Internship Summit prepares students for summer 2013

Haley MacDuff

The Career Services Center hosted its third annual Internship Summit last Monday, Oct. 1, providing an venue for Lawrentians to meet with their peers and learn about potential internship opportunities. Over 20 students represented companies and organizations like the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley, Audubon, TG Analytical Labs, ABC 7 Chicago, and Oceans of Fun.

Max Feldkamp, a fifth-year student, held an internship at Kimberly-Clark Corporation on the Modeling and Simulation team in the Corporate Research and Engineering Division. He started several years ago as a temporary hire when they needed someone with a background in computer science, and has been returning as an intern ever since.

Though he stressed his admiration for the company, the work Feldkamp did in his internship was not something he wants to pursue as a career. He said, “There’s nothing like doing something full time to realize if you want to do it or not.” Feldkamp realized that his passion lies with music, and he wants a career incorporating that.

While many students head to other cities for their internships, some spent their summer here on campus. One such student was junior Brenna Decker, who was the beekeeping intern with the SLUG for 10 weeks.

A biology major with an interest in entomology, the study of insects, the internship was both a work experience and a fun summer pastime. Duties involved honey extraction, and checking the hives to make sure that the bees were healthy. “I want to be an entomologist, maybe do research with bees, so it was a great opportunity and lots of fun,” said Decker.

Freshman Sophia Wang was one of the students who attended the summit. Wang attended the Internship Summit because she believed that working during the summer could make it more meaningful, and she is now interested in many of the programs she learned about.

Though she is more focused on a career-oriented internship, Wang said that if she found an interesting program outside of her professional field, she would certainly take that opportunity.

Students use the Internet, family and friends, past job contacts and more in their internship search, so there are many ways to discover internship. However, the most convenient resource available to them is here on campus: Career Services. Even the students who find their internships themselves will go to Career Services for help enhancing their experiences, said Internship Coordinator Tricia Plutz.

Furthermore, Career Services provides two valuable resources during students’ internships-establishing learning agreements and requesting end of term evaluations. A learning agreement outlines what interns want to learn, how they are going to learn it with the resources available and how they are going to show that they have learned it.

These agreements are to be completed with students’ internship supervisors within one week of their start date and provide a collaborative opportunity for interns to clarify expectations with their supervisors.

At the end of their internships, Career Services requests an evaluation from students’ supervisors that allow students to reflect on their internship experience. When possible, Career Services counselors will also make site visits to make sure that students are experiences.

Wang revealed that she definitely plans on using Career Services. “I think they can help and support me a lot, and make this much easier than if I was trying to do it by myself,” she said.

When asked what advice she had for students interested in internship opportunities this summer, Plutz said, “Start early, and contact the Career Services office.”