Students exhibit professional summer experiences in showcase

On Friday, Nov. 8, over 170 students of all class years gathered in The Balfour-Hood Center to present their summer internships. Participants were awarded Wheaton-donated funding dependent on an application or financial award, allowing them to engage in international or stateside learning-based programs. After completion of their summers, they were asked by the The Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services to share their experiences with alumni, faculty, and the student body. Advisor Ben Chalot said, “It’s a great marketing strategy to show prospective students and families Wheaton students’ interests.”

Presentations included summer research opportunities, internships, and volunteer projects.

Hans Pope ’15, a neuroscience major, interned at Seattle Research Hospital. He studied de novo Donor-Specific antibodies in post pediatric renal transplant patients.

“I observed surgeries and got to see the bureaucracy of a hospital while working closely with my aunt who is a world leading kidney expert,” he said.

Even students who did not participate in the showcase were encouraged to attend. In addition to learning about the interests and achievements of their peers, the showcase provided an appropriate occasion to network. For many students, their internships may not have been directly related to their majors or academic activities, but rather were experiences which explored passions outside the classroom. For others, these internships led them to potential post-graduation careers and important contacts in their fields of interest.

Biology major Josie Ryan-Small ’14 worked at the UMass Department of Environmental Conservation studying ornithology and banding birds.

“I went into the habitat to find the nests, keep track of the chick, band them, and measure them. Throughout the internship I got much better at the techniques and this proved to me that I want to continue on this path.”

As more and more companies close their doors to long-running internship programs facing lawsuits, others happily welcome motivated, inquisitive young minds. Though many programs don’t maintain a budget that affords paying seasonal interns, they will frequently offer academic credit or other benefits as incentives, such as press events, merchandise perks, and serious portfolio padding.

Students looking for or interested in more information regarding internships should contact Career Services at 508-286-8215 and the chair of their department.