In just a few words, I had an amazing experience in the Philippines, both professionally and personally.

In my last month working with IPA, I had an incredible time working field work for development. I was given control over a research team with direction from my supervisor, and within certain parameters, I was given control to make decisions and run the team. My first task was retraining old field staff, and training new staff completely from scratch. Sitting at home and planning out my lectures with help from my supervisor, I couldn’t imagine how I would perform in front of a bunch of people, most of whom had been doing this job for two to three times as long as I had. But my supervisor guided me through the basics of what I needed to do, provided me with a template and a presentation, and most importantly, encouraged me.

I walked into my first day of training with butterflies in my stomach. At the end of the third day, I felt completely at ease giving presentations, but was still uncomfortable with directing the team. And by the end of my time in the Philippines, I couldn’t have felt more comfortable with managing the team, making decisions, and consulting with my supervisor about decisions I was unsure of making. Despite experiencing a couple of setbacks during the training, I learned a huge amount about how to manage others and balance multiple tasks.

Importantly, I also had an amazing experience engaging with a completely different culture. Nothing in my past experience prepared me for living in such a different country. The Philippines was the most challenging culture that I’ve ever been in. It’s such an interesting fusion of different cultures, and as a traveler, you’re surrounded by what is at once completely familiar, and at the same time utterly foreign. This feeling was summed up by an encounter I had with some US philanthropists working for a hearin-aid company:

After spending a couple of days in one of my first stops, I was doing some work at a Starbucks (the only one on the entire island) and overheard a conversation in English that a couple of Western-looking guys were having. I went up to them, introduced myself, and we started talking.

They told in me in so many words to tread carefully: the Philippines can be confusing because it appears so American: there are English advertisements everywhere, most Filipinos are able to fluently speak English, and almost all of the music you hear is last year’s hit single. But the Philippines is not an quasi-America in the South China Sea; it’s a wildly different country, with completely different values, and a sometimes deeply conservative culture.

I feel that one of the most important takeaways from my trip are the sum of the experiences I had speaking with other people. One of those times was towards the end of my summer, when I was in the field observing the team practice interviewing respondents. I introduced myself to one of our respondents, and one of my colleagues asked the woman if we could step inside her home to interview her. Our target demographic for interviewing is what is considered the “ultra-poor” demographic: people living far below the poverty line. I walked through her gate and was about to walk inside her house when she buried her head in her hands and said “I’m sorry.” I stopped in my tracks, concerned about her sudden change from two minutes earlier. I asked her what was wrong. She said “We are poor, I’m so so sorry, we are so poor,” embarrassment lining her face.

I wasn’t really sure what to say- there weren’t words that I could find that could express to her all of my different feelings at that time- most of all that she had nothing to feel sorry about, but that was mixed up in the confusion and shame of having a woman twice my age apologize to me for something that wasn’t her fault, and at that same time knowing that I could have been her son had I been born under her roof, and that the only reason that I was on the other side of her fence, was that I happened to be born in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

This was just one isolated instance of many, and a pretty poor instance of describing the generosity, kindness, and ease of living that I encountered while travelling in the Philippines. I could tell the story of 17-year old who guided me up a mountain, or the college-aged guy who sat talking with me in a coffee shop about why the Philippines, and he, were so poor, or the family that took me in for a night when they saw me at that same Starbucks. But the previous story was the one that really struck me, and will stay with me forever. This trip was an incredible learning experience, and I can’t wait for the next one.

Final Blog Post!

CELT final blog post!!

WOW. I am so sad that that it’s over.  It was awesome.  When I first came out here I didn’t know what to expect…but I was really nervous that it was going to be a lot of fake people and loneliness.  It has been the exact opposite.  I have met the most wonderful people and been surrounded by so much culture.  Los Angeles really has a lot to offer.  My internship with Sheila/Michelle has been totally eye-opening.  I have learned so much about what goes on “on the other side of the table” in regard to casting film and television.  This information is totally invaluable for me (or any actor hoping to pursue a career in Hollywood).  I feel so lucky.  And the classes I have taken have been awesome.

I couldn’t thank CELT enough for helping me out with gas and housing this summer… providing me with the essentials so that I could truly live, enjoy, and learn the utmost possible.  The gas especially….. It’s so expensive here!  And you have to drive everywhere!  I don’t know how people afford it.  I guess I need a more efficient car.  But all the driving and gas was totally worth it.  I got to meet incredible people… working actors, managers, casting directors, editors, producers, etc.  Sure, I spent a lot of time sorting through paperwork and running errands but all of it got me closer to the place I want to eventually be.

 I came into this summer hoping to be able to make a decision about whether this is something I really want to pursue and with this information and this experience I think I can actually say that yes, this is the place I want to move back to after graduation.  That’s a great feeling… knowing what my trajectory is post college.

Overall, I’m really proud with the work I’ve done this summer.  I feel like I’ve really helped Michelle and really learned a lot.  I couldn’t thank CELT enough for helping me out.  Without the money from the scholarship this summer wouldn’t have been half as fulfilling (or possible at all).  All summer I’ve felt fulfilled and fueled and like I’m learning sooo much.  Is there anything more I could ask for?

This is a picture of the outside of the UCB building where I took classes all summer.  UCB is an a comedy troop that was created by Amy Poehler and they have an improv and sketch comedy training center.  It’s awesome!  And I’m so grateful for CELT which gave me the financial freedom to take this class!!  It really enhanced my experience in LA. IMG_0692


This is a picture of the view from my backyard.  I lived on a mountain- Mount Washington, which is in North East LA.  Its great because you get the nature of the mountain but the skyline of downtown!!  When I move back to LA I hope to be living here again. IMG_0795


Bye for now, DC!

Hey y’all! I’m checking in for the last time here on this blog. Now that I’m back at Tulane and I’ve had some time to process my experience at McBee, let me tell you some of the lessons I learned.

If you work really hard at a good company, people will notice! During my time at McBee, all of the interns worked pretty hard, but it was worth it since the bosses noticed and gave us cool, interesting assignments whenever they could. People started to notice that I got stuff done and I got to work on some really neat projects, like briefing the executive team on a business development account’s history.

2) Make an effort to learn from the people you work with! The people you’re working with are already doing the job you want to be doing. Take the time to get lunch with them- and when you do, make sure you have some questions you’d like to ask them. I learned so much from my coworkers from doing just this- just make sure you look them up on LinkedIn first!

3) An internship can be a great opportunity to get a feel for a field- if you take all possible opportunities. When people ask you to do something, do it! They probably did it when they were in your position, and paying your dues is important. The more you do the “boring” work, the more you get interesting assignments. I may have spent an afternoon taking Ubers all over to get a couple of hats, but it meant I got to learn about an account I didn’t know a lot about!

I loved DC, and I really hope I can go back soon! I’m not sure where I’ll end up after this semester (my last at Tulane), but I know the lessons I learned and the skills I took with me will help me figure that out.

Midpoint post

Was having technical difficulties before…..

CELT internship midpoint blog

I can’t believe summer is half way over!  Pardon me for the sparse blog posts… I’ve been busy out here in Los Angeles!  It’s been a great summer so far.  Since the last time I wrote, the plan changed a bit.  I was originally planning on working primarily with the casting director Sheila Guthrie but because of some last minute plans of hers, I have ended up spending most of my time with talent manager Michelle Benedetti.  She works for herself under the label Benedetti Entertainment and is recognized as a phenomenal manager in Hollywood.  My time with her has been great.  I go into her office most days of the week to help with paperwork, errands, or making phone calls- mostly anything that can make her day easier.

I also get to do more interesting stuff!  For example, Michelle brought me with her on the set of Home &Family, which films at Universal Studios.  It was fascinating!    I got to watch really watch how the show is put on.  The face-paced, perfectly timed orchestration of the camera crew and actors is really impressive.  And even though its all business, everyone is smiles all the time.  Everyone was really welcoming to me.  They answered my questions, humored my excitement, and even let me be in the audience for one of the segments.  Walking around Universal Studios with an insider pass was an experience of its own.  I almost felt famous! Below is a picture of me on the Universal Studios set of Home and Family with actor Jocko Simms and host Mark Steins.  IMG_9905

I’m feeling really grateful to CELT for the scholarship money because it has given me the opportunity to take some really amazing classes out here in LA- classes I would otherwise not have been able to afford.  Between this learning opportunity and the networking that I have been able to do, I’ve really been able to take the strides I need to take in order to advance my career.  Looking forward to the rest of the summer!!!


Training, Training, Training

“More Evidence, Less Poverty.” This is Innovations for Poverty Action’s official slogan. Its objective is to determine which poverty-reduction interventions work, which don’t, and which are the most cost-effective. IPA accomplishes this task through implementing rigorous “impact evaluations.” Specifically, the organization conducts Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) – the only method of accurately determining the causal impact of a program. The defining characteristic of a RCT is the random assignment of a sample of the target demographic into different treatment arms or interventions. Subsequently, the relative success of a particular program is measured through differences in chosen desirable outcomes, ranging from income to health, between these treatment arms. The data necessary to evaluate the impact of a given program are collected through multiple rounds of surveys administered to the participants of the study.

IPA usually partners with local NGO’s to examine a specific intervention that has already been implemented, but hasn’t been evaluated with an RCT. For the project I worked on, IPA partnered with a Filipino NGO called International Care Ministries (ICM), to examine one of their programs to combat poverty, called Transform. The Transform program targeted ultra-poor Filipinos using a multidisciplinary approach with 3 different components: a Values program that taught Christian values; a Livelihood program that helped educate people about how to create small businesses and better provide for themselves; a Health program that taught basic health practices. ICM provides this program to tens of thousands of Filipino people per year, and we wanted to measure its efficacy.

To measure the efficacy of programs, IPA hires local employees and trains them to ask survey questions in a very specific and nonbiased way. After a round (or several rounds) of surveying have been completed, the survey answers are allocated and then run through different statistical software. After comparing different treatment arms to each other, researchers can sometimes draw conclusions about the effects of different programs and the programs’ components. But it isn’t as simple as just collecting your data and then running regressions: collecting high quality and accurate data, or data that really express as close to the truth of the situation on the ground as possible, is extremely difficult, and requires a lot of different checks that are too long and complicated to discuss here.

My duties ranged widely from data entry, to editing and suggesting corrections to the survey, to training the six field staff who I was supervising how to conduct the survey and submit necessary documentation. It was challenging to manage all of the different employees under my base: balancing personalities, tailoring different trainings to different people’s needs, and a mid-week series of emergency interviews for the recently open position. But, it was one of the best educational experiences I’ve ever had.

The End is Just the Beginning – Jessica Tran

Lunder 7

With Dr. Anne B. Young, the first female service chief at MGH.

Aptly stated by T.S. Eliot, Last week marked Week 10 and the official “end” of my internship. As I reflect back to the first week of my internship at MGH, I cannot help but shake my head in amazement of how much I’ve learned and how much I’ve grown through this experience—both at MGH and living in Boston. Though I am no longer an official employee at MGH, I am comforted in knowing that the relationships I’ve formed and the work that’s been done at MGH is only just the beginning of an exciting journey ahead. This summer, I’ve been able to do some incredible things:

  • Design and launch an IRB-approved study
  • Shadow in a Neurosurgery Operating Room
  • Participate in an MGH/Biogen photoshoot with the first female MGH service chief—Dr. Anne Young
  • Present my project findings at departmental meetings and an intern event
  • Create MGH Neurology resources for the outpatient clinics and diagnostic testing
  • Network and cultivate relationships with MGH staff, faculty and trainees
  • Attend Grand Rounds (and enjoy great breakfast food)
  • Actively observe Neurology ED meetings, in-patient, out-patient, brain cutting, ED night rounds, ED morning rounds through the lens of residents, attending physicians, nurse practitioners, and nursing.
  • Analyze and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data
  • Create a scholarship/grant application for the department

Through these particular experiences, I have been able to challenge myself and learn something new each day. In regard to my shadowing experiences, I was able to explore multiple facets of neurology from different perspectives and also gain thorough understanding of the certain challenges that neurology clinicians and patients face. Moreover, through my internship work, I have discovered and affirmed my passion for addressing healthcare disparities and truly think that this is an area of research I would like to continue to pursue after leaving MGH. In fact, I think my research in language disparities is something that I would like to further study and develop into an honors thesis at Tulane.

Though I will no longer be physically present at MGH, I am confident and hopeful that I will someway find my way back there again—whether it’s an internship, residency, fellowship, or being a faculty member. I have left this internship motivated to continue my research in language disparities and excited at the prospect of seeing what else can be done in this particular area of research. This internship has provided a wealth of opportunities to discover that public health and medicine are fields I want to pursue.

To top it all off, in July I received word that I was accepted to Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s FlexMed Early Assurance Program, so working at MGH and then finding out during the internship that I had been accepted into medical school was absolutely incredible. Whenever I had put on my white coat or scrubs to shadow, I couldn’t help but think to myself how “this” will literally be me in a matter of years. And for that, I am so humbled, grateful and honored for this incredible summer.

If I could anyone advice, I would say to maximize all the opportunities available to you and if you have the slightest interest in medicine, try to find some way to get clinical exposure through volunteering, shadowing, etc. I left this internship falling in love with neurology and meeting a plethora of doctors, nurses and staff who were eager to show me their world and profession. I would also to say to self-advocate. I think that is what ultimately made this internship so great was sharing my personal goals with my boss and supervisor and I think it made all the difference in crafting a worthwhile internship. Never once at MGH did I feel like I was “just a number,” and I think that it’s important to recognize that your input, ideas and wishes can really affect the trajectory of your internship and influence the level of impact you can have at your organization/institution.

Well, I think that’s it for now. If anyone has any questions about MGH, about the Mount Sinai FlexMed program, or anything else in particular, feel free to contact me at my Tulane email.

All the best,



And So They Took My (Demonstrational) Dildos

It’s hard to believe that my time at Masakhane has come to an end. It feels like just yesterday that I showed up in Newark. Never in my life has three months gone by so quickly. I’ve learned an incredible amount about sexuality, facilitation, and the Newark community. The skills I’ve acquired are vast, and not all of them are quantifiable. It’s difficult to explain all of the awareness I’ve gained – from just reading participant emotions to understanding that cultural biases are something easily overridden.

My experiences this summer have been invaluable to me. They’ve helped to shape my professional aspirations in a way that I was not expecting. I always new I wanted to work in a field of public health, preferably related to child and maternal health, but now I am much more sure that I want to be working in the field of sexual health and sexuality. I also never truly considered teaching as a career option, but now it’s on the table. Teaching was an incredibly rewarding experience (though difficult at times). Even if I’m not teaching in the “traditional” sense, I would really like to be involved in some form or other of education. I’d like to continue teaching in a more alternative setting throughout the rest of my time at Tulane (perhaps as a doula – otherwise known as a labor specialist).

For anyone who is interested in sexuality or sexual health education, I would encourage them to read anything and everything they can get their hands on. Read as many differing opinions as you can. Inform yourself on current events related to sexual health, but also dig deeper. Don’t just use Facebook, reading click bait titled “The Truth About Being Transgender,” – look harder. Be critical, but also be sensitive. Recognize your own truths and biases. It’s easy to get angry and worked up when reading intentionally inflammatory arguments on the Internet. Avoid as much Internet fodder as possible, or you will burn out. Sexual and reproductive health in America are such hot button topics, it’s easy to get mired in the thousands of voices shouting at you that what you believe is wrong, your sexuality is wrong, and that your reproductive health is not yours to control. But sexual health education is so important, so valuable, and so misunderstood; giving up isn’t really an option. At the end of the day, when a participant thanks you, and says, “I can’t wait for next week” – it’s all worth it.

And no, I didn’t get to keep any of my demonstrational sex toys

That's me scarfing shake shake while other interns look cute in Madison Sq Park after visiting the Sex Museum together.

That’s me scarfing shake shake while other interns look cute in Madison Sq Park after visiting the Museum of Sex together.


Wrapping up at The Nature Conservancy – Sarah Haensly

After next Tuesday I will have completed my internship with The Nature Conservancy. Most of my internship revolved around setting up the Washington Coast Works: Sustainable Small Business Competition boot camp in Forks, Washington. My job was to plan a four-day intensive business training – and it went off without a hitch.


In regards to my learning objectives I think I was fairly successful. My goals for the summer related to fully understanding the organizations that I am with, as well as successfully planning the boot camp. I had a lot of practice with computer programs in order to create documents for the weekend, as well as to give the participants access to a series of materials. I planned the days and organized the conference center to suit everyone’s’ needs. Before the boot camp I also had the chance to meet everyone in the Nature Conservancy office in Seattle, and next Tuesday I will be presenting to them about the progress of the project and my internship.


After my work this summer I have a better idea of how I would like to direct my studies, as well as what I might like to be doing after school. I want to take a larger environmental focus to my learning, instead of just in my extracurriculars. After school I’d like to work with small businesses in South America because now I have a better idea of how to develop sustainable small businesses.


The Nature Conservancy was a fantastic place to work with and I hope others want to intern with them as well. I’ve talked with my supervisor about possibly continuing to work with them. My only advice is to keep a good attitude and to work hard. I worked extremely hard, and my supervisors definitely took notice.


I don’t know if my ideas of social justice have been challenged, but I’ve definitely had a chance to think more about them. This is primarily due to one of the participants in the competition, Jean. Jean is from Queets Village which is part of the Quinault Indian Nation. During the competition Jean spoke about the 95% unemployment rate in her village, as well as the fact that they lack a zip code. I never had thought about how difficult it might be to start a business when you don’t even have a zip code. She spoke about the difficulties of being recognized, and I have to agree with her. The tribes in Washington are such a crucial part of our history, but it seems like the government tries to forget about them. I’m definitely glad that my project focused on Native communities.

I made sure to take some time to explore La Push while I was out on the Olympic Peninsula

I made sure to take some time to explore La Push while I was out on the Olympic Peninsula

One of the panels that we hosted during the boot camp

One of the panels that we hosted during the boot camp

My boss, Mike Skinner, chatting with one of the participants about planning her composting business

My boss, Mike Skinner, chatting with one of the participants about planning her composting business


Most of the participants as well as my supervisors

Most of the participants as well as my supervisors

The Summer of Symphonic Sounds

Hello fellow CELT interns!

I apologize for the silence over the summer. It is said that much of what makes music so wonderful is the spaces between the notes, but I regress. My time with the Nashville Symphony was much too short for my liking, but I learned an incredible amount about the artistic process, the work that goes in to developing new programs, and much more

To begin, what is arts administration? 

Have you ever been to see a play? An opera? The ballet? The symphony? If so, which I hope many of you have had the opportunity to attend, then you have benefited from the work of an arts administrator. These are the people who creatively, logistically, educationally, and functionally make artistic institutions run. They ensure that the programs for the upcoming season meets artistic standards set by the director/conductor/choreographer, negotiate contracts with the artists, engage the community through educational programs, and fundraise to help the show go on.

Who are arts administrators?

Largely, an artistic institution is the cumulative effort of many individuals with different talents and abilities but a shared love of the arts. I love Art music with a passion, yet I know that I do not want to become a professional instrumentalist who performs with a symphony. Working in an arts administrative environment allows me to be part of the team that produces major classical and modern works without being directly involved with the performance. Many who choose to work in arts administration have experience working with non-profits and find that the arts are a wonderful place to dedicate their time and professional expertise.

What was a typical day like for an arts administration intern?

As I was an Education intern, my day was vastly different from an intern working with HR, development, or production. Working with three other interns and the Education department Assistant and Manager, we developed curriculum that would accompany the children’s concerts for the 2015-2016 season. These concerts are directed towards different age groups, so we were faced with the challenge of creating engaging and informative content across a large range of developmental milestones. The state of Tennessee uses Common Core Curriculum for the public schools, so we integrated CCC standards into each lesson that we created to support a structured learning environment.

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playing an instrument at one of the petting zoos

When we weren’t in the office, we were engaging with others in the community, sitting in on board meetings, listening to the Symphony rehearse, or taking inventory of the instruments that the Symphony uses for their educational programs. Perhaps one of my favorite aspects was the Instrument Petting Zoos we attended each weekend. The Symphony provides free concerts during the summer at many public parks across Nashville and an hour before the show starts we would bring a selection of strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments to the park and let children try them out before the show. We spent three days at the Country Music Awards FAN FAIR X with an Instrument Petting Zoo in the children’s area. Nashville is known for country music but is equally strong in the representation, artistry, and audience for classical, jazz, and other genres.

For many, this may be the first (and perhaps, only) exposure to a musical instrument. When a child particularly took to an instrument, you could tell by the look on their face that a new facet of life had been discovered. I hope that the petting zoos inspired many children to incorporate making music into their daily lives.

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After Katrina, the Nashville Symphony hosted the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in their first performance since the hurricane.

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Bye Boston Mag! (Completion Post: Asia Bradlee)

I can’t believe that my internship is over; this summer has gone by so fast. This summer, I learned so much at my internship. Not only did my writing improve, but I realized that I want to pursue journalism as a field. I’m excited to take a class at Tulane and further my knowledge as a journalist. I was also offered the opportunity to freelance while at school, which will be an exciting way to keep my foot in the door and continue writing.

One of my favorite parts of the internship was getting to know my boss. We have a hiking spread for a print issue in a couple months, so as part of that research we went on a couple hikes together. It was great to get to know her really well. She’s an amazing role model and so has been so helpful and encouraging along the way.

If I had to give advice to a future student interning at Boston Magazine, I would tell them to be ambitious and take initiative. Pitch as many stories as you can, be creative, and most importantly, LISTEN to the advice you get. When you listen to the writing advice, not only does your supervisor appreciate it, but your writing will improve drastically. Being new to the journalism field myself, I have little advice for someone interested in it, but being thrown into the field with little experience before is definitely a great learning experience.

I really loved this internship and I’m so sad to be leaving it. I was offered the chance to freelance while I’m at school and continue writing articles, which I’m extremely grateful for. I couldn’t have asked for a better summer experience!