Upperclassmen Speak on their Summer Internship Experiences

By Jocelyn Visnov, Production Editor/Web Editor

Manhattan College has been nationally recognized for preparing students for a successful transition from classroom to career. As written on their website, the College believes that “Opportunities available in all academic disciplines lead students to secure high salaries and jobs at top companies.”  

As the majority of students return to the classroom for the first time since May, for a number of upperclassmen, summers were spent taking their expertise beyond campus to continue their pre-professional careers. The Quad spoke with several juniors and seniors to learn about their experience completing summer internships or research programs.  

Brian Weir ’23

Chemical Engineering major

The Quad: Where did you intern this summer?

Brian Weir: Glanbia Nutritionals

TQ: What did you do during your time with them?

BW: I worked with the production department where I got to oversee the packaging of protein powder. The overall goal of my internship was to help increase the efficiency of the line where this protein powder was packaged, so all my day-to-day activities revolved around trying to improve that.

TQ: What was your overall impression of this experience?

BW: This internship was truly an incredible experience. I got to work on numerous projects and gained a lot of hands-on experience. I worked with a lot of different machinery, so it was very interesting to see how it all worked. Going forward, I could see myself working in a similar environment to what I experienced.

Jamie Robbins ’24 

Urban/Environmental Studies major

The Quad: Where did you intern this summer?

Jamie Robbins: I interned at Concourse House, a shelter for women and children in the Bronx.

TQ: What were your responsibilities there?

JR: I worked directly with several mothers who were transitioning into affordable housing and moving out of the Concourse House. A big part of my summer was spent doing crochet. One of my favorite things at Concourse House is that they promote peace and unity among neighbors – they do this by yarnbombing. Yarnbombing is the act of creating a large crochet art piece and installing it to a fence in public to spread happiness.

TQ: What did you think of the overall experience?

JR: I loved working at Concourse House, I feel like it really opened my eyes to how easy it is to become homeless in NYC and to be appreciative of life’s everyday treasures. I feel really grateful to have this experience coupled with my major in urban studies because in the future I would love to make a change in the inequalities people face because of social circumstances.

TQ: Any advice or additional comments?

JR: I remember I was terrified to start working here, but being pushed out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow and I am entirely grateful for my experience.

Emily Specht ’24

Civil Engineering major

The Quad: Where did you intern this summer?

Emily Specht: I worked at a company called Ei3, and they’re based in Pearl River, New York. They bring the power of artificial intelligence to industrial machines and processes. They create these controls to help reduce carbon footprint and monitor machines downtime and display the OEE which is the overall equipment efficient, efficient pneus of a machine. So it identifies the percentage of a machine’s time that is truly productive, like the most productive machine can be.

TQ: What were your responsibilities?

ES: My main job was to understand how the machines send data to the operator and then convert that data into an easy guide for users. So one project I worked on was learning how to track API productivity data of a machine and import that data into Excel. API is Application Programming intern interface, which is a way for two or more computer programs to communicate with one another. 

TQ: What did you think of the experience overall?

ES: I think it was great to broaden my horizons. It was interesting to learn about the machines and how they operate. So, maybe that could lead to something else in the future. 

Maura McCarthy, ’23

Economics/Management major

The Quadrangle: Where did you intern this summer?

Maura McCarthy: So I interned with the National Science Foundation’s Coastline and People grant through East Carolina University. It’s a five year five-million dollar grant working on the protection of the tar Pamlico watershed in eastern North Carolina. 

TQ: What did you do there?

MM: So I was working at the Coastal Studies Institute, which is partnered with East Carolina University. I was working on their social science team, more so to get the community involved. I ran programs with like local middle school students to get them involved in community science. We did things like board meetings where we shared our work with the community we did like water sampling and a lot of surveying. 

TQ: What was your overall impression of the program? Was it similar to something you might want to pursue in the future? 

MM: Yeah, so I’m sort of continuing with it throughout the year. So over the summer, I was doing more community based stuff while I was physically living there. Now I’m going to be doing more from the research side. So figuring out the next projects is more like taking an academic lens on the project than community driven, I guess. I’ve done a couple of other research projects at Manhattan College with some of the grants that they have available, and I really, really love research. 

Donovan Vincent ’23

Chemical Engineering major

The Quadrangle: What did you do this summer?

Donovan Vincent: I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I did a research opportunity at MIT. It was so much fun, it was amazing. 

TQ: What did your day-to-day look like?

DV: Every day was different, which is kind of what I liked about it. Typically what I would do is I’ll get into the lab and I would work with some sort of cell. So we were using something called HEK cells, which stands for human embryonic kidney. Once the cell had DNA inside of it, we expressed the antibody that we coded for it. And so we were just able to test how strong the antibodies were, what concentration we needed. Other things like that, we’re doing this against diseases like SARS, COVID, yellow fever virus and HIV.  

TQ: Do you think you may want to do something similar in the future? 

DV: I’m a senior now, so I’m applying to be a Ph.D. student at MIT next year. The program is really supportive, like all the alumni want to help [program participants] with getting to like top colleges. But I’m sort of stuck on like the MIT mindset, like, I want to go back there.

Marin Bultena, ’23

International Studies/History major

The Quadrangle: Where did you complete research this summer?

Marin Bultena: I was grounded at MC doing historical research. I was a Branigan scholar for the summer under the advisory of Dr. Nefertiti Takla. I had the opportunity to pursue research in the field of my interest after doing a whole grant process, and it’s been a good summer so far.

TQ: What did your research look like?

MB: I’m working in humanities, and humanities research does not look like stem research. There’s no labs, my equipment is archival sources. So my project is looking at anti-trafficking and prostitution reform in interwar Egypt. So in between the First World War and the Second World War, there were a lot of people really concerned about trafficking and prostitution in these in a setting of the British Empire. So I’m looking at how these sources were talking about the issue and trying to understand how their ideas about race, gender, and class might have impacted their approach to the issue and how they viewed it. So I’m doing that by looking at their internal documents.  

TQ: What was the research scholars program like?

MB: So in the beginning of the summer, we did bi-weekly seminars with all the scholars on topics like research ethics, resume building, ect. The programs are built with a different set of requirements and metrics. But for Branigan it concludes with 50 to 70 pages of humanities research that is comparable to something like a master’s thesis.