Working Vacation

Every student at CMC is encouraged to take on a summer or semester internship. Providing real-world experiences, internships are an advantageous accompaniment to classroom instruction. We interviewed several students to find out more about their summer adventures. From working on a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming to wandering the streets of southern Spain collecting oral interviews, to helping the poor in Bangladesh, these CMCers have great stories to share. Here is a look at the initial three in our series of Summer Internship Profiles.
After studying abroad in Seville, Spain last Fall, Brooke Nayden `13 decided to re-visit her host-country this Summer to do thesis research, an endeavor supported by the Center for Human Rights Leadership and the History department at CMC. Since early last semester, Brooke started preparing release forms, drafting interview questions, and brushing up on her Spanishall in preparation for her trip. Since her arrival in Seville in early June, Brooke has worked on collecting oral interviews about human rights abuses that occurred in the southern autonomy of Andalusia under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, her thesis topic. Brooke first gained insight into this matter when her host father opened up to her about it one night over dinner last Fall. Brooke says, "When I heard about this, I was immediately interested and wanted to know more. After being unable to find any more information online, I realized that this topic has gone virtually unexplored and I decided to find out more on my own." While Brooke has a few leads for finding people to interview and has a general direction in which she sees her research going, she has found an unforeseen challenge in her work. Brooke explains, "I am asking people to talk to me about a time period that was very difficult for Spaniards." However, with the help and support of her host family, she is making great progress in her research!
While for most seniors, writing thesis means spending endless hours in Poppa lab, for Brooke, "thesis is wandering around the south of Spain and gathering as much information as possible." Check out Brooke's blog here to follow her adventures in Spain! Alexandra Cooke `14 is rolling up her sleeves at Moose Head Ranch this summer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. "After having a traditional office internship last summer, I knew I wanted a change of pace for this summer," says Alexandra. Moose Head Ranch is family owned and operated and overlooks the Grand Teton Mountains, sits on the Snake River and is full of wildlife living in their natural habitats: deer, buffalo, elk, even grizzly bears. "Experiencing nature in its rawest form is awe inspiring," Alexandra adds.
Making the decision to work on a ranch this summer wasn't an easy one for Alexandra: "With CMC friends who are literally saving the world, or landing an internship that will lead to a job after graduation, it was difficult for me to pack up and move to the simplicity of a ranch for the summer." The ranch hires 20 college students every summer to live together on the ranch and help the owners with daily tasks and chores of running a guest ranch. There are 11 "Cabin Girls" who clean the guest cabins every day and serve all of the guestsas well as the other crew membersbreakfast, lunch and dinner and clean up after every meal. The boys are the "Wranglers," they are in charge of the horses and taking guests on trail rides. "They also fix stuff around the ranch when needed," Alexandra says. Alexandra mainly works in the kitchen 3 days a week with the head chef, "He has been teaching me an array of kitchen duties: from dicing a tomato to baking cakes to preparing gourmet dinners, I am learning it all," Cooke says. When she isn't in the kitchen, Alexandra is busy helping the Cabin Girls with other duties. "This job certainly isn't glamorous, in fact, it's downright dirty most of the time, but the people I am surrounded by and this unique piece of the United States is something I am certainly glad I didn't pass up."
Every Sunday the whole ranch has a cook out where guests and crew members sing campfire songs, play guitar and socialize, "As much as I love CMC, it sure will be hard to leave this panorama and this wonderful group of people behind at the end of the summer." Carmen Lundell `13 is interning for BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, an internship she landed through CMC's Kravis Leadership Institute Partnered Internships. BRAC is the largest non-profit organization in the world and is 80% self-funded. Initially, Carmen pursued this internship opportunity to get a chance to work with Social Enterprises in a foreign country. "As I learned more about BRAC Social Enterprises, I realized that this is the ideal organization to work for if I would like to become a social entrepreneur myself," Carmen says. Carmen just started her internship a couple weeks ago and was expecting to experience total culture shock, "Reading and watching YouTube videos about Bangladesh can only tell an American so much about what it is like to live here."
Carmen continues, "Having had only little travel experience, I have a surface level of understand of poverty. Helping empower impoverished people every day for the next two months will give me a great glimpse into the reality for much of the world today." As an intern, Carmen works on gathering information about BRAC's Social Enterprises to give presentations and prepares reports on various social enterprises. She also works on developing brochures and frequently blogs on enterprises' progress. She hopes to get some hands-on experience by doing field work or visiting some of the enterprises she works with later in the summer. Check out Carmen's blog here to find out more about Carmen's summer.

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