Student Spotlight – Floripa Olguin

floripa_olguin_headshotName: Floripa Olguin

Year: 2016.5

Concentration: Ethnic Studies and Public Policy

Floripa has been involved with social advocacy work through the GISP program, the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute, The Native American Community Academy, the World Bank, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers. Read on to learn more about Floripa’s path as scholar, activist, and leader both in and outside of Brown.


What kind of research experiences, internships, or fellowships have you been involved with during college?

I’ve been involved in two group independent study projects (GISP), the first was about Ivy League institutions and their relationship with Native students, and the second was about the first generation college student in the Ivy League. I’ve also done research as part of a fellowship called the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University. My research was about hepatitis C vaccine for state prison populations.

I’ve also interned at my old high school, the Native American Community Academy, the World Bank, and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. I did a research project for both the World Bank and the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The first was an analytical project that looked at Native youth leadership programs in Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and the United States. The project I did at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors looked at philanthropy’s work with mass incarceration and criminal justice reform.

How have these experiences shaped your goals and plans for the future?

I think that what I’ve researched has aligned with social justice. So I’d say that these experiences shape by goals and plans because they allow me to challenge myself both academically and within the realm of social justice. It shows me that not only is it possible to be a scholar, a community member, or an activist, but that it’s necessary.

What was your favorite part of or an interesting story about a research experience, internship, or fellowship you participated in?

I think my favorite part about the research projects with my internships is that they were useful to my supervisors that I was working with. This showed me that research is really important and can have real world implications.

Do you have any advice for students looking to potentially pursue opportunities similar to what you’ve pursued?

I would say to stay true to your values and goals while growing. This has always helped me when looking for a new opportunity.

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Student Spotlight – Maya Faulstich-Hon

maya-headshotName: Maya Faulstich-Hon

Year: 2017.5

Concentration: Environmental Science

Maya has been engaged with social change work through the iProv internship program and the Social Innovation Fellowship. Read on to learn more about Maya’s experiences with community engaged work and social ventures supported by the Swearer Center for Public Service.


What kind of research experiences, internships, or fellowships have you been involved with during college?

After my sophomore year, I interned with Farm Fresh Rhode Island through the Swearer Center‘s iProv Internship program. iProv pairs students with organizations in Rhode Island that work towards creating social change in a variety of sectors. As part of my internship, I worked on a nutrition education program for low-income families called Healthy Foods, Healthy Families.

Then, more recently, I became involved with a social venture called Kulisha that produces a sustainable form of fish feed made from insects for use on aquaculture farms in Kenya. I’ve been working on it for about a year, and we’ve been supported by the Social Innovation Fellowship.

How have these experiences shaped your goals and plans for the future?

Through these two very different experiences that are both related to food access and food security, I’ve been able to explore different sides of a similar issue. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned so much about myself: how I work on a team, how I deal with conflict, what sort of tasks I like to do and what I put off for weeks.

What was your favorite part of or an interesting story about a research experience, internship, or fellowship you participated in?

Though I started working on Kulisha in the fall of my junior year, I didn’t actually go to Kenya and begin growing bugs until the following summer, through the Social Innovation Fellowship. It felt so good to finally be doing what we’d been saying we were doing for nearly a year and learning about this amazing insects in real-life that we’d spent so long researching.

Do you have any advice for students looking to potentially pursue opportunities similar to what you’ve pursued?

First of all, don’t get caught up in the pressure to be DOING something. There is no reason for you to be stressing out about developing your professional career in your freshman or sophomore year.

If you’re like freshman me and are horribly overwhelmed by the plethora of internships, fellowships, and research opportunities out there but also feel hopelessly incompetent and undeserving of any of them, stop. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You also don’t have to know exactly what you want to do or what you’re passionate about; these experiences are meant for you to push and prod, explore and investigate, and learn about yourself.

That being said, there are so many opportunities out there. Start by talking to people and browsing the internet. The CRC is an incredible place staffed by very friendly people who can help, and if you’re interested in anything vaguely related to public service or social change, definitely browse the Swearer Center‘s website and talk to anyone there!

How to Begin Planning for your Summer

 

Thinking about what you want to do with your summer or after graduation can be overwhelming, scary, and difficult especially if we feel like we don’t even know where to start or what to look for.

Taking a look at this guide can be a first step to getting on the way to planning for what you want to do and it’s never too early to begin reflecting on what you want, what you need, and what you can do to fulfill those wants and needs. 

Where are you coming from?

You may not have all the answers now but it is helpful to take inventory of what position you are in and what this summer will mean for your broader plans. Summer after freshman year will be different than summer after junior year or after graduating. This also means taking inventory of financial and housing needs for the summer. How much money and what resources will you need to be able to meet your needs (including if you have obligations to other people) while living and working somewhere.

Where do you want to be? What do you want to be doing?

 

Start to think about what general things you may want to do with your summer. If you had your choice, what kinds of things would you like to be doing and where? Your needs will of course influence how you think about what you are interested in. You don’t need to be pressured to pursue your passion at the expense of your needs, but your passion does not have to be completely determined by your needs.

 

What opportunities exist?

 

Find out what kind of opportunities exist for things you are interested in. Try and talk to professors, older students, alumni, or anyone else who may have familiarity with that area. Different industries and fields have different timelines and requirements. Try looking on BrownConnect for internships and the Fellowships@Brown portal website for fellowship and research opportunities and be sure to look for and attend info-sessions. You can find more information about finding opportunities here

 

Keep track of opportunities that interest you!

As you hear about different opportunities you may want to make a spreadsheet or some other form of documentation. Keep track of deadlines, required materials (such as resumes, cover letters, application essays, etc.), how much you will be payed, and whether they require letters of recommendation. You don’t want to end up in a situation where the deadline sneaks up on you and you end up unable to apply when you could have.

Get more information!

 

For internships try to talk to people who might have experience in the industry you are trying to work in. It can be useful to talk with faculty members, staff, or deans who may be associated with fellowship or research opportunities you are interested in applying for. For any kind of opportunity, try and talk with other students who have done the thing before. These people will have the most specific information about what the thing is like and the process of applying for it and, if they previously did the opportunity, may be willing to give you information about what their application looked like. 

 

Prepare your application!

Begin to put together your application materials and if you need them, ask people who you would like to write recommendation letters for you if they would be willing to do so. You can seek help putting together parts of your application from the FIRe coordinator, the CareerLAB, and the Writing Center.

Apply and Apply Early!

Apply for any of the opportunities that interest you and would fit with your financial and housing needs. Even if something seems like a long-shot, apply anyway! You’re probably more qualified than you think. Make sure to request your recommendation letters and turn in your own application sooner rather than later. Waiting until the last minute can make it much harder for you to put together a high-quality application. Applying a little bit before the deadline can also give you more time in case any technical difficulties happen with your email, your computer, or whatever website you are using to submit an application.

 

How do I find Fellowships, Internships, and Research opportunities?

There are a number of different ways to go about finding fellowships, internships, and research opportunities. Below are a number of the main resources for searching for these opportunities to give you a sense of the differences between them.

You should also be asking older students, alumni, and faculty about opportunities they may know about, especially if they are in areas of study or industries related to what you are interested in. They are the most likely to know about things and be able to talk with you about the process. The databases and lists below are places to start as you go about your search.

You may want to make a spreadsheet that you can use to keep track of anything you come across that is interesting to you including information like the title, what company or organization is offering it, the deadline, and what supplemental materials are required.


Alumni Job Board (AJB)

Use AJB after graduating to find job and internship postings, particularly from other alumni. You can also use this to get access resources for finding and applying for jobs and networking.

BrownConnect

Use BrownConnect to find internships, funding opportunities (such as fellowships), and connect with alumni. Try using advanced search.

+ You can search for internships based on field, type of opportunity (i.e. paid or unpaid), and sector (i.e. private companies, non-profits, or government). Also pay attention to whether internships are marked Bruno internships. Bruno internships are either specifically for Brown students or have spots available specifically for Brown students. Many of the Brown connect internships can be applied to through the Jobs and Internships Board.

+ You can search for alumni to connect with based on many different metrics including their previous concentration, class year, and area they currently work. You can use the connect button on an individual alumni’s page to send them an email using a pre-made template (though I suggest you edit the template provided to personalize it).

+ The funding opportunity list draws from the Fellowships @ Brown site as well as the opportunities available from individual departments.

Brown Undergraduate Research Portal

Listing of various Brown supported Fellowships and Research Opportunity Programs.

Careers in the Common Good (CCG) Databasescreenshot-2016-11-07-17-22-49

Use the CCG Database to find jobs, internships, and fellowships specifically related to social change work such as education. You can access this from the CareerLAB tab on ASK and clicking Exploring Options.

CRC FIRe List of Targeted Opportunities for Students from Historically Underrepresented Groups

Use this list for looking for opportunities that are specifically for members of certain groups, particularly underrepresented minority students. It is curated by the FIRe coordinator in conversation with University Deans and staff. If you know of other opportunities that are not listed on this list please email the FIRe coordinator at crc@brown.edu with more information.

Fellowships @ Brown (F@B)

Use F@B to find fellowships and research opportunities. Some are nationally competitive while others are internal to Brown. See FIRe FAQ to learn more about fellowships.

Jobs and Internships Board (JIB)

Use JIB primarily for finding internships and job opportunities both for the summer and for after graduation. You can also use JIB to store copies of transcripts, resumes, and cover letters to make applying easier. 

Serve Rhode Island Volunteer Portal

Serve Rhode Island connects schools, nonprofits, and other organizations with people looking for volunteering and community service positions. Take a look at their website if you are looking for an organization to get involved with in Rhode Island.

UFunds

You can use UFunds to apply for many different funding and fellowship opportunities. USe to apply for Emergency  Gap funding, which may be helpful for supplementing things other funding might not cover such as travel costs.

 Watson Institute Undergraduate Opportunities

The Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs has various research and fellowship programs available to undergraduate students, especially those concentrating in Public Policy and International Relations.