http://www.kzoo.edu

Kalamazoo College

Community Building Intern (Center for Civic Engagement, Kalamazoo College)

July - August 2020 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

Spending time on Harvest of Joy Farm and learning from Amy Newday.

What I wish was different

I wish the COVID restrictions did not cancel many of the partnerships and potential collaborations and community building opportunities in Kalamazoo.

Advice

Try to value the experience, and do not rush with projects and tasks.
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Physics TA

January - June 2019 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

I enjoyed getting practice and experience doing what I hope to do for the rest of my life: teaching college students math and physics.

What I wish was different

I wish that I had been allowed to help with more than a single 1.83-hour class session per week.

Advice

Care about helping students, not about flirting with the girls at the table that needs the most help. Prioritize guiding students toward understanding the material, do not give out answers without context or develop a superiority complex because you already passed this class and now believe you don’t need to work anymore.
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Student employee

June - August 2019 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

Flexible hours

What I wish was different

Different hours

Advice

Eye opening experience
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Orientation Program Assistant

July - September 2019 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

A fulfilling job! Working with the peer leaders was worth all the hard work in the summer. Meeting the new first years was also an added bonus!

What I wish was different

Wish it was longer!

Advice

Be organized and double check everything!
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Student Worker

June - August 2019 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

Working at Facilities Management over the summer was tough work, but the people I worked with, student workers and college employees, made it better.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Researcher

June - August 2019 • Paris, France

What I liked

I was able to do the research I wanted to create a fantastic SIP. The SIP has become an amazing project that gives me much flexibility to achieve what I want academically, largely because of the grants I got for the summer.

What I wish was different

I wish there had been more structure around this experience. There was not much support around my project, but this is in part by nature of the work.

Advice

For those looking to do independent research, I would get an advisor or a supporting institution in the location you are going to. It will provide so much encouragement and support to your project.
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Facilities Management Intern

June - September 2019 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

The atmosphere. It was kind of like a family and how everyone was playful with each other and would help each other out with their work orders.

What I wish was different

I wish I would have shadowed more people, widen my horizons.

Advice

Be open to new things and it will be easier for you to get a hang of things. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
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Organic Farm Hand

June - August 2019 • Shelbyville, MI

What I liked

The ability to learn through first-hand experience. I shadowed my mentor on the days I worked on the farm, and worked solo on campus on my personal day. I was able to gain knowledge in many aspects of farm ecosystems and our greater worldy ecosystem; subjects included composting, permaculture, plant reproduction, soil health, and crop maintenance. As well, my mentor was very flexible with scheduling and accomadating, which allowed for a productive environment.

What I wish was different

Wish I could have gotten more internship work/funding hours but the position was created later in the school year and funding was scarce.

Advice

If you're going to work on a farm make sure to wear clothes that you can get dirty and cover your skin, and be ready to work lengthy days; you'll feel tired after they're over but incredibly satisfied with your work and ready to come back again the next time.
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Research Assistant

June 2019 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

What I wish was different

Advice

Advocate for yourself!
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LandSea Leader

August - September 2019 • Adirondack, NY

What I liked

I really enjoyed the intensity of this experience. Leading up to it, new leaders went on a training trip to Red River Gorge, KY over spring break focusing on Leave No Trace principles and growing experiences as leaders. In June, we went through a Wilderness First Responder course, teaching us about backcountry medicine practices and giving hands-on practice through scenarios. Finally, in August, we spent two weeks training as leaders before LandSea began. I enjoyed being completely immersed in each experience and being challenged by my peers each step along the way.

What I wish was different

I wish that I could have spent more time in the Adirondacks after the participants returned to campus. It would have been helpful for me to spend a bit more time reflecting and talking about individual experiences with other leaders before packing everything up and driving back to Michigan, as it felt a bit rushed in the moment.

Advice

I would advise new leaders to be very intentional about each step of the process. It is not the kind of job that allows for a lack of focus, as everything asked of you is for good reason. I would also tell them that they will get a lot out of the process, so long as they put a lot into the program and into the learning.
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Office Intern

June - August 2019 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

Working in the Outdoor Programs Office gave me a chance to learn the ins and outs of putting together First Year Pre-Orientation. The student staff created a comfortable atmosphere, while our impeccable bosses gave great instruction and feedback on tasks. This position put me up to a variety of tasks which kept it interesting and challenging.

What I wish was different

I wish that there had been more clear communication about ongoing tasks between student workers.

Advice

I found it most helpful to keep a personal log of what tasks I had day to day and ongoing; this made working every day clearer and communicating what I was doing or needed help with to others easier.
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Research Assistant

March 2018 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

What I wish was different

Advice

Talk to your professors, especially ones you actually enjoy
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Computer Applications Developer

June - September 2018 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

I was able to design something that was my own creation. It was my ideas and I was executing them to the best of my ability. That made the results at the end feel more personal and meaningful.

What I wish was different

I wish there had been more of an active part to my good. Lots of the time was spent in front of the computer coding and it was hard to maintain energy and motivation while being inactive.

Advice

Give yourself a sufficient amount of time to complete the work that needs to be done. Learning code takes more time than you expect sometimes.
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Research assistant

June - August 2018 • Syracuse, NY

What I liked

Pick your own horos

What I wish was different

Work load to pay was not equitable

Advice

Honestly just happy to have had paid research
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Grounds Caretaker

June - August 2018 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

It was a pretty great summer job where I got to spend all of my days outside in the sun.

What I wish was different

I wish there had been a little more variety in the work, it is a large amount of weeding, but I suppose that is to be expected.

Advice

Do not be afraid to get dirty and sweaty or you won't like working grounds.
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Physics Research Assistant

June 2017 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

I got to see how research is done in a lab.

What I wish was different

I wish I had got more accustom to using Matlab throughout the summer.

Advice

Learning a coding language regaurdleass of whether that language is used in the actual task, it still helpfull.
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Biology Research Intern

June - August 2018 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

I loved the opportunity to get hands-on biological research. The guidance and mentor ship provided to me from my research head was invaluable.

What I wish was different

I wish I would’ve have had enough time to finish the research through its entirety.

Advice

Don’t be afraid to just ask for a research opportunity, normally the professors are the ones waiting for someone to show interest.
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Researcher

January 2018 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

I loved devoting all of my time in the summer to researching and expanding my knowledge on a subject I had previously no experience in

What I wish was different

Air conditioning in the dorms would have made the summer living situation much more pleasant

Advice

Always ask professors for research opportunities or literally anything because the worst they can say is "no". I found this research position because I had the professor for my first year seminar and I went out on a limb and asked more about his research and he took a risk on me and I am so glad he did because this experience is incredible
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Neurobiology Research

June - September 2018 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

Gaining lab research experience.

What I wish was different

I wish the project had been explained and planned out better and with more participation/guidance from my research mentor.

Advice

Plan something out and stick to the plan to avoid wasting time.
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Grounds Crew member

June - August 2018 • Kalamazoo, MI

What I liked

Working outside

What I wish was different

I wish the student interns were assigned one regular crew member to work with instead of all of us working together. We would learn more that way.

Advice

Never be afraid to ask questions when learning something new, and if there is something you want to learn how to do, ask someone if they are able to teach you, they love to teach you new skills.
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