Internships & Fellowships

Internship Highlights

By Anton Kalmysh

In the summer, while staggering through winding adventures of Don Quixote of La Mancha or plowing through War and Peace, many Johnnies also manage to find time to pursue their personal and professional interests. In order to alleviate some of the financial hurdles which students may encounter during their internships, Annapolis’ Hodson Trust internship program and Santa Fe’s Ariel  internship program offer generous grants. Students can apply for funding for otherwise unfunded internships, or design their own projects, working directly with mentors in their field. The Career Services Office assists students throughout the process of finding and applying for internships, whether or not they plan to compete for Hodson or Ariel funding.

This summer Johnnies are as busy as ever, honing their skills, pursuing their talents and learning about the realities of their fields all over the globe. Among them, many took advantage of  funding and had an opportunity to explore their desired fields up-close.

Here in Annapolis, MD we have Heather Boning (’18), Sean Miller (’20) and Martin Fischer (’21).

Our recent graduate Heather Boning (’18) is interning this summer at the Maryland States Archives, the central depository for the government records of permanent value, where she’s learning a variety of restoration techniques. She has recently been featured on our St. John’s News page where she can be seen preparing to unseal a legal document from 1834 for an ongoing family search project (https://www.sjc.edu/news). 

Another student in the area in Sean Miller (’20) who is working at the Public Defender’s Office for Anne Arundel County. As a regional ombudsman’s assistant, Sean attends to court trials and procedures, conducts interviews and works with attorneys in the office on various issues.

Just on the other bank of Spa Creek, over in Eastport, a rising sophomore Martin Fischer (’21) serves the mission of Klaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation in “protect[ing] and restor[ing] ocean health by providing science-based solutions” (https://www.livingoceansfoundation.org/about/). Martin’s most recent work has been entering data from a survey taken in the Kingdom of Tonga regarding the practices of their local fisheries.

About 45 minutes east via US-50, stationed right in the hub of American politics, Ivan Syritsyn (’19) is learning about the American legislative process and the nuances in the work of congressional staff. He is interning on the Hill with the Office of Congressman Mark Meadows, a U. S. Representative for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, a member of the Republican Party and chair of the Freedom Caucus.

“My work consists of three components.” says Ivan, “…legislative research, constituent correspondence, and conducting tours of the Capital. Legislative research usually involves looking into different issues and documents at the request of a staff member. Often times this results in communicating with other Congressional offices. Constituent correspondence involves talking with Constituents, listening to their wishes and opinions, and proving direct help whenever possible. Communications usually take place over phone and letter. We can’t always provide help or answers directly since some issues require different government departments or involve another complicating reason. Conducting tours of the Capital is exactly what it sounds like. Constituents would come in from the district and I would give them a tour of the Capitol, leading them through everything of historical importance from the House side to the Senate side.  This in particular was an interesting opportunity to see the variety of people who live in the Congressman’s district.”

The bustling life of the Capital certainly doesn’t come without hurdles, Some of the difficulties Ivan had to face as a tour guide in the Capitol are certainly familiar to our Admissions student workers (only perhaps to a greater degree on the Hill):

“The greatest challenge I had to overcome” continues Ivan, “was spending one hour touring with people and making small talk even though I have just met them and most likely would never see them again. However, practice made me accustomed to it eventually.”

Ivan has also shares some advice for Johnnies concerning interning in general, and his experience in particular:

“Put your heart into your work,” says Ivan. “Look for opportunities to do more than you are officially assigned to do. Establish good relations with the office workers, even if you can’t establish personal ones. This advice may be old and age worn yet it still will hold true for anyone who wants to make the most of their internship.”

“I would also recommend to everyone to specifically look for an internship in their field of interest which is located in DC. The nation’s capital has a lot of opportunities packed into it. If you can get in there you are bound to meet up with people who will be dedicated to their field. There is also enough food and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.”

Also in DC., Anne Freeman (’20) just finished her 8-week internship at DMSAS  (David M. Schwarz Architects Inc. founded by alumnus David Schwarz ’72). The “central tenet” of their company and their work is “crafting sustainable, human-centered places in stewardship of [their] public realm; it is a philosophy [they] have studied and developed through [their] planning and design projects in urban environs since [their] founding” (https://www.dmsas.com/about/). Some notable buildings designed by DMSAS include Penn Theater (an Art Deco palace on Capitol Hill which opened as a cinema on December 27, 1935 with Eroll Flynn in “Captain Blood” and is now re-purposed for condos) and the house of President Teddy Roosevelt’s first daughter, Alice Roosevelt Longworth’s House. Anne’s projects included writings web articles, interviewing architects, and learning fundamentals of web-publishing and web-design.

Here is what she herself has to say about her experience as an intern:

” DMSAS and it was such an enriching and eye-opening experience which I very much enjoyed. Most of my work consisted of helping the marketing team write and publish creative content on their website, so I would sit down with the designers and talk to them about certain projects or events related to their work and then I would write an article about it. I learned a lot about writing for the internet and also some elements of web design and layout. It was a great opportunity for me because I love to write and it’s very useful to have experience in writing specifically web content. It was a bit of a learning curve because I am used to mainly academic writing, but I got great feedback from my supervisors and my writing improved a lot over the 8 weeks.”

“I also love architecture and I very much enjoyed the conversations I had with the designers in the office; I learned so much about their work and why architecture matters and I feel very much encouraged to continue exploring the world of design.”

“I was a bit nervous about being an intern in an architecture firm even though I’m not an architecture student, but I discovered that St. John’s prepared me well by encouraging me to be a creative thinker, a thoughtful listener and a strong writer, and these were the qualities that my work demanded. So my advice to other Johnnies (in internships and in general) is to not apologize for being a liberal arts student, because I think our education is in many ways an advantage.”
A Complete List of 2018 Hodson and Ariel Award Recipients
  1.  Kapil Adhikari ’20 (Red Circle Creative Solutions, Kathmandu, Nepal)
  2. Maxwell Barton ’19 (Alan Squire Publishing, Bethesda, MD)
  3. Sudobh Bhandari ’20 (Saraswati Higher Secondary School, Kathmandu, Nepal)
  4. Elaina Bowman ’20 (Pica & Associates, LLC, Annapolis, MD)
  5. Anne Brong ’19 (Institute for Mind and Biology, Kay Lab, Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL)
  6. Cameron Byerly ’19 (Brooklyn Theatre, Pretoria, South Africa)
  7. Juan Cassanello-Garcia ’21 (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, “Washington, DC)
  8. Nishan Dhungel ’20 (Green Tara Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal)
  9. Mary Dray ’20 (Touchstones Discussion Group, Annapolis, MD)
  10. Martin Fischer ’21 (Living Oceans Foundation, Annapolis, MD)
  11. Anne Freeman ’20 (David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc., Washington, DC)
  12. Sagar Gaire ’19 (EduVision Foundation, Makawanpur, Nepal)
  13. Benjamin Haas ’19 (Adventure Works of Dekalb County, DeKalb, IL)
  14. Nancy Hilton ’20 (City of Hope, Duarte, CA)
  15. Grace Phan Jones ’21 (Great Discourses, Chicago, IL)
  16. Beimnet Kedebe ’20 (Digital Green, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
  17. Joseph Keegin ‘GI (Key School, Annapolis, MD)
  18. Prabesh Koirala ’19 (Judiciary Consultancy and Service Center, Kaski, Nepal)
  19. Rachael Langston ’19 (Brooklyn Legal Service Corporation A, Brooklyn, NY)
  20. Christopher McGowen ’19 (Department of Classics, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX)
  21. Sean Miller ’19 (Maryland Office of the Public Defender, Anne Arundel County, Annapolis, MD)
  22. Kirabo Nanyanzi ’21 (City of Hope, Duarte, CA)
  23. Elsa Ordhal ’21 (New York University Press, NY, NY)
  24. Val Pehrson ’19 (Office of Councilman Charles Allen, Washington, DC)
  25. Tressie Rhoades ’10 (Seek Spark Shine, Santa Fe, NM)
  26. Anna Seban ’20 (Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA)
  27. Dohyun Song ’21 (Leaders of Green Society, Dongdaemoon-gu, South Korea)
  28. Jaeri Suh ’21 (Indeunion, Seoul, South Korea)
  29. Camille Testa ’19 (UB Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, NY)

The student writing staff of the johnnie chair blog

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