BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — From a lab at Yale University, to a research institute in the
Philippines, to a packed baseball stadium in California, hundreds of Illinois Wesleyan
students spent the summer building valuable hands-on experience by interning at places
as diverse as their interests.
“Internships are an excellent way for our students to gain experiential learning opportunities,”
said assistant director for career engagement at the Hart Career Center Brian Richardson ’09. “Whether students are curious about a particular industry or
career field, or they want to see how their classroom learning experience applies
in a professional work environment, internships are the perfect platform to allow
students to explore their passions.”
Following are the summer experiences of a few Illinois Wesleyan interns:
Nina Anderson ’19, Sales Intern, Sprint Business This summer, Anderson (Park Ridge, Illinois) experienced the ins and outs of the sales
process as an intern with Sprint, one of the nation’s largest internet and wireless
providers. She took on multiple responsibilities, from coordinating and running meetings
to contacting businesses about Sprint’s services. Anderson, a finance major, has also made an Illinois Wesleyan connection with Logan Kent ’13, who worked
with Anderson’s team of interns as a Solutions Engineer.
Based on her positive experiences with the company, Anderson hopes to land a full-time
position with Sprint’s sales division after graduation.
“Discovering if sales is something I want to do as a career was ultimately my goal
this summer, so I am fortunate that I have figured that out going into my senior year,”
said Anderson. “I was given the chance to be extremely involved in everything my team
did, and that really helped me gain an understanding for the company as a whole and
also learn more about other industries in the Chicagoland area by working with a wide
variety of them every day.”
Emma Darragh ’20, “Cat Crew” Intern, Sacramento River Cats As an avid baseball fan throughout her childhood, marketing major Emma Darragh (Granite Bay, California) took the initiative to search for summer
positions at the minor league baseball team near her hometown. As a member of the
“Cat Crew,” Darragh worked as part of the on-field promotional team. In addition to
handing out programs and selling raffle tickets, Darragh was responsible for coordinating
first pitches and the national anthem before the game, as well as engaging crowds
of fans in various activities between each inning.
“I gained knowledge about approaching people who I did not know and how to talk to
them appropriately, as well as time management,” Darragh explained. As a result of
her positive experience with the River Cats, Darragh is now researching more avenues
into the sports marketing industry, where she hopes to incorporate her excitement
for the game into a career.
Ryan Ozelie ’19, Software Engineering Intern, UTC Aerospace Systems
At UTC Aerospace Systems, one of the world’s largest suppliers of aerospace and defense
products, Ozelie (Sayner, Wisconsin) applied his skills as a computer science major to work alongside manufacturing engineers. He was tasked with developing custom
SAP scripts and a dashboard to monitor the efficiency of operators at the plant located
in Vergennes, Vermont.
“I have learned a lot about the manufacturing process and the software development
lifecycle,” said Ozelie, who aspires to be a software engineer. “Specifically, I've
been able to see how manufacturing engineers help the manufacturing process run smoothly
and how to create robust software applications from the design stage to a fully functioning,
Olivia Sarkis ’19, Scenic Artist Intern, Colorado Shakespeare Festival
During her internship at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Sarkis (Racine, Wisconsin)
helped paint, carve and decorate the sets of four theatrical productions over the
summer, an experience which gave her the chance to develop her skills as a theatre arts, design and technology major.
“Through this internship, I’ve made many meaningful connections and gained knowledge
on different techniques, approaches, and detail work on various forms of scenic painting,”
said Sarkis. “It was great to make some awesome theatre in such a beautiful place.”
After completing her education, Sarkis plans to work as a scenic designer or scenic
painter, and her internship provided a window into how those roles work in unison.
“As a scenic designer, you need to understand what you’re asking of your painters
and how things like color theory, texture and composition work together to complete
the bigger picture,” Sarkis explained. “This internship has given me greater insight
into how these relationships work.”
Ellen Stumph ’19, Research Assistant, Comparative Cognition and Social Cognitive Development
(SCD) Labs at Yale University
Biology major Ellen Stumph (Arlington Heights, Illinois) conducted research into the origins
of human social cognition as part of a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
program at Yale University. Stumph led studies in the Canine Cognition Center (CCC)
of the Comparative Cognition Laboratory with the help of the lab’s “dog scientists.”
By having the dogs interact with treats, toys and robots, Stumph worked to discern
how human language cues can affect their ability to to individuate different objects.
When she was not studying “dog scientists,” Stumph found herself in the SCD Lab with
“child scientists” who played games and listened to stories, allowing Stumph to determine
the origins of human friendships and how children perceive individuals with unique
skills. Throughout her research projects in both labs, she worked to develop a methodology,
run participants, analyze data and write manuscripts.
As a biology student who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in studying comparative cognition
and the origins of social behaviors, Stumph considers her internship to be an invaluable
experience. “I have been lucky to work directly under some of the best minds in comparative
and developmental psychology,” said Stumph. “The best thing that has come out of this
research experience is the validation it has given me for my love of science, psychology
and comparative cognition.”
According to the Hart Career Center’s Class of 2017 First-Destination Survey results, 71 percent of the Class of 2017 respondents participated in at least one
internship during their time at Illinois Wesleyan, and 46 percent of those reporting
internships, reported completion of multiple internships. According to the same survey,
92 percent of the Class of 2017 was employed or in graduate school within six months