Ms. Jennifer Ozonma Enjoying Corporate America in Boston

Posted in Claflin Interns on July 28, 2010 by claflininterns

I started off the summer working for five weeks as an academic contractor at Eli Lilly & Company in Indianapolis.

Working in the protein optimization team of a larger division called Biotechnology Discovery Research (BioTDR), my main responsibilities included purifying recombinant proteins for use in the treatment of diabetes and obesity.

I think Lilly is a unique company because even though team work is emphasized, they also encourage creativity and innovation. My manager welcomed my ideas and perspectives on solving each problem. This is certainly not the case in some other companies where you’re more like a robot following cut-and-dry protocols.

I enjoyed the community culture at Lilly; attending meetings and networking with scientists across the board. The most exciting aspect of working in BioTDR was that everybody honestly cared about your personal career success. My manager always scheduled meetings with people she thought could give me the best perspective on pursuing graduate studies in pharmacology. Everybody encouraged me to further my education by getting a doctorate degree in any area of biomedical research including pharmacology, immunology, cell biology, translational medicine, etc. I am extremely grateful to the company, and particularly to Dr. Jude Onyia, director of BioTDR, for providing me with this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I was fortunate to be selected for another 11-week internship at Novartis, AG, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, with their R&D operations in Cambridge, MA.   I am currently working as an intern in Oncology Drug Discovery. The goal of my project is to decipher the mechanism of action of a novel molecule that has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth. In layman’s terms, we have a molecule that we know stops cancer cell proliferation, but we don’t know how it does its MOA. In figuring this out, my assignment is mainly that of target validation, siRNA knockdown, and determining if siRNA knockdown of target genes can rescue the growth-inhibitory effect of our novel small molecule inhibitor.

In addition to working extremely hard at Novartis, I am also attending graduate school interviews and open-house visitations at my graduate schools of choice. I have interviewed at Tufts Medical School and attended an open house at the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard University. My plan is to relocate to the Greater Boston Area upon graduation next May to attend graduate school at one of the elite research institutions in the area.

Overall, I am having the time of my life in corporate America. There’s just something cool about walking around with a company ID, and being referred to as an “employee”.lol.   I love Boston, aka Beantown!! Even though it sucks to be a Lakers fan around here, it’s hard to beat a city with over 60 schools and companies located in a 27 mile radius!

 I’d like to give big thank you to everybody that assisted me in this process. I owe all of you, big time!


Two is Better Than One: Ms. Toni Talley Learning About Advertising and Radio Industries

Posted in Claflin Interns on July 28, 2010 by claflininterns

I attended the Center of Excellence Advertising Boot camp at Howard University for two weeks.

Within these two weeks, I saw the ins and outs of the advertising industry which helped prepare my group , The Ganar Group, for a real marketing campaign for the NAACP and the Coca-Cola Company. This was a competition among 21 students ranging from sophomores to recent graduates. Throughout the program, each group took home a “homework assignment”, where we would have to research different analysis and different strategies to target the youth population for each company.

Different advertising agencies like Egamni Consulting, Wieden & Kennedy, the Publisher of Heart & Soul, and many more came in to speak to the program to give us insight on putting together our marketing solutions. This program was very, very, very intense. No time for sleeping, touring Washington D.C., or socializing with people in the other programs. Work was the only thing the CEA knew how to do, and in the end, all the nights of watching the sun rise paid off!

Every participant was offered an internship with major advertising agencies, such as Wieden & Kennedy who works with Michael Jordan and does commercials like the “Old Spice” commercial. I would have been offered an internship, but I wasn’t competing due to already having another internship at home and family circumstances.

After the two weeks in Washington, D.C., I headed back home to Kansas City, MO where I soon became an intern at Cumulus Broadcasting in the production department. Cumulus Broadcasting consists of eight radio stations, including the Kansas City Chiefs network. I worked with Mr. John Taylor in the production department, dubbing in and extending commercials with Maestro and Enco, creating commercials using Nuendo and reading scripts for stations like Magic 107.3, and Vibe 95.7. This was a short program through the City of Kansas City, MO.

Not only did I attend the CEA program in Washington D.C., and work for Cumulus Broadcasting, but I was also asked to help the 5th District City Councilman, Terry Riley, with his campaign for his upcoming election this August.

Ms. Keaira Berry’s Bi-coastal Internship

Posted in Claflin Interns on July 27, 2010 by claflininterns

I am doing great as I am closely approaching the end of my summer research at the University of Virginia.  As part of my internship, I attended the Endocrine Society Minority Access Program mentor, Dr. Chien Li, at the 92nd Endocrine Society Annual Meeting which took place in San Diego, California (June 19-22 , 2010).

The trip was grand and a career-steering experience!   I will be headed to the Leadership Alliance National Symposium which will take place in East Brunswick, New Jersey on July 30- Aug 1, 2010. 

This summer,  I  investigated the effects of stress on energy homeostasis and the implications it may have in metabolic-endocrine disorders such as obesity and type II diabetes.  I know…exciting right?! 

It was very exciting to experience a new city and establishing more connections through networking at the conference.

Ms. Kiara Drake Researching the Law and Enjoying Natural Beauty of Cornell University

Posted in Claflin Interns on July 27, 2010 by claflininterns

I remember my first day in Ithaca well. It was cold and rainy and I figured the phrase “on a hilltop high” had been taken a little too literally. I struggled to scale the steep hills of Cornell’s campus in my sandals, slipping and sliding with every step. I figured my tumultuous first impression was an indication of how the rest of the summer would unfold. Fortunately, I was wrong.

I met my mentor, Dr. Aziz Rana of the Cornell Law School, for coffee.  We began planning the course of my summer research. Engaging my passion for Constitutional law once again, I decided to concentrate on two philosophies of Constitutional interpretation —originalism and living Constitutionalism— and gauge how well each of them are practiced and render judicial objectivity in the U.S. Supreme Court.

With the support of my mentor, the Cornell University Leadership Alliance (CULA) administrators and the other thirteen women of the program (no men this summer), I was able to hash out my research and enjoy my Ithaca summer at the same time. Exploring hiking trails, swimming in waterfalls and wading in a natural —as opposed to manmade— lake, I got a New York experience that is quite unlike what nonresidents usually bear witness. Like most people, I had never imagined the world of New York outside of NYC, though I did visit the City for a second time.

All in all, I am thankful that I was given a second opportunity to participate in the Leadership Alliance. I conducted research at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut last summer. Appreciative of the unique relationships and experiences I gained at both institutions, I now look forward to this year’s symposium in New Brunswick, NJ where I am sure my experience will be equally rewarding.

Ms. Leighann Black Researching Schizophrenia at Vanderbilt University

Posted in Claflin Interns on July 26, 2010 by claflininterns

Upon arriving at Vanderbilt University, I expected the unexpected.  However, the past eight weeks here have not only been encouraging, but eye opening as well. 

Ashley Scott and I arrived in Nashville on June 1st, and had orientation the next day.  At orientation, we learned our mentors would be for the duration of the program.  We then started working the day after.  I am interning with Ariel Deutch, a professor who recently left Yale University to pursue a higher position at Vanderbilt. 

The program here hosts enrichment seminars every Monday.  These enrichment seminars cover topics such as responsible conduct in research, networking in the biomedical sciences, and applying to MD/PhD programs.  They also host journal clubs that are held every Wednesday at noon.  The purpose of the journal club is to teach us to identify the question/hypothesis that the researchers pose, their methods of testing/answering the question, and their conclusions.

My first week consisted upon learning the ins and outs of the lab and lots and lots of reading.  They explained that in order to successfully complete and understand my research project, I would have to read many journals as well as chapters out of a neuroscience textbook (that Dr. Deutch assisted in writing) to strengthen my background knowledge on my project. 

My project consists of understanding the effects that Schizophrenia has on the human brain.  I am working under a graduate student named Pete in the lab and my project is connected with his project. Pete starts off by injecting a toxin into the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) of a rats brain (these are called lesioned rats).  He then waits three weeks, beheads the rat, and dissects the prefrontal cortex from the entire brain.  Controlled rats have no toxins injected in their brain.  This toxin kills the dopamine producing cells in the VTA. 

After the prefrontal cortex is dissected out, the samples are then taken and prepared for immunoblotting by a series of homogenizations with increasingly harsh buffers.  This is where my part of the project comes into play.  He started off by teaching me how to run an immunoblot.  Immunolots are used to identify specific proteins of interest.  The whole reason for running these immunoblots are to try and detect and changes in the levels of astrocytic and post synaptic density proteins in the lesioned and controlled rats. 

So far, I have found a change in the expression levels of GLR-1, an astrocytic protein.  I am now in the midst of preparing a research poster to present at the Leadership Alliance research symposium being held this upcoming weekend. 

I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to Dr. Ratliff for assisting me in obtaining this wonderful opportunity.

SGA President Steven Dial Reflects on CBS News Internship in Atlanta

Posted in Claflin Interns on July 22, 2010 by claflininterns

“You learn something new every day.”

Now I know that might sounds cliché.  But in life – and more specifically – in the world of journalism, I have genuinely learned something new every day while at CBS.

I only have about 2 weeks left here.   Everything that I have learned at Claflin and here at CBS are all blending together as my internship is now in its final stretch.  I have learned “If it bleeds it leads.” Sounds harsh but I learned here in Atlanta what is news worthy, also known as a hard news story, and what is just a “feel good story.” J

I will post in my last blog and final resume tape at the end of the course. In these last two weeks, we are just editing our tapes so that we can send them to stations in January for employment after graduation.

Recently, my intern class and I wrote, produced, reported, and anchored our very own intern newscast. It was a great way to practice in a real world atmosphere with deadlines. I created a short montage of some of the footage from our newscast; you can click the link below:

As this internship is ending, I would personally like to take the time out to thank all of my fellow classmates, Claflin teachers and staff, Dr. Durant, and President Tisdale for all of your words of support!

Thank You!

Ms. Abeni Johnson Learning “A-Lot” in St. Louis

Posted in Claflin Interns on July 9, 2010 by claflininterns

INROADS Inc. is a non-profit organization that helps to develop and place talented minority youth in business and industry while preparing them for corporate and community leadership.

For 10 weeks, I will be a Retail Management Intern at a Save-A-Lot store in Overland, MO. I will learn the ins and outs of running this store and other stores like opening the store, how to cut meat, how to stock (or as we call it “box down”) the store and much more.

At the conclusion of the internship, all of the Save-A-Lot interns will give a presentation to a panel of executives from Save-A-Lot’s corporate office on how to make the stores more efficient. Currently, I am in near the end of my 5th week and I really love it!! 

The people I work with in the stores are amazing and the customers are great as well. The other associates and managers are very helpful when it comes to learning every job in the store. The diversity of the store is something that I appreciate the most. I love how everyone works together as a team and how welcoming everyone in the company is from the people who work in the store to the CEO of the company.

The biggest and most memorable thing that has happened was meeting the CEO of Save-A-Lot, Bill Shaner. You would think that someone like him wouldn’t take time out of his busy schedule to meet with a group of interns and employees, but he’s one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met. It was a life-changing moment for me, because I finally realized my possibilities.

This internship has really allowed me to see what I do and don’t want to do when I graduate next May. This experience has also made me realize what I’m passionate about, and what my purpose is in life. Many people want to make fun of my internship or look down on me because I work in grocery store. Well, I hope everyone realizes that everyone has to start somewhere. You never know how starting at the bottom could elevate you to the top.

“It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.” The Dalai Lama