Anderson, Indiana

Internships for AU students bring real life opportunity

Tue, 2011-08-09 08:00 -- univcomm
August 9, 2011

Classroom education from accomplished faculty is one part of career preparation at Anderson University, but hands-on experience to prepare for the first post-college job is quite another. Internships allow students to have this out-of-classroom experience with the safety net of professors who are only an email away.

As research assistants in the Research Experience for Undergrads program, AU students had opportunities at leading institutions and worked on real projects related to their field. Jason Boomsma worked for the Argon National Lab and at Purdue University, Wendy Hannah worked on genetics research at the University of Pittsburgh, and Jackie Carothers studied at Oregon University to better understand oil-water interfaces.

RebekahDr. Blake Janutolo, dean of science and humanities, said, “Our students have an excellent background in the sciences so they are comfortable and prepared.” Janutolo continued, “We have a good working relationship with our students, so it is easy to write them references, and good students that have a good experience usually leave their employers very interested in future students from AU.” [Photo on left: Rebekah Shirer]

Rebekah Shirar, a recent graduate in communication arts, spent last summer as an assistant producer for the Jim Bakker show in Branson, Mo. “It was exciting and different every day,” Shirar said. “[My advisor] was very gracious, and worked with me to get the paperwork and required parts of the internship together,” Shirar continued. She said the experience was trying at times, but event planning and public relations writing classes at AU “really helped in the day to day tasks.” Shirar said when she left the show to return for the fall semester, “They were impressed with my skills and made it clear that if I have any friends at AU who are looking for internships or jobs to let them know.”

Cameron Cunningham, a recent graduate in criminal justice, enjoyed a summer in his hometown of Kokomo, Ind. While many college students spend summer break sleeping in, Cunningham spent his summer with the Kokomo Police Department working more than 160 hours. “I rode along with the officers and was in dispatch and the records division. I was in the property room as well,” Cunningham said. Cunningham spent the summer of 2009 working in a similar capacity with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, so he felt comfortable and somewhat experienced before the summer in Kokomo. [Photo on right: Cameron Cunningham]

“Classes at AU and these summer internships are really making me feel good about where I’m headed,” Cunningham said. While he admitted that nobody can plan out their future without doubts and uncertainties, Cunningham still has a great sense of comfort about his future.

In an economy mired in hardship and intimidating unemployment statistics, AU is doing all that it can to ensure that its students find success after graduation by helping them find quality internships.

— Kyle Beckman is a senior from Auburn, Ind., double-majoring in communication arts and business-information systems and minoring in political science. Beckman is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of Anderson University Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.