Political Science Major Finds Passion for Social Justice Work at Aldea-The People’s Justice Center
By Sara Weidner, Career Coach | Monday, February 28, 2022
International relations and political science can sound like daunting fields of study, but not for political science major, Jennifer Vasquez ‘22! In Spring 2021, Vasquez interned with Aldea-The People’s Justice Center in Reading, PA where she gained first-hand experience working in immigration law.
While at her internship, Vasquez was involved with many aspects of immigration law such as dealing with immigration proceedings, shadowing the attorneys, and working one-on-one with clients, which she listed as one of her favorite aspects of her internship.
“I think that by working one-on-one with clients, it helped me gain confidence in my abilities and knowing that they trust me when dealing with immigration proceedings,” said Vasquez.
As a political science major, Vasquez was able to apply many of the topics discussed in class to her internship site. For example, she described how many topics were applicable to immigration such as: international relations, learning about country conditions others are living in, and why people choose to leave their country. She discussed her Imagine in Haiti course saying:
“We studied a lot about the cultures and background of Haiti, like why a lot of Haitian individuals migrate. I worked with a lot of Haitian immigrants this past year at my site, so I was able to apply knowledge from that course directly.”
Vasquez also gained valuable skills from her experience like time management with balancing case work on top of academics, teamwork with other paralegals and attorneys, and being able to work in stressful environments. She also mentioned a unique challenge of how translating as a bilingual person is actually difficult from interpreting in a professional setting.
After graduating, Vasquez hopes to join the AmeriCorps and become involved with civil service opportunities.
“I’m definitely looking for that experiential learning component beyond the classroom setting,” said Vasquez.
Vasquez placed emphasis on the internship experience and highlighted the importance of experiential learning.
“It gives you an experience that’s nothing like the classroom. For someone who might be questioning that they’re inspired to pursue, it gives that strong foundation of either ‘this is 100% what I want to do,’ or ‘I should branch out into other fields.’ In my experience it cemented what I want to do.”
She recommends that others who are looking for internships in political science and government to attend the experience events, which is where she met her employer, Aldea. A tip she also encouraged is to put yourself out there and just introduce yourself.
“If you see something interesting or close to what you want to do, make the connection with that employer or professor and discuss what options they might have for you. Share your passions and ask if they have any opportunities. Networking is so important.”
One of her favorite things about working with Aldea, Vasquez said, is how much they supported and encouraged her.
“Besides the skills my experience left me with, the confidence I gained will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
[Internships] give you an experience that’s nothing like the classroom…In my experience it cemented what I want to do.
View photos from Jennifer’s experience below!
Music Industry Studies Intern Finds His Rhythm at Beachwood Music
By Sara Weidner, Career Coach | Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Kenny Rojas ‘22 originally didn’t have an interest in conducting an internship experience. However, his Interim 2022 internship at Beachwood Music in Beachwood, New Jersey soon changed his tune! As a Music Industry and Accounting double major, Kenny shares his perspective on finding internships in the music industry and what he learned at his site.
Beachwood Music is a music store owned by active musicians in the tri-state area. Some of Rojas’ responsibilities included being the go-to specialist for instrument repair and maintenance and assisting with event setup which was one of his favorite tasks. While his internship involved traveling throughout PA, NJ, and NY, known in the industry as being a ‘roadie,’ Rojas found that he didn’t care for that component to the industry.
“I liked the hands-on aspect of the equipment setup. You’re on your own in the field and they expect you to have the knowledge already. It involves quick problem solving. I also liked exploring what genre of music I liked. I found I prefer regional Mexican music,” he said.
He also described the studio as a welcoming and fun-filled environment. The two owners, John Hawes and John Kern, were great to work with and the tasks they assigned helped him develop his independence while also offering opportunities to learn new skills.
“I was already a hard worker, but I also learned aspects of setting up a website for the company, so I gained knowledge in WordPress and setting up their online sales,” said Rojas.
As far as feeling prepared for this experience, Kenny attributes many of his skills to the classes he took at Albright.
“The classes with Mike D’Errico especially, like recording and being involved with Lion Records, helped me come prepared to work with a real entertainment band. It helped give me a sense of what to expect over there.”
Being a New Jersey native, Kenny plans to return to his home state for a little while and find an internship that leads to a career in audits for accounting. But he also wants to stay involved with music and go to Texas and see what’s available in the industry.
Having gone from not being interested in internships to enjoying his experience, Rojas encourages others to look for internship opportunities during their time in college.
“At first I didn’t think it was important. But it helps you to understand if you really like that career or not.”
As a final piece of advice to fellow students looking for internships in the music industry, Kenny recommends looking sooner rather than later.
“Look sooner than your senior year. By junior year you should have your internship complete. If not then, do it by the summer but definitely before your senior year,” he said.
At first I didn’t think [internships] were important. But it helps you to understand if you really like that career or not. -Kenny Rojas ‘22
View photos from Kenny’s experience below!
Fashion Design and Merchandising Intern Gains Real-World Experience and Industry Knowledge at LOFT
By Sara Weidner, Career Coach | Thursday, January 27, 2022
Fashion Design and Merchandising major, Bria Stapleton ‘22, has always had a passion for fashion. Luckily for her, Albright offers a major for her to pursue her passion. Students within the Fashion department at Albright College are required to complete an internship experience in the industry. During the Interim 2022 semester, Bria completed an internship with LOFT Saucon Valley, gaining new knowledge and skills to prepare her for life after graduation!
During Stapleton’s time at LOFT, some of her primary tasks included packaging online orders, designing and organizing sale walls to display merchandise, and redressing all the mannequins, which was one of her favorite responsibilities.
“Each area in the store is called a ‘shop’ and you want to try and pick clothes from that area to put on display. You also want to choose something you have a full size run of so the customer can purchase it without you having to take it off the mannequin,” she explained.
A core aspect to any internship is applying knowledge one learns in the classroom to real, hands-on experiences, something that Bria says she definitely noticed while interning.
“I wanted to get the visual merchandising skills and experience that. I also learned the business side and why we take markdowns or about calculating units per transaction,” she said.
Stapleton further explained that units per transaction is a method for calculating the conversion rate from a person walking into the store and leaving versus a shopper who makes a purchase. The purpose is to get people to buy an item rather than just looking around.
“It was interesting to understand all the numbers and why,” she said.
One of the best parts about working at LOFT was their treatment of their employees, customers, and the investment they put into making sure she got the most out of her internship.
“Loft really cares about their employees. All employees get a 50% off discount. They also run a lot of promotions online and in-store which makes their clothes accessible. They also always made sure I was getting what I wanted out of the experience.”
When asked to give a piece of advice for others looking for internships in the fashion industry, she emphasized,
“Don’t get discouraged. Finding internships can be hard, and you feel like you want to give up, but I just went to the store and inquired about it. Sometimes you just have to walk in and ask. You don’t know until you ask.”
Stapleton’s future plans include searching for jobs in the local area for a little while before eventually moving on to one of the nation’s largest fashion hubs, New York City.
Don’t get discouraged. Sometimes you just have to walk in and ask. You don’t know until you ask. -Bria Stapleton ‘22
View some of Bria’s work below!