Students Take Advantage of Summer For Internships, Overseas Travel

This summer, Amy Fenstermacher ’07 will trade the comfortable surroundings of Methuen, Massachusetts, for a college dorm room in Philadelphia and a host family’s house in a Russian industrial town. She decided to embark on this journey to improve her Russian and to see a different part of the world. By the end of the summer, she expects to learn enough to bypass a year of Russian at Andover. Fenstermacher said, “I’ll be a lot more comfortable with the language, and I’m wicked excited to get away from home – this will be the longest I’ve ever stayed away from my parents and New England.” Summer is just one short week away, and Phillips Academy students are eagerly anticipating getting off campus and relaxing. Many students will spend part or all of the summer doing community service, volunteer work, academic programs, outdoor adventures, or various jobs. Students are attending a variety of programs, but they all share a sense of excitement about having the opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. The cast and crew of “Things Fall Apart,” this term’s Theater 520 production, are traveling to South Africa to perform the show at the Grahamstown Theater Festival. After “the longest non-stop flight in the world,” according to Instructor in Theater Mark Efinger, the students will tour South Africa before performing the show five times at the festival. Director of Summer Opportunities Roxanne Barry said, “The summer is a time to unwind, but it can also be great to do something completely different than what you do all the time here at Andover.” The Summer Opportunities Office provides information and brochures to students looking for summer plans. The office also hosts an annual Summer Opportunities Fair during Winter term. Mrs. Barry explained, “The fair allows us to show students the variety of options they have when making summer plans. Without [the fair], I don’t think the student body would be adequately informed about what’s available.” She estimates about one-third of the student body used the Summer Opportunities Office in some fashion this year, though an exact figure is difficult to determine because many students just use the office’s webpage. Katie Faulkner ’06, recipient of the David Spencer Hackett Scholarship, is doing a two-week Outward Bound course in Colorado. The prize, which pays for her course tuition, is awarded to an Upper who has displayed the outstanding qualities of character, leadership, and athletic ability which characterized David Spencer Hackett ’61. On the expedition, Faulkner will learn mountaineering, climbing and backpacking skills, as well as personal responsibility on a three-day solo ordeal. She said, “I’m really excited for the opportunity to explore a new part of the country with a group of kids my own age.” Alisha Varma ’07 will go to Spain this July and stay with a host family while attending classes at the University of Salamanca. She learned about the program from her teachers and decided to give it a try because she wants to improve her Spanish. Varma said, “Living in Europe for a month will be pretty cool. It’s going to be great interacting with native Spanish speakers.” Internships are very popular ways for Andover students to gain work experience in a chosen field. Internships combine the appeal of the traditional summer job with an opportunity to become familiar with a potential future profession. Eliot Wall ’07 is planning to work as an intern for a media company in Singapore. The company specializes in electronic video rental. Wall also intends to volunteer at a program in Singapore that sets up community service opportunities for kids. Wall said, “It will be difficult dealing with the language barrier and a completely different culture over there, but having the financial freedom that comes with employment will be worth it, and it’ll be really rewarding working with and helping kids. I can’t wait.” Matt Yeager ’06 is working as an intern at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where he will perform data analysis and entry. The study is based on the human papilloma virus, which causes cervical cancer. Yeager said, “I want to get experience in medical research and technology, a field which I hope to pursue. Also, it’ll be a different to be a member of the workforce instead of a student.” The hunt for a summer job, internship, or program begins, for most students in the Winter Term, but Mrs. Barry explained, “Students can come in all school year to do research, like reading student testimonials from previous years.” She continued, “It’s advantageous to start in the fall because things – especially science research programs and internships – can fill up really quickly.”