for this retreat I have been researching the different women LBT women leaders in the South Florida region to identify their expertise. I am planning in the next few days to begin to reach out them to inform them about the retreat and as well ask them their availability during the time this retreat will be held.  It has not been easy identifying them because LBT woman rarely post their identity or sexual orientation in their bios.  I have made it my objectives to create a strong relationship and hopefully they can lead me to other colleagues like themselves.  I have been doing my best to stay within deadlines and timelines that I have so far created for myself in order to reach to a high level of productivity.

Alaine Jolicoeur Photo 2I work 25 hours a week and I want to be able to have a listed completed jobs and task for every day and every week I work in order for me to able to evaluate my achievements in the organization. The most impressive thing about my internship to date is the fact my supervisor is very aware of Trans issues. It is not every day that I get the chance to meet a cisgendered woman who understands the realities that transgender individuals face. Next week I will be expected to begin to learn about the GiftsWorks donor management software, I was told that this donor management software is very important for the finances of the organization. Every single financial contributions given to the organization has to go through this financial software. I am eager to see how it works and look forward to learn about all of its different components. I am looking forward to develop my knowledge on the different software that I will be exposed to during my time in this internship.

Here is the link to my organization:

Ed Leffler @ Congressman John Mica’s Office in Washington, DCseal

So two weeks ago I began my internship in Congressman John Mica’s office in Washington DC. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I knew what my duties where when I came in. The mission of the office is a little different than most other offices that people would intern at. The “mission” of the office is to represent the people of Florida’s 7th District on Capitol Hill. Right on “The Hill” the Congressman’s office is on the first floor of the Rayburn House Office Building. Navigating the long marble hallways of the Capitol and offices was very intimidating at first. So as a hill intern my main responsibilities are answering phones, sorting mail, sending faxes, and answering constituent concerns. Other duties depend on how proactive of an intern you are in the office. If more active and knowledgeable, one can work on projects with staffers such as constituent letters, legislative research, attending briefings and hearings, and sitting in on meetings with staffers or the Congressman.

I was able to get my internship through two avenues. When the Congressman visited Rollins through the Democracy Project I was able to meet with him in a small dinner and after at the larger event. I indicated my interest in an internship and he asked me to talk to a member of his staff that was with him. So I was able to connect with that staff member from the district office, Patrick. After this event I went ahead and applied for the internship online through Congressman Mica’s website. A short time after that event I was honored to attend an anniversary party for the UCF College Republicans. At this same event I was able to solidify my connection to Patrick and I was sure that I had the internship “in the bag”. I waited for quite a while to hear form the office, but I got my offer a little later than I had hoped because it was sent to my home address and not to Rollins! I got my big manila envelope and was set to begin my internship at the end of June. I was so excited!

I traveled to DC and was ready to go for my internship. I had been sitting at home for the summer for far too long. Having been there before I was drawn back to DC and wanted to get another internship there ever since I left. I was really excited to start my internship!

johnmicaIn the first week at the office I had a great time! Congress was in session for my first week so it was a busy one. Dressed in my full suit and tie every day I soon realized how hot it gets in Washington DC, and despite what everyone keeps telling me I’m not “used to it” because I’m from Florida! For the first few days I was learning how to answer the phones, sort the mail, and do all of the normal tasks for interns. I also went on a tour with another intern to learn how to give a staff led tour through the Capitol. In my first week I was also able to work with the Legislative Director (LD) on collecting information with my fellow interns and then writing a draft constituent letter. One thing that I was able to do was learn more about “Debarment and Suspension” and what that means for federal contractors ( I watched the hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee to learn as much as I could. The LD was impressed with my efforts and has since asked me to do more projects for him. Everyone in the office is very friendly and personable, they enjoy their line of work and they enjoy having Mr. Mica as their “employer”. The office runs smoothly and efficiently whether he is in or out of the office. When the Congressman did arrive later in the week everything became much speedier in its execution. Projects needed to be done more quickly, people needed to be responded to more quickly, and no one had time to wait for anything! Mr. Mica himself is I’m sure one of the driving forces behind this professional swiftness. Everyone in the office learns to walk quickly to keep up with the Congressman, who walks at breakneck speeds to his committee meetings.

So after two weeks in the office I can definitely say that I’m looking forward to my remaining time here in Washington. I’ve demonstrated to the staff that I’m able and capable to work with them on projects and they are ready and willing to ask for my help when wanted. I hope to sit in on as many briefings, hearings, and meetings that I can get my hands on, like the Strong Castle IRS hearing that I was able to actually watch firsthand ( I’ll also always enjoy getting an unusual phone call every now and then. I can say that I love my time here and can’t wait for even more; I just wish it was a little bit cooler!

Alaine Jolicoeur @ The Aqua Foundation for Women in Miami, FLAlaine Jolicoeur Blog 3 Photo 1

I am extremely happy that I was able to successfully complete my internship at Aqua Foundation for Women. I am very grateful and proud for the all the knowledge that I was able to gain and as well all of my achievements with the organization. As my internship as come to an end, I am going to miss working at the office and I am also going to miss all the amazing individuals that I was able to meet and work with during this summer. I am grateful for all the work being done at Aqua Foundation for the lesbian, bisexual and transgender women community through the initiatives of wellness and equality.

During my time at the organization, I was able to set up a few learning objectives that I focused on during my internship here this summer at AFW. Some of my learning objectives were to network and connect with lesbian, bisexual and transgender women leaders in the South Florida region. I was able to achieve this objective because I was able to attend several women panel discussions in the South Florida Region. I was also able to attend a few events where I was able to meet several lesbian, bisexual and transgender women leaders. In addition, during my internship I was able to learn about the mentor selection process for the mentor program for the scholarship recipients. Moreover, I was able to identify how mentors and scholarship recipients are oriented into the program.  Lastly, I was able to gain a better understanding of how the grant and scholarship programs are managed.

Alaine Jolicoeur Blog 3 Photo 2At Aqua I was able to gain incredible skills and knowledge for programming. I will build off on this experience by employing some of the skills and knowledge that I gained to incorporate in the programs and events that I am planning to introduce at Rollins this academic year. After completing my internship at Aqua I would like to learn on how to combine my passion and skills in the search of my future career. As a rising senior there are lots of great opportunities that I am looking forward to after I graduate. I know that this internship has begun to help solidly my top choices.  This internship experience has taught me that public service and public policy is where I should focus after graduating from Rollins. The advice that I would give to student interested in interning at Aqua Foundation for Women, apply and “Go for it”. Lastly, the characteristics that would be ideal for an intern to work at Aqua are passion and flexibility. Thank you Aqua Foundation For Women for giving me this incredible opportunity.

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