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Student Profiles Folder

Profiles of Liberal Arts majors participating in a variety of enrichment experiences, such as internships, education abroad programs, for undergraduate research.

Rana Mohamed

CIEE: Amman, Middle East Studies (Summer)
Up one level
Rana Mohamed

Major: International Politics, Global and International Studies
Minor: Middle Eastern Studies
Hometown: Belleville, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity in various ways: the Education Abroad Advisers, the College of the Liberal Arts listserv, and the Liberal Arts academic advisers.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Immersed in a sea of culture, out of the ordinary academic environments, and history encompassing the Nabateans, Romans and Islamic periods,  I spent two months this summer in the surprisingly westernized, but still traditional, city of Amman, Jordan. Starting my day off with my host family was heartwarming as they each shared stories and actively listened to mine. The taxi rides that followed were always a pleasure as I practiced my Arabic and listened as they recapped the news and inquired about my life in America. Every week, we had a different trip, sponsored by the program, to a new site. The sites included: Petra, Wadi Rum, Jerash, the Azraq Oasis, Ajloun, the Dead Sea, and downtown Amman, along with the oldest and finest restaurants in town. Exploring the city with the six other students from other universities in the US was the cherry on top as we all became close friends. My favorite parts of the journey included: the Beit Sitti cooking class, cooking with my host parents, speaking to the locals, and taking courses with a fascinating Italian professor and the assistant director of ACOR.

Studying abroad will impact your life in ways you can never imagine. Be open to the possibilities!

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me in more ways than one. At times we tend to forget the world around us as we are consumed with our own lives. This translates into our education. I study the Middle East, foreign policy, and culture and aspire to make the world a better place for minority groups. However, at times the media and our textbooks portray one side of the story because of a superiority complex. The two courses I took in Jordan showed me a new way of thinking that is more holistic. Additionally, I was inspired to dig deeper into my curiosities instead of bypassing them as insignificant.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals are to work for a humanitarian organization in the Middle East to improve the status of women, spread educational accessibility, and progress relations with the United States on a basis of cultural understanding. I am still not sure exactly what career this will look like, but I am excited for the journey to come. This experience impacted my career plans because it proved my desire to work in a global setting, my passion for bridging the gap of cultural understanding, and my ability to live in a foreign country. I felt at home in Jordan, and I could see myself moving back there one day. This experience gave me the opportunity to explore who I am and what I am capable of.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to all students. Studying abroad is an opportunity for personal and academic growth. Whether it is in Jordan or another country, studying abroad will impact your life in ways you can never imagine. Be open to the possibilities!

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Christian Hinds

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Dutch Criminal Justice (Summer)
Up one level
Christian Hinds

Major: Criminology
Minor: African American Studies, Sociology
Hometown: Freeport, PA

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

For my study abroad program, I spent a month in the Netherlands. It involved a 6-credit course about the Dutch criminal justice system. While abroad, I had the opportunity to compare Dutch culture and American culture. One thing that hit me hard was the fact that almost everyone from the Netherlands speaks at least two languages. I felt at a disadvantage because I am not proficient in this skill set. I was grouped with people that I keep in contact with today and see as family. I was able to network with my fellow students and other important figures in the Dutch community.

How did this experience impact you academically?

While studying abroad in the Netherlands, I was very focused on every piece of information that I was introduced to. I was already interested and excited about what was about to come because I was leaving the United States for the first time. When I finally got to the Netherlands, it was very easy for me to ask frequent questions and to observe and analyze everything little thing inside and outside of the classroom. This awakened another side of me and helped me to listen to and portray things that I interpreted and analyzed. Walking into this semester, I am taking advantage of this skill, and I feel more focused than ever.

After finishing my study abroad program and working to create a new me this entire summer, I feel more confident in my abilities than I have any other semester of my college career.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After finishing my undergraduate studies and graduating this coming December, I plan to work in investigations. After finishing my study abroad program and working to create a new me this entire summer, I feel more confident in my abilities than I have any other semester of my college career. My experience has led me to desire to further my education. I have spoken with a few people that are close to me, and a lot of them have mentioned working for a while to help pay for graduate school and then returning to school. Finding funding could change my perspective on this decision.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students and have done so already. Having the opportunity to study abroad will open one's eyes and thoughts. Presumably, you have spent about 18–22 years in your current setting, which you are used to. Suddenly, you are placed somewhere that is brand new to you with new ideals and a different way of going about getting something done. The programs will force to you compare these differences and similarities to things you are accustomed to. This will help you develop a way of looking at issues from a different perspective.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Emily Burke

The Nanjing University Exchange Program
Up one level
Emily Burke

Major: Mechanical Engineering, Comparative Literature
Minor: English
Hometown: Middletown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was sent an email through the Department of Comparative Literature offering this opportunity to students.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I traveled to Nanjing, China to learn about China's culture and history at Nanjing University. Nanjing was the capital of China before Beijing, and it is far less developed than Shanghai or Beijing. Nanjing University is also one of the top universities in China. While I was at Nanjing University, I was partnered with three students who showed me around campus and accompanied me throughout my time at the university. Together we went on planned group trips to the theater, a local town, the Purple Mountain, Nanjing's museum, and local restaurants.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience helped me develop a better appreciation for and understanding of Asian popular culture. It exposed me to people with different backgrounds and media. It also opened my understanding of what it is (for me) to go to China, as a Chinese person born in China, not knowing anything about it or the language. I think that it gives me a unique experience that will help me contribute in class in a unique way.

This experience helped me develop a better appreciation for and understanding of Asian popular culture.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

I highlight this study abroad experience in my cover letters, as a lot of the companies I am applying for want experience in Asia. I plan to enter the workforce as a Mechanical Engineer in new product development. A lot of engineering companies work very closely with Asian manufacturing sites and want people with experience in China.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, it was a great experience to interact with students at Nanjing University and learn more about China's history and popular culture (movies, books, plays, etc). It opened my eyes to Chinese culture and opened my eyes to myself as a Chinese person who grew up in the United States - looking Chinese but only speaking English. It was also a great opportunity for students who cannot afford to travel abroad.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Through their emails and programming, the Paterno Fellows Program consistently encourages cultural and global experiences through classroom teachings, extracurricular activities, and study abroad programs. This constant push to get involved and learn more encouraged me to go on this trip.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Brent Rice

Venture for America
Up one level
Brent Rice

Major: Political Science, Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Quakertown, PA

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This past summer, I interned for a non-profit startup named Venture for America, where our mission was to place high-caliber college graduates in startups across the nation to catalyze growth in our partner cities. As part of my internship, I worked on the Programs Team where we planned and implemented a 5-week intensive Training Camp for the Fellows in our program, preparing them to move to our partner cities and immediately add value to companies in their area. I also worked on data analysis in our HQ Office in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Specifically, I performed cost analysis on several of our initiatives and programs.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My experience at Venture for America peaked my interest in business development and how policies and regulations impact development. It also led me to change my business major from Finance to Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIENT). I would say, without question, that this summer's experience has drastically altered my future career path and life. I have come to place more priority on happiness and passion than on simply accepting the highest paying job. Academically, I have found my new CIENT major to be more rewarding and engaging than my previous Finance major and have found myself happier and less distracted while in class.

I would say, without question, that this summer's experience has drastically altered my future career path and life.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After graduating, I hope be selected to be a Class of 2018 Venture for America Fellow. Obviously, this newfound career path is a direct result of my summer internship experience with the same company, made possible by the College of the Liberal Arts. Had I not had the funds to enable me to take on this experience, I do not know that I would be where I am today in regard to my professional development. After graduating from the fellowship, I hope to continue my role in the start-up environment by either staying on and growing my company or by starting something of my own. My summer experience inspired me to reach my full potential by breaking free from the traditional corporate recruiting model.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend my experience to any student who asks, regardless of College. I believe that many Liberal Arts students, or otherwise, would benefit from working in an early stage company and focusing on creating value, rather than becoming just another piece of the corporate wheel.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Natalia Nigay

Lunar Lion
Up one level
Natalia Nigay

Major: Aerospace Engineering, Russian
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I received an e-mail about the enrichment experience.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Over the summer I completed an unpaid internship with an on-campus organization called Lunar Lion. It brings together students across many technical (and non-technical) majors to design, build, and test a prototype lunar lander, in addition to conducting outreach and educational events. I worked on the structures subsystem assisting in the design and manufacturing of a new iteration of the spacecraft, and I was in charge of making a test stand for the craft, from design to manufacture. I learned a lot, made valuable connections, and hope to stay heavily involved during the academic year.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Working for Lunar Lion this summer, I learned a lot of new technical skills. I now have confidence using SolidWorks and NX Design for CAD modeling and am a proficient welder. In addition to Lunar Lion, I also took three online classes this summer. Finding a balance between work and school was challenging, especially with online classes, but I learned valuable planning and time management skills.

I wanted to get as much hands-on experience outside of the classroom as possible, and this project was one of the best ways to accomplish that.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

In March of 2017, I took a trip to Seattle as a member of Penn State's Presidential Leadership Academy. While there, we had the amazing opportunity to have dinner with two women who work for a private space company called Blue Origin. At this dinner, I discovered my dream company, and for probably the first time, I felt purpose and passion. I had a goal now and needed to work towards it, so I applied for the Lunar Lion summer internship. I wanted to get as much hands-on experience outside of the classroom as possible, and this project was one of the best ways to accomplish that. When I was notified that I was accepted onto the summer team, I was ecstatic. This enrichment experience allowed me to live and work in State College this summer pursuing my dream, and for that I am truly, deeply grateful. And though at first glance it may not seem that I will be using my liberal arts degree in the field I hope to enter one day, that is far from true. One of the beautiful things about space exploration is that it is a truly international effort. Although the United States and Russia cannot seem to agree on much, they collaborate when it comes to space. The engines used to power our rockets are Russian, as of now we can only launch to the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and American astronauts live and work with Russian cosmonauts. I believe that studying Russian will be invaluable in a career in the space industry, because we travel to the new frontier together.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes! I am a firm believer in supplementing your education with activities outside of the classroom, because it is never too soon to start applying what you learn to real projects that you can take ownership of.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Danielle Metzger

Polaris Industries
Up one level
Danielle Metzger

Major: Marketing, Spanish
Minor: International Business
Hometown: Mountain Top, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

During my time researching potential internship options, I saw a posting by Polaris online and spoke with them at Fall Career Days. I learned more about the opportunity through existing employees and felt that it would be a good fit.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an intern, I focused on the development of On Road Vehicle (Indian Motorcycle and Slingshot) marketing strategies in international markets. Keeping process improvement opportunities, future sustainability, and cost effectiveness in mind, my main successes included: evolving the international owners' group strategy to ensure continuous growth and centralized expansion, devising new product launch tracking and revision procedures to accelerate future internationalization, orchestrating communication and asset management between multiple international teams and agencies, and redesigning the sales training smartphone application structure to decrease cost and augment dealer education. I also traveled to an Indian event in Springfield, Massachusetts to experience the brand's following firsthand. Although I worked on the international side, it was neat to see how the North American team operated.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship altered my way of thinking and has allowed me to bring new ideas to the table in each of my classes. In my international business courses, I relate more personally to the subject matter because I have lived through some of the topics and seen how they affect companies. From a marketing perspective, I was able to apply many of the concepts I learned in class to business problems on a daily basis. My Penn State background allowed me to be successful at Polaris, but the experience I gained at Polaris will propel me even further forward at Penn State this year.

My Penn State background allowed me to be successful at Polaris, but the experience I gained at Polaris will propel me even further forward at Penn State this year.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Working at Polaris allowed me to gain a better understanding of cross-cultural business environments, experience a passionate consumer base, and further develop a diverse marketing skill set. In the future, I hope to work in international business long-term. This experience was the first stepping stone in making that career dream a reality, and I anticipate that my future endeavors will allow me to increase my knowledge of the general field. Ideally, I will work domestically and manage branches of a firm in Spanish speaking countries. In any case, my internship this summer gave me clarity and insight into what I want to work towards after graduation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would. Interning at Polaris taught me a great deal about my work style and allowed me to grow professionally. The company places value on offering a real internship experience with projects crucial to operations.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Anthony Mitchell

Brighton: University of Sussex (Summer)
Up one level
Anthony Mitchell

Major: Political Science
Minor: Communication Arts and Sciences, Civic and Community Engagement
Hometown: New Orleans, LA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about my study abroad opportunity through the Global Programs office. I originally wanted to do a faculty led program in Croatia for three weeks, but that program was cancelled due to low enrollment. After the cancellation of that program, I was contacted by the Office of Global Programs (via email) and was notified of other programs in the region that I was intending to visit. One of those opportunities was what I chose, and I believe that the two months I spend studying in Brighton, England would not have happened if I did not do some online research and program comparisons.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The University of Sussex was founded in 1961 and quickly established an international reputation for the quality of its research and for innovative and effective styles of teaching, attracting scholars from all over the world. The International Summer School provides an opportunity to meet and study with people from different countries and cultures, on a campus set in open parkland. The University is about 5 miles from the City Centre of Brighton. Brighton has long been known as ‘London by the sea’ and is less than an hour away from the capital city. During my 8-week program, I had one class twice a week, each class lasting a total of four weeks (for a total of two classes during the 8 week period). The class had built-in field trips pertaining to the course material that were taught in a seminar style format, where students were expected to engage in discussion based critical thinking and learning. The class concluded with an essay composed of what the student wanted to explore based on the content of the course.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience satisfies my consultation credits within my Political Science degree requirements and will help play an important role of research for my Civic and Community Engagement minor (CIVCM). I also have a great interest in how government, institutions, communities, and individuals intersect for the betterment of society as a whole. This will serve as great field experience for my CIVCM minor as well as the first of many intended research opportunities going into my master's degree program (public policy with a concentration in community development and civic engagement). I plan to use this experience as a chance to explore and dive deeper into my personal and career interests to develop a holistic understanding of social implications of civic engagement through the lens of both international and domestic politics, intercultural competency, and social reform.

I believe this experience in another country has...inspired me to continue to look beyond the scope of national politics because we are all global citizens.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

We live in a globally connected society, where not knowing and understanding the surrounding environment is a detriment to any means of making holistic policy decisions. I am interested in the way that policy and civic engagement shapes communities for the better. After graduating with my degree in Political Science and minors in Communication Arts and Sciences and Civic and Community Engagement, coupled with my experiences of studying abroad at the University of Sussex, I plan to continue my education with a master’s degree in public policy at either Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. or the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. Eventually, I plan to work in the United States government, thereby using this experience to better understand the part that individuals and communities play in shaping societies. It is my hope to someday write policy that will create a better standard of living for the current generations and generations to come.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. I believe this experience in another country has helped to shape my understanding of and appreciation for other cultures and has inspired me to continue to look beyond the scope of national politics because we are all global citizens. Realizing that what happens in other countries is important to what happens in the United States, as well as the inverse, we have an obligation to learn about and explore the world around us.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Francis X McVey

Florence: International Studies Institute (ISI) at Palazzo Rucellai (Summer)
Up one level
Francis X McVey

Major: Economics
Hometown: Aston, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity just by researching all of the study abroad options on Penn State's website, and it was very easy for me to find one that fit all of my needs.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I participated in a six week program in Florence, Italy while taking a class on photography and history. While abroad I got to simply enjoy life. I made many new friends and every day was a new adventure. We took one class a day, which often included getting to explore a new part of Florence, and then took the rest of our time to explore for ourselves. On the weekends I was able to take trips to explore other cities such as Venice, Rome, Positano, Amsterdam, and others. Overall it was an experience of my life that I will always cherish; I will forever hold a special place in my heart for the people I met on this trip.

It is an educational experience that goes far beyond the classroom.

How did this experience impact you academically?

For me this was perfect for my academic plan and my goal to graduate from Penn State in the Spring of 2018; I am a transfer student and still needed to make up at least six credits this summer. I still needed to fulfill my humanities classes, arts classes, and an elective. I was able to achieve two of these while studying abroad this summer. With completing this trip I will maintain my plan and get closer to the goal of graduating on time.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I am a person who seeks to obtain as many new experiences and life adventures as possible. I enjoy immersing myself in new groups of people because taking this new perspective always allows me to learn more about the world and myself. I one day hope to start my own business; I rely heavily on these experiences as the driving force behind what I want to do in the corporate world as well as the person I want to be viewed as by others.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would, simply because it is an educational experience that goes far beyond the classroom. It is a unique experience, and I loved every second of it. My only regret is I wish I had gone abroad sooner before entering my senior year, because I would do it again if I could.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jordan Lawson

Florence: International Studies Institute (ISI) at Palazzo Rucellai (Summer)
Up one level
Jordan Lawson

Major: Sociology, Political Science
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I traveled various paths to finally come across the study abroad program I ended up participating in. Generally, however, I have the College of the Liberal Arts, Career Enrichment Network, and Penn State Education Abroad Office to thank for my opportunity to travel abroad. I spoke with numerous advisers across all three of those departments and my own academic and honors advisers, referred to emails, attended information sessions and abroad fairs, and spoke to student mentors who had previously studied abroad and other friends of mine who had study abroad experiences themselves.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience abroad was absolutely incredible in more ways than I can really even comprehend. From an educational standpoint, it was amazing to be able to learn about the history, culture, social, economic, and political happenings of another country directly from individuals who call that place their home. Being able to hear about and sympathize with their lived experiences and relate that to important real-world events helped me to understand a foreign culture in a way I never knew possible. Socially, being able to meet other Penn State students who I never knew I shared classes, a campus, and experiences with was incredibly enriching, and this was only compounded by the rare ability to network with students from across the country who I never would have otherwise had the opportunity to meet in my life.

Being able to hear about and sympathize with their lived experiences and relate that to important real-world events helped me to understand a foreign culture in a way I never knew possible.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I think that from an academic standpoint, studying abroad gave me an experience that is unmatched by almost anything one can live through while in college. To be able to receive a world class education from instructors who can speak towards their lived experiences and tie that into course material was not only wildly enriching and eye-opening, but it also offered a cultural and humanistic aspect to my learning that I do not think I would have been able to receive anywhere else.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Even though I am already a senior at Penn State, the next steps for me remain a little bit unclear. I know that I want to attend either graduate or professional school, seeking a master's degree in anything from law, public policy and administration, non-profit management, human resources, labor and employment relations, or something of the sort. While I know these considerations leave my options relatively broad at the moment, I think they will also give me the opportunity to gain a better understanding of who I am as a person and in what facet of society I think I can best serve others. From a career standpoint, I know for a fact that I want to work and interact with people on a regular basis and give back in whatever way that I can. That is why I have a profound interest in community development and social advocacy on a local or regional basis.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend studying abroad to other Liberal Arts students. As the world shrinks and globalization continues to take root, our cultures and societies are becoming increasingly interconnected and dependent upon each other on a rapid basis. It is vital that we - as thoughtful, critically-thinking, creative, ambitious, and curious students - continue to push the boundaries of our imaginations and the possibilities for those around us; to do that, we have to have a comprehensive understanding of the experiences of cultures and individuals different from what we are familiar with. I personally think there is no better way to do that than by studying abroad and immersing yourself in such a situation.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Thanks to the Paterno Fellows program, I have been able to develop a deeper understanding of the factors that influence people to make certain decisions - conscious or not. By having been exposed to ethics courses, global awareness, intensive foreign language expectations, and things of the like by the PFP, I was better prepared to handle the transition into another country for an extended period of time. The fact that a study abroad experience is a partial requirement of the program means that I was open to and aware of the opportunity from the day I stepped onto campus as a freshman!

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Laura Nejako

Schreyer Honors College South America Program
Up one level
Laura Nejako

Major: English, Secondary Education (English Education), English (M.A.)
Hometown: Lansdale, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this experience at the Schreyer Honors College orientation for gateway scholars.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

It is hard for me to sum up my time in South America in a way that would make any logical sense. When I picture it now I remember a series of vibrantly colorful images of places and people, trials and triumphs, and the taste of passion fruit flavored ice cream. Luckily, I kept a journal during my time abroad and have a meticulous record of everything we did (and we did quite a lot) as we visited eight cities in Colombia and Brazil in only five weeks. The content in these records ranges from the feeling of having dozens of Brazilian schoolchildren run up to our group at one of the schools as they asked for our autographs to hearing the stories of the Meninas de Sinha as they told us of their hardships. Also recorded is the spontaneous riding of horses (and a mule) through the Colombian countryside and the hours spent with local university students who showed us their cities. I learned that experiential learning is exactly what it sounds like. It is an experience. And in this experience, I found memorable friends and a once in a lifetime learning experience.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience helped me academically in ways I never could have expected. Before taking the class, I had expected to learn facts about South American schools and education. Instead, I learned that there is a human side to academic study. In the midst of textbooks and exams this is sometimes easy to forget. But it is in the moments spent interacting with and learning from others that the real learning takes place. In a foreign country, this learning becomes obvious because in some ways it becomes necessary for functional reasons. But in the humanities, it is important to always keep the true purpose of learning in mind. On this trip, new learning made me uncomfortable at times, but it also made me smile and laugh at myself as I attempted to navigate unfamiliar territory. And in these attempts, I grew as both a learner and a person.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Eventually, I would like to teach English at the university level. I chose this particular program because it involved studying South American education and was related to one of my majors. Yet, this experience taught me to accept the situation and always pay attention to my interactions with those around me. I learned to be humble and listen to others because most things were completely unfamiliar. While I learned a lot of information related to my area of study, it was these skills that I will take with me in my future career endeavors.

It is in the moments spent interacting with and learning from others that the real learning takes place.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Studying abroad in South America taught me to live in the present. I learned to pay attention to the small but important details that separate cultures. In recognizing these differences, I became humbled by the realization that there is not always a clear "right" and "wrong" when it comes how one should live. Instead, there is acceptance and a learned openness. For students studying the humanities, this realization is critical.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program motivated me to sign up for this experience. Originally, I took this class to fulfill the global studies requirement. However, from the very first day, this class changed from a requirement to a once in a lifetime opportunity. I will never forget the evenings spent walking around the cobblestone streets in Cartagena while in Colombia and the often humorous attempts of mine to speak Portuguese in various marketplaces in Brazil. I studied school systems and inequalities and learned to love not knowing what would happen next. It was an adventure and an incredible opportunity for experiential learning. I am forever grateful to the Paterno Fellows program for this "requirement."

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Yufei Zhong

Diversity Recruitment and Retention Lab
Up one level
Yufei Zhong

Major: Psychology
Hometown: China

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment opportunity via the emails sent to us by the College of the Liberal Arts. The college gives out plenty of opportunities each semester that truly help students within the college learn and gain knowledge besides classroom material.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The funding was given out to me in wage form for working in the lab, and it set the working hours and rates for me. This motivated me throughout the summer, and I did excellent work for the lab, including literature review, sorting, data collection, coding, and article critique. One of many benefits of working on campus is the absence of travel expense, but rent and daily expenses were high. The funding was extremely helpful in that it helped cover my rent and daily expenses during the summer, which eliminated my worries about financial issues and helped me be more focused on the work I was doing.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Everyone who majors in psychology knows the importance of working in a lab. Being a lab member brings about a huge amount of benefits that I did not expect to have, especially the careful preparation it provided for graduate school. The summer of working in lab impacted me a lot academically: it familiarized me with the graduate school application process, prepared me to work as a graduate student, and alleviated the overwhelmed feelings that I got when thinking about graduate school. My experience working in a lab this summer made me feel confident and well-prepared for the upcoming application season.

My experience working in a lab this summer made me feel confident and well-prepared for the upcoming application season.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to get a PhD and work in academia. Before working in the lab, I was not entirely sure about my career plan because I did not know if I liked doing research and working with data. But now, I feel certain about this career goal and am constantly working toward it. This experience started me early on my career goal because it familiarized me with research methods, data collection, empirical article searches, and idea generation. The lab taught me knowledge and skills that are only taught in graduate school, which will make me more competitive among the grad school candidates that I will be competing with.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. The opportunities that the college offers us are hugely beneficial and motivating if you find the right position. If you find the position, the college will do its best to support you and help you make the most of it.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Megan Bradson

Dublin, Ireland: Culture and Disability (Summer)
Up one level
Megan Bradson

Major: Psychology
Minor: Rehabilitation and Human Services
Hometown: Media, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Because my minor, Rehabilitation and Human Services, is not in the same college as my major (Psychology), I was required to schedule an appointment with the RHS minor advisor to discuss the minor requirements. I am a Paterno Fellow, required to complete an intensive 24-credit minor instead of the typical 18-credit minor. To get a jumpstart on the credits because I added the minor as a first semester junior, it was suggested that I take a look into the 6-credit Culture and Disability program led by Penn State faculty to Ireland.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Traveling in a foreign country with 11 other Penn State students whom I have never met before seemed a little intimidating at first, but I knew this study abroad enrichment experience would make a huge impact on my life. Each week day, we met for "class," meaning we traveled to various service agencies around Dublin, which provide services for people with various types of disabilities. For example, we attended schools specifically for children with intellectual disabilities as well as physical disabilities (The Raheny School, Enable Ireland, and St. Michael's House), an organization whose focus was mental health (Mental Health Ireland), a foundation whose mission was to research and provide emotional support to people who are blind (Fighting Blindness), and even an elderly community center (Friends of the Elderly). Each agency had a unique perspective on disability and disability culture in Ireland that made you reflect on the United States' own disability culture. Despite having pretty busy "class" schedules, there was always time to explore Ireland after class. There were cliffs and mountains to climb and beaches to relax at only a 20 minute train ride away. I am thankful that my peers were willing to take advantage of the four weeks we had in Ireland (which went by so fast) and explore whenever we had the chance. One of the things that has resonated with me the most since this trip is the following: everyone experiences loss, whether it be through disability, a person, or anything. It is how you deal with that loss that matters. The way you choose to experience anything, including a disability, can change your outlook on life. Try to find the good in the seemingly bad things in life.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This study abroad experience allowed me to interact with people with various disabilities, allowing me the opportunity to become more comfortable when communicating with people with disabilities. Attending different service agencies also taught me about a wide scope of disabilities I would not have otherwise known about. Between the service agencies and the Disability Summer School conference, I gained a unique perspective on and clinical experience with disabilities that I will apply in my future career.

I even learned a lot about myself and my own values that I never would have learned if it was not for this trip. 

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Upon graduation, I hope to pursue a career as a clinical neuropsychologist at the doctorate level, working with post-war veterans with PTSD and TBI/blast-related injuries as well as other cognitive and mental health disorders. As I plan a future working in a rehabilitation and medical facility, this study abroad experience really impacted how I now think about and view disabilities. Attending the 9th International Disability Law Summer School conference allowed me to apply some of the concepts, such as coercion to treatment and involuntary commitment, to scenarios I may be faced with in the future as a clinician. I came away from this conference with a stronger stance on how to approach psychosocial disability treatment. As a result of this conference, I also feel more confident as an advocate for my future patients, while providing them with the best treatment available.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students, especially those who are open to reflecting on their our values and welcoming other perspectives on disability that may differ from their own. Ireland is a beautiful country - between the fast-paced city life of Dublin and the beautiful cliffs and mountains, it is so hard to be bored while you are there. I learned so much more about rehabilitation and disability than I ever would have in the classroom. I even learned a lot about myself and my own values that I never would have learned if it was not for this trip. I honestly find myself thinking "when I was in Ireland..." at least 3 times a day since I have returned.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Had I not been in the Paterno Fellows Program, needing either a study abroad experience or a 3-credit internship and 6 extra credits towards my minor, I strongly believe I would not have gone to Ireland through Penn State's Culture and Disability Program. Through the financial assistance I received as a Paterno Fellow, in addition to the requirements pushing me out of my comfort zone, the Paterno Fellows Program truly changed my life.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Lena Becker

Puebla, Mexico: Spanish Language, Art and Mexican Culture (Summer)
Up one level
Lena Becker

Major: Spanish, Psychology
Hometown: Elysburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I went to a Liberal Arts study abroad meeting night. I also talked with my Spanish adviser about programs the university offered.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was in Puebla, Mexico for six weeks taking 9 credits at the local university. I stayed with a host family, and on the weekends the group of us all from Penn State went to different places around the country. My classes and trip were run by Penn State faculty; it was really convenient and nice to have a connection to home. Staying with a host family really made the trip for me. I learned so much from them.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I got to take nine credits there, and two of the courses count towards my Spanish major, which helps free up some time during normal semesters. I learned so much about the history and culture of a country that is horribly misrepresented in America, which was really eye-opening. I also improved my Spanish a lot too!

Staying with a host family really made the trip for me. I learned so much from them.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

In the future I hope to be a doctor who can directly help not only English speaking patients, but also Spanish speaking patients. I am not sure what field I plan to go into exactly, but I know I want to help as many people as possible and be culturally knowledgeable as I do so.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Of course! Studying abroad should be a requirement for everybody at Penn State. There is so much to learn from traveling to a new place!

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Yes. My advisers told me that studying abroad was a requirement for the program and that it had to be for at least five weeks. This affected which program I chose, and I am really glad it pushed me to go on a longer trip.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jonathan Peterson

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Up one level
Jonathan Peterson

Major: English, Philosophy
Hometown: Charlottesville, VA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through the Career Enrichment Network's website.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I did all of the duties of a full investigator for criminal defense cases this summer. I worked for two juvenile attorneys and was given a number of responsibilities, ranging from transporting clients to taking statements from witnesses and victims and even handling evidence or crime scene investigation. Additionally, on a regular basis I had the incredible opportunity to court watch not only with groups of my peers, but also with attorneys I worked with. On top of this, I learned extensively about the criminal justice system, the difficulties it faces, and the very real problem of mass incarceration in the United States. Finally, I believe this experience may have convinced me that I want to be a Public Defender at PDS as a career after I hopefully graduate from law school.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was incredibly beneficial academically. I spent much of it writing and reading extensively and regularly worked 55+ hour weeks. I believe that this helped to teach me a better work ethic, as I have honestly seen a marked increase in my ability to sit down and do work when I need to. Additionally, I believe that it helped me to see more disparate sides of arguments and link things I might not have normally linked together, as one of my duties was to come up with potential defenses for clients after reading the case information.

Getting to see...the absolute devotion [the lawyers] had to their clients really blew me away this summer and convinced me that Public Defense might be the type of law I want to pursue.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I hope to be a lawyer, so this internship was perfect for me. Additionally, I had always imagined law as a profession for making money, but, after this summer, I believe I met lawyers who truly view it as their passion, something I was not sure was possible. Getting to see that and the absolute devotion they had to their clients really blew me away this summer and convinced me that Public Defense might be the type of law I want to pursue.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I definitely would. It was the best summer of my life without a doubt, and you will get to work with your peers for the summer in a place like no other - the District of Columbia.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Annie Kukieza

Allegheny Health Network
Up one level
Annie Kukieza

Major: Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Minor: Labor and Employment Relations
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

One of my mom's friends introduced me to my manager. She was in need of an intern, and I had not found anything yet!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had a wonderful experience at my internship. My main role was helping with the Onboarding Welcome Session for newly hired employees. It was my job to make sure new employees were comfortable and confident starting their career at the network. Towards the end of my internship, my manager gave me the opportunity to begin facilitating the entire day of orientation. I ended up presenting orientation for over 400 new employees. Another role I had was managing the Learning and Development Help Desk. When employees had questions about their online training or any questions in general, they would email the help desk, and I would assist them. This required me to understand the network in order for me to be able to answer properly.

It was a great kick-start to my career that taught me professionalism, time management, and networking skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship has taught me many things that impacted me academically. One major skill I developed was public speaking. I was never comfortable public speaking until my boss pushed me and gave me the confidence in myself to face my fears. She said I would never get better if I did not try, and she trusted me to facilitate the orientation day.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My ultimate career goals are to work for a consulting firm using my knowledge from my degree and my internship experience. My internship experience impacted my goals in a positive way because to reach my goals I need to start in a human resources position, which is where my internship was. It was a great start to achieving my goals.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience. It was a great kick-start to my career that taught me professionalism, time management, and networking skills.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program made my internship possible. I would have had a hard time being able to afford my internship. It was a weight off of my mind knowing that my expenses were covered; I did not have to worry about parking every day and could concentrate on learning rather than stressing about money. It was also a great feeling to know I had people supporting me in my experience. I felt that I had a team who believed in me from the Paterno Fellows Program.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Greta Noll

Puebla, Mexico: Spanish Language, Art and Mexican Culture (Summer)
Up one level
Greta Noll

Major: International Relations, Spanish
Minor: Global Health
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through the Spanish Department at Penn State. I attended a study abroad information night through them and fell in love with the Puebla program as soon as I heard about it!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I spent 6 weeks in Puebla, Mexico. I lived with a host mother (Hilda), and she cooked all my meals, gave me a wonderful home to stay in, and taught me so much about Mexico and its culture. I also took three classes at a university in Puebla. The classes were comfortable and taught by Penn State faculty. It was very cool to experience what university is like in a foreign country. Additionally, on the trip, I felt like I was given a great experience of Mexico. Part of my program was spent traveling to different cities and states in Mexico. In these places we learned about the history and culture outside of Puebla. One of my favorite excursions was to a pyramid complex, where we were given a tour of the ruins by the archeologist who discovered them! The program director in Mexico was very well-connected and provided us with incredible opportunities throughout the trip.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Since I am majoring in Spanish, one of the requirements is to study abroad. After hearing such great things about this program, I knew it was for me. It is nice that the program is run directly through Penn State because the classes that I took in Mexico transferred smoothly towards the completion of my major. It was also fantastic to take one of my art general education requirements in this setting! While the coursework was rigorous as the classes needed to be completed in six weeks, I found it incredibly rewarding afterward. My ability to write, think, and read in Spanish improved immensely over this time. I came back from Puebla feeling like I had an academic grasp of the language.

This program solidified my love of the Spanish language and gave me the confidence that I need to move forward using it in my everyday life and career.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This program solidified my love of the Spanish language and gave me the confidence that I need to move forward using it in my everyday life and career. I already knew that I wanted to incorporate Spanish into my career plans, but having this experience in Puebla made me really appreciate how valuable it is to know another language in an advanced capacity. I gained invaluable conversational skills and, at the very least, confidence in myself to speak and understand Spanish. I hope to work for an international development agency focusing on Latin America, and being immersed in Mexican culture and surrounded by Spanish speakers really helped me realize that I have chosen a career path that I am passionate about!

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would wholeheartedly recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. The program has been run for over 20 years. The host families that every student lived with were wonderful people, Puebla is an incredibly safe city, and Mexico is just a fun place to experience. The university where I studied began to feel like home, but the best part of the program was living with a host family. I will be impacted forever by the kindness and warmth that I received from my host family. I feel so lucky to now have a Mexican "abuela"!

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I feel as though the Paterno Fellows Program prepared me for this study abroad experience very well. PFP encourages global engagement and is enthusiastic about finding a program that fits each of its students. Additionally, the vigorous coursework that I have taken through PFP also prepared me for the intense classes in Mexico.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Cory Steinle

The Sustainability Institute at Penn State
Up one level
Cory Steinle

Major: Labor and Employment Relations, Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: Business and Liberal Arts, English, History, Legal Environment of Business
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through my speaker at State of State, Doug Goodstein, who was my boss in this role. It was personal networking that helped me land the job.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had three primary responsibilities as a Sustainability Coordinator Intern - serving as the Executive Director of the Council of Sustainable Leaders, planning the first-ever Sustainability Summit at Penn State, and lastly, working to promote the efforts of the Sustainability Institute to incoming freshman through New Student Orientation programs. The Council of Sustainable Leaders is a roundtable organization of the seven most impactful organizations in sustainability at Penn State; as the leader, I planned 20 programming events at Penn State for the 2017-2018 calendar year. Some of these events include the Sustainability Showcase Series, which debuted to over 100 guests this past Friday, with Dr. Michael Mann speaking on his climate change research and activism. The Sustainability Summit was eventually postponed until 2017 due to lack of funding, but I spent around 60 hours working on a $50,000 grant proposal, as well as creating all of the strategic plans and documents for a future intern to execute the plan. Lastly, I spent around 60-70 hours at New Student Orientations promoting the Sustainability Institute to freshmen and helping them understand how much broader sustainability is than just climate change.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Honestly, this experience did not impact me very much academically. I did not use any of the technical skills that I learned as a rhetoric major and was not applying theoretical principles in an academic setting. However, this experience did help me understand that I want to spend my next two years interning at companies that have a direct correlation with my new field of study - Labor and Employment Relations. Interning in Human Resources will provide me the opportunity to understand and apply what I am learning in the classroom to the real world and give me a taste of what it is really like to work in industry. The best application of my academics in this internship was strategy and operations. I took an honors management class first semester that focused on overall strategies, overcoming biases, and more. I think this class helped me prepare student programming events that would succeed. Without my knowledge from the class, I would not have considered a lot of things that would have ultimately made the programming fail. Since I considered these obstacles, we were able to mitigate some of their impacts.

I would recommend this experience to anyone with a serious interest in sustainability or higher education.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Right now, I do not have an entirely clear understanding of what I want to do for the rest of my life. However, I do have a pretty solid leaning towards the field of law. I also like human resources, because of its close interrelation to law. I want to work over the next two summers to determine whether or not I like law and make sure I have solid post-graduation plans. This internship made me realize that I really need to find something I like to do for the rest of my life. It also made me understand that working in higher education at the level of administrator would not be the place for me to do that.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to anyone with a serious interest in sustainability or higher education. The hours are flexible, the boss (Doug Goodstein) is great, and the work tends to be interesting and variable (if you are interested in sustainability).

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program instilled a certain sense of integrity within me to complete the internship experience to the best of my abilities, even if I did not love the work. The Paterno Fellows Program also gave me a really successful model off of which I based some of the programming events I planned; The popular Paterno Fellows luncheons were the model I used to create the Sustainability Showcase Series. In addition, some of my peers in the Paterno Fellows program were connections I used during my internship to help make some of these events happen. Without their support, I would not have been able to secure some of the meetings to get financial support from Deans, connections in order to get specific rooms not typically available to student organizations (Huck Life Sciences Bridge), and other support that helped to make all of these things happen.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Yike Zhao

Human Resource Management in Sweden (Maymester Embedded Course)
Up one level
Yike Zhao

Major: Labor and Employment Relations, Theatre Studies
Minor: Economics
Hometown: Ningbo, China

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I took an HR in Tech course with Dr. Sumita Raghuram, and I had a great experience, so I decided to take this Sweden embedded course with her.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I have never been to Europe before, so when I saw this course I was very interested in and quite curious about what this country looks like. Sweden is famous for being well-developed socially. We had a great opportunity to learn about this country, not only by travelling around the cities, but also by talking with local students and visiting local companies.

How did this experience impact you academically?

It is great to see how human resources works in Sweden since the Swedish social system is very different from the American social system. I found that human resources in Swedish companies is quite different from that of companies I have visited in California, even though they are all world-famous, big companies. Sweden has a comprehensive welfare system consistent with its national culture, and their companies' human resource policies are also consistent with the system and culture.

This class was a great way to learn about human resources in a real workplace, but under different social systems and values.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I am a Labor and Employment Relations major, so this class was a great way to learn about human resources in a real workplace, but under different social systems and values. I definitely want to do something related to human resources or management in my future career. I got to learn how human resource practices work with the culture and government through this experience in Sweden. Visiting companies and comparing their human resource practices is very helpful to learn about this business and how human resource policies change based on companies' values.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I recommend this experience to all other students, especially Labor and Employment Relations students, because it is great to learn about a country that works differently. With its focus on human resources, this experience is great for all Labor and Employment Relations students to learn about human resources.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Kayla McCreadie

The Lab School of Washington
Up one level
Kayla McCreadie

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Philipsburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this experience listed on Network Symplicity through the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer I interned as a group leader at the Lab School of Washington, which is a private school in Washington D.C. that specializes in working with children who have learning disabilities. In the morning, I had a group of 12 boys, aged 9 and 10. In the afternoon, I had 4 girls and 2 boys, aged 5 and 6. Throughout the day, I was in charge of transitioning each student to class, providing emotional support during class, and creating structure within the group. In addition to this, I helped the reading tutors administer fluency tests, helped an Occupational Therapist gather data on a specific child, and taught children how to swim during PE. Each morning, I had to wake up at 4:00 am to get on a commuter bus from Maryland to Washington D.C. to get to the school on time. In total, I was commuting around 6 hours each day on a bus. Even though this was exhausting, I know that I am in the right field of work because my exhaustion was forgotten as soon as I saw the kids in the morning.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was great for better understanding how to communicate with children in general. At this internship I worked closely with children who had ADHD, learning disabilities, and general behavioral problems - it was interesting to apply what I have learned in my developmental and clinical psychopathology classes to a real world setting and see progress happen right in front of my eyes. For example, there was one child who would not get in the swimming pool initially, but by the end of the program, she was swimming back and forth on her own. In a different class, there was a child who would not finish his reading assignments for anyone, but finally did after I sat down with him, and we worked through it together. Learning how to individually speak to the children will be beneficial to me in the future when I am working in a clinical setting.

It was interesting to apply what I have learned in my developmental and clinical psychopathology classes to a real world setting and see progress happen right in front of my eyes.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I plan on going to graduate school to get my Ph.D in Child Clinical Psychology. This experience once again confirmed that I enjoy working with children and, as stated earlier, gave me a better sense of how to effectively communicate with children. This experience also provided me with the confidence and skill set necessary for a new experience I will have this fall semester. I will be interning at the Soaring Heights School in State College that specifically works with children on the autism spectrum. I feel more prepared to work here after my time at the Lab School, and I am sure that these experiences will make more prepared for my future as a professional Clinical Psychologist.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to students who are interested in a unique population of children, as well as working with an amazing team of teachers and staff at the Lab School.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Sarah Leipham

Congressman Tom Reed, NY-23
Up one level
Sarah Leipham

Major: Political Science, Psychology
Minor: Labor and Employment Relations
Hometown: Horseheads, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this through my congressman's website. He has served my area for many years, and the best way to learn more about him and these types of internship opportunities was through his website.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I interned at Congressman Tom Reed's district office in Corning, NY. There I answered constituent phone calls, sorted mail, updated contact sheets, and helped plan different district events and initiatives. I had to stay on top of not only happenings in the federal government, but also on Congressman Reed's responses and own initiatives. Being informed was a key aspect of this internship, as well as maintaining high levels of customer service, for constituents could certainly be hard to deal with on the phone. In the district office, I was surrounded by several of the congressman's staffers who helped me a lot and gave me projects to work on, including the annual Manufacturing Summit and Town Hall meetings. I also worked on various accolades, proclamations, and letters for the congressman's signature.

...an internship with a representative or administrator in a department of interest...is how you see the demands of public service and what it truly means to serve the people.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience showed me that political science in the classroom is very different from that in the real world setting, namely because of the overall nature of public service. In the lecture hall, I have learned about the institutions and processes of the government. In the real world, you are there to serve the people, who do not all have the same understanding of what truly goes on in the government. This is important to note as I continue my political science endeavors.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Before, I wanted to work my way up in the federal government in the realms of policy and strategy. While this internship was such an honor, it did demonstrate to me that I may better enjoy doing similar tasks involving policy, strategy, and operations, but in the private sector for a company. I do not think I would have come to this conclusion without having this internship opportunity, and for that I am so thankful.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

If one wants to work in the realm of government, an internship with a representative or administrator in a department of interest is basically vital. This is how you see the demands of public service and what it truly means to serve the people. The connections made through this are an added bonus, especially for recommendations down the line.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Brenna Fisher

Cook County State's Attorney's Office
Up one level
Brenna Fisher

Major: Criminology, Sociology
Minor: Military Studies
Hometown: Manassas, VA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew I wanted to work in Chicago this summer because I have always really loved the city, so I just started googling different internship opportunities for Criminal Justice in the Chicago area. The State's Attorney's Office came up, so I sent in my application. I called a few times to check up on my application in order to make sure it did not get left behind, since a Penn State student in Chicago may seem a little odd. The persistence paid off, and I got an offer in March!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Working for the State's Attorney's office was a great experience. I worked in one of the felony offices, so every morning I went to court with the attorneys I worked for. In the afternoon my tasks included entering data about cases into an online system, transcribing 911 calls, and summarizing case files for the attorneys. I got to sit in on murder trials, visit a medical examiner's office, and deal with evidence from felony cases as well.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this internship helped me work on managing my time because I worked 40 hours a week while still studying for the LSAT all summer. This is an invaluable skill and one that I am still improving upon as a senior. My experience this summer only further strengthened my ability to be a better student who can manage her time efficiently!

This experience was extremely beneficial because it helped me further solidify my desire to go to law school after graduation.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This experience was extremely beneficial because it helped me further solidify my desire to go to law school after graduation. Oftentimes, legal internships for undergraduates are few and far between, but this allowed me to see the justice system from a very hands-on angle. I enjoyed the work that I did this summer and hope to pursue a career in criminal law in the future.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. It was nice to get out of the Penn State bubble and work somewhere completely different for a summer - it forces you to adapt and learn in a new environment. Additionally, legal internships are the best way to determine if law school is actually the route you want to go. Law school is not an easy (or cheap) option, and it may not be for everyone, so this is a great way to make sure that it is the career you want before you apply!

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program emphasizes leadership, service, and internships, and this influence pushed me to make sure I had an internship this summer that would not only give me good resume experience, but also be one I was excited about and would enjoy! Furthermore, the enrichment funds provided to me by the College of the Liberal Arts and the Paterno Fellows Program allowed me to take an unpaid internship in a new city without worry about the cost of living. This was really helpful, and I am so thankful for that funding - it opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me!

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Francesca Campanaro

Philadelphia Magazine
Up one level
Francesca Campanaro

Major: Labor and Employment Relations
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

My advisor let me know about this experience then I researched it online. It was such an amazing opportunity and I would not have been able to take advantage of it without this enrichment experience.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I learned that there is so much more that goes into a business that you could ever expect until you see it firsthand. I loved having the ability to go into work every day and be around people who are in the business world. It was also exciting to be at a company that has been so strong for so many years and learn about how they have changed over time. It truly gave me confirmation that I am on the right track with my aspirations and that I am going to accomplish what I desire in the future. It was a great experience, and I would never give it up.

By the end of my internship, I knew that I had found a field that truly interested me.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This program allowed me to grow academically. Having an internship is almost like taking a class, but it is even more relevant to the real world. I learned so much from my internship, and it allowed me to get a better grasp on what my future in the workplace may hold. I believe that it also makes me stand out academically because not only am I learning about these topics in my classes, but I am also practicing them firsthand and getting some experience seeing them in real life. Teaching is extremely valuable and will always be beneficial, but until you can get the actual experience you will not know exactly what to expect or what is to come.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After having my first internship this summer, my career goals and plans have moved further towards where I aspired to be previously. I hope to one day work in Human Resource Management as a higher official in the company. I may also try to get a degree in industrial organizational psychology so I can oversee the hiring and recruiting of a major company in the future. Before my internship, I was pretty sure this was what I wanted to do, but I was never positive that I was on the right track because I have never had any experience in that area. By the end of my internship, I knew that I had found a field that truly interested me, and it is somewhere I could see myself being very happy with in the future.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes! I would definitely recommend this experience because it gives you the chance to gain experience in a special way that you may not have been able to take advantage of otherwise.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Christopher Carver

Ronda, Spain: Spanish Language and Culture (Summer)
Up one level
Christopher Carver

Major: Labor and Employment Relations
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Newark, DE

How did you learn about this opportunity?

During the final week of my Spanish 2 class, my professor first introduced the study abroad opportunity to us. I followed up by attending a an information session. After attending the meeting, I knew I wanted to apply.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was in Spain for six weeks from mid-May to late June. The host city I was in is called Ronda, located in the Andalusia region in southern Spain. I stayed with a welcoming family that helped me assimilate to Spanish culture smoothly. It helped that the house was not far from the school I took classes at as well. While I was there I took three classes (9 credits) in a small classroom setting, typically with 4-8 students. The best parts of the trip were when we traveled to the other Spanish cities. My favorite was Madrid, but we also traveled to Salamanca, Cadiz, and Seville. Each city had its own unique history and part in Spanish culture. It was good to be able to see all parts of the country.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have been studying Spanish since my 7th grade year, and being in Spain allowed me to have real world experiences that I will always remember. It took me out of my comfort zone and forced me to solve problems using the language. In the classroom, we were highly encouraged to not only speak in Spanish but to think in Spanish. If there was a word someone did not understand, we would use the Spanish vocabulary we had to clarify as much as possible. Unlike in the United States, we usually did not have the option to leave Spanish class and speak English among friends. The directors of the program made us sign contracts promising to speak Spanish as much as we could. It was challenging, but the task is feasible and helped me improve my speaking skills a lot.

There are only so many things you can understand by reading a book and seeing pictures; studying abroad will allow you to understand another culture because you are a part of it.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I hope to get involved with educational and public policy for my career, and being bilingual could set me apart from other candidates, especially since the Spanish speaking community in the United States is growing steadily. I want to be able to serve in communities and among individuals whose voices are not heard. A language barrier can stop people from properly voicing their opinions. I can be the liaison and bridge the gap between different cultures and perspectives. I am also considering volunteering in the Peace Corps after graduation, and the experience abroad would make me a more experienced and competitive candidate.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend studying abroad to a Liberal Arts student because it will truly change them as a person and make them better equipped for a diverse workforce. There are only so many things you can understand by reading a book and seeing pictures; studying abroad will allow you to understand another culture because you are a part of it. Also, traveling allowed me to really find out a lot about myself and what my place is in this world. I have come back from my study abroad more mature, independent, and focused.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Benjamin Rowles

U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program
Up one level
Benjamin Rowles

Major: English
Hometown: Harleysville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I interned with the U.S. Department of State in the summer of 2016 under the unpaid Student Internship Program. That summer, I met someone in the U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program, a two-summer internship program with the State Department that is fully funded and allows interns the opportunity to work both at a bureau in D.C. and at a U.S. Embassy overseas. He encouraged me to apply.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During the first three weeks, I completed a training with the 27 other interns in the program on leadership, presentation skills, professional writing, and government operations. The training was led by Ambassadors and other senior State Department officials. We all spent the next seven weeks interning in various offices. I interned with the Bureau of Public Affairs, working on educational outreach programs and public relations. Next summer I will intern at U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.

The U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program is an unparalleled opportunity to learn what it is like to be a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience made me a better writer and editor. Writing is highly valued at the State Department, and I had the opportunity to be coached in writing by my supervisors and training instructors. I am now more confident in producing professional reports and memos while under time pressure.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This experience made me interested in becoming a Foreign Service Officer (diplomat) with the U.S. Department of State. I had the chance to work with several Foreign Service Officers this summer, and their breadth of experience, diverse skill sets, and commitment to public service never ceased to impress me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes! The U.S. Foreign Service Internship Program is an unparalleled opportunity to learn what it is like to be a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. The opportunity to meet other interns with similar interests as well as professional diplomats was invaluable in itself.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Sarah Bastian

Shaanxi Normal University (陕西师范大学)
Up one level
Sarah Bastian

Major: Chinese (BA), Teaching English as a Second Language (MA)
Hometown: State College, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first independently created my research opportunity in collaboration with a friend who teaches English at a university in Xi'an, then started looking for opportunities to study that would fit together with my research plan. While looking at websites for universities in Xi'an, I discovered that if I was able to pass a Chinese language proficiency test, I could take classes alongside Chinese students at Shaanxi Normal University. Integrating into the Chinese classroom was an incredibly important goal for me, so I moved forward with the application process.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I have dreamed about living and working in China for several years now, so when I thought about applying to study abroad, it was incredibly important to me to get as close to daily life as possible. By taking a leave of absence from Penn State and independently finding a program that would place me alongside Chinese students in classes designed for native speakers of Chinese, I knew that I was bypassing many resources that were designed to help make this process go as smoothly as possible. However, I believed that going through the challenges of applying for and experiencing this program on my own would be a valuable opportunity to understand more about Chinese culture and stretch my language proficiency. There were many challenges, including waiting until nighttime to call my university across a thirteen hour time difference and navigating the application and arrival process primarily in Chinese. When I arrived, I discovered that I was the only foreign student in the entire university to apply to take classes alongside Chinese students, so I experienced the feeling of being the only foreigner in all of my classes, and I worked with several faculty who were unfamiliar with teaching foreign students. In the face of these challenges, I had the joy of meeting several wonderful professors who patiently worked with me and the differences that I brought into their classrooms, and I also met several classmates who became dear friends as they not only helped me understand our classwork, but also introduced me to life in their school and city. During the semester, I not only studied at one Chinese university, but also conducted classroom observation and interviews regarding English classes at another university in the same city. This experience was self-directed under the guidance of my thesis supervisors at Penn State, in connection with a friend who teaches English in China, and it allowed me to see firsthand all the challenges that arise while trying to translate a research proposal from paper to real life. At the same time, it gave me unprecedented personal understanding of the place English learning holds in the lives of Chinese university students, which overwhelmingly satisfied my goal for the research portion of my study abroad experience.

By both studying and researching within the Chinese university context at the same time, I got multiple angles on the way my future career can impact students in positive ways.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience helped me focus on developing and sticking to my own academic goals because, as the only non-native Chinese speaker in all of my classes, I could not always compete on the same level as my classmates. Still, my Chinese language skills rapidly advanced throughout the course of the semester largely as a result of the immersion experience, and I learned about Chinese university life from the inside out, which were two of my biggest goals for my semester.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

For years, my dream has been to teach English at a university in China. I believe that it is essential for teachers to seek to understand the lives of their students, so that is why it was so important for me to study alongside Chinese students, and this experience allowed me to step into their lives in ways that I simply could not understand otherwise. Additionally, my research into the goals and investment of Chinese students in their college English courses through classroom observation and interviews was another way of stepping into the experience of Chinese students particularly in regard to the way learning English impacts their lives. By both studying and researching within the Chinese university context at the same time, I got multiple angles on the way my future career can impact students in positive ways.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Whether or not this experience is right for you totally depends on your goals for studying abroad. If you want to see the famous sights of China through organized tours, build close friendships with the other foreign students who came with you, and have institutional support to help you with the logistics, then this experience is definitely not for you. But, if you already have advanced Chinese proficiency (I needed to pass the HSK 5 to apply for the studying portion of this program), you are able to look at challenges as new adventures, and you want to get as close to everyday life as possible during your stay in China, then I would highly recommend this approach!

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I am very thankful for the special emphasis that the Paterno Fellows Program places on global awareness; this mindset encouraged me to pursue my goals for studying abroad, even though they fell off the beaten path of organized programs and experiences.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Ben Taha

Borough of State College
Up one level
Ben Taha

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences, Sociology
Minor: Business and Liberal Arts
Hometown: Garnet Valley, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I called the borough and asked if they had interns, and we worked out an administrative internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Being involved in the local government was quite interesting. I had never envisioned myself doing something like it, but it was a pleasant surprise. Everyone who works for the borough is passionate about their work, friendly, and willing to help others in need, whether that is a fellow employee or the public. For much of my internship, I was the first line of contact. If you google "State College Borough," the phone number that pops up was me! I gained a lot of experience communicating over the phone with all types of members of the area. Also, I spent a lot of time organizing open records. It is not the most glorified work, but it was a way to make an immediate impact on the State College community.

How did this experience impact you academically?

First of all, I was eligible to get school credit for the internship, but I opted to take pay. I think that the experience made me thirsty to learn more. After a summer of real world experience, I was ready to go back and learn more from my professors and books in order to translate it back into real world application after graduation. I decided to switch into a couple of classes that can lead me into the law field to solidify whether that is really the road I want to take, and so far, it has been great! I also had the opportunity to take 12 credits for my last two semesters each. Instead, I decided to take 13.5 credits each to add a Logic class that I believe will help me in my future career endeavors. All in all, my summer motivated me to never settle.

After a summer of real world experience, I was ready to go back and learn more from my professors and books in order to translate it back into real world application after graduation.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I plan on attending law school a couple of years after graduation. As of now, however, I expect to work in consulting or lobbying, ideally in Washington, D.C. I think my experience with the borough this summer really piqued a dormant passion of mine in government and politics. This passion was always in me, but I needed an extra push from some real world experience. Helping make decisions that will directly impact the community around us is something that cannot be matched. Now I look forward to a more fast-paced post-graduation experience. Obviously, local government is different from state or federal government, but it supplied me a great prequel to what will hopefully result in a fruitful series.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend interning for the State College Borough. It was a great experience. You are exposed to influential members of the community and get to do meaningful work that has a direct impact on the community.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Marissa E. Wegfahrt

Social Enrichment Center
Up one level
Marissa E. Wegfahrt

Major: Psychology
Minor: Biology, Deafness and Hearing Studies
Hometown: Jamison, PA

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was working with children who had autism, ADHD, or Down Syndrome. Throughout the internship I assisted the staff with treatment sessions, cleaning the toy rooms, general office duties, and coming up with activity plans. Each day was slightly different with new issues arising, such as activities not going exactly as planned or a child acting out. I learned a lot about not only how treatment for autism and childhood disorders is progressing, but also how the staff continue to change their means of treatment to fit each specific child. The children were being taught ways to control their anger, make new friends, and improve upon their schoolwork. It was an enriching experience that helped me move closer to my future career goals.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, by earning credit for this internship, I was able to read many research articles and write a cumulative term paper about different treatment options for autism spectrum disorder. This challenged me to ask questions of the staff members at my internship and to reach deeper than simply going about the day with the kids. I had to question each behavior and how we would treat it specifically. Also, this experience made me realize I do not necessarily want to focus on autism in my future endeavors. Through hearing about some of the children’s stories and past patients, I discovered that childhood trauma is a topic I have great interest in.

This challenged me to ask questions of the staff members at my internship and to reach deeper than simply going about the day with the kids.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

At this point in my college career, my next goal would be to go to either a master’s program or PhD program for developmental psychology. I would like to research post-traumatic stress disorder in kids related to childhood trauma and sexual assault. Eventually I hope to work as a clinician or have my own psychological practice. I really enjoyed the treatment aspect of my internship, so that helped me realize I definitely want to work as a psychologist. I am open minded about changing the focus, but I know that I do wish to work with children after spending a summer working with them. Children have open minds and the ability to learn so much, so I think they would be the population I would like to work with best.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. It was a very enriching experience, and I enjoyed going to work each day. The staff were kind and helpful whenever I had a question, and they thoroughly taught the interns how to do the job that was expected of them.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Fanta Conde

University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Up one level
Fanta Conde

Major: Political Science, Philosophy
Minor: Security and Risk Analysis
Hometown: Staten Island, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I received an email from my political science advisor, Mia Parise, detailing a public policy and international affairs summer fellowship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I was accepted into the University of Michigan's Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) fellowship at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Here I participated in graduate level courses such as: statistics, microeconomics, domestic policy module, international policy module, monetary policy module, and policy writing workshops, as well as GRE preparation courses. We took trips to the Detroit Fed, spoke to leaders who were working on the Detroit waterfront initiative, and were visited by numerous organizations such as the Congressional Budget Office and Governmental Accountability Office. We were also visited by various public policy graduate schools such as Harvard University, University of Minnesota, Georgetown University, Syracuse University, Carnegie Mellon University, and others.

I met lifelong friends, colleagues, and brilliant professors who have made a profound impact on my life.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Through the PPIA experience, I was challenged immensely through the rigor of the academic courses, as well as the GRE prep. With a cohort of 17 other students, we were taught the value of learning from and educating one another to increase our open-mindedness and the benefit of challenging ourselves and taking full advantage of every single opportunity that was presented to us. Through the faculty panels, I learned the huge importance of maintaining contact and reaching out to members of the academic community. I started off in the statistics course with a phobia of mathematics and numbers and left feeling incredibly empowered to take on any problem that was presented before me. I am incredibly thankful for such an enriching experience through PPIA and thankful that Liberal Arts enrichment funding helped to make that experience happen.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

The PPIA experience highly illuminated a set of goals which I have set for my future self. I plan to work in the realm of public policy, especially as it pertains to the K-12 public educational system. I am currently applying to a series of fellowships which I hope will arm me with experience. If awarded with said fellowships, I plan to return to the work field and pursue a career with an organization such as the Governmental Accountability Office or a non-profit organization which promotes equity in our educational system. After gaining real world experience, I hope to channel that into my academics in graduate school where I will seek out a master's degree in public policy.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, of course! It was an irreplaceable experience and one of the best summers of my life! I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest and love for public policy. I met lifelong friends, colleagues, and brilliant professors who have made a profound impact on my life.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Olivia K. Torres

Rome, Italy: Study Tour of Roman History and Archaeology (Summer)
Up one level
Olivia K. Torres

Major: English, Spanish, and History
Minor: Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Hometown: Mays Landing, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I always knew that I wanted to study abroad, so when someone came in to speak with my Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies class last year about this opportunity, I immediately began to look further.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This experience allowed me to get six credits to be applied to my major and minor and also provided me with a once in a lifetime opportunity. Our group, which consisted of two Penn State professors and about a dozen students, would meet each morning at 9:00am in the hotel lobby. The days were simple: on Colosseum day we took the metro to the Colosseum, on Roman Forum day we ventured over to the Roman Forum, and so on. Never before have I gotten to learn about the history of anywhere, let alone an ancient city as famous as Rome, while standing amidst the ruins. This experience painted a picture of history that brought it to life in my mind.

This experience painted a picture of history that brought it to life in my mind.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Education is not just about memorization and examinations. It includes gaining an understanding and comprehension of the subject matter. My minor is in CAMS, but Ancient Rome was never my main focal point. I preferred to learn about the Ancient Near East, but I knew that only focusing on one aspect would not be beneficial to receiving a well-rounded education. This experience allowed me to gain an interest in something new and come home with a wealth of knowledge. I have been able to apply what I have learned to many of my other classes, including history, English, and even Spanish!

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Completing three majors and one minor in the span of four years is not going to be easy. This experience allowed me to obtain six credits towards both my CAMS minor and my History major. Eventually, I hope to attend law schools and apply my degrees in order to become a successful lawyer that knows how to communicate effectively in multiple languages. Communication comes from comprehension; the ability to understand what came before and to learn from it is priceless. This experience allowed me to immerse myself in Italian culture and closely study Ancient Roman practices of religion and politics, which have laid a foundation for their contemporary counterparts. It has been a valuable addition to my well-rounded education.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, because education needs to expand beyond the classroom. Liberal Arts students have the opportunity to see the world through new lenses and make a real change. Studying abroad opens so many doors that can allow that to happen.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

As a Paterno Fellow aspirant, the requirement to take a certain number of honors courses seemed a bit daunting at first. An opportunity to go abroad and get three 400-level credits helped to alleviate some of that pressure. The Paterno Fellows Program inspired me to think beyond the classroom and pursue innovative ways to meet the requirements. I understand that it is up to me to make the most of my education and of my four years at Penn State. This program has allowed me to travel to a country I had never visited before and explore history hands on.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Daniele Lewis

Besançon, France: French Language Studies (Summer)
Up one level
Daniele Lewis

Major: French and Francophone Studies
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Seneca, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience from my educational advisor. She informed me that the program would help me fulfill credits for my major while also giving me a lot of experience that would allow me to progress in my major.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Throughout the program I had the opportunity to travel to different cities in France where I was able to practice my French language and conversational skills. I was able to experience cities in both northern and southern France, allowing me to experience firsthand the regional differences in not only the language but also the culture. Living with a host family and having classes with native French teachers allowed me to gain a better sense of the true way that French people speak. My host mom made traditional French dishes and discussed with me cultural differences between the French and Americans, allowing me to better understand how people of different backgrounds can lead very different lives and have different perspectives.

Because the program and the chance to interact with native French people helped me flourish in my conversational skills, I believe the experience had a direct impact on my abilities needed for my future career goals.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me immensely academically because it allowed me to further progress in my knowledge of the French language. Being in an environment where everyone around me spoke the language helped the language to more easily come to thought, which allowed me to more easily progress in my conversational and speaking skills in the language. I have found that I progressed much more in the language during this program than ever before because of my interactions with native French speakers. Both my host mom and instructors at the university in Besancon taught me a plethora of slang and idiomatic expressions used by the French people on a day to day basis. Since slang and expressions are important in conversation in French just as they are in English, information like this is useful in speaking to real French people and truly an experience I think cannot be learned from a textbook.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My goals and plans for after graduation are centered on my knowledge of the French language and my ability to use the language to properly converse and communicate with other French speakers. Therefore, because the program and the chance to interact with native French people helped me flourish in my conversational skills, I believe the experience had a direct impact on my abilities needed for my future career goals. I hope to work for a business that has ties to France and French speakers and therefore will need to be able to communicate thoughts and ideas effectively with French speakers.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students, especially for French majors. I thought the instructors of the program were very helpful, and the opportunity to stay in an environment of a language you are studying helps you to flourish in the language. Besancon is also a very lovely little town that is very welcoming to foreign students and gives you a true French experience.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Savannah Ellison

MedLife
Up one level
Savannah Ellison

Major: Psychology (Neuroscience)
Minor: Biology
Hometown: Easton, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I went to my advisers and found out which programs are best suited to fit my schedule. Afterwards, I went to the Penn State Education Abroad office and met with another adviser. I then went to the science involvement fair held and found out about this program's chapter on campus.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I flew out to Peru, where I stayed in a hotel in the center of Cuzco. During the time that I spent there I shadowed doctors, took patient information, and taught kids about hygiene and general health. Many of the kids did not even know how to brush their teeth, so I spent two days teaching groups of kids and handing out free toothbrushes and toothpaste. When I was shadowing the OBGYN, I was able to learn how to do a breast exam on patients and helped her complete pap smears. At triage, I wrote down general patient info and any symptoms that they were experiencing. There was a dentist whom I assisted in filling cavities and a station where I tested glucose levels to detect diabetes.

This experience allowed to me gain hands on experience treating patients and applying my knowledge to real life situations. I also learned how to immerse myself in another culture and try the different foods, clothes, and music.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience allowed to me gain hands on experience treating patients and applying my knowledge to real life situations. I also learned how to immerse myself in another culture and try the different foods, clothes, and music. I was able to enhance my Spanish speaking skills, and learned the Spanish terms for medical terms that were not taught in my general language classes. I learned about how the healthcare system differs from the one I am used to and the social issues that the citizens of Peru are struggling with.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After graduation, my goal is to apply to a graduate program to become a Physician Assistant. I am already in the process of volunteering at hospitals and shadowing physicians so that I can be completely sure that this is the path that I wish to take. With my study abroad experience, I learned that there are many issues going on in the world that we Americans do not know or hear about, and that makes me want to become successful in the healthcare field in order to go abroad and help out in the countries that need more healthcare professionals.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this experience to any student who wants to expand their world view and help people along the way.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

David Spiller

TOP 09 Political Party
Up one level
David Spiller

Major: International Relations, Criminology
Hometown: Prague, Czech Republic

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I have followed the party for quiet a while, so when I started looking for internships I stumbled upon their internship and educational program online. The program is called TOP-AZ and is supported by the Top 09 Political party in the Czech Republic.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was great; I got to take a first look at the inner workings of a political party, something of great interest to me both in an academic and extracurricular manner. The internship was located in the party headquarters in a great location in Prague. I was given tasks ranging from folding election pamphlets to meeting top politicians in the Czech Republic. A lot of the work consisted of data organization in Excel. It was great to be able to sit in on the weekly meetings of the different departments working within the party. During my internship I worked with the media department, educational department, and also the campaign manager. One memorable instance was when I had to listen to and transcribe leaked recordings of a politician who is being investigated for corruption; the transcribed script was to be used in a parliamentary investigation committee.

This internship experience allowed me to look into the workings of a political party and gave me a practical experience of what to expect when I venture into that career path.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this internship had a positive impact on me. I gained practical experience by working within a political party and seeing what it is like under the campaigns and presentation in the media. I got to witness political structuring firsthand. I also applied skills that I have picked up while at Penn State, such as the Excel work that I did and my knowledge of party structure and politics as a whole. The internship also motivated me academically as it has pushed me to start strong in the new semester and bring some of the skills with me. Although the internship was not focused solely on academics, it was truly a great learning experience in which I gained new skills such as transcribing, participating in political discussion, and visiting round-table debates and talks at several NGOs.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to eventually work in politics as an elected representative. However, beforehand I am considering attending law school and practicing law or political/business consulting. Going into politics is more of a long-term goal, and in the Czech political system it is common to go into politics from the working sector after couple of years of work experience. With the current job market, I am not looking to be extremely selective when it comes to my career after graduating college, but instead will be looking to utilize my skills and gain important work experience in a field that interests me, such as business consulting or marketing. A Penn State degree provides a massive competitive advantage in my home country, the Czech Republic, so I am hopeful that with the right steps I can achieve success and eventually work up to my long-term goal. This internship experience allowed me to look into the workings of a political party and gave me a practical experience of what to expect when I venture into that career path.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students, but because I doubt that many of them speak Czech, I would recommend for them to do it in their respective languages. I would recommend this type of internship for Liberal Arts students because the skills we pick up in the College of the Liberal Arts greatly resonate with and apply to other internships similar to mine.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Mary Lawrence

District Court 15-1-04
Up one level
Mary Lawrence

Major: Sociology, Criminology
Minor: Women's Studies
Hometown: West Chester, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

To find this opportunity I looked for local government positions I would be interested in and then simply called each of them and asked if they took summer interns. Since the Court of Common Pleas did not take undergraduate interns, I called District Court. I explained what I was looking for and asked if they had a position or something that could work, and they offered me an internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an intern for District Court, I had several project based responsibilities on top of attending and observing day to day legal proceedings. The first project I worked on founded a tracking guide for the Judge and leaders at West Chester University. This tracking guide was a compilation of data from defendants as to where certain crimes occurred and where potential danger zones are for students. The second project that I completed was examining and mapping out how the parking authority dealt with parking tickets. I made a flowchart for how the parking authority should be filing citations and what was going wrong. Then I worked with the Judge and the parking authority to point out and mend any issues that the parking authority was encountering. The experience was the most impactful to me while I was in the courtroom, however my work outside the courtroom was more beneficial to the community at large.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a sociology and criminology major, this internship was beneficial to me, and I was also able to bring my skills to the court. While completing my projects, I used my experience with data and social research to give the court a comprehensive report as to where dangerous zones were within our town. The experiences in the courtroom were oftentimes complex, so the Judge usually had a recess where we would go to chambers and talk about what was going on before she made her decision. It was at that time where she would ask me my opinion and clear up any confusion I had. I was able to apply theories I had learned in classes, and it encouraged me to look further into problems local communities experience.

I was very grateful to have had this experience so that I could see the functions of criminal and civil law in real time.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I am currently in the process of applying to law school. Going into this summer I was convinced I was going to be a prosecutor and put bad people in jail. It turns out that that is not always the case. Oftentimes the people who were convicted in District Court did not have proper representation. There were times when there was a defendant in lock up with no attorney and the Judge would appoint whichever public defender was in front of her to take care of the arraignment. I still want to work in law, but I think I want to do victim advocacy and family law. I was very grateful to have had this experience so that I could see the functions of criminal and civil law in real time.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend getting involved in lower levels of government work to any of my peers. I think it is important to see how your local government functions in the community you live in. Some of the work I completed was completely unfamiliar to me, but it gave me an opportunity to learn new skills and approach problems differently.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program made it possible for me to accept internships without financial compensation. I felt as if what I was doing for the court was important - especially when we were short-staffed and everyone working there had to come together to keep the court afloat. I feel that I have a solid grounding in law after working for the public sector this summer, doing a Criminology study abroad program last summer, and working in the private sector in years prior. The Paterno Fellows Program pushes their students toward community involvement to enhance their academic experience which is paramount to any honors education.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Tiara Dowling

Unbound Prometheus
Up one level
Tiara Dowling

Major: Women's Studies, Criminology
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this study abroad experience from one my friends here at University Park. She had taken a class taught by Dr. Samuel Richards and Dr. Laurie Mulvey, who had mentioned the experience to her. We decided to go to enjoy a learning experience with two of the best educators at Penn State.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My study abroad experience gave me a different perspective on social issues such as racism, refugees, language, and political decisions through discussions and observations. I was in Kavala, Greece for two weeks, but it felt as though I had been there forever. The residents make you feel right at home by engaging you in conversation, wanting to actually help you, and suggesting places to go eat. The people were extremely welcoming to us everywhere we went; there was even a group of residents who offered to pay for our meal. Even at the airport in Athens, where there were people from all over, there was a kind atmosphere. I learned so much about how our culture is different from theirs. For example, in Kavala they are more touchy than in American culture.

I feel as though this experience has prepared me to ask questions that no one else will ask and to explore what others will not explore.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically because it put to use what I had been learning here at Penn State for the past two years about global conflicts and women. For example, I learned about how Greece switched to the euro and their economic crash. I had background information on the subject from my global feminism course at Penn State. I was able to put a face to what I was learning which made it more real to me. I hear about conflicts that are going on overseas all the time on the news, but to see them up close and personal made me want to help more. We met with refugees during one of our class periods. I learned more about myself and the situation than I ever could learn in a classroom. I feel as though this experience has prepared me to ask questions that no one else will ask and to explore what others will not explore.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After finishing my undergraduate degree at Penn State, I want to go to law school and become a juvenile lawyer. This experience impacted me because as a lawyer I have to be able to see more than one solution or perspective in a case; taking the conflict course gave me the tools to see from so many different perspectives. Taking a course with students from around the world taught me to understand before I respond and to voice my own opinions without any filter. I can now see more than one solution, and I can now better understand others when they are voicing opinions that I do not agree with. This experience has encouraged me more than ever to become a lawyer because I want to help people in need, and one of those ways to help is at a political or legal level.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. Traveling gives students an outlook that we cannot get by staying in the country we are from, basically looking through an altered window. We have to get out, explore, form questions, and help in the ways that we can.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Natasha Roberts

PNC
Up one level
Natasha Roberts

Major: Labor and Employment Relations, Psychology
Hometown: Ardsley, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this experience through exploring the Liberal Arts website. I was looking originally for enrichment funding for the school year but then I came across this opportunity in my searching process. I then informed my friends about this opportunity.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I interned at PNC in the Retail Learning space and worked under various Learning & Development Consultants (LDCs). I was assigned various projects within that space revolving around archiving, inputting material in the Virtual Learning Environment, scanning training modules for unapproved language, assisted in creating a training module, and shadowed various LDCs on personal projects. In addition, I utilized the opportunity to shadow managers in various HR functions in order to expand my knowledge of HR as a whole and build my professional network. Before this internship, I was unaware of all the HR functions, but now I have a general understanding of each function and how they all work together. I also helped coordinate a two-day off-site for 50 employees. The off-site was intended to facilitate discussion on how their current HR processes can be reinvented to operate cross-functionally in order to improve the employee experience through the new Work Day platform. Through this experience I was able to hear conversations with employees in each HR function discuss ways that the new HR system can operate cross-functionally. Since each group was assigned a certain portion of the employee experience, I was able to understand more about the employee life cycle and the different systems involved, as well as understand how the different HR functions work together. Lastly, I worked with 10 other interns on a project to improve PNC’s disposition codes and the disposition code process in order to reduce risk and increase efficiency. The project was presented to the CHRO and her direct reports at the end of the summer and will be explored further by the Talent Acquisition Team.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience allowed me to utilize what I have been learning in classes and especially touched upon what I have been learning in my graduate level courses. I had a basic knowledge of Human Resources, but this experience allowed me to understand how the knowledge I learned in class applies to the real world with examples I can reference. Additionally, this experience allowed me to expand on my honors thesis. Throughout the summer I spoke with various people in Diversity and Inclusion about my thesis in order to gain their insight on how I can narrow down my topic and see if they could provide me with any resources to reference. Through this I gained different perspectives about the multiracial identity, and I developed a good relationship with the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and plan to share my thesis with her and her team.

The experience impacted my career goal because it gave me knowledge and experience within most of the HR functions, which allowed me to then decide which areas I want to further explore.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I hope to become a leading figure within the Human Resources field. I have not narrowed down which function I would like to specialize in, but that is a reason why I enjoy Human Resources - I can do various things within this field. The experience impacted my career goal because it gave me knowledge and experience within most of the HR functions, which allowed me to then decide which areas I want to further explore. For example, I had no interest in compensation, but after shadowing compensation for a day, I developed a strong interest in it and want to explore this function in the future.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Being a part of the Paterno Fellows program is a big reason why I was given this opportunity. The couple that donated supports the Paterno Fellows program and wants to see Paterno Fellows succeed. Additionally, the Paterno Fellows Program impacted my experience by pushing me to keep learning and find leadership opportunities. The program is designed to push students academically and develop well-rounded students; therefore I transferred this mentality to my internship experience and continuously sought out opportunities to learn. This was done through conversations with people or volunteering to assist on projects as well as seeking out opportunities to enhance my honors thesis.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Lina Ruth Duiker

Universidad Centroamericana (UCA)
Up one level
Lina Ruth Duiker

Major: Philosophy, Spanish
Minor: Women's Studies, Latin American Studies
Hometown: State College, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I actually created this enrichment experience myself. I am in the Schreyer Honors College, and I wanted to do my thesis on sexual assault in Nicaragua, so I talked with my advisor and many other professors at the university and found a contact at UCA. I then looked for funding online and thought of trying to get funding from my college.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience in Nicaragua was definitely a whirlwind. There was a lot of chaos, which comes from doing research on your own, but it was definitely an impactful experience. While I was in Managua, I met a lot of people from the university that I was at, and I got to learn about a different culture. Because of the nature of my research, I had a lot of interesting conversations with the people who took the surveys. My survey had a section based on empathy and then another section about consent. There were consent vignettes, and it was interesting to hear how people reacted differently and were frustrated with the way the vignettes were set up. They purposefully did not give information about the relationship between the male and the female. I talked with a lot of the younger females about how they felt about sexual assault in Nicaragua, and they told me about their specific experiences with machismo. I had to go up to random people and ask them if they wanted to do a survey, and the people there were very helpful and nice, so it was not nearly as terrifying as it seemed at the beginning.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience is impacting me academically because it is research that I am doing for my thesis. I wanted to do my thesis on something that was important to me, that was interesting, and that I thought could make a difference. I decided to do it on sexual assault because of a class I took in the spring about sexual and domestic violence. Nicaragua has one of the highest sexual assault rates in Latin America, so I chose to go to Managua to do the surveys. I wanted to look specifically at the ethics of sexual assault because of an ethics course that I had also taken in the spring. I was able to incorporate all of my interests and my majors and minors (Philosophy, Spanish, Women’s Studies, and Latin American Studies) into my thesis, which was really cool!

This experience has impacted what my dream career would look like.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I am planning on graduating in Spring of 2018, which means I will graduate at the end of my third year. I will take two gap years working, and then continue on to law school. I am not sure exactly what I want to do during my gap years, but I am thinking of moving to Washington D.C. and either working at a law firm as a paralegal, working at a non-profit, or working as an intern at a law firm. This experience has impacted what my dream career would look like. I am planning on working in either immigration law, child protection services, or domestic and sexual violence law.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would definitely recommend that students get some experience abroad. I would probably recommend trying to be in a program that is already set up, but making your own experience is definitely cool too!

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program has impacted my experience because it is the reason I even had this experience. I would never have even thought to do this research on my own. I might have tried a study abroad, but to come up with my own research experience and find funding to pay for it all would never have even been a thought that entered my mind. I joined Paterno Fellows, and through this I was admitted to the Schreyer Honors College. Because I wanted to incorporate all of my majors and minors into my thesis in some way, I came up with an experience that was uniquely mine; through funding from Schreyer and the Liberal Arts Enrichment Fund, I was able to actually go to Nicaragua and do research on a problem that is impacting real people.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Kali Zamkoff

Virtua Health
Up one level
Kali Zamkoff

Major: Health Policy and Administration, Labor and Employment Relations
Minor: Business
Hometown: Marlboro, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience though conversations with advisors and the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Festival. I would suggest reaching out to your advisor and searching Penn State's website for enrichment opportunities!

This experience has given me confidence in my abilities which I can speak about when looking for a full-time opportunity

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My summer enrichment experience was one that I will never forget. With the funding provided to me, I was able to wholeheartedly focus on my internship at Virtua. Virtua Health has an incredible culture and was a great place to work. I specifically worked on business development projects.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has given me confidence in my abilities which I can speak about when looking for a full-time opportunity. At Virtua, I developed my technical, analytical, and problem solving skills, which I would not have had the opportunity to do if I did not have the enrichment funding.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Upon graduation, I hope to work as a healthcare consultant. I specifically am interested in providing strategy and operational solutions for clients.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Andrew Powell

Neurobehavioral Associates
Up one level
Andrew Powell

Major: Psychology, Neuroscience option
Minor: Biology
Hometown: Severna Park, MD

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship originally in 2016 through Network Symplicity. At the time, I was not a competitive applicant and did not even receive an interview. I worked hard, improved my grades and application, and applied again in spring 2017 through Network Symplicity and was fortunate enough to receive an offer.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Throughout my six week internship, I had the chance to shadow Dr. Vince Culotta and his associates, sitting in on neurocognitive assessments, observing IEP meetings at local schools, and academic evaluations. The main part of the internship was working with Dr. Culotta and Dr. Melissa Blackwell on submitting a research abstract on a case study I was given that will be published in the International Neuropsychology Society journal this fall. I will also be presenting our findings at their annual conference in Washington D.C. next February.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship was more academically beneficial than I could ever imagine. Not only did I receive a publication from this experience, but I also received a letter of recommendation, which I will use when I apply to Physician Assistant school next year. I also had the chance to experience my major from a different perspective. I wanted to branch out in my work experience, and this experience definitely fulfilled that.

This internship was more academically beneficial than I could ever imagine.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Currently, I am planning on attending Physician Assistant school post-undergrad. This internship allowed me network and further my professional career. I was able to see a different side of my major and made sure I was making the right decision. The letter of recommendation, the publication, and the work experience all help in strengthening my application when I go to apply next semester.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. Dr. Culotta and his associates were all extremely helpful in answering questions, providing me with resources, and overall providing me with an enriching and impactful experience that I will cherish. So much of what I learned from Neurobehavioral Associates will help me in advancing both my academic and professional career.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Azniv Nalbandian

CIEE St. Petersburg, Russia
Up one level
Azniv Nalbandian

Major: Women's Studies, Russian
Hometown: Andover, MA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience from my instructors and fellow peers who were CIEE alumni. I also attended an informational meeting where I was able to converse and ask CIEE alumni questions about their experiences. I felt this improved my level of comfort with embarking on the study abroad experience.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I stayed with a host family, which was comprised of a single woman in her late 50s. She only knew Russian, which was a challenge I embraced every day. I had classes from 10am-3pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesdays and the weekends were reserved for CIEE coordinated excursions. One of my fondest excursions was our weekend trip to Moscow. Even though this was my second visit to Russia, it was my first time in Moscow. I had few expectations, but was intrigued to compare Moscow with St. Petersburg. When I saw Red Square for the first time, I felt overwhelmed by the historical richness of this attraction. These were the grounds that infamous Russian figureheads had stood on and given landmark speeches. The sheer weight of the location remains palpable in my recollection of that powerful moment. The historical and political richness of the Soviet Union was rooted in Red Square, and I feel as though its significance has not wavered over the decades. My time in Moscow led me to fully capture the oscillating tension between Russia’s Soviet past and the path they have embarked upon after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. This tension is hard to reconcile, but is something I wish to continue to reflect upon because I believe it can help with my possible endeavors in the region.

From learning Russian folk songs to reciting Pushkin’s poems, the knowledge I acquired was rich and continues to show its worth in my Russian studies.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The academic experience improved my linguistic and cultural proficiency. I took courses that focused on Grammar, Conversation, Russian Culture, Russian Film, Russian Mass Media, Phonetics, and Russian Music. This truly all-encompassing experience has allowed me to build upon knowledge that I have acquired, and continue to acquire, at Penn State. From learning Russian folk songs to reciting Pushkin’s poems, the knowledge I acquired was rich and continues to show its worth in my Russian studies. I'm grateful for the opportunity that my liberal arts education has given me to be able to not only participate, but also thrive in a study abroad experience that I will never forget.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My experience and learning in Russia expanded well beyond the classroom setting. I wanted to delve into and feel the pulse of the Russian people, thus I sought to acquaint myself with everyday Russians whenever I had the opportunity to do so. The CIEE program did an excellent job at facilitating such immersive activities, and this was proven during a discussion forum that focused on the LGBT community in Russia. This issue has always fascinated me, and I feel a connection to this topic for personal reasons. I had some hesitations attending such a discussion forum given the predominantly hostile LGBT environment in Russia, however the experience proved to be very fruitful and beneficial. I was able to converse with members of the Russian LGBT community and bridge the gap between our cultural and personal differences. This experience furthered my conviction that social issues are labyrinthine entities that must maintain a level of complexity because oversimplification can lead to dangerous outcomes. Study abroad experiences exceed conceivable expectations in regards to one's proficiency as an individual and global citizen. My time in Russia this past summer has opened my mind to a series of questions that I look forward to inquiring about. In particular, what is the future of LGBT people in regards to their personal safety and right to their autonomy? Do I have the credibility as an American student studying Russian to interfere or even question the political and social justice issues regarding minority populations in Russia? As I embark on my junior year at Penn State, with the looming task of writing a thesis, I hope to be able to find clarity and resolution to the matters at hand. I look forward to exploring difficult paths that lead to undiscovered destinations.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because the CIEE program highlighted the importance of full cultural immersion. The staff were trained and experienced and allowed for the experience to go smoothly.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Stephanie Kinsella

New Zealand and Australia: Sustainable Tourism and the Environment (Summer)
Up one level
Stephanie Kinsella

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences; Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management
Hometown: Lehighton, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this abroad program by having a guest speaker come into one of my classes to give a short introduction for it. After that, I attended an information session held outside the classroom.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The first place my class traveled to was the northern island of New Zealand. As soon as we landed, we were off to start our first exploration of the Karangahake gorge. While there, we toured the old mines and railways. A few days later we went to Tauranga and learned about a plant called flax, which helps repopulate rainforests. Next, we went to McLaren Falls Park in Omanawa and tested oxygen levels in the river by collecting the bugs that reside there. One of the last things we did in New Zealand was take second graders to the beach and plant sand dunes with them and teach them about how important sand dunes are in the event of a tsunami or flooding. While in Australia, we started in Hidden Valley where we stayed in cabins in an eco-friendly resort. We went on another rainforest walk that led to the running river gorge where we could swim. This was one of my favorite activities to do. Within the next few days, we had the opportunity to ride bicycles to a forest where koalas resided, and we took koala populations by collecting and analyzing their poop. Next we stayed with local farm families. My group had the opportunity to feed all the animals and milk goats. After the farm stays were concluded, we went to Cape Tribulation where we went on a night rainforest walk. I found this extremely exciting since we could see eyes glowing with our flashlights of several types of insects and animals. Next, we went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. We had some free time to swim and explore it, but we also looked at and counted populations of different fish and compared it to previous results. Lastly, we visited a wildlife habitat that had different birds, reptiles, cassowaries, and kangaroos and wallabies. We even got to feed and pet the kangaroos and wallabies.

How did this experience impact you academically?

With climate change becoming a bigger issue each day, my generation needs to learn ways to become sustainable and make efforts to help our atmosphere and environment. I learned about topics, issues, and cultures that I never would have had the opportunity to learn about if I had not studied abroad. I have firsthand experience with what is happening to our planet with the changing temperatures. I also have experience with efforts that can be taken each day and over a long period of time to help reduce our carbon footprint. This experience has severely helped shape aspects of my life that were weak before.

I learned about topics, issues, and cultures that I never would have had the opportunity to learn about if I had not studied abroad.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After I graduate, I would like to have a career in event operations. My plan is to eventually leave Pennsylvania and live somewhere warm year round, preferably California. My goal is to have opportunities to work in arenas and hopefully go into the music festival industry. Near my house is a music festival called MusikFest which attracts thousands of people from all over. Although I want to leave PA, I would like to try to get my feet wet and gain experience at a smaller festival before I move on to a bigger one. The music festival Coachella is located in California. It is my dream to work for this extremely large music festival. My study abroad trip impacts these goals because festivals are typically outside. If there are severe climate and temperature changes, what will happen to these outdoor events? Traveling by car and airplane to come to these events also has significant impacts on sustainability and the carbon footprint. With the knowledge I learned abroad, I hope to create new and innovative ways for people to attend concerts that will not be so damaging to the environment.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this study abroad experience. Sustainability can affect every major and every study. If the Earth deteriorates, many jobs could be lost since they would no longer be necessary. This experience will teach other students how their impact matters and steps they can take to help keep their dream job alive and needed.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Andrew Gavinet

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Dutch Criminal Justice (Summer)
Up one level
Andrew Gavinet

Major: Economics, History
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this program through the Penn State Global Studies office and further exploration into the study abroad website.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This experience was incredible. It was a lot of fun learning about both the Dutch criminal justice system and the Netherlands. The program was one month long, and I felt that the length and setup of the program really allowed me to immerse myself in the culture. Furthermore, it was amazing getting to spend so much time in beautiful cities and towns like Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The time I spent just walking around the cities and meeting people taught me more about the Dutch people than any classroom could. Honestly, it was one of the best months of my life.

The time I spent just walking around the cities and meeting people taught me more about the Dutch people than any classroom could.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically speaking, this course gave me a broader understanding of an international criminal justice system which will serve me well in my professional future as a lawyer. In terms of academic credit, this class satisfied some of my general education requirements. That being said, I think what I gained from this class cannot be measured solely by credits of GPA. I think experiences like this help an individual gain a more global perspective, which is something that I personally believe is very important and something that is also heavily stressed in the PSU Schreyer Honors College, of which I am proud to be a part. However, I also think that experiences like this are hard to quantify only in academic terms because the things I learned and experienced in this trip cannot be seen solely on a GPA transcript.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

For my future, I plan to attend law school. In particular I plan to specialize in international law and live abroad after I am done with law school or graduate school. In these respects the study abroad experience was tremendous for me. It really showed me two things. The first is that I can live in and adapt to a country that is vastly different from the United States in both language in culture. Though the first week was intimidating, by the end of the trip I felt very comfortable in Dutch society. I walked around Amsterdam and Rotterdam by myself and even picked up some Dutch along the way. Secondly, the things that I learned about the Dutch criminal system will serve me very well in my future. The similarities and differences I saw between our system and theirs struck me profoundly and gave me insight into things that I know I will re-experience in my future career as a lawyer.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would. My reasoning for doing so though would be beyond any preconceived notions most students have of Amsterdam. I am sure many people go on this program expecting to enjoy things like bars, clubs, and weed stores, and the fact is those things are available to you if you so desire. However I would caution them against going to these things that often. Yes it is fun to go out and party on some nights, but the real beauty of the trip was the experiences I had and people I met during my stay. Even just walking the cities at night was more enjoyable to me than the partying I partook in because the Netherlands is a beautiful country that has a lot to offer. The only issue is that you need to step outside of your comfort zone in order to truly experience those things.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program had a tremendous impact on this trip for me. For one, the program's emphasis on study abroad and exploring the world was what made me think about studying abroad in the first place. It was always something I had thought about as a possibility, but the emphasis placed on it by the Paterno Fellows Program is what pushed me to actually go out and seek a study abroad opportunity. Also I was lucky enough to receive funding through the College of the Liberal Arts, and I would not have been aware of this opportunity if not for the Paterno Fellows Program. Overall I think the Paterno Fellows Program definitely pushed me in the right direction in terms of thinking about going abroad and then helping me pay for it.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Daniel Zahn

Lehigh County Office of the District Attorney
Up one level
Daniel Zahn

Major: English, Philosophy, Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: French, Linguistics, History
Hometown: Allentown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was struggling to decide what to do with my summer. I decided to schedule a meeting with an advisor to see what students before me had done and to discuss my summer plans. I left the meeting knowing what I had to do next, so I went out on a limb and sent an unsolicited email to my county District Attorney asking if he was open to having me as an intern for the summer. I wrote about my experience with the law both inside and outside of classroom. After two and a half weeks, I finally received a response saying that the office was open to the consideration of having me as an intern. They asked that I send my resume to them, and if they approved of it, I would be offered a phone interview. After the first phone interview was snowed out, I got a second phone interview and was offered a ten week summer internship. I was so delighted that my email had paid off.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I worked with other interns to aide in trial preparations and examine courtroom proceedings such as criminal trials, sentencing, and hearings. There were many different ways that we helped with trial preparations. We listened to prisoner's phone calls, annotated case files, contacted witnesses, and more. We also drafted legal memorandums and applications to be filed in the Superior Court. Many of them focused on appeal cases for which the District Attorney would have to argue or submit a brief. We were also able to engage in legal research projects that were used by the entire office. I researched the different applications of drone law and worked with the other interns to complete a comparative project on the post-conviction relief laws of five different states. I was also able to get exclusive tours of the local prison, 9-1-1 Dispatch Center, Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center, and the Digital Forensics Lab.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship taught me a lot about balancing multiple projects and due dates. The office was always busy, and you had to constantly stay ahead. If you were not going to make a deadline, you had to take responsibility, ask for help, or apply for an extension of the deadline - when possible. It also increased my reading comprehension skills. Having to decipher the dense text of legal briefs and memorandums - and then write some of them myself - increased my ability to comprehend and understand the legalese. It also helped solidify my decision in major. Being in the courtroom and seeing rhetoric and legal philosophy in action inspired me to continue my academic pursuit.

Being in the courtroom and seeing rhetoric and legal philosophy in action inspired me to continue my academic pursuit.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I hope to go to law school and become a lawyer and then a judge. This actually really complicated my career goal because I always thought I would want to be a defense lawyer. Now, after working with the prosecutors, I am not sure which side I would want to argue. It really showed me how much power the prosecution has to help the victims, especially given the amount of people who accept plea deals and the amount of power that the prosecution has in negotiating that plea deal. It gave me an inside look into the field of law that I believe is going to shape how I pursue law in the future.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I think this a great internship for after your first or second year. It really gives a broad overview of the legal field and allows you to experience how it actually is.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program benefited me in multiple ways. The first was financially. Many other interns could only work a portion of the week because they had to also take part time jobs over the summer. Because of the generosity of the Paterno Fellows Program, I was able to go to my internship the entire week. This allowed me to work on more intense research projects and have more of an impact on trial cases. The Paterno Fellows Program also helped me secure the internship. My internship supervisor told me after that one of the reasons I was chosen for the internship was because I took the initiative to participate in an honors program which showed I was dedicated to hard work and going above what is expected of me.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Fernanda Ruiz Mendoza

D.C. Social Justice Fellowship
Up one level
Fernanda Ruiz Mendoza

Major: International Relations, Spanish
Minor: Latin American Studies
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this experience through a small ad on the Multicultural Resource Center emailing list. As soon as I read the words "Washington D.C." and "social justice," my attention was immediately caught. The announcement had a link to the program's website and said that they would be having walk-in office hours if you wanted to find out more about the program before applying.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This fellowship is from Penn State’s College of Education and is centered around social justice and discovery-based learning. The fellowship started out with a spring semester class that would prepare us for our experience in Maymester as teachers at a public high school in Washington, D.C. I had no previous experience with teaching and had never even considered a career as a teacher, so I went into this experience very open to learning and growing along the way. During the spring semester, I planned my lessons on a social justice topic of my interest. I also had to create a civic action plan that I would formally present to stakeholders in D.C. It took a lot of work, but I would not trade it for the world.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The fellowship was very challenging and intensive, especially the two weeks in Washington, D.C. I dedicated a lot of time to my lesson plans and my civic action plan, so it was incredible to finish and enact these ideas. We also had to meet with professionals in D.C. and receive feedback on our civic action plan. This really helped prepare me for life after college and networking with different professionals. I have a newfound respect for teachers because it was not until this experience that I realized how much time and work it takes to develop a lesson plan. To make things even more challenging, we were creating discovery-based lesson plans that centered on the students’ life experiences, not on what is being lectured. This was a teaching method I had no prior experience with, so it took time to change my perspective on educating in a non-directive manner. I would say that this fellowship was the most academically challenging experience I have had, but it was absolutely worth it, and I am extremely happy to have done it.

My fellowship helped me to realize how much I love working with young people and the amount of impact I can have on their lives.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Throughout this experience I learned so much about myself and who I want to become in the future. Before the fellowship, my career goals were to work for the federal government as a Foreign Service Officer or to go into politics, but now my goals have shifted. My fellowship helped me to realize how much I love working with young people and the amount of impact I can have on their lives. I am not sure I have what it takes to be an educator, but I do know that I want to help people in a more personal and direct way. I would love to work for a non-governmental organization such as the UN or UNICEF in the future, but after I graduate from college I would really like to work for a small non-profit and help the community around me. The teaching and volunteer hours I had to do for this fellowship really helped me to realize that I want to go into more social work than I had previously thought.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this fellowship to other Liberal Arts students, but I would be sure to let them know that this is an intensive experience that will get them completely out of their comfort zone. I am not in the College of Education and many of the other fellows were not either, so it was challenging for us at times. However, I was able to widen my horizons and way of thinking by challenging myself and doing something not related to my major.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Kyle Cornman

AIFS Summer Term in Salzburg, Austria
Up one level
Kyle Cornman

Major: Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, International Politics
Minor: German, Greek, History, International Politics
Hometown: Harleysville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this study abroad opportunity through my own personal research. I looked through the programs offered by Penn State, and nothing was quite what I was looking for; I came to realize through this search that I wanted to see Austria, so I asked around about good cities to study at in Austria, heard of Salzburg, and turned to Google to find available programs that fit what I was looking for. I ended up deciding to apply to AIFS.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I spent a month's time in the city of Salzburg, Austria, during which time I stayed in a local hostel and took two courses at the Universität Salzburg. One was a Classical Music Comprehension and Appreciation course, the other a German Language course. I practiced my German speaking skills daily, both in class and around the city. The program also involved cultural trips, which enabled me to visit other cities, such as Munich, Vienna, and Innsbruck. Within the city of Salzburg, I was shown elements of local culture: how the people of Austria drink coffee, the little known but exquisite pastry culture of the country, and (my personal favorite) the iconic Salzburger sausage stands. I really came to feel like a part of the city by the time my stay there came to an end.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My study abroad experience in Salzburg was my first opportunity to spend a full month in a German speaking country, where I could practice the language by speaking it in everyday interactions. It was a pivotal experience in the growth of my skills speaking the language, and it has birthed a desire in me to return to the country to learn and practice more. Credit-wise, I have been able to work toward completing my general education requirements in the arts while gaining a healthy respect for the classics that had been lost on me until then. I hope to also have acquired some credits to help complete my minor in German and BA in International Politics.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Though I am still uncertain about what career field I want to go into, I am considering a few options. The one that is perhaps most attractive to me is to earn a PhD studying a subject such as Assyriology, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Ancient History, Historical Linguistics, or something else of the like and attempt a career in academia. Skill in the German language would be immediately necessary in any of these pursuits, not to mention quite valuable in the career path that would follow. Indeed, improved understanding of the language and the cultures of its speakers would be valuable to any career in the modern day.

I find that perhaps the most lasting benefit of my experience was the chance to develop my German language skills among native speakers in a German speaking countries.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would certainly recommend this experience to anyone interested. Certainly, I find that perhaps the most lasting benefit of my experience was the chance to develop my German language skills among native speakers in a German speaking countries. However, more than half of the students who decided to attend this program with me this past summer had no background in German whatsoever. Yet, all of them seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience and garner a great respect for the country and the culture. I have been around a good bit of central Europe, and Salzburg is one of the most charming cities I have ever spent time in. I wish everyone could have a chance to see it, honestly.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

It is because of Paterno Fellows that I attend Penn State today, and it is because I decided to study the Liberal Arts at Penn State that my academic journey has taken the route that it has. On top of that, Paterno Fellows has encouraged me to study abroad when I can and has helped to fund the programs that I have chosen. If it were not for Paterno Fellows, I may never have gone to Salzburg, nor Rome the year before or Athens in the year to come for that matter. Suffice to say, Paterno Fellows has had a great positive effect on my experience.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Shana-Kay Hart

Rooster Global News Network
Up one level
Shana-Kay Hart

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences, Spanish
Minor: Latin American Studies
Hometown: Wynnewood, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I came across my two-week internship seminar with Rooster Global News Network through a friend who received an email blast from her university's career opportunity services. My friend saw that the internship was a travel journalism and photography related opportunity based in Cuba and immediately thought it would be a great opportunity for me, knowing my interest in and passion for travel journalism, as well as my curiosity to learn more about photography. I visited RGNN's website myself to get more information about the organization and the programs they offer, and from there I submitted my application.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The RGNN Cuba internship seminar consisted of two parts: journalism and photography. My program members and I trained with experts and mentors in these two fields to attain the skills necessary to work in the travel journalism industry. Through editorial meetings, journalism workshops, photography & video workshops, along with mentoring and feedback sessions, we each produced a total of two articles to create our very own travel guide to Cuba; this was published in digital format through the news agency by the end of our program. More than that, each of the 16 students “graduated” with a portfolio of publications, a Travel Journalism & Photography Internship Certification, a Certification of Academic Credit, and a Letter of Recommendation of Merit upon completion from acclaimed journalist Benjamin Jones, who also acted as the Editor-in-Chief of the seminar. We spent the first half of our two-week program in Havana, and the last week in Trinidad, Cuba.

This program encouraged me to take my writing and myself seriously and gave me the motivation I needed to pursue my dream of becoming a journalist one day.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Each workshop of the seminar was different, and I learned something new every day. I enjoyed our workshops and mentoring sessions especially because they offered the opportunity to work side by side with an expert who specializes in the field and receive instantaneous feedback. Since I am not a journalism major, I came into this internship not knowing the basics of the field; because of the interactive and holistic nature of the program, I can confidently say that I know how to go about researching, interviewing for, writing, and pitching an article to a publication company, as well as capturing the “money shot” with any camera. Academically, this experience enhanced my creative and general writing skill sets and developed my journalistic abilities.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My internship with RGNN was incomparable to and unlike any experience I have had before. I came into the program not knowing what to expect and had many doubts because I am not majoring in journalism. However, I forced myself to start the program with a specific mindset and to look at it for what it was: a learning experience. I told myself to not be intimidated if I found that I was the least experienced writer or if someone took better pictures than me, but to instead use my colleagues and mentors as resources to learn from in order to perfect my own skills. By the end, this program encouraged me to take my writing and myself seriously and gave me the motivation I needed to pursue my dream of becoming a journalist one day. I hope to work as a journalist for publications such as Conde Nast, Travel & Leisure, or Afar Magazine, and I believe this internship experience is a step in the right direction for me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would most definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because it is an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity. The experience this organization provided me with is unlike any experience I will probably receive inside a classroom, and I am so thankful for the chance to bring back everything I have learned to Penn State.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Mirelle Hassler

IES: Rome Internship Program (Summer)
Up one level
Mirelle Hassler

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: Media Studies
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I always knew that I wanted to study abroad, but when the time came I was really overwhelmed by the process and ultimate decision. I had no idea what steps to take first. I decided to start exploring and researching online. I typed “Penn State Study Abroad” into my google search engine and went from there. I ended up finding a lot of helpful information and steps through all the online outlets Penn State has to offer. I found my program through the study abroad search engine. I checked off all that I wanted in a study abroad program, and then explored and researched the choices that met all my desired criteria. I somehow found the perfect program for myself. The IES Abroad Rome Internship program offered classes and a guaranteed internship. They offered it in the summer and for the perfect amount of time: 8 weeks. The same program is available in a couple of other countries, but Italy was always my dream.

Taking the leap and studying abroad was the best decision of my life, and I’m so happy I ended up doing it.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I had the most amazing time ever while I was abroad. I took two classes in Rome, while also working 25 hours a week at the coolest company ever! I was terrified to go away without knowing anyone, but I ended up meeting some amazing people in my program. I lived with six girls in an apartment, which was tons of fun. The school I went to was awesome, and everyone who worked there was so welcoming and helpful. I worked for a company called LivItaly Tours and loved every second of it. My supervisor and coworkers were so nice! We all still keep in touch. On the weekends I was able to travel around Italy and other countries in Europe, so I ended up seeing a lot more than just Rome. Overall, taking the leap and studying abroad was the best decision of my life, and I’m so happy I ended up doing it.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience really solidified what I thought I wanted to do outside of college. Now, I’m 100% sure, and I don’t think I would have this confidence if I didn’t study abroad. This program was my first internship experience; prior to this, I had no real work experience with my major. I could never really picture where I wanted to be or what I wanted to do outside of college. This program clarified that for me. My academic career path is a lot more clear now. I also earned six credits, took two classes, learned some Italian, and improved my resume and experience.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

When I graduate from college, I would love to get a job working with the social media and marketing team of a company. That is what I did in Rome with LivItaly. They actually offered me a paid internship for Summer 2018, so I’m highly considering returning to Rome this summer and continuing to work for them. I would not have this opportunity to work for an international company if I had not participated in this program.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would 100% recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. It was the best decision of my life - academically, socially, and personally. The memories I made are going to be some of my most treasured. The adventures I took are unlike any I have taken to this day. The people I met taught me so much. Finally, the growing I did as a person would never have happened if I didn’t study abroad. I wish that everyone could have an experience like I did.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Hunter Scott

Florence: International Studies Institute (ISI) at Palazzo Rucellai (Summer)
Up one level
Hunter Scott

Major: Economics
Minor: Business
Hometown: Carlisle, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I talked with someone from the Career Enrichment Network about my options, then talked to someone with study abroad about final details for it.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I studied abroad for 6 weeks, so I took 2 classes worth 6 credits total. I took a class about art history in Florence and a class about local family businesses. The art history was a fun class; we were able to visit a different museum or church every class. The local family businesses course was a broad business course in which we talked about many different areas of business while also taking a few trips to different businesses. Classes were only Monday through Thursday, so everyone would travel on the weekends. I traveled to Rome, Venice, Milan, the Amalfi Coast, French Riviera, Barcelona, and the Canary Islands while I was there.

It's a lot of fun to experience a new culture for an extended period of time and take classes to learn more about it. And on top of that, you get to travel to many different places with the new friends you make in your program.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience impacted me academically by helping me catch up on my credits. I have wanted to study abroad for some time, but with being behind on credits, I knew I couldn't do it during a full semester. This made doing it over the summer perfect as it allowed me to take a normal amount of credits in the fall and spring while also taking extra credits over the summer. The classes also count towards your GPA. This is a good way to help your GPA because you are focusing on two classes that you take two times a week.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to get a job in finance or economics after graduating using my economics degree. I am keeping the possibility of returning to school a few years after graduating open. This experience impacted my career plan by making me a lot more comfortable getting out of my comfort zone and making me more independent. I did a lot of things on my own in Florence without having any experience with traveling by myself. I would be a lot more comfortable going to a new place to work to give myself more options in my career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this experience. You get to have this experience with a lot of people who are in the same position. It's a lot of fun to experience a new culture for an extended period of time and take classes to learn more about it. And on top of that, you get to travel to many different places with the new friends you make in your program.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jeremy Schmeltzer

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Dutch Criminal Justice (Summer)
Up one level
Jeremy Schmeltzer

Major: Criminology
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through my Crim 435 class here at Penn State. My professor is the host of the program and was talking about it the first few weeks of class for those that are interested.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was eye-opening. It really showed me what different parts of the world are like because before this experience I never left the country. So this was a new piece of my life. Being there made me see what the criminal justice system is like in the Netherlands and how productive they are in rehabilitating their criminal population. While we were there, we saw the Van Gogh Museum and Parliament first hand. It was really incredible to see that type of stuff. For me, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am glad I took it.

My experience was eye-opening. It really showed me what different parts of the world are like because before this experience I never left the country.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This helped me academically because it really made me think about if I was making the right choice in following a career in criminology and I believe that I am. This made me see how different our criminal justice system is compared to others around the world and it is scary. So from this program, I know now that I made the right choice and I plan to help people in the future.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Now I plan to go into a career that will help those involved with being on the wrong side of the law. I know that these people have made mistakes and may even be dangerous individuals but I feel that our Justice system is too harsh on people. We have many people in prisons who are there for non-violent drug issues and that can lead to overpopulation and lead to produce violent offenders later down the road. I want to help those in that type of problem and make sure they do not re-offend and go back to jail.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would because if I could do it again I would. I was just a really neat place to study and more people should see it for themselves.

 

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Yael Goldblum

Yale University School of Medicine's Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology
Up one level
Yael Goldblum

Major: Psychology, Neuroscience Option
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience online through the Career Enrichment Network, while I was searching for potential internships to apply to.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

After having completed the internship this past summer, I am able to say that I had a wonderful experience working with the pediatric team. Most of my time was spent on data entry and analysis, as well as literature review for research. Aside from this, attending meetings, rounds, and tumor boards strengthened my insight on the specific operation involved in being a member of a treatment team. The biggest accomplishment I achieved was completing a research project and being able to present that research to my supervisors. I most enjoyed being able to learn from such skilled professionals, as I was always welcome to ask any questions or discover more about specific topics.

The biggest accomplishment I achieved was completing a research project and being able to present that research to my supervisors.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has taught me a lot about how to conduct and present research in a professional manner. I also gained a lot of understanding about what requirements are necessary in order to pursue the medical field in my future. Seeing concepts I had learned about from previous classes come to fruition strengthened my desire to learn more about psychology and medicine.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

One day, I hope to be able to acquire a medical degree, where I can practice forensic psychiatry. After graduation, I plan to attend a post-baccalaureate program in order to acquire a masters degree. I then hope to attend medical school and receive my MD. Aside from my career path, one of my main goals as a psychiatrist would be to eliminate stigma of mental health, through empathy, self-awareness, and normalization of mental health discussion. My internship experience has helped me to further develop my career plans after graduation, and has provided me with realistic expectations of the workforce in the medical field.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students who are looking to gain understanding about conducting research, working in the professional level, and working in a hospital-oriented setting.


Liberal Arts students can apply for this internship with Yale School of Medicine for Summer 2018 through March 30, 2018 in Network Symplicity!
For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

 

Umika Sachdev

Defense Cooperation Intern at U.S. Embassy
Up one level
Umika Sachdev

Major: Criminology, Legal Studies Concentration
Minor: Smeal Business Fundamentals Certificate
Hometown: Republic of Panama

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity by conversing with a Naval officer who was recruiting at a Mechanical Engineering career fair at PSU. Coincidentally, I was at the fair to accompany a friend, where I spoke with U.S. Navy recruiters and spoke to them of my career interests. The officer directed me to seek opportunities through a U.S. Embassy & Consulate.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I interned at the Office of Defense Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Panama. My experience entailed working on operations that fostered bilateral defense cooperation between the Panamanian Public Forces and the U.S. Department of Defense.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was the most rewarding for my career! It was challenging to serve a diplomatic role while fulfilling my duties with the quality of operational standards that are expected at an international level. I found myself interacting with eminent public figures who have the potential to impact worldly matters, so their mentoring did not stop there, but it also taught me values that I could inculcate in my role as President of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity which has significantly improved its standard of operations. So I believe that students with similar experiences can definitely bring so much to the Penn State community.

It was challenging to serve a diplomatic role while fulfilling my duties with the quality of operational standards that are expected at an international level.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to become a diplomat between Panama and the U.S. Further down this path, I would like to represent a delegation in the United Nations or serve in another formal role. This experience aided in my understanding of challenges that global leaders experience: time, money, and differing viewpoints; what makes one a leader though, is the ability to find midpoint solutions amongst these challenges. This ability I believe will serve my career goals best.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I definitely recommend LA students such experiences that go global. Especially for international students in the Criminology field, it can become challenging to fulfill one's interest here. But like the Naval officer indicated, you can always serve bilateral relations through your countries as well, this also being a noble cause. Such an experience will broaden your horizons and also raise the bar for how you recognize your own potential.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Adam Banks

Think Tank & Civil Societies Program
Up one level
Adam Banks

Major: International Politics
Hometown: Reading, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I reached out to a career adviser to help me find positions I may have been interested in within think tanks doing international policy research. One of the recommended think tanks had a internship application submission date that had passed, but I noticed this program was an affiliate with the think tank. From there, I found more information on the program's site and after applying was accepted.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The program of interns was split into teams based on regions of interest. I was interested in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) and was placed on this team for data research. On the MENA data collection team, I was given a subsection of the MENA region, mainly Turkey and the UAE, and was tasked with updating the think tank database with new information about think tanks in these regions. I was also placed on a research team that analyzed the annual report produced by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at Penn and presented on global trends in think tanks. One example of one of these trends would be comparing the amount of new think tanks in a region such as Asia to the rate of rise in the United States and what factors have caused these rates. Finally, I was placed as a project lead for the website team. A few months before beginning my internship the website for the program had been hacked and completely taken down. My team rebuilt the website from scratch and I continue to work remotely as an intern managing the website on a daily basis. This site can be found at gotothinktank.com.

How did this experience impact you academically?

At a very literal level, this course was part of my capstone requirements for my Masters in International Affairs that I am working on as an IUG student. In that respect I was fortunate to have a high quality internship that I could really take a lot from. Beyond school requirement credit, this internship gave me experience in working in data analysis and research and showed me beneficial ways to aggregate all of this into one package. This internship also showed me great ways to excel in a work atmosphere by going above and beyond what is asked to try and make a product better than originally planned.

Beyond school requirement credit, this internship gave me experience in working in data analysis and research and showed me beneficial ways to aggregate all of this into one package. 

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Going in to this internship, I did not know much about think tanks at all. Now, I believe that this is a career path that I may be very interested in pursuing. I was informed about some programs within think tanks that contract workers for 2-3 years at a time. I currently plan to go to law school in the future, but want to get some work experience under my belt beforehand. I believe this internship has put me in a great position to get a shorter-term job at a research organization such as a think tank which would give me perfect timing to gain experience and have it end just in time to go back to school. This internship also taught me that I am interested in other fields than my current concentrations and has encouraged me to spread my course load to explore these new interests.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely reccomend this internship to other Liberal Arts students. On top of the great research experience and professional work I have to show future employers, the program was tailored to help interns get an idea of what they want to do with their future careers. The director of the program works right beside the student interns and everyone's end product reflects the work they put in, so you really have a chance to shine if you put the effort in.

 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Justina Luongo

Schreyer Signature Travel Programs: India Program
Up one level
Justina Luongo

Major: Psychology B.S. (Life Sciences Option) and Film B.A.
Hometown: West Chester, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience from a friend who had participated in the program two years before I participated in it. Once hearing about the experience I directed a lot of my questions about the specifics of the program to Dr. Richard Stoller.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my time in India, I visited many different cities including Delhi, Agra, Amritsar, Shimla, Chandigarh, and Jaipur. In most of these cities the program coordinated with different universities and we spent a lot of time interacting with undergraduates. To me, these were the most valuable times of the trip. We had the chance to exchange knowledge about the similarities between our cultures and educational systems. We also visited many temples while in each of these cities, sometimes even with the undergraduates, where we had the chance to learn about many of the different religions in the country. Additionally, we had the opportunity to visit famous landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and the Golden Temple.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The experience had a great impact on me academically. The embedded course that had the travel component to India was a 400-level course that also counted as an honors credit for me since I took it as a freshman. The course was also the first experience that I had with psychology across different cultures. This exposure to psychology across cultures has impacted my view of psychology and my interests in psychology. It allowed me to see the value in research across different cultures. The course also had a large emphasis on environmental factors of psychology, many of these factors I had not even thought of before. The course fostered a lot of my current interests in psychology and impacted my decision to become a research assistant within the psychology department.

It allowed me to see the value in research across different cultures. The course also had a large emphasis on environmental factors of psychology, many of these factors I had not even thought of before.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to attend graduate school and earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. I want to develop my own practice as a therapist. This experience has greatly strengthened my interest in completing this career path. Recurring topics that came up while spending time with the undergraduate students in India were stigmas to mental illness and access to care for mental illness. Mental illness in India is also stigmatized and has a lot of stereotypes attached to it just as it is in America. The experience as a whole fortified my resolve to pursue the career path as a practicing therapist because there are many people in the world who need help and need therapy.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because it is truly unique. The culture of India is vastly different than that of the United States and those in Europe, and students will not get such an experience anywhere else. Throughout the trip I had many more meaningful interactions than I can count and I did not feel at all like I had the superficial experience of a tourist.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows program has helped me by providing me with an environment where experiences inside and outside of the classroom are highly encouraged. If there was ever a reason that I could not participate in a program that I was interested in, I know that the faculty of the Paterno Fellows Program would work with me to help, like they did with helping me to fund my study abroad to India. I know that the success of this experience abroad will encourage me to keep taking on new opportunities and performing at a high level. I look forward to utilizing the resources offered by the Paterno Fellows Program to gain more meaningful experiences.

 

 

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Lauren Whitley

LGBTQA Student Resource Center
Up one level
Lauren Whitley

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Norristown, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I had subscribed to the LGBTQA Student Resource Center's listserv when I attended orientation last year. I received an email early last spring saying that applications for internships were due soon. Intrigued, I checked out the process of applying and decided to give it a shot. I did not know anybody at the Center beforehand and had not talked to anyone - I just filled out the application, and a few weeks later I received an email that I got the position.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The first day of training was nerve-wracking. I walked in as everybody was huddled around conversing with one another and just kind of stood off to the side, waiting for someone to notice me. Thankfully, Brian, our director, introduced himself and saved me from standing silently for much longer. That was the most awkward experience being at the Center, and it is completely my fault. Every experience after that has been great. The staff of the Center and the students that frequent it are extremely welcoming and kind, and coming from a branch campus, it was very comforting. All-in-all I have had good experiences at the Center, and I am very fortunate to be here.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I think this experience has helped me academically. Because I have limited time to get things completed, it forces me to actually plan and use my time wisely. My time management skills have increased and my memory has improved because of my busy schedule. The internship has helped me meet people from different academic fields that I can ask for help if I am not understanding a concept in one of my classes. Not only do I have this experience, but I also have a part-time job, and both of these things motivate me to get my coursework done in the time I have to do them. Academically speaking, I think having an internship has improved my academic performance.

It was not until my second week in the Center that I pictured myself working in a student resource center for LGBTQA students, and I thought that fit...This experience helped me realize my real dreams and figure out my path a little better.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Coming into college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wanted to help people, and I thought a great way to do that was through psychology. I still had no idea where I wanted to go with it because the options are endless. It was not until my second week in the Center that I pictured myself working in a student resource center for LGBTQA students, and I thought that fit. I had found what I want to do. I want to go into higher education and eventually work in student affairs; I hope to work in Penn State's LGBTQA Student Resource Center. This experience helped me realize my real dreams and figure out my path a little better.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would highly recommend this to other Liberal Arts students. Even if you don't identify in the community, I think it would be a good experience to enhance your ally experience. The Center is an amazingly open and safe space that welcomes anyone and everyone, and I'm very happy to be here.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jorge Zurita-Coronado

Student Engagement Network
Up one level
Jorge Zurita-Coronado

Major: Political Science
Hometown: Oxford, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through a tweet that came up on my Twitter. As I was scrolling, the tweet caught my eye, and I clicked on the link to learn more about what the internship was all about. The link took me to engage.psu.edu, where I was able to learn more about the Student Engagement Network and what the internship would entail. After doing research throughout the website, I came to the conclusion that this is something that I would want to do. It is amazing to think about what opportunities will just pop up on your timeline in the world we live in today.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The Student Engagement Network is a space in the student union center on the University Park campus at Penn State University. The Student Engagement Network is a space where students can come in to explore the things that they are passionate about and turn these passions into real life experiences. In the space, student interns like myself help students find internships, research opportunities, and study abroad opportunities that align with their passions.

Through these interactions...I hope to learn about how education can better fit the needs and wants of students

How did this experience impact you academically?

The Student Engagement Network has allowed me to work on my communication skills and time management skills. These skills transfer right into my academics. Communication skills (being able to speak in public without fear and communicate my ideas and thoughts in public) are vital for many of my classes. Time management is another great skill that has transferred from my internship to my academics. Time management is essential to ensure that I can balance both a full course workload and the internship.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I have considered a job in education and public policy. Through this internship, I have had the opportunity to talk to students on a day to day basis. Through these interactions, I hope to learn more about what kind of education students are looking for and what they hope to get out of it. I hope to learn about how education can better fit the needs and wants of students rather than the current structure of education today.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. It is a great way to connect with students from across the university, each of them with different experiences and backgrounds. The experience also allows you to learn about all the different resources available to students throughout the university that you might not have been aware of.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Kumar Anirudh Mylavarapu

New York Minute Magazine
Up one level
Kumar Anirudh Mylavarapu

Major: Economics, Corporate Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Hometown: Cary, NC

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the company that I interned at via the Penn State Nittany Lion Career Network. The online network is a great resource for students looking for internships since it contains a plethora of jobs across various industries. Once I came across New York Minute Magazine, I immediately fell in love with the values, mission, and duties/responsibilities that were expected of an intern.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As a business development intern at New York Minute Magazine, my duties are geared towards developing the business model further. I have been collaborating with teams across the company on monetizing the business by developing channels for revenue inflow. Additionally, I have been engaged in securing sponsorships for the company by connecting with various companies across the US. New York Minute has not only given me the opportunity to meet new people from across the country, but also the freedom (given by the CEO) to pursue a project or idea that one may be passionate about as long as it helps the company in a positive way.

Being able to work for New York Minute Magazine in business development has broadened my knowledge of business concepts and has given me the confidence to transition smoothly into the workplace.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The internship experience has been a great complement to the academic experience here at Penn State. The internship experience has not only taught me useful and practical knowledge that can be applied to my academics at Penn State, but has also prepared me for my professional career after graduation. Additionally, being an entrepreneurship major, working for a startup company was an incredible experience, and I was able to grow along with the company. The experiences that I've gained can be applied to my coursework and activities at Penn State, and thus, the internship was a positive boost academically.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Graduating with a degree in economics and entrepreneurship, I would like to pursue graduate school followed by a professional career in the business industry. Being able to work for New York Minute Magazine in business development has broadened my knowledge of business concepts and has given me the confidence to transition smoothly into the workplace.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely! Internships not only enhance your academic experiences, but also prepare you for a professional career. I would recommend that students find an internship, study abroad, or other similar experience that they may have a passion for and pursue it. The relationships that you build along the way are valuable and so are the experiences.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Being a Paterno Fellow has made me challenge and push myself to work with perseverance and diligence every day. The Paterno Fellows Program also prepared me for my internship experience. The program provides a holistic academic experience by getting students to engage in a variety of events, activities, and courses. Being a part of the Paterno Fellows Program is incredible, and it will make your Penn State and internship experiences more memorable and fun.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Ashley Honstine

Days Inn Penn State
Up one level
Ashley Honstine

Major: Labor and Employment Relations
Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Huntingdon, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

My internship was posted on Indeed.com; it is a regular part-time position and is not actually intended to be an internship. I was searching Indeed.com to help a friend of mine, who recently graduated, find a job. I happened across this position and instantly recognized that it was a perfect fit for me. It also provided me the opportunity to expand my skill set to help prepare me for my future career in Human Resources.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I currently work as a Human Resource Administrative Assistant; here, my duties include human resources, accounting, and general office duties. I am responsible for processing and submitting payroll for 60 employees through Keystone iSolved, conducting all screening interviews, completing new hire paperwork, initiating new hire benefit enrollments, training employees on safety protocols set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, maintaining accounts payable using QuickBooks, maintaining office supply inventory, and other miscellaneous as-needed tasks. In my position, it is essential to be highly organized and self-motivated, with the ability to prioritize an ever-growing list of tasks that need attention. A large part of my job is focused in human resources, but as an Administrative Assistant, I must also be available and responsive to a myriad of department heads, assisting them in any and all ways that I can. As a result, I am pulled in many directions and must navigate each new experience appropriately.

I have a stronger understanding of the actual work involved in my field and now have experience that will help set me apart from other entry-level candidates in the pool.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Working at the Days Inn Penn State has had a huge impact on my academic career; as a soon-to-be graduate, I am incredibly thankful that I have had this experience. My Penn State education is incredibly valuable to me, but my internship has provided me with information that I would not have obtained otherwise. Before my internship, I had never even looked at an Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) in depth, but now I can fill them out with ease for both citizens and non-citizens of the United States. I have had the same experience with other essential new hire and benefit paperwork and now know how to fill it out, explain it to employees, and file it accordingly. Simply knowing how and when to use certain forms is something that I wouldn't have learned from my classes - it is only one example of the very job-specific duties that I have experienced on the job and not in the classroom.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After graduation, I intend to work full-time as a Human Resource professional. When I am eligible, I will sit in on the exam with the Society of Human Resource Management to become a Certified Human Resource Professional. After gaining 1-2 years of working experience, I plan to complete an online master's degree in Human Resource Management, and I hope that my work experience and education will help me excel in the field. Directly after graduation, I hope to work in talent acquisition for a company with 500+ employees. My current position has helped me appreciate the skill of talent acquisition coordinators and specialists, as it is a position that requires a highly organized individual with high attention to detail. I currently recruit and hire for a company of 60 employees. Turnover is high, and I have a deep appreciation and passion for employee retention through effective engagement and benefit plans. I hope to work for a company that values employee retention and performance achieved through increased employee motivation and satisfaction.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would, without a doubt, recommend that all students, regardless of academic college, participate in an internship. I was not planning on having an internship in college - I did not think I would need one. After working at my internship for three short months, I can recognize how much it has helped me develop as a working professional. I have a stronger understanding of the actual work involved in my field and now have experience that will help set me apart from other entry-level candidates in the pool. I have no doubt that other internships would have similar impacts on all students, and I would absolutely choose to do this again.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

D'aundra Lewis

State College Police Department
Up one level
D'aundra Lewis

Major: Biological Anthropology
Hometown: Newark, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was searching for opportunities on Network Symplicity to gain experience within law enforcement, and I came across this internship with the police department in State College.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

As an intern with the State College Police Department, I assist the Community Relations/Crime Prevention department with community outreach and training. I am tasked with duties such as setting up meetings, scheduling training, reaching out to various groups, and working with various Law Enforcement Departments. I am also challenged with investigative tasks, when appropriate, and will also be permitted to observe many different patrol and criminal investigation situations including (but not limited to) interviews, written statement analysis, and crime scene/evidence processing.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has allowed me to customize my academic journey. I did not want to graduate from college and run into the issue of explaining my work experience. Reading about law enforcement and investigative work is easy, but actually being able to learn hands-on is such a great and unique advantage. I learn more being with my supervisor on a daily basis and gaining exposure to the different departments. The best part is when I'm thrown into the fire and forced to tap into my what I've been learning and apply it. This experience goes beyond what I would be learning in the classroom.

This experience has allowed me to customize my academic journey.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to become an investigator and work for the government. Many government careers seek people who have previous work experience and have gained leadership skills. I look to continue to grow in these facets and ultimately become a notable leader within my field. For now, this internship is helping me toward my goal of working for the government. It is never the same repetitive work when I work at the police department. They give me extra responsibility when it is necessary and are very open minded. This is great because it allows me to flourish. Not only am I gaining career experience, but I am also gaining personal growth that is significant to my career interest.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to another Liberal Arts student interested in any field within Law Enforcement. It allows them the opportunity to combine what they are learning in class with an interactive learning experience.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Mackenzie Ann Williamson

Central Counties Youth Center
Up one level
Mackenzie Ann Williamson

Major: Criminology
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Jersey Shore, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about the internship at the Central Counties Youth Center through a very close family friend who also worked there when she was in college. She knew I was very unsure about exactly what I wanted to do once I graduated so with having this experience it really helped me show what I did and not did not want to do within the criminal justice system.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience at the Central Counties Youth center opened my eyes to a whole other side of the criminal justice field that I have never seen before. I was able to work along veteran counselors who have been at the detention center way before I was born. Something like that was very important because when you’re in a room with kids who are not even afraid to beat their mom up you need to be on guard and have your other coworkers back. Something that I was very happy to learn was self-defense tactics that were used to get kids down on the floor and into handcuffs if they tried attacking you or other co-workers/ residents. My experience thus far has been great and I suggest any criminal justice or criminology major to intern there as well.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship at the Central Counties Youth Center did not impact me too much academically even though I was taking 18 credits. I think the hardest part for me was the scheduling because my other job required me to work so many hours and it really hindered my availability at the detention center. For some reason I feel like carrying a large course load and then working two jobs kind of pushed me to do better and get better grades because I knew there was only a few hours a week I could study for all the exams I had or homework I had to complete.

My experience at the Central Counties Youth Center gave me experience in more ways than I ever could have imagined.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to become a police officer, possibly even a k-9 officer. I know it will take some time and some strenuous testing, but I feel like it will be something that I would love to do every day. My experience at the Central Counties Youth Center gave me experience in more ways than I ever could have imagined. It showed me some of the most interesting kids in the state who are in the system and it also showed me the system is flawed in many ways especially when it comes to children or even adults who have a mental handicap. I hope with this experience I can use the things I learned at the detention center for my future for when I become a police officer.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students, my experience at the Central Counties Youth Center was fun and also interesting. I feel like other Liberal Arts students would get a lot out of it in an educational stand plus it is one of the very few internships that I have found that pays in the criminal justice field.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Anthony Mitchell

Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
Up one level
Anthony Mitchell

Major: Political Science
Minor: Communication Arts and Sciences, Civic and Community Engagement
Hometown: New Orleans, LA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I am a member of the inaugural class for the new Study Away Pittsburgh Program. As a student for this program, I am paired with a community partner in the Pittsburgh area that is doing work around urban sustainability while also living in Pittsburgh for an entire semester.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am doing my internship with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), which is Pittsburgh’s economic development agency tasked with the purpose of increasing the city’s tax base and livability as well as improving the endurance of businesses, neighborhoods, and overall community. For my internship at the URA this semester, I am looking forward to achieving the following goals: develop an understanding of work-life balance at the internship and what a career in local/city government may look like; grow my existing knowledge about the world of politics by linking internship experiences to previously learned coursework and critically evaluating these relationships; relate this experience to life after college by networking with other professionals, understanding the qualifications necessary to be successful in the political field, and learning how to effectively demonstrate/convey skills.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience satisfies my consultation credits outside of my major for my Political Science degree and will help play into my research for my Civic and Community Engagement Minor. I also have a great interest in how government, institutions, communities, and individuals intersect for the betterment of society as a whole. I chose this particular program because it “fits in perfectly” with what I am studying and serves a great opportunity to further enrich my learning from Penn State classrooms through an understanding of similar events on a local level. This program will prove to be beneficial for me on multiple levels. Firstly, I will be able to get an out of class experience and engage fully with my studies while still working towards my degree. Secondly, the Study Away Pittsburgh program will allow me to travel, live, and work in a place I have not been; thus, this experience will help to shape my understanding of politics on a local level. Lastly, I can use the experience from this opportunity to fuel my continued studies into a Master’s Degree program in Public Policy.

...serves a great opportunity to further enrich my learning from Penn State classrooms through an understanding of similar events on a local level.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This will serve as great in field experience for my major as well as the first of many intended research opportunities going into my Master's Degree program (studying public policy with a concentration in community development and civic engagement). I plan to use this experience as a chance to explore and dive deeper into my personal and career interests for a holistic understanding of social implications of civic engagement through the lens of local and regional politics, competency of government systems, and social reform. Eventually, I plan to work in United States politics, thereby using this experience to better understand the part that individuals and communities play in shaping societies.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend the Study Away Pittsburgh Program to other students because it is a malleable experience that adjusts tot he student. The purpose of the program is to give the student the experience without prolonging their collegiate tenure. The program is affordable and easy to learn more about at the website, too. 

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

 

Robert Al-Moustafa

Key Digital Systems
Up one level
Robert Al-Moustafa

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: Business, Spanish
Hometown: Mahwah, NJ (now residing in Tamment, PA)

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I actually found out about this internship through LinkedIn Jobs. I was a little late to the Network Symplicity party, but, fortunately for me, I lucked out.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I’ll be completely honest, when I first walked through the door of Key Digital’s corporate headquarters on the 15th of May, I was nervous. It was my first time serving as an intern anywhere else. As a result, I didn’t know what to expect. Little did I know that I would embark on some of the most valuable and memorable 12 weeks of my life. One of the greatest things about Key Digital, at least from an intern perspective, is that I was not just brought in to do one specific thing. Key Digital is a small family business. In other words, the company size is significantly smaller than our billion-dollar competitors, like Crestron. As a result, I was exposed to everything in the realm of marketing, with my priorities divided proportionately throughout my internship.

For roughly the first month of my internship, my main priority was social media. I was tasked with managing Key Digital’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) through a fascinating platform called Meltwater Engage. This platform allowed me to post all our social media content to every platform with the click of a button - it even allowed us to schedule a post at the time when our followers are most active. In addition, it gave me a medium through which to engage with and listen to all of our followers on our three main social media accounts, without having to sign in individually to each account. Furthermore, Meltwater provided us with social media analytics; these were analytics that I would run every two weeks to evaluate our overall performance. From there, I would formulate a report to my supervisor and come up with a plan to better our social media moving forward. For example, I noticed early on that our followers loved posts that contained visual representations and posts that were personal in nature. As a result, I proposed a two-part plan: we should try to always have a picture/photo/link attached in every post, and we should try to incorporate one personal post per week, whether it be a birthday post, employee spotlight post, or a throwback Thursday. The goal here was to put a face behind the product. It definitely worked out pretty well.

For the month of June, my main priority was editing videos. June was a very big month for audio/visual technology companies like Key Digital as the biggest trade show of the year took place at that time – InfoComm. At this trade show, we made sales pitches to potential customers, gathered testimonials from our partner drivers (ie. Linksys), and introduced our latest products for the quarter. My marketing coordinator would record all of this stuff, including recaps of each day, throughout the event and send it to me to edit and upload. This was time-sensitive material that needed to be on the newsletters we sent out to our list-serve at the conclusion of each day. Because of this huge responsibility, I had to become a more efficient editor using iMovie, a software I was not familiar with using prior to starting this internship (I was a Final Cut guy). This definitely helped me edit the barrage of product and open box videos that needed to be done following the event. I think I had to edit close to 70 videos altogether in June. Because of this, I can proudly say that I am quite the iMovie extraordinaire.

For my last full month as an intern, my priority shifted to the other side of the marketing spectrum – preparing press releases and case studies. Throughout the entire month of July, I was tasked with gathering information from our vendors regarding installations they made using our products, along with an authorization form and high definition photos of the installation. From there, I would prepare all this information into a consolidated document, that would then be sent over to our creative director to write the press release and case studies. This was probably the most fun, yet most stressful part of the job. It was fun interacting with others over the phone or in person, but sometimes, it would be difficult to get ahold of people. Nevertheless, this was probably my favorite part of the job.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I really value the memories and experiences made during my time at Key Digital. I learned a lot about the field of marketing as a whole, expanded my skill set, and really enjoyed the work. In other words, this internship solidified that this is the right field for me; I would really like to do something along the lines of marketing or human capital consulting upon graduation. This, in turn, has impacted the way in which I go about the rest of my academic career at Penn State. I have tried my best to schedule courses that will help me foster the skills necessary to thrive in these respective fields. In addition, having had a marketing internship has helped me flourish in my current marketing class.

This, in turn, has impacted the way in which I go about the rest of my academic career at Penn State. I have tried my best to schedule courses that will help me foster the skills necessary to thrive in these respective fields.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals are not quite set in stone yet; I do not have a set dream job. I do know two things, however. To begin, my goal in life is to always strive to be the best Robert Al-Moustafa I can be, as both a human being and a professional. Furthermore, I want to help others, in a business setting, reach their maximum potential. The latter was solidified through my internship at Key Digital. The client relationship aspect of the job made me love coming into work every morning. Thus, as stated earlier, I would really like to do something along the lines of marketing or human capital consulting upon graduation.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

This is a tricky one. It honestly depends on the career goals/plans of the Liberal Arts student. For example, I would not recommend this experience to a political science student who wants to become a defense attorney. I would, however, recommend this position to any Liberal Arts student that would like to move into the marketing field. Again, like I said earlier, this company is small. Therefore, you will be exposed to all things marketing.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Being a member of the College of the Liberal Arts and the Paterno Fellows Program has not only helped me develop a greater global perspective, but has also significantly improved my communication skills. These two developments were really essential to being successful as a marketing intern this past summer, especially the communications aspect. With that being said, I am grateful for the PFP's diverse requirements. In fact, if it were not for the CAS 137H/138T requirement for PFP and Schreyer, I would probably have no idea that a major in Communication Arts and Sciences existed. I certainly would not be pursuing a career in marketing/consulting as a student of Communication Arts and Sciences.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Derek Bannister

University of Oxford Summer Courses
Up one level
Derek Bannister

Major: History, Economics
Hometown: West Chester, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this study abroad program by searching for summer courses online. Many major universities in the UK offer similar programs, such as Cambridge and the London School of Economics.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The summer course at Oxford was in economics – focusing on both microeconomics and macroeconomics – and was two weeks long. I stayed at Christ Church College, a very well-known college within the university, which was an incredibly fun experience. The students on the trip were taking classes in various disciplines and came from all over the world, and that cultural mixing was absolutely a highlight of the trip. The courses were taught by professors and graduate students at Oxford. There was also a significant cultural aspect of the program, as students were able to explore Oxford, London, and ancient cities such as Bath.

How did this experience impact you academically?

The academic experience not only provided more insight into a field I am very interested in and major in (economics), but also provided me with expanded interests related to the field. My tutor – the Oxford name for a professor – was very passionate about economics, which made the academic experience especially interesting. He would, for example, provide suggestions of books to read on an ongoing basis, providing great options for expanded learning. After my course finished up, I went out and bought two books focused specifically on the Great Recession which I am currently working through. The classes were all capped at 8 students per class, giving the rooms an intimate feel.

I also hope to get some international work experience over the years, and my trip to Oxford – where people from all over the world came together for the course – helped solidify that desire for me.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I am especially interested in macroeconomics, but I have developed a somewhat tangential interest in finance. After I graduate, I hope to work in the asset management industry, helping develop portfolios to help the money of individuals or institutions grow. I also hope to get some international work experience over the years, and my trip to Oxford – where people from all over the world came together for the course – helped solidify that desire for me. This academic program also cemented my interest in the way financial markets operate, as well as the impact that singular firms can have on markets.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this program to Liberal Arts students, first and foremost, because of the breadth of classes you can take as a part of Oxford Summer Courses. I also cannot stress enough how eye-opening it was to be part of such a diverse group.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

If not for the Paterno Fellows Program, I probably never would have considered economics as a major. The requirement to complete two majors made me think about what I wanted out of my education early on. Pursuing a major in economics has given me an understanding of such an important part of politics and social conditions, as well as an interest in the ways that different countries interact. This international perspective is a part of the academic experience that is fostered by the Paterno Fellows Program and that pushed me to try something new.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Briah Gray

Arcadia: London Internship Program (Summer)
Up one level
Briah Gray

Major: Psychology, Criminology
Hometown: Clarksburg, MD

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this opportunity through Penn State's Education Abroad website. I was able to specify which semester I wanted to participate in, along with specific countries of interest and my major. Using those tools helped me narrow down my choices to find the program that fit my goals the best.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I studied abroad in London where I took an elective course for the first few weeks and then worked at my internship for the remaining time. For my internship, I was placed at a UK law firm where I was able to have a hands on experience and learn the ins and outs of the legal system. Throughout my internship I had the opportunity to take notes during client meetings, write up reports, and sit in on trials. Studying abroad in London allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and explore a new culture. My experience was amazing, and I'm thankful I received this opportunity.

Studying abroad allowed me to learn more about my future goals and helped me determine what my specific interests are.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My experience in London was rewarding both socially and academically. As an undergraduate junior interested in the field of law, it is challenging to find internships in the US without being a current law school student. My internship abroad allowed me to have a hands on experience in various fields of law that I may not have received in the US. Studying abroad allowed me to learn more about my future goals and helped me determine what my specific interests are. The program was extremely helpful to ensure I gained experience while still maintaining credits in order to stay on track for graduation.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals and plans include attending law school and becoming a criminal attorney. My experience abroad was extremely helpful because it gave me an inside look at the legal field. I was able to learn the daily tasks and responsibilities that the field entails. After my internship, I have a better understanding of which areas I would like to focus on along with what to expect in the field.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this experience to other students. The internship placements are very specific to your interest, allowing students to gain a hands on look at the field they desire.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Collin George

Dublin: University College Dublin
Up one level
Collin George

Major: Economics
Minor: Finance
Hometown: York, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Through a friend, I became interested in an opportunity to study abroad. I found out about my specific program by first researching available programs through the Penn State Education Abroad website. I then met with a study abroad adviser to discuss options for Ireland, eventually settling on the program at University College Dublin (UCD).

I truly believe my eyes were opened to a different side of the world, allowing me to come home with different perspective on learning. Everywhere I go is an opportunity to learn and grow

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience has been nothing short of amazing, from an educational and cultural perspective. I became involved on campus playing for the team's lacrosse club, allowing me to engage with full-time students. I also participated in an on campus soccer league, again using it as a tool to meet Irish students. I took the opportunity to travel around Ireland, taking in the various landscapes and cultures across the country. I also visited Italy and Hungary, both of which provided learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Dublin proved to be an amazing city to learn in - I toured museums and attractions and was exposed to new things. My classes were enjoyable and helpful, and my professors were available to meet with me. Being in Europe for the first time gave me a chance to compare life abroad to my life at home. I learned new ways of doing things, tried new foods, and learned how to travel without my own vehicle. Little things like learning the bus and train systems are things I will take home with me.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I believe my educational experience in Ireland was largely enhanced by out of classroom experiences. Yes, my classes provided me with new knowledge and ways of thinking, but I have learned so much more than textbook material. Some of the tours I experienced provided me with historical information I had not learned before. I was able to build a stronger understanding of the history of Ireland, and the U.K. Tours of Pompeii and the Vatican City exposed me to classical artwork and religious history. I truly believe my eyes were opened to a different side of the world, allowing me to come home with different perspective on learning. Everywhere I go is an opportunity to learn and grow, and I benefited from this opportunity.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I have recently accepted a position with BAE Systems in the financial leadership development program. I hope to build a career with this company, allowing me to grow and learn about the defense industry. Considering they are an international company, my experience abroad has given me a step up in understanding the European culture. My three year program with them will include a rotational period in which I will move around to various company locations. One of these possible landing spots is London. I have already grown and lived in this culture which gives me a potential opportunity to rotate abroad. In addition, I have learned about Ireland's healthcare and economy, which will only assist me as I move into my career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. I will take away so many wonderful memories and experiences from my trip abroad. I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity and would encourage anyone to do it. Yes, you learn so much about other cultures and meet so many great people, but more importantly you are able to grow as a person in a new environment. I will look back on my experience for the rest of my life and have made connections with people I hope to keep for some time. It's amazing the things you can learn and new perspectives you can gain simply from talking to someone from somewhere else. I was also fortunate enough to have some family visit while I was abroad, and our experience together is some of the greatest memories I will have. I would greatly encourage anyone to put themselves out there and take advantage of this opportunity.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Carly Danielson

Children in Cambodia: Understanding PreK-12 Opportunities (Embedded Program)
Up one level
Carly Danielson

Major: Psychology (Life Sciences Option), Linguistics
Minor: Chinese
Hometown: New Castle, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I took Psych 212 in the Spring of 2016 with Dr. Cathleen Hunt. I loved the class and often had discussions with Dr. Hunt about current research in the field. At the end of the semester, I applied to be an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant and got the position. At the time I took the class and applied to be a TA, this program was still in the works, so I didn't know about it for a while. I continued to be a TA for the course from that fall (2016) into Spring 2017, when the embedded course was announced during a class period as an option for those interested, and I immediately knew I had to go. I had never been outside of the United States previously (other than a trip to Canada), and so travel wasn't a normal thing for me. But I've had a large interest in learning about world cultures and languages for as long as I can remember. Again, my experience with other cultures was basically nonexistent, and I had never really thought about going abroad before. But something in me knew that this was a wonderful opportunity that I had to take, especially because I knew the leaders and professors of the program so well.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The experience was beyond incredible because I never in my life had even considered the idea that I'd go to Cambodia, but once the possibility was presented to me, I immediately became determined to find a way to go. While I was only in Cambodia for a week, I 100% would say it was the greatest decision I've ever made. I know it's hard to express that something was gained from such a short time of being there, but going to a culture drastically different from the non-diverse one I grew up in made me realize that while cultures differ in many ways, in other ways cultures are the same. The trip was beautifully designed in that the goal wasn't to attempt to change anything about the society we were meeting, but rather to observe and learn about how a different society functions. Cambodia is a very unique country, one which has faced many hardships through the years; I was so glad to find that the professors understood the importance of valuing their culture/education system and paying it due respect. We were there to learn rather than to teach. I think often when one goes abroad, especially to a country they may feel is "lesser" than that of their own, they may feel inclined to "change" or "help" in ways that are not  necessary or relevant.

We were there to learn rather than to teach.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this embedded course was worth a credit. So while it didn't do much overall to my academic status, it was perhaps the most worthwhile credit I've ever earned. We earned an entire credit for just a week-long trip. As part of the course, we were asked to complete a project after returning home. I wrote a paper on the history and current structure of education in Cambodia, and I found it felt less like doing work and more like expanding my interests. The workload was by no means overwhelming, and many of the assignments were based on personal reflection, which I also found very rewarding.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I hope to study abroad for a semester in China in the fall of 2019. Along with that, I hope to complete my education at Penn State with majors in Psychology and Linguistics, as well as a minor in Chinese. Then I hope to attend a graduate school (preferably in New York) and attain a PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Development (Child Psychology). This program served as the gateway for my appreciation for the world and the constantly-changing cultures within it. Had I not taken part in this opportunity, I would've never decided to study abroad for a semester and most likely would've never understood how much language and culture, and learning about those things, means to me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely, I would recommend this program to any other Liberal Arts student who takes this course for many reasons. To begin, this is a 200-level course, not a 400-level, which embedded courses usually are. This is a wonderful opportunity for a student (who perhaps isn't even a Psychology major or minor) to go abroad to a very different, less-typical place for a short period of time. It's a perfect taste of what it's like to go abroad in a very immersive setting. There was never a time when I felt disconnected from what was going on or like I had an artificial experience. The majority of the trip consisted of spending time with the locals; learning from them and getting a general view of what daily life is like for some of them, at least for those living in the more populated city regions.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Elizabeth M Leonard

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA)
Up one level
Elizabeth M Leonard

Major: Criminology
Hometown: Kennett Square, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found this experience through my advisor. I've had an internship since fall semester of 2017, but I did not think it would be fit for credit because it wasn't necessarily criminology-based. My advisor then introduced me to using the internship credit as an elective credit, and it worked out perfectly.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am an intern at Innovation Park for the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). I have many duties within my position, such as approving and denying requests for repayment plans. I learned to look out for signs of fraud, money laundering, identity theft, and more. Every account is different and is a new task to take on. We have an abundance of training in compliance where we are tested on using the skills learned in training in the accounts. Supervisors then have evaluations and QAs where they send you anything that you have done incorrectly and explain why it is wrong and how to fix it. This makes learning much easier because you are fixing your own mistakes, and it is unlikely for you to make them again. As an intern at PHEAA you learn through trial and error.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically this experience has impacted me in many ways. I am very interested in compliance, anti-money laundering, and fraud. In criminology we are taught more about the punitive side of the field and how to punish individuals or what to do when something such as fraud happens. At my internship in PHEAA I am learning the other side of things. I have exposure to every step that is made when processing loans and what it may look like when something such as fraud exists. I know not only what to do when this happens, but also how to find it and stop it before it gets any worse. My training as an intern has equipped me with skills that I have brought into the classroom when speaking about certain crimes.

My training as an intern has equipped me with skills that I have brought into the classroom when speaking about certain crimes.

What are your career goals and plans? How did this experience impact them?

My career goals and plans after I graduate are to enter the profession of either fraud and anti-money laundering or investigations. At first, I wasn’t very sure how I would feel about working with accounts and money when I entered my profession. I have always leaned more toward a hands on occupation in the field, such as a detective. My internship has really allowed me to see every aspect of what can and does happen with these kinds of crimes and how easy it is to miss them. When someone is murdered, the majority of the time there is a crime scene and evidence. When there are traces of fraud and money laundering, it may not be as obvious and that challenge is what interests me the most.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes I would recommend an internship with PHEAA to any Liberal Arts student because it may change their mind and introduce them to profession that they were not interested in before.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Nay Min

The Center for Global Studies
Up one level
Nay Min

Major: Political Science
Minor: Economics
Hometown: Queens, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience through the Liberal Arts Newswire which announces internship and job opportunities at the end of each email. The Newswire is sent to one's student email on a weekly basis.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I am currently at the mid-point of this internship experience. So far, I have been able to attend the Center for Global Studies (CGS) sponsored lectures and write about the events to be published in the CGS newspaper. I’ve assisted with the smooth operation of CGS programs such as the World Stories Alive Series in which we invite native speakers of foreign languages to teach children 3-8 years old -- at their prime age to learn new languages -- foreign languages. I’m also in charge of social media and have worked to advertise CGS events. Finally, I am beginning to develop a K-12 (kindergarten to senior high) curriculum on the country Myanmar.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom. It happens in daily life outside of the classroom, and the best form of learning occurs through experience. The CGS allows its interns to learn through experience. For instance, I had to do data entry and an analysis based on a survey reported by graduate students who attended one of CGS workshops. Although the task was not rocket science, it allowed me to see the long and arduous work that professional researchers and political scientists have to go through to produce the scientific papers and other work that students take for granted. It made me more appreciative of the work academics do. In addition, attending lectures by leaders from various fields all related to global studies is certainly insightful.

Learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom. It happens in daily life outside of the classroom, and the best form of learning occurs through experience.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After graduation, I plan to get involved with the Peace Process in Myanmar. Myanmar has been plagued by ethnic conflicts for half a century and is striving to end the longest ongoing ethnic conflict in the world. After the country transitioned to democracy, efforts to sign the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement have been made. I was aware of my interest in the Peace Process in Myanmar before interning with CGS, but CGS is arming me with the tools that I will need to be successful as a professional researcher. In other words, CGS is serving as a great transition from the school to work environment.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students who are interested in global issues and who are seeking a great work experience in an environment designed to teach interns.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Chandler Snow

Pennsylvania Military Museum
Up one level
Chandler Snow

Major: Archaeological Science
Hometown: Military Child

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience because I had previously volunteered at the Pennsylvania Military Museum. I spoke to my adviser, and she told me I should make it an official internship through Penn State.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

While working at the Pennsylvania Military Museum, I have many duties which I am allowed to help with to maintain an organized museum environment. I have learned to accession and catalog artifacts using the state museum database. Online, I have worked to advertise upcoming museum events, and I have assisted with the creation of a new exhibit which will be opening soon.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have wished to work as a museum technician for almost my entire life, and therefore actually working as a museum technician will help me to better understand how a real museum operates. I believe that this experience has impacted me academically by expanding my applicable skill set in a museum environment. Every day that I spend at the museum, I learn more about history and the proper care of artifacts. This care includes keeping track of where the object is, as well as preventing future physical decay.

Working for various people has taught me what I enjoy doing the most, and this experience continues to expand upon that.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I would like to work as a museum technician, and in that highly competitive field experience is necessary to get a paid position. I have taken advantage of several other opportunities within the field of archaeology to learn more about the collection and preservation of artifacts. I enjoy working within a museum environment very much; working in the field as an archaeologist is a little less fun for me, and I know this because I have experienced working with both. Working for various people has taught me what I enjoy doing the most, and this experience continues to expand upon that.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I think that it is very important to gain experience in a field you are interested in through interning to be sure that it is what you really would like to do for a career. I would recommend that any Liberal Arts student tries to intern with someone relevant to their career.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Ally Mastrangelo

Reggio Calabria, Italy: Language and Culture (Summer)
Up one level
Ally Mastrangelo

Major: Labor and Employment Relations, Psychology
Minor: Italian
Hometown: Saunderstown, RI

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this study abroad experience during my first semester at Penn State through my Italian professor. For many years, he's ran this program in his hometown of Reggio Calabria, Italy and often promoted this trip in our class. Once he found out about my Southern Italian heritage he knew this was the program for me!

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This was a six week summer program that began in Catania, Sicily. We spent a week there learning about Sicilian culture and exploring the surrounding cities. We even hiked Mount Etna, an active volcano! Next, we traveled by boat to Reggio Calabria, Italy. We stayed there for a month and took two classes at the local university: Italian language and Italian culture. Not many Southern Italians speak English so we were forced to practice our Italian daily. Although the language barrier was frustrating at times, my Italian speaking greatly improved! The hard work we put in was definitely worth it. At the end of the program, we spent a few days in Rome, exploring ancient ruins and the Vatican. This was an amazing opportunity to see the differences between Northern and Southern Italy firsthand. I'm beyond grateful for this program as it gave me not only an insight into Italian culture but also the chance to make new friends and grow as a student.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Because of my two majors, I didn't think I'd be able to take on any minors during my time at Penn State. However, this study abroad experience gave me the opportunity to get ahead on Italian credits and complete an Italian minor before my senior year. I'm now able to learn about my family's heritage in more depth and continue my Italian speaking skills throughout the rest of my college career.

The world has so much to offer us, and I'm now greatly interested in working outside of the U.S after law school.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After graduation, I plan to attend law school and pursue a career in employment law. I'm specifically interested in combating workforce discrimination and eliminating wage theft and human trafficking as well. My study abroad experience gave me a more global perspective on this goal. Why limit myself to the U.S for my career? The world has so much to offer us, and I'm now greatly interested in working outside of the U.S after law school. The language barrier in Italy was scary at first, but I was able to conquer my fears and work hard to improve my communication skills. Whether I end up in Italy or in another country I now know that I have the ability to study or work anywhere in the world.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. Participating in a six week program was a great way to get ahead with credits and have an amazing summer all at once. This faculty-run program also gave me the chance to get to know my Italian professors, which is a great resource to have now that I'm back on campus.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program has consistently pushed me to be my best self both in and outside of the classroom. Throughout my time in Italy, I strived to communicate with local Italians as much as possible and learn as much about their culture as I could. The Paterno Fellows Program also motivated me to take on an Italian minor so I can continue learning about this amazing culture here at University Park. This program gave me the drive to challenge myself while abroad and continue to strive for excellence at home.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Natasha Nagle

Greek Civilization/Ancient Greece/Comparative Study of the Ancient Mediterranean (Embedded Program)
Up one level
Natasha Nagle

Major: Geosciences, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, and Anthropology
Minor: International Studies, History, Jewish Studies
Hometown: Perkasie, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this particular embedded trip, as well as its corresponding course, directly through one of the professors within the CAMS department. It is always a good idea to contact professors who you've worked with previously and whose classes or projects you enjoyed in order to get a good feel for study abroad or research opportunities within your particular areas of interest.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This was a wonderful experience which I was able to use in order to build upon the foundation I had established when I studied abroad in Greece with the Athens Program (a semester-long program also through Penn State) previously. Not only did we have the opportunity to visit many of my favorite sites, but we also visited several which were new to me. Having the opportunity to hear the faculty leaders give their own perspective into the histories of the places and objects we were viewing made this program extremely worthwhile. I absolutely cannot wait to go back and study once again in a place so close to my heart and academic interests.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has only helped to further solidify my love of Greece and Greek history and archaeology. I am extremely grateful and lucky that I have been able to take part in such programs throughout my time here at Penn State, and I know I will carry that with me into my graduate studies.

Nothing can quite parallel having the opportunity to learn about these places and objects as you're visiting them and they're standing before you.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After I graduate from Penn State this spring, I will be heading to graduate school to work towards my MPhil in Archaeology with a concentration in Archaeological Science. Being a part of this program and being able to experience more perspectives of the region of the world I hope to focus on archaeologically has helped me immensely in knowing which direction I wanted to move after graduating from Penn State and into my graduate studies in archaeology.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience to any other Liberal Arts students who are interested in the ancient or modern histories so prevalent throughout Greece as a whole. Nothing can quite parallel having the opportunity to learn about these places and objects as you're visiting them and they're standing before you. Learning in such a hands on manner is something which is difficult to replicate in a traditional classroom setting. Not only do you have the rich historical and cultural background of the ancient world to draw upon, but you also have the wonders and cultural experiences modern Greece has to offer. Besides, running on the original Olympic track is pretty cool!

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows has been instrumental in helping me secure funding and aid in order to attend this program, and for that I am extremely grateful!

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Nick Labecki

IES: Oxford, St. Catherine's College
Up one level
Nick Labecki

Major: History, Political Science
Minor: Business and Liberal Arts
Hometown: New Cumberland, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about the opportunity to study at Oxford through IES via the Penn State study abroad website. I was initially interested in studying in either Germany or the UK, but I eventually settled on the UK. Oxford seemed like the best fit academically while also providing a great experience living abroad.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience thus far has been unbelievable. The academic rigor of Oxford has challenged me and made me a much better researcher and writer. As for Oxford itself, the town is beautiful and a pleasant place to live. Additionally, it is only about an hour outside of London by train and a similar distance to all the major airports, providing easy, cheap access to the rest of Europe. The Easter break, which lasts about 5-6 weeks, provides a wonderful opportunity to either travel and see the rest of Europe or to take a break from your coursework and return to the US for a few weeks. Personally, I traveled the whole break and had an incredible time.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has helped to further enhance my skills as a researcher and writer. The tutorial system of teaching allows you to craft better essays by getting individual feedback from your tutors in one-on-one meetings. Additionally, tutorials allow you to get better at defending what you have written and showing what you have learned from the readings. In addition to general coursework at Oxford, I have also had time to conduct research at the National Archives in London and various holdings at other Oxford colleges. The documents I found will form an important part of my honors thesis at Penn State next year.

I have had so many amazing experiences, both academically and culturally, in both the UK and continental Europe that have made me a better, more well-rounded person.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

This experience has helped me to further solidify my career plans. Before coming to Oxford, I was vacillating between pursuing a career in politics or continuing on to graduate school. While I would still consider other opportunities should they arise, my experience at Oxford has convinced me that I should begin applying to graduate programs. Additionally, I now hope to apply to a few programs in the UK, as well as a few fellowships, in addition to the US programs I have already been reviewing.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this experience. This is Oxford. There's nothing else like it. You will be challenged every day and will improve exponentially as a student. Any study abroad experience promises to be rewarding, but Oxford provides a unique opportunity to study at the best university in the world while also still having the opportunity to spend time in nearby London and travel during the extended Easter break.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program really encourages students to go abroad during their time at Penn State. While an internship or a short summer term study abroad experience would have met the requirement, I am so glad I decided to do a full semester abroad. I have had so many amazing experiences, both academically and culturally, in both the UK and continental Europe that have made me a better, more well-rounded person. Studying abroad is a vital learning and growing experience and helps students to better reflect the values of the Paterno Fellows Program.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Melissa Folan

Children in Cambodia: Understanding PreK-12 Opportunities (Embedded Program)
Up one level
Melissa Folan

Major: Psychology
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Weymouth, MA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience through my Psych 100 professor. He emailed our class about the Developmental Psychology class and how they would be going to Cambodia, and I was immediately interested in an abroad experience. I then emailed Dr. Hunt to get more information and details and then enrolled in the class.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

On this trip, we went to Cambodia and visited schools for both younger and older kids. Interacting with the kids firsthand was such a rewarding experience. They value education so much, as many students can either not afford to attend school because of fees or because the schools are too far away from their homes. Also, a lot of students can't afford to attend school because their families need them to work to help provide for the family. Seeing how something that I sometimes take for granted is so valued by these students was really eye opening, because not everyone in the world has the opportunities that I do. I realized how lucky I am to live where I do, be able to afford the things that I have, and have access to the simplest things like indoor plumbing, bathrooms at school, school, and other things. I felt so lucky to be able to have such a close look at the way of life there and to meet people who are my age and already have experienced so much in their lives. It really was such a wonderful and unique experience that I don't think I'll ever have the opportunity to experience again.

I saw how a lot of children in Cambodia cherished the chance to have an education, and every child should get the opportunity to learn. If I could help make that possible in even the smallest of ways, I would feel really content with my life.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically I feel like this experience made me more interested in psychology than before. I am pursuing a psychology degree because I wanted to study forensic psychology, but after this experience I really think that I would be more interested in the developmental side. I really love kids and working with kids, and going to Cambodia and working with kids really reassured me that this is something I would like to do. Developmental psychology focuses on children and how their minds work and how the way they grow and interact affects their lives. If I could incorporate that into a career where I travel around the world interacting with kids from a variety of backgrounds, I would be very happy.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I would very much like to be involved with something like the United Nations or the Peace Corps and travel to different countries and help in the best way I can. I'm hoping to pursue an international politics major/degree alongside my psychology degree during my time at Penn State. This experience really confirmed my desire to pursue this career, but also altered it in that maybe I would like to focus more on kids and providing them with the opportunities they need to be successful and happy. I saw how a lot of children in Cambodia cherished the chance to have an education, and every child should get the opportunity to learn. If I could help make that possible in even the smallest of ways, I would feel really content with my life.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes! I would definitely recommend this experience to other students. It was really eye opening and such an amazing experience to travel across the world, be in a country I might not otherwise visit, and see the culture and the people up close and personal. We experienced this trip from more than a 'tourist' perspective because we were more immersed; we learned parts of the language, went into schools, and learned about the way the people of Cambodia live their day to day lives.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program at Penn State has inspired me to involve myself in any opportunity I can that would be beneficial to myself and others. I see that many within the program have had such amazing experiences abroad. The program also helped me get the funding I needed through the Career Enrichment Network to help make going on this trip possible. I really enjoy the experiences and opportunities that Paterno Fellows opens me up to, and I don't think that I would get many of those without the program's help.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Nicole Scelta

IES: Rome, Study Rome, Language & Area Studies
Up one level
Nicole Scelta

Major: Global and International Studies, Telecommunications
Hometown: Warwick, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew from the very beginning of my freshman year that I wanted to study abroad as a sophomore. During my second semester at Penn State, I sat down with my academic advisor to discuss the logistics and the different programs offered. Having the idea of studying in Italy in mind, my advisor showed me all of the different programs and helped me decide which program to apply to.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Before I left, I was very hesitant, and I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I had been to Rome before, but it is completely different to travel to a city than to actually live in a city. I also went into this program not knowing a single person, which was incredibly nerve-racking. But it was so easy to just dive right into this experience and make friends. I've been able to travel around Italy and around Europe, which has been honestly unreal. I feel so lucky and sometimes I genuinely can't believe that this is my life. Living in the center of Rome sometimes makes me feel like I have to pinch myself. It's surreal to walk home from school and see the Vatican across the river or look out the window during class and see Castel Sant'Angelo right in front of me. It's been strange to be out of my comfort zone for so long, and I'm excited to go home soon, but at the same time I can't believe I'm leaving in a few weeks. This semester has flown by, and I'm so grateful that I decided to do this.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I think that this experience has definitely challenged me academically in a new and different way. I took a lot of general elective courses this semester that I definitely would not have appreciated the same way if I took them back home in the United States. For example, I'm currently in an Ancient Rome history course, where almost every week we go and see Ancient Roman ruins. I find it so valuable to go see all of the history that I've learned about during lectures. I'm also enrolled in a Renaissance Art History class, and last week we had the opportunity to go to Florence for a day and see pieces we've been studying all semester. I actually gave my final presentation in the Uffizi Gallery on a Michelangelo painting. Experiences like these are definitely ones that I wouldn't have had if I never studied abroad.

It's surreal to walk home from school and see the Vatican across the river or look out the window during class and see Castel Sant'Angelo right in front of me.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Considering one of my majors is Global and International Studies, I really wanted to experience another culture. By studying abroad, I've been exposed to so many new things that I was completely unaware of before. I also think that this semester has definitely made me more confident. I am a lot more independent, and I think that's something that'll definitely help me in my career. I've grown accustomed to not knowing what to expect and really just adapting to my surroundings. I think that studying abroad has allowed me to grow, hopefully into a more intellectual individual. I think the exposure I've gained here makes me a more diverse and interesting candidate. I hope that this experience and the knowledge that I've gained here in Rome continue to impact me when I return home.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend studying abroad to any and all students. It's such a unique opportunity to really challenge yourself. I've never felt more out of my comfort zone, but I genuinely loved it. It is an opportunity that doesn't come around often, and if you're interested, go for it. It was definitely intimidating at first, but I know that I will never regret my study abroad experience.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Alexandra Murray

Embedded: CRIM 412 - Crime, Social Control, and the Legal System - University Park
Up one level
Alexandra Murray

Major: Criminology
Hometown: Westbury, NY

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I received an e-mail from my academic advisor about an opportunity to take a 400-level criminology course with an embedded program to Curacao during spring break. Since I am graduating a year early, I did not have the opportunity to take part in a study abroad program. I felt that this would be the perfect experience to fulfill a major requirement and gain global experience.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The Curacao embedded program was full of information both regarding the criminal justice system and the culture of their people. The lectures were informative, and the field trips brought the information to life. Besides lectures, the island was beautiful. We had the opportunity to eat local food and explore the beaches with crystal clear water. Each day was interesting and helpful in shaping one's view of the island. We were able to tour the police department, tour the prosecutor's office, watch a trial, tour customs, tour the Coast Guard and the airport, and visit the prison of the island. It was an amazing opportunity to learn about a different country's criminal justice system and be able to compare it to that of the United States.

The lectures were informative, and the field trips brought the information to life.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My experience in Curacao greatly impacted me. When you learn about other cultures in a classroom, the professor can do their best to provide photos and videos, but you do not grasp everything. Being able to actually go to Curacao and see each place we were learning about made for a deeper academic experience. We were able to ask the Curacao officials questions and even volunteer at a vocational school we visited. Through the tours and meetings with officials in Curacao, you were able to learn more about the culture than just by reading a textbook. It was more clear how each department operated and what difficulties they faced being a small island. The island does not have as many resources as the United States, but they are working diligently to improve their services to function at optimal capacity. The technology of the police department has been improving to better protect the citizens, and the Coast Guard is making constant improvements to protect the sea borders.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After graduation, I will be attending law school at Hofstra Law. I have plans to become a practicing attorney in New York City, ideally in real estate law. Although I do not plan to practice in criminal law, my experience in Curacao did shape my goals for the future. After touring the prosecutor's office and sitting in on a trial, I was more sure of my plans to become an attorney. By talking to the judge and the prosecutor, I realized that I had made the right decision in applying to law school. Curacao was an insightful experience that shaped my college experience. I am looking forward to the next step in my academic career starting in the fall.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this embedded program to other Liberal Arts students because it gives you the opportunity to study abroad without the commitment of an entire semester. Sometimes with academic planning, it is not feasible to devote an entire semester to a study abroad program. With this program, you get the opportunity to learn about a different country's criminal justice system during your spring break. This trip also gives you the experience of learning about another culture while enjoying the beautiful beaches and weather the island has to offer. Before deciding to take this trip, I had never even heard of the island of Curacao. Now I know all about their former colonization, local customs, and criminal justice system. It was an amazing opportunity.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Jayde Morgan

IES Abroad Granada, Spain
Up one level
Jayde Morgan

Majors: Political Science and Global and International Studies
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

From the moment I accepted my offer to Penn State, I knew I wanted to study abroad. It was always a dream of mine to travel to another country and immerse myself in the culture and lifestyle of the people. I went to the Penn State study abroad office in Boucke and talked to Sarah, one of the study abroad advisors, about my options for programs in Spain. She helped me narrow down my choices based on certain aspects of the programs such as location, classes, and opportunities.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Study abroad in Granada, Spain was the best experiences of my life. Because of the challenges, opportunities, and experiences that I have had, I feel better prepared for the rest of my undergraduate degree and beyond. Because Granada is a relatively small city, I feel that I was able to really get to know the city and it truly felt like home. In addition, studying through IES was a fantastic experience because they offered a variety of classes while also promoting travel and leisure in the city and around Europe. I was able to meet people from across the United States and around the world through this program. For example, each member of the IES program was given an "intercambio" from our partner university, the University of Granada, who we were able to meet, talk, and discover Granada with. Also, on a trip to Morocco, the program arranged meetings with university students from Morocco who we were able to form friendships with over our short trip. Overall, I enjoyed every moment of my study abroad experience including my host family, new friends, classes, and trips.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Because I studied abroad in Granada, Spain, I was able to take classes that directly counted for my Spanish minor and will only need to take two more classes once I return to State College. In addition, as a Global and International Studies major, most, if not all, of my classes will transfer back to Penn State and keep me on track with that major. Finally, because I studied in an IES Abroad program, many of the courses that I took in Spain had easy course equivalencies. I cannot speak for other programs but I found that most of my classes were already listed on the historical course equivalency page and were therefore easy to find and transfer.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Because I am only a sophomore, I do not have all of my post graduation plans completely figured out. However, I do know that I would like to go to law school, preferably in New York or Washington D.C. Afterwards, I can see myself pursuing one of two paths or perhaps a combination of both. On one had, I am interested in government work so there is a possibility that I would use my law degree to then pursue a job in either the State Department, Department of Defense, or a law enforcement agency. On the other hand, I could also see myself continuing further as a lawyer. I am particularly interested in reformation of the criminal justice system and working with juveniles in the court system. Either way, while in Granada, I met a girl on a class trip who had been teaching English as a Second Language for three years in Spain. I had been considering taking a year off between undergrad and law school but had no idea what I would do in that year. Now, I would consider returning to Spain to teach English to children so that my gap year could be productive and I could continue to use Spanish.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would most certainly recommend studying abroad to other Liberal Arts students. Not only is it easier for many Liberal Arts students to study abroad because of the classes that are typically offered but also my study abroad experience was one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to meet dozens of new people from different countries and continents and also I was able to gain a perspective that was not limited to the classes, people, and opportunities in one region of the world. Now that I have studied abroad, I could not imagine going through my entire college career without doing so. I think one of the biggest reasons that people do not choose to study abroad is because they are worried about missing things at Penn State, but the rest of the world has so much to offer that it would be a shame to miss it.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Mykaihla Sternick

IES Abroad: University of Sydney
Up one level
Mykaihla Sternick

Major: Philosophy
Minor: Chemistry
Hometown: Pottsville, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this experience primarily through my own research. After attending the Penn State education abroad fair, I learned about IES Abroad, and developed an interest in their programs. Once I found the program in Sydney, I immediately knew this was a great fit for me.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I came to Sydney, Australia in February ready to embark on a journey that I had been looking forward to for much of my life; studying abroad. I have been able study at one of the world's most prestigious universities, explore an amazing city that I am able to call home, and travel around Australia and Oceana. The University campus is so beautiful, it rivals Penn State! Living right off campus in the Sydney University Village puts me in the heart of the cultural scene in Newtown, a unique, up-and-coming suburb of Sydney. The courses I am taking give me a great perspective on differences in learning environments all over the world, while teaching me a huge amount of cultural lessons.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, this experience has impacted me more than I had ever expected. Studying in courses such as Biology and Philosophy, which I often take at Penn State, has shown me the differences in culture, people, and academics. The way students see their academics here is much different, as they focus on one area for most of their academic career. This differs from the American system where we value a more well-rounded education, making me appreciate it all the more.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My future goals are to attend medical school following my graduation from Penn State. After that, I plan to become a surgeon. This experience has given me so much perspective on my future. Not only has it made me to consider coming to Australia to study further, but the experience has taught me unparalleled lessons about people, cultures, and life. Seeing people from all around the world has been a greater motivation to become a doctor who understands more than just medicine, but also, and perhaps more importantly, humanity. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to say that I have studied with people all around the world.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

This experience has been second to none, and I would encourage any student seeking to continue learning to partake in an experience such as this. It offers opportunities that cannot be obtained in any other way. Liberal arts students are already able to see the world in multiple ways, so adding a whole new perspective is of so much value.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

I am so grateful to the Paterno Fellows Program, not only for their generous financial aid that helped me to partake in this abroad experience, but also for the academics that the program has exposed me to. The learning experiences such as guest lectures and courses that are recommended have given me a great foundation for this cultural, academic, and mental journey.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Tess Moore

International Studies Institute- Florence, Italy
Up one level
Tess Moore

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Rockville, MD

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about study abroad through my friends. One friend in particular convinced me to go with her to Florence, Italy for the semester and I am very grateful she did.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I left for Florence, Italy on January 1st and remained there for four months. The experience I had was nothing short of amazing. Each day on my way to class, I had the opportunity to pass by architecture and scenery that was breathtaking. I was able to meet many new friends, both from Penn State and from other schools. On the weekends, my new friends and I planned trips to visit places I had only read about in books. We went to Dublin, Ireland on Saint Patrick’s Day, visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa, saw Anne Frank’s home in Amsterdam, and attended Munich, Germany’s famous Spring Fest.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This study abroad experience has greatly impacted me academically. While abroad, I took classes in the arts as well as in history. For example, I took History and Politics of Modern Italy and a class on the European Union. These classes opened my mind up to international politics, a field of studies I did not even know I was interested in. Now, at home, I feel much more informed when watching the news or reading the newspaper. I can comprehend much more about international politics than I ever could before, which I think is very important to be able to do as a citizen and voter in the United States.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career plans are to attend a post undergraduate nursing school and then to become a nurse and hopefully one day a nurse practitioner. As a nurse, I will be treating patients from a variety of backgrounds that speak many different languages and may have certain cultural barriers that other nurses will not be able to understand or work around. After spending four months in Europe, I have a better understanding of how to communicate with those who are different from me, and how to work with people of other cultures and learn from them in order to create a successful outcome.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend studying abroad to any Liberal Arts student because it greatly broadens your world view and makes you a more well rounded human being.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Harlee Mowery

Pierre Indian Learning Center
Up one level
Harlee Mowery

Majors: English, Secondary Education
Minors: Psychology, Education Policy,Special Education,Writing, Deafness and Hearing Studies, Rehabilitation and Human Services,
Hometown: Berwick, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this experience from the College of Education's Eve Shellenburger. She suggested this opportunity to me because it would help me learn more in the realm of both of my majors and several of my minors.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This experience was amazing for me. There were so many different experiences that I was able to participate in. At the Pierre Indian Learning Center, the student population comes from various levels of poverty and this is reflected in their emotional states and academic performances. Individuals who work at the school become so much more then educators. They are counselors, parents, friends, and so much more. All of these things helped me understand what my majors and minors are really about. Understanding the aspects of these students lives promotes a better understanding of how to help them.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has been one that impacted me academically every day. I received a deeper understanding of what it means to be an educator and an individual whose goal it is to help others. These students need more then academic knowledge, especially in terms of traditional English that will further them in their lives. For example, the students are struggled to make complete sentences, and speaking fluently. This is where my English degree helped along with my ESL training. I was able to practice my education and English skills and use that knowledge to help the students. Some of the students also needed various accommodations and other services which gave me the opportunity to utilize skills I learned during course work for my minors. This experience furthered my education in both the College of the Liberal Arts and the College of Education.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My future career goals and plans are to work within a school teaching English in a general education classroom. However, being in a general education classroom also means that there will be inclusion students that I will be working with. This is one of the reasons that I wanted to come to the Pierre Indian Learning Center. Almost every student at the school has an IEP that includes reading and writing. It was very important to me to work with these students to improve their English abilities and further the skills that they already possess. This experience confirmed that I am doing what I love and that I made the right decision in teaching English.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students depending on their fields of study. The Pierre Indian Learning Center has so many facets that come together within such a small space. Working with the students in the classroom, in the dorms, or as a psychology counselor are just some of the experiences to be had here. There is so much to learn and I cannot descried how beneficial is was to me.

For more information on internship opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Abigail Luke

IES Madrid- Language and Area Studies
Up one level
Abigail Luke

Majors: Psychology & Political Science
Minors: Spanish & Global and International Studies
Hometown: West Chester, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about the vast enrichment funding available to liberal arts students through my LA 401 class I enrolled in last semester. Through this course, I learned about how many resources we have access to as liberal arts students. This enrichment funding has been vital to my study abroad experience, and I am so glad to have been informed of it.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience studying abroad in Madrid, Spain has by far been the most impactful of all of my endeavors at Penn State. Living in a foreign country not only has widened my world view, but also it has pushed me out of my comfort zone in the best way possible. I lived with a host family and enrolled in classes taught completely in Spanish. I feel as if I have immersed myself in this culture through volunteering at local schools and completing a language exchange with a Spanish college aged student. Outside of Spain, I have been able to travel throughout Europe and be exposed to so many different cultures. On a personal level, I feel as if this experience has helped me better understand myself. While studying abroad has had its share of ups and downs, I believe that I will return to Penn State with a more comprehensive picture of both myself and the others around the world. I am thankful to the College of the Liberal Arts for providing enrichment funding to supplement this amazing experience.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has had a vast impact on my academic life. I now will be continuing my study of Spanish and completing a Spanish major. My experience in Spain inspired me to continue to explore my understanding of this amazing language and culture. I have a new understanding of Spanish speaking and comprehension through my completion of 15 credits taught entirely in Spanish. Additionally, my ability to travel throughout Spain exposed me to cultural intricacies of which I was previously unaware. I am excited to continue studying Spanish at Penn State. I hope to continue to improve my Spanish abilities and gain as much exposure as possible to the language.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I plan to attend law school and follow a politically driven career path. This experience has enabled me to adopt a more globally-focused mindset that will be pivotal as I continue my studies. My widened world view will be an asset as I continue through my study of politics, both domestic and global. I also hope to find a career that involves Spanish. I hope to work within Spanish speaking communities and put my speaking and comprehension abilities to good use. Prior to law school, I also am considering a gap year teaching English in a Spanish-speaking country. While in Spain, I volunteered twice a week in a 1st grade classroom and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I have left my study abroad experience with a better understanding on how to direct my future endeavors.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend studying abroad to all liberal arts students. As Liberal Arts students, we are constantly reminded of the importance of global thinking and cultural awareness, but it was not until I studied abroad that I fully understood these concepts. I am returning to Penn State as an individual with a newfound global consciousness that will propel me to success in both my academic and professional careers. All Liberal Arts students would benefit greatly from a global experience. The knowledge gained from the cultural immersion experienced abroad is an asset to all career paths, especially those related to liberal arts.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program was one of the driving forces in my study abroad experience, and I am so thankful for the financial support that I was provided with. The study abroad/internship requirement provides students with such valuable life experiences that supplement in-class learning. I believe that my study abroad experience not only taught me more than I've learned in 8 years of Spanish classes, but also helped me better understand myself. My time in Madrid will be something I treasure for the rest of my life, and the Paterno Fellows Program was a contributing factor to this amazing experience.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

 

 

Yike Zhao

Theatre Academy London
Up one level
Yike Zhao

Majors: Labor & Employment Relations and Theatre Studies
Minor: Economics
Hometown: Ningbo, China

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Theatre Academy London is a required study abroad program for BA Theatre Studies students, so I was told about it when I decided to add theatre studies as my second major.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I've never lived in a big city before so this was a great experience and helped me decide that I would enjoy living in a big city in the future. London is different in many ways from my experience studying in the United States, from afternoon tea to British accents. I also got to meet new friends from other universities and to experience European culture. I really appreciate the opportunity I had to be a part of the program and am truly grateful for the enrichment funding I received from College of the Liberal Arts.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Spending a whole semester learning about theatre in one of the theatre centers in the world, the home of Shakespeare, was the best thing I could ask for. I got to learn theatre not only from taking classes, but also from going to performances. I feel I've learned so much, both as a student and a person during this experience. Many people thought my majors (Labor & Employment Relations and Theatre) are totally unrelated. But I think studying theatre has provided me with opportunities to work with people from different backgrounds, which will help me in my LER classes and be useful in my future career.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I intend to look for a career that is related to both of my majors in a field like HR or general management in nonprofit organizations or the performing arts. This experience helped me realize that I love the dynamics of big cities and I would like to work in a big city in the future. As I just graduated, I don't want to limit myself, so I will be open to all the opportunities I have.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Elliot Solomon

Valencia, Spain: University of Virginia, Language and Culture
Up one level
Elliot Solomon

Majors: Finance & Spanish
Minor: International Business
Hometown: Harrisburg

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this program from speaking with Smeal College of Business International Programs Coordinator, Elizabeth Labrin, and Associate Teaching Professor, Dr. Peggy Blue.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The University of Virginia in Valencia program is a very challenging, but rewarding program for any student who is looking to strengthen their Spanish language skills. All classes are taught in Spanish, you must talk in Spanish in the study center, and most host families do not know any English. Valencia is a great city that is big enough to have fun, but small enough to build a mental map of the city within a week or two of arriving. There are plenty of long weekends that give you the chance to travel around Europe; I was able to travel to over a dozen different cities. Also, the program has a handful of free and/or inexpensive excursions planned throughout the semester. One of the coolest experiences in Valencia was the Fallas festival that welcomed spring with a bang, or a few thousand, since there are non-stop fireworks throughout the entire week.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically speaking, I have one major recommendation: do not go on this program until you have finished all of the 200-level courses. There are some classes that I am taking that I was definitely not prepared for that will have a negative effect on my GPA. However, I have really enjoyed most of the classes I am taking and my Spanish has improved immensely.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I would really like to have a career in finance where I can work on Latin American accounts. This is not possible without bilingual-level fluency. Although I am not there yet I have been able to make great strides towards that level and still have two more years before I work full-time. Over the course of the next four semesters I will take five more Spanish classes that will hopefully get me to the professional proficiency level necessary for my career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because it has had a major positive impact on my academic and personal life. I have never been extremely confident with my Spanish, but now I am looking forward to holding conversations in my classes at Penn State and with my Spanish-speaking friends. I have made life-long American and Spanish friends while in Valencia. If I could return for another semester, I would do it without a doubt.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

 

 

Olivia K. Torres

IES Abroad Study London
Up one level
Olivia K. Torres

Majors: English, Spanish, and History
Minor: Classic and Ancient Mediterranean Studies & Global and International Studies
Hometown: Mays Landing, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I planned on studying abroad before I even arrived at Penn State. Luckily, I chose a university that makes the process seamless and has countless opportunities for studying internationally. After a quick search on the Penn State Global Programs website, I narrowed my options down and chose to apply to study in London.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

There is nothing quite like living in a city that is as modern as it is medieval. History and modernity exist concurrently - most of the major roads echo the original Roman infrastructure, a lot of the architecture dates back to medieval times, and the tube system (also known as the underground) was built during the reign of Queen Victoria. Even though there is a lot of history to be marveled at, the city is completely functional and many modern marvels - such as breathtaking skyscrapers - can be found around every corner. In regards to location and ease of travel, London is an amazing place to study. Many of my classmates made weekend trips to Paris, France and Brussels, Belguim with ease. I set my sights further and traveled to Budapest, Hungary and Prague, the Czech Republic within a weekend and got there easily. There is no city in the world quite like London.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I was able to take four English classes and one History class and not feel overwhelmed by the required readings and essays. Learning about the works of William Shakespeare and taking a field trip to the Globe in the morning, then learning about Medieval castles and visiting the Tower of London in the afternoon was a normal occurrence during the semester. The subject matter was easier to digest when I was able to see what I was learning about first-hand. I got more out of each class I took because I was able to apply it to the world around me.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After college, I plan on attending law school and pursuing a career as a prosecutor. The court system in England is vastly different than the one we have in the United States. Everything - from what certain attorneys have the power to do to what they wear when they go to court - was new to me. It allowed me to appreciate the system we have and look at it critically. A fresh perspective such as that is something that I would never have gained had I not gone abroad. This has reaffirmed my decision to study law and has given me a unique experience that I will remember in my future endeavors.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely! I believe that everyone should study abroad at least once in his or her undergraduate career - I'm actually preparing to embark on my third study abroad adventure! Penn State provides many opportunities that make study abroad accessible to almost everyone and the benefits last a lifetime.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

As a Paterno Fellow, it would not be enough to just take a lot of honors classes and get a diploma. The Paterno Fellows Program has inspired me to approach my academics with a global perspective and make the most out of each class that I take. Subject matter that would be considered more difficult in a typical classroom setting is made more accessible when one is immersed in the culture one is learning about. Because of this, the honors classes that I am required to take can be completed with ease. This "requirement" has empowered me to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime experience that has shaped who I am.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Abigail Mapel

Athens, Greece: History, Culture, and Archaeology of Greece
Up one level
Abigail Mapel

Major: History
Minor: Sociology, Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew I was interested in studying abroad as soon as I started college so I visited the Penn State Global Programs website and found it myself! I did talk to my advisor to be sure it would be a good fit before applying.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience abroad was wonderful! I met some great friends in my program that helped make it all worth while. I explored a lot of Greece and even some nearby countries (on my own time). The best part was living in another culture, which turned everything into a big adventure. Even grocery shopping was exciting because the food was fresh and different than what I'm used to! I got to volunteer with refugees which helped me spend my time wisely and the classes were all even more interesting because we were living in a place we were learning about.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I am much better off academically now than I was before I went abroad. The classes reignited my love of learning because they were so fruitful and the professors were so passionate about what they taught. It was a shortened semester and we only had classes four days per week (so we had travel time for weekend trips) but that does not mean it was any easier than a normal semester. It may have even been harder. Still, my desire to experience the culture in which I was living while maintaining my GPA made me be much more diligent at doing my work in a timely manner. Also, I got to practice a couple foreign languages, which is really good for your brain and should help me in the future.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I have a couple of years left at Penn State. After this I hope to attend law school and then go one to practice law or maybe try to get into politics. I think this experience definitely helped me get better on track for that. I met people that were so driven and inspiring that they made me want to be better. Also, studying abroad makes you much more flexible as a person and I learned that I can really roll with the punches. I think the cultural intelligence that I gained from this experience can certainly not be overlooked. Of course, we all interact with people from other cultures every day, but it is not often that we actually get to live with them. This experience made me a more empathetic person that I know will help me no matter where I end up.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would 100% recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. This program is great because it is a whole semester so you get to actually live where you are studying and embrace a new way of life. Also, there are some core classes that everyone takes but there is still some give with your schedule that allows you to make sure you're taking classes that you want to take.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

McKenna Kimmel

Nanjing University Program
Up one level
McKenna Kimmel

Major: Finance and Mandarin Chinese
Minor: International Business
Hometown: Lancaster, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this experience from my professor in CHNS426 who was also the professor leading the trip. I had also heard about it last semester when I participated in the Nanjing University Program and mentored a Nanjing student at Penn State.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I really loved this program and had a truly great time. I had never been outside of the United States before, so I was not exactly sure what to expect. I originally thought that China would be filled with lots of traditional architecture and customs, but was surprised to see how clean, modern, and innovative it is. I have been studying Chinese language and culture for several years now and it was still eye-opening to go there and experience the culture first hand. We stayed at a hotel near the Nanjing campus and it was also conveniently located near a metro stop, so we were able to do a lot of traveling in our free time. Throughout the trip I went to the Confucian Temple in Nanjing, the Nanjing Museum, Zhengzhong, Suzhou, and Shanghai. I loved this experience so much that I hope to go back and study abroad in Shanghai during my junior year.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I had an absolutely amazing time and learned a lot. The program featured an embedded course which included daily classes in the mornings and also field trips and other cultural experiences throughout the two weeks. For the classes we had to read passages from various novels about Chinese culture and it tied in very nicely with the rest of the trip. We also were each paired with two Nanjing student partners and they were beyond helpful and kind. It was very interesting to talk to these students and see how life both academically and personally differed between China and the United States. I am planning on majoring in Mandarin Chinese as well as Finance and I was able to learn things regarding both topics. While being in China, I had plenty of opportunity to practice my Chinese. We also attended a lecture on Chinese economy and globalization which I found to be very fascinating. All in all, I was able to learn an enormous amount during this trip, both regarding culture and also knowledge directly related to my major.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I am majoring in Finance and Mandarin Chinese with a minor in International Business. I am not entirely sure what particular aspect of business I would like to pursue yet, but I do know that I would like to deal with international relations and become fluent in Mandarin Chinese in order to do so. This trip was very helpful because it helped me to practice Chinese and even learn a bit more. This trip definitely showed me that I still have a lot left to learn, but it also showed me that I am on the right path and am able to get by with the amount of Chinese that I currently know.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because it was such an eye-opening and amazing experience for me. I think that the two week time-frame was a good amount of time to get a glimpse of the culture and language and figure out if you would like to explore it further. This experience would be good for all students regardless if they are majoring in Chinese or not because it gives exposure to another culture.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Stephanie Loesch

IES Madrid: Advanced Language & Area Studies
Up one level
Stephanie Loesch

Major: Marketing, Spanish
Minor: International Business, Global and International Studies
Hometown: Fairview

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was fortunate to learn about this experience through Julianna Chaszar, the Spanish department advisor. She also made sure I took the necessary steps in order to apply for funding.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My study abroad experience was truly an eye-opening experience and one in which I am so grateful to have participated. During my 4 months in Europe, I was given the opportunity to immerse myself in the Spanish culture, taking classes in Spanish & living in a home stay. I made sure to really familiarize myself with the city of Madrid by visiting museums and even attending a Real Madrid soccer game as well. In my spare time, I traveled to 12 countries, exposing myself to and appreciating the many different cities of the world. I am grateful to have engaged in numerous unique experiences while also really expanding my knowledge of Europe while abroad.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Academically, I have really grown since leaving for Europe. As I mentioned previously, all of my classes were taught in Spanish. In addition, I only spoke Spanish in my home stay and also while communicating with people in Madrid. I am majoring in Spanish, and overall, this experience really enhanced my Spanish language skills. My confidence in my abilities has greatly increased. In my classes, I learned a lot about Europe in terms of history and business, both of which are very important for me to know and understand since I am also majoring in marketing and minoring in international business and global and international studies.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

In regards to my future, I am very interested in becoming a marketing manager for a successful company. With that being said, I want to work abroad at some point in my career. Ideally, I would love the opportunity to live in Spain again, allowing me to practice my Spanish-speaking abilities even more. Studying abroad has helped me become an advanced speaker in another language and I have gained invaluable knowledge about Europe in general. This experience will help me to stand out against other applicants for jobs and will hopefully help to provide me the chance to be a real asset to any company.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would most definitely recommend this program to other Liberal Arts students. This opportunity has really allowed me to grow as an individual and student. Thanks to this experience, I feel more confident in my Spanish language abilities. Additionally, I feel as if I have gained an even stronger sense of individuality. I have a newfound appreciation for the many countries in Europe as well. This experience will benefit me in the future and hopefully ensure I gain the opportunity to work abroad. Personally, I am so grateful for my study abroad experience and will never forget just how amazing of an opportunity it was for me.

For more information on global experiences for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Nina Trach

Hekima Place in Kiserian, Kenya
Up one level
Nina Trach

Majors: Spanish and Public Relations
Hometown: South Brunswick, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first learned about Hekima Place from a senior in the Schreyer Honors College who was a great mentor to me in my freshman year. She had been to Hekima three times before and arranged to have Jenny Roach, the Executive Director of Hekima Place, come and speak to the Schreyer for Women club while she was in the United States. After hearing Jenny share her story and the stories of the girls at Hekima, I immediately knew that I had to make the journey to meet with, learn from, and help these inspiring girls in Kenya.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Hekima Place is a home for more than 60 orphaned and at risk girls in Kiserian, Kenya. The home began as a safe place for orphans of parents affected by the AIDS crisis in Kenya, but has transformed into a place for girls who are victims of all kinds of challenging circumstances. Hekima is built on a foundation of faith and love, where young girls have the opportunity to receive an education and just be kids. My role as a volunteer for three weeks manifested in many different roles, helping in whatever way was needed. I traveled with four fellow Penn Staters and we spent the majority of our trip painting the girls' houses to prepare for Hekima's upcoming inspection. We also spent a great deal of time helping the girls with homework at night and doing social activities with them on the weekends. Our mission as volunteers was to provide help for the staff and support for the girls, which we were able to do with a variety of different tasks. While the girls were at school, we also got to experience some of the local culture in Karen and Kiserian, two of the closest towns to where we were staying.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As a student currently majoring in Spanish and Public Relations, I expected this trip to have more of an influence on how I view the world as a global citizen, since it did not directly connect to my majors. However, I was thrilled that the experience actually had a significant influence on what will be my future academic choices at Penn State. This trip taught me a great deal about the difference between aid and sustainable development and the importance for the latter to prevail. In my coming semesters at Penn State, I plan to find a minor or certificate program focused on sustainable community development or global relations to supplement my two majors. Since returning from my trip to Hekima I have also thought more about my thesis and how I might be able to tie in this new passion for sustainable development and the impact media can have on developing communities. I hope for future service or research experiences in a Spanish speaking country to incorporate the valuable lessons I learned at Hekima with the Spanish and Public Relations skills I have learned in the classroom, to contribute to my thesis.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I have always had the long term goal of working for the International Olympic Committee or NBC Olympics, due to a love for their global message of unity, cooperation, and competition. My trip to Hekima has opened my eyes to how I might be able to help develop and promote other global campaigns or incorporate my knowledge of sustainable development into a different aspect of the Olympics. I plan to look more into careers in corporate social responsibility and sustainable global development that can really utilize my skills in Spanish and Public Relations. With my current majors it can be easy to fall into the trap of a job selling or promoting things with little meaning or significance. My trip to Hekima has reminded me of and solidified the fact that whatever my career path may be, I will be happy as long as I can have a meaningful impact on someone or something. I have the incredible power to make a difference in this world, as we all do, and Hekima helped me to remember exactly that.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend that other Liberal Arts students make the trip to Kiserian, Kenya to experience all the love and knowledge that the girls and staff at Hekima Place have to offer. For anyone looking to experience a different culture in the most meaningful way possible, volunteering at Hekima is undoubtedly the perfect way to do so. This trip allowed me to find a second family across the world who were able to teach me more about myself than I could have imagined possible, all while impacting the lives of the beautiful girls that call Hekima home.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program and the College of the Liberal Arts provided me with a great deal of perspective in my first year at Penn State. Due to coursework, extracurricular events, and even just interacting with other fellows, I have a greater appreciation for diverse thinking and the importance of having a global perspective. Without the valuable lessons I have learned so far from the Paterno Fellows Program, I may not have even thought to seriously consider a trip to Kenya. I'm so grateful for all that I have already learned from being a Paterno Fellow and all that is still to come.

Lucille Maria Laubenstein

CIEE Liberal Arts Valparaiso Chile
Up one level
Lucille Maria Laubenstein

Liberal Arts Majors: Global and International Studies, International Relations, and Spanish
Minor: Arabic
Hometown: University Park, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this program through doing some research on the Penn State Global Program search page. I knew I wanted to do a study abroad utilizing my Spanish languages skills, but not the stereotypical abroad trip to Spain. From there my choices were narrowed down by the type of study abroad offered in those countries, and the safety of those countries. Initially I hadn't chosen this to be my program because the picture on the program search page is awful, but it made my list of my top ten choices I was going to do further research on outside of Penn States resources. Once I gave Valparaiso a Google search, I immediately fell in love. This charming and albeit, quirky city has so much to offer. I talked to the study abroad adviser for this program, Sarah Spiegel about it and she tried to put me in contact with a Penn State student who had done this program previously, but there weren't any. So, I went with my gut and committed regardless.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience has been a roller coaster. I know that is what everyone says, but it is honestly the best way to describe it. Much like being on a roller coaster, being completely immersed in a foreign culture is both an exhilarating and paralyzing experience. When I first arrived I felt like Alice in Wonderland, everything felt strange and wonderful yet there were bits and pieces of things that were oddly familiar. Despite having studied Spanish for 5 years, I still found myself acting like a deer in the headlights. The most frustrating part was that my personality didn’t translate, and I had a difficult time expressing myself because I was exhausted and overwhelmed. After about a month, I finally found a way to be myself in Spanish. From then on, I began to enjoy things much more thoroughly. Valparaiso has so much to feast your eyes on. Though I have been here 5 months, I feel I have barely scraped the surface of all this city has to offer. The opportunities to explore and engage in Chilean culture are virtually endless.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I am a Spanish major, and I always intended on studying abroad for a semester because it seemed like the right thing to do. What I did not realize was how completely different being immersed in a culture would be from learning and speaking Spanish in a classroom. I’ve always done very well in my Spanish classes, so I thought that the confidence I gained would translate easily. But the transition was more difficult than I anticipated. However, being in a study abroad language immersion program meant that I didn’t have a safety net, and I had to learn. It has forced me far beyond comfort zone. I am an introverted person, which added another level of complication to communicating in Spanish. When you put yourself into a foreign culture, learning to communicate with people in their language, helps you avoid feeling isolated. As a result, my confidence in myself, my Spanish speaking abilities, and in turn my comprehension skills have improved enormously.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

While I do not know exactly what career I want to pursue, I would like to work for an environmental NGO where ideally I could utilize my language skills. Being abroad has really made me look at my life and my goals and evaluate my priorities. It has also given me an idea of the steps I should be taking once I am back in the states to realize those goals. Previously, I thought that I had a well informed, open minded perspective about a lot of issues, both domestic and international, which are important to me. Having classes in a foreign country, taught from a foreign perspective has made me realize how small my mindset has been, and that life is infinitely complex and ever changing, and there is always more learning to be done.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this program to another Liberal Arts student. Chile is a beautiful and diverse country with a rich and complex history. There is so much to see and do here, I have never been at a loss for opportunities. Additionally, I feel like this program has led to a tremendous amount of personal growth. I find myself asking new questions, and seeking out information on all sorts of topics which would never have occurred to me before. Also, there is something to be said about being on your own on another continent which means you are constantly surprising yourself with your ability to handle new situations. This program gives you the tools to explore and encourages academic and other forms of personal growth.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program has uniquely shaped my study abroad experience. Namely, it enabled it to happen. Without the resources and support of the Paterno Fellows Program, I would have never considered going abroad in my sophomore year of college, nor would I have considered doing a program that was an entire semester long. I thought these things were out of reach for me academically and financially. But my advisers helped me with scheduling classes, both while at Penn State, and via email when all of my plans fell apart once I was actually here in Chile. The Paterno Fellows Program also provided me with funding which allowed me to participate in this wonderful study abroad experience. The program has been an excellent resource throughout the whole process.

Caroline Ackiewicz

PSU/BU Spring Semester in Athens
Up one level
Caroline Ackiewicz

Liberal Arts Majors: History & English
Minor: Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Hometown: Leola, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience when I when I saw a brochure for it outside of my adviser's office.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My program was a joint program between Penn State and Bucknell. We spent three months living in Athens, where we had studio apartments that were close to the Athens Centre, which is where we had our classes, and the city center. Our classes were taught by Athens Centre staff and a Bucknell professor. The Centre provided our housing and also organized our travel around Greece to locations such as Delphi and Crete. Even when we were still in Athens we would often have classes at locations such as the Ancient Agora or various museums.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience really impacted me academically. One of the things that I learned was effective time management. The excitement of being a new country frequently made it difficult to concentrate on academics. However, it was also important that to me that I got the most out of time in Greece because I would probably never get another opportunity like this. Over the course of my time abroad I eventually figured out how to make sure that I was succeeding academically, while still getting the most out of my study abroad experience. The strategies I learned to maintain this balance between work and the other aspects of my life are definitely skills I will continue to use throughout college and beyond.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals are to go to graduate school to get degrees in History and Library Science, and then to eventually work as an archivist. This experience definitely assisted me in accomplishing my career goals. For History majors, being able to speak another language is a vital skill because it allows one to access more primary source documents. During my time abroad I studied Modern Greek, which gave me familiarity with a new language. Learning Greek in a place where it is most peoples' first language forced me to speak it more often, thus allowing me to learn the language more quickly.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this program to other Liberal Arts students. The Athens Centre organized all of my travel in Greece, so I didn't have to worry about travel plans. Additionally, I was able to see the places, buildings, and objects that I learned about in class.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Mary K McDevitt

Arcadia Umbra Institute General Studies
Up one level
Mary K McDevitt

Liberal Arts Major: Labor and Employment Relations
Hometown: Audubon, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I have been interested in studying abroad since I started college. I did some research on Penn State's Global Programs website. Once I narrowed down areas I was interested in I visited the global studies offices. I was able to reach more information and exchange emails with students who previously studied in Perugia, Italy.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Perugia has an extremely special place in my heart. Perugia is a smaller city around 2 hours away from Rome. It is a city where you experience a true Italian way of life. I went abroad to a place I had little information about with no one I knew. I met some of my best friends from this program and gained an amazing outlook on life. Perugia, Italy in general, opened my eyes to a different way of life. I had to change and adapt to the way Italians operate. I am so grateful that I was able to study in such a beautiful area. Many nights we watched the sunset and would say how lucky we were to live in a place like this. I think that sums up much of my abroad experience. I am blessed and grateful for the opportunity I had to study abroad in the most beautiful place with the most amazing people.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My professors and the staff in Italy were beyond amazing. These individuals made class and school so enjoyable. Being abroad may seem like a vacation, but I always enjoyed attending my classes. I was lucky to have saved my gen eds and electives for my study abroad experience. I was able to study and learn about a variety of intriguing subjects. I was able to learn about worldly topics. My professors also spoke multiple languages and were very scholarly. I was able to learn about their life in Italy and ask them questions about Italy.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I plan to graduate in May of 2019. I am majoring in Labor and Employment Relations. I plan to work in the field of Human Resources. My time abroad connected me with people from places around the globe. Through traveling and activities I met people from all over. In the human resources department you are focused on working for the people of the company. I believe being able to learn more about people from different places will help me in my future career. I have expanded my knowledge and skills which will transfer over to my career.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Absolutely. Studying abroad in general is such a rewarding experience. Not only will you connect with and meet such amazing people, but you will find yourself calling the place you study "home". Perugia, Italy is such an amazing city. It is exactly the place you would want to call home. Every weekend I spent traveling was amazing, but I looked forward to being able to return back to Perugia. The town and people are so welcoming. The school is in the center of Perugia which is an amazing location. Arcadia did a great job of preparing us to go abroad and giving us useful information prior to our arrival. I felt very safe in Perugia.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Valerie Murphy

Budd Larner PC
Up one level
Valerie Murphy

Liberal Arts Major: English
Hometown: West Caldwell, New Jersey

How did you learn about this opportunity?

In my junior year of high school, I reached out to one of my previous basketball coaches who was a partner at Budd Larner PC, and inquired about available internship positions. The firm was looking for interns at that time, so I applied and was hired. Ever since then I have been asked to return to the firm as an intern during the summer. This will be my fifth summer working with Budd Larner.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer worked at Budd Larner PC, a law firm in Short Hills, New Jersey. I started my internship on May 29th and ended on August 3rd. I worked Monday through Friday (and sometimes had to go to meetings on Saturdays), from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (occasionally later). I worked alongside attorneys and paralegals during the “discovery” phase of litigation. I learned how to navigate Relativity (a document review/management software). Relativity essentially acts as a database that archives all documents produced by our client and adversary. From the thousands of documents, I conducted searches to find important e-mails, contracts, spreadsheets, and so on that would aid in building/strengthening our client’s case. Most of my internship was spent primarily reading and searching through long contracts and other documents. I would have the opportunity to sit in on and contribute to strategy meetings with the attorney and our client. Because I had significant knowledge about how to use the Relativity database, I would give the attorneys and clients a tutorial on how to conduct basic searches. I also typed out a comprehensive guide about how to use Relativity, which other interns as well as attorneys use for reference.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I feel that this internship enhanced my reading and critical thinking skills (and because I am an English major, sharpening these skills will make me even more prepared for my coursework next semester). My ability to communicate through mediums such as e-mails, Skype, and face-to-face meetings have also improved because of the consistent practice I have had while interning at Budd Larner. I have become more confident speaking publicly, as well as expressing my thoughts through writing due to conversing daily with the attorneys and clients. I believe that these transferrable skills will have a positive impact on my academic performance at Penn State and beyond. After speaking during intense meetings surrounded by a group of professionals, I feel that actively participating in a more relaxed environment (like a classroom setting at Penn State) will feel effortless. Another invaluable skill I can bring back to Penn State and apply to my academics is time management. I was given hard deadlines to finish a task, and so I would have to be able to divide my time efficiently and make judgements about which task was most important and had to be finished immediately, and which task could be completed later. Being able to recognize the different levels of urgency per each task and creating a plan of how and when to tackle each is useful in every aspect of life, especially while at Penn State, when I have to balance completing several assignments at once.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

After I graduate Penn State in 2019, I intend to start law school in Fall 2019. Although I do not have a comprehensive knowledge of all practice areas of law, I most likely see myself practicing in commercial litigation. My internship experience just reinforced that this is the profession I belong in. Working at Budd Larner allowed me to witness what the day-to-day business is like at a law firm, and made me more confident about my decision to take the LSAT and apply to law school, as I was able to visualize myself excelling in that type of working environment.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would absolutely recommend this internship experience to students that are thinking about pursuing a career in law. Students will get hands-on experience, and network with the attorneys and paralegals (possibly leading to future internship/employment opportunities).

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Michaela Busic

Study Tour of Roman History and Archaeology
Up one level
Michaela Busic

Liberal Arts Major: Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Other Major: World Languages, Education, Latin
Hometown: Libertyville, IL

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Members of the Classics department would present study abroad options in various courses, and this was one of them. I also had professors who had led the tour in previous years and thus mentioned it.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Each day we would go to a site and talk about it. The focus was on the ancient world, however the importance of modern history also played a part. We would be at the site until early afternoon, and would then be allowed to explore Rome for the rest of the day. There would be readings associated with most of the sites and each student was required to do one site report, in which we did more research on a specific building, area, or piece of artwork. There were also a handful of quizzes that helped to solidly the information we were receiving at the sites.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I was able to fulfill an academic requirement with this study abroad program. Since the program is during the summer, it doesn’t disrupt plans for the school year. I was able to fulfill this requirement, then, without taking out a class I had planned for the academic year. The tour offers two courses: a 100 level Gen Ed credit and a 400 level optional credit. This tour is also helpful because you learn about Ancient Rome while at ancient sites in Rome and the area. The knowledge I was learning was supplemented by the location of the program.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I plan on becoming a high school Latin teacher. This program was extremely helpful for me, as it allowed me to explore the city I will be eventually teaching about. This study abroad experience has encouraged me to return to Rome on my own one day, so that I can further develop the knowledge I learned on the tour. I was also able to take plenty of picture for my lessons, as we went to so many important places for the ancient world. It has sparked new interests in some areas of Ancient Rome that I didn’t know as much about before the study abroad program.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes! If you have any interest in Ancient Rome or Italy, it’s a great program. Since it’s during the summer, it’s easier to fit into a schedule. It’s fast paced and the sites visited are really interesting.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Pat Dailey

97.5 The Fanatic - Beasley Broadcast Group
Up one level
Pat Dailey

Liberal Arts Major(s): Communication Arts and Sciences
Minor: Business
Hometown: Chadds Ford, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

This enrichment experience was brought to my attention by a contact of mine. I talked to Paul Blake, who is the Director of Sales for Beasley Media Group. This experience was formulated through emails and LinkedIn connections. Although having a contact at this company was essential for me, my advice would be to never be afraid of sending emails and creating new connections.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience was very educational and hands-on. Working with the sales department, I learned how to prospect new clients and cold-call in order to create a sale for radio/digital advertisement. There were many times when I also had the opportunity to sit in on both sales and promotions meetings. These meetings were eye-opening to see what goes on behind the scenes. For six weeks, I worked the hours of 10 am - 3 pm from Monday to Thursday. Although the commute to Bala Cynwyd was often tough, this experience is one that I would recommend to a peer. For someone who is interested in both business and sports, this internship is a great combination of the both.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship experience had a large impact on me academically. Due to the fact that I will have logged over 140 hours from this internship, I received a total of three credits through the LA 495 course. This internship provided a great opportunity to receive college credit for something that I was going to be doing in the summer anyways. As a whole, I am grateful that I was able to receive college credit while participating in this enrichment experience. The LA 495 course made me more organized due to daily submission posts every single week.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals and plans can be broken up into short-term and long-term. My short-term goal is to have a job by the end of my time at Penn State (May 2019). This will hopefully be in a position involving marketing/finance/sales. My long term goal is to remain in a job within the Philadelphia area that I actually enjoy. I feel as though it is important to enjoy what you do each and every day. This experience gauged my newfound interest in sales and I realized that working with a team of individuals who can always lend a helping hand is essential.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to any Liberal Arts student who may be interested in sales/marketing and sports. It is hands-on and is very educational. Even though it is unpaid, it is something that I am glad I got to be apart of.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Erin Ahlefeld

Republican Committee of Chester County
Up one level
Erin Ahlefeld

Liberal Arts Major(s): English
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: West Chester, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew about the organization from living in the area and decided to email someone from the website. He then got me in contact with the leader of the organization in my area who looked at my resume and offered me an internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This experience has helped me to learn more about current day politics. I have always been interested in politics and the history and thought that this would be a great opportunity to not only learn information about the subject but to experience it. I have been able to see politicians at work while running for certain positions and get a behind the scenes look at how these campaigns work. I also have been able to contribute to the process by updating spreadsheets on election results. Another thing that I have loved about this experience is that I can put my creative skills to work. I have been able to design and create invitations to go out to the county that are meant to be engaging and creative. This experience has allowed me to test many skills while learning a lot of new information.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I registered for one credit of the LA 495 internship course for this experience. This will allow me to take one less class during the fall semester. This internship has also given me real hands-on experience to complement the subjects I have learned in my classes. The positive experience I have had this summer has encouraged me to take more Political Science courses. While I only have a few classes left to complete my Political Science minor, I now plan on using my elective credits to learn even more in the field of politics.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My major is English and I plan to pursue a career path that allows me to write. I love all kinds of writing, creative, non-fiction, business writing, and journalism. Another interest of mine is politics. I hope to be able to blend these two interests together in a career in journalism. This internship experience confirmed my career goals and made me feel more comfortable in pursuing them.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to any Liberal Arts student interested in politics with conservative views. I think that it is educational and something that can be enjoyed at the same time, which is exactly how an internship with an organization you believe in should be.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Alyssa Jalowicz

Foster McKay
Up one level
Alyssa Jalowicz

Liberal Arts Major(s): Psychology
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Wayne, NJ
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

At the start of the 2017-2018 academic year, I was eager to acquire a summer internship that would equip me with valuable, hands-on experience within my desired career path. To do so, I sought out the help of the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network, where I met with Susan who was enthusiastic to help. At the meeting, we reviewed and strengthened my resume in order to ensure that my experiences and accomplishments from my time at Penn State were best showcased to employers. Upon revising my resume, I searched on Network Simplicity (now Nittany Lion Careers) for internship listings, as well as other job boards such as Indeed and Glassdoor. Eventually, I encountered an advertisement for this particular internship opportunity on a job board where I submitted my resume. After a few phone and Skype interviews, I was offered a position as an intern for the summer of 2018. Following my acceptance, I inquired about potential funding opportunities, where I learned about the Virginia Todd Chapel Executive Internship Program. This particular scholarship provides financial support to Liberal Arts students interested in pursuing careers within the business/private sector. After applying, I was fortunate to have been selected as a recipient, further solidifying my confidence in myself both as a student and as a soon-to-be professional.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This summer, I interned at Foster McKay, a 47-year old boutique executive search firm that specializes in recruiting in both accounting and finance. Throughout my ten weeks, I engaged on numerous projects, learned about an industry I previously knew nothing about, and got a preview of what life post-college could potentially look like (rush-hour traffic and all!). In the time I spent at Foster McKay, I learned all about the recruiting industry, what constitutes a strong candidate, and how to best succeed in sales. Some projects I worked on included a business development project, in which I researched companies in the New York Metro Area; a brand recognition project, where I worked to improve the online presence of the firm; and an ongoing recruitment project, in which I contacted and recruited candidates to fill job openings. This experience allowed me to apply insights gleaned from my academic classes at Penn State as well as grow within a professional setting.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My academic courses taught me a myriad of theories imperative to success both throughout my time at Penn State and after I graduate. My experience interning at Foster McKay provided me with an outlet to apply these concepts to the real-world. Broadly, many of my Industrial/Organizational-related Psychology courses assert the importance of skills such as team, leadership, and communication for individuals pursuing careers within the business sector. Through my time at Foster McKay, I took advantage of the opportunity to cultivate these critical skills, as well as learn more about this particular field. Specifically, a large ideal at Foster McKay is teamwork and assisting others to promote the overall success of the company. In working at a small firm, I continued to improve my abilities working as a cohesive unit and contributing to a positive team atmosphere. Additionally, because a large portion of my duties involved communicating with others both within the firm and to outside clients, I improved on my communication skills and learned how to best correspond with others. Finally, this internship afforded me the opportunity to sharpen my leadership abilities through active project engagement and bringing fresh insights into the company. While my classes equipped me with knowledge necessary for my future endeavors, this enrichment experience provided me with insights that no textbook could give.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Typically, an internship is considered a trial-run as well as an opportunity for students to learn more about an industry and job function, and ultimately decide whether a particular career path is a good fit for them. Similarly, experience in this internship equipped me with a better understanding of corporate work and recruiting. This experience solidified my interest and aspiration to continue working within the business sector, particularly, in a career related to Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Not only would I recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students, but I would also encourage them to seek out similar opportunities. Through my time as an intern, I was constantly engaged and learning. Going into my final year at Penn State, I now have professional experience and confidence that will help me complete my Psychology degree and pursue a career in my desired field. Overall, there are a plethora of opportunities for Liberal Arts students at Penn State. I recommend that all students take advantage of all that the Career Enrichment Network has to offer.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Taylor Slusser

Ronda, Spain: Spanish Language and Culture (Summer)
Up one level
Taylor Slusser

Liberal Arts Major(s): Spanish
Other Major: Environmental Resource Management
Hometown: Palmyra, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about this through my Spanish 3 professor, Miguel Ramirez Bernal, who is the co-coordinator of the program. I also was able to talk with students about the program at the Liberal Arts Study Abroad information night, and that’s what sealed the deal for me.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

This is a rigorous, nine-credit program built for people to get a much better idea for what Spain is like. I was in a linguistics course, culture course, and a grammar and composition course. I enjoyed my classes quite a bit, simply because I was learning about interesting material and we were being critiqued and encouraged in our Spanish-speaking skills. The host-family model was incredible––my host mom cooked incredible food, and the conversations were great as well (not to mention her two crazy cats). As a group, we visited seven other locations in Spain: Granada, Sevilla, Salamanca, Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, and Cádiz. Those trips provided a bit of a change in scenery––although Ronda is beautiful––and gave us a welcome break from regular class schedules. Overall, the trip was excellent, and I came out of it with a better understanding of the language and culture, and with some new friends.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My Spanish has definitely improved, which opens up opportunities for understanding politics and people both abroad and in the US. I do see a specific use for the linguistics information as well, as I hope to look at translation and the function of language in the Bible. Moreover, outside of the obvious benefits of understanding Spanish comes an increased ability to learn from others––we are, after all, their guests. Thus, we have an incentive to listen to them, and this is a skill necessary for many things in both academia and in life in general.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals are fluid, to be quite honest. I intend to study the Bible in grad school (and here at Penn State), potentially become a theologian, Biblical scholar, or pastor. However, I’ve also had a number of doors open up in different directions, which may encourage me to look into politics and/or the environment. I am not sure at the moment. This trip has caused me to consider many of the things I enjoy doing, and I am happy with the path I’ve chosen thus far. Hispanic linguistics has been one of the more interesting courses out of the ones I’ve taken, and has caused me to think more about how linguistics affects Scripture. It would not surprise me if that information made its way into future studies at Penn State and beyond.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Definitely, if you have the time and resources. There are plenty of scholarships out there to help, and if you get the chance, take it. Learning Spanish in a Spanish-speaking country is very preferable, and we certainly learned quite a bit. Moreover, the professors and host families are great. You truly become immersed in the culture and language.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Erica Spitz

Montgomery County State's Attorneys Office
Up one level
Erica Spitz

Liberal Arts Major(s): Psychology
Hometown: Gaithersburg, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I heard about this internship through a friend of mine who worked at the Montgomery County State's Attorneys Office two summers ago. Through his explanation of his experiences, I decided I should give it a shot. He informed me of who to contact so I reached out to the appropriate contact, scheduled an interview, and then was hired.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I have learned a vast amount since starting my internship here. I am heavily involved in a program called "Speak Up, Save a Life". The goal of the program is to inform students and families about the terrible opioid epidemic that is occurring. The main goal is the inform kids to follow the Good Samaritan Law if they are present when someone they know is overdosing on drugs. Speak Up, Save a Life wants students to know that if they call 911 in order to save their friends life, they will not be prosecuted or get in trouble for possession of drugs.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This has impacted me academically because it has helped me decide what type of graduate programs I want to continue after I complete my undergraduate degree. This experience has given me so much insight and knowledge of the legal system and has given me the drive to pursue a career in law and to attend law school in the future.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My major is Psychology so I will be finishing my major courses in May of 2019. However, once I am finished with my undergrad degree, I want to take a year off and work and study for the LSAT's and then attend law school. I believe that this experience has been beneficial and I have learned so much and been in contact with people who are able to help me, answer my questions, and provide support for my endeavors.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I really would recommend this experience to anyone interested in law. I have been able to watch intense trials, listen to and transcribe body camera footage, assist in making a DUI statistics excel spreadsheet, and be a part of a group that is committed to making a difference to the community. The amount of knowledge I have learned through this experience is invaluable.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Sara Gruber

Sony Music
Up one level
Sara Gruber

Liberal Arts Major(s): Criminology
Other Major: Legal Studies Emphasis
Minor: Business
Hometown: Santa Rosa, California

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this enrichment experience while I was searching for internships online. I was looking for opportunities on websites like LinkedIn and Indeed and I was having a pretty hard time finding one that seemed like something that I could see myself doing and enjoying. I finally found an internship that I knew I would love with Sony Music. I applied online and then emailed the head of the department with my application and resume. I knew my application would be automatically sent to Human Resources, but I wanted the head of the department to know my name by the time she got my application. Upon securing an interview, I spoke to high ranking associates from two other departments. All of the conversations I had with employees helped me to secure my summer internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship experience with Sony Music has truly been incredible. My specific internship position is located within the Copyright Department in the New York City office. Everyday that I come into the office I learn something new, but I am currently learning about how music changes from having a copyright license to becoming public domain. Because I am the only intern for the Copyright Department, I am given the opportunity to meet one-on-one with so many people within the division. The people I meet with are so patient with my questions and eager to tell me about what they do. The entire Copyright Department at Sony Music has helped to increase the impact that my internship has had on me!

How did this experience impact you academically?

This internship experience has impacted me academically by exposing me to a completely new industry that I would have never been introduced to without this opportunity. My internship is very fast paced and requires me to do a lot of outside research so that I can better understand the assignments I am given. Taking the time do some some extra research has truly expanded my realm of knowledge. This experience is an exceptional form of education because it is not found within the typical classroom.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My future goals include completing my undergraduate degree at Penn State, attending a law school to get my Juris Doctor degree, and then to work for a company in an entertainment industry as an attorney. My current internship experience impacted my career goals in a positive way by giving me a jump start in the industry. The experience also impacted my goals by solidifying my plans to enter the entertainment industry as an attorney. Before my internship started I didn’t know what type of industry I wanted to work in, but now I am confident in my decision and I am very happy about my choice.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to students within the College of the Liberal Arts. This internship would be beneficial to any student because of how interactive and impactful it has been. Learning from current employees and experiencing what a typical day within an actual workplace environment is like has taught me more than the average classroom ever could.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Brandon M. Grunt

Kurtz Psychology Consulting PC
Up one level
Brandon M. Grunt

Liberal Arts Major(s): Psychology
Hometown: Livingston, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew of this company through a family experience. I had a family member see the head clinician at the practice many years ago so I was aware of his work and who he was. I then reached out to the head clinician via email and then skype. I simply asked to learn more about what he did and what kind of internship experiences his practice offered. I then formally applied to his internship experience online with a cover letter and letter of recommendation.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience has been great so far. I have gotten hands on experience working with the clinicians and the patients on a day to day basis. I input data and help track the progress of the patients over time. I also work on different research projects that are of interest to the practice. My day to day consists of helping the clinicians in whatever way I can. I observe therapy sessions and I can help with treatment occasionally. I commute to New York every day from my home in New Jersey. My typical commute takes about an hour and a half. I work a normal 9-5 work day 5 days a week.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I haven't had the opportunity to translate what I've learned back to the classroom yet. That being said, I have been able to take what I've learned in the classroom and apply it to my work. The psychology courses I have taken so far have helped me succeed in my internship setting. Applying the terms and principles I learned over the past two semesters is something I do daily. I think that this experience will help me if I choose to apply to graduate school. I know that I am working towards a good letter of recommendation and that I will be able to speak highly of my time spent here.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goals and plans are not set in stone but I am planning on pursuing some type of career that involves working with children. I have not decided whether or not I want to continue down the clinical psychology route but if I do choose that, this experience would greatly help. Regardless, I know that I will be able to leverage my experience to whatever job I desire. I can speak about the skills, values, and lessons that I have learned while working in this professional setting. In the past, I have worked as a camp counselor and really enjoyed the work I was doing. Based on that experience, I may want to pursue a career in the camp industry.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend this experience to another liberal arts student. I think that one would need to have a very specific interest in psychology, treatment, and working for kids, but I do think it would be valuable to other people. Even something similar would be productive.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Carissa Vuono

Clark Police Department
Up one level
Carissa Vuono

Liberal Arts Major(s): Criminology
Other Major: Psychology
Minor: Italian
Hometown: Clark, New Jersey

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I learned about this internship through my neighbor. He is currently a police officer with the department and informed me that they just created the program. I was able to obtain an application then interview with the Chief of police and I got the internship.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Throughout the summer I get to work alongside incredible officers that give everything to my community. For the first two weeks I am working with the records department. I have the chance to read current cases, file cases in the cabinet, and see how background checks are operated. For the following four weeks, I get to work with dispatch. I get to answer administrative calls, watch security cameras, and see the protocol for when 911 calls come in. Later in the summer, I will have the chance to ride along in the police car with the officers. As long as the scene is safe I’m allowed to get out of the car and observe the situation. I also can help write the police reports on whatever the incident may be. Finally, for my last two weeks of my internship I will be working alongside detectives and will have the ability to add my input on whatever case is being worked on.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience has impacted me academically because it has showed me how much there is to learn about the criminal justice field. In just the few short weeks I’ve been at my internship I have learned so much. This has motivated me to do well in school so I am able to one day secure the job I want to. The officers have offered me good advice and have suggested certain course that will benefit me. I’m grateful to be working alongside incredible officers who are willing to help me and teach me new things. They are always supportive even when I make a mistake.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I have two career goals in mind. I definitely want to work for the government but I am still trying to decide which path to take. Homeland security is one career that interests me because I want to ensure security in this country. The other path I would like to take is to work for the FBI. The FBI is very intriguing to me because of the fast pace aspect to the job. There also are many different types of careers within the FBI. Both agencies have a lot to offer and this internship experience is helping me figure out which one I should pursue.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I would recommend this internship to other students. It is a great experience to work so closely with incredible officers and see first-hand what police officers do. It also is a great learning experience and great way of forming connections.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Tyler Estrada

ALKU Government Solutions
Up one level
Tyler Estrada

Liberal Arts Major(s): Economics
Hometown: Gainesville, VA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

The Penn State career fair in the fall led me to get a winter internship which then led to a summer internship with the same company. The winter internship required a phone interview and then a couple of in-person interviews here in Northern Virginia

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship has consisted of teaching me the process of dealing with recruiting employees to government contracts. There are three aspects of the internship I had to get familiar with. First, I spent a lot of time on the phone speaking with candidates. I also had to get used to asking candidates more difficult questions in the recruiting process. Finally, I had to learn the process of submitting candidates to fill job orders to satisfy our company's clients. The internship mainly consists of activity on the phone and interacting with coworkers in the office.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I believe this experience helped me academically by taking me out of my comfort zone and forcing me to work on my organizational skills. I am constantly scheduling calls and keeping track of appointments to organize my day and achieve as much as I can within the internship. The organizational skills especially should carry over to my academic career and help me to do better in my studies.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I am interested in entering a career in sales in order to utilize my social and communication skills. I enjoy the competitive environment of sales as well as receiving compensation based on how well I do. I believe these things push me to strive for my best and push me to continue to improve in what I do and improve as a person overall. This internship helped to confirm what I had believed would be a good career for myself and to utilize my strengths.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I absolutely would recommend this experience to anyone interested in going into a career in sales. I believe it is a perfect environment to see how sales would work for you especially because of the hands-on experience you receive with cold calling through closing deals.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

Kiersten Wills

Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Up one level
Kiersten Wills

Liberal Arts Major(s): Political Science
Minor: Spanish
Hometown: Altoona, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Initially, I applied for the Stanley E. Degler Washington Program through Penn State's College of Communications. I knew I wanted to intern in D.C. given my background with Political Science and was accepted for that program in November. The program coordinator gave me some guidance for places to apply and actually sent out applications to about 5 places. I applied to internships on my own at more than 20 places, but I finally found my internship with the Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) on LinkedIn actually. I sent in my resume online and received a call for an interview within a week.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

When I applied to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, I did so because I wholeheartedly believed in their mission to encourage young students to seize opportunities and reach their full potential. But sometimes, in order to do this, children need someone to believe in them and their abilities. I loved interacting with both my colleagues and Members of Congress who were just as passionate about children's programs as I was. Our elected officials have an overwhelming influence in programs regarding education, child poverty, and child health among others. These legislative initiatives are primarily shaped by advocacy strategies. As my office's only intern this summer, that was what I helped with. I had to track Members of Congress (specifically members of the appropriations committees), their interactions with local clubs, and their policy positions. Then, I would attend congressional meetings and report my notes back to the Government Relations team and we would work through solutions on how to better inform and connect Members of Congress with our clubs, our events, and most importantly, our policy positions. In that sense, I loved the amount of personal responsibility I was given. It made me feel like I was doing something important and contributing to the organization in that I was treated like an equal to my supervisors instead of just an intern.

How did this experience impact you academically?

I have a strong interest in civil rights and public policy. In my studies, I have concentrated on constitutional law and human rights issues, and I am interested in specifically how policy shapes those issues, as well as how policy is structured and implemented. I am also very passionate about advocacy. I've always loved studying history and political science because as cliché as it sounds, it allows one to see the world through another's eyes. But I've realized that, for me, simply studying politics and current events isn't enough. The political process is about representation, getting involved, and using your voice to speak out and advocate for what you believe in. When it's done right, politics is still about advocacy and public service. That's exactly what Boys & Girls Clubs of America stands for. Their mission is "to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens." In this sense, this experience has combined my two passions - advocacy and politics. It has taught me a lot about the diversity of children's issues and the intricacies of the American political process. I feel like I'm truly applying my knowledge of government, civil rights, and policy in a meaningful way to advocate for children who may not be able to advocate for themselves.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Upon graduation, I'd like to work in D.C. for a few years, hopefully in either a congressional office or a Government Relations department. Following that, I'd like to eventually attend law school and pursue a career as a human rights or attorney. I have a strong interest in how the constitution shapes public policy, and how those policies directly affect the American people. I aspire to become a public servant for underrepresented groups in society as an attorney and eventually continue that work in a political office. My objective as an intern was to gain hands-on experience with policy at the federal level. I wanted to apply the communication and analytical skills I learned in my classes as well as in my previous internship experiences. This internship experience allowed me to do that and so much more and I am immensely grateful for the opportunities I was given during my time with Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Government Relations Office.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

Yes, I absolutely would! My colleagues were always so welcoming and helpful. All around, it was a great work environment with a lot of variation in day to day tasks. Through my experience with BGCA, I was truly able to better develop my communication, problem-solving, and project management skills. I also learned a great deal about the inner workings of American government and education policy, and I got to live in a city with such a rich history while doing it!

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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