Students Return from
Break Energized by Externships
by Alisa Giardinelli
Over winter break, nearly 200 students participated in externships sponsored by more than 160 alumni, parents, and friends of the College. Although most had their experience on the east coast, many traveled to California and elsewhere, including as far as Singapore and the Slovak Republic. The goal? To gain practical exposure to career fields they were interested in exploring, including media, theater, museums, education, finance, scientific research, engineering, non-profit management, government, law, economics research, and healthcare.
"I don't recall ever learning so much in one week," says Paul Chung '14, from Coppell, Tex., of his week with Boston-based Upward Mobility, co-founded by Ted Chan '02. "My first project involved an upcoming web-based EMT exam preparation program that will enter the market soon. My second involved Noyo, a language-learning tablet app which launched its first product, Noyo Spanish, earlier this month. I learned about key marketing concepts and the importance of harnessing outlets like social media platforms in effective marketing campaigns. In addition, I did some price analysis based on what competitors in the market were charging and did some research on public relations strategies. It was a great opportunity to experience the booming entrepreneurial and start-up scene in Boston first-hand."
Chan, a longtime extern sponsor, hosted three this break who joined another student on a month-long internship. Each was assigned a mentor from among the firm's project managers, also Swarthmore alumni. "I try to stay involved with Swarthmore," he says, "especially on the business front, where I know that students interested in my fields sometimes need applied guidance.
"In consulting and entrepreneurship, you have to learn quickly and adjust on the fly," he adds. "Swarthmore students usually do really well on that front."
"During my week, I learned so much about market research, the startup environment, marketing strategies, product development, and the mobile app industry, from my own project as well as others'," says Yin Guan '13, an honors biology major with a minor in English literature from Cheshire, Conn. "I also really appreciated that Ted went out of his way to make sure we had bonding time with our professional mentors - the Swatties who work there - and let us know that we could contact him for any kind of career-related help in the future. It was a tremendously fun and informative experience, and I highly recommend it for future externs!"