Milken Scholars Leveraging 2023 Summer Opportunities

Published 09/08/2023 in Program Updates
Written 09/08/2023

Internships allow students to gain hands-on experience, find mentors, and learn more about the careers they would like to dive into after college. This summer, three Scholars broadened their horizons as they learned what it takes to study international public health, develop energy solutions, and manage a business.

Lena Jones, MS ‘20  This summer, Lena spent twelve weeks studying public health in South America. Her journey started in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she took classes through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) in Advanced Medical Spanish, Pre-Professional Healthcare, and a Community Health Practicum. In her free time, she went out to see the ferias, concerts, community meetings, parks, and natural wonders around her. “In Buenos Aires, I also grew alongside wonderful students who pushed me to be more outgoing in unfamiliar circumstances. They prepared me to do the same on my own when I went to Quito!” said Lena.

Constructing an independent study plan for Quito, Ecuador was no easy feat. Beginning in Spring 2023, Lena reached out to the Office of International Relations at la Universidad de las Américas (UDLA) and she was connected with Dr. Esteban Ortiz-Prado. During their online meetings, they brainstormed summer goals and created a public health abroad program. Once there, Lena’s routine included visiting health-related museums, such as the Museo Nacional de Medicina, coordinating transportation to hospitals/health centers where she toured facilities, shadowing doctors and asking questions about their work. “I learned more than I ever could have dreamed about the Ecuadorian healthcare system, preventative and remedial care within that system, access to free services, and, of course, efforts to support cultural sensitivity in health centers/hospitals for Ecuador's diverse indigenous population,” said Lena.

Thanks to funding from the International Study Award (about $4,000) and the Yale College Class of 2004 Travel Fellowship ($5,000), Lena was able to put her Spanish skills to the test and learned how historically marginalized groups abroad respond to public health services.

If other Scholars are interested in similar work, Lena would love to help them reach out to Dr. Esteban Ortiz-Prado as he continues refining this public health program for foreign students interested in Ecuadorian healthcare! 

Callaway Pate, MS ‘20  Making in-person connections with companies can go a long way. During a career fair at Penn State, Callaway met a recruiter from Exelon Corporation – Pepco Holdings Inc., the nation's largest utility company. After they discussed Callaway’s interest in energy engineering, the recruiter invited him for a next-day interview. Callaway then followed up with an official internship application and cover letter. Approximately three weeks later, he was notified that he had been accepted as a paid Intern in Smart Grid Project Execution. 

For ten weeks, Callaway was responsible for the creation of materials needed to address internal and external stakeholders on projects led by the Smart Grid Project Execution department. “I enjoyed the company culture and freedom to exercise creativity in some of my daily tasks,” said Callaway. He also used this opportunity to expand his network and develop strong relationships with multiple leaders at the company by emailing people in areas that he wanted to learn more about. As the internship ended, Exelon informed Callaway that their doors remained open for him to return as a project manager after his graduation. Exelon has many internship programs for engineers and Callaway encourages Scholars with an interest in working in the energy industry to apply.

Rae Seong Jeong, MS ‘21 Rae started working at The Corp, the largest, exclusively student-run business in the world with revenues upwards of $5 million, as a barista his freshman year at Georgetown. When he learned about the opening for the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer position his junior year, he jumped at the opportunity to apply and was selected after completing a comprehensive written application and two stages of interviews. Over the summer, Rae led a 50+ person management team that oversaw about 300 employees. His responsibilities included creating cost and improvement efficiency strategies, making sure the company follows all legal regulations and health codes, and managing the company’s relationship with the University and other business partners.

“I enjoyed the opportunities to work on exciting projects,” said Rae, as he talked about one of his biggest tasks, “The storage operation has been my largest challenge yet — but also the most rewarding. We collected, processed, and returned over 1000+ student storage items in a $100,000+ storage operation, competing with a new competitor as well.” Rae will continue his position as COO until March 2024.

We encourage Scholars to check in with one another to learn about diverse internship opportunities. Whether you are interested in gaining business experience, putting your engineering skills to the test, traveling abroad, doing research, or exploring different internship avenues, there are Scholars and Milken Scholars staff eager to help.  If you need help searching for internships or talking through the search and application process, please reach out to Senior Director, Evelyn Torres.