CCPA Summer Series: Wash Cycle Laundry

Posted on: July 6, 2015

By Andrew Shook

I spent last summer working at a hedge fund, and while the experience was great, I felt that I wanted some experience working for a company, as opposed to just tracking them.  I spent a lot of time building up a network by speaking with a lot of alumni across an array of career paths, and anyone else they passed me on to.  I found this was particularly fruitful for obtaining interviews and would highly recommend it.  Unlike many other Juniors, I was not looking for an internship that would lead to a job, but one that would provide me the most options. My decision came down to Wash Cycle Laundry (WCL) or a large Philadelphia based company (not through the Whitehead Program).  I surprised a few by choosing the smaller WCL, giving@PhillyHapp up a larger pay, bigger brand name and decreasing my chance of getting a job out of the internship.  A month in, and I am very happy with my decision.

Photo credit: Twitter @PhillyHapp

WCL is a local laundry company that picks up and delivers laundry to businesses and people.  There is a consumer side to the business, where local residents can use the laundry service, and an institutional side, where we service hospitals and universities etc.  The orientation included some time on the frontline, where I spent time folding laundry at a couple of the company’s plants.  While I wouldn’t necessarily want to fold laundry for my career, it was a great way to learn more about the operations of the company and meet the staff.  I was surprised by how close the front line staff was to the management team, expecting the relationship to be much more distant.

Smaller companies give you more responsibility and more exposure.  Within two weeks here I had helped redesign the compensation structure for employees, which is something that business grad students would dream of doing and a task that I would never have been able to do at a larger firm.  Having strong excel skills prior to the internship was definitely helpful, as I was able to impress with this early on, leading to more tasks being sent my way.  It was a little scary at first to realize that my actions were literally directly affecting people’s lives, but that seems to be the start-up world.

Some other tasks that I have been involved in include producing both daily performance reports for the laundry and delivery staff, so that their performance is more transparent and a weekly performance report for the management staff so that they get a strong and wide capture of how the company is performing.  I enjoyed those tasks because I spent a lot of time looking at the small details of the company and exercising my knowledge of statistics to help glean the best data for the reports.  My main task however is to help obtain the B Corp Certification, which is a test of a company’s’ social and environmental performance, and can act as ‘street cred’ during expansion to other cities.  This involves a lot of information gathering, allowing me to learn how the company runs from the very bottom all the way to the top.  I have also been able to go to meetings with potential new partners and investors.

What is nice about working at a small company is that my resume won’t just have a bunch of completed tasks, it will have real accomplishments such as (hopefully) obtaining a certification, helping to get a new client or investor, increasing margins by x% through adjusting the compensation structure etc.  I intend on continuing my networking throughout the summer and look forward to what projects will come next.

 

CCPA Summer Series: Athena Bioventures

Posted on: June 30, 2015

This summer, I am working at Athena Bioventures, a biotech venture capital fund founded by Haverford alumnus Jim Kuo. Haverford San Diego event photo - Jeffrey HongDue to Dr. Kuo’s extensive experience in the biomedical field as both an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I am indebted to him and the Whitehead program for this amazing summer experience. The reason I chose this internship was due to my interest in both biotech/chemistry and business. At the same time, I wanted to gain both startup and venture capital experience to potentially commercialize the graphene synthesis method I developed during my sophomore and junior years at Haverford.

Currently, I have worked on variety of tasks, including white papers, due diligence, patent research, cost effectiveness analyses, and building slide decks. I also have the wonderful opportunity to join various team meetings and conference calls: not only am I able to learn from these business interactions, but I am also able to ask questions and work with world class scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors. My work is primarily divided between three main projects:

  • BioSavita, a startup using genetically engineered yeast strains to create cost-effective antibodies and vaccines against a variety of infectious diseases including Ebola
  • Monarch Labs, a more established company specializing in biosurgery currently expanding internationally
  • A new pharmaceutical company that has been developing drug therapy for retroviral diseases

The day starts with checking my email; since I currently working on international projects, there is sometimes an exchange of messages throughout the night. If there are no urgent matters such as meeting rescheduling, I read the news and continue work on any pending projects. Depending on the day, there may be conference calls from 9 am – 8 pm (due to some teams we are working with in Israel and Oceania). There are also physical meetings with various companies around San Diego. The work is complex, but highly rewarding, as I know the therapies and drugs produced will help thousands of people. One of the projects I am looking forward to is meeting with the CEO of a marketing company this week.

One of the most important skills required has been organization. Since I work on projects with multiple timelines, it is important to be able to prioritize and adapt to changing situations. Another major benefit that Haverford taught me is the importance of communicating and working together. Nearly all the classes I’ve taken, ranging from Chem Superlab to Philosophy, has revolved around discussion and small group work. Though I am no longer doing lab work, another technical skill that I found extremely useful was the ability to read dense research papers and patent literature and synthesize that information into concise one page summaries.

My advice to peers who wish to find internships is to do background research in the field. Next, get involved in various activities in the field that demonstrate your interest and dedication. For example, begin reading trade journals, start a blog, or join a club. Do not hesitate to reach out to as many people in the field as you can in order to establish a network and learn more about the actuality of working in the field. Of course, the CCPA provides various resources to help you find an internship. Luck is when opportunity meets preparation – the more you prepare and network for a specific internship, the more interviews and chances of landing a job you will get.

CCPA Summer Series: Obtaining My Summer Internship

Posted on: June 26, 2015

Christina Gould ’16
Whitehead Internship

I am working at a business information company that is composed of 15 divisions and product lines. Progressive Business Publications, also known as PBP, is located a little christina.fwover a half hour away from Haverford in Malvern, PA. Once a startup, PBP has grown significantly and now employs over 700 people and has customers including almost the entire Fortune 500 list.

Every year, PBP organizes a summer internship program for its editorial and various marketing departments. Placing each intern in a different department, PBP ensures that their interns are fully immersed into the company and are learning and doing valuable work.

I first read about the internship opportunity on Haverford’s CareerConnect. After researching the company and reading up on PBP’s past interns’ blog, I knew that I could have a great experience working there.

After submitting my cover letter and resume, I was invited in for an interview.  After my initial interview with the Human Resources Department I was invited for a second interview and this time it would be a panel interview. I made the second trip to PBP and interviewed with a panel of marketing managers from various departments. It was after this interview that I realized exactly how important interviews are for yourself as they are for the company. By having an interview with a panel, I was able to learn more about the company, its employees, specific information on what each department does, and most importantly, the managers I could possibly be working for. I really enjoyed getting to meet and learn about each person I interviewed with. After crossing my fingers and hoping, I finally was offered an internship in the Publication Product Marketing Department. I was so happy and proud of myself. I knew that the experience I would gain interning at PBP would be valuable in both applying for future jobs and helping me decide exactly what I would like to do after graduation.

I’ve been at PBP for over a month now, and I can’t believe it. This internship has been a great fit for me so far! My passion for learning has contributed to the enjoyment of my internship as I am constantly learning. Having the ability to work on projects for multiple people within my department has allowed me to learn numerous skills not just product marketing related.  In a short amount of time, I have becomefamiliar with WordPress, copywriting, email marketing, HTML, and Google analytics in addition to other general business skills such as understanding the customer.

In addition to learning business skills, I am learning about leadership and my personal strengths. PBP coordinates a weekly “Traditions” class for its eight summer interns. Employees in management positions have attended the weekly class to share with us their experiences of working at PBP, their career paths, as well as, any other information and tips interns have asked about.

After learning so much in just a month, I am eager to see what the next month brings for me. I know I made the correct decision by choosing to intern in a company with an organized internship program that cares about the success of its interns. PBP has surpassed my expectations.

CCPA Summer Series: My Internship at Philadelphia Legal Assistance

Posted on: June 25, 2015

Kelly Hancock ’16
Summer Serve Intern

Currently, Philadelphia is classified as both the poorest city in America and has the 120508highest rate of deep poverty.  For a person to be classified as living in deep poverty, a person must have an income below half of the poverty line.  The annual salary of a single person at half of the poverty line is around $5,700 and for a family of four is around $11,700.  Philadelphia’s deep poverty rate is 12.2%  (around 185,000 people, including around 60,000 children), which is double that of the national rate of 6.2%.

This summer, I have the opportunity to intern at Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) in the Medical-Legal Community Partnership (MLCP) department.  Currently, two other Haverford College students are working with PLA.  Sydney Cone ’16 is working in the family law unit and Caya Simonson ‘14 is a Haverford House fellow working as a family law paralegal.  The goal of the MLCP is to help those in the Philadelphia community who are facing barriers to optimal medical care.  Many of the social determinants of health, such as familial situations, unemployment or inaccessibility to insurance, have an impact on the availability of health care in a population.  In many instances, laws that were put in place to address these social determinants are not fairly enforced or wrongly enforced.  Research has found that these legal problems cross over to a patient’s health (impacts of stress, etc.).  In order to overcome these obstacles, lawyers at MLCP help patients by collaborating with healthcare providers and social workers to address the legal issues that undermine the optimal level of care.  The doctors direct patients at the Philadelphia Health Centers to the attorneys at MLCP when problems arise that interfere with optimal patient care.  The attorneys then work with the patients to overcome legal issues to receive medical care.  The legal issues addressed range from health insurance access, income support and family stability and child welfare issues. PLA-logo-website

For example, in Pennsylvania around 41-49% of Medicaid applicants and 35-40% of food stamp applicants are rejected every month.  The job of the MLCP is to help appeal the denial of the welfare and ensure that each client of the MLCP receives the appropriate assistance and care needed for everyday life.  The clients I see in the health centers in West Philadelphia are from a range of cultures.  I was surprised to see that many of the immigrants in West Philadelphia are from countries in Western Africa, mainly Mali and Liberia.  These clients do not feel that it is safe to return to their home country and are currently seeking asylum in the United States.  As one can imagine, it is hard for our clients to fully assimilate into the American culture, not knowing the language and the cultural norms.  It is then our job to help them with whatever legal issues arise (such as receiving medial assistance or help with a housing issue) to try and ease their stress as much as possible.  One of the most beneficial parts I have found about the MLCP is the willingness of the legal advocates to help the patients.

One of my tasks for the summer is to research into cases that the MLCP has taken on and give a qualitative outcome of each service provided to clients.  In my research so far, I have found amazing results from the MLCP.  A case that comes to mind is a client had around $75,000 in hospital bills due to surgery and did not have the funds to pay the bill.  The legal advocates then helped the client receive retroactive medical assistance, which completely covered the cost of the medical bill and saved her the stress of trying to pay off the bill!  They also helped her and her daughter enroll into Medicaid (currently valued at saving the client $600 monthly for health insurance in the Affordable Care Act Marketplace) and food stamps.  I also have the opportunity to work on current cases with clients as well.  I am currently working on a case to help a woman appeal her denial for food stamps for her, her husband and her son.  The best part of the internship is interacting with the clients that come through the office and I am excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store for me while working at the health centers!

CCPA Summer Series: A Summer Through a Lens: Life as a Photojournalist in Boulder, Colorado

Posted on: June 24, 2015

By Ryan Gooding ’16
Andrew Silk Journalism Internship

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Day 1 as a photojournalist for the Boulder Daily Camera – Boulder’s daily newspaper – was not your run of the mill orientation day.  I arrived, not entirely sure of what to expect, at 9:30 am on a Tuesday morning, and was immediately thrown into the mix.  After a brief orientation – consisting of little more than being introduced to the more than slightly out-of-date iMac that I would be doing my editing and submitting on – my editor, Paul, slapped an assignment down in front of me and asked me, “so how well do you know Boulder?”  This was the first day I had ever spent in Boulder in my entire life.  I knew right then this was going to be a fun job.

By now, my first day and first assignment both seem like eons ago.  In fact, they were little more than 2 weeks ago.  Now, I am kicking off my third week with the Camera.  I have been sent out on roughly a dozen assignments, and have been published 10 times – including three “A1 centerpieces” (a.k.a., cover photos).

I have been sent to CU Boulder to take pictures of a middle school writing and arts camp.  I have been sent to the local IBM campus to shoot an “innovation academy” for 3rd through 5th graders.  I have literally trudged through swamps and lakes, following and photographing an employee of the Colorado Mosquito Control as she checked for budding mosquito larvae.  I have covered the local collegiate baseball team, the Boulder Collegians (a summer league for college ballplayers from all over the country) as they rallied to beat the Arvada Colts late in the gameCOLLEGIANS_1s.  And, just yesterday, I covered both the grand reopening of a golf course that has been closed since 2013 due to flood damage and a group of volunteers from Southern Wisconsin as they helped a local community garden erect a fence to help keep out pesky rabbits.

Of course, I don’t have the room here to tell the story of each and every assignment I have been given and each subsequent publication.  But, I thought I might elaborate on some of my very favorites, and explain how they have challenged me and what I have learned in the process.

Lesson 1: Always Bring Boots

On my second day of work for the Camera, my editor greeted me in the morning by pointing down at my old, beat up converse and asking, “you don’t happen to have boots with you do you?”  Unsure of why he asked, I responded, “well no, but I’m not afraid to get dirty…”

“Good.”  He responded, before cryptically walking away.

Later that day, I was given an assignment that instructed me to follow around Ashley Bruhn, of the Colorado Mosquito Control, as she checked for mosquito larvae in and around local Waneka Lake.  It did not occur to me at the time just how seriously I should take the term, “in and around”.  I arrived on site, met Ashley, and immediately noticed her knee high rubber boots.  “You don’t have boots?”  She asked, echoing my editor.  I said no, and regurgitated my willingness to get dirty.  She smiled and let out a little laugh before we took off.   MOSQUITOS_1s

For the next hour and a half, Ashley and I trudged through the shallows of Waneka Lake and a nearby ecological conservation area (i.e., a swamp).  But of course, I didn’t mind.  I ended up bringing back roughly 5 usable shots, two of which were run as centerpieces on two separate newspapers – the Boulder Daily Camera and the Longmont Times Call – the very next morning.

I learned a couple things from this shoot.  First and most obviously, always bring boots.  Since this assignment, I have kept a pair of hiking boots, hiking pants, and hiking socks in the back of my car.  Especially in Boulder, Colorado, you never quite know what a days work as a photojournalist might entail – actually, that’s part of what I love so much about this job: every day is different.  One day I might be asked to trudge around in a swamp.  Another I might be asked to hike back into the mountains to cover a rescue effort.  Regardless of what the assignment is, I have to be ready for it.

Lesson 2: Don’t Be Afraid to Get Weird

It is worth noting that I could have completed my mosquito assignment without having gotten wet at all.  I could have simply stayed high and dry, on the shoreline, and documented Ashley as she trudged around in the water.  This leads me nicely into my second lesson.

I have been told that there are two things every good photojournalist does when he arrives at a shoot.  First, shoot safety shots.  What do I mean by this?  A safety shot is a simple, straightforward shot that you know will be usable.  It may not be stunning.  It may not be Pulitzer Prize worthy.  But it works.  After you have your safety shot, then get weird.  In the words of one of my co-workers, Mark, “climb a tree, hang up-side-down off a railing, get up on a roof to get a cool angle…”.  You get the picture.

While trudging through a swamp in converse during my mosquito assignment might be a decent example of “getting weird,” I’ll throw in another assignment story just for good measure.

Just last week, a fellow photo intern and I were asked to shoot a portrait of a heroic dog that saved her family from an angry and protective mother moose.  The dog, we were told, was almost completely bed-ridden and pretty severely “doped up”.  So, how do you make an injured, high-as-a-kite dog look interesting?

When we arrived, we found the dog to be much more active than we were expecting – yes, she was still pretty doped up, but she was on her feet and moving around.  We didn’t want to move her too much, but we were able to get her and her owner outside to take a simple, straightforward shot of the two of them against their neighborhood as a background.  The shot was usable, but by no means interesting.  CHELSEA_1sAt this point, I suggested we move the shoot indoors.  Granted, the light was terrible – incandescent lighting form the ceiling and ambient daylight streaming in through the open blinds created a pretty noxious combination – but I wanted to try something new.

Upon getting inside, we turned off the overhead lights, shut the blinds almost completely, and set up a flash and umbrella.  I positioned the flash setup slightly above and to the right of the two subjects, who had re-assumed their comfy position on the couch, and instructed my fellow intern to underexpose the background on the camera so that the only things being illuminated in the photo were the dog and her owner.  The result, though perhaps not Pulitzer Prize worthy, was certainly interesting.

Lesson 3: Journalists Are Not Shy

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I have learned that in order to be a journalist, you cannot be shy.  Though, at times, it might be uncomfortable, throwing yourself into a situation headfirst often results in the best photos.

Take, for example, the final shoot of my second week.  It was a slow news day in Boulder.  In fact, perhaps the most interesting story was the fact that some very hot weather was headed our way for the weekend.  Barring an explosion, a rescue operation, or a bad accident, then, our lead story for the day was going to be weather-related.  So, myself and a few other photographers were sent out to find photos of people coping with the heat.  I was lucky enough to be sent to a local playground.

It occurred to me as I was driving to the park that arriving at a playground with a long, telephoto lens and taking pictures of kids is not exactly a comfortable situation – neither for me, nor the parents who would undoubtedly be watching me from afar.  I won’t sugarcoat this: by the time I arrived, I was more nervous than I had been for any other shoot thus far.

But instead of letting my nerves cripple me, I threw myself into the situation and fell back on not being shy (since being shy while taking photos of kids playing on a jungle gym with a long lens is just about the last thing you want to do).  Before taking any photos, I confronted every parent I saw sitting by the playground.  I identified myself as being a photographer from the Daily Camera doing a story on the impending heat, and asked if it would be ok to take pictures of their kids.  And as more families arrived, I stopped what I was doing, and identified myself to them.  Every parent said yes.  In fact, most were enthusiastic about their kids possibly being in the paper.

HOT_1sThe results were fantastic.  I brought back 9 usable shots, some of kids playing on the jungle gym, and others of some adults I found playing Frisbee in the park.  The photos, together with photos from several other staff photographers, ran in a gallery alongside the hot weather story.

There are, of course, many other assignment stories to tell, and my summer experience in Colorado is far from limited to my time at the Camera.  I am, for instance, living in Estes Park; a small town located around 50 minutes up the mountain from Boulder that is widely regarded as the entrance point to Rocky Mountain National Park.  My weekends, therefore, have been and will continue to be consumed by hiking, trail running, and summiting a select few of the 79 peaks over 12,000 feet tall (including – fingers crossed – Longs Peak, measuring in at 14,259 ft.).  MISC_1sMy parents have already visited once, and I look forward to hosting even more friends and family as the summer goes on.

For now, though, what I have already written will have to suffice (I am, after all, almost 700 words over my word limit).  Even already, this has been a summer to remember, and this is only the beginning of my third week.

CCPA Summer Series: MAXSA Innovations: A Small Company, yet Large Opportunity

Posted on: June 22, 2015

By Samuel Givertz ’16
Whitehead Internship

For my Whitehead Internship, I am working at a company called MAXSA Innovations, in Fairfax Station, VA. Founded by Skip West (HC class of 1978) in 2003, MAXSA Innovations designs sustainable electronic products (mostly automotive and lighting), which are subsequently manufactured in China and sold in the United States through major vendors such as Amazon, Lamps Plus, and QVC. During the Whitehead application process, I remember being excited by the opportunity to work with Skip, about whom I had heard many good things, and at a company where I would be able to use my French, since one of my summer projects is translating instruction manuals for future sales in Quebec, Canada’s French-speaking province. After a bit of research on the company, I gladly accepted the position at MAXSA, and was very excited about the opportunity to spend a summer in DC, a city I had never visited until now. But a big part of MAXSA cannot be found in its mission statement: it is entirely run out of the home of Skip West:

I found out afterwards that the headquarters of MAXSA Innovations, and the offices of its less than ten fulltime employees, can be found in the basement of the lovely (albeit extremely secluded) Virginia home of its founder. Fairfax Station VA, a town I had never heard of beforehand, is over twenty miles outside of Washington DC, and is not accessible by public transportation. Suffice it to say that my vision of a summer spent in our nation’s capital was not likely to come to fruition. Determined to make the best of this wonderful opportunity, I decided not to let any of these empirical characteristics deter me, and resigned myself to maintain a positive attitude. Thus, I found an apartment a couple miles outside of Old Town Alexandria, convinced my parents into giving me the family minivan, and started work at MAXSA.

I should note that while MAXSA may not employ many people, it certainly seems to be very successful. Its first quarter sales for this year are over six hundred thousand dollars, which, in my opinion, is pretty good for a company that employs only 8 or 9 individuals. Moreover, it didn’t take long to realize that there are MANY benefits to spending my summer working for a company as small as MAXSA. Firstly, I am granted a gigantic amount of access to all facets of the company. This is possible due to the fact that it all happens in one room. Skip is able to devote a large amount of his time to working with me and Kate, the other intern from Virginia Tech. I have worked here only 8 days and have already shadowed Skip in meetings with representatives from FedEx and UPS. With this level of access, I am able to get a more complete sense of everything that goes into running a company, since MAXSA is somewhat of a microcosm for any major business.

Another advantage to a company of this size is the closeness of its employees. It may be a bit of a cliché, but MAXSA is certainly a family. This statement, however, is literally true since Skip’s wife Beth works fulltime as the company’s accountant. It has also been nice to work at a company where three (four including me) of its eight employees are Haverford graduates. Besides Skip, there’s Linh Lam, class of 2011, and Jesse Moore, class of 2008. Both Linh and Jesse completed Whitehead internships while at Haverford. What’s more, Jesse not only did his at MAXSA, but also wrote his senior thesis in sociology about it. This closeness amongst the MAXSA team made my start here very easy and smooth. It’s been less than two weeks, and I already feel as though I can come to Skip or Beth with any problem.

The final advantage to working at a small company like MAXSA is that even though I am but a lowly intern, the work that I am doing is neither busywork nor administrative nonsense like getting coffee, answering the phone, or making copies. I get to make an actual contribution to this company. I spent my first week, for example, translating product manuals from English to French. These manuals are now about to go to print and will be included with the next batch of products. Furthermore, I was given the task of coming up with a better name for one of the products. My ideas were well received and Skip is now considering changing the name to one of my suggestions. This ability to make an actual difference, along with the large amount of access and familial relationships, is really making my summer worthwhile! I am loving my time here at MAXSA and am certain that I made the right decision by choosing to work here!

CCPA Summer Series: Constructing your Career

Posted on: June 18, 2015

by Matthew Corbin ’16
Whitehead Internship Program

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Unfortunately, buildings don’t spontaneously generate. They take lots of preparation and hard work to come to fruition. Similarly, careers don’t spontaneously generate either. They too take lots of preparation and hard work. Do you know what prepares you well and also requires you to work hard? —Internships!!! That’s right! Summer internships enable you to build valuable skillsets that prepare you for your future professional endeavors. They also tend to involve quite a bit of hard work too.

Before delving into my own Whitehead internship with DLL, a Dutch financial solutions partner, it’s imperative that we first ensure you have a firm understanding of how to go about constructing your career. Let’s return to our aforementioned analogy and look at how you go about constructing a building.

When constructing a building, you need to make sure you build everything in the right order. You begin with a sturdy foundation, a base.  Then, using the tools around you, you build upon that foundation by assembling a framework strong enough to support the envisioned edifice. From there, you slap on a few finishing touches and you’ve pretty much got yourself a building!

Now then, ignoring the drastic oversimplifications of this analogy, let’s see how constructing a career follows a similar progression. I think we can agree that strong careers are built upon solid foundations. Well, my Haverfordian liberal arts education forms the bedrock of my foundation. The critical thinking and problem solving skills afforded to me by my experiences at Haverford College have proven to be invaluable! This summer, it is upon this very foundation that I have begun constructing the structural framework that will one day support my future career.

Thanks to the generosity of the Whitehead sponsors, I was afforded the wonderful opportunity to intern with Matthew Jennings ’99 this summer at DLL up in Wayne, PA. As a quick aside, DLL actually stands for De Lage Landen, which means “The Low Lands” in Dutch. The original name was a tad difficult for many folks to say, so the company recently underwent a massive rebranding campaign and is now officially DLL group.  It’s also worth mentioning that DLL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rabobank, one of the largest banks in the world.

So…. what does DLL do? Well, DLL is a financial solutions partner, and the Wayne branch focuses primarily on Vendor Financing in a number of industries around the world. Essentially, DLL provides financing to facilitate transactions of assets amongst manufacturers, dealers, and end-users. In other words, DLL is an Asset Based Lender, or ABL. Furthermore, because DLL has over 6,000 employees globally with roughly 1,000 members operating out of the Wayne office, the company is divided into several GBU’s, or Global Business Units.

With all of this in mind, you are probably wondering what exactly I am doing this summer at DLL. Officially, I work for the CT&I GBU as a “CT&I Business Analyst” where “C” stands for construction (hence my crude analogy earlier), “T” stands for transportation, and “I” stands for industrials. What exactly does that mean?—I’m glad you asked! My GBU is responsible for providing financing solutions to players in the CT&I industries. For example, Manitowoc is a world leading crane manufacturer, which falls under the construction sector. A single Manitowoc asset (i.e. a crane) can cost millions of dollars! A single wheel on one of these bad boys can cost north of  $30,000—that’s like buying a car! Obviously, assets like these need financing to increase transactional liquidity… aka make it easier to move the asset from the manufacturer’s hands to the hands of the dealer and/or end customer. That’s where DLL comes in! DLL helps make the magic happen.

Thus far, I have had a blast working at DLL. I’ve had the great fortune to assess and work with several facets of the business. For example, I am working on projects involving business development, sales, credit/risk, finance, marketing, program management, and asset management. I can say that I have learned a lot directly, but I can also say I’ve learned a lot more indirectly as well. My manager, Matthew Jennings ’99, has allowed me to sit in on meetings, partake in conference calls, attend training sessions, and much more! As such, I’ve had ample opportunity to learn via osmosis how the day-to-day functions of corporate leadership operate.

I feel incredibly fortunate to be working here at DLL. The Whitehead program has enabled me to build upon the foundation that Haverford has erected as I continue to work on constructing a solid professional framework this summer. As I prepare to move into senior year, I believe that the exposure I am receiving this summer paired with the skills I am developing will prove invaluable as I continue constructing my career. In the meantime, there’s still much more to learn here at DLL! Like I said earlier, buildings don’t spontaneously generate… and neither do careers!

CCPA Summer Series: ZOYI Corporation

Posted on: June 12, 2015

by Kyu Hyun Chang ’17
Whitehead Internship Program

For this summer, I will be working for ZOYI Corporation, a tech startup located in the famous Gangnam District, Seoul. ZOYI Co.’s main product is Walk Insights, which provides customer-related data for a variety of retail stores.

Online it is easy to collect data because much information is directly sent to websites’ servers. For instance, an online shopping website can collect data of customers who visit the website using web analytics, such as Google Analytics. These analytics provide from simple data such as the number and the time of people visiting websites, to more sophisticated data such as click path data. This data allows firms to make decisions based on data rather than intuition, and this is why web analytics are widely used today.

While many web-based businesses make use of big data, retail businesses do not usually have the same access to data. Think about how you are going to collect customer data in retail stores. It is not easy to collect and digitalize customer data such as those of customers who come into a clothing store. ZOYI Co. provides a solution to this problem. ZOYI Co. has developed a special sensor that collects Wi-Fi signals emitted from customers’ smartphones. Since most people own smartphones today, most of customer data can be collected and stored. This raw data is then transformed into more meaningful and refined data and displayed on a web dashboard with charts and graphs that provide summary. ZOYI Co. also offers detailed and customized analytic services for medium and large corporates.

Currently, ZOYI Co. mainly provides its service in East-Asian countries: Korea, Japan, and China. The company is growing rapidly. When I applied to the company, it had 14 employees and last month it hired two more full-time employees. To space more employees, it recently moved to a larger office. Atmosphere at ZOYI Co. is free and enjoying. Like many startups, there is no strict hierarchy.

At ZOYI Co. I work as a software engineering intern. The work atmosphere here is very pleasant; there is no “boss” who keeps eyes on me and constantly checks my work. Rather my team does one or two “sync” on a daily basis, which is a kind of coordination meeting to talk about the progress of the projects at hand, issues, and new ideas. In terms of workplace flexibility, there is no fixed work hour. I can show up in the office at whatever time I want, and call it a day at anytime. Moreover, there is no barrier between employees regardless of their position within the firm. All employees are like friends. The corporate culture of this startup allows me to enjoy working, and simply focus on my task.

I do an assortment of tasks at ZOYI Co. As a software engineering intern, I do all different kinds of programming. My role within the firm is dynamic, which allows me to have a profound exposure to various realms of software engineering. On top of that, my work experience is not limited to learning new tech skills. I have a lot of opportunities to interact with many employees with different roles. For instance, I work closely with data scientists and a sales manager. Because of these interactions, I can be exposed to various aspects of business process, and as a person who has a broad range of interests—software engineering, data science, and entrepreneurship—these opportunities will sure be a big asset for my future career.

The more career interests you have, the better it is. So for those who are intrigued by an array of career interests, I strongly recommend to try internship at a startup!

CCPA Summer Series: GreenLight Fund Philadelphia

Posted on: June 11, 2015

By James Campbell ’16
Whitehead Internship

This summer, I am interning at GreenLight Fund Philadelphia, the local subset of a national venture philanthropy organization that seeks to bring empirically-Jamessuccessful nonprofits into the city to address unmet critical needs such as early child literacy programs and comprehensive employment services for men and women with recent criminal convictions. Founded in the early 2000’s, GreenLight has two other sites across the country—Bay Area and Boston—and, as of a couple months ago, will be moving to Cincinnati as well. The Philadelphia site currently has three portfolio organizations which they have successfully researched, funded, and introduced to the Philadelphia community: Single Stop, whose goal is to help communities break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by providing a “single stop” location where they can receive help in virtually all facets of their life (registering for food stamps, learning how to manage a budget, etc); Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), a nonprofit which connects those with criminal records to employers; and Year Up, an intensive one-year program for college students, ages 18-24, combing professional coaching, hands-on skill development and internships at some of America’s top companies. Importantly, GreenLight’s work is not complete with the introduction of a new nonprofit—it is committed to maintaining relationships with leadership in the area to ensure continued success for everyone involved.

If my first two weeks are any indication of events to come, my summer with GreenLight will be incredibly informative, fruitful, and exciting. Just last week (6/3- 6/5), I was granted the opportunity to travel with my supervisors—Matt Joyce (’03) and Caylin Viales (BMC ’15)—to the Boston headquarters to partake in GreenLight’s national staff meeting. Over the course of three days, I was introduced to the entire national staff including the National Director and Co-Founder, attended portfolio financial evaluation meetings, and even participated in a mock cocktail party where I practiced my elevator speech! Apart from the meetings and workshops, I was also privileged to witness GreenLight’s commitment to team bonding and camaraderie. Whether it was the Red Sox game that the staff attended (I stayed true to my New York heritage and actively rooted against them), or the fact that the Executive Directors from each of the three sites actively sought advice and feedback from the team, I learned that good chemistry must be cultivated for an organization to thrive; In all, I will carry the lessons I learned from GreenLight’s national staff meeting with me as I progress with my studies and eventually embark on my career.

Back in Philadelphia, I will continue to work closely alongside my supervisors—building out the team’s online database and conducting portfolio research for an important Selection Advisory Board meeting occurring in a few weeks. I have also been tasked with interviewing various members of GreenLight Philadelphia’s current portfolio organizations in order to update the site blog at the end of the summer.

Thus far, I am very pleased with the level of responsibility bestowed upon me at GreenLight. I will have plenty of opportunities to develop and refine my project management and communication abilities whilst engaging a topic that I am deeply intrigued by.

CCPA Summer Series: Loch Arthur Community, Scotland

Posted on: June 5, 2015

By Charlotte Colantti ’18
Gertrude Albert Heller Memorial Grant

For most of this summer, through the Gertrude Heller Memorial Grant, I will be living and volunteering at Loch Arthur Communitypanorama_664x362 in rural south-west Scotland. Loch Arthur is an intentional community of approximately 70 people that supports 30 adults with developmental disabilities. Part of the international Camphill movement, which offers residential and vocational opportunities for people with a broad array of special needs, Loch Arthur’s ethos is to live and work cooperatively in a way that “recognizes the dignity and uniqueness of each human being” regardless of perceived ability or disability. The community is organized into seven shared households that include adults with developmental disabilities, young volunteers (such as myself) who stay for one or two years, and long-term volunteers who are responsible for the house, but not staff in the conventional sense. As such, the house is the basic unit of the community and is a model of an integrated, thoroughly inclusive shared life that extends throughout Loch Arthur. The community also runs a variety of workshops, including a creamery, bakery, vegetable garden, wood workshop, and farm. These workshops offer the possibility for developing practical skills, and create meaningful work in which people take a great deal of pride. Not only do the workshops offer meaningful work for people who might otherwise go without, but they also produce high-quality products that are sold throughout the region by way of the community’s busy farm shop. In fact, Loch Arthur’s creamery is quite highly respected among artisan Scottish cheese-makers (admittedly a niche coterie) and their cheeses are sold far-afield in Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland’s Central Belt. The workshop is a microcosmic example of a ‘social enterprise,’ where profit is paired social responsibility, in this case quite directly. I hope in this brief snapshot of the Loch Arthur’s organizational model, I’ve paid a wee bit of justice to the vibrancy of this community.

Before coming to Haverford, I lived for a year as a volunteer at Loch Arthur (mainly working in the aforementioned creamery) so I am already quite familiar with the community and the people who live here. Loch Arthur offers an alternative way to live that is community focused and re-imagines care and support for people with special needs in a way that is genuine and still realistic. Because one lives and works so closely with people with special needs, there is not necessarily the sense that one is ‘caring’ for the other, allowing either party to meet the other on equal footing, thereby transcending the conventional patient-provider paradigm. Certainly for me, this model has prompted a reconsideration the nature of disability itself.

Indeed, my idea of what ‘disability’ means has changed quite a lot with my experiences at Loch Arthur. In an effort to consider this topic in a more theoretical light, I have been reading Andrew Solomon’s book Far from the Tree, which explores the identity politics of disability. One of Solomon’s early assertions that resonated with my experiences is the socially-constructed nature of disability. He writes that “scholars stress the separation between impairment, the organic consequence of a condition, and disability, the result of social context. Being unable to move your legs, for an example, is an impairment, but being unable to enter the public library is a disability” (28). For those of you reading this post, a helpful parallel is the more well-referenced sex/gender distinction that mirrors Solomon’s impairment/disability delineation. Whereas one’s sex is an anatomically reality (like impairment), gender (like disability) is the malleable social trappings that follow. Though Solomon’s example cites a physical disability, the theory holds equally true for intellectual disabilities. Indeed, while an impairment like a developmental disability might compromise a person’s ability to function independently in an adult world, disability manifests in the sickly-sweet, infantilizing attitude the public tends to adopt in reaction to special needs people. In the integrated community of Loch Arthur, the conventional construction of disability in some ways melts away, leaving a genuine and realistic model of support and inclusion for those with special needs.

Returning to Loch Arthur, I am struck again by its unique model of what a successful, ethically-minded, and meaningful life can look like for people with developmental disabilities and without. I am truly full to the brim with gratitude for the possibility of coming back to Loch Arthur for these 2 ½ months, even if it is, in true Scottish fashion, 50 degrees and rainy for the whole summer.