Wish You Were Here
Christina Stella ’17: Living the Actual (Public Radio) Dream
Living on Cape Cod is an incredibly bizarre experience because Cape Cod is an incredibly bizarre place. Which, frankly, makes my job a lot easier.
This summer, I’m interning for Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Atlantic Public Media (APM) is a big steaming pot of Public Radio Stew—they manage, develop, and produce multiple projects in radio under multiple names. It’s my job to travel around the Cape, stick a microphone in strangers’ faces, and make stories out of what I find. I’ve found some pretty zany people along the way.
For example, I’m working on a piece about a local dude who makes inventions out of old broken bicycles he steals from the dump. Another is about a glassblower who refuses to be called an artist and fought me for an hour over it. Anything I make gets played on NPR to the delight, dismay, and apathy of our listeners. I am living The Actual Dream with My Actual Personal Rock Stars. Sometimes I still cry about it while biking ocean-side to the station, and no, it’s not from the salty air.
How I heard about my internship:
I learned about Atlantic Public Media because I listen religiously to a few programs from their sub-project PRX, also known as the Public Radio Exchange. The Exchange globally distributes thousands of programs online like This American Life and The Moth Radio Hour so you can listen with your coffee, laundry, or long car ride (for free!). When I looked up their website, I discovered that APM also manages Transom.org, which is a showcase and workshop for new public radio production—a website I read articles on all the time written by producers such as Ira Glass, Sarah Koenig, and Al Letson. But it all really clicked when I was listening to an interview with one of my favorite producers, Bianca Giaever, who mentioned having interned with them.
My advice on finding an internship:
The best way to find an internship is by being a present, curious person. That might sound like it means a whole lot of nothing, but it’s actually our greatest asset as young people looking for experience.
- Ask yourself, what do you find interesting about this world? Is there anything you want to learn more about? Be honest and specific. Give yourself permission to dream.
- Read up on That Thing. Google is your best friend. Don’t reach out until you already have basic information.
- Find people who are Doing That Thing (or know somebody!) and talk to them. You have nothing to lose. An email or phone call has yet to kill anybody.
We sometimes kid ourselves into believing that one opportunity, one summer, one position will make or break us as young professionals. Wrong. Last year, I was rejected from every internship I applied to. This year, APM’s website didn’t even say anything about internships being offered. I’m here because of one timid email—a whim.
Ariane Marchis-Mouren ’17: A Summer of Treasures
Ariane Marchis-Mouren has a choice to make. An economics major with an international studies minor, she is debating between a career in the public or private sectors. With experience at two different commercial banks under her belt, she wanted to learn more about the opportunities for economists in the public sector.
That’s how she ended up spending her summer at the Multilateral Development Banks/International Affairs Office of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C. “The Treasury seemed like the perfect fit for getting to know the financial aspect of public service,” she says.
One of the largest financial institutions in the world, the Treasury Department promotes economic prosperity, ensures the financial security of the country, and helps shape the global development agenda. As part of that charge, the department works with multilateral development banks (MDBs) to ensure effective on-the-ground interventions.
For Marchis-Mouren, her internship gave her the chance to learn about the international development infrastructure and how the U.S., through the Treasury, funds, monitors, and manages the substantial U.S. equity position in MDBs.
“In a way, the Treasury is very much like the Bi-Co community,” says Marchis-Mouren. “Everyone who has played a
role in the institution, from summer interns to the Secretary, is part of the ‘Treasury family.’”
During her internship, she took full advantage of that family spirit by participating in the meetings and training courses offered—including what she describes as “very informative Brexit talks organized in the wake of the U.K. referendum.”
When she was looking at colleges, Marchis-Mouren, who hails from Marseille, France, had her sights set on a college in the United States. Bryn Mawr appealed to her for its academics and for the many opportunities it offers beyond campus—the Bi-Co and Tri-Co, the partnership with Penn, and the proximity to Philadelphia.
“I eventually chose to attend Bryn Mawr because of the way the college reached out to me, starting with the personal note written by an alumna included in the acceptance letter,” she says. “Next came the email from a student, who has become one of my best friends…. Unable to visit the campus myself, I urged my mother, who was in New York at the time, to take the campus tour. When she mentioned dorms like castles and all the friendly people on campus, I knew Bryn Mawr was the right choice for me.”
And the College hasn’t disappointed. “I am still amazed at how beautiful it is every season,” she says.
Natalie Schall ’17: In the Field with Field Projects International
Where are you?
Quite literally in the middle of the Amazon, at a field station along the Madre de Dios River in Peru. On clear nights, we can see the Andes, all the way across the country!
What are you doing there?
All of my work is with groups of either saddleback tamarins or emperor tamarins. My main project is collecting data for a Ph.D. student looking at the mating habits of tamarins for her dissertation research. And I’m helping a master’s student research how human activity (especially the existence of the field station in the middle of a group’s home range) affects tamarin behavior.
What does a typical day look like?
We have two time slots (around 5:15 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 10 a.m. until around 5 p.m.) when we try to get the monkeys as they come out of or go into their sleep tree. Then we tag that tree with pink tape and wire. And then every day, we go on “follows,” where we find the group we are assigned for the day. We find every member of a group and write down what they are doing every five minutes, and we do focals, where we keep a running commentary of what one animal is doing—“moving, resting, moving, out of sight, moving, resting, foraging, resting, foraging, feeding, resting…”—and also record any vocalizations it makes.
I’ve been interested in primatology since my first-year Intro to Physical Anthropology class. I’m an anthropology major, and while I adore primates, I also love human evolution. My ideal career would be a mixture of the two. Luckily there is just such a field—paleoprimatology—that I am looking into, hopefully for grad school. I most likely won’t be doing fieldwork in this same way but expect to do some sort of onsite research, probably at a dig site. The day-to-day work would be different, but the atmosphere, I imagine, would be the same. One of the things I love most about being here is that everyone is so passionate about what they do, and it’s really inspiring to watch and learn from them.
Back on campus, what are your favorite Bryn Mawr things?
The buildings! Rock, my home three out of four years, and Dalton, my home-away-from-home, are particular stand-outs. And for classes, it’s a three-way tie: Forensic Anthropology, Disease and Human Evolution, and Topics in Modern Chinese Literature: Queer China.
And when I’m not doing Amazonian research, I’m involved in several activities on campus, the most significant being the Harlequin Theatre Group, Bi-Co Original Works (another theater group), The Body Project, and two on-campus jobs—InterLibrary Loan and Phonathon.
So if you get a Phonathon call from a senior named Natalie this year, it’s me! Say hello. I’d love to talk to you!