Winter Study 2017 – spec 21

EDUCATION TECH STARTUP WHO: Perry Kalmus ’03, Founder and CEO of AKALA

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WHO: Perry Kalmus ’03, Founder and CEO of AKALA

AKALA is a new education tech startup based out of sunny Los Angeles. Forget silicon valley and silicon alley (NYC). There is no place like Silicon Beach! Especially when it’s January in Williamstown! AKALA is backed by Google and by GSV, the biggest name in Education Tech. We were also accepted into the Unreasonable Institute, which gets behind companies who think unreasonably big in terms of changing the world. Our goal is to change the paradigm in education by giving all students access to high-quality college counseling. Perry Kalmus started

the Princeton Education Network (PEN) back in 2003. For the last 12 years, PEN has been providing the highest-quality test prep and college admissions consulting in America. Now we are bringing that knowledge for which we normally get paid very high sums and turning it into a startup so that everyone can access our expertise at an affordable cost. The operative term is a for-profit-social-enterprise. AKALA will make both a dollar and a difference. We have some exciting partnerships (like IBM Watson) and some big ideas on how affect real change in America. Come Join us! 

Perry Kalmus grew up in Princeton, NJ. He graduated from The Lawrenceville School in 1999. He was a member of the Region 1 soccer team for the U.S. Olympic Development Program, and played Varsity soccer at Williams. He was an Economics major and studied abroad in Italy and Australia. After graduating from Williams in 2003 he founded an educational consulting firm based out of Princeton, NJ (   Then in 2005, he moved out to Los Angeles and started working in the entertainment business. After a stint at one of the big three Hollywood talent agencies, Perry started a tech startup in the bar and nightlife space. Now he has transitioned to his 2nd startup, which is focused on fixing the problems in college admissions in America. 

WHERE: Offices are located in Los Angeles. Interns must be able to find their own housing in Los Angeles.

WHAT: Winter Study students will get to work directly with Perry and play an active role in the expansion process of an up-and-coming start-up. Coders are welcome as well. You will work with our tech team to help build out the AKALA product. 

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Resume and letter of interest addressed to Mr. Perry Kalmus.


WHO: Kate Huntington, Managing Director at Athena Capital Advisors, Jeff Finkelman, Impact Research Associate at Athena Capital Advisors, along with Bill McCalpin, senior professional in the impact investment field who has been consulting for the firm.  Athena Capital is an investment advisor serving multiple high net worth individuals and non-profit institutions.  Athena has been an active impact investor for many years and now has approximately 20-25% of clients who are pursuing impact and/or ESG investing in their portfolios. 

WHERE: Lincoln, MA

WHAT: Targeted research project, known as a Landscape Review, within the impact investment field to further develop the firm’s knowledge and expertise in a particular impact issue area.  Most likely issue areas to be targeted are Water, Education, Financial Inclusion or a topic within the broad spectrums of Energy Efficiency or Renewable Energy.  The Landscape Review will involve doing in-depth research on the selected topic including defining the issue area, identifying key challenges and measures of success, describing the role of financial capital, and mapping the investment landscape.  The student will be part of the Research team for the month and will be able to participate in our regular team and investment meetings, and learn about various aspects of the investment management field.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Resume and statement of interest.  Preference will be given to students who have already developed a particular knowledge of any of the above mentioned potential topics as well as to juniors/seniors.  The ideal candidates are students who are highly interested in the field of impact investing, have a foundation of knowledge of the investment industry (not necessarily impact), are self-starters, and are able to work well independently.

WHO:  Rana Kannan ‘04, Strategic Program Manager, Business Development at Salsify

Rana Suh Kannan graduated from Williams College in 2004. She is originally from Alexandria, Virginia and now calls Boston home. She spent twelve years working in education in Boston as a teacher, school administrator, and consultant for districts and schools. She made a career change in 2016 to working in Business Development at Salsify, managing strategic projects.

WHERE:  Boston, MA. Salsify is a 4-year old startup in Boston, MA. Started by three leaders in Boston (two of them Williams alums), Salsify offers a software for managing product content for online sales to hundreds of brands and retailers.

WHAT: Winter study interns would focus on a single project in Business Development that focuses on helping to drive the business forward for the next 3-6 months. You would work directly with Rana and Salsify’s VP of Business Development and co-founder. Looking for someone with very strong research and writing skills. Technical skills are a plus, but not a must. You will be exposed to all areas of working in a startup (Marketing, Product, Sales, etc).

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Resume, letter of interest, and a writing sample (1-2 pages).   Please address your cover letter to Ms. Rana Kannan.

WHO: Andy Fromm P’17, CEO, Service Management Group (SMG)

SMG develops state-of-the-art, integrated measurement and analytic technologies, which give business leaders the insights necessary to implement long-term growth strategies. Our groundbreaking products generate vast quantities of geospatial and consumer experience data, process these data in near-real-time, and produce elegant visualizations that convey complex results accurately and in meaningful formats. SMG is seeking highly motivated individuals to help us develop the next-generation, big-data analytics which will revolutionize the industry and greatly enhance the experiences of US consumers.

Your mentor will be Dr. Dan Finkel, a principal engineer at SMG. Dan has worked in algorithm development, analytics and advanced technology for over 15 years in both defense and software industries. Dan has a Doctorate in Operations Research from NC State University with a concentration in Applied Mathematics. Dan has been recognized on multiple occasions by the Office of Naval Research and was recently named a finalist for the 2015 R&D Magazine Top 100 award.

WHERE: Downtown Crossing Boston, MA

WHAT: As a winter-study intern on our software team, you’ll prototype Big-Data Analytic applications relevant to the Service and Financial industries. The objective will be to develop processing solutions that combine high-volume data sets into rich insights about consumer behavior. These solutions will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of research analysts on staff. Past intern projects have included the development of:

  • Graph-based community detection in the bi-partite graph connecting mobile study participants with the store brands they visit.

  • Topic models which enable an analyst to discover and explore latent semantic structures within a corpus of consumer survey responses

Today's most innovative firms are keenly interested in such approaches, which help them gain a more nuanced, detailed and accurate picture of where markets are headed. This prototype serves as a pathfinder for future integrated capability with in our business intelligence platform.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Senior or Junior-level Computer Science or Math major who has classroom experience with linear algebra and object oriented programming. Please submit your resume.

WHO: Andy Fromm P’17, CEO, Service Management Group (SMG)

SMG develops state-of-the-art, integrated measurement and analytic technologies, which give business leaders the insights necessary to implement long-term growth strategies. Our groundbreaking products generate vast quantities of geospatial and consumer experience data, process these data in near-real-time, and produce elegant visualizations that convey complex results accurately and in meaningful formats. SMG is seeking highly motivated individuals to help us develop the next-generation, big-data analytics which will revolutionize the industry and greatly enhance the experiences of US consumers.

Your mentor will be SMG’s Senior Vice President for Mobile Technology, Dr. Lou Bellaire. Lou has 25 years experience building big-data and decision systems for the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and commercial sector. He holds a doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is an alumnus of both Harvard Business School and Washington University. Lou’s innovation leadership has been recognized with a number of awards and decorations including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

WHERE: Downtown Crossing Boston, MA

WHAT: As a winter-study intern on our software team, you’ll prototype new Machine Learning applications. These applications will be designed to discover patterns and insights hidden in consumer experience data sets containing both geospatial and temporal components. Past projects include the development of:

  • Bayesian, visit-detection algorithms that incorporate both a Markov random field historical model and current gps-measurement uncertainty

  • Geo-spatial behavior pattern recognition and classification for improved data collection efficiency

As a starting point for the prototype, a training set will be collected and uploaded to Amazon Web Services (AWS). This data set will be used during the internship to develop, train and test machine-learning component technologies. Once completed, the prototype will integrated in our production environment and deployed at scale.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Senior or Junior-level Computer Science or Math major with object oriented programming experience. Please submit you resume.
:  Reed M. Wiedower '00

Reed is the Chief Technology Officer at New Signature, a rapidly growing IT consulting firm headquartered in Washington DC with offices across the east coast and around the country. He's spent time at a wide variety of IT firms and positions, working as an architect, designer, developer and systems administrator, all of which appreciated his double-major in Political Science and English. Currently, he leads the research and development side of New Signature, mixing education, sales, support and consulting together. He wishes there were more Ephs at his firm.

WHERE: New Signature (headquartered in downtown Washington, DC) is an IT consulting firm with a wide variety of clients from large multi-national corporations to small non-profits, legal firms to lobbying shops, think tanks to financial services firms. It acts as a one-stop spot to shop for IT needs, providing strategic guidance from the planning stages through post-implementation. New Signature has a special focus on non-profit clients, and offers its services pro bono to many organizations working for important matters of justice. A robust web design and development team focuses on designing responsive websites and applications that smoothly operate while looking great, as well as print design and overall branding for clients. This year we were proud to be awarded Microsoft’s US Partner of the Year and were also listed on the Inc 5000 for fastest growing private companies in America for three years in a row.

WHAT: The selected student should be first and foremost, a good communicator. New Signature employees are strategic consultants dedicated to delivering an amazing customer experience, so we want applicants to be able to speak and conduct themselves properly. Secondarily, we're looking for students who get excited about technology. Applicants should be excited about implementing new technologies, whether it be server clusters, hypervisors, VoIP or IPv6. If discussing net neutrality while using PowerShell to troubleshoot a Hyper-V replica cluster doesn't sound like fun (or if learning about these things doesn’t either), you might look towards another field. Finally, we want to have onboard individuals who are excited to learn, even if it is outside their area of expertise. Students won't be drilled on their IT knowledge, but a good basic tech foundation would be useful. The President and CTO of New Signature are both English majors, not CompSci majors, so we take all types of people. We just need people who can learn quickly and research complex topics. Unlike larger firms, where you may be relegated to making copies/coffee, if you want to wrap your hands around the latest trends in technology, New Signature will let you play in our silicon sandbox. 

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: The candidates have to submit a resume and a letter of interest. No comic sans! Your letter of interest should be addressed to: Mr. Reed Wiedower.

WHO:  Tuck Rickards ‘86

Managing Director – Russell Reynolds Associates. Co-leader of Digital Sector. Russell Reynolds Associates ( is one of the world’s leading global executive recruiting firms with 46 offices around the world. Russell Reynolds Associates works on senior level recruiting and assessment assignments for clients ranging from Fortune 500 organizations to high growth, venture backed businesses Tuck advises Fortune 500 organizations on talent and innovation, with a particular emphasis on recruiting high-impact digital leaders with expertise in the areas of Mobile, Social and Analytics. He also works closely with Private Equity and Venture Capital firms to recruit senior leaders to their portfolio companies. Tuck is based in San Francisco but also has an office in Boston. Tuck was previously Founder/CEO of Virtual Emporium, an online shopping portal, Product Manager – Multimedia for Harman International and a banker with Goldman Sachs and Montgomery Securities.

WHERE:  San Francisco office of Russell Reynolds Associates which has 40 people. Consultants in San Francisco have extensive expertise in senior-level executive search and assessment for innovative and transformational businesses in Consumer (including Digital, Media and ecommerce), Healthcare, Technology, Industrial/Natural Resources and Financial Services.  You will be working on projects ranging from special projects to support upcoming thought leadership publications (such as exploring the leadership implications of digital disruption) to active research on senior level search assignments (search strategy, target company lists, candidate name generation). You will get exposure to what top talent looks like and what companies look for in next generation leadership teams. You will have time to reflect on your own career goals and get input and advice from the professional staff at Russell Reynolds.

WHAT:  You will be working on a special project with Tuck Rickards as well as several other recruiters on specific search assignments.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:  Resume and Statement of Interest as well as summary of your career goals and aspirations. Your statement of interest should be addressed to Mr. Tuck Rickards.

WHO:  Malcolm Smith ’87 After graduating with a degree in Political Science, Malcolm developed information technology skills at PWC in Washington, DC. He moved to Dallas in 1992 to begin his entrepreneurial career at a gas trading company that he co-founded. He has been in energy information businesses ever since. He has started numerous companies, including more than a few failures and several successes. Most recently, he sold his demand response company to Constellation Energy. “Demand response” is using less electricity at just the right times, when the grid becomes unstable.

Malcolm now oversees DR2, a software company helping consumers engage around electricity. This cutting edge company invents, tests, re-invents and monetizes approaches to consumer engagement leveraging smart meter data, alternative energy and customer choice in electricity providers (where it is available). DR2 also provides cloud-based demand-response software.

WHERE: Both companies are headquartered in Williamstown on Spring St.

WHAT: Students interested in exposure to entrepreneurial activity and a startup environment are encouraged to describe their desired interaction. Possible projects include software requirements development, online engagement analytics and market research projects. But we’re most interested in your creative ideas to add value to our company.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: A resume and letter of interest. Your letter of interest should be addressed to Mr. Malcolm Smith.

WHO:  John Ogle

John Ogle Chief Investment Officer, Atlas Private Wealth Management.

WHERE:  North Adams, MA

WHAT: You will retain a deeper understanding of the financial services industry along with the science behind making decisions about investment policies, matching investments to objectives, asset allocation for individuals and balancing risk against performance. You will learn how an individual financial services business operates and also discover what knowledge and skills are required for an entry-level portfolio manager all the while gaining and understanding strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the choice of debt vs. equity, domestic vs. international, growth vs. safety, and many other tradeoffs encountered in the attempts to maximize return.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: We are looking for a self-motivated, team player who has excellent organization and communication skills. While a background in finance or accounting is not required, applicants should be comfortable with basic numerical computation. Resume, cover letter, transcript. Please write the cover letter to: Mr. John Ogle

WHO:  Barbara Ernst Prey ’79 is an internationally acclaimed artist who was appointed by the President of the United States to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory board to The National Endowment for the Arts.  Members are chosen for their widely recognized knowledge of the arts and their established record of distinguished service or achievement in the arts.  Her paintings are in many prominent private, corporate and museum collections worldwide including The White House.  She writes an art column for The Huffington Post. (

Where:  Williamstown, MA

WHAT:  A unique opportunity to work with a living artist and learn about the world of art through an archiving internship and work directly with the artwork of artist Barbara Prey.  You will be part of the archive project, digital archive project and have hands on experience curating, researching and compiling information for an upcoming book and exhibit.  This is a good opportunity not only for those interested in art history but for archiving in history, English, music and other disciplines.  It is a great chance to work with primary source material and a living artist. These skills are beneficial for future jobs as so much primary material is being digitized. Particularly helpful for those looking for work in art history. The work will primarily take place in Williamstown.  Jessika Drmacich, Williams College Digital Archivist and former archivist at the Norman Rockwell Museum serves as an advisor to the project.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS;  Please submit a cover letter and resume.  Please addressed your cover letter to Barbara Prey.

WHO: Brian Astrachan '16 is a business analyst at HealthJoy, working directly with the President and CEO on sales, business development, strategy, and product management.

WHERE: HealthJoy is a Chicago healthcare company that's developed an app to help individuals and employees navigate their health benefits and gain easier access to virtual care. People can log in to our app for anything from saving money on prescriptions or exams to speaking with a doctor in minutes. We then track all of that information and provide it to HR administrators and benefits managers to enable them to track savings and make better health care plan decisions.

WHAT: Come and get immersed in the world of a startup as it grows rapidly in its busiest time of the year. You will have the opportunity to work in multiple areas of the business including, business development, sales and operations, often interacting with the co-founders who had successfully started and sold three companies prior to founding HealthJoy in 2014. January is the perfect time to join, as we will be working to onboard tens of thousands of new members from Open Enrollment (many people can only buy insurance between November and January, and that means a lot of people will be buying our product as well). The environment is fun and fast-paced.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Please submit a resume.

WHO:  Lo Sottile, Development Manager, and the Engagement Office

WHERE: Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA

WHAT: The Engagement Office, which oversees the Museum's active membership program, special events, annual fund program, and marketing and public relations programs, is seeking an intern to assist with major fundraising events, membership research and analysis, and other functions as determined.

The Wine Gala and Auction, the Museum’s biennial fundraiser, takes place over three days in June 2017. With receptions, silent and live auctions, and a gala dinner, it is expected to raise over 8% of the Museum’s annual budget. The Museum seeks an intern to act as the lead events assistant during the winter study, helping to prepare for this vast and comprehensive fundraiser. The ideal candidate would consider returning during the summer to attend and assist during the special events, and is eligible to apply for a continued full summer internship.


Additional info: The Berkshire Museum is currently in the midst of a comprehensive master planning process. The Master Plan is a once-in-a-generation effort to shape the Museum as a relevant, sustainable organization that continues to deliver high quality products to our community. As such, this is an exceptionally exciting time to be working here, and an internship will surely provide a valuable glimpse into the world of non-profits.
Duties may include: overseeing the wine auction lot photoshoot with local photographer, preparing presentation for full live auction, researching and compiling a report about managing a membership campaign during strategic plan transition (considering what similar institutions have done during renovations or other transitions), and designing a lapsed membership appeal concept. 

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