Summer interns gather real-world skills

Kate Marra '19It’s been a busy summer for Linfield College interns. They’ve presented findings to a highly acclaimed doctor, met with audit clients and directed a play. These are just some of the responsibilities and opportunities of summer internships.

Nursing major Kate Marra ’19 spent her summer working as a cardiac research intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. One of her responsibilities included recruiting patients from stressful situations into her study. She explained the work of the research team to the patients, and if they consented, she performed a series of device tests.

“Working with cardiology patients in a clinical setting and asking them to participate in my research was a compelling experience for me,” said Marra.

The experiences gained in a professional setting enrich future classroom discussions and better prepare students for their undergraduate degrees.

“I did my first tax returns which will help with my tax classes,” said Natalie Stout ’18, a rotational intern at the Portland office for the accounting firm Moss Adams. “This is an accounting internship, so every bit of accounting I do at Moss Adams will help me master my accounting degree.”

Students also use internships to further their passions.

“The rest of my college experience will be utilizing my new skills to prepare me for the real world,” said Kaelia Neal ’18, Snowden intern for the Daily Astorian newspaper. “I am the editor-in-chief for the Linfield Review, and I plan to take what I learned at the Daily Astorian and better our college paper.”

Linfield students know the value of an internship. Some 82 percent of students engage in an internship during their academic career at Linfield.

“Summer internships allow students to work full time in a professional setting that relates to their major or career goal,” said Kristi Mackay ’91, assistant director of career development. “Students work on projects or teams and develop strong professional connections with supervisors who serve as mentors as they enter the workforce. Many students return from summer internships with full-time job offers.”

Adrian Iu ’19 took on two internships this summer – one for the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce and another for the Portland Children’s Museum. Both provided opportunities to learn about the business side of events.

“I helped in the Biggest Turkey Contest, July 4th Spectacular! and Turkey Rama BBQ through the marketing, logistical and financial perspectives,” said Iu, a literature and Spanish double major. “I also planned and executed Superhero Day and the United Nations: International Youth Day with a series of activities that the museum aims to achieve. I did inventory control, graphic designs and logistical planning for each activity.”

Internships also provide opportunities for fun and new experiences. Stout’s training for Moss Adams was at Disneyland. “I bonded with the other interns,” she said. “It was tons of fun and made the start of the internship a lot less stressful.”

There are also unforgettable moments. Heather McNutt-Kaestner ’19 interned for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Portland.

“One of our wish kids is passionate about music and wanted to have a sold-out concert,” said McNutt-Kaestner. “We booked the Crystal Ballroom with 1,500 fans screaming his name. We surprised the audience with the band called Why Don’t We and had American idol stars Daniel Seavey and Lovey James join Nathan (our wish kid) on stage.”

Students like Melory Mirashrafi ’19 discovered new passions as a result of their internships. Mirashrafi was the assistant director for the Portland-area theatre company Bag&Baggage’s production of Romeo & Juliet.

“My internship with Bag&Baggage has completely transformed my college career and plan for my future, starting with a new career path into professional theatre,” said Mirashrafi. “My experiences with the cast, crew and company in general gave me an understanding of how art can incite change within a community in a way that has given me drive to pursue similar work in the future.”

Mackay’s advice for students interested in internships is to start early.

“It’s never too early to make professional connections,” she said. “Exploring companies and opportunities through one-on-one conversation can help in the internship search process and broaden a student’s knowledge and network.”

Linfield students can connect with internship recruiters at the Local Opportunities Fair (DIVE Event) on Tuesday, Aug. 29, on the McMinnville Campus.