One of the many opportunities Northwestern offers to help expand a student’s academic experience is through an internship.
Whether with local or national organizations, internships allow students to gain hands-on experience in their field before they graduate. They can help students explore their interests, build a professional network and answer questions about the realities of the work. Many students choose to do an internship during their last semesters on campus to build their résumés and stand out to future employers.
Kendall Stanislav, director of experiential education, said that he sees internships as incredibly beneficial for students.
“I like to think of internships as a lab where students get to apply their knowledge in a new way,” he said.
Internships offer a unique way for students to “try on” jobs in order to find the right fit before entering the workforce and heading down a career path. Internships are a time to take what a student has learned in class and apply it to real-world situations. They also look great on résumés and provide students with excellent talking points in job interviews.
These experiences provide students with knowledge that a classroom cannot.
“An internship allows you to be in an uncontrolled environment,” Stanislav said, “where your actions affect more than your grade on an assignment like the sales of a company, the care that a patient receives, the service for a customer or a host of other real world scenarios.”
Although education is an important piece of the college experience, internships answer the question every student asks at least one point in their college career, “When am I ever going to need to know this?”
There are a number of students interning around the Orange City area this fall.
Senior Samantha Ubben is currently interning at the NW athletic office and said that she has enjoyed her internship and the knowledge she’s gained.
“I have learned so much about social media and how to manage different pages. My experience has been amazing, hands-on learning and a great way to create my own work.”
She is one of the many students that can attest to the value in an internship and learning what kind of career path a person wants to take.
“I have figured out the specific areas of public relations that I like and dislike,” Ubben said. “I’ve realized that I love social media and the organization of content posting.”
Senior Brittany Kuiper is currently interning at Behavior Care Specialists, Inc. in Rock Valley, Iowa. Kuiper says the internship has been a positive addition to her coursework.
“We can study it all we want in books and take lots of tests to prove that we know our stuff, but until you actually work the job, you won’t know if you love it or not,” she said.
Kuiper, like many other students, has found out what it is she truly wants to do from her intern experience.
“Now I have found my niche in the education world and am super excited to see where it takes me,” she said.
Senior Kaylen Kuchel has seen God working through her during her internship at ProActive Physical Therapy in Sheldon, Iowa.
“I knew that I didn’t have to question my career path again after interning,” Kuchel said. “God has given me a vocational calling where I can see Him working in me and my profession every day.”
If you are interested in real-life experiences in your career field as well as adding to your résumé, contact Kendall Stanislav in the Compass Center for Career and Calling about setting up an internship. You can either schedule an appointment on Handshake or stop by his office.