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Students and recent graduates report internship successes

Posted: Oct 05, 2012

Laboratories, locker rooms, offices, theaters, rivers.

During the past few months, Olivet students and 2012 graduates have had a glimpse into what their futures might hold through numerous exciting internships.

Ryan Lingle ’13, Riverside Medical Center, Kankakee, Ill.

Biology professor Dr. Mike Pyle helped Ryan find this internship. He worked in the pathology lab, observing Dr. Betlej, one of the pathologists, doing grossing of specimens and looking at slides to make a diagnosis. He also presented a case at the tumor board.

“I learned how to recognize tissue under a microscope, and how to distinguish between and diagnose different types of cancer,” he says. “Now that I've spent time in the lab watching a pathologist, I am much more confident about this as my future career.”

Andrew Koch ’12, Argonne National Laboratories, Lemont, Ill.

Working in the tribology department, Andrew performed friction tests with different engine lubricants. Then, he graphed the data from the tests to make the data easier to analyze.

“One of the most important things I learned during this internship was how important the details are when conducting research,” he says. “This internship gave me the opportunity to experience one on my career goals of working at a national laboratory.”

Andrew is now in a Ph.D. program in mechanical engineering at Michigan State University.

Jennifer Anderson ’12 , Indianapolis Colts

Following her internship with the Super Bowl Committee in summer 2011, Jennifer began her internship with the Indianapolis Colts NFL football team. She is now employed as interim marketing coordinator.

“I’m responsible for all game day entertainment, including pregame on-field visits, the national anthem, color guard, full field flags, halftime entertainment, youth activities and postgame visits,” she says. “I also oversee our three official fan clubs, including membership benefits and gift packages for our members. I was a corporate communication major, and this is exactly what I want to be doing.”

Caleb Rogers ’15, Southdale Church of the Nazarene, Anderson, Ind.

Working alongside Brad Buhro ’96, senior pastor, Caleb was primarily involved with youth ministry. He taught a Sunday school class for junior and senior high students, and helped with a mission trip to Pineville, Ky.

“I learned to never underestimate what teens are willing to do for God’s kingdom,” he says. “This internship helped prepare me for my future work as a pastor.”

Alejandra Magana ’13, Chicago Bears

As part of the Events and Entertainment team, Alejandra helped with the set up/break down of the Bears training camp at Olivet, as well as premium distribution, activation of sponsor displays, and execution of event and autograph sessions. She also assisted Staley, the team mascot.

“I learned that communication is key in executing an event smoothly,” she says.

Jenny Schoenwetter ’13, Carriage Town Ministries, Flint, Mich.

Jenny worked in the development and communication department and the business department for this nonprofit organization. Angie (Beauvais) Field ’07 was her supervisor. One of the most important things Jenny learned was the importance of teamwork.

“Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in daily tasks and think that one department is more powerful than the rest,” she says. “I saw firsthand the importance of working together to accomplish goals and dreams. This was an excellent learning opportunity that helped me grow in my personal, spiritual, and academic life. I would absolutely love to be a business administrator (and one day executive director) of a nonprofit organization.”

Rachel Groters ’13, Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill.

Rachel learned about this internship in public relations when she attended Olivet’s 2012 Career Fair.
Her job was to compile a “how-to” manual for the department to serve as a reference for current publicists and a comprehensive guide for future hires. She also wrote press releases, media alerts, author interview questions, and a cover memo for Joel C. Rosenberg’s book Implosion. She interacted online with bloggers and reviewers, worked extensively with a media database, and helped implement a new online public relations planning tool.

“I grew in my faith and professional experience as a result of my internship at Tyndale,” she says. “I’m better prepared to enter the workplace when I graduate.”

Kelsey Dixon ’13, Visit Sarasota County, Sarasota, Fla.

As an intern in the Sales and Marketing Department, Kelsey interacted with area hoteliers, attractions and restaurants on what tourist packages they were offering. She helped prepare materials and organize Tourism University sessions to educate partners on the upcoming Cooperative Advertising Marketplace event.

“I learned how to increase multitasking in a fast-paced, changing environment while adapting to a new place,” she says. “This internship opened my eyes to a whole new world of marketing in the tourism industry.”

Kristina Kirkham ’13, Taproot Theatre, Seattle, Wash.

“Our youngest summer camper was three years old, and the oldest was 17,” says Kristina about her internship experience. “I learned that I prefer to work with an older age group. I also learned how important communication is among individuals in a theatre company.” 

As a teaching intern, she assisted the lead teacher with crafts, and helped students memorize lines or do character work. She acted in two scenes of the show that the interns presented. During one week, she worked in the office and saw the marketing side of Taproot. 

Kendra Maxon ’15, Vactor, Streator, Ill.

“I have never learned so much in such a short time, or had so many people help in confirming that I am in the right field,” Kendra says. “God had his hand on me when I was looking for internships and placed me in the perfect spot. Now I’m 100 percent sure I want to be an engineer.”

At Vactor, Kendra was assigned to work on projects the first day on the job because of her understanding of Pro/E, as well as her excellent critical thinking and organizational skills. During her 13 weeks on the job, she modeled and drew parts from scratch, updated drawings, learned sheet metal mode, learned how to make weld symbols, and worked with huge assemblies. She plans to work there over Christmas break and next summer.

Cameron Cholewa ’13, Jeremy Roesel ’13, Ashley McMaster ’12, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), northern Illinois

Dr. Randy Johnson and Dr. Leo Finkenbinder worked with Lynn Boerman of IDNR to arrange these internships. These are the first internships of their kind that IDNR has offered to college and university students.

Cameron, Jeremy and Ashley worked in the field along the Illinois, Des Plaines, Calumet, and Kankakee Rivers, Lake Calumet, the Kankakee River State Park, and many other wildlife areas from large open prairie fields to suburban parks.

“Our work was always hands-on, gritty field work,” Cameron says. “We electroshocked for fish collection, and aided in game pheasant propagation, goose banding, wildlife heritage (rare plant monitoring and invasive plant control), reptile and amphibian monitoring. This is opening career opportunities for me.”

“This internship is helping me narrow down what I want to do for my career,” Ashley says.

Jeremy adds, “This confirmed for me that I want to be a wildlife biologist. I also discovered the joy of fieldwork. When you’re with your friends, it’s a lot of fun.”


Olivet's School of Education is among the top six largest producers of teachers among all Illinois colleges and universities.