Tag Archives: internship

2018 Summer Internship Series: Elly Reserva at UNICEF

by: Elly Reserva ’19

Last August, I was at the UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office in Dakar, Senegal where I worked as an intern for the Child Survival and Development (CSD) Unit. This internship came as an extension and continuation of my work at the UNICEF Headquarters Office last Spring Semester. This opportunity was made possible thanks through the GSAS Summer Research Fellowship.

At the Child Survival and Development Unit of UNICEF West and Central Africa Office

At the regional office, I was mainly tasked to conduct methodical data analysis and create data visualizations, reporting to effective monitoring and analysis of projects for the 24 countries in West and Central Africa. The nature of my work provided direct support of the situational analysis and updates within the area of CSD.

My timing was also perfect since the regional office was busy preparing for various meetings, such as a partnership and strategy meeting with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the 68th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa. Through these, not only did I get to attend some of the sessions, but I was also able to contribute through preparing briefing notes and talking points for some of the meetings.

Presented my work and provided a brief training as part of the documentation and knowledge management process

I was also lucky that my summer internship came after my language immersion in France because it prepared me as I worked and traveled around the city. Senegal, together with most of the countries in the region, are Francophone. Being in Dakar allowed me to use and explore the health and business jargons in French and it helped solidify the language skills I acquired during my language immersion.

With the CSD Unit composed of the Nutrition, Immunization, and Health Systems Strengthening Teams

Overall, it has been a cohesive and productive summer. All these experiences helped strengthen my skills as an aspiring professional in the International Development Sector.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Internships

2018 Summer Internship Series: Patrick Connolly at Finacity

by: Patrick Connolly ’19

This past summer I had the fortunate opportunity to intern at Finacity Corp. in Stamford Ct. and gathered hands on experience learning the intricacies of receivable securitization.

I was placed as an analyst within the Deal Structuring, Management, and Origination team – the central unit within Finacity that touches all stages of the securitization process. The role of the team is essential to the support of the Business Development Officers bringing in deals, receiving signed mandates, analyzing and structuring the receivables of contracted clients, finding funding sources for the structured receivable program, supporting data onboarding efforts, and proactively supporting relationship management through the life of a securitization.

My main duties involved: 1. Supporting Business Development Officers marketing efforts by creating tailored pitchbooks specified by the Business Development Officer based on the type of firms they were perusing, 2. conducting preliminary receivable analysis, 3. building pitchbooks for client engagement, and 4. performing adhoc portfolio reports and support broader marketing efforts.

While working for Finacity, I had the chance to analyze the receivables of a wide variety of companies across many sectors including an Italian electrical utility firm, a Latvian dairy co-op, a Greek utility company, and an international commodity brokerage firm.

I also had the opportunity to work on a team focused on creating an informative presentation on receivable securitization that was presented to business leaders in U.S. embassies in several countries. In 2015 the U.S. Commerce department recognized Finacity as prominent supporter of the U.S. export industry. Through this recognition, Finacity was given the opportunity to inform international audiences on the process of receivable securitization.

Prior to applying to this internship, I had little knowledge of receivable securitization; I was familiar with factoring programs and letters of credit from my previous work experience, but receivable securitization was not really on my radar. However, when IPED alumni Gregg Streibig explained to me in a conversation how his firm is a client of Finacity, I became very interested and started to explore further. I’m fortunate to have found out about Finacity and obtain an internship, because now I am knowledgeable about an extremely interesting and complicated financial product.

For further information regarding the receivable securitization, Finacity’s website has a very thorough informative page: https://www.finacity.com/what-we-do/#securitization-section

Leave a Comment

Filed under Internships

2018 Summer Internship Series: Greg Fischer in Brazil


by: Greg Fischer ’19

Greg Fischer, an IPED Arrupe Fellow, was awarded the Santander International Internships Fellowship to spend 7 weeks in Brazil working with two separate projects – a holistic center in João Pessoa run by the Maryknoll Sisters and a Social Assistance pastoral project in the northwest periphery of São Paulo.

Greg in a beach in Brazil

The holistic center in João Pessoa, called Afya, was founded by the Maryknoll sisters in conjunction with women from the local community of the São Mateus bairro in 1998. The center is administered for women by women where they offer natural therapies and holistic health practices as a means to attend to financially poor women who lived in violence and are unable to access public agencies. Today, they offer courses and treatments in medicinal plants, therapeutic massage, reiki, clay therapy, bioenergetic evaluation, nutrition, etc.

Greg was asked by the Maryknoll sister who coordinates the project, Efu Nyaki, to conduct an evaluation of the team’s administrative and management function. Efu is aware the center does not run as efficiently or effectively when she is away, which is often due to a high international demand for her training services. Greg completed a full evaluation of Afya and offered his analysis on ways in which the administrative and management functions can be changed in order to minimize these negative effects and empower the women of the center in doing so.

In São Paulo, Greg worked with the OAPA (The Padre Achilles Assistance Work) team which consists of social workers and psychologists. Due to the ongoing economic recession in Brazil, which has resulted in a 15% unemployment rate, many individuals and families are requesting social assistance through Brazil welfare program. Greg and his coworker, Darialva Arouche, conducted home visits to those who requested a cesta basica (basic basket of provisions for the month) in order to determine and validate their need.

Greg and fellow IPED student, Donovan in São Paulo

Additionally, Greg did additional work with Darialva, who coordinates the migrant pastoral. This pastoral offers weekly Portuguese language courses to immigrants at the community level. This is a highly important task as most language course offered for free are located in the center of the city – roughly 1 to 2 hours (one-way) from this community. The ability to offer courses at the local level, in additional to childcare services, enables mothers and fathers, to participate and work at building the necessary skills for social and economic integration in Brazil.

Greg is very grateful to both the Maryknoll sisters and Darialva for warmly welcoming him back to Brazil and allowing him to be a part of their important work. Greg would also like to extend his gratitude (as well as the gratitude of his Brazilian partners) to Santander who provided the grant to make this collaboration a reality.

Greg’s kids in their stay in Brazil

Leave a Comment

Filed under Internships

2018 Summer Internship Series: Ean Tierney in Micronesia

by: Ean Tierney ’19

The dock at Truk Stop Hotel at Sunset in Weno, Chuuk, Micronesia

Even amongst the well-traveled, few in the world are familiar with the series of remote, sun-scorched, wind-swept rocks that make up Micronesia in the Western Pacific. A frequent response when confronted with the information that such a place exists is, “Well, I’ve heard of it.” But one could be forgiven for letting it fly under your radar. It is truly out there. Off the grid.

The Chuuk Lagoon from the roof of Xavier High School

Here, many of the more common challenges associated with development are compounded by the remote and isolated nature of the islands. One such challenge is that, as processed and imported foods become more readily available to locals, the associated change in diet and lifestyle is causing rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes to skyrocket. As many as 4 in 5 Micronesians will become overweight or obese during their lifetime, with 1 in 3, on average, developing diabetes. In some parts of the region, complications from diabetes is the leading cause of death.

A road in the village of Penia, where 15 families received gardens

The basis for my project is rooted in a USAID intervention that took place a few years prior.  There, they provided supplies and training for 45 families to start and maintain a home garden on the island of Weno in the state of Chuuk.  The basis for the project was to reduce the dependency on foreign imports and to provide a channel through which to empower women. (The project was executed through the support of the local women’s council.)  My project, coming on the heels of this intervention, was to assess the general indicators of health and well-being of the families that received the gardens and compare them to those who did not—the idea being that greater access to fresh and local food would be positively correlated with improved measures of health.  If I could identify a strong connection between the two, then it could be fodder for a future project to expand and further improve the gardens.

A woman completes a survey in the village of Sapuk with the assistance of a local translator

My initial results (derived from a self-reporting survey that was distributed at random to families with and without gardens) suggests that there is indeed a correlation.  Hopefully this means that, in the future, this can be used as evidence to support further efforts to improve the health and well-being of the islanders.  At the very least, providing access to a healthy and active lifestyle in a place with poor health infrastructure, feels worthwhile, in and of itself.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Internships

2018 Summer Internship Series: Tait Militana at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

By: Tait Militana ’19

During the summer 2018, Tait Militana joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a student trainee in economics. He worked at the Economic Research Service, USDA’s arm for agriculture and economics research, where he supported a data product that forecasts income across the U.S. farm sector.  The product is released three times a year, providing a measure of the health of the farm sector as well as its contribution to GDP

Tait’s principal project was to build out a database of historic farm income forecasts and provide initial analysis to help ERS answer the question: How accurate are our projections?

He also provided support for ERS’ August income release.

Tait in the U.S. Department of Agriculture

During his internship, Tait worked extensively with the SAS and Stata statistical programs and learned data manipulation and extraction techniques.

“Having the opportunity to program every day in a research environment helped me deepen my skill set in quantitative analysis and compliment the economics training I’ve received at IPED,” Tait said.

In addition to the programming experience, the ERS internship exposed Tait to the many policy issue affecting American farmers as well as the federal system for producing, analyzing, and dissemination economic statistics.

A group photo with the team from USDA

Leave a Comment

Filed under Internships