Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gerard Toscani '15 @ AT&T

I had such an incredible experience at my externship in Bedminster this week. Before I dive into the details of the week, I’d like to extend a special thanks to Jack Duffy and the Career Development Center for making all of this possible. Jack’s willingness to host a handful of Gettysburg undergrads during one of the busiest points of his year reflects the strength and commitment of our Gettysburg Network.

We kicked off the week with a general tour of the facility and it was really neat to see the varying forms of infrastructure across the company’s departments. For example, in Jack’s area of the building there were more cubicles and offices, but in the Inventive Science and Collaboration Department the office setting had a much more organic feel to it. As an OMS major, I learned about company infrastructure and its reflection of corporate culture in Organizational Theory, so it was really cool to tie that into our experience.

Following the tour, Jack introduced us to Scott Martin who served as the Senior Client Services Project Manager for the Democratic National Convention. This session really gave me a deeper appreciation for the resources and effort that it takes to support such a widely broadcasted event. With thousands of people sending videos or text messages, surfing the web or making phone calls simultaneously there is very little margin for error on AT&T’s behalf.

We followed Scott’s session with a telepresence meeting that was hosted by Jim Jacen and Jessica Taylor out of Atlanta, Georgia. Jim and Jessica are in charge of AT&T’s college recruitment so it was really helpful to seek their advice on the application process. They also fielded questions about the Business Sales Leadership Development Program and provided a general background of the other non-sales oriented career paths through AT&T. Aside from the content of our meeting, I was most impressed by the sophistication of the telepresence technology.

After sitting in on the telepresence session our day was further enriched with a tour of the Global Network Operations Center. The GNOC was truly something out of a movie. Between the actual tour and the enormous display of real time network data, I walked out of there in awe. In the following days we were met by a variety of AT&T executives like Mike Downey, Brendan Floyd and Cathy Martine-Dolecki to name a few. We also touched based with several recent Gettysburg graduates who were more than happy to offer their support in the coming year.

I am truly thankful for this experience and the time and effort that it took for our host to put it all together. This externship is just one of the many opportunities that our Career Development Center offers for Gettysburg College Undergraduates. I’m looking forward to the upcoming school year and urge everyone to take advantage of the many opportunities and resources that our CDC has to offer!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Kate Gregg @ NBC Universal

For the past five days I had the honor to shadow some of the most talented individuals in the digital media world at NBC Universal in New York City. The atmosphere on the twenty-ninth floor of 1221 Avenue of the Americas was relaxed and welcoming. Each office and cubicle was decorated with sports gear and paraphernalia that represented teams across the United States. Everyone was very friendly and willing to spend time with me and the other two externs. It was apparent that all the employees really enjoyed their job and had a passion for their work.

Each day was dedicated to a specific division within the digital sales sports group. The four main rotations I circulated through were ad operations, planning, sales, and marketing. I enjoyed this process because it allowed me to see which area I was most interested in. Before coming to New York, my main spark of interest was marketing but now I can also see myself working in sales.

The highlight of my week was Wednesday night when Nick took the three externs as well as the team who I was shadowing out to dinner at The Palm. I enjoyed the informal setting and getting to know these remarkable individuals on a more personal level. It was interesting and entertaining to listen to stories from Nick and the others about their college years and how they eventually ended up at NBC Universal. Each individual travelled a very different path that led him or her to working on the same floor. Another high point I experienced was going on a private tour of the NBC Studios in 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Although the department I was externing for is not directly involved with NBC’s television shows, it was educational to see where a large portion of the station’s attention and money go.

I truly enjoyed externing at NBC Universal this past week. There were so many interesting people that I met and valuable lessons that I learned. Although New York City was a bit intimidating, the office was much more relaxed and welcoming. I believe that I have a much better understanding of the business behind sales and marketing. This was a worthwhile opportunity and an amazing experience.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Max Karen '18 @ NBC Universal

After a fifteen minute car ride to the station, an hour long train ride, and a 25 minute walk through the bustling streets of Manhattan, I arrive at the doorstep of the massive building that is home to NBC Universal. I was feeling apprehensive and definitely had a newfound respect for the people who make that commute every morning. I obtained my visitors pass and took the elevator up to the 31st floor. After speaking with the receptionist, I was told I could wait in a seating area. Shortly after, the other two externs arrived and we chatted about our commute and what the week might have in store. After a few more anxious minutes of waiting, we were led into a big conference room with a number of people sitting around a massive table. Everyone introduced themselves and gave a little background about their life. Some of the people joked with one another and I began to feel more and more comfortable. Then Nick Johnson introduced himself and told us about how after graduating from Gettysburg, he worked at a handful of different places before ending up at NBC. It was intriguing and a little reassuring to hear about how someone who was in a similar situation that I’m in now landed at such an amazing company in a great position. After the meeting we were each assigned to a different department. I was given the opportunity to shadow a number of people in the Ad Operations department. At first “Ad Ops,” as it was referred to, was a little overwhelming being as it is a very computer oriented department. After sitting with a few Ad Ops employees, I began to grasp a number of the concepts and it became more interesting once I understood how it worked in to the bigger picture. At Ad Ops, coordinators essentially take files (either picture or video), which they call creatives, and set them so they show up in the correct places at the right times on the NBCSN website. It sounds simple but it is actually very complicated. One of the coordinators even had me follow a long list of instructions and go step by step to set a banner and video ad to appear on the site. So if you happen to be on their website, you may see an ad that I set to show up. In the following days I sat with employees in three other departments (sales, sales planning, and marketing). Every person I met could not have been nicer and everyone was happy to answer any questions I had. Now having gone through all of the rotations and spending a week there, I would consider myself lucky to work at a place like NBC Universal.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Renee Stephens @ MORR Dental Solutions

My four-day externship with Ms. Maria Melone was so much more than I could have expected. Before the externship, when I first read about what Maria does, I imagined her being someone who works with numbers in an office. However, as a pre-dental student, what attracted me to the externship was that Maria works strictly with dentists, although it was still a bit unclear to me what she did for her job.

When I arrived on Monday, I was pleasantly surprised to learn several things about Maria’s job. Her and her three partners started the company, MORR Dental Solutions, only a few years ago. Since then, Maria has been working hard to establish her company, which has already come a long way. Maria works with dentists and dental specialists across the country to help value their practices, facilitate buy-ins and buy-outs, as well as provide several other services. While she does crunch numbers in her office as a part of her job, she also communicates often with clients in-person, over the phone, and through email, travels to see dental practices first-hand to help with her valuations, and provides emotional support to her clients.

Throughout the week, Maria told me a lot about her job, allowed me to sit in on both in-person and over-the-phone meetings, and gave me projects to work on that helped me understand how number crunching helps with her valuation work. The knowledge that I have gained from evaluating numbers and listening to Maria’s explanations will help me immensely when I become a dentist and am looking to buy and manage my own practice. I now know what aspects of a dental practice give it the most value on the market.

When sitting in on one of Maria’s meetings, I was excited to hear that she will be speaking on behalf of her company in January at a conference in Boston called the Yankee Dental Congress, where 28,000 dentists and other professionals in the dental industry will be in attendance. I expressed my interest in attending, and was invited to come help out with some things at the conference. I will somehow have to find a way up to Massachusetts again for that, because I would really love to volunteer my time, listen to Maria speak, and hopefully get the chance to meet many dentists from New England and other parts of the country. In addition, I actually got the chance to visit Boston already! Maria was kind enough to drive me all the way there and take me to a restaurant for some authentic New England seafood. She is a phenomenal and fun person, both in and out of the office.

My week at MORR Dental Solutions has prepared me for my future more than I could have hoped for. I now see how much more beneficial it was for me to spend my week with Maria rather than to have spent it gaining more shadowing hours with a dentist, as I already have a significant amount of hours shadowing dentists and specialists. This externship has given me a different perspective of the dental field that will give me a leg up when it comes time to operate a practice of my own. I give my endless thanks to Maria for everything she has done for me this week and I look forward to hopefully seeing her again in January!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Kaitlyn McCrudden @ Unum

Located in the appropriately named city of Portland, Maine, Unum not only provides over 160 years of employee benefits leadership services to its clients, but also creates an extremely supportive work environment for its employees. I had the pleasure of experiencing Unum’s distinct corporate culture firsthand this August through my externship with Carol Ryan Ertz, AVP Leadership Development in Corporate Human Resources. Carol created a packed schedule for me, which provided an opportunity for me to meet with anyone in Human Resources from the Vice President of HR Global Operations to summer interns and everywhere in between. With every employee I met, Unum’s values of integrity, commitment, and accountability were reaffirmed. I realized that when I am looking for companies to work for, it is crucial to research the organization’s values and how they are applied in the workplace.

Going into the week, I hardly knew anything about Human Resources. I knew it was a department committed to fostering personal relationships and a department that attracts extraverted personalities, but not much beyond that. Nearly every employee in HR that I met with held a role that interested me in some way. The beauty of the department, and Unum in general, is that the culture allows for easy movement amongst positions. Another comforting realization I had was that if you are passionate about a position, your previous background becomes less important. A company will be willing to give you a chance if you prove yourself as enthusiastic, self-driven, and motivated. From that point on, they will partner with you to find a good fit for you within the organization.

Day by day, I felt myself improving greatly on skills vital to a corporate environment. On my first day, a meeting I had with one Vice President in HR was blocked off for 45 minutes but I ran out of questions after 15minutes. Although I tried not to let it show, I was extremely embarrassed. I felt like I wasn’t cut out for Human Resources because at the time, it seemed like I clearly did not have the communications skills necessary to succeed in the department. However, by the end of the week, I could hold a professional, intelligent conversation with a VP and think of questions on the spot. I gained much more in 4 days than I ever could have imagined: knowledge of human resources, an understanding of Unum’s corporate culture, and an improvement of my communication skills. Carol could not have been a more wonderful host and I will cherish my experience with her. My externship has allowed me to envision myself in a corporate environment and left me excited for my postgrad future.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Konrad Neptun '17 @ AT&T

My name is Konrad Neptun and I just completed my externship week at AT&T in Bedminster, New Jersey.  Prior to this experience, I was unsure of how impactful this externship would be on my overall Gettysburg experience.  However, now that I have completed my externship week, it is safe to say that it has opened many new doors for me.  For example, I was exposed to new fields such as the Internet of Things, which is something that I did not know existed prior to this week.  I had the opportunity to meet with many different employees and gain valuable career advice from both entry level and very successful executives.  Also, the exposure that I gained about the telecommunications field is something that I will undoubtedly take with me for the future.  When looking back at the externship, I tried to get as much exposure as possible in hope that I could simply learn as much as possible.  One of the most interesting experiences from this past week was visiting the Global Network Operations Center for AT&T.  This is the place where they monitor and control the entire network and seeing this in person blew me away.  Also, it was fascinating to see from a business perspective how AT&T works.  Personally, I had only witnessed AT&T from a consumer perspective and seeing it from the other side really opened my eyes to how much the company does and offers outside of mobile-to-mobile connectivity.  An example of this is when we met with an employee who talked about how connectivity to the network and overall business solutions plays such an important role in AT&T’s yearly revenue.  My host, Jack Duffy, talked to us a lot about how his role in planning the conventions for both the Republican and Democratic national parties plays into the company.  All of this exposure was fascinating to me and I learned so much about the entire field.  All in all, this externship provided me with the opportunity to experience an industry that I was interested in.  I learned many valuable networking tips and by meeting with many executives and hearing their advice, I feel much more confortable with networking going forward.  Therefore, I am grateful for this experience and am looking forward to using these new skills when I am abroad and eventually back on campus in the spring. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Brianna McEwan @ Fidelity Charitable

This past week I was given the opportunity to intern at Fidelity Charitable, a small company within Fidelity Investments, which helps donors to set aside and distribute money for charitable giving. Grant Kaley was our host and he worked with us throughout the week while we did research and prepared for our presentation on the last day.

Our assignment was to go out to the NC State and UNC campuses to interview millennials to learn about their views about giving to charity. By the end of the week, we were hoping to have discovered some ways that Fidelity Charitable could appeal to the younger generation.

Victoria, Uri, Matt and I split up into groups of two for our interviews around the campuses. Although many students on both campuses attempted to avoid speaking with us, the interviews that we were able to get ended up being extremely useful and interesting. As we continued to interview more and more people, we were able to focus our questions and guide the student towards topics that would help us more with our presentation.

My favorite interview of the entire trip came from a 21-year-old Economics major. It was nice to interview him because we barely had to ask questions. He told us that he was interested in starting his own charity after school, so he seemed very well versed about charities and his views on donations. Tori and I enjoyed his interview because he really got us thinking and actually helped us to figure out better questions and come up with possible ideas and solutions that we could use in our presentation. While the interviewing process was challenging, it definitely is a great skill to have and will benefit me in the future.

After our two days of interviews, Mr. Kaley taught us how to create "Point of View Statements," which we used to identify the needs of millennials. These statements helped us to gather the large amount of information we had collected and make them more concise so that we could make use of it all.

Mr. Kaley brought a few of his colleagues to come watch our presentation on the last day of the externship. Our presentation started out by introducing ourselves and telling why we wanted to participate in this externship program. I wanted to participate because I thought that it was a great opportunity to see what working in the real world would be like. We have all taken classes and are trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives, so I think that this experience is very valuable and can help us learn more about different careers and what each would entail. We then presented our ideas and solutions to the problems. The one we chose to focus on was one that rounded up your credit card purchases to the nearest dollar or 5 dollars and the extra money goes into a charitable

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dan Gunther '16 @ AT&T

The first day of my externship at AT&T was highly informative due to the action-packed schedule that Jack Duffy set up for us for this week. When we arrived at the AT&T campus in the morning, Jack greeted all of us and discussed his job responsibilities as well as the projects that AT&T is currently working on. Next, Scott Martin remotely joined our session. He is involved with AT&T's Convention Project (which Jack will be involved with next summer) and he told us about AT&T's role in providing cellular/data service for the Republican/Democratic conventions. We then spoke with two AT&T recruiters located in AT&T's Atlanta office through a Telepresence meeting. These recruiters gave us a lot of valuable information about the Business Sales Leadership Development Program that I plan on applying to.

Commuting to the externship was very simple because I only live about 20 minutes away from AT&T's Bedminster office. I did not know much about sales before this externship but even after my first day of the externship, I felt like my view of sales became much more positive.

On Tuesday, we started the day off by watching AT&T Leadership Presentations, in which the speakers in these videos spoke about how AT&T's technology (specifically, cloud computing) is constantly developing and becoming far more reliable for businesses to use. We were also able to tour the GNOC (Global Network Operations Center), which I thought was a tremendous experience. At the GNOC, employees at AT&T are able to monitor live network activity taking place around the world and adapt the AT&T network to address immediate capacity and security needs before they affect day-to-day business in locations around the world. Personally, I thought that this was the coolest aspect of the externship thus far. After touring the GNOC, we received career advice from Gettysburg alum Roy Hilliard as well as Jill Reardon (North East Regional Vice President).

We spoke with the most influential speaker of the entire week on Wednesday: Chris Irwin-Dudek, who works in the Sales Communications and Marketing division of AT&T. He essentially read through an anonymous list of details he was able to pick up from all of our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter), and everyone knew when he was reading details from their profiles. This session was particularly alarming because it showed how even when you think your social media accounts may be private and blocked from potential companies that may be hiring you, they often display plenty of embarrassing information and it is very important to monitor how you represent yourself on social media. This session with Chris influenced me to make changes to the privacy settings of my Facebook account the second I got home that day.

My last day at AT&T was very enjoyable and just as informative as the previous three days. We started the day off by meeting with a current student intern with AT&T. During this session, she led a game of Jeopardy with questions about NJ history and AT&T history that the externs all played. This was done in order to show how the NJ i2i project has been an effective method of making the NJ AT&T office a desired place to work in comparison to some of AT&T's other locations. We then met with two people from the Network Ops Centers, where they led a complex talk about AT&T's technology. Although a lot of what they talked about was pretty complicated, I still found it very interesting. After this talk, we spoke with two executives that were very high up in AT&T's chain of command (one of them had the 12th highest ranked position within all of AT&T). We concluded the day by speaking with Jack Duffy again. He gave us some valuable career advice to take from this week, even if we weren't planning on applying to a program with AT&T for next summer. I had a great time externing with AT&T this week and I would encourage current Gettysburg students from all educational backgrounds to consider applying for this program next year if it is still available.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Eileen Gazzola - Early Music America at the Young Performers Festival

This photo was taken the first day of my externship with Early Music America at the Young Performers Festival. This picture was taken as my host, Ann Felter, was introducing the University of North Texas. This was a very exciting day because I was introduced to a whole other world of music. Before the concert began there were many things that had to get done. I helped tape and hang up posters, obtain signatures for the photo and video release form, and set up any other things for the start of the show. Before the concert began I had a chance to grab three students to conduct an interview. The question I asked them was: “What does it mean to be a part of the Young Performers Festival?” This question yielded responses such as “a great way to explore the avenues of early music” and “a good way to get your name out there.” Shortly after the concert began I watched as I took photographs such as this one. The concert lasted for about an hour and I watched from the balcony as I observed all the different instruments. The concert consisted of vocals and an orchestra ensemble. I learned of a new instrument named the harpsichord, which looks vaguely like a piano. When the concert was over we conducted one more interview with two international students. Brandon, whom I mostly worked alongside during this externship, asked the questions. He asked how their performance they have been practicing has changed from the start of practicing in Texas to the final performance in Boston. They each said that their mood and what kind of day they were having affected their quality of performance during practice, but since then they have figured out their flaws and worked on them to produce a performance they were proud of in Boston. They each told us how fortunate they were to be able to travel from the University of Texas to Boston to perform for an audience who wants to listen to it! It was a great first day learning about early music and how this festival is organized.
This photo was taken on my second day of my externship. This picture is of Brandon interviewing three students who performed Les Plaisirs de Versailles. These students were from the Oberlin Conservatory. They were the second concert of the day, after Peabody Conservatory. Earlier that morning I was at the Marriott Courtyard where they held the exhibition for the Boston Early Music Festival. Here I set up a table of pamphlets and magazines for those who were interested in learning about Early Music America, and encouraged people to subscribe to the magazine. I met a lot of knowledgeable people in the field of early music and was commended in my participation with this organization. I was excited to learn about more early music instruments and walk around the exhibition to learn about each table, especially the instrument makers! I have learned that the community of people interested in early music is very close- knit. Many people return year after to the festival and become close to each other through music. After about two hours of the exhibition, I walked back to the church to watch the concerts. I got there in time to catch Brandon interview a couple of students from Peabody, as shown in this picture. These students expressed their gratitude to Early Music America and the opportunity that this gave them to perform and reintroduce this music to the public. Part of my responsibility as an extern was to post to the EarlyMusicAmerica instagram page. I used this photo to show the audience behind the scenes! For the rest of the week I watched performances from Case- Western Reserve University, McGill University, Indiana University, and Seattle Historical Arts for Kids. On Thursday I watched the Case Western Reserve University Baroque Chamber Ensenble perform. It was my first time watching baroque dance and it was fun to see the movement in their hands and feet! My last day followed the same layout- run the table at the festival at the Marriott, and then run over to the church for the performances. After the first performance we conducted an interview where Brandon asked philosophical questions to one professor and his students. These interviews will be up on their facebook and youtube page, and I can’t wait to check them out once they are finished. Our next step in this hectic day was to prepare for the second concert, grab lunch, check up on our table at the festival, and flag down the caterer. Once three o’clock rolled around the second concert began as we prepared for the Annual meeting at 4pm. There were many little things to do such as cut out everyone’s nametag, get out the agendas, place an agenda on each seat in the auditorium, set up the surprise orchestra in the balcony, and lay out tablecloths on the tables. Once the concert ended parents and board members packed into the room where the meeting was held. When this came to an end, we enjoyed refreshments and good food in the lobby while everyone socialized. This was the end of my time at EMA and it was sad to say goodbye to Ann Felter and the rest of her team, but I am appreciative that I had this opportunity to take advantage of.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Jenna DeCurzio @ Albert Einstein College of Medicine

On Conflicts of Interest and Traversing the Pathway of Scientific Careers

“How much are you really going to learn in one week?” one of my friends asked me before I left, speaking of their experiences from a long internship. Unsure myself, I thought to all of the preparatory work I was required to complete before my externship, answer coming easily. “A lot.” Those two words, a lot, cannot begin to describe the amount of information I learned during my week long externship at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University with Dr. Michael Reichgott, who is the Chair of Einstein’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and Conflict of Interest (COI) Committee. The experience was an enlightening one, as it not only gifted me with knowledge of the intellectual kind, but also of the personal kind, guiding me towards the path I would like to see myself walk down in the future.

The purpose of the COI Committee is to review investigators’ disclosures to ensure that the investigators’ financial interests do not conflict with their academic responsibilities… in particular research and teaching. The committee also reviews other possible sources of conflict of interest, such as personal conflicts of interest that can be caused by religion or personal beliefs. The IRB’s purpose is the protection of human study participants. Both processes are policed by federal regulations, though the institution is at liberty to make them more stringent, though never less. While research is significant in the advancement of general knowledge and the well-being of individuals of all kinds, it is important to reach it in a fair, statistically significant, and ethically-sound manner, which is in large part why the COI Committee and the IRB are so important.

There are several levels of IRB review: exempt, expedited, and full board, each corresponding to a different level of risk. Exempt reviews pertain to protocols that will cause less than minimum risk, while expedited are protocols that will cause minimum risk. Both exempt and expedited protocols can be reviewed and accepted by one member of the IRB. Exempt protocols can involve an educational setting or a survey of some sort, though there are a total of six categories that an exempt review can fall under. There are nine possible categories for expedited reviews which sometimes involve processes that can be completed at a routine doctor’s appointment, such as drawing blood (though no more than a certain amount dependent upon who the blood is being drawn from. Full board reviews are for protocols that exhibit greater than minimum risk and do not fall under either category. Therefore, it must undergo a more thorough discussion and analyzation.

Drugs must undergo phases of testing in order to be released into the public market. However, as I learned from Urvashi Arora, an Administrator of the IRB on Einstein’s West Campus, there are situations in which a drug is capable of bypassing one or more phases: emergency use and compassionate use. As the name suggests, emergency use is the use of a drug in a situation where there is either no known cure, the known cures are not working, and there is a state of emergency. The drug must have pre-existing results from testing that indicates a positive effect and the protocol must still pass through an IRB. Compassionate use is a case in which the disease being treated only effects a small population of individuals. The small population must be proved in order to advocate the case.

During the week, I was given the amazing opportunity to attend an IRB meeting. Confidentiality is a large part of the IRB, whether it be in regards to the meetings or the identity of research participants. It was a great experience to witness, first-hand, the delegations that occur within a meeting. Learning a concept with an example is helpful, though pales in comparison to actually hearing discussions and witnessing the process occur. Not all protocol are presented to the board, as exempt and expedited cases can be passed with the signature of one IRB member. Exempt and expedited cases are protocols which present less than minimum risk or minimum risk and fall within certain categories.

My week at Einstein was spent speaking to employees involved with either the COI Committee, IRB, or both. They were lovely and patient as I struggled to understand their roles, vocabulary, and the legal concepts that come rather easily to them. I was also given the excellent opportunity to speak to faculty, learning more about their research and their role(s) in the school and community. With every person I spoke to, I received a better idea of what I would like to do once I graduate from Gettysburg College. However, as every person I spoke to told me, I am still young and there is still time left to understand myself and my options better. And they are right – I am still young, and there is still time until I have to truly decide. All the same, it is empowering and refreshing to leave Albert Einstein with a better idea of the career path I would like to walk and what exactly goes on in the protocol approval process. So, how much can you learn in a week…? A lot. And you can never know too much!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Matthew Fay '18 @ United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation

My week with USGIF was one of the most informative, unique and exciting weeks of my life.  I entered the week excited to learn about US intelligence and defense, and after a week with the Geospatial Intelligence community, I know that “GEOINT” is so much more then just those two aspects.  Anything ranging from farming, to military to natural disaster relief falls under the umbrella of geospatial intelligence.  On Monday we were given a presentation on GEOINT and the roles it plays as well as the role of USGIF by Max Baber, over the next few days we were able to see these funtions first hand and meet some incredible people in the industry.  Tuesday morning we went to NGA, which is the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.  We met with a man named Greg Glewwe who gave us a briefing on what NGA does and his role and operations with NGA.  After, we spoke about how his agency provided direct support to both the Ebola outbreak and the Nepal Earthquake.  With their technology they were able to create a virtual maps that show areas with a clean water supply, the nearest hospital, the nearest airport and various other useful locations.  After NGA we met with Director Joe Fontanella and a team of his engineers/analysts for briefings.  They spoke about some of their projects, which included water supplies, inland waterways and environmental initiatives.  This is the first time we were able to see the broad outreach of capabilities GEOINT provides.  Wednesday morning we visited Google’s Reston office.  Google is an incredible company with a truly unique business model.  We met with Michele Weslander-Quaid and two other employees.  They spoke about the culture Google has always had and some of the practices they have.  While Google does not play a huge role in the direction of the intelligence field, they offer the largest open source setting on the Internet.  The information that is accessible through Google is essentially an endless stream of data that is free for the world to access.  Next, we drove into DC to meet with Melinda Laituri.  Professor Laituri is a professor at Colorado State University and is in DC for a full year for a fellowship.  She is researching for the US State Department focusing on human geography.  In addition to speaking to us about GEOINT, she stressed the importance of networking and communication in any field of employment, but especially in the DC area.  We returned to USGIF that evening in order to attend their innovation task force.  Representatives from companies such as HumanGeo, Thermopylae, esri and many other companies within the industry spoke about their company and its capabilities as well as what they plan on doing with the technology they posses.  We were able to speak with a woman named Jessica King who offered us a little more insight into her company, HumanGeo.  They are able to collect human data based on social media, Internet posts and other variables in order to produce “activity based intelligence” in any given region.  Thursday morning we visited a company called Pixia.  I was incredibly impressed with Pixia and the capabilities they posses to have a large impact on the future of Geospatial intelligence.  We had a fascinating conversation with their Director of Technology, Ian Heffernan who gave us in-depth descriptions and demonstrations on some of their programs.  Pixia’s goal is to unify the GEOINT community by providing a database of information that can be accessed by certain branches of the defense community.  We finished the day by visiting the Udvar-Hazy museum and seeing important GEOINT items such as the SR-71, the Corona Satellite and SRTM. 
            This week was an incredible opportunity to learn more about the GEOINT community and witness the different factors to what is quickly becoming a GEOINT Revolution in this country!  Dr. Max Baber and Keith Masback were incredible hosts who organized a fascinating week for us.  We were able to first and foremost expand our knowledge on the different aspects of Geospatial Intelligence while making connections with people who are distinguished within their field of practice.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Anthony Citarella @ Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security

For three days, three other Gettysburg students and I were given the opportunity to participate in an externship with Homeland Security’s ICE HSI unit. Our host and Gettysburg alum gave us a behind the scenes look at the second largest investigative law enforcement agency in the United States. After having completed the externship, I found that my knowledge of ICE HSI had expanded beyond expectation. Contrary to the common belief that ICE is a government agency that deals solely with immigration and customs, we learned that there are many different divisions that exhibited the broad scope of cases that the agency deals with. These divisions included agents who investigate human trafficking, child pornography, gang activity, forensics, cyber security, money laundering, airport operations, and more. The special agents at ICE HSI are not only capable of investigating and building legal cases, but are trained as field operatives that conduct raids, arrests, and other action intensive procedures. Overall, the three-day externship experience allowed me to gain invaluable information and experience about my desired career field.

During the externship, we were constantly on the move, going from site to site in the metro D.C. area. As mentioned before, ICE HSI has many different functions, which the amount of buildings and locations did a fine job of proving. By visiting these sites, we were exposed to a plethora of special agents that offered detailed insight of their job and daily duties. After visiting a multitude of locations, I was surprised at how many sites and units are working daily to ensure
homeland security. One site that I found particularly interesting was our trip to Dulles International Airport, where we met with an agent who gave us a behind the scenes look at DHS airport operations. In a once in a lifetime opportunity, we were able to see the ground level baggage loading area and we even got to go inside an air traffic control tower. I found this to be particularly interesting because I frequently travel at airports and the exposure to the security functions there was a unique experience. Looking back, I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with ICE HSI for three days and gain experience that I could not have gotten from anywhere else. This externship has provided me with career knowledge, tips, and skills that will be of great importance to me during my job seeking process. As a whole, the special agents of ICE HSI that I got to meet have helped me learn about an agency I knew little to nothing about before this experience. Now, I can honestly say that the externship experience with ICE HSI has grabbed my attention and is now on my radar as a potential landing spot for my future career.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Victoria Campbell '16 @ United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation

The past week I spent as an extern at the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, USGIF. At Gettysburg College I have been concentrating in GIS, but never knew exactly what I could do with these skills. While at USGIF I was introduced to a whole community, geospatial intelligence. This community has a huge expanse, touching many different fields. At USGIF we visited the National Geospatial-intelligence Agency and the Army Geospatial Center, who uses GEOINT for military and humanitarian work, as well as caring for the inner water ways in the U.S. I was introduced to the role Google plays in the field, as well as the Department of State. Lastly, we met with Pixia and Leidos to learn how these two companies use GEOINT. Pixia provided a program to analyze geospatial data, and provides this program to other companies/ agencies. Leidos makes innovations in national security, health, and engineering. From meeting all of these different companies and agencies that take part in GEOINT I learned how geospatial intelligence is used to analyze humans and the world around them. I also realized how interconnected the public and private sectors are. From dealing with national security, to the GPS you use in your phone. Some groups collect the data, others analyze it, and others create ways to share it. Everyone plays a different, but connected role in the community.

After this amazing week, I have realized just how many directions I have to choose from with my degree. I’ve been given insight into the steps I should take over the next year on how to become a member of this community, by learning everything I can, making myself stand out, using my new connections, and finding any way into the community that I can. This externship far exceeded my expectations. I couldn’t be more appreciative to everyone at USGIF who helped to make this week as amazing as it was, especially our hosts Max Baber and Keith Masback. I gained so much knowledge that will help me in the future, and have finally made plans for what direction I want to take in the future.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Brian Gianforte '18 @ Transportation Management Association for Chester County

The amount of knowledge and experience I gained during my externship with Transportation Management Association for Chester County is immeasurable. They taught me the ins and outs of their organization and also how they are very important to Chester County. The start of TMACC is based upon Federal Congestion Management and Air Quality (CMAQ) guidelines. TMACC also connects the public sector transportation organizations to the private sector of Chester County. They work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. They provide transportation services for their members and also consulting services to companies to help meet their employee’s needs.

My host Shannon Jones is the best host I could have asked for. She taught me the ropes of what she does in only a week. She got me fully involved with TMACC and within an hour of me being at the office, she sent me to a board meeting with the Executive Director of TMACC, Timothy Phelps and Manager of Corporate and Community Relations, Jonathan Ewald. She also had me working everyday, which allowed me to learn lots of information about the organization and also about having a real job.

On Wednesday May 20th, was the Coatesville Jobs Fair. Shannon is on Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and so she ran the jobs fair. She took me along and I helped set up and run the jobs fair. I helped spread the word about the Chester County bus lines that TMACC runs and operates. There is a huge demand for public transportation because people need to get to their jobs but cannot afford to buy a car. That is where TMACC comes in to help support the public by supplying a bus line to the employees but at the same time helping employers with their transportation needs.

Working at TMACC has made me realize the need to update infrastructure all over the country. The needs to update roads and bridges must be meet to keep comminuting running smoothly. Some infrastructure dates back to the 19th century that is still in use.

My externship with TMACC was an amazing experience and I’m glad I picked this externship. I would recommend anybody to do an externship because the experience you gain is amazing. TMACC was the best choice for an externship.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Allie Sturgis '16 @ Princeton Health Systems

When scrolling through the list of available externships, the blurb describing Princeton Health Systems particularly caught my eye. Nutrition is a personal interest of mine, both in my academics and my personal life. Although Gettysburg does not have a nutrition studies major, the introductory nutrition course offered was one of my favorite classes at Gettysburg so far. I thought shadowing Beth Young, a registered dietician and nutrition consultant, would be an excellent way to see if I had any interest pursuing nutrition as a future career.

Princeton Health Systems is located a short walk away from Princeton University’s gorgeous campus. The night before my first day as an extern, Beth and her son, Will, gave me a quick tour of the school grounds and the surrounding town.

On my first day shadowing Beth, it was clear that the scope of her professional life extended much more widely than office consultations. Our first stop was a sanitation inspection for the kitchen of a halfway house that had recently recovered from some severe food safety issues. From there, I observed several of her nutritional consultations at an internal medicine practice that referred clients in need of diet advice to Beth. Her patients were primarily diabetics looking to control their blood glucose levels and lose weight. These consultations intrigued me, as it was interesting to see the huge role diet and other preventative measures play in controlling chronic diseases. She also saw patients in her Princeton office who had a variety of reasons for seeking nutritional help. Our next day involved a combination of her private office patients and patients referred to her by the internal medicine practice. Although they each presented with unique difficulties, there was a fair amount of overlap between the cases as well.

USDA’s “SuperTracker” program is one of Beth’s main tools that she suggests to patients for controlling their diets. This website is easy to use and contains a large database of foods that can be added to daily food journals. SuperTracker also allows patients to analyze the nutrient makeup of their meals after they enter them into the system. This can be vital for patients who are perhaps in need of limiting their sugar or increasing their protein intake. Since people might not be aware of how many calories they are actually consuming, this is a useful first step in learning about healthy eating. If patients are unwilling to use SuperTracker, Beth also suggested the MyFitnessPal app as a second choice.

Despite the usefulness of these programs, it appeared to be challenging to convince people to regularly track their food intake. Even if patients know this can help them, it can be difficult to change their behavior. This is one central barrier that comes about in preventative medicine, particularly in nutritional consulting. Many patients in need of consultations are approaching old age and therefore are highly set in their ways. Even though they may know that changing their diets will help them, actually making the change might be too impactful on their normal routine. Since many patients in today’s society expect to receive a pill from their doctor for a quick fix, expressing the importance of prevention can be complicated. Socioeconomic status is another barrier that patients face in adopting a nutritionally healthy lifestyle. Many people who are struggling with obesity and related diseases are aware that their diet is not healthy, yet they cannot afford to drastically change it or seek help. This was another point that stood out to me while sitting in on consultations with Beth.

Overall, my externship at Princeton Health Systems was both enjoyable and worthwhile. At this point in my academic career, I am not planning to pursue a career in nutrition; however, I will certainly be able to use aspects of this preventative perspective as I work towards my goal of becoming a physician’s assistant.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Michelle Fox '16 @ Quicken Loans

My family was all born and raised in the Detroit, Michigan area. When I was selected to the Quicken Loans externship, I was so excited when I realized that their headquarters were located in Downtown Detroit Michigan. I visit Michigan every year because my grandma still lives just outside of the city. When telling my friends that I was selected to an externship in Detroit, their reactions were either very surprised or concerned for my safety. Detroit notoriously has had a bad reputation but from visiting frequently I was excited that I able to return to Detroit because it was like I was able to return home.

I met my host, Laneisha Gunn and the Gettysburg Alum, Lauren Giorgio, who introduced me to the Human Resources recruiting team who I would be working with for the week. First, I had the chance to get acquainted with the company by learning about their industry. According to Inside Mortgage Finance, Quarter 1, 2014, Quicken Loans is the #1 online lender and the 2nd largest retail mortgage lender in the U.S. Quicken Loans is ranked in the top 30 companies on FORTUNE Magazine’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the last 12 years.
These are just a few of their accomplishments. These show how accomplished Quicken is and also how much they value their team members. During my visit I heard many team members say “We work hard and play hard” referring to the free slurpees, coffee, and snacks that each company kitchen has, as well as the freedom of doing whatever makes them happy. People ride scooters in the office, take a break to play video games in the lounge, or play basketball on the court located in the middle of one of the floors. At first, I was shocked by how laid back the work environment was; I didn’t understand how anyone was able to be productive. Then I slowly witnessed that people were so comfortable and relaxed that this allows them to perform to the best of their ability creating very productive team members.

During the week I also had the ability to be involved in a tour of the company buildings for high school students in the Detroit area. Dan Gilbert, the CEO of the company, has made revitalizing Detroit one of his current main focuses. The company wishes to re-establish Detroit and change their notoriously bad reputation. The tour for the high school students was important to inspire them about potential careers and inform them about how to make steps in the right direction. This is just one example of the many initiatives the company is taking to redefine Detroit.

I also was able to gain experience that can be used for my career by following multiple people on the Human Resources teams. I was able to listen in to an Interview Screening Specialist’s phone conversations. Her job was to call potential candidates and have a quick conversation with potential team members to initially evaluate them before continuing on with the recruiting process. I also sat with a Mortgage Banker Interview Screening Specialist and learned what to look for in a candidate for that position, an extremely vital one to the company. I was able to learn how to look for people to fill very specific jobs that can be hard to fill from a Talent Sourcing Strategist. I sat with a relocation specialist who helps make plans for the relocation of newly hired team members; she also works to help approve the finances behind it. I was able to help my department with registration of a company wide event, which was an educational bus tour of Detroit to learn the history of the city they are working in. All of these experiences allowed me to grown personally and professionally. I gained a lot of knowledge about the career path that I hope I am able to pursue. This week with Quicken Loans was an amazing opportunity in an up and coming location. I owe a special thank you to Laneisha Gunn, Lauren Giorgio, and Quicken Loans.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kelly Tinkham '18 @ Boston University

Hello, my name is Kelly Tinkham and I just finished my first year at Gettysburg College.  This past week I had the privilege of externing at Boston University under the Associate Dean of Academic Life, Stacy Godnick.  Although, I have to say, before I arrived my expectations about the week were not that great.  I was looking forward to the week but I did not think that I would enjoy my experience to the extent that I did.  I enjoyed every second of my externship, and by the end of the week I was wishing it was longer.  As I have been reflecting on my week I have been trying to pinpoint exactly why I enjoyed my time there so much.  There were many different factors that contributed to my time but I believe two really made a difference; the people I met and the variety of my days.  I met so many people all over the University starting with Stacy.  Stacy was amazing; she had great pieces of advice and always made sure to explain to me what was going on in meetings or just her everyday work.  Plus, in addition to being a great resource herself, she also set up meetings with me in different offices that I was interested in.  I had a meeting with a representative in the Office of Student Affairs, Admissions, and the International Students and Scholars Office.  I learned a lot about how the environment of the University really affects everything that goes on inside the school, and about how Boston University manages collaborations between offices and colleges despite its large size.  I was able to ask a lot of questions and really find out what their days are like and the pros and cons of each office.  Another person I met was a Gettysburg alumni who graduated in 2011.  She currently works in the Provost Office for Undergraduate Education.  It was really interesting to hear how she ended up in her position and her experiences since leaving Gettysburg.  In addition to the people I had met with I also got to know the people who work in Stacy’s office area.  They were all very kind and welcoming and I enjoyed getting to know them.  The other factor that I believe really added to my experience was the variety of my days.  In addition to the meetings Stacy set up for me, I also spent time observing her in her office, shadowing her at various meetings, and getting to help during orientation.  The meetings were interesting because I was able to learn a lot about meeting etiquette, as well as how meetings change depending on who they are with. However I think my favorite part of the week was the orientation experience.  Getting to actually work with incoming students was fun, but to also see it all from the faculty’s point of view was really interesting.  I also learned that I really liked having a variety of different things going on during my schedule, not a rigid routine every day.  I believe knowing that about myself will really help me in future career explorations.  Another part of my experience that was fantastic was the time I had every night to explore Boston.  I got to visit some really fun places like Quincy Market and the Boston Public Library.  Overall my experience at Boston University made me realize that working in higher education would be something that I would enjoy having as a career.  It was truly an eye-opening week and I am so grateful for the Center for Career Development at Gettysburg College and Stacy Godnick for making this experience possible.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Extern Erin Sweeney '18 @ London Women's Care

Spending a week at London Women’s Care in London KY, with Dr. Melissa Zook was a fascinating and eye opening experience. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend a week immersed in a culture so different from my own. London Kentucky is an unique town nestled at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. There are not many large and established doctor’s offices in this part of Eastern Kentucky, and so patients of the practice hail from all over the region. London Women’s Care is primarily an OBGYN, so Dr. Zook, as a family practitioner, is unique. She sees everyone from new born babies to the elderly, and throughout her many years of experience, has built strong relationships with her patients. She strongly values patient care, and despite the large number of patients she sees each day, she takes time to talk to each one individually about their lives. She believes in the importance of treating the whole person and not just the symptom, and works hard to better the quality of life for her patients.

I learned so much about the healthcare system, the people, and the culture of Eastern Kentucky through my externship with Dr. Zook. It was interesting to learn about the most common illnesses that the people of Eastern Kentucky face, and throughout the week I noticed several themes in the office. For instance many of the patients complained of chronic back pain and anxiety, and many suffered from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Additionally, London Women’s Care recently began a Subutex program to help opium addicts into recovery. Prior to my externship, I was unaware of just how huge a problem substance abuse is in Eastern Kentucky, and it was eyeopening to witness first hand the toll that these drugs take on the lives of their users. Previously, I had no knowledge of Subutex and Suboxone, but I learned a lot about them throughout the week. Suboxone acts as a replacement drug to opiates by blocking the opium receptors in the brain. Unlike opiates however, this drug produces no sense of euphoria, allowing patients to live normal lives. It prevents withdrawal symptoms, and allows patients the opportunity for recovery. London Women’s Care’s Subutex program supplies patients with Subutex while helping take steps to regain control of their lives. Many of the participants are expectant mothers, although both men and women can take part in the program.

 I feel so lucky to have been able to take part in this externship so early in my college career. This externship has taught me a lot about the healthcare system and what it means to be a good doctor. This experience has been a great introduction into the world of medicine, and has made me excited to explore the may avenues of the healthcare system as I move forward with my Gettysburg education.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Keennan Siciliano '17 @ Somerset Orthopedic Associates

Even with the high expectations I had heading into my externship, my experience with Doctor Vessa proved to be greater than I imagined it would be. Doctor Vessa made sure my schedule for the week included as much as possible, reaching out to other surgeons he knew so that I could see even more than originally planned. This meant that instead of just seeing spine surgeries, I was able to see knee operations, intestinal scopes, a hip replacement, and even see clinic patient care with multiple different doctors. The experience was like nothing I had ever done, and I left Friday being absolutely sure that I wanted my career to be in healthcare.

During my week I witnessed some unbelievable operations that were both jaw dropping, the hip replacement, and unbelievably technical, the cervical procedure. It was incredible to see everything in action and to watch everyone in the operating room working together seamlessly. I was able to spend some time talking with sales reps from numerous medical device companies, an industry I am very interested in. They were more than happy to talk to me about their career path, job details, and gave me plenty of advice about the industry as a whole.

Spending time with different surgeons, all in different fields of expertise was awesome and gave me the chance to truly understand the many directions that I could go in. It was cool to stand in on the patient care at each surgeon’s personal clinic. I was able to see patients coming in with new injuries, some that were partway through various treatments, and then many who were recovering from recent operations. It was cool to see the relationship that the doctors had with their patients, you could tell that the patients really liked the surgeons and were very thankful for how they were healing them. The surgeons all told me the same thing about their job, and that is that they loved it. The physicians told me numerous times about how rewarding it is for them to see a new patient come into their office in serious pain, and through months of treatment, be able to heal them and watch them leave happy and ready to continue their lives. This week was unlike anything I’ve ever participated in and isn’t something I’ll soon forget. After a couple years of studying health science, being able to see everything I’ve learned in action outside of the textbook reassured me that my hours of studying would one day be put in action in great ways. I loved my externship experience and recommend it to anyone interested in Healthcare.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Julie Welde '18 @ Hershey Medical Center Outpatient Pediatrics

This past week I had the opportunity to shadow a pediatrician who works for the Hersey Medical Center Outpatient pediatric office in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. I started my trip on Sunday night when I drove about three hours from my hometown Manasquan, NJ to Hersey, PA. I arrived at Dr. Telford-Wren’s home at 8 pm. The next morning Dr. Telford-Wren and I left for the office to begin work at 8 am. I was able to meet a lot of the staff including medical students and pediatric residents. It was great to finally get their point of view on applying to medical school; it has really changed my mind about what I plan to do in my future. In the morning, I was able to shadow about 4 patients for a well visit along with 4 patients for a sick visit. In the afternoon it was a similar schedule, and the workday ended at 5. On my first day I was able to interact with some of the residents and I really enjoyed getting to know them!

Day 2 was even more exciting. In the morning, Dr. Telford-Wren had to attend a lecture at the Hersey Medical Center about Orthopedic pediatrics. I learned so much about identifying clubfoot in infants. After the lecture, I was given a tour of the hospital and saw the new children’s hospital. In the afternoon, Dr. Telford-Wren and I went back to the office and saw a few more patients similar to Mondays schedule. I learned more about strep tests and saw how the nurses do the tests.

On the third day, I went to the office with Dr. Wren, Dr. Telford-Wren’s husband, who practices family medicine. I was able to gain more insight about medical school from a Penn State student who is in her third year at Hersey Medical center. It was very interesting to see the difference between pediatrics and family medicine. I thought that there would only be a slight difference but they are actually very different. In family medicine, I was able to see a biopsy of a mole that was going to be sent to the labs to be tested. As much as I enjoyed family medicine, I was happy to go back to pediatrics in the afternoon. In the afternoon I worked with Dr. Brittany Massare who was a great help. I got to see an infant today and see what its like working with the newborns.

My fourth and final day, I went to the office again with Dr. Telford-Wren and shadowed both herself and Dr. Massare. I saw a few patients with both and it was great to see how the doctors interact with their patients. As this week came to an end, I was able to reflect on the experience. Before this externship, I wasn’t sure if I would want to go to Medical school. However, talking to the students and practitioners I was able to really get a good idea about the whole process. Though I’m not sure exactly what I want to do yet in the future, I’m really considering going to medical school and maybe pursuing pediatrics. Overall, my externship experience has been great. I’m excited to take what I have learned this week to Gettysburg College.