No longer just a coffee run

Gretchen Burns | Collegio Reporter

Summer is rapidly approaching and will bring students a chance for warm weather, and time off from school. For some students, though, summer brings the opportunity to narrow their career choices through internships.
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Stephanie Showers says she highly recommends students to consider interning, so they can learn about possible careers in their field of study.
“Working in an internship gives you an idea of what you want to do,” said Showers, senior in construction engineering. “You can make mistakes on an internship that you couldn’t make in the workforce, or if you were employed with the company full time.”
Showers says she interned in Corpus Christi, Texas, where she helped build offshore oil rigs and learned various processes, such as making 3-D models, progress pictures, attending safety meetings, meeting with clients and writing work orders and plans.
Showers says that the internship allowed the company to get to know who she was and made her more available to the company.
Showers says she tried to pick a well-respected company in her industry.
“I tried to pick one that could offer me stability and some place where I could see myself working,” Showers said. “I wanted some place where I liked the culture of the workplace.”
While Showers was able to pick her internship, Rebecca Wiens says she was assigned her internship.
“The school picks ours out for us,” said Wiens, senior in nursing. “We tell the teachers what areas we would like, and they assign us in the areas they think we will succeed based on our GPA’s.”
Wiens says she is currently interning in the labor delivery unit at a local hospital, and she feels that interning is a great opportunity for nursing students to experience what a full workday for a nurse is like.
“It’s a more hands-on experience, with more opportunities in the work setting,” Wiens said.
James Dawson, professor of biology, says internships are highly recommended to students.
“Unless you’re interning and all you’re doing is running to get coffee, internships can be very informative,” Dawson said. “But we require students to keep a diary of their learned experiences and feedback from the supervisor, so that we know the internship was conducive to the students learning.”
Jordan Soucie says he feels he learned more about what his future field has to offer during his internship.
“It showed me more of what goes on at a company, with more hands-on experience, and what I should expect,” said Soucie, senior in plastics engineering. “I was able to see what was done at their facility.”
Soucie says he became interested in the internship during a career fair at PSU. He saw company presentations and then completed an interview by phone and submitted his resume.
Soucie says he hopes to complete another internship this summer.
Thomas Myers says he discovered the field he wants to work in through an internship at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where he worked as a presenter in innovations at Epcot Center.
“When I went down there, I didn’t know what I wanted to do or go into,” said Myers, junior in biology.
Myers says he found a passion for biology and decided to major in it. He says he hopes to work for Disney Adventures tours, which take tourists all over the world to countries such as Costa Rica, Australia, France, Germany and Italy.
“I learned more in six months of my internship than I had learned in two years of school at the time,” Myers said.
Wiens is the only student who will not be paid for her internship.
“It’s a mandatory part of the nursing program and our coursework,” Wiens said. “If we don’t complete it, we don’t pass.”

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