This summer, Pomona College students enhanced their experiential learning through internships in a variety of industries across the country and the world. Here is a snapshot of what students’ experiences have looked like the past few months.
Beliz Aluc ’23
Aluc, an international relations major, served as a peace fellow at the Advocacy Project, an organization that invests in start-ups and projects from marginalized communities in the Global South. During her remote internship, she worked on two projects. In Monrovia, Liberia, she worked with Ebola survivors to tell their stories through quilts, sharing those stories via blogs, newsletters and social media posts.
Her project in Kenya focused on improving nutrition in Kibera and in the surrounding slums. The partner women used composting to deal with food waste and grow their own food. Aluc helped guide them in the next phases of their business and find connections in the U.S.
“Through my internship,” Aluc says, “I was able to meet great people and found out how community-based projects can help to solve greater-scale problems around the world.”
Cogie Celzo ’22
Celzo is interning with the Columbia-WHO Center for Global Mental. His team’s primary project has been to initiate a systematic review on the health and mental health outcomes of children who have migrated.
While the academic literature is knowledgeable about the outcomes of children who have been left behind by migrant parents, there is a dearth of literature about children who have migrated themselves. Celzo’s goal is to provide a consolidated piece of literature to explicate what the health outcomes of children who have migrated.
Says Celzo, a psychological science major, “I’ve been exposed to the possibilities of the different fields in which one can perform mental health care and research. It brings me much comfort to now know that there are many possible routes waiting for me.”
Bryce Kelly ’23
Kelly, an international relations major, started an internship at the U.S. Department of State last October in Washington D.C., in an office called the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative. He has continued through the summer and is helping them manage, grow, promote and provide for their network of 50,000+ young entrepreneurs. He is writing articles on members, creating business guides and making social media posts for U.S. embassies.
Because this internship is part-time and remote, Kelly was able to take a second internship with the National Defense Industrial Association doing research on the country’s workforce and compiling recommendations and best practices for government, private industry and academia.
“Because of these two internships,” Kelly says, “I have a better understanding of how our government works. This summer has given me so much excitement and knowledge for my future.”
Chloe Kerstein ’22
Kerstein interned with Immersion Neuroscience, a small startup whose software uses smart watches to predict how immersed, or interested, someone is in any given experience. Although she was a part of the customer success and R&D teams, she worked with many other teams, and her tasks ranged from creating articles explaining neuroscience topics in simpler terms for the company’s website, managing the SEO (search engine optimization) and drafting a Wikipedia page for the company.
As a neuroscience major, Kerstein says, “I helped out with some neuroscience studies and completed more neuro-specific tasks, which I felt comfortable with, but I enjoyed the variety Immersion provided me. I feel like a more well-rounded job candidate after this internship.”
Kyu Lee ’23
Lee served as a fellow at Seeding Change, a national fellowship that educates, trains and connects young Asian Americans to local nonprofits that work to serve and empower Asian American communities throughout the country.
At Rising Voices of Asian American Families, his host site, Lee advocated for Asian American communities to be represented in Michigan's redistricting process. He created in-language political education material, canvassed for progressive candidates in Detroit's local city council election and led workshops about redistricting for his youth fellowship.
Reflecting on his time working at Rising Voices, Lee, who is majoring in history, says, “I've learned to center healing and building relationships within our community. Above all, I've learned to approach my work with care and empathy for others.”
Liz Murray ’21
Murray, a sociology major, worked with Pulse Music Group as the creative sync intern. The goal of the sync department is to place songs by Pulse's creators (producers, writers and artists) in TV, film, advertisements, video games and online content. As the sync intern, she helped maintain Pulse's internal music library, tracked song placements from initial request to airdate and assisted with pitching to music supervisors at TV companies, film studios and ad agencies.
“I have learned so much about sync, licensing, music supervision and music publishing while getting hands-on experience and making connections. I'll walk away from this internship with a better understanding of the music industry and the online workplace,” Murray says.
Jose Sanchez ’24
In his internship with the ACLU SoCal’s Education Equity Team, Sanchez worked with organizers, policy advocates and attorneys. Most significant to him, however, was the opportunity to work with youth. When Sanchez was in high school, he participated in the inaugural cohort of the program that he helped lead this summer.
Sanchez was able to grow his organizing skills as he worked with the ACLU and other community organizations to ensure that the needs of Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) youth were addressed in LAUSD’s plans for a return to school.
“Working with people in different positions within the Ed Equity team allowed me to gain a better understanding of the role that each person plays in the organization,” Sanchez says. “I gained valuable information about future career options, including paths I had not considered prior to this internship.”
Shei Yu ’22
Yu, an anthropology major, is interning at the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB), a book review journal and literary nonprofit organization. As a publishing workshop intern, she is responsible for contacting speakers, facilitating sessions and moderating conversations about accessibility and diversity in the publishing industry. Outside of the workshop, she helps produce LARB’s weekly newsletter and compile publishing resources for underrepresented writers.
“It has been incredible to take part in the five-week intensive publishing workshop and attend sessions alongside fellows; I’ve sat in on insightful talks with speakers from The New York Times, Catapult, and Bitch Media,” Yu says. “Through my internship, I’ve connected with other writers and editors who are trying to navigate and revolutionize the publishing world.”