Malcolm Bellairs ’23

The Generation Lab, Washington, D.C.

The Generation Lab is a polling firm built to capture the opinions of college students across the United States. Since its inception several years ago, Generation Lab has surveyed over one million college students in their attempt to provide data-driven insight for media, academia, businesses, government, and the American public. As an ambitious startup, the company is at the cutting edge of data-collection, employing the most recent technological advances to power their innovative outreach and analysis.

Malcolm Bellaris in DC.
The highlight of my summer was heading to Washington, D.C. to work in person.

Alongside five other interns, I spent most of my summer working on a series of reports meant to capture youth opinions molded by the Coronavirus pandemic. While I assisted in several different fields, my primary focus was on the future of the foodservice industry gathering relevant contextual information, building a poll, analyzing the polling data, and reaching out to industry experts to better understand our analysis. I’m particularly proud of the last week of my internship, in which I was able to mobilize the data I had collected to engineer some really interesting conclusions. I was able to use the statistical tools—both conceptual and technical—that I had learned at Williams to make the data legible. This involved hypothesis testing, multivariable regressions, and difference-in-
difference analysis. Through this work I was able to generate a report that highlighted several exciting trends in the foodservice industry.

While I conducted most of my research independently, I was provided really great support. I had daily check-ins with my supervisor where I was able to get consistent feedback and ideas from an incredibly knowledgeable researcher. Beyond these interactions, I loved being a part of an intern cohort, and could always rely on my fellow interns to field questions and brainstorm solutions. The highlight of my internship experience was travelling to Washington, D.C., to work in person for a week. While I have worked in an office setting before, the bright young analysts I was placed with offered me a completely new work environment. They were tenacious problem solvers, always eager to help tackle a question, and insistent upon open and clear communication. While I wouldn’t say that I’m convinced a future in research is right for me, working in D.C. has given me the ability to make a more informed choice when the time comes.

Although a career in research is uncertain, this experience cemented my desire to continue pursuing team-oriented projects. It was incredibly rewarding to lend the skills I have learned at Williams to a larger goal, and be exposed to far more projects and ideas than my specific report. This internship has motivated me to dedicate myself to a community oriented junior year. I truly believe that helping to solve problems in a group environment is something that I’m not only capable of, but eager to continue pursuing!

My sincerest thanks to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration. I can’t believe that my time at Williams is over half way through, and I’ve only begun to take advantage of the wonderful resources and opportunities available to me. I truly do not know what I would have done this summer without this internship so once again, thank you.