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Foundation Fellow Jacqueline Van De Velde interning in Lyon

Internships give students hands-on experience and professional connections they can build on for years to come. As undergraduates, Fellows and Ramseys hold internship positions in for-profit, non-profit, academic, and governmental organizations throughout the U.S. and around the world. They gain valuable skills and test out possible career paths, often while earning credit toward graduation.

Steven Feng – Bain & Company, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, University of Oxford Department of Atomic and Laser Physics

When I first stepped onto the UGA campus, I had little to no idea what I wanted to do and felt anxious at the prospect of starting college without a roadmap. That uncertainty marked the start of a beautiful and spontaneous four-year journey that led me to explore new cities and jobs in both public and private sectors, develop lasting friendships, and clarify my interests.

I spent my first summer at the University of Oxford’s Atomic and Laser Physics Department researching optical transistors. My project used stochastic processes to model the behavior of an organic molecule when struck by two lasers. With one laser aimed at the molecule, it absorbed the incoming light. With a second laser powered on, the molecule became effectively transparent and let the first beam through. The molecule essentially functioned as a transistor. Its ‘optical’ aspect could increase efficiency in classical computing and has applications in quantum computing.

On the second leg of my journey, I found myself in Washington, interning at the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission’s Department of Economic and Risk Analysis. I worked on a project that sought to identify fraud using text analytics. With my mentor’s guidance, I learned Python, became proficient at writing regular expressions, and utilized a natural language toolkit.

The next summer, I interned at Bain & Company, a management consulting firm in Atlanta. I was one out of ten interns and worked with a large industrial goods and services client. My case focused on improving processes and finding cost efficiencies. My findings were presented to both partners at Bain as well as executives at the client site, and at the end of the summer, my team and I identified hundreds of millions of dollars of savings. I am pleased to say that I will be returning to Bain & Company full-time as an associate consultant in the fall of 2019.

broadcast intern covering play-by-play for UGA basketball

Christina Lee – Walt Disney Imagineering, Netherworld Haunted Attractions, Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort

Not many people know what to say when I mention that I am double majoring in the seemingly disparate fields of computer science and English. However, I love every opportunity I get to explain my passion for experiential storytelling through the use of innovative technologies. While I’ve grown up visiting incredible theme parks, fun-filled museums, and even the occasional haunted house, my first official internship in the themed entertainment design field came in 2017 when I interned with the Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Florida on the Park Operations team. While there, I was one of 50 students accepted into the Disney Engineering Professional Development Study, an in-depth study of engineering processes from concept to reality in a Fortune 100 entertainment company. I was also accepted into DUEE, a highly-competitive Disney experience that included engineering-focused backstage tours of some of Disney’s top attractions! Finally, I spent much of my free time building a network of incredible Disney creatives (many of whom I frequently reach out to for career advice).

More recently, I accepted a position as the lead software engineer and creative technologist at Netherworld Haunted Attractions, routinely ranked as one of the top haunted houses in the U.S. I spent most of the summer diagnosing and repairing various mechanical, electrical, and pneumatic issues on Netherworld’s collection of 250+ animatronic figures. Since the closing of the 2018 haunt season, I have been collaborating closely with the lead animations engineer and special effect artists to program highly optimized and customized software applications to help solve some of the unique problems Netherworld faces as it expands into a year-round entertainment location. I am currently developing new technologies with embedded devices (predominantly Raspberry Pi and Arduino micro controllers) and leading ground-up development for several original and highly interactive special effects. Both of these experiences clarified my focus within the broad field of themed entertainment design and creative technologies, and I am currently chasing my dreams at Walt Disney Imagineering with the Show Software Engineering Team in Orlando.

washington intern working at CAP

Jacqueline Van De Velde – INTERPOL, The Carter Center, Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, Human Rights League Slovakia, U.S. Department of State
In Lyon, France I worked within the Capacity Building and Training Directorate of INTERPOL, the international criminal police organization. I had sought out the internship to gain exposure to international organizations – to understand their mission, contribute to their work, and make connections from around the world. Being at INTERPOL was incredible. At a typical lunchroom table, you would be immersed in rapid conversations in French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and English. I was inspired to see colleagues with different cultures, languages, and beliefs coming together each day to improve the lives of all global citizens. I now have an international network of foreign policy professionals and friends from around the globe.

The following fall, I interned at the Carter Center in Atlanta. I worked within the Conflict Resolution program to address inequities in access to justice in Liberia. I gained so much from my position working to train local paralegals to assist tribal chiefs and elders in conflict mediation while navigating both customary and formal law. The internship gave me a clearer understanding of the day-to-day work at a non-governmental organization, professional experience with West African issues, and an opportunity to connect law and policy (something I had previously done while interning with the Human Rights League in Bratislava, Slovakia, and with the State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom).

I also worked for the Roosevelt Institute, the nation’s oldest and largest student-run think tank, with over 100 clubs and 8,000 students at college campuses across the nation. I was hired by the national organization to serve on its staff as the Senior Fellow for Defense & Diplomacy. Through blogging, engaging with media, meeting with students across the network, and facilitating the creation of quality policy pieces, I worked to inject the informed millennial voice into politics and policy.

student intern in green building initiative

Torre Lavelle – Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia serves at the forefront of the study, protection, and management of threatened species and habitats. Interning there for nine weeks provided a wonderful medium between my scientific curiosity and passion for environmental policy. My time as a conservation ecology research assistant was devoted to a variety of conservation-related activities in the field and in the computer lab, including assessing endangered landscapes, analyzing the biology of extinction, and identifying key conservation strategies for each unique ecosystem. Working under a Smithsonian National Zoo senior scientist and having constant interaction with the world’s leading cheetah and elephant specialists has furthered my goal of working at the intersection of human-wildlife conflict.

Eytan Palte Greater New York Hospital Association
My internship at GNYHA introduced me to the behind-the-scenes work of healthcare. I am working on initiatives aimed at implementing team-based and patient-centered care to improve quality of care and health outcomes, as well as strengthen the provider-patient relationship. As an aspiring physician, these public health projects have given me insight into the future of healthcare delivery, and I hope to incorporate these lessons and models into my future medical education and practice.


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Emily Shirley,
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