When the school year begins to draw to an end, many students try to figure out what do to over the summer. Whether they go home or stay in D.C., some take classes, others get a job at the mall and the lucky ones spend their days lounging by the pool. Most students, however, can be found in offices all over the country working hard at their paid or unpaid internships.
Many people believe that summer internships offer necessary experience for every college student. The work experience looks good on future resumes and applications and give the students a glimpse into the real world and their future career.
Junior Brain Krause’s summer internship helped him decide what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Working as an intern assistant to the press secretary for Rep. Rush Holt’s (D-N.J.) district office, Krause was responsible for coordinating press conferences, drafting press releases and distributing press packets.
Krause now aspires to be a press secretary. He said his internship provided him with amazing contacts and great life experience.
“Summer internships are one of the most important parts of college,” he said.
Junior Jacquelyn Bell also worked for her congressman last summer. While interning for Rep. Frank Mascara (D-Pa.), Bell answered phones, wrote letters to constituents, planned and gave tours and observed congressional sessions.
“Sitting in on Congress was interesting, and I always knew the issues,” she said.
Bell said that the contacts she made are a definite perk. As a result of the internship, she made contacts with the people in the office as well as the Mascara. She said that these connections will benefit her in the future if she needs a recommendation or possibly a job.
“Internships are a great experience; they give you an idea about what you would want to do with your life,” she said.
As an intern for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), freshman Elise Piatt took on a lot of responsibility by helping draft legislation in addition to answering phones and writing letters. She said interning for a former presidential candidate definitely paid off. She met actors Warren Beatty, Annette Benning and Gary Busey.
“It was really cool that I got to meet all these famous people when they stopped by the office,” she said.
Piatt said the best part of her internship are the business connections she made.
“I will always have connections to the people who worked in Senator McCain’s office,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if they are still for working for him or somewhere else, that just means that I will have connections all over the place.”
But not all summer interns are so lucky. Sophomore Michelle Abbani spent her summer interning for a graphic design firm that creates annual reports.
“I hated it!” She said. “I was given these boring tasks that took minutes to do, and when I was done there was nothing else to do.”
Abbani said despite a bad internship experience, she is glad she did it because it helped her realize graphic design is not the job for her.
Abbani is looking for another opportunity.
“Internships are a great thing; they help guide you in the right direction. And if you find one that you love, you’re lucky,” Abbani said. “It is so important for college students to be going out and making these connections.”