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Students prepare for internships after pandemic academics

As the academic year draws to a close, rising juniors, seniors and graduates are preparing for summer internships — and some have already started them.

This year, internships follow many long months of a particularly exhausting semester, and some students won’t get a break.

Can’t go home

Sophomore Micaela Anders found work for the summer with the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project (GDVLP), which provides legal services to low-income clients pro bono. She’ll have clerical responsibilities and get to sit in on meetings for some on-the-clock learning. Anders, a political science and history double major, who also has a minor in philosophy in law, looks forward to furthering her experience in the legal field.

Her internship starts on May 18, which will allow her three days off after finals before living in Dayton, Ohio for 10 weeks. When she accepted the position in October, she wasn’t thinking about how close it fell to the end of the semester.

“I’m kind of stressed out about that quick turnaround,” Anders said. “I’m moving straight from Oxford to Dayton. I’m not gonna be able to go home at all before I start, so that kind of sucks.”

She said virtual academics have compounded her stress, especially after she declared her double major this semester.

“It’s just been a little more difficult with online classes because of the amount of busy work,” Anders said. “It has been relatively crazy.”

Working with the GDVLP, Anders hopes, will boost her resume and help her get into law school.

“And then hopefully find a job,” she said, “but we’ll see how that goes, because the job market is awful.”

School doesn’t stop

Kate deJesus’ internship starts a day earlier than Anders’, but she does get to go home to Cincinnati where the company, Lightship Capital, bases its operations.

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deJesus, a junior emerging technology in business and design (ETBD) major and history minor, will work from home in social media and marketing for the venture capital fund.

Lightship drew deJesus’ interest with its commitment to investing in diversity. It invests solely in businesses run by women, people of color and “other underestimated founders.”

“I really loved their mission,” she said.

On top of interning, deJesus enrolled in two classes for the summer. She said she has to take them to stay on track to graduate in the spring of 2022. They start on the second day of her internship.

“I’m a little overwhelmed,” she said, “but I hope it’s good-busy.”

Jumping the gun

Junior finance major Sam Schroeder landed a position in data analytics with SOC Telemed, a company that broke out during the pandemic.

Schroeder said the exploding telemedicine industry is what caught his eye but also what will fill his time this summer.

“I definitely have my work cut out for me,” he said.

In fact, that work already takes up his time. Schroeder started his remote responsibilities at the beginning of April and works 20 hours a week with SOC.

Alongside the internship are his involvements in Alpha Kappa Psi as Vice President of Finance and in Redhawk Ventures.

“Trying to balance everything has been a little difficult,” he said.

An even earlier start

Tristan Sprenger also started early. He’s been shadowing a physical therapy clinic called Athletico in Cincinnati since February. A rehab aide, Sprenger assists therapists and sometimes works the front desk.

The junior kinesiology major and nutrition minor plans to also participate in research over the summer, looking at kinesiology with associate professor Randal Claytor. He hopes this expands his resume for applying to graduate school to study physical therapy.

“I’ve kind of got a lot of catching up and a lot of stuff I gotta prepare myself for,” he said. “But I think this kind of gives me, hopefully, a leg up and makes myself seem a little bit more competitive compared to other applicants.”

He said final exams pose an extra challenge this year.

“I always get a little nervous around finals,” Sprenger said. “It’s been chaotic not being in-person and doing a lot of stuff over Zoom. I don’t do that well with these non-face-to-face classes, so it’s been a little bit of a struggle.”

He looks forward to focusing on his internship and involvement in research without worrying about online academics.

“[I’m] just excited for the semester to be over and to be pursuing these things that I really want to do,” he said.

An unexpected opportunity

This June, junior Kyle Ward will move to Chicago to work remotely for Bain & Company, a global consulting firm.

Ward, a finance major with marketing and ETBD minors, applied to Bain alongside many other firms. He said since they typically don’t recruit Miami students, their response wasn’t one he saw coming.

“I applied to this company not really expecting that I would get an offer,” he said, “so when I got the call I remember being so in shock.”

Bain sweetened the deal further before internships even started by offering the interns full-time positions.

Ward said he jokes that the job may distract him from his long term goal to earn an MBA, but feels mostly glad to be getting experience relevant to that goal.

“I am ridiculously excited about it,” he said.

Ward, like Sprenger, eagerly awaits the end of the semester to start on his new path.