Connecticut College has one of the most comprehensive funded internship programs in the country, providing every student the opportunity to receive an educational award of up to $3,000 for a career-related internship between students' junior and senior years. The internship is part of a four-year career preparation program that focuses on helping students connect their liberal arts majors to professional opportunities and graduate study.
The College is one of only a few in the country that offers the potential for funding for all students and the program has been helping students get meaningful internships for more than 15 years.
Meet some of the interns:
Alex Apkin ’16
Hometown: Cheshire, Massachusetts
Internship: Boston Cyclists Union, Roxbury, Massachusetts
Apkin spent most of his time researching the feasibility of planned bike lanes in South Boston, but he also went into the community to promote the Cyclists Union, a nonprofit working to encourage the use of bicycles for transportation.
Being a government major, I'm interested in public policy. I truly care about making meaningful change to society, and so this internship has given me the opportunity to do substantial work to aid the people of the greater Boston area.
Jacqueline Horne ’16
Hometown: Fairfield, Connecticut
Internship: Elephants Alive, South Africa
An unforgettable internship
Elephants Alive aims to do just that: Keep African elephants alive through research, education and conservation, among other efforts. Horne was very hands-on in the field, managing projects including the creation of a coding system to help researchers identify the 1,500 tracked elephants by the unique shape of their ears.
I am a general biology major so that really feeds itself into any related career. I am obsessed with elephants and considering a career as a wildlife veterinarian. I now am obsessed with this area of study and would love to get my masters in South Africa and continue to study these magnificent creatures.
Vladimir Chlouba ’16
Majors: International relations and economics
Hometown: Louny, Czech Republic
Internship: United Nations Information Center, Windhoek, Namibia
‘Always willing to learn’
Chlouba’s work took him into the field to see how U.N. aid was used, often at primary schools located in areas of extreme poverty. He was struck by the dedication of the students he encountered. “Many of the children I met came to school barefoot, with an empty stomach, yet they were always willing to learn.”
My internship gave me the opportunity to see with my own eyes how development aid is used and, perhaps most importantly, where it is truly needed. It is one thing to crunch data with the help of quantitative models and quite another thing to see how many Namibian children live. Liberal arts education, as I see it, is about connecting the theory learned in a classroom with practical experience. I believe that it will be my international experience that will make me a competitive candidate when it comes to looking into graduate studies.
Claire Lingham ’16
Major: East Asian studies
Hometown: Holliston, Massachusetts
Internship: Changyu Wine Company, Yinchuan, China
The perfect pairing
With an interest in wine and a proficient speaker of Mandarin, Lingham said Changyu was a great fit. She had the opportunity to act as a translator and marketer in the imports and exports department at the company’s headquarters, as well as travel across China to attend business meetings as a translator for English and French business partners. Lingham also went into the field—literally—to see how the wine is made.
Whether in the office, the labs or the field, I was always using my Chinese and getting great practice. My goal is to graduate Conn fluent in Mandarin.
Joey Mercado ’16
Major: Gender and women’s studies
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Internship: Safe Futures, New London, Connecticut
Advocating for others
Mercado is now a trained domestic violence/sexual assault counselor through the Safe Futures 40-hour program, giving him a headstart toward his dream of becoming a public policy advocate or a lawyer. This summer, Mercado used his Ammerman Center experience to develop print materials and social media strategies, creating an effective and inclusive communications strategy to expand the reach of the agency.
By incorporating sound design principles to their key messaging techniques, we effectively reach key constituents that could otherwise be missed—young people, LGBTQ individuals, people of color—through traditional forms of communication.
Sophie Sharps ’16
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Internship: New York City Department of Education, New York, New York
Sharps spent her summer in New York’s Office of Policy and Evaluation, collecting data analysis and evaluating programs for six leadership development programs in the Department of Education’s Office of Leadership. She attended meetings to present her findings and created presentations for various education leaders in the city, and her work will be used to prepare candidates to become principals and superintendents in New York City public schools. Sharps also plans to use her experience in her Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy senior integrative project, which will focus on the issues associated with restructuring public schools through models like corporate school reform.
Working in New York’s Department of Education exposed me to the inner workings of the largest school system in the country and its policies, which shape the lives of 1.1 million students and their families every day.
Kevin Zevallos ’16
Majors: Sociology and history
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Internship: Sociology Professor Ana Campos-Holland, Connecticut College
A different kind of summer camp
Each day, Zevallos, along with fellow interns Gracie Hall '16, Allison Mitobe '17, and Zoe Dunivin '17, visited a summer camp for teenagers, interviewing them about their school experiences, their media usage and their perception of current event topics, such as President Obama and the Black Lives Matter movement. He also worked with Campos-Holland to design the interviews and surveys they would use to collect data. Zevallos has had the opportunity to work with Campos-Holland since his sophomore year and has learned firsthand from a sociologist how the research process works.
Professor Campos-Holland has inspired me to want to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology. Without all this previous exposure to what research is like, I wouldn’t have known that graduate school—and hopefully becoming a college professor—is something I would be interested in.
Natalia Smith ’16
Majors: Cellular and molecular biology and human development
Hometown: Lake Placid, New York
Internship: Stowaway Cosmetics, New York, New York
The make-up of makeup
A research intern at Stowaway, Smith studied the ins and outs of the cosmetics industry, with a focus on the chemicals used in products and their long-term effects on public health. Though not working directly in the labs, she had the opportunity to speak with industry professionals and access scientific journals to conduct research, which she will use to write her senior research paper. Smith says the experience exposed her to different ways to see public health—not just as aid in times of need, but looking at how products and situations in everyday life can affect our well-being.
I had the opportunity to learn more about the regulation of the cosmetics industry, something I found both interesting and important. Although I want to pursue a career in medicine after I graduate, I have learned so much about public health that will help me in the long-run.
Drew Andre ’16
Majors: Botany and music technology
Hometown: Concord, Massachusetts
Internship: Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Waterford, Connecticut
They have liftoff
Andre ran sound for the four national conferences—puppetry, musical theater, playwriting and cabaret and performance—held each summer at the O’Neill, long considered the “Launchpad of the American Theater.” He wasn’t alone: Seniors Charlotte Webber, David Socolar, Brittany Baltay and Emma Weisberg were also working in at the O’Neill this summer.
I met so many people and so many doors were opened for me. I learned an incredible amount and met incredible, inspirational artists. I worked long and hard hours on my hands and knees, and often couldn’t stay awake, but it was all-in-all an unforgettable experience. Forever changed by this one summer internship.
Natalie Calhoun ’16
Major: Environmental Studies
Hometown: San Francisco, California
Internship: Recology, San Francisco
San Francisco has mandated recycling and composting, so Calhoun’s employer works to help its customers achieve zero waste. As an event diversion auditor, she worked with people planning events to find ways to minimize waste. Post-event, she audited their debris and made recommendations they can follow to limit waste at future events. “What I am is the party garbage police.”
I’m an environmental studies major, public policy minor, I’m in the Goodwin-Niering Center, and my senior integrative project is centered around material resource management. I’m interested in working in resource management, sustainability, consulting and zero waste programming post-college, so my work with Recology directly tied into my career objectives.
Daniel Mendoza ’16
Major: Hispanic studies
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Internship: College Track, Oakland, California
On the right track
College Track, a nonprofit dedicated to guiding and empowering students from underserved communities to graduate from college, gave Mendoza the perfect opportunity to develop his passion to give back to those in need. He spent time interacting directly with high school and college students, providing financial resources to undocumented college students, and gathering data for a variety of projects.
The work I did relates to my desire to give back and support students in need. This internship opened my eyes to the inner workings of an organization that does incredible work.
Jillian Dahrooge ’16
Major: American studies
Hometown: Charlton, Massachusetts
Internship: Child Advocacy Center/Sexual Assault Unit, Office of the Worcester County District Attorney, Worcester, Massachusetts
Law and order
Dahrooge’s internship was not for the faint of heart. She worked closely with prosecutors to learn how to deal with sexual and physical abuse cases as well as murder cases, and often found herself on one side of a two-way mirror observing interviews with victims.
Through this educational experience I gained courtroom exposure and expanded my legal experience. In the future, I am hoping to become an attorney, so this internship has been extremely helpful in deciding my career path and what type of law I would like to focus on.
Ben Ballard ’16
Majors: History and international relations
Hometown: Lyme, Connecticut
Internship: Librairie Les Insolites, Tangier, Morocco
The idea man
The Librairie Les Insolites is a relative newcomer to Tangier’s art and literary landscape. As the store’s tech and ideas specialist, Ballard created ads, organized inventory, arranged exhibitions and book selections, and built patron and community relationships.
My real work has been done outside of office hours. I’m interested in Moroccan political activism. I’ve been conducting numerous interviews with local activists and attending protests … and written articles for the High Atlas Corporation, an NGO based in New York City, on women’s rights activists and education.
Michelle Elsas ’16
Major: Behavioral neuroscience
Hometown: Westport, Connecticut
Internship: New York Presbyterian Hospital, White Plains, New York
A bright outlook
Elsas worked in a psychiatric unit of the hospital known as “The Outlook,” where adult and adolescent patients are treated for eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. She worked directly with patients and caregivers, observing different therapy techniques and gauging their effectiveness.
Over the course of my internship I have been lucky enough to have developed great relationships with some of the patients, and have gotten the chance to learn how to interact with them in a friendly, yet professional way. My internship has been an experience above and beyond anything I would ever receive as an undergrad, and I am so thankful to have learned so much.
Joey Blair ‘16
Majors: French and molecular biology
Hometown: Brunswick, Maine
Internship: Marie Curie Institute, Paris, France
Blair worked with a team in a molecular biology lab, studying the PRC2 protein complex and its relationship to the genetic disorder, Neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1). His responsibility was to create mutations in various genes and see whether they have an impact on the PRC2 complex or NF1. Blair plans to attend medical school after graduation and work in family practice.
While I may not be working directly in a lab in my future job, it is important for doctors and hospital workers to have a good knowledge of how things are done in a research laboratory and how that then translates to the care they provide to their patients. I have been able to see, firsthand, how the products of research can have therapeutic applications.
Hallie Grossman ’16
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Internship: Solitary Watch, Brooklyn
Shedding light on a dark subject
Grossman reported original stories for the organization working to shed light on the abuse of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. She covered various topics, including the aftermath of the suicide of Kalief Browder, who was held without charges for three years on Rikers Island, two of those in solitary confinement.
My work relates directly to my major because I have focused mainly on human rights since arriving at Conn. This is a huge human rights issue in this country happening right now, every day, all the time. It's a very dark part of our history that has just started getting an increasing amount of attention within the last decade. I am glad to be a part of this process of exposing various truths.
Luis Ramos ’16
Majors: Architectural studies and sociology
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Internship: Public Policy & International Affairs Fellowship Program Junior Summer Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Designed to recruit students from diverse backgrounds interested in careers in professional public service, the rigorous seven-week training program put Ramos to the test with intensive classes, discussions with professional public servants and career prep workshops. He said the program was mentally challenging, but provided continued learning experiences and strengthened his passion for public service. Ramos said he is interested in furthering his experience through programs like Teach for America or AmeriCorps before applying for a graduate program in public policy.
I’ve always been passionate about giving back to my community through public service, yet this program allowed me to discover new ways in which I could make that possible.
Brontë McGarrah ’16
Hometown: Hamilton, Massachusetts
Internship: Office of U.S. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Washington, D.C.
Government at work
Speaking with constituents, drafting memos on upcoming legislation, collecting signatures from lawmakers—McGarrah said there’s never a dull day on Capitol Hill. The fast-paced work environment gave her the opportunity to apply what she’s learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios.
Not only have I gained firsthand experience with the legislative process, but I’ve learned so much about the modern-day issues that we frequently discuss in the classroom.