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Ann Arbor Spark

July 15, 2020

Internship Paves the Path Home to Ann Arbor for Barnard College Graduate

In 2019, at the conclusion of her junior year studying information science at Barnard College in New York City, Celia Arsen began laying the groundwork for a career post-graduation. “I evaluated my long-term goals and plans, giving consideration to where I wanted to start my career after graduation. While I love New York, I wanted to open up opportunities for myself in the midwest, where I’m from.”

Having lived in Manhattan since she graduated from Skyline High School in 2016, Celia felt like she needed to focus her efforts on building new connections back in Ann Arbor. She applied for the Digital Summer Clinic Internship Program, a partnership by the Digital Engagement Clinic at Eastern Michigan University and Ann Arbor SPARK that’s open to students from all schools. “I learned about the clinic through a series of email forwards. Even though it looked like most of the internships were geared toward marketing, I felt my background was still applicable and it would be a great opportunity to grow my skill set.”

As it turned out, Celia proved to be a perfect match for local startup Dynamo Metrics. “I had a strong interest in GIS — geographical information systems — and Dynamo Metrics works in that space, using data to help public officials make informed decisions. Over the course of my internship, I learned a lot about what I wanted to do and what types of roles I wanted to apply for after graduation.”

Fast-forward to March 2020. Celia was vacating her dorm at Barnard College when she got an offer from Mathematica. “The coronavirus sent everyone home before the school year concluded. I already was heading back to Ann Arbor, so the job offer from Mathematica was perfectly timed and incredibly welcomed.”

Mathematica is another data-driven company that works with public- and private-sector organizations to help shape research and policy around the globe. “I’ll start in August as a research assistant and programmer where I’ll primarily do data analysis. I was able to speak about my Summer Engagement Clinic experience during my interviewing process, which I believe helped differentiate myself as a candidate.”

Celia’s return to Ann Arbor reunites her with friends and family. “When I moved to New York, I was looking for something different. While it was a great experience, I’m looking forward to Ann Arbor’s more affordable quality of life.”