Summer ‘fun’? Not in all cases

By on September 12, 2007

For the typical college student, the lazy days of summer include sleeping in, long days by the pool, a mindless minimum wage job, and most importantly, a break from studying.

Some students at Quinnipiac University, however, do not have this luxury.

“This summer I worked very closely with the project manager on the USTA account that handles the US Open,” said Lindsay Martineau, a junior advertising major who interned at Arnold Worldwide, an advertising agency in New York City.

Now, instead of lounging at the beach, students are spending their summers interning, an opportunity that allows for experience in fields that directly relate to their specific areas of study and career goals.

“I met a lot of great people that will help me get my foot in the door when I graduate,” Martineau said.

According to Cynthia Christie, the assistant dean for career services in the School of Health Sciences, an employer is more likely to be interested in an applicant whose resume contains traces of real life experience.

“I highly recommend that students across all majors participate in an internship prior to graduation,” Christie said.

And they do. Every year, students with majors ranging from accounting to journalism apply for the chance to have a taste of the “real world.”

Jennifer Burns, assistant dean for career services in the School of Communications, claims that internships enable students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real life, and ultimately figure out what they want to do after graduation.

“Interning gives you a taste of what the professional world is, which will help you make the transition from student to professional,” said Burns, adding that over 100 communications students interned this past summer for credit.

Senior broadcast journalism major, Chris Pierpont, spent his summer covering breaking news stories for WHDH – TV Channel 7 News Boston.

“The connections I made both in a professional and social atmosphere were invaluable to my future in television,” Pierpont said.

Meanwhile, a junior political science major and student body President, Sean Geary, spent his summer working in the Mayor’s office in Hamden. He was assigned projects involving Hamden politics.

“I had the opportunity to sit down with a former Mayor of Hamden and literally talked about politics and life with the man for almost two hours,” Geary said.

But great opportunity comes with a price, such as two hour long commutes, and severe lack of free time.

Sophomore Samantha Manelis interned at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J. Although she worked anywhere from 15 to 45 hours a week Manelis said, “I would have paid to have the internship that I did.”

Whether they are paid or unpaid, for credit or merely for experience, internships are becoming a necessity for more and more college students who are serious about their career goals and looking to experience the working world.

“The internship takes away from the free-loving, sleep-in-late, wait-for-school-to-start summer and replaces it with a snap shot of commitment and reality,” Geary said.


About Gemma McFarland