Exposure, & Enlightenment... continued
interns have a capital good time with D.C. alums
Alex Parker '04
by Scott Suchman
typical day would have Kimberly Clarke '01 performing behind-the-scenes
grunt work--researching, interviewing, preparing--in the
civil-rights law firm of Gordon, Silberman, Wiggins &
Childs. But this day was different. The firm was mounting
a class-action race discrimination suit against Amtrak,
which, they alleged, was withholding promotions from African-American
employees and disciplining them more harshly than other
hearing was similar to other law procedures in which
Clarke was involved. "You read some of these cases
and you know the company is at fault," she says.
"You think, 'This is still happening, in this day,
in 2001?'" The judge denied Amtrak's motion to dismiss
the case, which prompted brief applause from some
spectators. Legal details occupied the rest of the
hearing; the judge would announce his decision about
other Amtrak complaints later.
experience made me thirsty for more types of internships,"
says Clarke, who conducted 67 telephone interviews
with plaintiffs. She was attracted by the civil-rights
aspect of her job, as well as the legal experience.
"I don't know if I want to practice law, but I definitely
want to go to law school. I had lawyers and second-
and third-year law students helping me with my applications."
Among them was Nicole Joseph '99, who sponsored
the position. "We need interns here, so we might
as well get the best--and that would be Oberlin
students," she says.
from the government milieu, Paul Chaikin '02 worked
with a small, one-man audio postproduction business
aptly called Kennedy Sound which bore eerie similarities
to the D.C. political world. "I work with fantasy,"
says intern sponsor Kennedy Wright '86. "It's all
tiny basement studio holds a computer system, recording
and synthesizing equipment, and walls designed to
absorb sound acoustically; a collapsible recording
booth is stationed in his garage. Chaikin, a double-degree
student majoring in Spanish and technology in music
and related arts, picked up on the complexity of
audio postproduction and worked on his own project,
a re-edit of a PBS promo.
was a typical day like?" he asks. "When Kennedy
had a client, I watched him in action mixing sound
for a commercial. When he didn't have a client,
he gave me lessons on anything I wanted to learn
about sound design."
works primarily with television spots and promos and
some independent movies. With the size of modern-day
sets and the equipment needed, he says, background
noises almost invariably end up on the original soundtrack.
Postproduction, he explained, involves isolating different
elements, such as dialogue, music, "hard" effects
(relating to action that is visible), and "soft"
effects (background noises). Most of the time, these
effects are from sound libraries or are recorded
be surprised what is purported to be real, but is
not," says Wright, who ensures that sound--often
synthesized in a sound booth--works so fluidly with
the visuals that the viewer never questions its
internship turned me on to sound design," says Chaikin.
"In the musical world, that's where the money is--production
three weeks, I followed the journalist's path,covering
events, conducting interviews, and flashing my congressional
press pass. Early on, Doyle advised me of the wisdom
of beginning a journalism career outside of D.C.,
to first build strong reporter skills before becoming
immersed in politics. Washington is its own dimension
and requires outside perspective, he says. My experience
there supports his case.
House Republicans were stalling, so Doyle called
his office. While he was in the phone booth, Rep.
King, the unmistakable New York congressman, walked
past me and into the next booth. King achieved some
prominence during Bill Clinton's impeachment and
the presidential primaries; I found it odd that
he would be using the phone booth meant for reporters.
King finished his call and walked back to the meeting.
I mentioned my sighting to Doyle, and he shrugged.
I was a bit surprised. Being close to renowned politicians
is old hat to a Washington journalist, but it's
quite extraordinary for a college freshman who grew
up in celebrity-free Indianapolis. But by the end
of the day, I had scored sightings of numerous Republican
notables. John Hostettler, a representative from
my state, even served me Lithuanian wedding cake.
the end of my internship, I had searched for a California
mayor inside the White House, attended a Supreme
Court oral argument, helped interview congressmen
the basement of the Capitol, interviewed N.O.W.
president Patricia Ireland in the heat of an inaugural
protest, and wandered all over Washington. I left
with some great stories and an experience that changed
my perception of our government. From afar, politics
seems like a quagmire of bickering and behind-the-scenes
maneuvering. Watching up close, I realized that
politicians were just people who had, for one reason
or another, dedicated themselves to public life.
an Oberlin student would benefit from a winter term internship
at your place of employment, the Office of Career Services
can help make the match. Kimberly Betz, Oberlin's Longman
Director of Internships, will clarify the internship, link
the project to an academic department and faculty sponsor,
and promote it to students. Alumni sponsors handle student
interviews and selection.
internships are competitive, so students are expected to
apply with a resume and any other materials alumni require,"
she says. "Housing, too, plays a considerable role in the
ability for students to work out of town. We try hard to
make these opportunities accessible for everyone, so if
alums are willing to house a student, or
know of other options, please let us know."
proposals for winter term 2002 should be submitted to
the Office of Career Services by October 10, 2001. For
details, contact Betz at firstname.lastname@example.org, 440.775.8140,
or at the Office of Career Services, Oberlin College,
155 N. Professor Street, Stevenson Hall, Oberlin, OH 44074.
offering a summer internship, or even a full-time job,
for a student is more convenient, Career Services may
want to post the opportunity on eRecruiting or InternCenter,
web-based services tailored for current students and recent
graduates. If your job opening requires alumni with more
experience, add it to the On-Line Community's Career Services
Center's Job Posting site.
Can Help You
YOU JOB HUNTING? RELOCATING? CHANGING CAREERS COMPLETELY?
The Office of Career Services stays with you throughout
your career. Via phone or in-person sessions, advisors can
provide resume consultation, job-search strategies, interview
preparation, and salary-negotiation tips. Mid-career alums
may benefit from career management or transition assistance
offered by Drake Bean Morin Alumni Career Services (DBM),
now partnered with the College. Many online services are
free, but there is a fee for consultation and assessment.
To enroll, call 800.863.8684, or connect to www.dbmalumniservices.com
and click on "new user."
alums can post resumes and search job openings at the On-Line
Community's Career Services section. If it's references you
need managed, create a reference file with Career Services,
which retains documents for ten years and mails letters of
reference with your written request.
more information on these services, call the Office of Career
Services at 440.775.8140.
ways to help students...
INTERNSHIPS AREN'T YOUR THING, don't assume that career-seeking
students can't benefit from you in other ways, says director
of Career Services Wendy Miller. OCS is eager for more alumni
participation, particularly in forming mentoring relationships
with students. A June 2000 survey of 1979 and 1989 Oberlin
grads reveals that just 2 percent of respondents had participated
in a mentoring activity at Oberlin within the past five
years. Clearly, there is room for improvement, and the College
alumni database is available online to alumni and to students
who are coached in the proper use of the data, so many unsuspecting
but generous alumni have received calls from students or other
alumni who are trying to figure out what their next move should
be," Miller says.
more convenient is the Oberlin On-Line Community's expanding
Career Center Services section, in which alumni can list
themselves as mentors for advice-seeking students or other
alumni. "Mentoring can mean whatever you want it to: a one-time
phone conversation, an ongoing supportive relationship,
being shadowed for a day, or looking over a resume or publication,"
Miller says. "Typically, it means simply giving advice and
information about your career field or geographic area."
15 to 20 minutes of conversation can offer much-needed encouragement
and useful information for students seeking to clarify their
career direction. Senior Elizabeth Posniak '01 contacted
alumnus Josh Feit '88 for an informational interview about
his career with The Stranger, an alternative newspaper
in Seattle. "I love to talk about alternative journalism,"
says Feit, who ultimately offered Posniak a winter-term
Melissa Ray '01 phoned Timothy Ditlow '78, a publisher with
the Listening Library, a division of Random House, who offered
insight into the New York publishing world and an invitation
to visit. Alumnus Kennedy Wright '86 and his wife, Nicki Belfiore
'86, provided housing for intern Paul Chaikin '02. Alumni
in the fields of law, consulting, research, medicine, social
work, theater, teaching, advertising, and engineering have
also been on hand to dispense advice.
in the career-search effort is the Alumni Council's newly
formed Career Services Advisory Committee, which with its
four student liaisons, plans annual events on campus and regional
programs to connect alumni with students and other graduates.
register with the On-Line Community, visit www.oberlin.edu/alumassc/OLC.html,
using your personal ID number
on the mailing label of this magazine. Alumni can also contact
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