Monthly Archives: August 2015

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.

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!

Until next time, Rwanda! – Maddy Bishop-Van Horn

I’ve been putting off writing this blog post because it means that my internship and my time in Rwanda with Engineering World Health are really over. I sit now in a bustling sandwich shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire—it couldn’t be more different from the market in Butare, Rwanda. These are my reflections on this summer: what I’m most proud of, what I’ve learned, and how it has changed me.

Things I am proud of:

  1. The relationships that I made. This summer I met some truly incredible people from Rwanda and all over the world. I learned quickly that, in the developing world, working effectively is all about establishing close relationships with people at all levels of authority. The friendships and connections that I made in Rwanda have changed me for life.
  1. Medical equipment I repaired. Over the past month, my hospital partner and I repaired 17 pieces of medical equipment in three hospitals in the southern province of Rwanda. This equipment ranged from infant incubators to oxygen concentrators to ultrasound machines. Most of the equipment was put to immediate use by very grateful nurses. As a student and an intern, to be able to leave behind something so concrete was quite powerful.
  1. Fundraising. Along with a group of local volunteers, we are working to raise money to buy livestock for the hospital farm in order to provide vulnerable patients with meaningful and sustainable sources of protein.

To read more about this project, to share with your friends, or to donate, please visit:


What I have learned:

Travel. Extend your comfort zone. Start a conversation with someone with whom you may not share a common language. Talk to doctors and CEOs and janitors and taxi drivers. Understand your strengths and put yourself in a position to succeed. Be assertive, tactfully.

This experience has solidified my resolve to work in the international engineering industry with a focus on developing nations. When I return to Tulane for my senior year, I hope to find and internship with a company in New Orleans that is focused on international, developing markets. I cannot wait to return to Rwanda and to other developing nations to learn more about their specific needs and hopefully be a part of a solution.

Goodbye to fancy flags and awesome people -Kayla Bruce


My summer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was the most incredible learning experience, and in many ways that I never would have predicted. This summer has deepened my understanding of international humanitarian organizations and the complex setting within which they must function. It has shown me that several of my preexisting criticisms of the U.N. system were superficial, while I developed others as the summer went on. I was truly learning new things every single day in Geneva, and as excited as I am to be headed back to NOLA, I wish I could have stayed a bit longer.

During my last week at UNHCR, I wrote up a list of my internship tasks and accomplishments to review with my supervisor. It was great to have an opportunity to sit down and discuss how my work impacted the office and well as how my time at UNHCR impacted my own learning outcomes. I was proud to see this impact, and there were a few major projects that stuck out in my mind. I think my greatest contribution to the team were the creation of Key Messaging Outlines, something my office has talked about making but never actually had until now (view my last post for a more detailed description of this project). I completed Key Messaging Outlines for Syria, Iraq, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Nigeria, Burundi, Yemen and Ukraine. Now that the foundation is laid, the team simply has to review their countries’ outlines once a week to make sure they are up to date. I produced an outline template that can be filled out if (alright… when) new crises arise. This project will allow anyone on the team to confidently speak at a press briefing on an issue that may be outside of his or her area of expertise.

Watching my desk neighbor do a French News 24 interview down the hall

Watching my desk neighbor do a French News 24 interview down the hall

I also developed a clear media monitoring outline, a project I have been working on since the beginning of the summer. This required a combination of getting the hang of our media tracking software, doing follow up research on different media outlets, understanding which media sources were priorities, and working with the PI team to develop a format that would be concise and useful on a weekly basis. It was satisfying to see that by the end of my internship, people were checking in with me right after a briefing to ask when I would get the data on their note, anxious to analyze its reach (I had to wait at least 24 hours to start evaluating media pick up). I developed a template for future interns to use and have offered to Skype with a future intern to discuss how I went about the media monitoring process. Other project I worked on included writing interviews, expanding publicity for media pieces, creating country blurbs for a website featuring refugee musicians, and writing a comparative media report to try and convince Angelina Jolie to finally speak on BBC instead of CNN. While there were a few major projects I worked on throughout my ten weeks, every week brought new and different tasks and new opportunities to learn.

One thing major thing I have come to terms with is that if I want to continue in this field I will have to get several years of field experience under my belt. This is not only an important next step in getting hired in this field, but important in understanding how administrative work at head quarters translates to services in the field. While this has always been something I have distantly considered, I’m now aware that I will need to make that decision soon. It will mean a minimum of two years abroad, and ideally three to five. It will mean leaving a lot behind and missing major life events; graduations, weddings, births and deaths. It will also mean spending enough time somewhere to gain a more permanent community, and to deeply understand that culture. It will mean working in direct services and connecting distant planning and fundraising to real people. It will allow me to determine whether this is the right path for me, and if it is, it will allow me to continue along that path. Whichever path I chose, the next few years will be a period of major change for me, and I’m excited for all that lies ahead.


High Commission Guterres welcomes the President of Tanzania to UNHCR headquarters (unfortunately, the red carpet was temporary)


Beautiful performance by a Syrian refugee on World Refugee Day

Sad to leave, but glad to have made such great friends

Sad to leave, but glad to have made such great friends