In high school, Sara Shevlin ’18 worked summers at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, as one in a team of teenage support staff and while her old summer job did spark her interest in a music career, it “doesn’t even begin to compare” to what she did this summer.
The graphic design major from Cumberland, Rhode Island, was a graphic design intern at Surfdog Records in Encinitas, California. The label markets Eric Clapton, Brian Setzer, Sublime, Glen Campbell, Stray Cats and UB40 among other artists.
“Every day was different — I might be creating a playlist graphic for Sublime in the morning and an email blast for Glen Campbell in the afternoon,” said Sara. “One day I could be creating a graphic for Brian Setzer and the next I’m reviewing publishing and licensing information … I’m learning so much more than I ever imagined.”
Sara is one of many Stonehill students who not only secured a summer job — they embarked on an adventure. From exploring the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to visiting the castles of Wales, from learning Chinese in Taiwan to learning how to code medical equipment in Florida, many Stonehill students make the most of their summer by immersing themselves in their fields of interest.
Diving Into Professional Experiences That Help Chart Their Course
“Internships are an essential piece of a college experience to ensure post-graduate success and at Stonehill, we make it easy for students to get internship experience,” said Christina Burney, director of Stonehill’s Career Development Center. “Our students have so many options to gain professional experience in places like Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. or internationally.”
Some 87 percent of the Class of 2016 completed at least one internship.
“During the summer in particular, students tend to work more hours at internships, allowing them to be a part of bigger projects and become more integrated into the organization,” said Kristine Shatas, employer relations manager at the Career Development Center.
Sara says summer was the ideal time for her to dive into an internship. “Summer internships are awesome because you don’t have five other classes to worry about while doing it, so it allows you to focus solely on the internship.”
For Meghan Jordan ’18, a member of the Skyhawks equestrian team, summer was the best time to have an experiential learning adventure without taking time off from the team. An environmental engineering major (through Stonehill’s 3+2 program with Notre Dame), Meghan spent five weeks in Australia through The Education Abroad Network. She took an engineering class focused on renewable energy. Each week in the five-week course, the students would attend class in a different city.
“Spending the summer in Australia allowed me to get a more worldly view of my future career,” said Meghan, one of some 75 students who explored Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns by the Great Barrier Reef, camped in a national park, and spent two weeks at the University of New South Wales.
Meanwhile, in New York City, James Faller ’17 spent the summer interning at Accion, one of the largest microfinance companies in the United States. He analyzed risk in loan applications, calculated the ROI of marketing investments, analyzed credit reports and marketing investments, and learned how to measure risk and track marketing outcomes. James, whose ultimate career goal is to work in microfinance, said he made valuable connections and learned real-world job skills.
A Chance to Sharpen Your Focus
“By immersing themselves in a professional environment, students start to learn what they might want their own careers to look like,” said Burney. “Whether the student likes or dislikes the experience, that reaction can help them to narrow down their post-graduate pursuits.”
After a taste of life at a PR firm during a past summer internship, Caitlin Hughes ’17 of Lexington, Massachusetts, realized marketing wasn’t for her.
“I switched my major to healthcare administration and haven’t looked back,” said Caitlin, who interned this summer at LeeSar Regional Service Center in Fort Myers, Florida. The company provides medical supplies and custom surgical packs to member hospitals.
“Each day I learn more and more; the experiences [will help] me figure out what I’m passionate about, and what I truly want to do,” said Caitlin.
She and fellow intern Abby Hersom ’18 spent their time at LeeSar shadowing various departments at company headquarters and at member hospital Health Park Medical Center. They also talked shop with CEO Bob Simpson, a 1993 Stonehill graduate.
Abby, of Rockland, Maine, said experiencing a bit of everything allowed her to see which track in the healthcare system she may want to pursue full time. “I’m able to see the finance, distribution and pharmaceutical side of the industry,” she said.
Tsz Yan Chan ’18 agreed. The accounting and foreign languages double major was accepted into three highly competitive summer leadership programs — the Emerging Leaders Program with Ernst & Young, Elevate Leadership Program with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the BlumShapiro Dare to Lead Sophomore Leadership Program.
“I want to immerse myself with accounting firms to learn more about my future and see where I fit the most,” said Tsz Yan. “Through attending different programs, I’ve learned more about myself. You’ll never know where life can lead you if you don’t give yourself the chance to explore.”