Students Embrace Pittsburgh Community During Summer Internships
By Stefanie Johndrow
Since 2018, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Pittsburgh Summer Internship Program (PSIP) has been creating meaningful summer internship experiences for undergraduate students in the college.
PSIP provides students with a $3,000 stipend, support and resources to find their first internship experience at a nonprofit, startup or small business in the Pittsburgh area. Organizations that participate in PSIP support their work and contribute to the strength and vibrancy of the Pittsburgh community.
This summer, Sohrab Saljooki, a senior in the Department of History, worked at Hello Neighbor, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting recently resettled refugee and immigrant families.
In his internship, Saljooki said he “worked on researching refugee policy, archiving daily developments in policy and data and communicating these changes in policy and developments in research to [Hello Neighbor’s] network of more than 100 refugee nonprofits.” He also facilitated the Pittsburgh portation of the Refugees in Towns research study from Tufts University.
This summer, Saljooki worked under the guidance of Rachel Vinciguerra, assistant director of national programs at Hello Neighbor.
“It was quite illuminating and helpful [to work with my supervisor]. My supervisor gave me every opportunity to express my feelings and opinions about the projects we were doing on the network team, so I always felt that I could be honest,” Saljooki said.
Eric Molto, a sophomore in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences, spent his summer as an intern at Module.
Module is a design-build company that makes right-sized, energy efficient houses using prefab construction. Each of Module’s homes are built to Zero Energy Ready Home standards set by the U.S. Department of Energy. During his internship, Molto worked under Module’s co-founder and chief product officer Drew Brisley.
“What I would like to say to students that are considering joining PSIP is that it is an opportunity that you will remember for the rest of your life. Meaning that most people who are trying to join this program have never had an internship before, therefore, it is the first time you’ll acquire skills that you’ll use for the rest of your life,” Molto said. “For example, getting your tasks and assignments done and building a relationship with a superior is something that I found to be incredibly rewarding. Lastly, I learned how to build people skills and ask for help when it was needed, which allowed me to feel much more prepared for future occupations I will encounter.”
The skills Yoori Kim gained through her professional writing classes came in handy during her internship with NEXTpittsburgh, an online source for news and events in Pittsburgh. During her internship, Kim’s supervisor was Brian Hyslop, editor at NEXTpittsburgh. Kim, a junior in the Department of English, wrote a variety of articles, including interview, urban development and several list-style pieces. She was also introduced to Search Engine Optimization, Google Analytics and MailChimp.
“White writing my articles, organizing the content was easier due to important skills I developed through classes such as ‘News Writing,’ ‘Style’ and ‘Intro to Professional and Technical Writing,’” Kim said.