How Bucknellians are spending their summer

Nicole Yeager, Special Features Editor

With this Friday marking the last full week of the semester, students are putting their last sliver of energy towards finals, packing up their dorm rooms to return to their homes around the world and embarking on their summer plans. Some have taken advantage of the University’s broad network and plethora of resources to pursue professional opportunities and further their education. Others are using the freedom to focus on their passions and hobbies. All are likely using the time to relax after a long, busy semester. From internships to summer jobs to personal projects, it is safe to say that Bucknellians will be making the most of these next few months! 

A few students who will be spending their summer engaging in internships shared their experience and thoughts with us: 

Gracie Kleinbardt ’23: Intern at SHECP

Gracie is a rising junior majoring in psychology with two minors in sociology and public policy. 

What are your summer plans?

My plans for the summer is to enjoy some much needed time with my family and friends, as well as participate in my internship.

How did you get this opportunity?

I was looking everywhere for a potential summer internship and thought it would probably be beneficial to look at the internship opportunities page on the Bucknell website, so I did – and found the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium of Poverty (SHECP) internship. I was accepted and will be representing Bucknell in the program. Focusing on various areas of poverty around the United States, I believed that this internship would incorporate my majors and minors well. I was just matched with the organization I will be working with. I will be working with Resilient Georgia, which aims to educate and spread awareness for adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and trauma-informed care for people [aged] 0-26 and their families. 

What are you most excited about? 

I am excited to educate myself more on these topics and work to support the organization in any way. 

Andrew Doane ’22: Intern at Ameriprise Financial

Andrew is a rising senior majoring in sociology with a minor in political science. 

What are your summer plans?

I plan to work at Ameriprise Financial as an intern this summer.

How did you get this opportunity?

As a Posse scholar, I have access to the Posse job board, where companies post their internship and other job applications directly to us. I found a few opportunities through there and applied; it is definitely important to stay proactive and persistent throughout the process. I interviewed with three companies and finally decided to go with Ameriprise! 

What are you most excited about? 

I am most excited to learn about a new industry where I can develop new skills and further improve the ones I already have.

Renne Venico ’22: Marketing Operations Intern for MFS

Renne is a junior majoring in Markets, Innovation & Design with a concentration in multicultural consumption; he is also a Posse scholar. 

What are your summer plans?

I will be completing a Marketing Operations internship for MFS in Boston. 

How did you get this opportunity?

I first utilized the Posse job board to find opportunities. I decided on MFS based on the values and experience that align with my own personality, which I learned from frequenting the Center for Career Advancement (CCA) my sophomore year. The STAR method I learned from the CCA has also definitely helped me to be more prepared for behavioral interviews. 

What are you most excited about? 

I’m excited to be able to learn more about the finance industry this summer. I’m also excited to be able to work virtually, which allows me to work from anywhere and visit my friends as often as possible. My internship last summer was remote and I dreaded it because I was stuck at home all day, but I really believe things look promising this summer, especially after being fully vaccinated. 

The CCA at the University is a great place to discover various resources, learn skills and gain tools that will help you in developing your career. Students can book appointments at the CCA to perfect their resume or cover letter and even have practice mock interviews. Furthermore, they actively update and refine the University’s Handshake page, where students can find opportunities on and off campus to apply to. 

While most students will be returning home for the summer, there are a handful who will remain on campus. We heard from a few who will be completing research over the summer about their experiences and expectations:

Macy Albaitis ’22: Summer Researcher in Animal Behavior

Macy is a junior majoring in animal behavior and minoring in Spanish and chemistry. 

What are your summer plans?

I’m returning for my third summer of research at Bucknell! I’m running an experiment on classical conditioning in Madagascar hissing cockroaches with [Associate Professor of Animal Behavior] Regina Gazes and Casey Mack ’22. This basically entails staying on campus for 10 weeks reviewing literature and conducting an experiment that we designed this past semester. Specifically, we’re investigating whether we can classically condition a cockroach to the presence of an intruder in their home cage and if conditioning results in being better prepared for combat with the intruder. I’m really enjoying it and have found cockroaches to be much more complex than I previously thought. 

How did you get this opportunity?

I applied and was approved for funding from the Bucknell Biology Department under the guidance of Gazes. 

What are you most excited about? 

I’m most excited about what kind of results we’ll see and the publishing opportunities for this project. It’s been a goal of mine to be published as an undergrad and I’m hoping that we get collect enough data to write a paper on this project. Being published opens a lot of doors to other opportunities in the field and, overall, is an experience unique to small universities like Bucknell. It would truly be a highlight of my undergraduate experience. 

Alison Zhitkov ’22: Summer Researcher in Chemical Engineering

Alison is a junior majoring in chemical engineering and minoring in biomedical engineering and biology. 

What are your summer plans?

I will be doing research here in Dean [of Engineering Patrick] Mather’s lab, studying the effect of the fiber diameters of two electrospun polymers on drug release and delivery!

How did you get this opportunity?

I heard about this research through the chemical engineering department, and also had some classmates who were already in the group. I’m very interested in working in pharmaceuticals after college, so this type of research was very appealing and interesting!

What are you most excited about?

I’m excited to learn more about how to conduct research in general, as well as learn about lab techniques used in industry. I’m also looking forward to having the opportunity to be involved in hands-on learning to further enhance my knowledge on the topic of drug delivery and polymer science.  

Beyond internships and research, there are many ways for students to make the most of their summer, and the University offers various grants and other opportunities to support the community whether they are on campus or off! 

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