This summer was extremely busy for our Scholars. Several of them spent their summers learning and gaining professional experience. Internships and jobs provided our Scholars with learning opportunities, skills and experience that will help them become successful in their future careers. Some of the Scholars wanted to share their experiences.
Rachel Malo: Rachel is a junior studying psychology. After graduating, she plans to attend graduate school in an occupational therapy program. Rachel spent her summer interning at a city-run day camp program in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, called SNPP (Special Needs Playground Program). This is a program that offers special needs individuals, ranging from ages 5-26, the opportunity of a day camp program that provides them affordable weekday care. The program allows these individuals to have two pools days, two park days, and a new field trip each week. Rachel was a counselor for this program. Her responsibilities included looking after individuals with all types of special needs, including cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism spectrum disorders and fetal alcohol syndrome children. Rachel gained skills such as sensory integration, speech therapy and behavioral management. These are skills that she will be able to utilize in her intended future career as an occupational therapist. This internship has reassured Rachel that working with special needs children is the right career path for her.
Katie Kurilko: Katie is a junior majoring in music education. This summer, she interned at the New England Music Camp in Sydney, Maine, as a camp counselor. It is a music camp for 11-17-year-old musicians. The camp provides a well-rounded education in music and focuses on musical and personal growth. For the first half of each day, campers study with collegiate faculty. They attend classes and practice in their respective specialties. The second half of the day consists of recreational activities led by the camp counselors. Later in the evening, campers perform in their ensembles or attend/participate in recitals. They were in either orchestra, band, choir, jazz band or musical theater ensembles at the camp. Katie was placed in a cabin to overlook the daily schedules of several campers. She would instruct several different recreational activities, including swimming, yoga and kayaking. Katie learned to teach on an educational level and how to manage multiple age groups of children. She worked alongside professionals that hold positions in her intended career path and observed firsthand how to educate young musicians. Katie plans to go back to NEMC next summer and hopes to gain even more from the fantastic learning experience.
John York: John is a junior studying finance and was recently accepted into the Eli Broad College of Business at MSU. John interned at Flagstar Bank in Jackson, Michigan, this summer. He was an intern in the warehouse lending department, a form of mortgage servicing. He monitored commercial loans and reviewed attorney-prepared documents for a portfolio that totaled a daily volume average of $100 million. He was also given the opportunity to shadow at major loan committee meetings with senior-level executives, where discussions included whether or not to raise correspondence credit lines by millions of dollars. John believes his internship was very beneficial and gave him insight into commercial lending processes within a major Midwestern bank.
Josie Daniel: Josie is a junior majoring in zoology with concentrations in general zoology and zoo and aquarium science. Josie accepted a summer internship program in Tampa, Florida, at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo. There, she interned in the zoo's African Elephant department. The department's collection of animals included not only African elephants, but also Southern white rhinos, Grevys zebras, and Kenyan impala. Josie worked along side of the department's animal keepers/trainers with four other interns. She learned the daily responsibilities and duties of an animal caretaker, which included exhibit cleaning and maintenance, diet and enrichment preparation, animal husbandry and animal training. In addition to all of the hands-on experience and learning, she was required to attend training lectures and assigned weekly supplemental readings, worksheets and exams in order to pass the program. She even had the opportunity to be physically hands-on with the rhinos, assisting with weekly medical procedures or while just giving a belly or leg scratch. Josie learned so much from the internship and realized that working with exotic animals is her true passion. She said she is so thankful to have been given the opportunity to care for the amazing animals in her department's collection and to work with and learn from the Elephant Department team.
Armen Brus: Armen is a senior, studying zoology. Armen participated in the Disney college program in Orlando, Florida, for the spring term that extended through July 2016. He was interested in the program because the entry level experience with the company will create more future opportunities throughout the company and other areas of business. Armen assisted with management and operations of two of the busiest locations in the Magic Kingdom, working approximately 50 hours per week. Working for Disney gave him experience working with a wide range of people of various ages and nationalities. His time spent as Disney sparked a greater interest in working in the hospitality business. The opportunity was extremely beneficial and helped expand Armen's horizons for career opportunities. He is very appreciative of his time spent at Disney and hopes to return to the company in the future.
Alex Knop: Alex is a junior majoring in applied engineering. This summer he interned at Kunz, Leigh & Associates, a software development company, located in Okemos, Michigan. Alex developed web applications for the Michigan state government and other clients. Some of his tasks included building a web application that helped manage children's health care accounts and another application that helped run state department's cashiering and account receivables. He gained skills and experience in how to use tools to hard-code websites. He acquired team-leadership skills, met with clients weekly and gained customer relations skills. Alex attended meetings with clients that showed the progress and features of client's applications, and took input from the clients to meet their satisfaction and needs. The internship helped him understand the technology that goes into programming and provided him with skills and knowledge that will be valuable to him in his future career.
Stanislaw Trybula: Stanislaw, also know as Stas, is a senior majoring in food industry management. He interned at Mahle Industries, Inc., a German automotive engine parts company. The company manufactures different parts of car engines and distribute them to different companies. Stas has interned at Mahle for the past three summers and has held three different positions within the company. The positions include accounting intern, finance intern and general ledger intern. Some of his tasks included summarizing medical insurance allocations and posting invoices into the company's database. He has gained great communication and organizational skills and worked with Concur, a travel management site, in which he investigated and approved individual travel audits for employees. From his internships with the company, he has experienced management positions, and even had the opportunity to manage a team of other interns, in which he reported the team's status to the CEO. Stas is thankful for the opportunity to have built professional relationships over the past three years at Mahle, and to looks forward to utilizing the skills and experiences he has gained from his internships in a professional career.
Jacqueline Zuke: Jacqueline is a senior majoring in kinesiology. Jacqueline interned with the Special Olympics Michigan over the summer. The Special Olympics has four core focuses: unified programs, traditional sporting events, the Young Athletes Program and the healthy lifestyle. Jacqueline was the Young Athletes coordinator for the Southeast region of Michigan. She was in charge of planning new programs for children 2-7 years old with intellectual disabilities, in order to help them prepare to participate in the Special Olympics in the future. One of her most successful programs was in Bloomfield Hills at a school specialized for severely disabled children. On top of these new programs, she assisted with planning events across Michigan and ensuring they ran smoothly. Some of the amazing events included State Summer Games at Central Michigan University, a football training camp with the Lions at Ford Field, and the regional golf tournament in Monroe. The events were an incredible opportunity for special needs children and adults to participate in fun sporting events! The most exciting event was the State Summer Games where there were over 2,000 athletes and 15 different sports offered. Jacqueline learned how to construct activity lesson plans for children who would not be able to participate in sports otherwise and increased her love and compassion for working with special needs children.