CCPA Summer Series 2019: Valerie Wilson Travel

CCPA Summer Series 2019: Valerie Wilson Travel

By Cayley Montoya ’20 Thanks to the Whitehead Internship Program, I am able to intern this summer at a travel agency called Valerie Wilson Travel. I have spent the last thirteen weeks living and working in New York City at the woman-owned, family-run business. Though I am working in the leisure department – focusing on vacations – the company also specializes in corporate travel as well as meetings and events. While I have a passion for travel, and after thirteen weeks in the business, an extensive bucket list, I was very unfamiliar with travel as an industry before applying to Whitehead. Most of my work comes from the travel advisors in my department on a need basis, therefore it is usually given to me in the moment and to be completed soon, rather than long term projects. Unlike in the corporate department, leisure travel does not require as immediate planning, and there are usually many months that go into developing a trip. The first stage of planning involves research on various destinations if the client is not set on a specific place, or on one destination to make sure it is a good time of year to visit. Once the location is set, I compare hotels, and then the advisor begins to look into flights and tours. Because our agency focuses on luxury travel, our clients usually ask for customized and privatized tours. After all the details are decided, I build the itinerary on a platform called AXUS, which once the itinerary is uploaded, the clients can access on their phone on the VWTraveler app. The most crucial advice...
CCPA Summer Series 2019: Haverford Partnership of Economic Development (HPED)

CCPA Summer Series 2019: Haverford Partnership of Economic Development (HPED)

By Margaret Chen As a rising junior at Haverford College, I never really realized how vast Haverford Township was until I started interning at HPED, or Haverford Partnership of Economic Development. Because of the Whitehead Internship Program, I was given the opportunity to intern at this non-profit organization whom not only showed me how many nearby, cool businesses that my fellow classmates and I haven’t experienced yet but also gave me so much knowledge about community development, business revitalization, and environmental design. HPED’s main goals as an organization are to support local businesses and revitalize business districts by doing beautification projects, promotion/advertising for small businesses, and hosting networking and business assistance events. They hope, through these projects, to promote economic growth and beautification in the surrounding Haverford community. My internship experience has definitely aligned with HPED’s goals. For example, I went with HPED’s executive director, Jeanne Angell, and one of Haverford Township’s commissioners, Mario Oliva, to the Pennsylvania Downtown Conference in Erie, PA where I learned about Main Street and Elm Street programs which are community development models that HPED has been following. In the conference, I learned about different aspects of these programs such as how to economically structure a new improved business district and how to create affordable, energy efficient public housing. As an Environmental Studies major interested in sustainable design, in this conference I really enjoyed learning about how to engage community development through environmentally-conscious based projects and outdoor beautification projects. After the conference, I learned more about community development and business revitalization through day-to-day experiences. Throughout each week, I help Jeanne and Amy Sweeney, the...
CCPA Summer Series 2019: West (Wiss Early Stage Technology)

CCPA Summer Series 2019: West (Wiss Early Stage Technology)

By Silvia Lang ’21 This summer I’m working at WEST, the subsidiary company of the accounting firm WISS. WEST was co-founded by Mark Brenner ’86, an entrepreneur who has successfully built three companies. WEST provides accounting services to small start-up companies and supports their growth through a variety of channels. Working with Mark this summer, I have worked on different aspects of WEST, including accounting, building financial models, and sales. All of these services that WEST provides are important aspects of running start-up companies. Every day in the office, I’m learning something new about entrepreneurship, both from my colleagues and from clients! When applying for the Whitehead Internship Program, I knew I wanted to be exposed to many different industries and learn very quickly, so the position at WEST naturally became one of my top choices. Through a common friend, I reached out to Shivani Dixit ’20, who interned at WEST last summer. Although I did my research on WEST and read Shivani’s blog post before meeting with her, actually talking to her provided me with much more context of what WEST does and what the work environment is like. Shivani also offered to help me with the application and interview preparation, which eventually helped me get this job. For anyone who’s interested in applying for Whitehead and already has specific companies in mind, I would highly recommend having informational interviews with the Whitehead interns who worked at those companies before! During the past three weeks, I mostly worked on testing the proprietary dashboard software that WEST is developing. The dashboard helps clients stay on top of their financial...
CCPA Summer Series 2019: Shift Capital

CCPA Summer Series 2019: Shift Capital

My Shift Capital Summer: Shattering Expectations By Jessica Lopez Hello from Kensington, Pennsylvania! My name is Jessica Lopez ‘21, and I am an Anthropology major, Health Studies Minor, Economics Minor, and Latin American Iberian studies Concentrator.  I am spending my summer as a Whitehead intern for Shift Capital. When I initially saw this internship was available, I knew little about Kensington. But after a quick google search, I was stunned that countless headlines covering Philly’s burgeoning opioid crisis put Kensington at the center of it all. Labeled as the ‘Walmart of Heroin,’ by the New York Times, Kensington’s historically marginalized community is facing this new challenge head on.  As one can guess, there are many people trying to help bring Kensington out of this chapter.  Shift Capital, a real estate investment group, is aiming to be a part of this effort. But, how can a real estate investment group be a part of the solution? As someone who studies the power structures that trap marginalized folx, this question was at the forefront of my mind, when considering an internship at Shift Capital.  As I’ve learned, Shift’s real estate investment model is centered around maximizing what it calls its “social impact,” or how much one’s actions can positively affect the community. Accordingly, Shift’s mission is centered around curtailing the negative effects of gentrification: displacement, job loss, and inter-generational poverty. For example, Shift buys abandoned property and turns it into housing that is 60% AMI (area median income) or less, where the grossing median income for a four person household is $90,000.  That means Shift is offering rents that community members...
CCPA Summer Series 2019: MKThink

CCPA Summer Series 2019: MKThink

By Maya Ahmed When I searched for a summer internship, I was hoping to find a role that would integrate my interests in economics and environmental studies. Despite this, I never considered that I could work at a firm centered on architectural services until I saw the Handshake listing for MKThink. My artistic skills are too terrible for words, and I’ve never taken a course in architecture or visual studies. However, after doing more research on MKThink, I realized that the internship involved so many topics I was intrigued by: data analysis, public policy, and most of all, environmental sustainability. Fast forward: I’ve been at MKThink for two days so far, and my hopes have been fulfilled. During orientation, my supervisors Josh, Rachelle, and Mayssen explained that MKThink’s mission goes beyond simply “building buildings.” MKThink’s work actually spans three practice areas: strategy, architecture, and innovation. Strategy and innovation projects develop processes to help an organization streamline operations and prepare for the future. The three practice areas frequently overlap. One of MKThink’s specializations is helping clients renovate existing spaces to improve their functionality, aesthetics, and environmental performance. The company takes pride in reimagining better uses for features that already exist, providing clients with significant savings and avoiding the negative environmental impact of extensive construction. From my short time so far at MKThink, I’m really impressed by two aspects of the company. One is MKThink’s emphasis on making their design projects responsive to an organization’s culture and values. From the beginning to end stages of a project, MKThink seeks input from community members who use the space. The result are changes...