Paul von Autenried ’16, Lord Aeck Sargent

Day 1: Tuesday, January 28

My first day at Lord Aeck Sargent was spent in the office learning about the design process. The office was set up in such a way that it really encouraged collaboration between the architects and assistants, and I really felt fully integrated in meetings. The firm, which focuses mostly on colleges and universities, is designing a new residential building at Winston paul vonSalem State University (WSSU). In preparation for a meeting with many of the “players” in the project the next day, my alumni host Lauren Dunn Rockart ‘90 showed me the interplay between hand-drawn spatial diagrams and actual three-dimensional renderings on the computer. It opened my eyes to the extensive work that happens for an architect before pen really goes to paper (or the very versatile parchment they use!). The job of an architect is to fully understand the lifestyle of a client and be able to place rooms, utilities, and lighting in an order that best suits their needs. The floor plan is just a more concrete representation of these relationships between the spaces, and the real “genius” that I saw was the diagrams that looked like flow charts. They detailed which spaces needed to be adjacent, the flow of people from one space to the next, and the functions that are necessary in each. The actual dimensions are secondary, and only when all aspects of the “lifestyle” are thought through can the numbers come in.

Solving these “relationship” problems and finding functionality are not the only tasks. As my alumnus pointed out, the learning curve in higher education architecture is always steep because of the changing needs at every campus. There isn’t a cookie-cutter approach to making campus buildings just as there isn’t a cookie-cutter type of student. It’s imperative that architects understand the campus intimately. For example, one of the senior architects had walked the campus and learned that certain paths were heavily travelled and some not. He also pointed out that because very few students ever hang out on a particular terrace at a nearby building, the façade of the designed dormitory needed to be modified. to the plan was to take a trip to WSSU tomorrow to meet with all the different players in the process, and I’m excited to see what they think of the drawings.

Day 2: Wednesday, January 29

Today, we went on our trip to WSSU despite worries about the snow and ice (unbelievably since we were in the South)! In listening on the design meetings yesterday where pieces of paper were being drawn up and thrown out rapidly, I also found interesting the role that architects play on the project team. They are the leaders of the group, as it is their job to coordinate the many interests of the clients themselves, engineers, other contractors, and in LAS’s case, the University Architect, the Provost’s office, and students. Today, I got to see the architects present their designs to the University. The presentation process is very taxing—there is painstaking attention to detail so that every photo, rendering, and diagram is presented in the clearest way, and the agenda is mapped out carefully to account for all the logistical coordination between engineers and other contractors such as electricians, maintenance specialists, and the custodial staff. I was able to sit right next to the architects as they shared the designs and fielded questions. It was particularly interesting for me as a college student as they talked about all the amenities and features that college students look for in a dormitory—it was as if the architects needed to live a year in the life of a WSSU freshman to fully grasp what’s needed.

Following the meeting, we took a walking tour through one of their newest dormitories. This was an opportunity for LAS to learn about what worked and didn’t work with the design and gave them ideas for how to improve. I hadn’t realized the extent to which architecture firms are constantly presenting their ideas and operating in a very personal fashion. They have direct communication with clients and a large portion of their daily work involves making presentations and having discussions. This is different from the design-heavy view I had of the profession—it seems to encompass so much more than just what you’re taught at architecture school (and that was echoed by one of the architects!).

I am so glad to have had this opportunity because not only was I able to learn about architecture as a profession (a career I have never had any experience with) but also I received advice from Lauren and her colleagues. Lauren was also helpful with my decision on which courses to take to further help me decide whether I’m interested in architecture, whether just to dabble or to actually pursue a career since she went through the same curriculum herself. The other architects were extremely kind in offering advice about life after graduation, their paths to becoming an architect, and their honest opinion about their job and why they wake up excited to come to work at LAS each day.

With this experience, I was given much more than a “snapshot” of a career in architecture—I actually got to see a large portion of a major project essentially from the relationship-diagrams in Lauren’s mind to the presentation before the University. It was really a complete experience in that I had meals with the architects, I was able to go on the trip with them to meet their client, and I got to explore the office and meet the many members of their staff with their different responsibilities. This Princeternship opened my eyes to a new career, has given me ideas about what I want to do after graduation, and allowed me to meet a wonderful alumnus who was so generous to me.

Graham Turk ’17, Wattvision

Graham-TurkFrom the outside, 252 Nassau Street is a nondescript structure with fading tan paint and a badly weathered sign. If not for the Tigerlabs poster inside the window, I might have missed it entirely. I walked inside and climbed the steps. When I opened the door at the top of the flight I was amazed. It was a huge open colorful space with ping-pong tables, wooden picnic tables, an antique telephone booth, and a colorful fish tank. People from different startup companies were working everywhere on long tables topped with computers. I sat down on one of the bright red couches near the front desk and in less than a minute I met my host, Savraj Singh ’03. Savraj is the CEO of Wattvision, an energy monitoring company. Their product attaches to a home’s electricity meter and tracks the amount of energy the home uses. It then uploads that data to the company’s servers; the users are able to view their energy usage in real-time on their computers and phones.

Wattvision tracks months of energy data, and users can compare their energy usage between two dates. Users can even elect to receive email when their energy use spikes. Wattvision’s goal is reducing energy consumption, which saves customers money and mitigates their carbon footprint.

After I met Savraj, he brought Gateway2me and the other Princetern, Hope, to a conference room. We sat down in regal-looking leather armchairs and Savraj introduced us to Wattvision. He responded to our questions about the company and announced that they were within days of receiving the first fifty Wattvision 2 units, the second generation of the Wattvision sensor. The project was funded by Kickstarter, a crowdsourcing platform. Savraj then demonstrated how to edit the Wattvision website, and implemented one of my suggestions for the “How It Works” page, which was live within seconds.

He then introduced us to several important projects that he wanted us to work on. The first was creating the Amazon product page for Wattvision 2. Another major task was improving the “Setup” instructional page on the website to make it easier for customers to install the energy sensor. When the units arrived, we would also help package and ship them to the Kickstarter backers who had funded the project. The third big project was designing a proposal for an energy savings competition for the Princeton Office of Sustainability. They plan to hold an intra-dorm contest among the student body geared at energy reduction. At the end of the introductory meeting, Savraj got us both set up with Wattvision email addresses!

ripstickHope and I immediately got started on the Amazon product page. We did some research on Amazon’s vendor central service and learned how to use the product page template on Excel. I looked at similar products’ pages to see how to phrase the product description and important bullets. By lunch we had made some strong progress on the page and had spoken with a representative from Amazon who answered our questions about formatting.

For lunch we went next door to Nassau Street Seafood where we met many of the other people who work at Tigerlabs and got to learn about their startups. One of the most interesting companies was Present, which is designing an app for live video sharing.

In the afternoon, Hope and I continued to work on the Amazon page and I began outlining the proposal for the Office of Sustainability competition. I checked out the energy dashboard Wattvision had created for the Frick Chemistry Laboratory and the campus solar array. I brainstormed several ideas for how the competition could motivate students to cut their energy usage. As it approached the end of the day, Savraj gave me a lesson in riding his Ripstick, a type of skateboard that you can propel by twisting the board. He was a pro and rode it comfortably while talking on the phone. We spoke about improv comedy at school and he told me that he is in an adult improv group in Princeton. When I left I was already excited to be back the next day.

My second day at Wattvision began with work on the energy competition proposal for Princeton. I made a PowerPoint presentation featuring the contest guidelines and included snapshots of the Wattvision app featuring names of the residential halls. At 11, we listened in a conference call between Savraj and an employee of Smart Things, a home automation company. They spoke about integrating the Wattvision software with Smart Things’ products, which could be controlled using a smart phone. Their conversation was very interesting and gave me an idea of how companies in similar spheres collaborate.

After lunch I got to work on the Wattvision 2 setup page. Savraj wanted me to simplify it so that anyone could set up Wattvision in under 15 minutes. The ultimate goal is to create an instructional video demonstrating how to configure the gateway and sensor. I edited the formal setup instructions, which will be available as a supplement to the video.

Around 2:30 Savraj gave me and Hope a programming lesson. We were using the programming language Python to create shipping labels for the Wattvision 2. We used a website called EasyPost, which allows users to integrate shipping APIs into any application. I spent the rest of the afternoon writing code to extract data from a spreadsheet of Kickstarter backers’ addresses to transfer to the EasyPost code. Savraj went to pick up the Wattvision Gateways, which he said we would hopefully be able to package and ship the next day.

On Day 3, I continued working on the program wattvision bannerto transfer the addresses to EasyPost. Savraj came in carrying a big box of the Gateways and other boxes filled with sensors and tools. Savraj then explained how to set up the Gateways. He first plugged in a power cord to turn it on. Then he inserted an Ethernet cable to connect it to the Wattvision servers so that it could receive a unique ID number for future setup. The Gateway looked nothing like what I had imagined. It was a circuit board, unlike the plastic box I had seen in pictures. It wasn’t until after configuration that the circuit board gets inserted into the plastic casing. For the rest of the morning Hope and I configured the Gateways. It was very cool to think that we helped set up the first fifty Wattvision 2 systems.

In the afternoon, I simplified the setup instructions on the website and wrote a script for an instructional setup video that Wattvision plans to film soon. Savraj was very interested in my ideas about how to best present the information. While Hope submitted the Amazon product page, I came up with more ideas about the residential college energy competition. Savraj asked that I pitch the proposal to him, and in doing so I discovered a lot of areas that needed improvement. After working with Hope on the guidelines of the competition, I updated the presentation with better descriptions of the rules and incentives for the winning college. Before I left, I played a game of ping pong with Hope and practiced my Ripstick skills. I definitely made some solid progress from the day before.

On my fourth and final day I was determined to finish the shipping label program. After learning some basic Python operators online, I modified the batch order template to process the addresses of the Kickstarter backers. Seeing the orders appear in the EasyPost dashboard was definitely the most satisfying moment during my week at Wattvision (yes, it even topped my first turn on the Ripstick, which happened shortly after). Before lunch, I edited the Wattvision 2 setup documentation, meant to supplement the setup videos.

After a great sushi lunch, I got back to work on the setup instructions while Hope designed a logo for the “Princeton Energy Wars.” Next we got a lesson from Savraj on web design. He taught us about Git and Github and explained how to use Google App Engine to edit a website. I am hoping to continue learning web development on my own so I can create the setup page I envision. After a quick photo-shoot, we spoke to Savraj about his time at Princeton, his experience at Microsoft (he was a project manager for Office 2007) and the origins of Wattvision. He gave us some great advice about entrepreneurship and we spoke to Reuben, one of the other entrepreneurs in Tigerlabs. His company, 8andup” teaches entrepreneurship classes for young people (ages 8-10) in a fun and hands-on way. Before I left, I thanked Savraj for an amazing week and said farewell to Tigerlabs, at least for now.

My Princeternship at Wattvision confirmed my interest in entrepreneurship. It had always intrigued me, but this week I finally got to see startups in action. I wanted to believe that I could become an entrepreneur, but it wasn’t until this week that I realized it was a feasible possibility.

Experiencing a “day in the life” of a startup partially confirmed my anticipations. I had imagined people working really hard on projects they truly cared about. That was absolutely accurate. What was surprising was the range of activities the head of a startup needs to perform in a day. It could range from assembling units to debugging code.

I would recommend this Princeternship to anyone interested in the startup scene. It was a hands-on experience; I felt like I made a real contribution to Wattvision. It was one of the best weeks of my time at Princeton. I learned so much about a vast array of topics and got great experience working in that type of environment. After the Princeternship I decided that I want to work for a startup during the summer.

I owe a huge thanks to Savraj and everyone at Tigerlabs for letting me into their world. Savraj wanted to help us learn and was so patient in whatever he taught us. I can’t wait to go back to 252 Nassau Street!


Durva Trivedi ’17, Boston University School of Law

Durva-TrivediBefore starting my Princeternship with Professor James Fleming *88 at Boston University School of Law, I was a little nervous about having to confess how incredibly undecided I am in terms of academic concentration and career ambition. I have interests in many different fields, law being one of them, and am still exploring my options. Despite my initial nervousness though, with Professor Fleming, I was very pleasantly surprised by how accommodating he was of my career confusion. The Princeternship both reassured me in that respect and gave me a sense of what the life of a lawyer and law professor is really like. I can honestly say that after spending a couple of days with him, I am one step closer to deciding what subjects I hope to study further.

Even though two days is not much time, we had two very busy days. I realized that while Professor Fleming is undoubtedly an esteemed academic scholar, his work is not at all passive. Instead, he is deeply engaged in his writing, teaching and administrating roles. On the first day, he explained his job description to us and how he came to be in the position he is now in. We met many of his colleagues, who talked about the specific fields of law in which they have interests and specific expertise. We attended the class he taught on Constitutional Law and met some of his students. We also sat in on meetings that Professor Fleming had with his students as well as with Dean Maureen Rourke, the dean of the law school. It was interesting to see how involved Professor Fleming was with the details of all his projects, whether it was an upcoming academic conference, the notes his students draft for law review journals or the lectures topics for his Constitutional Law class.

The second day was a little different Trivedi 2but no less busy. We again met with colleagues of Professor Fleming’s to get an idea of what certain specific fields of law are like, attended the class he taught on Constitutional Theory, and sat in on meetings he had with students. In addition, we attended a faculty workshop where one professor presented academic writing and all the other professors offered critique and suggestions for improvement. In the evening, we had dinner with Professor Fleming and his family who very graciously welcomed us into their home.

After our busy two days together, I realized my preconceived notions of detached and passive scholarship were misconceptions and it became evident to me that the world of academia is very hands-on in its own unique way. Although law professors aren’t in the courts litigating, their day-to-day activities are very active and engaged.

While I’m still unsure about whether or not I definitely want to be a lawyer or law professor, I have most definitely gained a new-found respect for law and the work of law professors. Since returning from the Princeternship with Professor Fleming, I’ve shifted my schedule around a bit so that my Princeton coursework can include classes about Constitutional Interpretation and Civil Liberties. I’m now interested in internships and summer opportunities where I can learn more about law and I have even begun researching law schools. I am definitely glad I chose to apply for and complete this Princeternship because it surprised me in some really great ways and helped me to confirm my budding interest in law and politics.


Morgan Taylor ’15, Loyola University

Morgan-TaylorFor my Princeternship experience, I shadowed alumni Alison Papadakis, Ph.D. ‘97, an associate professor of psychology at Loyola University in Maryland. For three days, I attended classes, spoke with professors about their research, and learned more about the university’s Psy.D. program.

Day 1

Dr. Papadakis and I met in her office at 8:30 am on Monday, January 27th. After some brief introductions, we walked across the quad to her 9 am class—Research Methods in Clinical Psychology. This course is designed to help second year graduate students prepare their dissertation proposals. For the first hour, Dr. Papadakis discussed organization and time management techniques. She then dismissed Chelsea (a fellow Princetern) and me so we could travel to the Loyola Clinical Center (LLC). There, we received a tour of the facility from Dr. La Keita Carter, the LLC Psychology Division Director. The LLC specializes in four main areas: psychology, speech-language pathology, audiology, and pastoral counseling. Graduate students in the Psy.D. program have the opportunity to train there under supervision and receive detailed feedback on their clinical techniques. We ended the tour in Dr. Carter’s office and asked her more about the training opportunities the Psy.D. program offered. After some free time, we met four first-year graduate students (i.e. Psy.D. candidates) for lunch. They shared their experiences as grad students, detailing everything from the application process to their day-to-day schedules. My impression was that the first year or two in the program was very similar to the undergrad experience—lots of time in class and a minimal amount of time in the field. I like how the program doesn’t force your clinical experience; it offers it to you in manageable chunks and allows you to gradually acclimate yourself to meeting with clients and creating an action plan for treatment. Chelsea and I ended the day by attending an undergraduate course called “The Psychology of Women.” We talked about gender vs. sex and the outside influences that determine our personal view of men and women.

Day 2

After briefly checking in with Dr. PapadakisPrinceternship picture in the morning, Chelsea and I attended “Introduction to Counseling,” an undergraduate course designed to introduce students to the roles and practices of a clinician. We discussed how counseling is a collaborative work process between the counselor and client. The counselor should be in the middle of a spectrum that spans from directing the client’s life on one extreme and leaving the client to work out their problems alone on the other. Next, I met with Dr. Matt Kirkhart, an associate professor of psychology. He talked about his career path and how over the past few years his interests have shifted from doing research and clinical work to teaching. He felt that it was a natural progression and is very content with his current position. After that, Chelsea and I had lunch with one third-year and two fourth-year graduate students. They, of course, were able to offer a very different perspective of the program. In these years, the students apply to externships at clinics and hospitals not affiliated with Loyola University. They still check in with their advisers and may take a class or two, but most of their work is independent. The fourth-years are currently applying to internships for next year—jobs that will place them in the field full-time. Once you successfully complete your internship and dissertation, you are rewarded with your Psy.D. degree and can continue on to practice or go into teaching, depending on your interests. After lunch, I attended two graduate courses—“Principles and Practices of Psychotherapy” and “Introduction to Health Psychology”.

Day 3

On the last day, I had two more individual meetings with professors Dr. Marianna Carlucci and Dr. Frank Golom. The former is a forensic psychologist interested in the intersection of psychology and law and the latter is an IO (Industrial/ Organizational) psychologist. It was very interesting to hear about their experiences. As a prospective cognitive psychologist primarily interested in research, it was refreshing to hear about the other options that exist outside of academia. To end the day, Dr. Papadakis treated me and Chelsea to lunch. She discussed her experiences as a Ph.D. student and gave us more information about how that program differs from a Psy.D. program. She also reminisced about her time at Princeton and gave us advice about how to proceed with our education/career goals in the coming years.

Overall, this was a very rewarding experience. Talking with Dr. Papadakis and other professors really gave me some clarity about the graduate school process and the different ways I can use my degree once I obtain it. It was also useful to learn more about the Psy.D. program. Although, I am not currently considering going into the clinical field, it was nice to learn about alternative options to the Ph.D. I now feel that I have a more complete understanding of the different areas of psychology.  This knowledge is invaluable to me, especially considering my plan to attend graduate school within the next few years. I am incredibly grateful for this experience and encourage anyone considering any type of psychology to attend this Princeternship if it is offered again. Don’t limit yourself to only the things you think you are interested in—explore everything and you won’t regret it!

Nathan Suek ’17, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Nathan-SuekI left for my Princeternship in New York early in a morning shrouded in dense, white fog. As I chugged along in the dinky train, I couldn’t help but wonder what kinds of interesting things I would be able to see today. What kinds of patients? What kinds of diagnoses?

My Princeternship was at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center with Dr. Ariela Noy ‘86. My excitement grew as I continued to mull over the possibilities for the day. After an hour-long train ride, I arrived at Penn Station and experienced, for the first time, the fast-paced style of NYC. As soon as I stepped off the train, everyone was off. Unfamiliar with the local terrain, I trudged my way through bustling crowds of people, bumping into strangers as I focused on the notebook paper with a hastily drawn diagram I called my map.

It was my first experience commuting to work. After walking to the wrong subway station and a few stops downtown instead of uptown, I finally arrived at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Perfect timing. Lauren, Dr. Noy’s extremely warm and friendly assistant, greeted me. That morning, Lauren informed me, I needed to complete a few mandatory medical tests required of all employees before beginning. Adventuring from building to building to complete these tests, I couldn’t help but stop and try the local eateries and food carts as my stomach growled when lunchtime neared.

At noon, I was all cleared to go. That day was an incredibly busy day for Dr. Noy’s office. The early afternoon through late evening was filled with back to back visits with patients. I think one of the most interesting things about Dr. Noy’s work was how she combined her two backgrounds as a physician scientist together. As we continued to see patients, she sometimes commented on how the diagnosis of certain patients particularly fit her research interests. And while she let me look at several of the patient’s medical documents, I did not completely understand everything. It was interesting for me to try to piece together parts of the diagnoses as words like platelet and white blood cell count floated across the screen.

We had one patient in particular that seemed to fit Dr. Noy’s research profile perfectly. The patient had a history of both HIV and cancer. I went in to see the patient with Dr. Noy, not knowing what to expect because apparently, the cancer had gone into remission but seemed to have recently come back. Thankfully, upon Dr. Noy’s examination, everything was fine. It was great news considering that it was the patient’s marriage anniversary that day!

All in all, this Princeternship was an incredible experience being able to see how Dr. Noy blends her research with her work as a physician. For a long time, I have debated between pursuing a career in medicine versus research, but now I am sure that I won’t have to pick one over the other. It is equally interesting and rewarding to be able to do both. I am so grateful to have been able to shadow the incredible Dr. Noy. This Princeternship has definitely given me a clearer direction in the pursuit of my future career.

Rahul Subramanian ’15, Epic

This past Intersession Break during the winter of 2014, I had the pleasure to complete a Princeternship at Epic in Verona, Wisconsin, shadowing Todd Dale, a 2009 Princeton CBE alum serving as a Technical Services Engineer and organized by Gina Davis, a 2010 Princeton alumni. During the two days that I spent at Epic, I had the chance to learn firsthand the different ways that I could apply my engineering knowledge to the healthcare sector by shadowing Mr. Dale, Ms. Davis and several other Princeton alumni including David Schmidt, a 2002 ELE alumnus working in EDI, Doug Wolf, a 2009 alumnus working as an Implementation Specialist, and Esther Kim, a 2013 alumnus also working as a Technical Services Engineer.

While all of the alumni that I shadowed had different titles, Epic’s culture allows employees to adapt their responsibilities according to their strengths, experiences and goals. For example, Technical Services Engineers provide technical advice to Epic’s clients, typically hospitals or large healthcare systems, as they install and maintain Epic software.  In addition to helping clients with Epic’s software system, Mr. Dale also manages staffing of other Technical Services Engineers to various assignments.   We had the chance to observe Mr. Dale meeting with his team to troubleshoot technical issues that clients were running into.  Mr. Schmidt, meanwhile, is an EDI Engineer and works to integrate Epic’s software system with other systems used by healthcare systems. For example, in cases in which a healthcare system utilizes two different types of software for different applications, Epic’s software system will need to be compatible with the other software. We observed Mr. Schmidt meeting with several developers and other EDI engineers to fix some of these consistency issues between the two systems.   Finally, we also had the chance to observe Doug Wolfe, MAE’09, in his role as a Project Manager Implementation Specialist, helping clients prepare for the installation of Epic software at their location.  It was really cool to observe Mr. Wolfe speak with clients over the phone and prepare his team to prepare for the installation process. I could really sense the excitement in the room as everyone was finalizing their preparations!

While observing Mr. Dale and his Epic-Group Photo 1colleagues at work gave us an appreciation for the kind of challenges that Epic employees tackle, we also gained an appreciation for Epic’s fun and enthusiastic work culture. Ms. Davis took us on several tours of the Epic campus, which is essentially a mini-city filled with individually themed buildings. There were simply too many fascinating things to recount, but some of my favorite buildings included Juno, a Wild-West themed building, and Kohoutek, an Asian-themed building. I also enjoyed riding down a slide linking two floors of Heaven, another themed building.  During our last day at Epic, Esther arranged a lunch for us with a group of employees from the Princeton Class of 2013. Talking to them gave me a new perspective on working at Epic and what it might be like to join the company right after graduation.

As an Electrical Engineering major interested in public health, I found my Princeternship experience to be extremely enjoyable and insightful. Epic combines the innovative and creative culture of a technology company with the social impact of the healthcare sector. Completing this Princeternship definitely gave me a much clearer perspective on the healthcare information technology industry, and how I could effectively apply my Electrical Engineering knowledge. More importantly, the program allowed me to meet with a variety of alumni who had a range of backgrounds at Princeton and who provided me with useful advice on pursuing a career as an engineer, grad school, and even making the most of my time at Princeton.  I would definitely recommend this opportunity to any Princeton student that might be interested in healthcare or technology!


Jeongyoon Song ’14, Butler Rogers Baskett Architects


The Princeternship began at Penn Station, where Bobby Vuyosevich ’76 picked me up. We drove for about an hour and a half to Molloy College where the firm (Butler Rogers Baskett) designed many of its buildings including a residential building and a campus center. On the way there we talked about the architecture department at Princeton and compared our experiences. It was interesting to hear what it was like 30 or so years ago. For one, while he made all his drawings by hand we made ours with computer programs. In terms of the faculty, two of the most prominent figures in post-modernism taught studio courses at Princeton.

When we finally arrived at the college, alumBobby gave me a tour of several buildings. We walked around in the campus center, which housed study spaces, offices, and a theater. He explained that before the campus center was built students had little incentive to stay after classes. After its completion the center became a new social and study space for the students and encouraged them to stay longer on campus. We also went to a construction site where a new residential building was in progress. Inside, walls were bare and steel framework was being put together.  Bobby explained that the building used to be home to Catholic nuns but as their number decreased the school decided to provide the remaining sisters a smaller new housing elsewhere while the building was transformed into a dormitory. I had never been to a construction site before, and seeing how the building came together—the metal framework, wiring, and plumbing system—made me aware of how the role of the architect is just part of the larger construction process.

After the site visit we made our way back into the city and had lunch. While we ate, we talked about the social life at Princeton and about eating clubs. Then we walked back to the office, where Bobby introduced me to some of the workers at the firm. One of them was Jeff, who showed me the types of drawings that he was working on. As he flipped through the drawings I asked him questions about what it was like transitioning from school to work and the process of applying to graduate school. As a person who had recently graduated, Jeff gave insightful thoughts on both questions. He also said that for architecture, a lot of the learning happens while working for a firm. It was assuring to hear these words from someone in the field, as I had been anxious about post-grad plans and whether I had all the necessary skills to be hired.


Tuesday was more low-key and consisted of museum visits, first to Center of Architecture then to MoMA. At the Center of Architecture MoMAwe looked at the exhibition of selected works from different architecture graduate schools in the tri-state area, including Princeton. Although the exhibition was small, it was a chance to see how each school had their own character and approach to design. At the MoMA I walked around different exhibitions (unfortunately the architecture section was closed down to prepare for a new exhibition featuring Frank Lloyd Wright). I ended up spending a lot of time on a special exhibition on Isa Genzken—an artist who works with mixed media and produces works that often make social commentary.

When I got back to the firm,   officeBobby invited me to sit in on a business meeting with a recycled lumber company. The company talked about how disasters and demolition leaves a lot of wood behind and how they take the abandoned wood and recycle it to produce lumber products that are as good as new. After the meeting, Bobby explained that companies selling construction related products often dropped by to market their products, sending in samples and pamphlets.

Overall the Princeternship was a useful and insightful experience that allowed me to see how a professional architecture firms works. Not only that, it introduced me to individuals in the field who I could contact to review my resume and portfolio.


Grace Singleton ’16, World Monuments Fund

My three-day Princeternship at World Monuments Fund benefited me in two ways. First, I got a taste of what working at a nonprofit actually entails. Second, I benefited from the advice and perspectives of the people that I met during my stay with WMF.

My first – unofficial – task during my Princeternship was to navigate New York City, a setting that drastically contrasts with the small town where I grew up. Simply navigating the subway and streets of New York was rather foreign to me. Even this basic detail – the location – was a significant part of my Princeternship since it gave me a better understanding of what it actually means to work in an urban office setting. My first real experience living and working in the city would be a grand one, since, as I found out, WMF is housed in the most iconic office building of them all: the Empire State Building.

After successfully checking in as a visitor and obtaining my day pass, I took the elevator up to the 24th floor and began my official work. After being given a quick orientation tour around the office and an introduction to the office’s computer system, I met my Princeternship host, George McNeely ’83 and another Princetonian working at WMF, Yiannis Avramides ’08.

As Vice President for Strategic and Singleton 1International Affairs, George works on the development side of the nonprofit. This means – as one of the program directors explained to me – “he raises the money, and we get to spend it.” At WMF, as with any nonprofit organization, fundraising is a key and ever-pressing issue. George and Yiannis explained to me that, during my three days with them, I would be helping them tackle this issue by researching prospective corporate sponsors for “The Watch,” one of WMF’s major projects. Every two years, WMF publishes the Watch List, which highlights the top at-risk cultural heritage sites around the world, serving to bring visibility and support to the initiatives that restore and preserve these sites. My specific task was to investigate corporations that might be interested in sponsoring this project as part of their “Corporate Social Responsibility.” This task continued throughout the three days, culminating in a spreadsheet that compared the philanthropy policies and potential compatibility of about fifty corporations. I appreciated having my own independent project to work on during my time at WMF since it gave me good insight into the reality of workplace tasks and expectations.

Besides working on the development project, I also got to meet a lot of the individuals who work for WMF. On the second day of my Princeternship, Yiannis took me on a quick tour around the office and introduced me to people from various departments within the organization. Each person shared with me the specifics of his or her position and explained how they ended up working at WMF in particular. Through these conversations, I learned more about the general field of cultural preservation – WMF’s area of focus – and about how different interests may fit into this particular niche.

I would say that the personal interactions I had during my stay at WMF – whether around the office or over lunch – formed the most valuable part of my experience. Each person that I talked to was eager to hear about my interests, share their own story, and give me advice. This advice spanned from academic to career to general. The unifying theme of these conversations was encouragement of exploration. I was reassured that, at this point, it is perfectly acceptable to not be totally sure of what career path I want to follow and encouraged to explore my interests by taking advantage of the multitude of opportunities currently surrounding me. This advice, coupled with the exposure I gained to the realities of working at a nonprofit, made my Princeternship a valuable experience both on a personal and professional level.

Sarah Santucci ’17, Ganchi Plastic Surgery

Sarah-SantucciMy first day with Dr. Parham Ganchi ’87 (see bio) began with a surgery that lasted several hours. It was a SMAS facelift in which the skin of the lower face and neck is lifted from the layer of fat underneath, and the muscular system of the face is manipulated to create a natural-looking and not excessively “tight” result. Dr. Ganchi’s surgery room is remarkable—pristine and equipped with the latest technology. I’m eternally impressed by the design of medical equipment. For example, Dr. Ganchi’s surgical loupes had a light whose cord clipped to the back of his collar to stay out of his way. But there was a tool even more remarkable and something I’d never seen before. Dr. Ganchi had insulated forceps to which he could touch the cautery tool in order to precisely stem tiny facial vessels. This helps to prevent bruising and other bleeding-related complications in his patients. For more information on Dr. Ganchi’s facelift procedures, see

Dr. Ganchi’s wife also works with him on days he sees patients. OrchidsTara, one of Dr. Ganchi’s nurses, informed me that Leyla Ganchi had done much of the impeccable decorating, which, to my great joy, included some beautiful orchid varieties. She ordered lunch for his nurses and for me. For Dr. Ganchi, she peeled a clementine. She said, “Dr. Ganchi, take two minutes and eat this orange.” But he was already off again. Later, a nurse asked what he was doing with the peeled citrus just sitting out, Dr. Ganchi responded wisely, “I’m aging it.” Funny, because he does the exact opposite to his patients.

A picture of Dr. Ganchi is a picture of a busy but devoted man. He chooses to give each patient special attention. Busy officeMost doctors nowadays rush through their jobs—you may sit in a waiting room for two hours to see your doctor for only two minutes. He is not that way. He works with his patients, giving them his valuable time in order to guide them toward the best plan of action. I heard one of his staff saying, “Sure. We’ll see you afterhours.” A nurse told me, “He stays here sometimes until two in the morning. That man gets no sleep.” And he has four children fifteen years old and younger, enough of a job in itself for most mortals.

Sometimes, with all the silly speculation about which movie stars have gotten breast implants or a rhinoplasty, it’s hard to see cosmetic plastic surgery at the personal level. Like it or not, appearance is very important in our society—important to how others see us and therefore how we see ourselves.

One of the last patients I saw was a kind woman who had had a body lift and a breast reduction and was in for a post-operative checkup. She told Dr. Ganchi how appreciative she was of the surgery he had done for her. Right before Dr. Ganchi and I left for her to get dressed again, she looked me in the eye and said, “I want you to know, sometimes it’s not just cosmetic. I couldn’t go shopping with my friends… I couldn’t be with anyone… Sometimes it’s not just cosmetic.” He had changed her life.

Thanks to him, and thanks to State-of-the-art operating roomPrinceton and the Princeternship program, I spent what would have otherwise been a boring Intersession instead having the experience of a lifetime. If I became a surgeon as skilled and as caring as Dr. Ganchi, I would consider my life a success. He has changed the lives of countless people, and now I think he can add my name to that list.

Deborah Sandoval ’16, Prescription Advisory Systems and Technology, Inc.

Deborah-SandovalDay 1

I arrived sharply at 10 am to PAST, Inc. headquarters, a collection of offices hiding above Panera on Nassau Street, along with two other Princeterns: Kevin Pardinas ‘16 and Katherine Lee ‘17. Our host, Joe Studholme ‘84, gathered us into the conference room to introduce himself and his newly founded company. Mr. Studholme, Chairman of Colonial Club’s Grad Board and CEO of PAST, Inc., informed us about his experiences with startups, sharing his story about leaving Princeton his senior year to join a company that would eventually go “belly up” and showing us his “tombstone” – a plaque representing a 14-million dollar deal for his former company. Having been successful with his previous startup, Mr. Studholme explained that he now had a better chance of attracting investors and, of course, a better idea of how to make this company grow.

Mr. Studholme then quickly briefed us on the background of his product. A surprisingly large number of people die each year from prescription drug abuse and being prescribed a deadly combination of drugs – common, costly, and deadly problems in United States healthcare. Today, doctors are pressed to see as many patients as possible in a limited amount of time and cannot afford to do a thorough analysis of a patient’s medical background information. Mr. Studholme’s product addresses this problem and allows meaningful information to be viewed efficiently– helping prevent lawsuits, abuse, and most importantly, injuries or deaths. He gave us a tour of his product so that we became familiar enough to begin our first assignment.

We were asked to find ways to represent the data provided by a Fitbit®, a wearable fitness-monitoring device, so that it was meaningful. Our first assignment quickly immersed us in the developing stages of the company – our findings were to be implemented in the product and pitched to the client as soon as possible. As a group, the Princeterns researched, discussed, debated, and finally, presented our findings to Mr. Studholme and his team. We were given some feedback and would continue to shape this project the next day.

Day 2

Essentially, we were back toPardinas 1 the drawing board, so we headed straight to work with the feedback from yesterday in mind. I felt very productive and fulfilled knowing that our efforts would be manifested in the product. Since we all had technical backgrounds in computer science, Mr. Studholme thought we would benefit from seeing the technical perspective of the startup. We met with the software programmers who gave us a thorough overview of how the product is structured and run. The programmers emphasized on separating modules and implementation to make for easier changes – a very important theme I learned in my computer science classes. It was fascinating to see the applications of computer science in a “real-world” setting. Since there was currently no patient data, the programmers explained that they had to create mock data in order to show clients what the product does and will do. With that in mind, we created mock data for the patients seen in the product demo, so that it would be easier to implement when we were finished with our project. We wrapped up our work and prepared to present in a web meeting/conference call at 10:30 am the next day.

Day 3

We presented our project to Mr. Studholme (who was on a train at the time heading to an important meeting) and his staff once more and received additional feedback on how to improve and take into consideration some pitfalls in our calculations and displays. However, we were on the right track and much closer to getting it right. The other Princeterns and I began to discuss and consider the pros and cons of all our options, slowly eliminating each one until we decided on the most efficient and less-time consuming feature for the client. We then presented our final project to Chief Legal Advisor Ahmet Bayazitoglu ‘00 and Business Development Director Douglas Blair ‘71 who agreed that our version of displaying data was most efficient.

We asked the staff questions about how they became involved with PAST, Inc. as well as their roles and expectations for the company. They provided invaluable insight on careers and networking after Princeton and with that we closed a fascinating and exciting experience with Prescription Advisory Systems and Technology, Inc.

I sincerely thank our host, Mr. Joe Studholme, for opening his company to three interested Princeton students and for providing a quality experience that will influence our future perspectives and careers. I would also like to thank Ahmet Bayazitoglu, Douglas Blair, Vin Shelton ‘80, Jeanette Thomson ‘85 and the rest of the staff for offering their knowledge, sincere advice, and help in making this possible.