Milo Chang '24 on the steps of the U.S. Capitol with a view of the National Mall in the background.

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning

This past summer, 203 students participated in the Alumni Sponsored Internship Program (ASIP), which provides students with first-hand career—and life—experience in a variety of fields, including scientific research, entrepreneurship, government and politics, and wildlife protection. 

Funded primarily by alumni, the ASIP provides $5,000 grants to first-years, sophomores, juniors and first-semester seniors working with organizations around the globe that offer unpaid or limited stipends—opportunities that would otherwise be financially inaccessible. The ASIP provided more than $1 million in support to students in this year’s cohort. 

Don Kjelleren, executive director of the ’68 Center for Career Exploration, says that when alumni support undergraduates, “the effect is exponentially more efficient than students exploring and connecting with opportunities on their own.”

As part of the ASIP, each student writes a report about their internship that is shared with the alumni sponsors. The following excerpts highlight just a few of those experiences.

Milo Chang ’24 (top), political economy and computer science major, U.S. Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California, in Washington, D.C.

“I had the opportunity to gain first-hand exposure to the legislative process, learning how Congress works outside of academic textbooks. … I attended hearings and briefings on topics ranging from airport funding through the Federal Aviation Administration to America’s foreign policy in the Korean Peninsula. I prepared memos on Meta’s new Threads app and labor strikes happening in the District. … I also booked tours for constituents, which was super fulfilling since I would interact with families visiting our nation’s capital for the first time, including family members who had just become citizens. … And I had the chance to watch as the government begins responding to the consolidation of technology companies, emerging threats to cybersecurity and the rapid development of artificial intelligence. These insights will be helpful with my remaining college coursework and pursuing public service careers at the intersection of my majors.”

Anchal “Monika” Bhaskar ’25 at her internship at Neuro-Behavioral Clinical Research Inc.
Anchal “Monika” Bhaskar ’25 (left) with her internship mentor Dr. Shishuka Malhotra.

Anchal “Monika” Bhaskar ’25, mathematics major, Neuro-Behavioral Clinical Research Inc., a private research site conducting clinical trials to develop safer and more effective treatments for major psychiatric disorders based in Canton, Ohio. 

“I worked on many of Neuro-Behavioral Clinical Research’s (NBCR) active clinical trials during my internship, mainly focused on mental health disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s. … While previous experiences informed my love for medicine, the daily engagement with patients opened my eyes to a career defined by individualized, specialized care. Furthermore, I learned the medical field requires consistent and perpetual learning in areas such as patient care, research, technology and management. … This internship further clarified how my majors fit into my future career plans. While they are not traditionally related to the premedical coursework, they are pertinent to the future of medicine and my career aspirations in the field.”

Bernard V. Wongibe ’25, poses at his internship site Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.
Bernard V. Wongibe ’25, at his internship site Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

Bernard V. Wongibe ’25, computer science major, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, a nonprofit research institute of the Florida University System located in Pensacola, Fla. 

“The project was to establish a cyber lab, which is a controlled, secure environment designed for cybersecurity training, testing and simulations. This helps individuals and organizations practice and improve their security posture without incurring real-world effects. The project encompassed cyber range deployment, security information and event management (SIEM), data analysis, and data visualization. 

“I was responsible for setting up Security Onion version 2.3.260, which I called “The Watchtower,” on a server for intrusion detection and security monitoring. … There were a lot of bugs to fix when deploying this SIEM tool on a server, [which] taught me valuable lessons in IT and other seemingly unrelated areas. In the end, I successfully deployed Security Onion and analyzed about 10,000 logs of data.”

Caroline Morrissey ’25, poses with a Virginia opossum at the South Florida Wildlife Center,
Caroline Morrissey ’25 cares for a Virginia opossum at the South Florida Wildlife Center.

Caroline Morrissey ’25, English major, South Florida Wildlife Center, which aims to rescue, rehabilitate and release wild animals found in the surrounding area as well as educate the public about the role that people play in the protection of these animals, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. 

“I was able to help with every step of animals’ journey in the nursery, from admittance paperwork and habitat setup to feeding and medication administration to eventual graduation to a habitat outside of the nursery. Throughout my internship, I took care of birds (such as blue jays, mockingbirds, woodpeckers, doves, crow and herons), Virginia opossums, and squirrels, as well as assisting with nutrition for foxes, raccoons and bats. … As a student preparing to apply to veterinary school in the coming years, this experience allowed me to become comfortable handling different kinds of animals that were completely unfamiliar to me while beginning to understand their specific biologies and personalities. … I [formed] bonds with [the] animals, and to see them eventually get released back into the wild was the most rewarding part.”

Photographs provided by the students. At top: Milo Chang ’24, who interned for U.S. Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California in Washington, D.C.