ciee - council on international educational exchange

Professional Internship Program

BAFF News Blog

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5 posts from September 2017


Greete Pork: Thinking Big in the Big Apple

Greete Pork has fulfilled a thrilling internship at Wharf Cat Records, a NYC record company involved in local distribution and live performances. Greete's role was to work directly with local retailers, while uncovering new local stores and helping to develop an innovative and more efficient form of delivery within a large metropolitan area. She frequently attended live shows to help better organize the labels' presence at the performances.  The most significant skills that Greete mastered during this internship were retail relations, local distribution, venue management, and direct sales.  She remained under the supervision of Trip Warner, who heads these and other operations within Wharf Cat Records, including Artists and Repertoire, Production and Art-Direction, and has produced over 100 releases over the last four years. Mr. Warner certainly had no challenge with integrating American cultural engagement into her experience, as 50% of her internship involved attending live performances. Greete also checked off numerous professional events from her "Professional Growth To-Do list", including MoMa PS1 record fair, Sacred Bones Records showcase and anniversary, Captured Tracks records summer meet-up sessions, and the Northside Festival. In addition, Greete volunteered her time and energy at various music events, and also helped the Anthology Film Archives to hold an Estonian movie week, introducing Estonian culture.


Greete shares with us her greatest personal achievement during her stay in the US: "I feel I have grown so much as a person. Most importantly, I've learned to keep smiling while things are not OK for the sake of the team." As for her greatest professional achievement: "having my band here in NYC to record an album, and performing two shows here." She felt her greatest role model was Caleb Braaten, the owner of Sacred Bones Records. "He runs the best label in the world, and is so down-to-earth at the same time. He is Mr. Cool. His attention to detail, his devotion to his artists and their music, his ability to see the bigger picture and think outside of the box is truly inspiring. 10 years ago he started out in a basement of Academy Record store; today he collaborates with David Lynch. Everything is possible if you stay true to yourself." Her advice to future Fellows: "Be out there: as open and active as you can be and good things will happen. You'll never  know who or what is around the corner. Think big."


PIP Justas Gratulevicius, promoting the stars!

Intern Justas Gratulevicius has taken his final bow as BAFF intern at We Are Free, an artist management company based out of New York. Justas's all-encompassing role handled the many facets of individual artists' or bands' careers including touring, merchandise, social media, and promotion. Justas also served as the company's eyes and ears outside of the office for discovering new music and venues, and keeping up-to-speed with the news of the music industry. His repertoire of expertise now includes advancing shows, creating and maintaining tour budgets, merchandising, social media and website management, tour scheduling, researching potential future clients, office management, and selling merchandise at the numerous shows they attend on a weekly basis.  Justas's internship was conducted by We Are Free Co-Managers Marley Harmon and Ben Rafson, who own several years of experience in the music industry. Beyond all the concerts that Justas attended in his role, he was also invited on corporate trips to museums, restaurants, and music business events.

Justas pinpoints his greatest achievement while in the US as being his contribution to the international launching of Jacques Greene's album, "Feel Infinite" (2017).  His greatest role model throughout his experience in the US goes to Ben Rafson, who has effectively and fruitfully shared with Justas all his insights about the music business.
Justas's final note for future Fellows is "be proactive and use all of the possibilities. There is no failure you can make, only the knowledge  that  it  doesn't  work  and  you  should try to do something different."


Janis Smits's Research Internship at University of New Mexico

Latvian PIP, Janis Smits, has enjoyed the ultimate research experience at University of New Mexico, Center for High Technology Materials, in Albuquerque. With a Master's in Science of Physics, Janis was involved in a new frontier of biomedical diagnostics research consisting of the detection of rare cell types and macromolecules in living humans aiming to create a noninvasive method of early cancer detection. A promising new detection modality involves labeling relevant cells/molecules with magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and selectively detecting them by magnetic relaxometry. The specific work Janis was tasked with was MNPs based directly on their relaxation rate using a magneto-­microfluidic apparatus (which he designed and built). The overall goal of the research was to improve MNP probe homogeneity by orders of magnitude, an essential milestone on the path towards noninvasive detection of individual circulating MNP-­labeled tumor cells in humans. IMG_20170905_172317949

Janis was supervised by Professor Acosta, who has experience in training several dozen early-career scientists in the industry. In addition, Janis had the privilege of being mentored by a truly science-savvy team, including a postdoctoral fellow, expert in sensor physics, a research assistant professor, expert in condensed matter nanotechnology, and a tenured professor from the Pathology department, expert in cancer diagnosis. Janis found further enlightenment by attending the ENC-2017, a conference on Magnetic resonance techniques where he presented a poster on the latest results concerning solution NMR spectroscopy with NV centers, as well as numerous lectures and seminars held at UNM. At the outcome of his research, Janis's name was included in their research journal article (along with other team members) and published in a high-impact multidisciplinary journal. 

All work aside, Janis had the opportunity to join the team of scientists and attend the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, visit nearby sightseeing destinations, and engage with the culture of the American-Indian and Chicano communities.

Janis's biggest achievement during his stay in the US: "A paper coming out with me as a co-author was the biggest thing. Personally I am quite proud of the software I wrote that now runs a lot of the experiments done by the NV group at UNM." And who was the greatest influence for Janis? No surprise here: "Victor Acosta, hands down. He's constantly engaged with the research we're doing (I often received emails with ideas of what to try at odd hours of the day). I also found it inspiring how nothing seemed to get him down. Even when I was feeling genuinely depressed about not seeing signals, he would come back the next day pumped to try other things."

Finally, what did this adamant cyclist recommend to future fellows? "Get a drivers license before going to the States".

Thank you Janis for your commendable contribution to cancer research. We look forward to seeing your future achievements as a prolific researcher and BAFF alum!

Janis next to a confocal microscope, used for interrogating NV centers in diamond.



Kristina Gelzinyte and her internship at UCSB

Lithuanian intern, Kristina Gelzinyte, has spent her internship at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) working with professors James J. Speck and Claude Weisbuch. Kristina’s role was to investigate Auger current as an efficiency droop cause in light emitting diodes (LEDs) by studying hot electron distribution in nitride materials.

First, she had to prepare samples for experiments by making micrometer dimension contacts. She executed lithography and metal (gold, titanium, paladium) deposition in UCSB Nanotech clean room. Kristina processed both commercial and UCSB grown LEDs of green, blue, and violet colors. 

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Kristina is preparing samples for SiO2 deposition.
The Nanotech clean room lithography bay deserted during the lunch time.
LED lit up after successful processing.

After processing samples, she studied them by measuring quantum yield and electron photo- and electro-emission in ultra high vacuum chamber - which was a couple orders of magnitude higher than in outer space. This technique is unique because electrons are forced out of the material’s surface with a very strong electric field. This is possible because the surface is covered by cesium (Cs), which significantly decrease the force keeping electrons inside.

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Colleague Daniel is adjusting optical setup in the laboratory.
Top-view of ultra high vacuum chamber. Picture awarded as a best UCSB Laboratory Instrument picture.

During the internship Kristina participated in The Solid-State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center (SSLEEC) conference, weekly Nitride Department and LEDs seminars, and local social events such as ice cream social and Christmas retreat, where she won a price for the best UCSB Laboratory Instrument picture. Also she volunteered in Santa Barbara Film Festival and got a peek at Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Denzel Washington.

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Kristina with her fellow volunteers at Santa Barbara Film Festival.

After tedious work at UCSB Kristina enjoyed lots of travel - visited 10 states in US, also Cuba and Mexico. Experiencing American culture was one of her passions. She celebrated Thanksgiving with a big beautiful American family - enjoying a huge turkey. Not to mention horseback riding in California mountains during the rain, shooting in a wild range, visiting a valley of poppies - California's state flower. And much more.

Kristina had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in Los Angeles.

“I’m so grateful to BAFF for my personal and professional experience. It was an extraordinary and inspiring year”, Kristina said about her internship.

Kristina and her adventures.


Vytautas Tamulenas: building highways and bridges (of culture) with Skanska

"It was the best professional as well as cultural experience in my life. The great environment at work, challenging tasks and highly experienced co-workers made my stay at SKANSKA so memorable and valuable. I have already received many inquiries to join one of the best companies in the field of Civil Engineering. This is only possible due to the great opportunity BAFF and CIEE have given to me," comments Vytautas Tamulenas from Lithuania, following his internship at the well-reputed Host Organization, Skanska in Boston. With a Master's in Structural Engineering, Bridges and Viaducts, Vytautas's skill set was a welcome asset at this high-ranking construction company. The focus of his training was to gain experiential expertise in Building Information Modeling (BIM), and in this role, Vytautas assisted Skanska's preconstruction team in creating construction sequences for large design-build and public-private partnerships in the Boston area and throughout the United States. He contributed to the designing of excavation, bracing, and other aspects of complex urban highway and building project, and learned to work with specialized software packages such as Civil 3D and 3DStudiomax to create 3D and 4D models. Vytautas can feel a sense of satisfaction knowing that he has left his professional footprint in building projects such as the Longfellow Bridge in Boston, the I-4 Ultimate Project in Florida, and the Allston Landing North Project in Boston. Throughout his internship, Vytautas was taken under the wing of  his supervisor, John Doiron, Skanska's CAD Manager, who considered our Lithuanian intern as part of the Skanska team, inviting him to company outings, team-building exercises with local charities, and professional sports games. However, special mention goes to the Vice President of Operations, Paul Pedini, whose unwavering support of the BAFF program made this life-altering internship a reality. 

After repatriation, Vytautas has already begun his pursuit of the ultimate position to fit his professional aspirations and freshly-gained experience in the US. "I have already received a lot of invitations to join the best civil engineering companies in Lithuania. Everyone is really fascinated about my experience in the U.S. in one of the best construction companies around the world. SKANSKA gave me an amazing kickoff for my future career and I am already starting to see the first benefits."

Me at workplace Skanska Waltham Office All Together