Summer Pathways interns make the most of experiences in D.C., California

When Estefania Perez ’21 and Kamla Arshad ’21 return to campus this fall, they can add some pretty impressive credentials to their resumes: an internship at the Supreme Court for Perez, and a school-building project in Ecuador and research post at UC Berkeley for Arshad.

The women are two of the eight students involved in the first class of the College of Arts & Sciences’ new Pathways Internship Program (PIP), which offers first-generation students funding to pursue a career-related experience of their choice during the summer after their sophomore year, along with monthly one-on-one meetings with Ana Adinolfi, senior career associate in the College’s Career Development Center. Adinolfi gives the students guidance on researching companies and creating resumes and cover letters and access to various career development resources, including practice interviews.

“Every day was fantastic. The Supreme Court was my workplace; I could not believe it,” said Perez, who worked as a summer assistant for the Marshal’s Office at the court. Her duties included escorting members of the public and attorneys into the courtroom, providing messenger services, circulating materials between the justices and various special projects. “This was a side of the Court I never knew existed. It was fascinating. A place that once seemed intimidating and untouchable became strangely comforting.”

Perez, a double major in government and history, is contemplating law school or a career in politics. While she said her internship didn’t move her to choose either direction, “PIP made it possible for me to feel as if I had unlimited options to dream big.”

Kamla in ecuador
Arshad started her summer with a service trip to Ecuador, with the organization Me to We, where she helped to build two schools.

“One of the most memorable moments of the trip was the water walk,” said Arshad, who is studying psychology. “We walked with a woman who was collecting water for her family from the local stream. She told us that she had to travel for five miles on a treacherous path twice every day with 30-40 gallons of water on her back to fulfill the basic needs of her family. In the states, we take water for granted, but that walk truly made me appreciate our privilege to have water in our taps.”

After that trip, Arshad traveled to Berkeley, Calif., where she worked in UC Berkeley’s Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Research Clinic on treatments for insomnia and sleep disturbances in teens and adults.

Kamla at UC Berkeley
“This experience has taught me a great deal about the research process and I plan to use what I have learned to conduct my independent project this fall in a lab at Cornell,” she said. “I want to get my PhD in clinical psychology and this summer has allowed me to live the life of a graduate student.”

A new group of 17 Pathways students was chosen in the spring and will begin working with Adinolfi once the semester begins. Read more about the program.

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 Estefania Perez outside the Supreme Court building