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Summer Interns Gain Valuable Career Experience

Many Ursinus students are spending the summer months at internships across the country and, in some cases, overseas.

From the shores of Florida to the baseball diamond, here is a look at what some Bears have been up to since the end of the academic year.


The Marine Biologist

Jake Heimbaugh ’19 is spending his summer as an intern with the Stranding Investigations Program (SIP) at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota, Fla. He is a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) intern, funded by the National Science Foundation.

“I’m responsible for assisting the program with the 24/7 response of live and dead stranded marine mammals and sea turtles,” Heimbaugh says. “In addition, we are responsible for the maintenance of the Ruth Delynn Marine Mammal Osteological Collection, which houses one of the largest and closely researched dolphin & whale skeleton collections.”

The opportunity provides Heimbaugh with housing, research funding and a stipend. He was chosen from a pool of more than 115 applicants across the country.

As a biology and environmental studies double major, Heimbaugh’s studies are certainly being put to use. He is also conducting an independent research project that focuses on scientific outreach and environmental education that aims to find out what methods of education are the most effective for teaching the general public what to do when they encounter a hooked or entangled sea turtle.

“I have learned how influential, as well as careless, humans can be toward ocean life, as many turtles are killed due to some sort of human interaction, ranging from boat strikes to entanglements,” he says. “I’m inspired to try my hardest to change these behaviors and educate the public on their influence and actions, and while somewhat frustrating, it has also been incredibly rewarding. We have more power and influence as individuals than we realize.”


The Character Actor

Sydney Gonzalez ’19 is working as an intern for Ancient Order of the Wooden Skull, a production company in California that is working with toy giant Mattel on a Hot Wheels YouTube series. The entire show is filmed in stop motion animation and features favorite childhood race cars.

“The characters in the show are an inch tall and are printed from a 3D printer,” Gonzalez says. “I’ve been working on taking the character files and setting up digital print trays to send to the printer. I also clean them and cut the support strips off so they are ready to paint.”

Each character requires a separate pose for each move they’ll make, she says, and she organizes them to help the studio know which character or pose needs sculpting, which are ready for print, and which are ready to be painted.

“My favorite part of the job is working in the sound booth,” she says. “I get to work with the voice actors and make sure the scripts are all in order for them. On top of that, I get to do some voice records of my own, which is my absolute dream come true. I love being able to show my creativity in the booth by putting my own spin on the script.”


The Asset Manager

Paul Cottam ’19 has gone global with his summer internship experience. He works with Al Mal Capital, an investment management firm that is part of the larger Dubai Investments. There, he works closely with the asset management team to research various companies and business sectors and contribute to writing and editing a monthly investment publication.

His research has been focused on analyzing a logistics company; investigating falling real estate prices and the possibility of a rebound or recovery; and looking into uses and end products of polypropylene and ethylene.

For the monthly publication, Cottam’s focus is on articles about changes in legislation, fluctuations in oil prices, economic commentary and geo-political tensions in the gulf region.


The Media Guru

Grace LaDelfa ’19 is working with And We Evolve, a new sustainable fashion startup in Philadelphia. The company is an online clothing store and subscription box service that provide stylish secondhand clothing in like-new conditions for their customers.

“I’m the public relations intern for the company,” she says. “My main job is to research and collect information on reporters, bloggers, podcast hosts and vloggers who might be interested in writing about us.”

LaDelfa is working with And We Evolve until mid-August this summer, helping to create the subscription boxes and working to personally curate the clothing that clients will be receiving from the company.

“The interns get to act as personal shoppers.’” she explained, “I get to help hand pick clothing items for our customers’ subscription boxes, based on their sizes and style preferences.”


The All-Star Intern

The defending World Series champion Houston Astros are in the midst of another winning season and Matt Bull ’19 is playing a small part. He’s one of 12 students participating in the team’s sports business immersion program at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

“I know that I want to work in sports when I graduate, but I don’t know exactly what it is I want to do,” he says. “The internship lets me get a feel for all the different departments that are part of a professional sports organization. I have worked with marketing, sales, guest services, community relations, communications and corporate partnerships.”

Bull is a native of Austin, Tex. and is a member of the Ursinus baseball team. He says that through is internship, he’s gained a lot of advice from executives in the Astros organization and even went with the team to the Major League Baseball all-star game in Washington, D.C.

“The game went into extra innings when two members of the Astros hit back-to-back home runs to win the game for the American League,” he said.

It was a late night and a red-eye flight back to Texas, but, “we were a tired and still very excited and happy group of interns,” he says —By Mary Lobo ’15