Last Thursday, Jan. 30, Career Services sponsored an “Internship Summit” that gave Lawrentians who had internships this past summer the chance to share their experiences and offer advice to future applicants. The event took place in the WCC Gallery outside of the Somerset room, and consisted of around 26 students presenting posters about their internships.
Senior Chiao-Yu Tuan was one presenter awaiting interested students, set up to talk about her 12-week internship with Amazon in Seattle. Tuan was a Software Engineer intern who was assigned the specific task of creating an internal tool for the video team at Amazon. Tuan explained how crucial the opportunity was for her, especially being a computer science major. “It was really important to me because, of course Lawrence is a small school, but the computer science department is really tiny, so it was really important for me to kind of see what it was like out there and also get to know a lot of peers who are at the same stage of life.” For future applicants, Tuan advised them to “be prepared to ask a lot of questions [because] it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do at the beginning,” especially in such a large company that serves millions and millions every day.
Another senior, Anna Buchholz, interned on the opposite coast of the country, in New York City at Carnegie Hall. Her internship was a Conservatory^2 internship, opportunities in which Lawrence alumni are connected with a placement site and only accept interns from the Lawrence Conservatory. Buchholz described the position as assisting “in various arts administration projects,” specifically in the Education and Community department of Carnegie. When asked how this opportunity would aid her future, Buchholz responded, “I totally know what I want to do now. I want to be involved in something like this, providing music to people of all ages, all socioeconomic classes.” Carnegie Hall is a non-profit organization that offers free music programs for people in all five boroughs of New York city, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn.
Beyond domestic internships, intern positions abroad were also represented at the Summit, one being in Kigali, Rwanda through LU’s GlobeMed. Seniors Heather Jost and juniors Abigail Schubach and Maggie Mahaffa interned with Health Development Initiative (HDI), working specifically within HDI’s Sexual Health and Reproductive Health Education (SHARE) program. Schuback, Mahaffa and Jost provided HDI residents in Kigali with educational materials not provided in local school about AIDS, HIV prevention and hygiene.
On the experience, Schubach said, “I really enjoyed trying to interact with people that are from a different culture than I am. I’m an anthropology major, so being able to do that was really exciting.” Jost added, “It was a cool experience to kind of take off our assumptions [coming] from the U.S. of how society works and trying to see through their eyes why they have certain problems.”
GlobeMed has an ongoing partnership with HDI and sends a few student members every summer to provide assistance with various health-relevant projects.
Junior Sam Rolfe’s internship with Appleton Downtown, Inc. demonstrated that one need not buy a plane ticket in order to find a great internship. Rolfe described the position as an event planning/marketing internship in which he had various tasks in contacting downtown Appleton businesses in order to begin planning for a range of local events. One of Rolfe’s undertakings was to help organize the weekly Farmers’ Market, particularly finding health and wellness-themed programs to take place in the newly built Houdini Plaza. Rolfe said he chose the Appleton area because he wanted to stay on campus but also begin building up his résumé.
“I’m a musician, so I have a lot of music experience but not necessarily job experience,” said Rolfe. “So it was really nice to get some database entry and some communication skills in the professional world.”
All representatives at the event had informative, first-hand advice for students interested in applying to a given internship. Buchholz gave advice to those that may not know what they wish to intern in: “Learn about the organization that you want to work for and what makes you smile, what makes you passionate. You have to have passion for what you’re exploring. Even if you don’t know if you’re going to like it, look for things that you really love.”