Observer

Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

ECC+student+examine+the+periodic+table+as+chemistry+instructor+looks+on+during+the+hallway+STEM+fair.+The+STEM+fair+is+another+opportunity+to+learn+outside+of+the+classroom.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

ECC student examine the periodic table as chemistry instructor looks on during the hallway STEM fair. The STEM fair is another opportunity to learn outside of the classroom.

ECC student examine the periodic table as chemistry instructor looks on during the hallway STEM fair. The STEM fair is another opportunity to learn outside of the classroom.

Lance Lagoni

ECC student examine the periodic table as chemistry instructor looks on during the hallway STEM fair. The STEM fair is another opportunity to learn outside of the classroom.

Lance Lagoni

Lance Lagoni

ECC student examine the periodic table as chemistry instructor looks on during the hallway STEM fair. The STEM fair is another opportunity to learn outside of the classroom.

Jonah Seckel, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






If you are following a pathway in life, hoping it’s steering you in the right direction toward finding your dream job, looking for an internship experience in your field of study is the right way to get a step ahead of the competition.

Expanding your education outside of the classroom is an opportunity that helps motivated minds to identify their future careers by finding a program that gives them hands-on exposure to a real-life work environment.

Angela Andrada, a second-year student at Elgin Community College, participated in an internship for the NASA Community College Aerospace Program in the fall of 2017. Andrada completed a five-week online course and then got accepted into a four-day on-site portion at the NASA Langley Research Center where she built and tested a mechanical prototype of a Mars rover to be challenged against other interns.

“NCAS was a life-changing experience,” Andrada said. “This opened the doors to a future career at NASA. My dream has always been to become a NASA scientist and be part of the mission to Mars.”

Andrada and her team were judged by senior-level scientists and engineers in the Mars rover challenge and placed second in the competition. Certain skill sets along with her passion to work at NASA got recognition from the faculty at LaRC. Andrada was nominated to return to Langley as a student assistant in charge of executing logistics of the competition, sending outreach communications to students and coaching the new teams, according to Andrada.

Internships give students the opportunity to show their interests and values to future employers that they wouldn’t be able to display in the classroom or show from their GPA. Andrada’s passion for NASA from her childhood showed in her internship and proved she is determined to find her place in that field of work. In a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, they found students that completed three or more internships are more likely to find a job within the first six months after graduation.

“Internships at this level keep building into the next,” said Kathy Meisinger, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Experimental Learning. “The higher up you go, the more competitive those internships get.”

According to Meisinger, employers are looking directly at your education and your work experience in your resume. The more internship experiences you can put on your resume, the more doors will be opened for you in the future.

Developing a professional career can begin as soon as you step foot outside of the classroom, learning how to integrate your classroom knowledge into an internship is what reflects the benefits of experiential learning.

“Internships are an opportunity to self-reflect on the skills you want to develop,” Meisinger said. “These are the experiences you want to have just to help yourself build a foundation that we can start moving forward with. You carry your skillset everywhere you go, the more skills you own the stronger you become as a competitive candidate.”

The Department of Strategic Partnerships and Experimental Learning at ECC is a service to help students find that perfect fit for an outside-of-the-class experience that will help a student grow as a professional. According to Meisinger, internships are often the first step of starting your professional network. Having an organized plan that will enhance your employability to its highest potential is important, and it’s easier to find the best path when you have an experienced specialist in career development by your side.

“You should be preparing for an internship as soon as possible,” Meisinger said. “There’s no reason a student couldn’t come talk to me their first semester and look at opportunities for them. We direct them on the right track so when the time comes, they’re already prepared.”

Preparing for your career is easier said than done, especially when you aren’t sure about what you want to do yet. According to a Career Development Specialist at ECC, Lynn Fagerlie, they work with students one-on-one to help empower them to find what they really know. It’s important knowing what you enjoyed learning in your first semester or two of classes, and then, trying to apply that knowledge into the workplace.

“Internships are experiences that give you that leg up in competing for a job,” Fagerlie said. “Once you get your foot in the door it’s you doing your thing after that. You apply what you’ve learned from school, you continue to learn while you’re on the job, and most importantly, you continue to grow and advance your career.”

Career development is a process that is always going to keep you reflecting on yourself, and it certainly doesn’t end when you are done with school. According to Fagerlie, connecting your self-knowledge with experience is a task that could always use updating and improvement. People grow closer to new interests throughout their lives, and it’s important to communicate your interests and create a stronger foundation for yourself. There’s always an opportunity to challenge yourself in a new environment and keep building your skills until you discover something great.

About the Writer
Jonah Seckel, Staff Writer

I’m studying journalism, I’ve been at ECC for three years, and I decided to join The Observer so I can have a way to connect with my community college...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

    Human Interest

    ECC students traveling from Pace and Ubers

  • Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

    Human Interest

    Gaming is reaching new abilities to peak your amusement

  • Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

    Human Interest

    Dealing with the school parking lot

  • Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

    Human Interest

    Students prepare to transfer in the fall

  • Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

    Human Interest

    ECC welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds to become a student

  • Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

    Human Interest

    ECC students learning from all around the world

  • Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

    Human Interest

    Spartan Mic Night showcases students’ talent

  • Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

    Human Interest

    How work affects ECC students

  • Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

    Human Interest

    Life as an ECC international student

  • Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class

    Human Interest

    Popular vacation destinations prepare for spring break 2019

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Elgin Community College
Internships help ECC students find meaningful experiences outside of class