DURHAM, N.C. – Through the Duke University summer programs, three Blue Devil women’s soccer standouts secured internships in New York City this summer, giving the trio an excellent opportunity to gain valuable work experience in their field of choice while also playing in the highly competitive Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) over the summer.
“We are very proud of the work that these girls have done around their internships,” said Duke head coach Robbie Church. “These internships are a very important part of their Duke education. The dedication and attitude to do what has to be done anytime is throughout this team. This is the main reason we are looking forward to starting the season.”
Libby Jandl, a senior defender from Mission Hills, Kansas, recently completed a 10-week internship in the equities sales and trading division at one of the United States’ largest banks in Wells Fargo & Company. During her time at Wells Fargo, she worked on the convertible bonds desk while also gaining experience in cash trading and sales trading. Jandl, who split her time between research sales, options, structured products, risk arbitrage, syndicate and special equities and was also responsible for daily mid-day trading report.
“I absolutely loved my experience at Wells Fargo this summer,” said Jandl. “I quickly realized that networking and social events are fundamental to success in this industry. Work events after hours and five o'clock wake ups have at times been challenging to find time to train, but I could not have been luckier to have Callie and Laura with me this summer. We push each other and get each other through tough times.”
Junior forward Callie Simpkins joined her teammate in New York’s financial sector, interning with one of the most prestigious investment banks in the world in The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. As a member of the Goldman Sachs team, Simpkins spent the majority of her time on the high yield credit sales desk, granting her the chance to shadow salespeople and traders on a daily basis. A product of Concord, N.C., she will conclude her internship with a sales pitch project presented at the end of her rotation.
“There is a really steep learning curve here and I have learned more than I could have possibly imagined in my time so far,” said Simpkins. “I am going to come back to preseason throwing around trading floor lingo like ‘bid/offer, hit/lift, hedging and leverage.’ I am really drawn to this industry because every day there is something to learn and I know that I will grow as a professional and as an individual in this environment because it will challenge me every day. I truly feel like I am working with the smartest people in the world and it's a nice extra that they are fun people to be around.”
Laura Weinberg, a junior forward from Boca Raton, Fla., took advantage of the Duke in New York program this summer, splitting her time between class and an internship at media conglomerate Meredith Corporation. As an intern, Weinberg worked closely with both the marketing and sales teams, updating company spreadsheets and digital/social media information, creating presentations for potential clients and managing various advertising projects.
“Interning at Meredith has really sparked my creativity and has enhanced my writing skills, my interpersonal skills and my attention to detail,” commented Weinberg. “The supervisor who I work most closely with expects nothing but my best work and I strive for perfection in every project that I am assigned, no matter how big or how little it is. I am learning so much about both the publishing industry and the marketing industry and I feel so lucky to have landed this opportunity.”
On top of her internship, the Duke in New York program allowed Weinberg to earn class credit while also experiencing a multitude of the city’s cultural aspects. Program participants attended a concert by the New York Philharmonic, took in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet Swan Lake as well as several award-winning shows both on and off Broadway (Porgy and Bess, Once, Clybourne Park) and toured the Museum of Modern Art. In addition, Weinberg’s class featured seminars with three Duke in New York alumni currently residing in the city, including Duke alumna and former field hockey standout Laura Suchoski, who presently works for ESPN.
“I highly recommend this program to any Duke students who want to have a summer experience living and working in New York City,” commented Weinberg. “I truly can't think of a better way to gain professional experience while living in one of the most amazing cities in the world.”
Despite demanding work schedules, all three Blue Devils found time to run with a trainer and play together on the New York Athletic Club soccer team, which competes in the Northeast division of the WPSL. Jandl, Simpkins and Weinberg were three of several collegiate student-athletes on the roster, joining players from Stanford, Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth, Oregon and St. John’s. Blue Devil redshirt junior Kim DeCesare also played on the team as she is a product of Massapequa Park, N.Y.
“The New York Athletic Club team has without a doubt been the best experience ever,” commented Jandl. “It has provided all three of us with competitive games and I personally couldn't be happier with how all three of us our playing. Callie and Laura have had some of the best games I've ever seen them play in their career this summer. It's making me incredibly excited for our upcoming season.”
“It has been pretty tiring managing both soccer and work, but we have kept each other motivated and have made it all work -- whatever it takes to win a national championship,” said Weinberg.
The Duke foursome helped guide the squad to an 8-1-2 overall record to lead the Northeast division as the team scored 32 goals and allowed just seven. The team advanced to the U.S. Amateur Cup in Chicago recently where the New York Athletic Club dropped a 3-2 decision in the finals to Blue Devil senior Nicole Lipp's summer league squad.
“As far as balancing my soccer duties with the long work hours, it has been challenging but I am so lucky to have Laura and Libby in the city with me and to have them there at the end of the work day to push me through workouts,” said Simpkins. “Just when I thought I couldn't get any closer to my teammates, spending this summer together here in this challenging environment has made me appreciate the value of being a part of the DWS family even more.”
The 2012 installment of the Duke women’s soccer team reports to campus by July 31 with the first practice set for August 1. The Blue Devils are coming off a national championship game appearance a year ago and return all 11 starters from last season’s 22-4-1 team.