One of the many off-campus programs Northwestern offers is the Chicago Semester. Students complete an internship in the Windy City while also taking classes for academic credits.
The Chicago Semester is available to students every fall and spring semester, along with an opportunity in the summer. Fall and spring semesters are a 16-week long adventure. Students are placed in a full-time internship that matches their future career field.
The possible tracks are the arts; business, finance and accounting; marketing and communications; health and applied sciences; social sciences and humanities; nursing; social work and student teaching. While interning, students also complete a professional seminar and two courses to stay on top of academic credits.
Summer semesters look a little different, but this opportunity is perfect for student athletes and leaders on campus. Summer interns have a different set of tracks to choose from: the arts; business, finance and accounting; marking and communication; health and applied sciences; social sciences and humanities; architecture and engineering; entrepreneurship and city fellows.
Internships are a great way to boost your resume, network and give a realistic idea of what the future may hold, all while earning college credits.
Kelsey Lang, a senior public relations major, took advantage of a summer in Chicago, completing the internship public relations requires. She interned with the American Medical Association, the largest physician advocacy organization in America.
“It was very much like Corporate America,” Lang said.
Her workplace was located right on the Chicago River next to Trump Tower, essentially in the heart of the city. She worked on the 42nd floor, with the classic Chicago skyline as her view from her cubicle.
Lang’s title was the media and editorial intern where she helped with press releases, media, calendar compilations, events outside of the normal hours and other tasks relating to public relations.
She walked a mile in her tennis shoes, ready to change into her business casual heels once she got to work, a surreal task to do after growing up in Orange City.
During her free time, Lang visited the beach often, enjoyed free yoga in the park, participated in a weekly Bible study, trained for the cross country season and attended church regularly. She also started to do some dog-walking on the side to earn some extra spending money.
Lang had opportunities to expand her horizons when it came to the homeless, as she walked past many homeless individuals on her way to work. She took advantage of this chance and took the initiative to get to know some of the faces she passed every day.
“It made me aware that I loved living in a city. I enjoyed knowing that I could do it, that I was equipped to do the work. The world is bigger than just me. Learning how to be a Christian in a context like that was really cool,” Lang said.
The Chicago internship was also a way to network. She connected with numerous coworkers via LinkedIn, and she knows she can use her boss as a reference in the future.
“Save up more money than you think, but one million percent do it. This is a time in your life to travel because you still have a home base of Northwestern College,” Lang said.
For any students interested in interning in Chicago, the deadline for the upcoming fall semester is March 1, 2020, and the 2021 spring semester deadline is May 1, 2020.