CCPA Summer Series 2016: MKThink

Posted on: July 25, 2016

MKThink: An interdisciplinary approach to data visualization,
graphic design, and the built environment.
By Jessie Lamworth

When packing my bags for a summer in San Francisco, I had no idea what to expect. Not only is the weather in San Francisco notoriously unpredictable, and my only experience in the city involved a bout of food poisoning, but I also had only a vague understanding of CCPA Summer Blog Photo 2016what I would be doing at a company I knew very little about. MKThink was listed as an “architecture firm” in the internship application, described as “the ideas company” on its website, and recounted as “more of a data analytics business” by previous interns. Luckily the varying descriptions were all positive, and I knew that no matter what I ended up working on, whether it be data, technology, design, or architecture related, I could learn skills relevant and useful to my Growth & Structure of Cities major.

Time has flown by. I have learned so much both from working at a vibrant architecture/design/data/technology startup and from living in a bustling, history-packed, world-renowned metropolis. Getting to see San Francisco by walking its streets and meeting its people has been fascinating and fun, especially considering its unique urban plan and colorful cultural makeup. I have never truly lived in a city until now, and it has changed my perspective of urbanism completely. I couldn’t possibly be a Cities major until I spent time participating and engaging in an urban environment, and I am so intensely grateful for the opportunity to do so.

More than halfway through my internship, I have grasped the range of things the company I work for does. MKThink is indeed an architecture and planning firm, as well as “an ideas company for the built environment.” Namely they design buildings and spaces that are environmentally sustainable, comfortable, and efficient, and they provide strategy and innovation consulting to clients who are interested in creating such spaces. They do this in part by utilizing data and software from their sister company, RoundhouseOne, which develops digital tools such as analytic engines, user interfaces, and data feedback loops. Altogether, this small yet mighty company accomplishes many significant goals for many significant purposes.

There are three projects that I am working on at MKThink/RoundhouseOne. The first project is to design a user interface for a data visualization tool developed by RoundhouseOne. The web tool takes unstructured data such as text from social media, scholarly journal articles, audio, images, etc. and organizes it to produce a structured visual representation of that data. My wireframes have included basic web interface elements as well as detailed graphs and visual data representations.

I have also been creating several infographics to assist in the outreach to promote such web tools. This requires a full understanding of the types of data analyzed by RoundhouseOne and the most efficient way to convey this information in a clear and concise manner. I have certainly gained a lot of graphic design skill in working on these two projects, and I have learned extensively about the importance and significance of data in influencing research and development decisions.

Finally, my mentors at MKThink have allowed me to pursue an independent project. Because my assigned work didn’t have much to do with architecture, and I am interested in possibly pursuing an architecture degree someday, I decided to choose a project that would necessitate architecture and urban design skills. In walking around San Francisco, I noticed the public “Parklets” located in many neighborhoods. Public Parklets are small public zones that are placed in parking spots and are designed for pedestrians to sit, relax, and enjoy scenery. These small areas interested me because of their range of utility and design appeal. There are many that welcome pedestrians and are appealing to spend time in, and there are many that appear private and exclusionary. Thus I decided to investigate the current profile of Parklets in the city, and ultimately design and draw plans for an ideal Parklet. I am currently in the design process, which involves working around a great deal of civic restrictions and requires lots of creativity and imagination. My final design should be fun, welcoming, and safe. I am using observational data as well as in-depth research to influence my design.

I am so grateful for this opportunity made possible by the Whitehead family. The internship has been an immersive workplace experience, and the environment I am living in has taught me more than can be taught in a classroom. My biggest and sincerest thanks go to the Whitehead Family for allowing me to have this invaluable experience in this incredible city.

CCPA Summer Series 2016: Take the Interview

Posted on: July 21, 2016

Take the Interview
By Isabel Agnew

Take the interview, or TTI, is a SaaS company located in Times Square that provides video interviewing software to companies with large hiring volumes. This web-based service is a cutting edge concept that is gaining traction incredibly quickly as isabel1companies try to screen a wider talent bench. The startup has doubled in the past six months, providing an accurate picture of how effectively TTI is proving concept. I feel incredibly fortunate to be working at such a young, organized and successful startup, and even more fortunate to be able to make such a direct impact. Since the company is so young, it seems that every other day something occurs that is the “biggest part of TTI history”, making it an exciting time to be with the company.

I was fortunate enough to begin my internship on the same day as four full-time sales hires, two of which were 2016 Haverford graduates. Due to this timing, I was given a comprehensive training and introduction to the company, which I probably would not have received otherwise. We covered topics such as why deals close, understanding the competitive landscape, and customer success. This foundation in the internal structure of TTI was helpful in providing a framework for envisioning various marketing strategies.

isabel2My day-to-day work is constantly shifting at TTI. In general, I am working to transform TTI into a thought-leader, drive brand awareness, and optimize the website. This involves researching various plugins and tools to improve our SEO, writing content for the blog, enhancing our social media presence, creating video marketing content, and trying to make changes to the html source code to increase our page speed. Since I am one of two people in the marketing “department” at TTI, my voice is heard and my suggestions are taken seriously. I am constantly encouraged to act independently and trust my instincts.

One of the major projects I have spent the first half of my internship working on is creating a Facebook advertising campaign. Since I have had no formal experience creating advertising content, the majority of this process has involved research in order to determine the best budget, timeframe, objective, and target audience to meet our marketing goals. This is the first paid advertising in TTI history, so therefore there is no pre-existing data on successful ways of engaging our target audience, or even how this audience should be defined. Due to this, I decided to create two separate ads with A/B testing changes to the visual imagery and headline. I am hoping that this will help me pinpoint what changes positively affect the behavior of the audience. So far it has been exciting to track the advertising analytics and brainstorm ways to improve performance and engagement.

The distinct identity of the company culture is a huge reason why my experience has been so enjoyable. Everyone in the TTI family is united by a shared vision, but with varying ideas on how to achieve these goals, making the working environment creative and free from hierarchal restrictions.

So far this experience has exceeded every one of my expectations. I feel much more confident in my project management skills, and have been given a strong appreciation for teamwork and effective communication. It is hard to believe that I only have a month left, but I know that I will carry the skills I am acquiring this summer with me in my future career. I am extremely grateful to Haverford and the Whitehead program for this opportunity.

CCPA Summer Series 2016: Career Exploration through Consulting

Posted on: July 18, 2016

By Hunter Holroyd ’18

At the beginning of this past academic year, I wanted to start applying my mathematical prowess in a new direction. My entrance into the real world is fast approaching, and college is not really a place where you can buy more time (grad school aside). I decided to compliment EconsultBannermy math major with a minor in economics as well as one in statistics. While I had some experience with statistics, my knowledge in economics was minimal. I’d held a low opinion of economics for quite a long time. However, after taking Introduction to Economics with Professor Anne Preston, I began to view this interesting social science in a much more positive light. With this new attitude, you could not sell me on minoring in economics any more. So, I started taking a number of economics and statistics courses offered during the fall and spring semester, both at Haverford and Bryn Mawr College. Although I learned a lot in these high level classes, I had no experience applying this knowledge in a real business setting. I did not just want to learn more about economic theory; I wanted to use the skills I had learned in my classes, and to diversify my knowledge of economics in applied settings.

With great luck, I was able to land an internship with Econsult Solutions, Inc. through the Whitehead Internship Program. Econsult is a consulting firm located in Philadelphia. For those unfamiliar with consulting, your natural instinct might be to ask, “Well, what does a consulting firm do?” Easy: they consult. Kidding aside, consulting firms basically give professional economic, legal, or policy-related advice to businesses, government organizations, local governments, non-profits, etc. Econsult serves a portfolio of diverse clients ranging from small municipalities to huge businesses to nonprofit organizations. Let’s say that you are a retailer from New York, and you are interested in opening up a new store in Philadelphia. You don’t want to spend a ton of money on capital and labor just to set up shop in a neighborhood where your business can not thrive. This is where Econsult comes in. Econsult will analyze property data, determining where best to invest your money in the process. For example, you wouldn’t want to open up a cheesesteak restaurant right next to Gino’s Steaks. Or maybe the two story clothing you had planned violates the zoning laws. Econsult gives you the advice you need to make the best decisions regarding your organization.

Although my examples were quite particular, Econsult provides consulting in a variety of areas: specifically, real estate, transportation, public policy, finance, economic development, and litigation. My first duty on staff was to make sure I was tracking and analyzing property data for construction projects in the Philadelphia area, finding areas that are experiencing more/less development. I’ve also done public-policy related work, trying to find eligible grants for local municipalities that desperately need money. And just recently, I’ve started to do data cleaning with Stata, a very practical statistical software package that I had not yet been able to use in a truly applied setting. I am now tasked with finding ways in which certain Stata files can be better organized and constructed so that data analyses can be run much more efficiently.

What I love most about working at Econsult is that not only am I learning great skills that are sure to benefit me in the future, but I am also being exposed to a wide variety of economic areas (real estate, public policy, economic development, etc.) For someone who is uncertain where they wish to aim their career trajectory like me, this exposure is inexplicably valuable. Every day, I could be thrown into a project in a field that I have no experience with, which is not just exciting, but rewarding as well. Of course, I would not know how to properly work on some of these projects had it not been for some of my very talented and intelligent superiors.

I am about eight weeks into my internship and have two remaining. I am very glad that I was able to work at such and interesting, fun company this summer and am very appreciative of the experience I’ve gained. I would like to thank Andrea Mannino, Jonathan Tannen, and Stephen Mullin from Econsult Solutions among many others for the fantastic guidance and mentorship they’ve offered. I would also like to thank Amy Feifer, the entire CCPA at Haverford College, and the donors of the Whitehead Internship Program for providing me with the opportunity to pursue this endeavor. Thanks to all the people listed above, this summer has been an invaluable learning experience. Thank you!

CCPA Summer Series 2016: Learning Life-Lessons from the Niños

Posted on: July 14, 2016

By Hannah Rice ’17

Each morning I set out for South Street, crossword puzzle in one hand and a large mug of coffee in the other. By the time I catch my return train home, I generally look a little more unruly, often covered in finger paint or Crayola markers. That is the wonderful life of interning at Puentes de Salud in the Early Childhood Education Program (EC Program).

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 6.16.37 PMMost of the friends I have made this summer are between the ages of three and five, although in many cases their life stories make them seem much older. For some background, Puentes predominately serves the undocumented Latino population living in South Philadelphia. Many of the families we work with at Puentes have migrated to the United States in hopes of gaining economic opportunities and more recently, escaping rampant violence. However, once in the United States, the hardships continue as they often lack access to adequate healthcare and other supportive services. This is where Puentes comes in.

Originally started as a volunteer clinic by Haverford alum, Dr. Steven Larson, Puentes has now expanded to provide a variety of resources for the South Philadelphia immigrant community. Among the services offered are clinic visits, dental care, physiological counseling, parental education classes, and after-school literacy programs for K-8th graders. The opportunities offered by Puentes continue to grow each year, including the bilingual EC Program, which was piloted this summer.

As a health studies minor I was drawn to the mission of Puentes. Self-described as a community-health organization, Puentes aims to address the social determinants of health and the structural barriers that limit access to care, especially those specific to this Latino immigrant population. Thus, education becomes a key component to the way Puentes views a path to well-being. The EC Program was developed with this holistic concept of health in mind. The primary benefits of the EC Program are two-fold: providing children with an academic jump start while simultaneously offering a safe-space for children to socialize and grow with other individuals who share similar life experiences.

There is no such thing as a typical day in the EC Program, which is something I love. Although we plan out the curriculum for each class, there is no way to predict the challenges that arise. Whether that is a family being unable to attend that day due to lack of bus money or the inevitable meltdown of a four-year old who misses his mommy, I have learned that flexibility is essential to making a program like this successful. It is when these challenges arise that I am particularly in awe of the people I work with. Being able to trust and collaborate with my fellow interns and the Puentes staff has made tackling these unforeseen obstacles possible. I will be forever grateful for my coworkers for making my experience this summer more incredible than I ever could have imagined.

In just the past few weeks I have already seen many of our kids begin to break out of their shells and start embracing both learning and friendships. I am humbled on a daily basis by the speed in which these children absorb new knowledge and the development of their unique (and quite adorable) personalities. As I reflect back on my initial week at Puentes when I first learned more about the situations that brought our families to America, I am amazed at how resilient and open these kids are in spite of so much adversity. Much of where I am today is because of opportunities I have had in supportive educational environments; and I hope that the EC Program, and additional services offered by Puentes for years to come, will help provide the encouragement for these little niños to realize their full potential.

CCPA Summer Series 2016: An Important Piece That Often Gets Overlooked

Posted on: July 11, 2016

By Diomand Henry

Families of Murder Victims (FMV) Department at the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia is a non-profit organization that strives to address the cycle of violence within Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 11.49.34 PMcommunities. The mission of FMV and my job as a court advocate intern is to try to ease some of that work from the families of murder victims by becoming their advocates. This entails assisting families and friends the co-victims of homicide to navigate the judicial system and work through the grieving process. In detail, this process includes accompanying victims to court, advocating for their questions and rights, and providing informal counseling both at court and via telephone. As an intern for FMV, it is my responsibility to be a resource for families and co-victims and offer as much information about counseling and finances possible to help ease their journeys through this difficult process.

I sought out an internship in criminal law in order to learn more and become more exposed to criminology and criminal law.  I had (and still have) a very narrow understanding of criminal law other than the mainstream for example law and Order and Forensic Files. These shows tell you the basics that a crime occurs, officers investigate and justice is served or broken, this is what I expected. I thought I would get to know words I never understood, be able to create the distinction between manslaughter and murder. I thought I would get to sit on jury selection and jury trials and maybe even see a sentencing. My expectation did not meet my reality, since I started my internship I have learned these things but my eyes were definitely opened to more. While all of those things happened it was definitely a longer process and it was not clear-cut.

Something missing in my knowledge of the criminal justice system is the way death shatters families and friends. Not only do they lose a family member which naturally changes the way one might live their life, but their lives are disrupted throughout the case. During trials their addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information are  leaked and journalists are constantly bugging them. The families and friends do not only have to speak for their loved one, but also themselves, for their right to privacy and peace.

Throughout my time at FMV I have come to realize that not all families are the same and therefore, they do not react the same. While some families might have little support and might appreciate external support, others have lots of support coming from each other. While some families are receptive to advocate and counseling services others are not. These differences are okay and my job and goal is to try to meet families where they currently are and be there in case in the future the situation or their feelings change.

One concern, yet fact, I have to reconcile with is that I will not get used to being in a courtroom where to terms such as, manslaughter, homicide, murder and conspiracy are constantly used. In some cases while I can remain mostly professional and be there for the families without being pulled in other cases while I can remain professional, my emotions might shift when a video surveillance is played, a witness testifies or a family member gives their impact statement. My goal future goal is to get comfortable with sometimes being unsettled, because it is a human and my job would not be the same if I did not empathize.

CCPA Summer Series 2016: Providing Primary Care in Pink

Posted on: July 7, 2016

By Claudia Nguyen ’18

Nursing Unit Volunteer at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital
Jaharis Summer Pre-med Fellowship

For the past few weeks, I have been starting each day by putting on a bright pink jacket and an even brighter smile before walking in through the glass doors at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. This summer I have been fortunate enough to be accepted as a Photo for CCPA Summer BlogNursing Unit Volunteer at this local hospital. Shady Grove Hospital is part of the Adventist HealthCare network, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing charity care and benefits to the Montgomery County community. Not only does Adventist HealthCare provide primary care through several hospitals and clinics, but the network also promotes general health and wellness through community programs and educational events.

Every day I have the opportunity to be completely submersed in this fast-paced medical environment, interacting with patients, nurses, and physicians. While the hospital staff members have been incredibly kind and are never hesitant to answer my questions, the most rewarding part of my job has definitely been the one-on-one patient care. Fortunately, I spend the majority of my day with patients. My primary responsibility is ensuring they are as comfortable as possible during their stay at the hospital. This includes helping to deliver medical supplies, food, mail and newspapers to patients’ rooms, as well as helping to transport them whenever needed. When new patients arrive, I will help guide them to their rooms. Similarly, when a patient is discharged, I make sure they are picked up and arrive home safely. I also help nurses with various other tasks such as organizing patient medical information into accessible chart packs.

However, the best part of my day is when I have some extra time to simply visit and chat with the patients I help serve. I know that going to the hospital is not typically considered an “enjoyable experience;” people only end up there if they are critically injured or ill. But my hope is that by visiting with patients, I can improve their day by being a helping hand and an eager listener. A few days ago, I went to visit one of the long-term patients, a woman named Linda. I had visited her a few times before, and this time I was delivering her mail. I sat down and spoke with her for a while. Her eyes lit up and a grin spread across her face when she talked to me about her grandchildren, and as she told me how excited she was to have them visit the following day. She seemed to appreciate having a new conversation partner, and mentioned that it was nice to talk about something other than her health status.

Before accepting this position and becoming part of the nursing unit team, I definitely wondered if I was making the right choice. I questioned how involved I could be given my lack of formal medical training, and subsequently how much I would be able to gain from this experience. But it is the seemingly mundane moments, like those with Linda, that remind me why I decided to work at the hospital this summer. In these small moments, I feel like I am really helping people and truly making a difference when I can help bring a smile to their face.

For me, this experience has not just been about exposure to the medical field. While working at the hospital and shadowing nurses and physicians has been extremely helpful and enlightening, I’ve learned that it’s important to remember the reason why many of these professionals chose to enter medicine in the first place – to improve the quality of peoples’ lives. So each day, I don my pink uniform jacket and make every effort to bring a few moments of happiness to all the incredibly strong and brave patients I have the privilege to visit.

CCPA Summer Series 2016: A Typical Day as a Cantor Fitzgerald Intern

Posted on: July 5, 2016

By Daisuke Nakayama ’18

For the last four weeks, I have been interning in New York at Cantor Fitzgerald, along with my fellow classmate Chris Richards. More specifically, I work at the option desk for Pete Cecchini (HC Class of 1990), who is the co-head of the Equity and Derivatives department.  Contrary to the stereotypes of notorious and egoistic Wall Street bankers portrayed in the Wolf of Wall Street and the Big Short, the options team is rather Haverfordian. A part of the reason might be because three out of the ten people on the team are bico alums: Pete Cecchini, Zachary Jacobs (HC ‘2014), and Kathy Guo (BC ‘2015); but, they have been welcoming and trying their best for me to feel as comfortable as possible despite their busy schedules.cantorbldg

Because neither Chris nor I have our trading license, our work as interns is heavily research based. We were each assigned a long-term project during the first week, with mine being on the Bank of Japan and the future of the Japanese economy.  As we work on our project every day, we are also assigned smaller projects.  For example, Mr. Cecchini came up to me one morning and asked me to summarize/analyze the British referendum. Another morning, he told me to look into Chinese steel dumping and the effect of the implementation of tariffs on auto manufacturing industries. These projects are intriguing because they help me apply theoretical concepts that I’ve learned over the years to the real world economy.

Since Chris has already talked about the application process and what Cantor does in his blog, I will talk about my typical day at Cantor Fitzgerald.

subwayMy typical day on a weekday starts at 5:15am when I wake up and eat breakfast in my dorm room at Columbia University. Then, I suit up (or rather business-casual up) and take the subway that leaves the nearest station at 6:10am. After sitting through the whole subway ride—one of the perks of starting early—, I arrive at the office at around 6:40am. Most workers show up by 7am so that they can prepare for the market before it opens at 9:30am. The morning is hectic, as the team needs to be ready to trade right when the opening bell rings. Then, it gets even more hectic after the bell, and people start shouting on their phones. The analysts are so focused in the morning that they barely leave their desk even for a second. It starts to slow down around noon, and some of them actually get out of their chairs for the first time. Even for lunch, every worker eats at their desk because they do not want to miss any calls from their clients since the market stays open. The afternoon is definitely quieter and calmer, but they still have data analysis even if no clients are calling them. This continues until 4:15pm since some options can be dealt after the market closes at 4pm. After the close, the team finishes up their data analysis and leave at around 5:30pm-6pm, when my day as an intern is over.

I have learned so much about finance, economy, and corporate structure in the past four weeks, but that is something I knew I would learn even before submitting my application. So here is a something I did not know. Before this internship, I thought that 90% of the process to become a superior quantitative analyst consisted of mathematical prowess; however, I was proven wrong and learned how much this industry values reading, writing, and overall general knowledge. Therefore, one of my biggest takeaways so far has been the value of the liberal arts education.

I want to thank the Whitehead family, Haverford, and Cantor Fitzgerald for providing me this amazing opportunity.

CCPA Summer Blog Series 2016: The Duty to Care

Posted on: June 30, 2016

The Duty to Care:
My Experience as a Jaharis Summer Premed Fellow at Ashland Christian Health Center
By Courtney Ahmed ’18

            Every clinic day, without fail, there’s a cluster of people waiting outside of the Ashland Christian Health Center even before the free clinic has officially opened its doors. Misery and illness has compelled them to see a doctor, despite many not having adequate health insurance, or a sound income. Where 13346902_1145274438828162_686380430982209800_ncould they go, if it wasn’t for the Ashland Christian Health Center? Knowing their socioeconomic background gives a bleak answer, and shows how a free clinic like ACHC is truly indispensable—a Godsend, if you will—to its community.

I quickly learned upon arriving at the clinic roughly two weeks ago of the situation affecting the population that ACHC has devoted itself to serving. The patients’ income level, when set against the number of family members, fall at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) guidelines. (This corresponds to an annual income of $23,540 for one person.) The threshold for Medicaid eligibility is 138% FPL ($16,243 for one person). Within the 138%-200% gap, however, there is a significant number of people in trouble. With such low incomes, they can only afford cheap insurance plans from their employers. These low premium insurance plans come with a cost in the form of high deductibles, which give insurance companies financial responsibility only for medical bills that are largest and therefore (generally) few and far between. Being forced to pay for smaller, more frequent bills necessarily curbs the patients’utilization of medical services. This results in patients’ lack of preventative care and chronic care management, and can hinder early diagnosis. Factor in the poor diet and often grueling job hours that afflict the low-income population, and such patients fall into an inexorable predicament for merely having to cut expenses. Thank God for free clinics, who lift the burden of expense from these patients and provide them with the medical care they sorely need.

The people who work at Ashland Christian Health Center—physicians, nurses, receptionists—are primarily volunteers. After a few days of getting to know them, I was blown away by their kindness, optimism, companionship, and strong belief in God, which informs not only their motivations but their very outlook on life. They welcomed me and were eager to work with me on fulfilling my goals as an intern, just as I, seeing how much they loved their clinic and hoped to see it grow, wished very much to give something back to this site of selfless caring. It became a great partnership between me, Cheryl Benway 1186180_622155337806744_1072407624_n(the director of the clinic), and Dr. Roger Snyder (the founder of the clinic and primary physician), not to mention LuAnn (the cheerful office manager) and Nichole, one of the nurses whom I saw most frequently who was instrumental in giving me work to do. She passed on the task of organizing the durable medical equipment to me with relief. And so for about a week, I attacked the large disarray of crutches, bedside commodes, walkers, canes, toilet seats, leg boots, nebulizer compressors, tubing, and braces, sorted the items, and gave each item a number which I then compiled into a spreadsheet on the computer to serve as ACHC’s first equipment inventory. I was also given miscellaneous office tasks to complete, such as printing, copying, and filing of important documents. I learned from these documents as well as LuAnn how the clinic was run and how it functioned. One of the things that impressed me the most was ACHC’s voucher system. Should patients not be able to afford the twenty dollar clinic fee, they are of course seen regardless, and instead pay for their visit with four hours of service for someone in the community. Thanks to its key position in Ashland’s burgeoning network of charities and social services, ACHC provides plenty of volunteer ideas for patients.

In the office, I have also designed a brochure advertising ACHC’s medical equipment available for loan (free of charge), and am currently working on redesigning the website for ACHC. It is a fun project as much as it is an educational one, for the new website must contain all the information there is to know about ACHC’s services, which includes a patient navigator who helps set up patients with health insurance. I have become all the more aware of visual presentation as an indispensable tool in communicating and spreading awareness, and I can thank Haverford for helping me develop this skill. I can also thank Haverford’s stimulating intellectual environment for contributing to my ability to characterize not just people, but performances and ideas, allowing me to derive lessons from my experiences, whether large or small.

I look forward to clinic hours, which are 6-8 on Tuesday nights and 9-11 on Saturday mornings, as a time when I can see patients themselves, as the doctor or nurse practitioner on duty sees them, through shadowing. I give the doctor and patient as much room as I can and listen, nodding along with the patients as they give their story. For the most part, even while I’m standing silently with a notepad in hand, showing that I’m listening and sympathizing seems to help make the patient feel better. I also pay attention to the way the doctor or nurse practitioner responds to them. I noted how Dr. Snyder used humor, and asked his patients if he could pray for them after the exam. His prayer revealed how remarkably attuned he was to his patients; for example, I heard him speak the name of a family member that the patient had just barely mentioned in passing. The patient was touched he had heard it and remembered. I decided it was that kind of person and doctor that I wanted to be.

As I had hoped in acquiring this internship, I believe spending time at the clinic is truly teaching me “how to become a better [doctor],” as one nurse described it for herself. Better for having known and seen doctors and nurses who work for no money, no material compensation, nothing save a profound belief in a call to action, a duty to respond to the underserved and oft-times forsaken people who sorely need their help. They may have been first drawn to their profession through a love of medicine and physiology (which I happily share), but it was their sense of duty that called them to work extra hours outside of their private practices, and volunteer their valuable services at the Ashland Christian Health Center. These doctors and nurses are revealed to be true healers for the sake of healing, and it strikes me that I am witnessing the most genuine level of care there is—one that rises to the occasion no matter who, or what, or for how much. As for me, I decided it could no longer remain a question of whether I simply wanted to take care of patients, but whether I also had to take care of them. I could sense now that this job cannot always invoke pleasure or desire, but it will always spark feelings of necessity. And if I can answer the question of whether I can serve patients to the best of my ability day in and day out with because I must, no matter what I feel or my particular fascinations are at the time, then that can very well serve as the strongest assurance of my conviction and commitment to the profession of doctoring. Only time and further experience down the road can prove it for certain, but I am most willing to take the steps.

CCPA Summer Series 2016: Getting into the Financial World

Posted on: June 27, 2016

By Chris Richards

Landing an internship at any finance institution is as much about reaching and connecting with the right people as it is about putting together a solid application. That is not to say that there are not important details of a general application that cannot be overlooked. ForUnknown-1 example, any good application will have a succinct and thoughtful resume that not only highlights accolades and previous experiences, but also what differentiates you from the thousands (or millions) of other applicants.

Do not be afraid to talk yourself up; with both resumes and cover letters, being overly humble is not the best course of action (which can be difficult for students at a school that generally does not reward such behavior). Overall in my brief experience with the process, how you conduct yourself through email, phone calls, or personal interactions with your potential employers makes all the difference. Are you going to go out of your way to write a hand-written thank you note? Will you take the time to follow-up with an email asking poignant questions to demonstrate legitimate interest? How are you best going to demonstrate you are passionate about the general field/specific job for which you are
applying? This last question is probably the most important in my experience.

From every alumnae and spokesperson for the positions I was applying, it was abundantly clear they wanted to see demonstrated legitimate interest. As one Haverford graduate put it, “Why would someone bother even giving you the time of day if you don’t even seem interested?” This the message I truly took to heart through all my conversations during the hunt for an internship. As I have started my first experience in the professional financial world, I can safely say that enthusiasm and hard work go hand in hand to truly be successful.

I was fortunate enough to navigate this process and come out with a spectacular internship at Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial services firm specializing in institutional equity, fixed income sales and trading, and investment banking services for middle market companies.  Cantor is headed by its CEO Howard Lutnick, a Haverford graduate from the class of 1983, and many other Haverford grads working throughout the company. I am currently working on their equity derivatives and market strategy trading desk headed by another Haverford alumn Peter Cecchini. By the end of my first week I had already been given my summer-long project which involves substantial research into the industrial metals industry, financial markets for industrial metals, and a particular company within the industry.

Most of the work has entailed utilizing the Bloomberg panel software package which is essential for all companies involved in trading. From one source I have had access to historical data, immediately published news articles, current price movements, and a plethora of economic health indicators both present and past. By the end of the summer I will use this information to complete a comprehensive report outlining the profitability potential for a debt financing operation with regards to this company. In addition to this larger project, I am looking forward to learning more about options trading and the numerous other desks throughout the trading floor.

CCPA Summer Series 2016: Every Experience Counts

Posted on: June 21, 2016

CCPA Summer Whitehead Internship: MAXSA Innovations
By Benjamin Kang

For the past three years, I’ve had three internships at three different non-profits. I love helping people and I will continue to do so. I also love the idea of traveling and having an internship. Now that I officially consider myself a world traveller – because I went abroad – I was willing to take any internship that could bring me to a new location. This year, I started working at MAXSA Innovations, a small Solar-Energy household lighting company in UnknownFairfax Station, Virginia. The company was founded by Skip West, Class of 1978 in 2003 and since then, it has been growing and growing. I am a psychology major and I barely know how to use my own MacBook, or how to connect a cable box to a TV screen. I still applied because I wanted to learn more about anything if it meant that I could also pursue marketing and sales.

Fortunately, Skip did not care too much about my experience/inexperience with technology, solar-energy or if I’m capable of selling or marketing products. Skip cared that I have been to many places of widely different cultures, and that I wanted new experiences no matter what kind of situation I might find myself in. Skip and I talked about my trip to Tanzania in 2009 and his trip to Tanzania in 1977. We both knew Tanzania is a special place that can provide life-changing experiences. With our travel stories, we tacitly acknowledged that we are both risk-taking people who will try new things even if that meant failure. Skip offered me the summer intern position a few days later and I immediately accepted it.

I don’t have a driver’s license, so Skip kindly decided to house me and another intern from France in his old house, which happens to be our office of 6 employees. Although stuck in middle of nowhere, this is my first time living in a forest-like atmosphere with a stream in the backyard, and I love that I am not surrounded by loud cars and music all the time.

First day of work: I expected a desk job or working with an Excel sheet. First thing we do together every morning is our team meeting. We briefly go over our agenda for the day, possible goals and problems that we face. Soon after that, I was immediately transferred to the warehouse. I’ve never been to a warehouse with big boxes full of products stacked on top of each other. Now, I was not only moving the boxes, but organizing the boxes, packing the boxes, and shipping out our final products to distributors like Amazon, HSN, and Groupon. The Memorial Day Sales shot through the roof and we had to ship out many more skids than usual. So I got down and dirty from the first day before lunchtime. Some might ask (or I did initially): why should I be doing manual labor? I did not sign up for this. Then, I realized that multi-tasking with both some desk job and some warehouse labor is the name of the game for small companies. Even Skip himself packs boxes while he’s on the phone as a our president. Back in 2003, he had to do everything with only one intern Jesse, who now works for MAXSA.

To me, I am grateful that Skip has not yet asked me to fill out an Excel sheet or research for tedious information that doesn’t seem useful. So far, my daily jobs are jobs that I have never done before. I am brainstorming for different names for our products, new gadgets and ideas to additionally implement on our existing products, and reviewing product feedback on distributor sites like Amazon. Last night, Skip sent me on a rather daunting job – I had to travel to DC after a few hours at the warehouse for a Haverford Alumni/Student networking event. I had a make a pitch for an open job position at MAXSA. I have never been to an official networking event and I definitely have not represented a company before to talk to a crowd about the company in detail. I did what Skip asked me to do; I realized that he provided me with a wonderful experience. Now, not only do I know what to do at networking events, but also know how to pitch in front of people. All these new experiences are piling up and I cannot see any holes in my current internship position. I will continue to enjoy and learn at MAXSA Innovations. I am certain that I will probably be asking for more jobs even after my 10th week.