June 08, 2015, BY Matt Hughes

The city hall of Tours, France, where Brandon Dellafave ’16 is interning with assistance from the Bucknell Public Interest Program.

This summer, Brandon Dellafave '16 is spending 10 weeks working at the city hall of Tours, France, welcoming foreign delegations and strengthening bonds between Tours and its international sister cities.

"The name of the game is diplomatic relations, cultural sharing and appreciation, and creating a sensorial experience to truly give others (no matter what national identity) an understanding of where we come from," Dellafave said.

Zoe Russell '17, meanwhile, is spending her summer building connections back in Lewisburg, supporting local families as they work through crisis.

While they'll take place an ocean apart, Dellafave and Russell's summer internships share a connection, too: both were enabled by direct support from Bucknell.

Brandon Dellafave '16

Dellafave and Russell are two of 29 undergraduates whose summer internships are funded by the Bucknell Public Interest Program (BPIP), a Career Development Center (CDC) initiative that awards $3,000 stipends to Bucknell students interning at public interest organizations, which often cannot afford to pay student workers. Since 2004, BPIP has awarded more than $900,000 to nearly 350 Bucknell students.

BPIP internships provide students experiences that not only draw the eyes of future employers, but help those students discover the career that's right for them.

That's how Brandon Neale '15 described his BPIP-supported internship last summer at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency in Arlington, Va. 

"Working on the front lines of international trade gave me invaluable skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life," Neale said. "The projects I worked on left me with tangible results, and the internship has helped guide me to understanding what type of career I want."

Neale plans to begin working as an analyst in management consulting at Accenture Federal Services in Washington, D.C. in September.

Both Dellafave and Russell hope that their internships, too, will help direct them to their dream jobs.

Dellafave, a French and international relations major doing his internship while studying abroad through the Bucknell en France program, said working for the Tours Hôtel de Ville (city hall) offers an insider's view of European diplomacy, providing insight he hopes to employ one day working for the United Nations.

"I am meeting wonderfully accomplished people and look forward to making further connections across the globe," he said.

Zoe Russell '17

Russell, a Posse scholar and sociology major interning with counseling nonprofit CONCERN in Lewisburg, has her own aspirations of working as a family lawyer.

"My goal is to acquire understanding of family and youth counseling from the perspective of those who will work closely with me in the future, together endeavoring to provide the best opportunity of success for our clients," she said. "I hope my internship will reveal aspects of my intended career I had not considered before."

She added that BPIP has proven invaluable in making her internship a reality.

"I found CONCERN when I attended a job and internship fair hosted by the CDC earlier this year," she said. "I fell in love with their mission, but was uncertain I'd be able to commit to an internship because it would be unpaid. Through BPIP, however, I can afford to stay on campus for the summer, as well as save money for the coming semester and my future plans to spend a year studying abroad."

BPIP is one of several ways the Career Development Center helps Bucknellians find internships and gain real-world experience. Other career development programs include the Capitol Hill Internship Program, which connects students with law-makers and legislative committees in Washington, D.C., and summer networking events in Washington, D.C., and New York City that connect undergraduates and alumni.