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UMBC Honors College students working in Baltimore

Essence Fredericks, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Major: Financial EconomicsEssence Fredericks
 Laurel, Maryland

This past summer I had an 8 week audit internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the downtown Baltimore office. I, along with three other interns, were assigned to work with the Exelon audit team. I was able to learn a lot about the auditing process and the different stages that occur. I was also able to see how important teamwork and cooperation were in order for the audit to run smoothly. Each associate, senior associate, and manager had specific responsibilities that had to be completed in order to move forward so it was important that everyone was getting their work done efficiently. Finally, I learned what it takes to be successful and move up in the firm by being able to observe and ask questions of people on all levels: from associate to partner. The firm made sure to allow us to have hands-on experience and really feel like a member of the company by having different networking events.  At the end of the internship, I was offered a full-time position as an associate that I will start the fall after graduation. I’m very excited to start my career there.

Ayushi Aggarwal, entrepreneur sells mobile app

Major: Biochemistryentre2
 Laurel, Maryland

I engaged in my first entrepreneurial venture during the fall semester of my freshman year. In Gib Mason’s class entitled “Creativity, Innovation, and Invention,” I collaborated with an incredible group of UMBC students to launch a GPS-style navigation app called Banana Bones — officially launched about two months ago!  I learned that what matters more than compiling groundbreaking ideas is execution.  Follow through with your ideas, fail-fast, and you’ll be on your way to becoming another success story.  My future aspirations are to practice medicine and engage in clinical research, but I learned that entrepreneurship is truly an art that can be applied to almost any career. It will particularly be important if I want to open my own clinic or my own lab.  Pitching the product idea at the UMBC IDEA competition was my favorite moment because I got to practice my presentation skills in front of an assorted audience. Best of all – we placed first!

Rosa Rada, Baltimarket: food access and food justice

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies: Nutrition and Food Policyrosa rada baltimarket
Hometown: Catonsville, Maryland

This summer I was supported financially and academically through the  Walter Sondheim Jr. Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program. I interned full-time for Baltimarket: a suite of community-based food access and justice programs through the Baltimore City Health Department. I learned a great deal about the innovative potential of government-corporate-community partnerships, the importance of government services to be both community-based and community-driven, and the value of building meaningful relationships with community members. This was the most fulfilling work experience I’ve ever had. It lead me to feel confident in my abilities and passions to such a degree that I am convinced I will be able to secure an exciting and fulfilling job in this field post-graduation. My favorite moments came during the deep, personal conversations about race, justice, suffering, life purpose, etc that I regularly had with my coworkers and community members. It was these conversations that prompted a great deal of self-reflection, learning, and; ultimately, self-growth.

Amir Salar Sepehri, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

salarMajors: Biology and Psychology
Hometown: Clarksville, Maryland

ally wanted to work at a hospital/research facility before applying to medical school. Working at Hopkins for three months was a fantastic opportunity for me because it helped me to have a better understanding of my personal interests and basically what path I want to take after graduating from UMBC.  I learned several interviewing techniques and how to conduct various physical activity measurements. I also learned not to be afraid to make mistakes, ask questions, and work as hard as I can to achieve my goals. Working at the Geriatrics Department gave me plenty of opportunity to talk to our participants who were mostly elderly individuals. Whether it was a short conversation about politics and history or just giving me advice about life, it was always a lot of fun to talk to them and get to know them.

Christie Smith teaching students

DSC09075Major: Global Studies
 Towson, Maryland
This summer I was a Servant Leader Intern with Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Program at Lakeland Elementary/Middle. I taught a class of low-income, inner-city first and second grade students how they could make a difference in themselves, their family, community, country and world through reading, art, community service, and many other activities. I learned that every student has his or her own story and individual attention is vital. This sounds like such common sense, but is often ignored. An effective teacher really needs to know his or her students, not to make excuses for them, but to understand where they’re coming from to better assist in their learning.  Many of my students were from immigrant families, and I quickly learned how much need there is for services towards these families who desperately want success for their children but aren’t always sure how to achieve it. This experience inspired me to look for a career that can help meet those needs. My favorite moment: Another teacher and I decided to hold a protest with the students against littering in their community. The students made posters and a chant and we walked around the school grounds, protesting and later picking up trash.