World of Work program helps jumpstart careers

Program eliminates financial barriers to internships

Eli Harrington '09, in yellow Brandeis athletics t-shirt, rafting in Longqing Gorge in China. Harrington spent the summer of 2008 as a WOW fellow interning with the Voice of America.

Eli Harrington ’09 never thought that applying to the Brandeis University Hiatt Career Center’s World of Work (WOW) summer internship fellowship would jumpstart his career.

Harrington, a member of the inaugural class of WOW fellows, is now the manager of programs and operations at World Boston, a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging the public in international affairs and advancing cooperation between Americans and peoples of all nations.

In the summer of 2008, he used his WOW stipend to travel to Beijing, where he studied Mandarin and interned with Voice of America. “It was a transformative experience in that the fellowship led me to this” current position, he said. “It allowed me to experience being a cultural ambassador.”

The WOW program offers financial awards to Brandeis students who wish to pursue summer internships with organizations that may not be able to provide a salary. By eliminating financial barriers that could preclude students from following their career interests, the WOW program encourages students to use the summer to explore career fields, gain new skills and experience the world of work.

When asked to describe WOW in 10 words or less, Harrington said, “Education through experience: changing cultural orientations to provide unique opportunities.”

“Having WOW on my resume was hugely important for being noticed and considered because I had done an international fellowship recognized by Brandeis University,” said Harrington. He believes that travel and exchange are a valuable piece of intercultural communication. His advice to 2013 fellows: “Appreciate and make the most of this opportunity. The resources at Brandeis are unbelievable and at your disposal.”

“I received tremendous support at Hiatt, in particular from Abigail Crine, a Hiatt career counselor, who really took me under her wing and helped me throughout the process and even afterwards,” Harrington added. “I can’t thank her enough.”

This summer, 43 WOW fellows will intern in more than 25 industries in eight states and 12 countries.

Many fellows have utilized Hiatt programs and services and the Brandeis network to secure these opportunities. Paul Vancea ’14 attended the 2013 Career Internship Consortium (CIC) fair in Los Angeles, where he connected with IRIS.TV, a small technology start-up.

“This internship will allow me to combine my current majors in economics, film studies and business,” Vancea said. “My experience with IRIS.TV will endow me with an opportunity to learn more about new technologies, and the way they impact the business models of video producers, marketing and advertising.”

Since the birth of the WOW program, Brandeis has awarded more than a half-million dollars to more than 300 students who have gained professional experience in a wide range of fields, including media, art, international relations, research, health, education and law.

Much of the support for the WOW program is provided by Jules Bernstein ’57, who established the Louis D. Brandeis Legacy Fund for Social Justice WOW Fellowships. The Legacy Fund provides 30 students a summer with $3,500 stipends to alleviate costs associated with unpaid summer positions in social-service agencies that address achieving social justice.

“This opportunity will allow me to understand the work environment by seeing and learning what actually happens in a medical clinic and interacting with people in this setting,” said Alice Luu ’14, a Social Justice WOW fellow who will be supporting the Bairo Pite Clinic in Dili, East Timor.

Several Brandeis alumni have used their Social Justice WOW fellowships to launch careers in the field:

  • Shani Rosenbaum ’12, who was a 2010 intern at BeMa’aglei Tzedek in Israel, is now a fellow with the Dorot Foundation. The foundation seeks to enliven the American Jewish landscape by seeding the community with a cadre of outstanding young lay leaders.
  • Sari Ladin ’12, who worked at Corporate Accountability in the summer of 2011, is now a research assistant at the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards.
  • Erica Shaps ’13, who worked last summer at American Jewish World Service, is an Interfaith Youth Core fellow and co-founder of Brandeis Visions for Israel in an Evolving World (BVIEW).

“Through the generous support of the Brandeis community, Hiatt inspires career exploration to help students gain tangible work experience that they might not be able to otherwise,” Hiatt Dean Joseph Du Pont said.

“Many WOW alumni ‘pay it forward’ and mentor future recipients because they truly understand the value of WOW,” Du Pont said. “They are dedicated to ensuring that students are successful by connecting them to internship and employment opportunities, and through their financial support.”

To learn more about more about the 2013 fellows and their travels, and how you can support students through the WOW program, please contact Assistant Director of Career Development Jacqueline Blesso at or (781) 736-3618.

The Hiatt Career Center offers free career services to Brandeis undergraduate alumni for life.


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