International Student Internship Blogs – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

International Student Internship Blogs

The three recipients of the highly-competitive Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship Stipend are currently working around the globe and, for the first time this year, the Salisbury interns are keeping blogs to give the world back home a brief glimpse of their unique experiences.  Through the generosity of former Chair of the Colleges Board of Trustees Charles Salisbury Jr. ’63, P’94, L.H.D.’08 students selected for the internship program are able to supplement their classroom education with internship experience, thus allowing them to gain a practical understanding of the demands and rewards of future careers. The Salisbury Stipend is awarded only to those students who rigorously maintain their academics and who have shown that they are able to function well independently while abroad. 

William Smith student Lisa Philippone ’11 spent last fall studying in Northern India. During fall break, she worked at the family-owned Mansukh Organic Farm on the outskirts of the desert village of Barodia, in the northern state of Rajasthan. Philippone is currently back working on the farm she visited during fall break, helping the three brothers who own the farm prepare the summer crops. In addition to learning about desert farming, Philippone is teaching English and computer classes at the Sundar Mandal Vidhya Mandir School.

In her blog, Philippone discusses the similarities and differences that exist between her current, solitary journey and her previous experience being abroad with a group of HWS students.  Besides the dry, desert climate and the 120-degree heat, she writes of the cultural differences that exist between India and the West. The present of a Nerf football, for example, is one that initially baffles her cricket-playing host brothers. Philippone also relates the experience of being caught out in a brief rain shower, a rarity to be valued in the desert.

Daniel Organ ’11 spent his past two summers working for Centers Business Management, a Los Angeles-based real estate company. There, he gained the experience that he will be putting to use while in Brazil, working for Equity Group Investments (EGI), a privately-held investment company that focuses on real estate-related businesses which operate outside of the United States.  Through his work with EGI, Organ is traveling throughout Brazil this summer, examining real estate related to the emerging middle class in Brazil. Ultimately, he will compile a report that details his observations about each company and property that he has visited.  Organ will present this report to the President of Real Estate at EGI at the end of his time abroad.

Organ’s blog takes readers from his first week of training in Chicago through to Sao Paulo, in Brazil.  Among the experiences he recounts are visiting the famous Brazilian soccer stadium Maracana, which holds the record for the greatest attendance at a sporting event, at 200,000 people. His blog follows him as he travels throughout Brazil, visiting and working in Rio de Janeiro. There, Organ expresses his amazement as he observes people in his office working long past 9 p.m. He also partakes in Brazilian culinary treats such as chicken heart and raw beef.  As Organ travels, it becomes clear that his grasp on Brazil’s real estate market is becoming stronger, and that he is gaining a rich understanding of a new culture.

This summer, Ben Ahearn ’11 returned to Copenhagen, Denmark.  He spent last fall there, studying abroad as part of the HWS Architecture program.  Now, Ahearn will get to put his classroom time to the test as he interns at Force 4 Architects, one of the city’s most forward-thinking firms.  He will also be able to explore his interest in sustainable design, exploring places such as Samso Island, a 100 percent renewable energy community nicknamed “Energy Island.”

In his blog, Ahearn discusses the work for an invitation-only competition that his firm is involved in, striving to make the world’s most accessible building for 18 of Denmark’s different disability associations. We learn about his daily work sketching, designing in CAD, and building models, including one created specifically for presentation to blind clients. Ahearn also tells us about the differences between having a client who is paying you for your work vs. having a professor who is guiding you through a learning process.  He also has many pictures that document the bicycle trips he has been making around Copenhagen, and also has plans for more long distance journeys in the future.