Meet the Interns: Monika Frejlich

Each year, the Ayn Rand Institute brings on board seasonal interns who help with projects and tasks while engaging in educational activities tailored to their knowledge of Rand’s ideas and their own research interests. This summer, in partnership with the Charles Koch Institute, five interns attended OCON in Pittsburgh and then came to work in our Southern California offices. An additional intern joined ARI from the Lion Rock Institute in Hong Kong. In this series, we will introduce you to them.

Monika Frejlich is a senior majoring in international development at Humber College in Toronto. I was interested in the different economic developments of rich countries versus poor countries and why that occurred,” says Frejlich, who adds that her studies “drove me away from the school’s ideas and into Ayn Rand’s.”  She also enjoys “the relaxing atmosphere after class or work beside Lake Ontario.”

We caught up with Frejlich to talk about school, life and Ayn Rand.

People would be surprised to learn . . .

I drove to California from Toronto to do this internship. It took me two weeks, ten cities, fifteen hundred pictures and one almost-broken car. I learned to check the oil regularly, turn the back of a hatchback into a bed and drive eight hours a day without stopping . . . too much.

When did you first discover Ayn Rand?

In the summer of 2016 my boyfriend’s dad watched the movie Atlas Shrugged. He really liked it and told me, several times over the course of a week, that I should watch it. I finally Googled it to see what the fuss was all about. I saw there was a book so I decided to take it out from the library. Six weeks later I was on the Ayn Rand website figuring out how I could do an internship with ARI.

Currently reading . . .

The Tyranny of Silence by Flemming Rose. I saw him speak at the free speech panel at OCON 2017. I was very happy to find out he had written a book.

Favorite Ayn Rand quote?

“The secrets of this earth are not for all men to see, but only for those who will seek them,” from Anthem. I relate to this quote because I see an “entitlement attitude” in our culture. This quote illustrates instead that one must work hard to receive the fruits of labor — and one cannot demand the fruits of another’s labor. Rand’s philosophy of living for yourself and not for other people speaks to me the most.

What’s your hobby?

Biking, swimming and hiking. I’ve hiked Yosemite Falls, Arches National Park and Sugar Loaf Mountain in Brazil.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

Move forward not backwards, don’t dwell on the past or else you miss the present, and look for opportunities to make the future better instead of complaining about the outcomes of yesterday’s poor choices.