Students Test Out the Working World

By Rebecca Goldfine and Tom Porter
This summer, Bowdoin's funded interns are building boats, working on Capitol Hill or for local government, protecting lakes, conducting research, or interning for law offices, medical clinics, arts agencies, newspapers, and a myriad of other organizations.

The Career Exploration and Development (CXD) office awarded a record number of summertime grants to students, allowing them to intern in any field of their choice without worrying about financial constraints. In total, 181 students received living stipends (referred to as funded internships) of $6,000, with those on aid receiving an additional $1,000.

They are in Maine, California, New York, Kentucky, Idaho, Singapore, Norway, Jordan, Tanzania—and the list goes on. No matter if their summer ends up being incredible or not quite what they were hoping for, each student inevitably will have an experience that will help them figure out what kind of career and future they want to pursue. 

We couldn't cover every student's internship—though we would have liked to!—but we reached out to several to ask what they are up to and how the job is going so far.

“Employers rank internship experience first when asked what they look for in job candidates. ”

—Career Exploration and Development

Andrea Becker

Andrea Becker ’25

Majors, minor: Government and Legal Studies and History, Environmental Studies
Organization: Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE)
Location: Portland, Maine
Title: Summer Intern

What: “MCE is a startup incubator that provides programming, workshops, and support for Maine-based early-stage companies. From the nutritional value of kelp and research potential of fish-derived plastic proteins, to portable solar panels, MCE companies seek to address a wide variety of needs and opportunities in Maine and beyond. My work is variable, ranging from administrative support and database management to helping with specific programming, such as the launch of the Food Tech program. MCE has an incredible staff and mentors. I am deeply grateful to learn from such knowledgeable individuals.”

Why: “What I find fascinating about entrepreneurship is that it offers a glimpse of the world of tomorrow. My internship combines my interest in business and entrepreneurship with explicit growth within Maine communities and the common good.”

My internship in one or two words: curious and fascinating

Liam at the boat building workshop

Liam Carvajal Janke ’25

Major, minor: Biology, Arabic
Organization: John Lentz Wooden Boats
Location: Topsham, Maine
Title: Apprentice

What: “I love working with my hands and I love wooden boats, so this is a great way to spend the summer. I’m basically bouncing around between two jobs—boat maintenance, which involves sanding, varnishing, and painting (like the karate kid!), and boat construction, which in this case means creating these beautiful wooden skiffs. I’m learning new stuff all the time: for example, how you don’t use glue or epoxy when making the hull because wood swells up naturally when it gets wet and creates natural waterproofing.”

Why: “I’m a biologist at school, so I wanted to do something a little different to complement this. There are similarities to science, however: you often have to think backwards from the result you want (a pretty boat that floats) and find creative ways to make your project work using the materials you have.”

My internship in one or two words: staying afloat

Cara headshot, with otter portrait

Cara Fields ’25

Major, minor: Biology, Chinese
Organization: Sea Otter Savvy
Location: Monterey, California
Title: Intern

What: “In this internship, I get to do a lot of fun and interesting things. When I’m not monitoring the local sea otter populations, I either manage the volunteer teams or go to outreach events to spread awareness about minimizing the impact of outdoor recreation on otters. I also get to do fun outdoor activities while 'undercover' to investigate how well local businesses are complying with our guidelines for safe interactions with sea otters.”

Why: “I am majoring in biology and am passionate about conservation. I chose this internship to experience working with a conservation-focused nonprofit while also exploring the field of wildlife biology.”

My internship in one or two words: sea otters

Audrey Fillon portrait

Audrey Fillon ’25

Major, minor: Biochemistry, Art History
Organization: The Lighthouse Guild
Location: New York, New York
Title: Low Vision Intern

What: “The Lighthouse Guild works with low vision patients to maximize their eyesight through treatment, training and new technologies. To support this mission, I assist the doctors by performing preliminary examinations on patients, such as photographing their retina, taking their eye pressure, and measuring their refractive error and prescription. I also help the clinic administrators sort out insurance, make follow-up calls, and help patients get to and from their appointments..”

Why: “As a pre-medical student, I was really interested in spending more time with patients. This experience has already taught me so much about health care communication and how to make a positive connection with everyone that walks through our doors. I also wanted to get exposure to many medical professions. Working at the Lighthouse has allowed me to work alongside so many different roles and disciplines within health care, which has shown me the necessity of teamwork to ensure the patient gets comprehensive care.”

My internship in one or two words: insightful, holistic

Sujan at his office

Sujan Garapati ’25

Majors: Government and Legal Studies, Economics
Organization: House Budget Committee
Location: Washington, DC
Title: Legislative Intern 

What: “I conduct research projects and draft memos for members of the committee. Primarily, my work focuses on developing ideas for budget process reform. Working with other team members, I often split my time between investigating new budget avenues and attending briefings or meeting with legislative aides.”

Why: “The position aligns perfectly with my interest in economic policy. Moreover, it builds on projects I completed as an intern at think tanks in the area and research at school.”

My internship in one or two words: purposeful

Ranis at her place of work, head shot

Rania Janmohamed ’25

Major, minor: Education-Government, Psychology
Organization: UpStudio Africa
Location: Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Title: Undergraduate Teaching and Innovation Intern

What: “My job at UpStudio is split into three roles. I co-teach holiday camps for four- to eight-year-olds that focus on topics ranging from 'Engineering Champions' to 'Pirate Science.' I also assist in curriculum development and have designed lessons for two camps: Imaginarium, which connects fairy tales and imagination with innovation and engineering, and Grossology, which deals with everything sticky, slimy, and gross about our natural world. Finally, I am managing the curation and logistics of a nature expedition to Pugu Hills (a nearby nature reserve), which includes outdoor activities like hiking, map-reading, tent-building, knot-tying, and learning how to make trail markers.”

Why: “I chose to intern at UpStudio because their mission to cultivate innovative STEM learning through real-world problem-solving aligns perfectly with my desire to use design thinking and culturally responsive pedagogy in education innovation.”

My internship in one or two words: hands-on, messy! (We use a lot of glue, dirt, and paint!)

Olivia at Hercules Temple in Amman Citadel
At Hercules Temple in Amman Citadel.

Olivia Kenney ’25

Major, minor: Religion, Arabic Studies
Organization: Collateral Repair Project
Location: Amman, Jordan
Title: Media Relations Intern 

What: “Collateral Repair Project addresses the challenges of protracted displacement faced by multiple communities of refugees in Amman, Jordan, through programs related to employment, basic needs assistance, education, trauma services, and more. As a media relations intern, I spend my days working to build our organization’s international media presence. I research journalists around the world, and I draft email pitches to them articulating why our organization is relevant to each journalist’s work.”

Why: “As an Arabic minor at Bowdoin, this internship has provided me with an incredible opportunity to increase my language skills. Additionally, I get to build my understanding of issues relating to migration and displacement, especially in Jordan.”

My internship in one or two words: communication and community!

Ava head shot

Ava Liversidge ’26

Major, minor: Philosophy, Music
Organization: US Rocker
Location: Los Angeles, California
Title: Intern/Contributing Writer

What: “My job is essentially to stay on top of whatever is new and promising in the music world, and to hopefully expose readers to musicians who would have otherwise remained below their radar. A lot of my research draws on the wealth of musicianship happening in my vicinity—living in Los Angeles provides no shortage of concerts to attend and artists to meet. When I’ve settled on an act, I then set out to pen a review of their upcoming record or a reflection on their concert.”

Why: “Music criticism has always been a helpful medium for me to articulate why something as ineffable as sound can have such a profound impact on the human spirit. I study music and philosophy at Bowdoin, so this opportunity serves as the natural intersection.”

My internship in one or two words: sonic scavenging!

Aurelie Nishimwe

Aurelie Nishimwe ’26

Major, minor: Psychology, Cinema Studies
Organization: iDebate Rwanda
Location: Kigali, Rwanda
Title: Debate Facilitator and Coach

What: “So far, I have been involved in organizing the East African Debate Championship, which brought together teams from Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan, and I am currently working on the organization of the Dreamers Academy Debate Camp.”

Why: “I chose this internship because it offers a unique opportunity to integrate my passion for debate with my aspiration to reform the Rwandan education system, an interest that was deepened after taking Educational Psychology with Professor Byrnes.”

My internship in one or two words: passionate and loud!

Ellie Saksena portrait

Ellie Saksena ’26

Major: English, environmental studies
Organization: National Wildlife Federation
Location: Washington, D.C.
Title: Climate solutions intern

What: “My job requires heavy reading and synthesizing scientific journals and articles with climate jargon into easy-to-understand narratives without watering down the science. Through research and writing, I promote actionable solutions to the climate crisis while highlighting climate victories.”

Why: “Created by and tailored for me, this internship weaves my two lifelong passions together: writing and climate change mitigation. Majoring in English and environmental studies, the internship is the perfect intersection and balance between the fields. It's a stepping stone to my dream of working in climate advocacy and policy.”

My internship in one or two words: high impact

Generous Donors

The Bowdoin CXD internship program is made possible by the following funds: 

  • Ajmera Internship Fund
  • Alumni Council Internship Fund memory Maurice Littlefield ’41
  • Annual Fund for Career Readiness provided by Mehran Ahmed ’03
  • Annual Fund for Career Readiness provided by Mike Moynihan ’89
  • Annual Fund For Career Readiness provided by Stephen J. Buchbinder ’70
  • Bowdoin College Museum of Art Internship Fund
  • Chan, Dr & Mrs. James and Mr. & Mrs. The Tran Internship Fund
  • Coffin, Dr. Cheryl M. ’75 Internship Fund
  • CXD Funded Experiences and Skills
  • D'Auteuil, Richard G. ’82 & Kimberly A. Labbe ’82 Internship
  • Gormley Internship Fund
  • Greitzer, Matthew ’98 & Kimberly Driessen ’98 Career Explora
  • McKinley, Thomas & Hannah, Scholarship & Entrepreneur Grant
  • Nikuradse-Matthews Public Interest Summer Fellowship Fund
  • Patterson, Matthew R. ’93 Internship Fund
  • Perper, Scott and Anne, Internship Fund
  • Peter Buck Internship Fund
  • Preston Public Interest Career Fund
  • Robert S. Goodfriend ’57 Summer Internship Fund
  • Robert S. Goodfriend ’57 Summer Internship Fund Provided by the Mellam Family Foundation
  • Sabra and Richard B. Ladd ’62 Government Internship
  • Sabra and Richard B. Ladd ’62 Government Internship Provided by the Mellam Family Foundation
  • Steven P. Heinrich '67 Internship Fund
  • Student Internship Fund
  • Student Internship Fund provided by Barbara Gross ’77
  • Sustainable Future Fund
  • The Annual Fund For Career Readiness
  • The Hilary A. Rapkin ’88 and William H. Stiles Internship
  • Williams Family Internship Fund
  • Wolfe Family Internship Fund
  • Yeu/Nigro Endowed Internship Fund