Spring internships offer opportunities for experiential learning

Winter break is over. With its termination comes the routine of classes, club meetings, athletic events and more. Just those obligations alone is enough for many students. However, some students add an extra challenge to all of that: a spring internship.

It is said at Wheaton that we have “three summers and four winter breaks” to get internships and, if we have a path already established, to figure out where we want to take our careers. If not, these internships help us find that path. A few students have already found internships for the upcoming spring semester and were willing to discuss their endeavors for the Wire.

Daniela Alves ’15 currently has an internship with Senator Elizabeth Warren. She said that a significant reason for doing the internship in the spring is her limited time left at Wheaton before graduation. “Being a senior and only having one semester left of school, I don’t have much time to build my resume up before applying for jobs,” she said. From this experience with Senator Warren, Alves hopes to learn more about the intricacies of the political process, which will help advance her later on in what is an extremely competitive job market. She explains that spring internships are a good opportunity for other seniors who are similarly trying to “stand out” from the crowd.

Another student taking advantage of her spring semester is Stephanie Langlois ’17, who is working for the American Cancer Society (ACS). After obtaining this internship, Langlois applied for, and was awarded a spring internship stipend. Like Alves, she feels that having a spring internship will improve the likelihood of getting into more competitive programs later on in the upcoming summer or winter. “I thought it might give me an added edge to my summer applications,” Langlois said.

However, she warned against students overbooking themselves: “I would recommend spring internships to other students, so long as their academic schedule is not too full. In summer it is easy to have the time for an internship, but there are a lot more time constraints in the spring as students are also taking classes.”

Although spring internships are undoubtedly a difficult workload to deal with, if the student can handle it, taking advantage of spring internships can be very beneficial.

If you know where to look, it turns out that internships are not too difficult to find. Alves discovered her internship from a flyer in Meneely Hall as she was leaving a class last semester. Langlois found out about hers through her work in the Colleges Against Cancer club, which is attended by an American Cancer Society Representative.

Spring internships are usually less competitive because the original commitment of interning is coupled with an average course load. However, seizing a spring internship can give students an opportunity to actively engage in a potential career environment while strengthening their experience in their field of interest, leaving school breaks open for different experiences.