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2010-2011 MCAN Scholars

Hear about the summer experiences of the 2010-11 MCAN Scholars.

Amy Sun '11

Published 30 November 2010

If you were to conduct a Google search for the term “Asian American popular culture,” you would be faced with a series of scholarly-sounding sociological studies. If you are lucky, you might come across a semi-interesting blog post a few hundred search terms in. So what’s the deal? Perhaps my search terms are a bit broad, but still—where are all the Asians? Surely there must be at least a few Asians and Asian Americans doing cool things, right? Luckily, I’m not the first person who has noticed this lack of press. Giant Robot, a bi-monthly magazine about Asian and Asian American popular culture, was founded back in 1994 to address this very problem. This past summer, through the generous support of the MCAN Scholarship (which covered my gas expenses to commute), I was able to intern at the Giant Robot magazine office in Los Angeles. Not only did I learn a huge range of valuable skills—writing press releases, fact checking, searching for public domain photos, content editing, using Adobe InDesign, calibrating a printer, writing reviews, transcribing interviews—but I also discovered an entire world of Asian and Asian American artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, videogame creators, and just generally cool people. There’s no doubt that activism and scholarly work are important in challenging stereotypes about Asian Americans, but there’s definitely something to be said for a magazine that features someone like Kenny Anderson, a half-Japanese professional skateboarder. Now how’s that for breaking a stereotype?

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Other Items

  • Taimur Ali Khan
    Published 30 November 2010
    Taimur Ali Khan '11

    Funding from the MCAN allowed me to intern at StormHarbour Securities in New York over the summer. StormHarbour is a sell side investment boutique that focuses on fixed income sales and trading and in capital markets. During the span of 10 weeks, I rotated between the different sales and trading desks and then I spent a major chunk of my time working in capital markets. I really enjoyed my work in capital markets. The longest deal I was involved in was raising $175 million for a shipping company based in Dubai. I worked closely with a team of bankers from 3 investment bankers. My tasks included finding private equity investors and writing brief summaries on all of them, finding the drivers and the risk factors in the tanker industry, researching on comparable deals and making investor presentation slides. Overall, it was a great experience especially because I realized where my interests lie and what I want to do after I graduate from Carleton. I am very grateful to the MCAN board for making it possible for me to have such a rich and rewarding summer experience.

    Watch the video.

  • S.S. Rishad
    Published 30 November 2010
    S.S. Rishad '12

    This past summer I interned at the Environmental Defense Fund, which combines sound science, law, and economics in creating solutions to climate change problems. I worked in the International Air & Climate Program, where I assisted the economics team on understanding the risks of investing in carbon markets and conducted quantitative analysis to find out efficient ways through which Mexico's carbon emissions can be reduced. I also traveled to Brazil and conducted research on biofuel and energy projects that are contributing to Brazil's overall economic development. I am very grateful to the MCAN board for awarding me the MCAN fellowship, since without the fellowship I could not have benefited from such a wonderful, professional experience.

    Watch the video.

  • JP Perkins
    Published 30 November 2010
    J.P. Perkins '11

    I was a part of the Japan-America Student Conference this summer. This conference started in 1934, and has been around ever since. It is a very good conference because you study with 36 other Japanese and 35 other Americans, all working together for a month. You also get to travel to many different places in either America or Japan, depending on the year, and get to see a lot of new things. You meet with various alums, business people, and government officials during your time at JASC. Everyone also has a roundtable discussion topic which they research over the month and present at a final forum at the end of the conference.

    Watch the video.

  • Anna Wada
    Published 30 November 2010
    Anna Wada '11

    As an intern at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum archives, I was assigned a small collection to process from beginning to end - drawing up a plan, organizing the files, preserving items, digitizing them, creating the finding aid, and cataloguing (I described the collection on the Smithsonian Collections Blog, posted August 18, 2010). I also helped with other minor projects, such as assisting researchers and locating public art photographed in a past exhibit.  In addition to gaining a sense of the professional workflow as an archivist, I was also able to meet other aspiring interns with diverse interests, even within the museum field. My second internship was for the World Digital Library (WDL), a joint project by the Library of Congress and UNESCO. The project endeavors to collect digitized cultural heritage items from around the world, and upload them on a single website. I was amazed by the scope of global partnerships they had, as well as the diverse background of the materials that was being collected. My primary responsibility here was to help build their Japanese prints collection, and edit metadata for upcoming items.

    I believe what made this summer truly invaluable was that everyone I met seemed passionate about their respective fields, and were all happy to share their experiences and advice. I found the digital library and museum work engaging throughout, and I am glad I was able to partake in so many different aspects of these fields in one summer. I sincerely appreciate MCAN for making these experiences possible!

    Watch the video.

  • Amy Sun
    Published 30 November 2010
    Amy Sun '11

    If you were to conduct a Google search for the term “Asian American popular culture,” you would be faced with a series of scholarly-sounding sociological studies. If you are lucky, you might come across a semi-interesting blog post a few hundred search terms in. So what’s the deal? Perhaps my search terms are a bit broad, but still—where are all the Asians? Surely there must be at least a few Asians and Asian Americans doing cool things, right? Luckily, I’m not the first person who has noticed this lack of press. Giant Robot, a bi-monthly magazine about Asian and Asian American popular culture, was founded back in 1994 to address this very problem. This past summer, through the generous support of the MCAN Scholarship (which covered my gas expenses to commute), I was able to intern at the Giant Robot magazine office in Los Angeles. Not only did I learn a huge range of valuable skills—writing press releases, fact checking, searching for public domain photos, content editing, using Adobe InDesign, calibrating a printer, writing reviews, transcribing interviews—but I also discovered an entire world of Asian and Asian American artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, videogame creators, and just generally cool people. There’s no doubt that activism and scholarly work are important in challenging stereotypes about Asian Americans, but there’s definitely something to be said for a magazine that features someone like Kenny Anderson, a half-Japanese professional skateboarder. Now how’s that for breaking a stereotype?

    Watch the video.

  • Danny Chen '12
    Published 27 April 2011
    Danny Chen '12

    During the past summer break, I worked as an Equity Research Analyst at Ulland Investment Advisors, a money manager located in Minneapolis. Focusing on the precious metal and health care sectors, I applied stock valuation templates to filter out potential stocks for investment, and wrote detailed research reports on five stocks. To expedite data fetching process, I built an Excel template that automatically collected data from Bloomberg. I was also responsible for updating stocks in the company’s existing portfolio by analyzing their underlying companies’ quarterly reports and conference calls. I presented my research results in weekly research meetings, resulting in adjustment of the stock portfolio.

    Through working directly with clients, analyzing financial statements, and making investment recommendations, I have developed leadership and analytical skills, gained a deeper understanding about fundamental analysis, and honed my knowledge of accounting and finance. The satisfaction from applying my analytical skills in the real world and seeing its immediate impact drove me to develop a deeper passion in finance. I am very grateful to the MCAN board for making this enriching experience possible.

    Watch the video.

  • Anushka Patel '12
    Published 27 April 2011
    Anushka Patel '12

    I spent seven weeks during summer ’10 working in Goa, India, for Sangath—one of the largest mental health NGO research institutes in India. During my time at Sangath, I had the honor of working under Dr. Vikram Patel, a professor of International Mental Health and the co-founder of Sangath. A broad goal of this organization is to create evidence-based care packages for mental health interventions targeted towards rural communities lacking access to mental health services.

    My own experience entailed editing their existing literature, researching qualitative data on their adolescent counseling program, and participating in workshops on Interpersonal Therapy and psychoeducation for common mental disorders (anxiety and depression). I am so grateful to have received the MCAN scholarship to pursue this experience, since it has helped me realize my career goals of acquiring a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and working in the field of public mental health.

    Watch the video.

  • Heather Yang '12
    Published 27 April 2011
    Heather Yang '12

    The MCAN Scholars program enabled me to pursue an unpaid research experience at the Auckland Centre for Tobacco Control, University of Auckland, under the direct supervision of the Director, Dr. Marewa Glover. My main task was to focus on the impact of smoking on Maori and Pacific Island ethnic groups and low socio-economic groups. It was great to be in a professional academic setting and get a feel for what life doing scientific research is actually like.

    Watch the video.

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