Lisha Ruan ‘17, Capital Digestive Care

Lisha-RuanDay 1

I arrived at Digestive Disease Consultants in Rockville, Maryland at 7:30 am. After signing a confidentiality agreement, I met Dr. Julia Korenman ‘78, a gastroenterologist. Dr. Korenman showed me around the office and introduced me to the staff and other doctors, who were very friendly. She asked me about my interests and my previous experience with medicine. I told her that I was trying to decide between medicine and computer science. I hadn’t had any exposure to medicine besides my physical exams, so I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to shadow her.

Dr. Korenman had a busy schedule of appointments. Before each one, she asked the patient if I could observe the appointment. I’m grateful that every patient said yes. It was very interesting to listen to patients describe their symptoms, such as stomachache or constipation, and observe how Dr. Korenman identified potential causes and ordered tests or prescribed a treatment. From my experience with routine physicals, I hadn’t appreciated how important it is for a doctor to comfort patients who are anxious about serious illnesses. I was truly inspired by the honest and reassuring guidance that Dr. Korenman gave her patients. I was surprised to find that a big part of a doctor’s job is convincing patients to take her medical advice. When a patient didn’t want to take the recommended drugs or have a screening colonoscopy, I admired how Dr. Korenman presented alternatives while stating that they are less effective.

Between appointments, Dr. Korenman made calls to patients and entered patients’ paper medical records into the new electronic medical record system. Because I’m also interested in computer science, Dr. Korenman highlighted the connections between computer science and her work as a doctor. She pointed out aspects of the system that were inconvenient from a doctor’s perspective and told me that there’s a lot of room to improve health care technology. I learned that it’s very important for a software developer to directly consult the users of the product to find out what they need.

I really appreciate that Dr. KorenmanLisha_Dr_Korenman explained in detail what she was doing at every step and answered all my questions. She told me that the class she took at Princeton that helps her most now is Spanish, because she offers appointments in Spanish. This surprised me, encouraged my Spanish studies at Princeton, and proved how useful speaking a second language is in any field. Dr. Korenman also told me that the most rewarding part of her job is the relationships she develops with her patients. As a gastroenterologist, she gets to know her patients well because many patients have chronic conditions like Crohn’s disease. In each appointment, I definitely saw the bond that she formed with the patient through honesty, trust, and compassion.

Day 2

On the second day, I met Dr. Korenman at the procedure center at 8:00 am to observe colonoscopies and endoscopies. Dr. Korenman introduced me to the anesthesiologist and the technician who were her team in the operating room. The first procedure of the day was a colonoscopy, and I saw that it was definitely a team effort. Again, I really appreciated that Dr. Korenman explained every step of the procedure in detail.

I admired Dr. Korenman’s meticulousness in checking out every inch of the colon and cleaning it out when the prep was imperfect. She saw polyps that were almost invisible and deftly removed them. Thoughout the day, I observed four colonoscopies, one endoscopy, and two “doubles” (colonoscopy and endoscopy). It was fascinating to see the inside of the colon during a colonoscopy and the esophagus and stomach during an endoscopy.

Dr. Korenman told me that she enjoys gastroenterology because it provides a mix of hands-on work and appointments that allow her to connect with patients and that present the mental challenge of figuring out symptoms. We also had an interesting discussion about women in medicine. Dr. Korenman told me that many women prefer to see a female gastroenterologist, but most gastroenterologists are men, so female gastroenterologists are at an advantage in getting patients.

After she finished the procedures, we returned to her office, where she saw two more patients. One was a patient with Crohn’s disease who had come in the previous day, feeling terrible and almost needing to go to the hospital. Dr. Korenman prescribed steroids and he returned the second day, feeling much better. It was amazing that in just two days, I saw how a doctor really helped a suffering patient.

This Princeternship was an extremely valuable experience because it exposed me to both sides of being a doctor, performing procedures and conducting appointments, and introduced me to the fascinating specialty of gastroenterology. I would like to thank Dr. Korenman for patiently explaining everything she did, answering all my questions, and giving me great advice. I would also like to thank all the staff, doctors, and nurses for being so welcoming and Career Services for giving me this incredible opportunity. I have not yet fully decided between working in medicine and computer science, but I now have a much better understanding of medicine to make that decision.

Jonathan Rogers ’16, J.G. Petrucci and Co.

On Thursday, January 30th and Friday, January 31st, I joined Mr. Jim Petrucci ’86 at his real estate firm J.G. Petrucci & Co.  J.G. Petrucci maintains a unique platform in the real estate market, as the firm acts as a Design/Build developer. In other words, the firm acts as a one-stop shop for any client that needs help in locating land and designing and constructing a building specific to their needs. The firm’s projects include office, industrial, medical, educational, and retail facilities, primarily serving markets in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, particularly the Lehigh Valley. While J.G. Petrucci & Co. focuses on the design and leasing side of the business, Mr. Petrucci also owns Iron Hill Construction Management Co., which is the firm responsible for construction and physical structures for clients.

I spent most of my first day at J.G. Petrucci & Co. observing the firm’s preparation for a budget meeting with a client.  On the morning of January 30th, I drove from my home in Basking Ridge, NJ, to the headquarters of J.G. Petrucci & Co. in Asbury, NJ. As I walked into the office at 7 am, I first met Michael Schwertfeger, the firm’s financial manager who maintains and ensures the accuracy of all financial transactions. Mr. Schwertfeger wasted no time in including me, as I immediately joined him on a phone call with a construction manager at Iron Hill. The primary focus of the meeting was to ensure that the numbers of Mr. Schwertfeger and Iron Hill were consistent before we met with the client for the construction budget meeting.

On my second day, I joined Mr. Petrucci to visit one of his properties in Pennsylvania. After driving for about an hour, we arrived at a strip mall owned by J.G. Petrucci & Co., and toured the premises with a local broker. The broker informed Mr. Petrucci of the upcoming lease expiration dates for a few tenants in the mall, and discussed a potential tenant who was interested in taking a vacant location in the mall to establish a bakery/eat-in shop. After touring the premises, we drove to a nearby office of J.G. Petrucci & Co. and met with a pair of brokers to discuss potential properties for the firm to explore in the local area for investment. After the meeting, we drove back to the Asbury office, where I thanked him for the informative experience before we parted ways for the weekend.

Studying Operations Research and planning to obtain a certificate in finance, I have become increasingly interested in exploring different sectors that comprise the broad field of investment management. My time with Mr. Petrucci provided me a revealing experience into real estate equity as an asset class. Spending time with the team at J.G. Petrucci & Co. made me realize that work within real estate is ever changing, as professionals must constantly adjust to the various economic, structural, and qualitative characteristics of their clients.  Also, I now see buildings as more than brick and mortar. Whether it is a multi-family complex, an office, a hotel, or a retail mall, a building is an asset that generates cash flow that provides a return on capital for its owner.  J.G. Petrucci & Co. has thrived and expanded over the last twenty-seven years by helping its clients meet their goals while maintaining a successful return on capital for the company. On our car ride back from Pennsylvania, Mr. Petrucci told me that if one is smart and patient – patient to wait out the time for a building to deliver positive returns – then real estate can be a wonderful investment strategy as compared to stocks or other securities. I will certainly be keeping that in mind as I continue to explore different areas of investment management, and financial services more broadly, in trying to discern an initial direction upon graduation from Princeton.

Joshua Roberts ’17, Boston University School of Law

Josh-RobertsDay 1

During my two day Princernship with Professor James Fleming *88, I learned more about law school, legal careers, and academia than I ever thought possible. Our first day started at 9 a.m. in Professor Fleming’s office. Professor Fleming took the time to get to know my fellow Princeterns and me, and we got to know Professor Fleming as well. He told us about his path to becoming a law school professor, which included getting a PhD at Princeton and a JD at Harvard. Although I did not think I was interested in a life in academia before this Princeternship, after talking to Professor Fleming about his academic journey, I realized that it may be something I am interested in pursuing. We also discussed the different types of career possibilities in the field of law, from practicing corporate law to studying constitutional theory.

Next, we sat in on a meeting between the BU School of Law Dean Maureen O’Rourke and Professor Fleming, and we got to see some of the administrative, behind-the-scenes work that is necessary to make a law school run smoothly for all of its students. In addition, we attended Professor Fleming’s Constitutional Law course. He lectured on several monumental court cases in our country’s history, including Bush v. Gore, which was exciting because for me it took place in my home state of Florida.

Day 2

For as much as I learned on theRoberts 1 first day of my Princeternship, I learned even more on the second, which started off similar to the first, meeting in Professor Fleming’s office at 9 a.m. We had meetings with several other professors at BU School of Law, which Professor Fleming set up according to our specific interests. I am interested in International Law and Constitutional Law, and Professor Fleming set up meetings with Professor Rob Sloane and Professor Pnina Lahav, who are experts in those fields. Professor Fleming also met with several of his current students to discuss papers they were writing. It was incredible to see how much time Professor Fleming devoted to guiding his students and how much he genuinely loves teaching. All around his room were tokens of appreciation given to him by his students, and it was clear how much his students like and respect him.

Later in the day, we attended a faculty workshop with Professor Fleming, in which another professor presented an upcoming paper and received feedback from the rest of the staff. It was apparent that the staff had great working relationships with each other, and it was fascinating to see the different professors bounce ideas off of each other about the best way to improve an argument. We also attended another one of Professor Fleming’s courses, Constitutional Theory, and a captivating lecture on the legality of the use of drone warfare under international law.

Finally, after a fun and informative day at the office, Professor Fleming and his wife, Professor Linda McClain, graciously invited us into their home for dinner. The meal consisted of both great food and great conversation, and it was an incredible way to cap off my Princeternship experience.

After reflecting on my Princeternship, I realize how invaluable the experience truly was. Coming in, I did not have a sense of what it would be like to attend law school or what it would be like to become a professor. After spending two days shadowing Professor Fleming, I now have a much better sense of what both law school and becoming a professor would be like. Although I do not yet have to decide which path I will take after graduating from college, when the time comes, I will be able to make a much more informed decision.

Daniel Paolillo ’15, St. Lukes Hospital

Daniel-PaolilloDay 1- Avallone Office/OR @ Warren

Waking up at 5:45 am, walking outside to the car in the dark winter morning, and warm rain drops falling on my long grey winter coat were my first steps toward a great day.  Driving to Phillipsburg, NJ with mist drifting up from the road gave me a spooky feeling. My determination and eagerness for my first professional experience kept me alert behind the wheel.

I was not sure what to expect but I was certain it would be good. I would finally meet Dr. Nicholas J. Avallone ‘97 who is an orthopaedic surgeon at St. Luke’s University Health Network. My Princeternship would expose me to his daily work. I wanted to impress him whenever I could.

I arrived promptly at 8:00 am to his office in the St. Luke’s Orthopaedic Specialists Suite 105. His wonderful staff greeted me with a cup of coffee, showed me around and introduced me to Dr. Avallone’s delightful and super intelligent physician assistant, Andrea. I liked talking with her. She taught me about shoulder shots and frozen shoulder. Finally, Dr. Avallone arrived.

I looked forward to every moment. There were 34 cases that day, which was even a lot by Dr. Avallone’s standards, and 34 cool new things to learn as a pre-med student.

The minutes flew by as I learned about carpal tunnel, foot fractures, shoulder replacements, high ankle sprains, and fractured radial disks. Meniscus tears. Arthritis. The McMurray Test. Knee Joint Aspiration. Even diabetes. Phhhheeww! There was so much for me to learn about orthopedic medicine!

I left with Dr. Avallone around noon to drive to St. Luke’s Hospital on Warren Campus. I got to go into the OR for the first time. I was super excited.

Dr. Avallone introduced me to his patients in pre-op too. I was impressed all day by his friendliness, which never changed around anyone.

In the OR, Dr. Avallone showed me a menisectomy. He also showed me a carpal tunnel procedure. I should have taken notes because there was so much to learn. I was so sleepy on the ride home. I couldn’t wait for Wednesday to come.

Day 2- Avallone office

Today I learned that there’s something StLukespecial about good doctors. The night before I decided to read up on common shoulder injuries,, reading about SLAP tears, rotator cuff tears, collarbone fractures, frozen shoulder, and arthritis. I also learned about reverse total shoulder replacement. I enjoyed soaking in the knowledge, which I wanted to use to impress Dr. Avallone. I read late into the night forgetting that I had to wake up at 5:30 am.

I awoke, showered, drove to his office, and said good morning to Andrea. She told me Dr. Avallone had sixty patients scheduled! That meant he would see about thirty in the morning and thirty in the afternoon. I was bound to come across a patient with one of the shoulder injuries I looked up the night before.

I certainly had chances to ask Dr. Avallone questions based on the patients and facts I learned the night before, and I took advantage of them. But, as fun as soaking up the knowledge was, I distinctly remembered making a special note to revisit before writing my blog. It read, “He enjoys helping people.”

What did my note mean? Well, Dr. Avallone saw sixty patients that day. Half the patients knew Dr. Avallone from previous visits. Some of them knew him from his fellowship with the New York Islanders professional ice hockey team. Dr. Avallone had a humility about himself and the way he conducts his work.  I am sure that he carefully presents himself that way for valuable reasons.

Dr. Avallone loves to throw in a joke too. He is sensitive to emotion. He knows how to empathize with them. Above all, he gives his patients honest explanations out of respect for their health.

When I looked at him interacting with patients, every time I thought about how special it was to learn from him. He wanted to help his patients get back to coaching, get back to exercising, get back to their active lives. He wanted to help them recover. He committed his life to helping other people. That’s what being a good doctor means.


Arence Paasewe ’16, Staten Island University Hospital

Arence-PaaseweThe first day of the Princeternship I walked through the revolving doors of Staten Island University Hospital full of anticipation. This was one of the few times that I had been inside of a hospital because thankfully my friends and family have not been ill enough to require hospitalization. I walked through the long maze-like halls looking for the radiology department while simultaneously taking in my surroundings and wondering if I could see myself working in a medical facility like this later in life. After getting lost a few times and asking for directions, I finally arrived in the ultrasound area of the radiology department and met Dr. Sanjiv Bajaj ‘02. After a short introduction, Dr. Bajaj offered me a seat and gave me a crash course on radiology. He pulled up patient ultrasound scans on the four computer monitors in front of him, rotating the views in order to see different organs such as the liver, kidneys and lungs from different angles. He explained that ultrasound works by focusing sound waves through a person’s body; bright areas on the scan corresponded to solid locations where the sound can not travel through easily while dark areas showed soft or fluid regions. While this seemed simple to grasp, I was completely lost when I stared at the computer monitor. Although Dr. Bajaj and I were looking at the same images, we were seeing two different things. I saw an endless sea of grey while he was viewing detailed images of various organs. Eventually after seeing enough images, organs began to immerge from the grey.

Dr. Bajaj then shifted to explaining the diagnostic ability of radiology, the aspect which had drawn him to this field. After reading the descriptions of a patients discomfort, he was able quickly list possible causes of the discomfort and find the actual cause in a patient’s image. We viewed many patients possessing gallstones, kidney stones, and fatty liver, a problem which was rapidly becoming more prevalent in the United States due to our diets. Although he never came in contact with the patients during my visit, due to a broken leg, Dr. Bajaj played a vital role in their treatments through his diagnoses, showing me the importance of radiology, a field that previously, I didn’t even know existed.

Around noon Ruina, the other Princetern, and I went upstairs to the conference room to have lunch with residents and attend their noon conference focusing on spinal images. Examples of patient images were displayed by a projector, and one after another the residents located minute details and diagnosed the problems present in each image, describing the diagnoses they would log into a Dictaphone. It was interesting to see a different phase of the radiological track and realize the time, effort and repetition needed to go from a medical student to a certified doctor.

The next day of my Princeternship PaaweweI viewed more images with Dr. Bajaj, but I also asked questions about the medical school, the medical field and life in general. He was open and honest with me and gave me the good and bad aspects of the medical field. He explained that being a doctor was a very rewarding experience; his work had an important impact in the lives of his patients and he had a genuine interest in the work that he was doing, but he noted that it took a long time and a lot of effort to reach the point that he was at. He told us that we should find something that we love and interests us and pursue it. If we were just enticed by the money and prestige, there were many different career paths that could accomplish that goal. This information was reiterated by his mother, a retired radiologist who had stopped by the hospital and many of the other doctors and residents who we encountered.

During one of our conversations, Dr. Bajaj came across the amazing ultrasound image of a baby demonstrating a possible case of anencephaly, a disorder in which a fetus develops without a brain and a large portion of its skull. This was a topic covered in Practical Ethics, a class that I had taken that semester and Dr. Bajaj had also taken when he was at Princeton. This led us into a conversation about the moral dilemmas present in medicine such as the available options for an anencephalic fetus and the complexity of the transplant system in the United States.

On the third day of the Princeternship, we shadowed Dr. Omar who was focusing on neurological radiology and Dr. Sperling in the Emergency Room. Both were experienced in the clinical side of medicine but had different views on it. Dr. Omar initially enjoyed clinical medicine but was disturbed by the small amount of time that could be allotted to each patient. He felt that this was a very impersonal system of providing care. On the other hand, Dr. Sperling loved clinical medicine. He enjoyed talking to patients, even if it was for a limited period of time and believed that patients benefited from being able to share their concerns with a professional if even for a short time. Even though we were in the ER for a short period of time, it was obvious that radiology differed from it greatly.

This Princeternship was my first shadowing experience and I am very thankful to Dr. Bajaj, Mrs. Bajaj and the kind staff of the Staten Island University hospital for sharing their workplace, time, knowledge and advice with me. I also appreciate Princeton Career Services for making this possible. I got a lot out of my Princeternship, but the two most important pieces of advice I took from the experience were to find something that interests me and pursue it, and to enjoy my time at Princeton, not allowing pursuit of medical school to dominate my life.

Olamide Oladosu ’15, From You Flowers

After being introduced to Internet entrepreneurship through the eLab, I became interested in e-commerce and what it takes to run a successful business, both of which I was exposed to in ample quantity at Three days at the New York marketing office offered an in-depth look at their daily operations, from product management to paid search, and of course, more than I ever thought I’d know about flowers.

From_You_Flowers_PhotoThough my toes almost became casualties of the Polar Vortex, my mood was still high as Michael Chiang ’17 and I arrived at From You Flowers on Tuesday morning. , After meeting our host Spencer Lucian ‘08 and fellow alum David Palms ‘11, we were immersed into the business by way of a marketing meeting, which was probably the best way to do it.  To summarize the company’s progress over the past year, each person used both industry and position specific terminology that we could pick up on and later discuss with them individually. In these subsequent conversations, I learned about varying topics such as the role networks play in the flower business, what a conversion pixel is, the massive parts Google and Amazon are playing in shaping the future of e-commerce, and how software is constantly evolving to help companies get to know their customers better. Beyond this profession-specific learning (and in some cases practice), we were also able to discuss openly with everyone at From You Flowers about everything from NASA to their career paths to advice on staying current in their field; however, just as important was the deep and passionate conversation that analyzed the homes on House Hunters International over delectable New York sandwiches at lunch.

An overall takeaway with respect to my career considerations was the importance of data-driven decision making in e-commerce. Although there are many areas in which to specialize – affiliate services, social media, SEO, website design, and email marketing, to name a few – within the blanket of e-commerce, they all invite data input and analysis in order to be done well. An aptitude for making sense of numbers is definitely an asset when the order and number of products on a page can make a significant difference in conversion. For instance, tests in which half the visitors view one site layout and half view another are run regularly; a comparison of product checkouts or item codes will then allow a more informed (and tested) decision about best practices moving forward, and this method of continual hypothesis and testing really appealed to me as an engineer.

One of the highlights of the trip was definitely the evening of the first day, after which I thought I might need a week to digest everything I’d seen so far. However, as I now know, a Tuesday without some Mandatory Fun is no Tuesday at all. The entire office invited us along to their weekly bowling night, which was such a fun time; we got to continue getting to know everyone on a personal level while laughing – a lot – at gutterballs. This was just one of the ways in which this Princeternship was extremely rewarding; I am now so much more confident in my desire to pursue a career in business, and e-commerce is definitely here to stay, so I’ll be prepared to take advantage of that opportunity should it present itself. I want to take this chance to express my deep gratitude to Spencer and David for making this level of trip possible, Mike Chapin, for opening up his company to us, and of course everyone who took time out of their day to explain what they do and why they love it – thank you all for a wonderful experience!

Jacqueline Nicholas ’15, Ganchi Plastic Surgery

Jackie-NicholasWhen I first arrived at Ganchi Plastic Surgery, I was really excited to experience a new specialty in the medical field and get to know Doctor Parham A. Ganchi, a renowned and award winning plastic surgeon from the class of 1987 (see bio).  Although I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect during the two days at his office and tried to go in with an open mind, any expectations that I may have had were easily exceeded.  I learned a lot from Doctor Ganchi, got to know him and his staff very well, and felt very comfortable and welcome at the office.

On the first day of my visit to the office, I met the staff and Dr. Ganchi—all of whom were very friendly and welcoming.  The staff was hard working and dedicated to making the patients’ experience as pleasant and easy as possible while still managing to laugh, joke, and have a great time together.  It was so nice to see an office full of people that both take their work seriously but also love what they are doing.  Following the initial check in and meet and greet process, I followed Dr. Ganchi around and met with new patients, follow-ups, and pre-operation clients.  Coming in on Dr. Ganchi’s day of consultation was very educational and interesting because I was able to meet with patients who had a variety of plastic surgery needs and preferences.  In fact, I find this really fascinating and attractive about the field of plastic surgery—the flexibility—a plastic surgeon is certified and trained to perform hundreds of different surgeries, both reconstructive and cosmetic.

On this first day at the office, Nicholas 1I listened to Dr. Ganchi talk to his patients about talking care of themselves post-operatively, watched him examine them, and also saw a lip enhancement injection.  When Dr. Ganchi spoke with his patients, he was very clear and made sure to answer all of their questions in a way that was medically informative but also understandable for them.  He was efficient with his time but did not rush through his consultations.  After meeting with his patients, I continued to see people that were pleased with the results and they looked great! The results I saw at Dr. Ganchi’s office were definitely among the best; for example, I thought his Rhinoplasties were pretty flawless.  His fabulous results are not only a product of his medical training but also due to the way he handles his procedures, which will be explained in Day 2.

Below is a link to Dr. Ganchi’s bio page where you can find out more about Dr. Ganchi’s education, training, see his amazing results, and find contact information!

One of the most exciting parts of Day 1 was actually when Dr. Ganchi showed me images on his computer from other surgeries he has done in the past and surgeries in which he was involved during his residency.  These surgeries were even more interesting to me because they were reconstructive surgeries that corrected a genetic deformity or a treated a trauma.  I have considered maxillofacial surgery to be one specialty in which I am very interested; therefore, seeing and hearing about some of Dr. Ganchi’s experiences such as cleft pallet repair surgery was really inspiring.

My favorite story was one in which Dr Ganchi. told me about how they took the cartilage from a person’s last floating ribs and skin to reconstruct the shape of his ear, which was missing.  It is truly mind-boggling to think about what can be done today with one’s own body to fix deformities or traumas and even more amazing to think that you or I could be the person responsible for helping such people in need.

The following day, I was able to see four different surgical procedures, all done on the same person.  It was such an amazing and valuable experience in which I learned a lot more about the human body and surgical procedures.  I watched a breast lift and augmentation, an umbilical hernia repair, and a tummy tuck.

The surgery was about 6 hours, which may seem long, but not when you are a surgeon who aims to achieve the best results possible. Dr. Ganchi was extremely precise, careful, gentle, and paid great attention to detail; in fact, before he began, he marked and measured segments and areas of the body to ensure his precision and accuracy.  To me, surgery is like art and plastic surgery is like creating a masterpiece.  Dr. Ganchi was prepared well to sculpt his masterpiece- he had his markings done, pictures up on screens in the operating room, and he prevented mistakes that could have been easily made by counting tubes of liquid he used out loud.  Although counting tubes seems simple, you learn how to count as a young child, many mistakes in medicine happen with simple tasks like giving the proper amount of medications.

Dr. Ganchi explained what he was doing throughout the surgery.  He identified parts of the body and pointed them out to me.  I felt like a medical student receiving a lesson in anatomy and I was glad to be able to have more of the human body revealed to me!

Nicholas 2

Yes… a selfie of Dr. Ganchi and me

After my very rewarding two-day visit with Dr. Ganchi, he told me, “Maybe you’ll now consider plastic surgery.”  At first, going into the Princeternship I felt like it could be an option, but after this experience it has fascinated me and definitely inspired me to keep my mind open to all specialties because each has something beautiful and wonderful to offer our society.Overall, this was an absolutely amazing, eye-opening, informative, and special experience.  I observed the doctor during his consultations with new and returning patients, got to see how his office was run, and was able to watch a 6-hour surgery.  Dr. Ganchi and his staff were so welcoming and kind and I learned a lot including procedural details and Doctor Ganchi’s past work with reconstructive plastic surgery.  I encourage students to take advantage of this great opportunity.Thank-you again to Dr. Ganchi and his lovely staff!


Chelsea Mayo ’14, Loyola University

Chelsea-MayoWhen fellow Princetern Morgan Taylor ‘15 and I showed Loyola employees the detailed schedule Dr. Papadakis had made us, they were impressed but not surprised by her attention to detail and careful planning. Dr. Alison Papadakis ’97 is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland. For the past year I have been researching possible graduate programs in psychology and Loyola University is near the top of my list for Psy.D. programs, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that a Princeternship was being hosted there. I am a senior in the English department, however I have taken several foundational psychology courses with the intent to eventually pursue higher degrees in psychology and become a practitioner in the mental health field.

This was my second Princeternship, and one thing I love about the Princeternship Program is how much the alumni who participate are willing go out of their way to tailor the experience toward what would be most helpful for you. For this Princeternship I was not simply shadowing Dr. Papadakis in her day-to-day activities, but instead she provided me and Morgan with the opportunity for a personalized view of several aspects of Loyola University. Throughout January, Dr. Papadakis emailed us to get a sense of what we each might want to do with the Princeternship: which courses we would like sit in on, which department faculty we might want to talk to, etc. So, on the first day she handed us a full schedule for the three days consisting of psychology courses, both undergraduate and graduate level, meetings with grad students, and informational interviews with professors that she had coordinated for each of us.

My first day began a little harried for Chelsea Mayo photo 1me because of traffic and issues finding parking on the Loyola campus, but it quickly turned into a wonderful day. Morgan and I were given a tour of the Loyola Clinical Centers by Dr. La Keita Carter. It’s a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility where the first and second year doctoral students are responsible for intake, assessment, and therapy of the clinic’s clients, all under supervision by their fellow students and licensed supervisors through one-way mirrors and video-recording. Following this, Morgan and I had some free time for lunch (during which I feverishly scribbled down notes on all that I’d learned so far) next-door in Belvedere Square Market before we were met by four first-year doctoral students. As a prospective applicant to a Clinical Psychology Psy.D. program (and possibly this one), the chance to chat with Amy, Jacob, Maite, and Abigail was invaluable. They gave me their perspective on what it’s like being a student, juggling classes and working at the clinic, and tips for applying. I asked them every question I could think of. We had a similar experience the next day when Morgan and I had lunch with third and fourth-year doctoral students Val, David, and Diane at the student center. It was great getting the perspectives of students farther along in the program. They told us about their externships and the process of writing a dissertation at Loyola. All of the graduate students were very friendly, open and honest.

Chelsea Mayo photo 2

Beatty Hall – Loyola Psychology Department

In the interest of brevity, I won’t go into detail about every course I sat in on and every informational interview I had over the three days. What I loved the most was getting a taste of what attending doctoral level courses is like, and my one-on-one meetings with Dr. Carolyn Barry, Dr. Beth Kotchik, and Dr. Sharon Green-Hennessy were all enlightening. It is helpful to learn about the different paths those far along in the field have taken, as well as their viewpoints on academia, teaching, and practicing. Our last day, Dr. Papadakis took Morgan and I to lunch at the superb Miss Shirley’s down the street. She told us about her experience at Princeton and her path in psychology after Princeton. She also gave me great and frank advice about things to consider when applying for and choosing graduate programs.

Chelsea Mayo photo 3

Morgan Taylor ’15, Myself, Dr. Alison Papadakis ’97

This was an excellent Princeternship for me not just because it confirmed my interest in becoming a licensed clinical psychologist in the future but because it showed me that I can see myself doing, and enjoying, all the steps in-between that goal and now: building up experience for applications, applying to programs, taking doctoral courses, providing supervised therapy in clinics, doing externships, writing a dissertation, etc. etc. Though I still cannot be quite sure what path in and out of graduate school and the mental health field I’ll end up on, I feel highly equipped thanks to the insight and advice I received from Dr. Papadakis and everyone she graciously connected me with. A huge thank you to Alison Papadakis as well as to all of the faculty and students who took time out of their busy schedules to make this such an enriching and enjoyable experience!

Colin Lualdi ’17, Boston University Law School

Colin-LualdiDriving into Boston on I-90 on the morning of Wednesday, January 29th, I spotted the familiar Boston skyline that I had missed so much over the fall semester; it was wonderful to be back in the Boston that I knew and loved. However, this was no ordinary visit to the Hub.

Instead, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in a Princeternship with Professor James Fleming *88 at the Boston University Law School. Ever since I took U.S. Government in high school I knew I had an interest in Law and Government (in addition to Economics, Computer Science, and Physics!), but I did not have the opportunity to explore these disciplines at Princeton yet, and was curious about what law school might have to offer. Luckily, this Princeternship presented itself as the perfect opportunity to discover a few answers to my questions.

Entering Professor’s Fleming’s officeLualdi 2 at 9:00 am sharp, I was immediately greeted by him and my two fellow Princeterns, Josh Roberts and Durva Trivedi. We began with introductions, and Professor Fleming told us a little about his background. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Missouri, and received his Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton, and his J.D. from Harvard. After working for a couple of years as a corporate lawyer, he became a law professor at Fordham University, and joined the B.U. Law School in 2007. His specialties are Constitutional Law and Theory.

He is currently the Associate Dean of Intellectual Life at the Law School, which means he is responsible for fostering the intellectual community at the school. To accomplish this, he organizes a number of events, among other projects, which bring law professors from within the University and from other institutions together to discuss trending legal issues.

Interestingly, one of the first things that I noticed about his office, aside from his gigantic bookshelf, was how purple it was; a deep, merry purple. There was a purple stool, purple mugs and purple pens. Purple shirts were on hangers and behind his door he even had a rack of purple ties. The professor himself was wearing a purple sweater. It turns out that purple is his favorite color, and every year a few students give him new purple items to add to his collection! I wonder what color I would choose if I become a professor, hmm.

Later that morning, we joined Professor Fleming for one of his periodic meetings with the dean of the law school, Maureen O’Rourke. Professor Fleming shared some ideas for the upcoming conference on the Constitutional War Powers that he is organizing, and then we all chatted with Dean O’Rourke about law school in general as well as our own personal college experiences.

Afterwards, we met with Professor Naomi Mann, who teaches in the disability clinic, and had a very interesting conversation about her experiences in disability law, with a focus on disability education laws. I thought I might be interested in disability law and advocacy, being Deaf myself, and was quite thrilled that Professor Fleming was able to introduce me to Professor Mann.

After Professor Mann bid us farewell, one of Professor Fleming’s students, Chris Mercurio, stopped by for a meeting to discuss a paper topic for a seminar in the Constitutional Theory class that Professor Fleming teaches. Initially, I was slightly frightened by the scope of Mercurio’s paper, but then I really enjoyed watching how the professor and the student played around with various ideas and suggestions. The opportunity to have such an in-depth one-on-one discussion between a professor and a student is truly special.

Lualdi 4In the afternoon, we all enjoyed a good discussion about studying law and Professor Fleming shared a lot of advice from his own student experiences and from what he has learned as a law professor. We then headed to his Constitutional Law class where the discussion focused on the concept of the right to vote and how it relates to the Constitution (fun fact: the right to vote is not explicitly stated in the Constitution!). Professor Fleming brought up three significant cases regarding voting rights: Reynolds v. Sims (one person one vote), Harper v. Virginia (invalidating a poll tax – we branched off a bit to discuss the current controversy regarding voter-ID laws), and Bush v. Gore. I especially enjoyed learning about the latter as I never fully realized the constitutional controversy that surrounded that election; I had previously thought that most of the issues stemmed from voting equipment malfunctions in Florida.

We then called it a day, and headed home.

The next day we met in Professor Fleming’s office again, and talked a bit about future prospects for law students and pursuing a career in law. There are actually many diverse career opportunities within the field of law: one can practice many different kinds of law, teach law, or branch off into something else!

We then had pleasant meetings with a few additional law professors on the faculty. Professor Mike Harper spoke to us about employment discrimination law in general, and then, responding to my request, touched on disability employment discrimination laws. Professor Daniela Caruso, another expert in disability law, shared her experiences working to ensure appropriate education for the autistic. Professors Rob Sloane and Pnina Lahav discussed topics in international law, the Constitution, and foreign affairs, which my fellow Princeterns were interested in.

For lunch we attended a very interesting faculty workshop where the entire law school faculty came together to eat and listen to Professor Gary Lawson present an ongoing paper on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s legal beliefs, “The Rule of Law as a Law of Law (Except When It Is a Law of Diminishing Returns Instead).” After Professor Lawson shared his thoughts on his project, various faculty members made comments and suggestions for refining the paper. It was one of the few times I had the opportunity to observe firsthand an actual discourse between professors, and it was fascinating to see the law experts share their thoughts and debate at such an advanced level.

At the conclusion of the workshop, we headed to another of Professor Fleming’s classes: Constitutional Theory. Unlike the Constitutional Law class on Wednesday which was relatively large, this class numbered about ten students and was more of a seminar than a lecture. For most of the two-hour class, the professor engaged the students with direct questions, which made for a very interesting discourse. The main discussion points were on the renowned law expert James Thayer’s argument regarding courts deferring to the processes of representative democracy along with Ely’s famous beliefs that courts should reinforce the processes of representation, especially in the context of the well-known United States v. Carolene Products case.

Afterwards we attended a short lecture on the legal questions surrounding the use of military drones in Middle Eastern conflicts, and ended the day joining Professor Fleming’s family at his home for a delicious meal. We had an interesting conversation over dinner with Professor Fleming’s wife, Professor Linda McClain (who also teaches at the BU Law School) about feminist legal theory, gender issues, and clashes between religious liberty and antidiscrimination norms. We also spent a fair portion of the dinner trying to convince one of Professor Fleming’s daughters, a junior in high school, to attend Princeton!

I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity to experience firsthand a view into the vast discipline of law. My conversations with the many law professionals whom I met and my attendance of a couple of law classes granted by the experience of this Princeternship, have confirmed my initial interest in law. While it seems early for me to decide on a specific area of law to study, I have come to realize that law is definitely something that I would like to pursue further as I discovered that it combines my interests in history, government, and policy. I am also very glad to discover that law is a very broad field; I have diverse interests, and I know I will be happiest if my chosen career is in a field that would permit me to incorporate my various interests into my work. The Princeternship Program has given me a wonderful opportunity to further explore an area of interest.  I would strongly encourage all students to consider applying for a Princeternship. It was certainly an invaluable experience for me.


Hope Lorah ’17, Wattvision

Hope-LorahMy Princeternship took place right on Nassau Street of Princeton in a space used by numerous startups called TigerLabs. I am not sure what I expected to see when I walked inside, but it was not the open, modern, and comfortable space where I spent my next four days.  Although my Princeternship was only meant to last three days, the other Princetern Grant and I were invited to come back for a fourth day and gladly did so.  Among the tables of startups sharing a large common room was a section for Wattvision, where Grant and I would use our laptops and work on the projects that the founder, Savraj Dhanjal ‘03, gave us over the following days.  Savraj shared with us his fantastic history in working with computers and technology and answered some questions of ours about finding employers and getting off the ground with a career in the area.

The first day at Wattvision, Grant and I started off by having a meeting with Savraj to discuss ideas for the company, critiques of the website, or questions we might have.  Right away it made me aware of the flexibility and adaptability of startups; he was immediately ready to hear our ideas and critiques of the Wattvision website and use them to improve and add to the effectiveness of the site.  I also had my first look into the collaboration that seems to be a big possibility with startups, which interests me.  Throughout the week we would bounce ideas off of one another, get second opinions, and together come up with the best solution to a problem. At any point, suggestions about how the company could be more effective in any of its areas was welcomed and noted so that they might be used in the future.  The first day Savraj also oriented us to Wattvision’s space in TigerLabs and the tools that the company uses to stay organized.  I learned how to use a company communication/management site “Slack” that lets employees access different channels of conversations, allowing a level of organization for the communication that happens about different projects. Before long there was a new channel named “interns” for Grant and I with a list of projects to accomplish over the following days.  I enjoyed being given real tasks within the company instead of simply watching others do work; I had the chance to make an impact on the progress of Wattvision in its product release.

One project to accomplish was setting up the Amazon page for the latest version of Wattvision’s product.  I learned how being a company works with Amazon and after a few conversations with people from the company had a submitted set of product details waiting to be accompanied by a sample of the product sent to Amazon. There were more steps and complications to the process than I would have imagined, but I enjoyed working on something that will be used for the marketing of the product.

Grant and I also helped in the assembly Lorah 1and setup of a batch of Wattvision gateways, which ispart of Wattvision’s product. We worked to get the gateways associated with their respective MAC addresses and check that the configuration of the gateways was correct. I learned about how the process of Kickstarters with backers works and that they would be receiving the first of the new version of the Wattvision sensor.  Getting the product to the customer was another project that needed attention. Grant and I learned about an online shipping label generator and the API it used.  We ended up coding in Python, a language I had no prior experience in at the time.  Between some tips and some online research I made progress in developing my coding skills. Savraj helped by teaching me some of the basics of Python and pointing me in the direction of a new text editor that I quickly learned to love.

Part of each of my days was walking to a restaurant on Nassau for lunch, a great break to get good food and talk to people from the other startups within TigerLabs.  I got the opportunity to hear about some fantastic ideas in progress that I hope to see launch in the future. I loved the open community space and feel to TigerLabs, and we even celebrated the birthday of someone from one of the startups over lunch our first day!

Another project that I worked on was designing an energy competition in which the residential colleges within Princeton University could compete with each other.  This meant considering the most effective ways to compare energy usage between colleges that have different numbers of student and buildings as well as different innate efficiencies based off of various ages of the buildings themselves.  It also meant deciding how the current Wattvision online model could be adapted into a competition for all of the students to see updated data. For Princeton to like the competition implementation that Wattvision presents meant that Princeton would become a client of Wattvision for all of its residential college dorms.  After Grant and I constructed a presentation outlining a set of guidelines, visuals, and formulas for the competition, I created an image to advertise the energy competition with the name under which we decided to present it.  It will be exciting to see my work and Wattvision’s product having a presence on Princeton’s campus!

Lorah 2Another highlight of my time at Wattvision was having the opportunity to have Savraj teach Grant and I about editing a webpage. It was something I had little knowledge about before but am glad to understand now, and it was interesting watching the interaction between the live webpage and how Savraj edited the version just on his machine. He was generous in taking the time to explain a lot of helpful tech tips and tools to Grant and me throughout the week that I hope to make use of in the future! Among this was research that I did into creating a responsive webpage, one that will work appropriately for desktop, tablet, and smartphone viewing.

Overall, being at Wattvision was a great experience.  I feel like I got an accurate feel for what a startup and particularly a tech startup is like.  I learned about important skills for someone in the IT field and saw the business side of a company, including getting the chance to sit in on a business call with an in-progress partner for Wattvision. Savraj was extremely helpful in introducing me and Grant to useful skills and resources as well as giving us the opportunity to use our skills to impact the company.