The Finale to a Health Care Project

After a long and busy summer filled with interesting opportunities I have finished my project, and also been able to come to a final conclusion. My colloquium presentation is scheduled for early december, and I will be presenting my project in early september. Thanks to the Sears Endowment and the H-SC faculty I was able to perform a very beneficial project in my pursuit of a career in medicine. I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me and also encourage everyone to go to the summer research presentations.

Last Days at the Koch Institute

In my last days at the Koch Institute I continued much of the research I had been working on all summer. I read papers that focused on a range of topics from political expressiveness to the history of the Federal Reserve Bank. Toward the end of the internship I noticed that my understanding of the topics had become far more nuanced, and I was even able to work at a quicker pace.

Also, I helped the Institute direct future research. Poverty is an issue that many critics of libertarianism say libertarians don’t focus on enough. Thus, I was happy to assist the Institute on future poverty research. I insisted that they focus on issues like school choice and occupational licensing — especially in states with many people in poverty. Overall, working with the Institute has given me important experience that will help me shape future decisions about my career.

Liberty Fund and Public Choice Conference

Towards the end of my summer in DC I attended two conferences. The first was a conference hosted by Liberty Fund. Liberty Fund is a nonprofit which hosts weekend-long conferences where participants are asked to read a selection of essays and then discuss the works over the course of the weekend. The selection of essays for the conference included works by Nobel Prize winner F.A. Hayek, 18th-century philosophers Adam Smith and David Hume, sociologist and economist Joseph Schumpeter, and others. The discussions engaged issues such as the nature of man, the balance between a capitalist society and the traditional family unit, and the role of creative destruction in a market economy. The discussion leader was Brown University philosophy professor John Tomasi. Tomasi recently authored the book, Free Market Fairness, which is a synthesis of Hayek and Rawls.  Overall, I found this conference to be a valuable chance to discuss ideas with my other college students across the country — some even pursuing grad school level degrees.


Two weeks later I attended the Public Choice Outreach Conference at George Mason University. The Conference gave an introduction to many of the ideas in the Public Choice school of economics — a branch of economics which applies the tools of the discipline to the world of politics. The speakers included George Mason professors like Pete Boettke, Garrett Jones, and Alex Tabarrok. This gave me a great opportunity to discuss grad school plans with professors at a college which I attend to apply.

Summer’s Conclusion

After about three and a half months in upstate New York I have finally finished my internship with Young Life and have since returned to Virginia. Through this summer’s experience, I was able to learn many different things about myself and about what a career on Young Life staff will look like upon graduating from Hampden-Sydney. Regardless of whether or not I decide to pursue a career with Young Life in the next year or so, with this summer’s internship I got the incredible opportunity to lead others, to discover more about my personal strengths and weaknesses, to serve others wholeheartedly and to work with some great people who I will be close with for the rest of my life.

Overall, the time I spent in Saranac was very beneficial in my pursuit to finding a career path and a place/organization that I would love to work with one day. Without the generous support from Buford and Burn Sears, and all those working in the career education department, I would not have been able to financially support myself this summer and I am very gracious for the support that I received. I am excited for this upcoming semester and to be able to bring aspects of things that I learned this summer back to The Hill.

In Him,

Will Funk

Summer takeaways

This internship has been extremely impactful on how I view not only my career path, but also how I will approach my remaining time here at Hampden- Sydney. Before I explain all that I have learned, I would first like to thank everyone, who helped make this wonderful opportunity possible. While I will try my best to make sure I thank everyone individually for their help, I hope you all get a chance to read this post and know the impact your efforts had on me.

There have been three main takeaways from my experience this summer, characteristics that I will now carry with me and implement in any situation I encounter. These are characteristics that I feel corporations value most and I believe Hampden Sydney instills in all the men through their four year experience.

The first of these characteristics is strong ethics. Going into finance, an industry that is based much on relationships, I learned a person character is a huge measure on their success. People want to work with people, who are honest. The strong presence of the honor code here instills this characteristic into you. The honor code hasn’t just taught me to tell the truth, but also to recognize and accept when I am wrong. Throughout my internship, I was seen as an intern with high morals and someone who can handle the truth. I specifically remember the weekend of June 14th-16th, I had a project due that Monday and due to poor scheduling/communication a VP in my group stayed late with me that Friday night. The next week I set up a meeting with her addressing my mistake and apologized for inconveniencing her. My ability to take ownership of my mistakes I contribute to the Hampden Sydney honor code. Me apologizing to her allowed for us to form a strong relationship throughout the rest of my internship.

The next of these characteristics is a hard worker. Regardless of a student’s major or year, there is no question success at Hampden Sydney is hard work. I believe this ability to work hard comes from the student-professor relationship that is set from the moment a student steps on campus. This relationship is similar to that in the work place. Managers give work to analyst or associates and they are expected to return this work in high quality on a specific date. This is relatively the same concept when it comes to education at any institution, work is assigned and students are expected to complete and turn it in. What I believe separates Hampden Sydney from any other institution, however is the high standard professors hold us to. In the work place a manager knows who you are and will call or email you when a project is not what they expected or is late. A similar relationship is present here on campus. Although you might not get the phone call or email, you will see this professor again and they know who you are. I can imagine at a large school, where the professors don’t know all of their students, it is easier to turn in a project/paper that is subpar because you will never have to own or face the professor who is grading it. Knowing you have to face your professor, I think causes Hampden Sydney students to put in the extra time to make sure their work is something they are proud to turn in.

The last of these characteristics is the ability to seize opportunity. Hampden Sydney being such a small institution run primarily by students, men here are constantly given opportunities for leadership. The ability to recognize these opportunities and capitalize on them makes Hampden Sydney men successful in the work place. Over my summer, I learned situations to take leadership in the work place are few and far between. Most successful people within the company were able to recognize these opportunities and utilize them to propel their career. By Hampden Sydney giving their students exposure to these kind of circumstances in college, we step into the workforce well prepared to take full advantage of any leadership role ahead.



Final Update for Mapcom Systems

As I settle back into my place at our second home on The Hill, I thought I would write you all to summarize my great experience as an intern at Mapcom Systems. Although my career path is geared towards medicine, this was a great break away from that mindset from which I also gained a lot of knowledge in IT and software engineering. Overall, the environment at Mapcom Systems was not what I expected it to be when I walked into a large area with a ton of cubicles; It was instead a lively environment full of communication from the top to the bottom of the flow chart. CEO John Granger was actively involved with our intern class–updating us on the progress of the company as a whole. We truly felt it was “our” company, not as if we were just temporary employees. This was very conducive in ensuring the quality of the work we did for our client due to the personal connection.

The experience gained in this industry will segway well with medicine down the road due to technological advances in retinal surgery and cardiothoracic surgery . I am very grateful for the opportunity I received at Mapcom, and have made lifelong connections in both the professional and personal worlds. In addition, I have been invited back for future opportunities. I look to translate my gained experience at Mapcom into productivity in my work environment at Hampden-Sydney. See you all soon!
-Aaron Gilani ’15

Final Thoughts: Northwestern Mutual

My experience with Northwestern Mutual has allowed me to experience what it takes to succeed not only at Northwestern Mutual, but also in any sales position. My contract will continue to stay open throughout the fall and spring semesters at school. I hope to meet certain requirements throughout my senior year that will allow me to participate in Northwestern’s Winter camp. I have by no means decided on if this will be my job choice after my senior year, but it is a option that I will strongly consider and address this decision later in the year. I would recommend this internship to Hampden-Sydney students who are interested in financial planning and/or a position in sales, and I plan to work with the recruiter in the Charlottesville office to find students interested on our campus. The Chi Phi scholarship has allowed me the opportunity and assets to take this internship and maximize this summer’s opportunities; I’m truly grateful for that!

Final Thoughts on my Experiences with ALEC

This summer was by far one of the best working experiences of my life. Having the opportunity to live and work in Washington, D.C. during the summer is a chance I know few people get, and I will definitely treasure the memories that I made. The American Legislative Exchange Council provided me with a great deal of hands-on experience in the field of Public Affairs/Public Relations. I gained a lot of knowledge in many of the programs used to find contact information and/or distribute mass-emails within the Public Affairs realm, and the internship has steered me towards a potential career within this field of work. Through the drafting of press releases and member profiles, I feel that I was able to refine many of the rhetorical and styling techniques that I learned within the rhetoric program here at Hampden-Sydney. Many of my coworkers were very skilled in writing, simply because they do so much of it, and it was a great help to have their experience in improving my own work. My coworkers definitely followed in the Hampden-Sydney tradition of being rhetorically sound, with one of them even developing a website to improve writing and style. (

Overall, I’m just very happy that I had the chance to live in Washington, D.C. and gain professional experience in a field that really interests me.  Interning with the American Legislative Exchange Council was such a great opportunity because I was working with a very skilled public affairs team who not only dealt with the constant flow of press releases and internal communications, but also constant attacks from opposition groups. They showed incredible dexterity in their daily tasks, and it was truly a pleasure working for such impressive individuals.


-Jackson Riley ’14

Aperture Capital Partners: Summer Wrap-Up

My summer working at Aperture Capital Partners in Washington, DC has come to an end. In total I’ve spent just shy of three months working at the investment bank and have loved every second of it. During these last few weeks I’ve been continuing my work on drafting the private placement memorandum (PPM) for Aperture’s venture capital fund. Beyond that, I’ve continued doing a significant amount of financial modeling for several clients.

This week, however, I was exposed to a new side of investment banking. There was a conference in DC that was sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) for companies within the aero and defense community that produce technologies for unmanned or optionally manned vehicles. In total there were about 500-600 companies present. I went with my boss for two of the days to have a look around and try to drum up some business. After tagging along on the first day, my boss turned me loose on my own for the second day. I spent the afternoon talking with a variety of companies and actually managed to interest a few companies in our services and our VC fund.

All in all I have had an excellent summer. I have learned an incredible amount about banking, business, venture capital, strategic advising, the list goes on. I was also fortunate enough to not only be invited next summer, but to also receive a job offer post-graduation. Definitely excited about that.


Until next time,



Day at J.P. Morgan

“Ring Ring Ring” My alarm clock goes off at 6:00am and I begin my day.

After hitting the snooze button once or twice, I roll out of bed and hop into the shower. The hot water from the shower quickly wakes me up. After finishing I proceed to put in my contacts, then brush my teeth and hair. Next, I put on the suit, tie, and shoes I laid out from the night before. This process takes about 30mins, then I am on my way out the door.

I stop at the convenience store downstairs to buy today’s paper, and make it into the subway station by 6:45am. As I wait for the train, I begin reading the newspaper and hoping there will be an open seat on the next train. If so, I sit down on the train when it arrives and read the paper during my 30min commute.

Once I arrive at work the first thing I do is check my email. Everyone on my team has blackberries and laptops synced with the company’s computer system, so I am often assigned work while they are working from home at night.

My team’s primary role is support/training for client advisors and internal client advisors in J.P. Morgan’s mutual fund business. These advisors try to get our mutual funds onto the platforms that financial advisors use with their end clients. In simple terms, think of J.P. Morgan like Costco. Some restaurant owners come into Costco and buy food in bulk, then they cook it and sell it to customers. J.P. Morgan’s mutual funds are the food that gets sold to the restaurant owners to then buy and cook for their customers.

My main role is working to help these advisors position our mutual funds in a way that attracts financial advisors. To stick with the Costco analogy, basically I help make the food appealing. This includes setting up training materials for advisors, creating presentations, making spreadsheets to track progression and expenses.

This work keeps me busy until around 8:00pm most nights. However, I rarely work throughout the entire day, interns often have speakers who we are required to see speak and I always get a 30-40min lunch break.

After leaving the office, I commute back home and try to make it to the gym. Most nights I only have energy to get food from my favorite Thai restaurant. I usually get to sleep around 12:00-12:30am. Then do it all again tomorrow!