You can put it on your resume. You can learn more about your field of study with it. You can make friends and connections through it.

Student internships are worthwhile.

College students everywhere are scrambling to apply for summer jobs, scanning websites to find internships, booking flights to travel abroad, or gaining back the weight lost before Spring Break to prepare for a long summer sleep. While all of these might sound appealing somehow, the most beneficial to college students is an internship.

Aaron Duell, philosophy & religious studies junior, is one of two student pastors at Grace United Methodist Church. For him, finding a possible internship was easy. “I went to Grace as a freshman and there was a student pastor there [at the church]. They have the job listed in the bulletin,” he said. Duell plans to stay active as a student pastor until graduation. In terms of what he does, work can vary. “If I want to do the bare minimum, I’ll kind of be a liturgist and maybe just read a scripture or say one prayer, and just help out with the service.” He has also helped out with a funeral before, and sometimes interacts with the youth. “It’s basically up to the pastor to tell me what to do. Maybe next year when things are a little quieter, I’ll do more. I might think about getting a license so I could do communion and stuff, but it would be after next year,” he said.

Internships can provide knowledge of many things, including further practice and understanding of an occupation one might pursue. Caitlin Smith, senior, chose an internship that led to a job at the same place. She worked for the Wichita Wingnuts baseball team as an intern, learning the ropes in sales, customer service, field promotions, game production and community relations. “Now,” she said, “My job title is director of merchandise, community relations and game day personnel.” What began as a summer internship is now a full-time job for Smith.

Southwestern also provides opportunities for internships. The Monday after Spring Break, Dan Falk, dean of students, sent out an e-mail to students promoting summer internships. “It is that time of year to be thinking about internships. Hopefully, you have spoken with your advisors and faculty about internship opportunities.”

A link was provided as well to make it easy for students to browse through potential internships.

Kaydee Johnson, business administration junior, was given the opportunity for a position as an intern through the Southwestern College Philanthropy Board. The SCPB began as a senior Leadership project, and Johnson received funding for an internship through the board. “The William Newton Health Care foundation awarded me two internships,” she said. “I really feel that this internship is a great opportunity for me to learn about what I want to do for the rest of my life. It has prepared me for what I’m really interested in, and has been such an eye-opener. It also created some really cool opportunities for me already.”

Johnson had two projects: marketing 21 newly built rooms. She said, “I was really needed for building relationships with donors, putting together presentations, putting ads in the newspaper, creating brochures and mass mailings.”

Johnson also helped prepare for the Gingerbread Festival, a three-day fundraiser. She was proud that her mom won first place, whose gingerbread house sold for $600 at the gala.

“Working at a grocery store is great, being a lifeguard is awesome, and it might be fun for summer, but will you be doing things for rest of your life?” said Johnson. “These internships put me in a position above other people who are graduating with the same major as me. College is a pretty common thing now, and with a limited number of jobs in the world, you have to figure out how to make yourself stand out.”