Friday, August 18, 2017

Summer of SEO

Since I was working with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) the most rewarding part was seeing progress in my SEO efforts. There were many steps in improving the rankings of my website and seeing those efforts come to life was most rewarding. Seeing the rankings and impressions improve was not the fastest, so that would have to be the most challenging. Not knowing how everything you were working on would affect the overall improvement of your site- a waiting game. Eventually, I increased my website's ranking and increased impressions (the number of times my website was shown in a specific Google search). I tracked this progress through Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Working with real-time data was a huge plus throughout this internship as well. Overall, I learned so much during my time with working on SEO and can take these skills throughout my future career.

Elizabeth Chostowski

My Summer Experience in Southern Florida

Reflecting on my internship at Barwis Methods, I am so sad that it is over but grateful for the wonderful experience that I had! I learned so much like coaching skills, physical therapy techniques, and gaining “people skills” that will help me through the rest of my life. The most rewarding part for me was being able to interact with the clients, whether PT clients or personal training, and see their progress from day to day. To see their faces after finally accomplishing something they had been struggling with was priceless and made me want to work 10 times harder to help them accomplish their next goal. Also the beach being a short drive away was great too! The most challenging part was definitely adjusting to the rigorous work week! Also since I was living alone in Port St. Lucie, Florida, adjusting to that was rough the first couple of weeks. Simple things like cooking and grocery shopping became my everyday tasks along with working, so scheduling/time management became a skill I learned from living alone.

Overall this was the best internship experience I could have asked for! The staff became like a second family to me, I gained invaluable hands-on experience, and I grew as a person more than I expected to. Thanks to Barwis Methods, I know for sure I am in the right field of physical therapy, one that combines all sorts of clients and injuries, and I am excited to pursue it more than ever!

Outside the facility on my last day
A glimpse of inside Barwis Methods
South Florida offers some great beaches!!
Barwis Methods is located in First Data Field, spring training facility of the New York Mets. Step outside the back door of the gym to the outfield!

Julia Giaimo
Exercise Science

An Update on The Scranton Biopsychology Summer Internship

So far my internship with the biopsychology lab has been an amazing experience. There have been many rewarding parts of my internship and they all align with my desired career path. Being able to learn a multitude of techniques has definitely been the most amazing and rewarding part of this internship. I definitely learned what it would be like to pursue research as a full time job once my schooling is completed. I learned how much goes into a single project behind the scenes and how much planning is required. I also expanded my skill set in research writing. I admit it is not one of my strong suits, but this summer allowed me to focus on my writing without having distractions like during the semester. There were many slightly challenging parts of completing this internship, including scheduling, writing, and learning complicated things in a small amount of time, but all of these challenges allowed me to grow and I am thankful for them. These are tasks that I will encounter over and over again in my chosen field and this summer was great timing to be exposed to them. This internship was a great stepping stone for my future and I learned a lot more than I expected to learn in such a small amount of time. I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to experience the life of a full time researcher for the summer, and I cannot wait to continue my work with the Scranton Biopsychology lab in this upcoming year.

Kerry Buckhaults

Moving Forward

I find myself truly grateful to have been given this summer internship opportunity as it soon comes to an end. Looking back to my first day, I was extremely nervous about being a part of a professional setting for the first time. Although, going into it, I knew I wouldn’t be responsible for anything other than maintenance of the clinic, I wasn’t quite sure how to properly carry myself. Through the guidance of my supervisor and her staff, I am now equipped with a skill set that will enable me to thrive in my future as a physical therapist. Most physical therapy internships solely involve observation and questions. I, however, was fortunate enough to have been given a little more responsibility as an intern. As I mentioned earlier in the summer, I have conducted a single-patient case study through monitoring the patient’s exercise program and tracking the progression of her knee injury. Being involved in her rehabilitation was the most rewarding part of my internship, even though I played a very small role. I’m not allowed to say much about the patient due to HIPAA regulations, but I am excited to hear about the future steps she takes towards full-recovery! Though the benefits of being an intern have outweighed the hardships, this summer was not a completely smooth sail. The world of physical therapy as it stands is extremely detailed and complex. Thus, trying to learn as much as possible about the field in three short months has been rather difficult. I have taken endless pages of notes and have also researched various related subjects to provide as much depth to my knowledge of physical therapy as possible. At the conclusion of this experience, I am even more excited to become a successful physical therapist! Additionally, I would like to thank the administration of The Royal Experience Summer Internship Program for my acceptance and their attentiveness to the students.

Everett Minchew
Exercise Science

Learning Along the Way

Prior to starting my internship at Presidio, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never heard of the company and I didn’t know much about the technology industry. After only a few days of picking my coworkers’ brains, I gained a lot of useful insight on the technology and sales environment. To me, gaining sales insight was one number one goal coming into the internship. While I did want to learn about Presidio and what their role in the market was, I knew that I could benefit more from the internship.

Since I had limited exposure to the technology/sales environment, there were a few obstacles that I had to overcome this summer while interning at Presidio. The most challenging aspect, however, was understanding all the engineering terms that were thrown around. Provided Presidio is a technology company, there was a lot of confusing lingo being used in all the sales meetings. It was very reassuring to hear my boss tell me that he still doesn’t understand some of the terms used by the engineers. I think if I put in the time to learn about the different aspects of technology it will all eventually come full circle and make more sense to me.

The most rewarding part of the internship was shadowing my coworkers during their sales calls. Although I didn’t actively participate in the meetings (more like a fly on the wall), I gained perspective on what it’s like to be in a sales/technology environment. I learned about the importance of developing and maintaining strong client relationships. I am very grateful for the opportunity that I was given this summer to work alongside sales professionals at Presidio. I learned and absorbed so much more insight than I ever thought was possible, and for that I am forever thankful.

John McDowell
Business Administration

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Scranton Fringe Festival Fun

Before I began my internship I did not realize all that went into planning a festival, especially a multi-day, multi-venue BEAST like the Scranton Fringe Festival.  I imagined that I would simply be helping out with scheduling and arrangements for the festival, but I was very mistaken.

A festival can’t happen without a level of outreach, so I was out in the public frequently at events like Pride on the Mountain and Arts on the Square talking to people about the Fringe, passing out festival guides, and answering any questions people had.

Beyond outreach, I spent a fair amount of time making the festival tickets available online.  While it wasn’t a mentally taxing job, it was tedious.  The festival has 13 venues this year, each venue has 2-5 shows, and each show has two types of tickets available for sale.  Although this was not the most fun task, it was a necessary evil.

At the beginning of my summer I worked on obtaining Button Partners for the festival.  Button Partners are local, downtown businesses that offer Fringe button holders a specific discount.  The Button Partners are featured in the guide, which is heavily relied on by people attending the festival from out of town.  This year the festival has 18 Button Partners!

Other highlights of my summer with the Fringe include interviewing performers, working on social media, blog writing, and assisting with a StorySlam event, a show announcement party, and a fancy cocktail party.

Although the summer is over, my internship isn’t! I’ll be working with the Fringe until the week of the festival, September 27th-October 1st.

Allison Northrop
Strategic Communication

Summer's Lessons

My experience working with Lackawanna Pro bono has given me so much to look forward to where my career goal in the legal profession is concerned, and I couldn’t be more excited. Knowing the hardships low income earners in our community face, to me, it remains my greatest joy that I got to be a part of an organization that sought to unburden these individuals of their legal issues by providing attorneys who are willing to give free legal consult and representation to 4 of every 5 eligible clients in need. I was also given the opportunity to work alongside brilliant staff including attorneys who ensured that my experience at this organization was one I will remember for a long time to come. Their encouragement and assurance that I could handle whatever task I was given have enhanced my confidence and critical thinking skills to levels I never thought possible.

The most challenging aspects of my experience this summer were instances in which I had to keep on a brave face while attending to clients whose hopes and dreams had been shattered due to the decisions they had made throughout their lives. Some of these individuals were at the verge of losing everything they had spent years building if they could not afford a lawyer or find one to take their cases Pro bono. Although these issues were sad and heartbreaking, I learned to handle such cases with grace and remain strong for clients even when they do not have any strength to carry on.  In fact, this summer has been the most rewarding and lesson-filled season of my life.

Paula Awuku
Political Science

Reflection on my summer in the Public Defender’s Office

I never imagined enjoying my internship as much as I did. Every day I looked forward to learning new things and seeing what the day had in store. The employees in the Public Defender’s Office helped me to develop skills that will be useful in any career I choose. Throughout my time in the office, I also learned that a legal career is something I could see myself in for an extended period of time. I have decided that I will take the Law School Admission Test and apply to schools this year. The opportunity to have this experience has allowed me to make these decisions and see what a legal career would actually entail. Because of this, I would like to thank all of those who make the Royal Experience Internship Program possible.

Some of my time in the office included drafting petitions. These included petitions to Appoint Conflict Counsel, Modify Bail, Bail Reduction, and Lift Detainers. The most challenging part of my internship was drafting each petition similar to the style of the attorney on the case. Each attorney had distinctive information that they wanted to be included in different chronological orders. I enjoyed learning what each petition should include, what details from the case were necessary, and where to find the proper information.

I was shocked by the amount of work that the attorneys were willing to let me do on my own. The most rewarding part by far was seeing how much they trusted me to get the work they assigned done in a timely manner and with little instruction. From drafting petitions and writing letters to interviewing clients, I never felt restricted. One of my favorite assignments was going to the Lackawanna County Prison and interviewing a client who was applying to treatment court. Sitting across from an inmate with a glass wall between us talking on the phone gave me a chance to see what life was like for attorneys outside of the courthouse. This also gave me an opportunity to combine a Counseling and Human Services background with a real life legal scenario, since drug and alcohol treatment was the main goal.

Overall, I had an amazing experience that would not have been possible without the Royal Experience Internship Program. I am beyond grateful for all of the people that helped me through this. I learned plenty of real life experience and met people who inspired me through their ways of practicing law. Thank you again!

Delia Gavin
Counseling & Human Services

Singapore Internship is Rewarding

After being in a foreign country for 3 months, I can easily say that the most rewarding part of my internship was to be able to experience an entirely new culture, and fully be immersed in it. It became a standard routine, taking the subway down to the city for work, walking downtown to the office, and knowing every street name and corner. I had adjusted so quickly to life in Singapore, and surprised myself on how quickly Singapore became my home far away from home. I have learned how to use a variety of applications while working at Cresco Data, and this last month and a half I mainly focused on helping clients identify the best methods on how to best present their webpage and improve their advertisements through Google Analytics: a web analytics service that helps companies track their website traffic, such as how many customers click on their advertisements and the amount of customer visits on their website, as well as other tools such as identifying the most typed in keywords, which are words/phrases a company uses to match their ads with a client's search request on the internet. I usually worked with Microsoft Excel, making an ROI (Return of Investment) sheet for several companies that we worked for, in addition to other tasks, such as working with my coworker on developing an Indonesian translation of our webpage for our Indonesian clients . I would say the most challenging part of my internship was to meet deadlines in time, as this can create some anxiety, but overall I was able to meet deadlines with no problem, thanks to the very relaxed work space I was in. In addition, I was able to travel to Thailand back in June, and most recently visiting Seoul, South Korea last month! Singapore is very close to many countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, China, the list goes on. The ability to travel easily and cheaply to some of these countries was truly such an amazing experience, one I will never forget. I encourage anyone reading this that if you have the opportunity to intern abroad in any country, take the opportunity, as you will gain an invaluable working experience, and to immerse yourself in another country for so long is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Nicholas Constantinou
Computer Engineering

The Motorsports Industry

I learned a tremendous amount from my internship at Speedway Motorsports this summer. I’m not sure how the summer raced by so quickly.

The most challenging part of my internship was living in a place that I was unfamiliar with. Charlotte is a gorgeous city with many attractions and many highway systems. I often missed turns and got lost when driving around the city at first. After a few weeks, I no longer needed my GPS to navigate.
The most rewarding part of my internship was meeting professionals that I aspire to be like and work with one day in the industry that I love. The primary reason that I moved to Charlotte for the summer was to surround myself with people that work in the motorsports industry. Charlotte is the hub for NASCAR racing in the United States with NASCAR headquarters, most of the racing teams, and sports marketing agencies located in and around the greater Charlotte area. I was able to receive invaluable professional development advice catered to the motorsports industry from supervisors and professionals that I met throughout the summer.

I am very thankful for the opportunity to have seen the behind-the-scenes view and gain insights on how Speedway Motorsports continues to be a leading innovator in NASCAR. It wouldn’t have been possible without the Royal Experience Summer Internship Program. It will truly be a summer that I will never forget.
The front stretch at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Mark Miller
Marketing/Business Administration

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rewards and Challenges of My Internship at the U.S. Marshals Service

The most rewarding part of this internship is that it has helped me reevaluate my values and mindset about several things. I have always been relatively naive about society and had a hard time accepting the reality of how horrible people can be. I always chose to see the best in people and overlook their negative characteristics. No, being positive is not a bad quality, although it can land me in a situation that could end my life if I trust the wrong person. I realized that I need to find a good balance of positivity, awareness, along with being sufficiently informed. People always joke and say that I am going to be the cop that lets the criminal sit in the front seat with me and refuses to use handcuffs because I don’t want to hurt them. Although that is an exaggerated example it does portray the type of personality I have.

The most challenging aspect of this internship would have to be that while in certain units there is not much work that you as an intern can handle primarily due to the nature of the work. I think that if I was shy and had a hard time talking to people I would not have had the experience I did. You spend much of your time talking to deputies and if you lack social skills, that can be challenging.

Allison Santoro

Rewards in Disguise

As my internship comes to a close, I have experienced a multitude of emotions. When I tell people that I work in a morgue, I receive many cringes and disgusted faces, which, unfortunately, I expected. There are many hardships that come with this job. I see dead bodies every day. If that isn’t enough, I observe autopsies, I discharge bodies to the funeral home, and I witness the lives of the decedent’s family crumble before my eyes. It’s challenging to get called on a case and have no idea what to expect when I open the front door to the decedent’s house. There is honestly no aspect of this job that has not been challenging. However, it is also extremely rewarding, which most people probably would not think. One of the forensic pathologists I have talked to put it perfectly: We are the people that are trusted by families to treat their deceased love one with respect, dignity, and honor. We are expected not to abuse a corpse and treat them with the upmost respect, no matter their past. We are the ones that determine the cause of death and inform the family; we can help give them closure.  It is more rewarding than most people would think. Not everyone could look at deceased bodies all day and treat them with dignity, but I am proud to say that the employees here are some of the people that can.

Brittany Ruch
Forensic Chemistry

Most rewarding, most challenging

After interning at the American Lung Association for a few months, the most rewarding part of my job was hearing stories from the Lung Heroes. Lung Heroes are the people who inspire, encourage, and are the reasons why we raise money for lung diseases and raise awareness for the importance of lung health. As a Special Events Intern, I worked directly with people in the community and heard countless stories of people affected by lung disease and how the work of the Lung Association is necessary. There is a very rewarding feeling about doing work for a non-profit that has such a profound impact in the lives of others in the community I live in through the programs, training classes, and events. The most challenging part of my internship was trying to explain and convey the importance of lung health to others. Most people don’t know, but lung cancer is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States, and is nearly preventable. The struggle between addiction and fundraising for lung disease is a hard conversation to have with some people, because it has such an impact on so many lives. Overall, I loved the experience I had at the American Lung Association and loved the culture of the organization! I learned a lot of transferable skills at my internship that I am excited to continue to use in my future career.

Caitlin Tulaney
Human Resources

A Summer with MassDOT

This internship has had many rewarding parts to it. I have met some remarkable people, and I have learned a countless number of things about the government, policy and how computing is essential in these fields. Some of the people I have met are the Secretary of Transportation, Stephanie Pallock and the Governor Charlie Baker.  Governor Baker remembered who I was when he saw me after the talk he gave to all the interns, and I was in disbelief that he even remembered who I was. All of these things have been very rewarding, but I believe the most rewarding part is seeing the progress of the work I have done with my boss on website audits, setting up a network shared drive for the Secretary’s office and working on Bills that need to be passed in the state. Working on such projects has truly allowed me to fully become immersed in my experience at the Department of Transportation. I have learned a lot about how working for the government really is, how long things take, and how someone with my technical skills can fit into this field. This has truly been a one-of-a-kind experience. The most challenging part I encountered was leaving my comfort zone and truly expanding my horizons to work. While I was able to work on computer related activities, I also worked with many different individuals from all departments within MassDOT on countless projects. I worked on collecting data on printers in the entire Commonwealth, I’ve worked on Autonomous vehicle legislation, and I’ve worked with taxi companies, uber, and lyft to try and regulate how we treat each entity. The challenge with all these different projects was keeping them all in check about what I was working on each time, which really helped me build my time management skills. Working with people to agree on what we should do also helped me learn how to compromise with coworkers. This internship was nothing but beneficial for me, and I truly am grateful for this opportunity.

Alexander Pinarreta
Computer Engineering

End of Summer Reflection

As my summer research internship comes to an end, I have been able to reflect on how challenging and rewarding the past ten weeks have been. Having the opportunity to work in a lab for the summer on my own research project has been very rewarding, because it has given me a feel for what a career in research might look like. While I have spent a lot of my time trying things and failing, I have been able to generate a lot of new ideas and learn a lot from scientific literature.

The most challenging part of my summer has been creating and keeping a schedule for myself for my research project. While I have the responsibility of communicating all my lab results to the Principal Investigators I am working with, the progression of my project is entirely up to me. I have made less progress than I hoped to this summer because some of the steps of my project have taken more time than I planned for, and this has been challenging for me.

While there have been both rewarding and challenging parts of my summer, overall my experience as a summer undergraduate research intern has been a positive one. Being able to spend a whole summer doing research has confirmed my  interest in a career in the field of research, and I find that pretty satisfying.

Sarah Ricupero