August 16, 2022
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Whether it’s providing hospitality on campus, serving the local legal system or exploring programs at a tech giant company, around 70 Illinois Wesleyan University students participated in summer internships, according to the Hart Career Center.
“Internships allow students to explore areas of interest, determine if a certain job is a fit for them, and apply their learning in the classroom to real world situations,” said Patrick Zajac, Assistant Director for Career Engagement at the Hart Career Center.
One such student is a computer science major Evan Quist ’23, who interned with Meta, one of the world’s leading technology companies and owner of Facebook and Instagram, in San Francisco, Calif.
Considered to be one of the most exclusive technology internships, Quist had to pass
a resume screen, two technical interviews and a behavioral interview.
Working with the company behind apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger comes with its perks. Quist said that the best part of his internship experience so far has been “being able to try new products that haven’t been released yet, and interacting with famous engineers like Mark Zuckerberg.”
Through his work with Meta, Quist has found that the skills he has developed at IWU are “directly applicable, even at companies as large as this” and that the experience has affirmed his career goals.
“This internship has helped show me exactly what I want to do when I graduate, and I hope it leads to a full time position,” he said.
Franchesca Smith ’25, a political science major on the pre-law track with a minor in psychology, spent her summer closer to home as an intern with the child support unit at the McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Smith said she sought out this internship to get a preview of her future career path while becoming more familiar with the courtroom. When she wasn’t pulling files for lawyers to review before a case, Smith was able to sit in on courtroom proceedings.
She learned how long and ongoing the process can be when trying to figure things out. The judge, state’s attorney, parents and any outside attorneys that the parents may hire must all be on the same page and come to an understanding of what’s best for the children while simultaneously working through whatever issues they may have between themselves.”
The internship confirmed for Smith that she wants to go into law, especially social justice work.
“I have a passion for helping not only those in my community but all minority communities,” Smith said.
Nora Robinson ’24, a psychology major with a concentration in advocacy/nonprofit management, lived on campus over the summer to work with IWU’s Conference Services. The internship was geared towards students seeking experience in customer service and hospitality. She said one perk of the internship was housing in Gates.
“Living in an apartment with my coworkers — and now pretty great friends — was a really cool experience. I loved getting to know them and really spending all of our time together,” Robinson said.
During the internship, Robinson checked in on high school students who were attending summer camps on campus, flipped Hansen from one event to another and responded to calls from clients who were locked out of their rooms.
“I’ve learned the most important thing is to keep a level head and a good attitude as you figure out how to fix the issue at hand,” Robinson said. “This job gave me so much exposure to different kinds of people and I know that all the skills I’ve developed this summer will definitely align with my future career in some way or another.”
The Hart Career Center provides internship opportunities for students year-round. To apply for internships, connect with employers and attend virtual events with recruiters, students can visit Handshake. In addition, the handshake resource library provides sample resumes, cover letters and interview preparation documents.
To schedule an appointment with a Hart Career Center staff member, students may visit them Handshake account or call the office at 309-556-3071. The Hart Career Center is located on the second floor of the Minor Myers Jr. Welcome Center.
The Hart Career Center will also host an internship/job fair from 4-7 pm on Oct. 3 in the Shirk Center.
By Maria Harmon ’23