Following up with the 2018 Graduate Student Internship Fellows

by Daniel Elkin, Graduate Career Peer
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 2:30 PM

The purpose of the Graduate Student Internship Fellowship is to assist graduate students with attaining experience related to their career goals and professional development. The 2018 Graduate Student Internship Fellowship ​was awarded to four students who demonstrated how their Summer or Fall 2018 work experience would be impactful for their career trajectory.

We followed up with our fellows from last year about their experiences and ​here is what they had to say! ​We hope this will inspire you to apply for the 2019 Graduate Internship Fellowship - the application opens January 7. 

A​​manda G​ersten

Summer Intern in social media and special projects at The Feels, an independent web series​ that explores issues of queerness, masculinity, and mental health. 

What did you get out of your internship?

My experience actually ended up being very different than expected, and I took on a more fluid role and much more varied tasks than I had been anticipating. Though I expected to be doing social media work, I've had the opportunity to read and review the script through various revisions, research trans and queer actors and thinkers of interest to the series, compile information on grant opportunities and assist with applications, as well as brainstorm social media content. I feel that I've enriched my pre-existing skills and gained new ones that are applicable to a range of areas of interest. I’ve discovered especially how much I enjoy writing and editorial work, but have also gained experience relevant to nonprofit/development, research and fact checking, etc. 

What was something new you learned about working in a professional setting?

It’s important to ask for responsibilities and create your own projects, especially when you’re doing something a bit out of the box. But it’s also important to remember that not every idea you have or responsibility you want to take on will pan out: I was curious about working on set, but this was strictly limited to the crew. 

What advice do you have for other graduate students seeking internships?

Don't be afraid to try something different! I had never remotely worked in the film world before, but the work I’ve done has been very transferable. Don't forget to look for new opportunities within your inner circle, not just on Indeed! I had a personal connection with the creators of the show. I let them know how passionate I was about their project and that I wanted to help in any way possible, and they unexpectedly offered me a position. The support of the fellowship was also invaluable, and I would definitely advise others to look into resources and funding.

Dennis Manjaly Joshy

Summer Intern on the Molecular Diagnostics Team at Vascular Biosciences.

What did you get out of your internship?

I was introduced to interpreting signaling cascades in cells from a pharmaceutical perspective. My advisor also taught me how to use multiple databases such as DrugBank and tools like Enrichr, and hence produce a basic predictive model for the effectiveness of the drugs.

I realized that I enjoyed working in small groups. I reported directly to the CEO, David Mann, who explained to me his vision behind it. I was inspired by his motivation and it encouraged me to contribute to this field (personalized medicine). I met everyone in the Goleta branch, including many other interns from UCSB.

What was something new you learned about working in a professional setting?

I learned basic communication skills, and setting up reports, presentations and graphs to display results.

What advice do you have for other graduate students seeking internships?

I believe it is important to look for internship opportunities that resonate not only with your academic goals but also your vision. I feel that being able to relate to the aspiration of the person hiring you and the employees of the firm goes a long way towards securing the internship.

Luke Janes

Extern at Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM). 

What ​did you get out of your internship?

I am still only getting started at my year-long internship site, being about 6 weeks in. Honestly, before starting I was second-guessing myself a bit, thinking about how many hours I'm devoting to CALM (20 hours a week) that I could be putting into research. But now that I have started I am so glad I did. I am finding that this experience is enlivening my whole spirit and passion for therapeutic change. I am finding a passion for the work, and am excited that I can easily get into a rich therapeutic groove with older kids. I'm also very excited to be starting to facilitate my first therapeutic group for adults next week. I can tell that by the end of the year I will be confident in working with youth of all ages and their families through both individual and group work, and in both Spanish and English. It's an incredibly valuable experience!

What was something new you learned about working in a professional setting?

I feel that I'm finally coming into my own as a psychologist professional. I'm starting to feel more comfortable seeing myself as a resource, and am more able to rest in the knowledge that if I don't know the answer, I at least know how to work with people and resources to move toward an answer. As an example, I'm starting my first therapeutic group next week and I actually don't feel nervous at all, ​only excited! That is a new thing for me.

What advice do you have for other graduate students seeking internships?

Take the time to take a step back and remember or re-realize what you are passionate about and what you hope to learn and accomplish. This place is often full ​of the expectations and requests of others, and a lot of busy work. It can be easy to lose sight of our own goals. Carve out time to reflect on your passions and goals, and let yourself dream up what truly matches what you want for yourself. It's your program's job to help you achieve what you want, not to get in your way. Push for what you want, make a good case, think outside the box, and find people who are willing to support you in making your own path!

Jo Palazuelos-Krukowski

Assistant Director for Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s Snow in Midsummer

What did you g​et out of your internship?

Working as an assistant director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, I was able to get an inside look at the workings of one of the largest theater festivals in North America. Operating at this scale, where eleven plays are either being staged or in rehearsal simultaneously, there is much to learn about balancing schedules, budgets, and the needs of the production and the people attached to it - the company is staging nearly a dozen plays on three stages six days a week. It is very fast paced and very much about working  with the people in the room to put on a good show. 

It is useful to think of everyone you meet at an internship as trying to teach you something about yourself either through advice given or the difficulties that arise in the process. For theater in particular, I got some advice from a technical producer at the company I was working with: "When there's a (metaphorical) fire in a production, it's your job to let everyone know that everything is fine - and then put out the fire while they're not looking."

What was something new you learned about working in a professional setting?

In academia, especially at the graduate level, you do a lot of work on your own. When you're working at a professional theater company, you're playing on a team, and you have to be a team player. You may be working with people who communicate in a different style than you're used to. When you're working in professional theater, it's useful to be paying attention to when it's necessary for you step back, and when to step up. 

What advice do you have for other graduate students seeking internships?

It's essential to have a strong support network before you jump into your internship experience. Before you get there, make sure you have someone unconnected to the particular job you're doing to check in with - ideally someone in your field, but they don't have to be. It's more important that the person you choose has known you a long time and knows your strengths and your weaknesses, and can advise accordingly. This person can provide you with an an outside eye to navigating the professional world you're working in. 

Thank you to our internship fellows for sharing your experiences with us! For more information on the Internship Fellowship opportunity, check out the Career Services website