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Internship Spotlight: Allyson Rychlak ’21

Our Internship Spotlight series showcases the exceptional students in the PCSB. We want to let their accomplishments shine! This series allows them to recount the most memorable aspects of their impressive internship experiences. At companies from L’Oreal to RXR Realty, our students transition from the classroom by taking what they’ve learned and applying it in the real world. Meet Allyson Rychlak, a sophomore who interned with the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

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What is your major/minor?

I am a management and English double major.

Does the company you interned with have a social media presence, specifically on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram? If so, what are the usernames and/or links to their pages? 

woman with brown hair and blue eyes looking at the camera, wearing a white shirt in front of a brick wall
Allyson Rychlak ’21 interned with the James A. Michener Art Museum this summer.

Yes, the James A. Michener Art Museum uses Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

When/how did you secure your internship? Do you have any tips for students who are looking for an internship?

I secured my internship at the Michener Art Museum in February 2018. I first applied to a program run by Foundations Community Partnership, a local philanthropic grant-making foundation in Bucks County, PA., that supports behavioral health and human services for children and adults. FCP selects 16 interns for its Summer Youth Corps and then matches each intern with a non-profit organization. I was matched with the Michener Museum after assessments of my chosen areas of study, future goals, and interviews. My biggest piece of advice is to prepare before an interview, so you can connect your academic and extracurricular interests and your own personal strengths to aspects of the company — whether it be the mission statement, specifics of the branch that the internship would be directly within, or the history of the company.

Did you learn anything that you found to be particularly useful? Were there any projects that you worked on that you found to be interesting?

Overall, I gained a much better understanding of the inner workings of a non-profit business, such as an art museum, and how this applied to my interests in management, advancement, and philanthropy. During the first few weeks of the summer, I helped the education department of the museum plan summer programs that eventually served more than 800 children by August. One of my biggest projects was creating an extensive, parallel timeline of the site’s history and the founder’s own life that was exhibited during the museum’s 30th anniversary weekend in September.

What was the most challenging aspect of your job?

Each day was very different, and for someone who likes structure and having a clear plan ahead of me, I had to adjust and become more dynamic as the summer went on. While I had originally anticipated being involved with the business aspects of the museum, I spent the majority of the summer assisting the education programs. Being so involved with the students helped me refine my strengths as a leader and improve my ability to time-manage and juggle multiple responsibilities.

woman with brown hair posing with 5 students, all of different ages who are wearing tie dye T-shirts, in front of a background with artwork on it
Rychlak posing with students who participated in the programs she helped to create with the museum.

Anything else you’d like to share about the experience?

I made great connections through the Michener Art Museum, and I was able to learn from colleagues about how their college degree, job experience, and personal networks had led them to the positions they currently hold. Make the most of the connections you make and the network you establish within your internship, because you never know where it could lead you later in life.

Now that you have successfully completed an internship, what is the one thing you wish you would have known when you were applying that nobody told you? In other words, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

The biggest thing I have learned through this experience is that when you are looking for an internship, keep an open mind about fields that may not interest you or apply directly to your major! If I could go back in time and give myself advice, it would most definitely be to keep an open mind and be optimistic about what I was going to experience. Spending 10 weeks at a regional art museum as a business major taught me so much more than I would have anticipated.

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Interested in reading more about our exceptional students? Check out the rest of the series here.