CMU students gain experience through summer internships
Several students spent their summer finding out first-hand the value of experience in their profession versus learning in the classroom.
Warren senior Lindsey Peters interned in New York City for a women’s design company, Walter Baker. The three-month experience from May to August gave Peters an opportunity to step inside the competitive high-fashion industry.
She said every day was different, which kept things interesting. She mostly worked in the showroom where buyers would purchase garments. Peters also assisted in choosing apparel for magazines and companies, and had hands-on experience assisting in public relations events.
“My favorite thing was being able to dabble in all aspects of the company and getting a hands-on experience,” she said.
Peters said it’s difficult to pinpoint something negative about the internship. The only thing she didn’t like was the long hours and weeks the job demanded.
“I wouldn’t have changed my experience for anything,” she said.
Many students, including Peters, value their internship for the real-life applications.
“Classes are great, but working in the industry puts everything into place and you get to really see how the industry runs,” she said.
Lansing sophomore Corey Rubino spent his summer soaking up the sun working in Destin, Flordia at ResortQuest Wyndham Vacation Rentals.
“I’m a huge beach bum, so it was perfect,” he said.
Working in the recreational department, Rubino was responsible for entertaining vacationers. He was in charge of planning and running the activities throughout the week for families.
“It was a big party all the time,” he said.
He did everything from scheduling games on the beach to a giant pool party.
Rubino said he was one of the 38 chosen of more than 300 people who applied. A huge perk, Rubino said, was the paycheck at the end of the week.
Although it was nothing but fun in the sun most of the time, the tourists crammed the roadways, making it difficult to get from here to there.
“It would take an hour to go 10 miles down the road,” he said.
Rubino said he learned things about the hospitality industry he never expected.
“You’d be surprised what people complain about,” Rubino said.
Rubino said working with kids and families was fun, but he wants to do something more challenging and fitting for his knowledge in the future.
“It was an overall great life experience,” he said.
Benton Harbor graduate Amanda Lesch spent her summer interning for the Boys and Girls Club of Benton Habor. She created a mentorship program called “Rise to the Top” for underprivileged low-income children.
Lesch said she created a comfortable environment to talk with the kids about topics including self-esteem, conflict resolution and peer pressure. She provided a saftey-net for at-risk youth ages six to 12.
“Many of them had behavioral issues, so it was a challenge,” she said.
Throughout the summer, Lesch saw one 8-year-old grow emotionally and behaviorally, which was all she wanted to accomplish.
“They don’t get the love and support they need to thrive,” Lesch said.
That’s where she brought her passions and enthusiasm.
“I was so fortunate to find this,” she said. “It helped me figure out what I really want to do.”
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