Here We Do: Students of Internship Plus (WQ22)

We know that not every student can afford to take an unpaid internship, which influenced our decision to establish the Internship Plus Program. This program awards up to $2,500 in financial assistance to students who have an unpaid internship opportunity and demonstrate financial need. Through this program, many students, like the ones below, have been able to gain important experience in their field of interest. Hear about it from them:

Haley Colegate interned at Arts of Life

My experience as an intern at Arts of Life consisted primarily of socializing with and assisting the artists in studio, as well as teaching weekly art history talks for virtual programming.

Choosing my favorite aspect of my internship is incredibly difficult, though I would have to say that forming relationships with the artists was definitely the most rewarding! For instance, one of the artists, Susan, sang to me a song that she had written about me, which brought a huge smile to my face. I have learned so much about each of their families, their passions, their pets—really anything that they wanted to share with me, I was happy to listen.

However, it was also hard at times. Sometimes artists would share very sensitive and upsetting events from their past with me. On one hand, I felt honored that they entrusted me with such information. However, I couldn’t help but be saddened by what I was told. When these sorts of topics came up, it helped test my skills with trauma responses and how to provide a safe place for artists to share.

As someone who is on track to become a therapist with a specialty in art, this internship at Arts of Life was a perfect fit for me.

I got to see first-hand how the creative process builds relationships, encourages independence, and provides a sense of fulfillment in these artists.

My experiences there also helped me to talk to other facilitators who worked there, many of whom are artists themselves. Meeting new people with similar interests/ career goals as myself is always beneficial.

In terms of advice, I would first recommend only interning at a place that you feel truly passionate about. If you don’t enjoy the work, the value of your experience greatly diminishes. Fortunately, Arts of Life combined two of my passions, which are special needs advocacy and art!

Without my Internship Plus award, I would have had a much more difficult time getting to and from my internship. Arts of Life is located on the west side of town and, without a car, was pretty hard to access by public transit. I am so grateful that I was chosen as a recipient, and I hope that this award will continue for others in the future!

Kendrick Bryant interned for RUN Sports

For my internship, I worked remote from home for a company in New York called RUN Sports. My official role working in the company was a mobile game developer/software engineer, and my work mostly focused on being the programmer for a mobile game.

Some of my responsibilities were handling the user interface, gameplay, and animations. What I enjoyed most about my internship were the people I got the opportunity to work with within the company. Everyone was very dedicated, enthusiastic about the project and remained motivated while working on the project to the end.

Some of my biggest takeaways from this internship were time management. During my internship, me and my group created meetings separate from our boss just so we could stay organized, and we created deadlines for ourselves to make sure we had extra development time. Everyone made sure that we accomplished our tasks ahead of time and this allowed us to have a very smooth development process.

This internship helped me get closer to achieving my career goals as it gave me more experience within the industry, more experience working with other people, and new tools to help me progress in my field.

My advice to other students would be, if you’re searching for an internship, find a project that you’re sure that you’re going to be passionate about. A lot of people get an internship, but then lose their motivation and get burnt out. If you find something that you’re passionate about, there will be less chances of you getting burnt out and bored of the project.

Being an Internship Plus award recipient impacted me positively as my internship was unpaid and required a lot of time and energy which would’ve gone into my part-time job. Receiving this award allowed me to focus more on my internship, my education and my career.

Malena Petronijevic interned at FashionBar Chicago

My internship at FashionBar Chicago in the Water Tower Place has given me the opportunity the gain a better understanding of the technical work a company needs to function efficiently. Not only did I get a finer idea of my management style, but also what I value in a work environment.

I engaged in many different parts of a business including marketing, finance, and management. Over the past few weeks I have been able to book designers for our upcoming April and October fashion shows, access and post on our TikTok and Instagram accounts, and manage mass communication emails. One of the most important and enjoyable learning lessons has been gaining a better understanding of entrepreneurial perspectives and how to eventually build something of my own.

Tony Long, my supervisor and the CEO, has structured all lessons with a common theme of applicability outside of FashionBar Chicago, which I have genuinely appreciated. My biggest takeaway in this internship has been learning about applicable work knowledge. Whether that was email etiquette, developing professional relationships, or setting boundaries, being able to learn about these rules in a work environment was very insightful.

I have also become very proud of my growing confidence inside and outside of the business. FashionBar Chicago, as a business administration major, has allowed me to reflect on what I would and would not want to apply in my management style. I hope that I can continue to explore alternative work environments but now know I work well in smaller teams.

My biggest advice for students seeking internships is to build connections with your business as best as possible. I had the opportunity to volunteer for Chicago Fashion Week back in October and because of my attentiveness then, was able to intern for them! As I continue to grow and constantly express my eagerness to learn, I have even had discussions with my supervisor regarding a potential job offer.

Do not feel afraid to ask questions. Your willingness to learn the industry will be very noticeable and influential. In regards to the Internship Plus award, the award has significantly impacted my financial stability this quarter. In December, prior to the internship, I broke my ankle in a mall shooting by falling down the escalators. Regaining my physical strength while working at an internship for free has been a unique experience! Being able to leave my part-time job was an easier experience with the award. Additionally, receiving the award was an immense honor considering my grade level and experience.

Anonda Tyler interned at Lincoln Park Preschool

My name is Anonda Tyler, better known as Nonie, and to the students I observed and taught Ms. Nonie. On Tuesdays and Thursdays , the school that I did my fieldwork hours at was at the Lincoln Park Preschool.

The school is smack in one of the busy places in the city and is a private school. This school is a dream location to me because it is right across the street from the Lincoln Park Zoo, where we always went to walk when we took the children outside for fresh air. The zoo was perfect to share intimate and angelic experiences that helped me build bonds with students more closely.

The days where I went to visit were during the school day, and typically their hours for school are 9 to 3 o’clock, where they take naps at 1pm, then wait for pick up at 2pm. I stayed from 7 o’clock till 12pm on most days and managed to get over 17 field hours.

The grade I was working with were preschoolers, who were called the 3s and 4s group. I enjoyed most visiting the zoo, and this internship allowed me to appreciate the art of play in teaching and why it is important to include multiple mediums with fine motor skills and gross motor skills activities.

This award impacted me in a good way financially, because it is very hard for my family and I to pay tuition, so it alleviated a lot of stress with worrying about proceeding in this field that I am passionate about due to not always having the resources to support that dream.

My Career Journey at DePaul

by Kyra Buenaventura

As a wide-eyed, excited freshman, I entered DePaul with two years of work experience and the mindset to conquer the world. One of the most formative experiences of my career path was participating in the EDGE program at DePaul. EDGE, or Education and Development Grant for Employability, is a program that is designed to combine career development and job skill development for first-year students. Through this program, I designed my first resume and completed projects where I learned many transferable skills. 

During this time, I was also applying to many on-campus jobs. I wanted to be able to have a sustainable job by the time my sophomore year came around. I received interview invitations, but I was never able to secure a job acceptance. After multiple rejections, I had to reflect on why I was not getting job offers when I received an interview.

Through this reflection period, I realized that my interview skills were lacking. I was not making myself and my skills appealing to other employers. Luckily, EDGE was conducting mock interviews where I was able to receive feedback firsthand. Through this mock interview, I built upon my previous knowledge and worked on making myself a more appealing candidate. I asked my friends and the Career Center to review my resume and cover letters, and I took all of their advice and feedback and applied it to my resume. 

Courtelyou Commons at night!

At the beginning of sophomore year, I was hired to be a Crew member at the Student Center. Through this experience, I learned about teamwork and time management. I was now juggling classes, homework, a social life, and my new job. My job as a part of the Crew is an experience that was formative to who I am today. I learned more about who I was as a student and employee, and it felt like my first real job in two years. Unfortunately, that job was interrupted by the pandemic, so my experience as a Crew member was cut short. 

During the pandemic, I applied to become an Orientation Leader at DePaul. Becoming an Orientation Leader was a dream job that I had ever since I entered DePaul. It combined all of my experiences at the university, and I was able to guide incoming freshmen into their first year at DePaul. It has been my favorite experience at DePaul thus far. I gained interpersonal skills and was part of a community of like-minded individuals, and I had freedom to create projects and outreach to students. 

Me with a couple of my Orientation Leader friends!

As of the start of my senior year, I am currently working as the Health Care & Science Career Community Ambassador at the DePaul Career Center. This opportunity has been the culmination of all of the work I have done at DePaul. I advise students on improvements they can make to their resumes and cover letters, conduct mock interviews to help students feel more comfortable when applying to jobs, internships, and graduate school, and more. 

Throughout my career journey, I have learned to never give up even in the face of adversity. Now, I do not see rejection as a reflection of my character. Rejection motivates me to reflect on my actions and see if there are ways that I can improve whether that means reaching out and asking for help or taking advantage of the resources that are available. 

Employer Spotlight: Willie Love (Health Sciences ‘19), Howard Brown Health

The Health Care & Science (HCS) Career Community wants to introduce students to a wide range of careers. Students may be familiar with popular clinical roles (e.g., nurse, physician, veterinarian), but less familiar with jobs in healthcare data analytics, renewable energy, or biotech research.  

Willie Love (‘19 Health Sciences) is a Social and Behavioral Coordinator at Howard Brown Health serving the South Side community of Chicago. In a recent interview, Debbie Kaltman (HCS Employer Engagement Specialist) spoke with him about his day-to-day life, internship experiences, and advice that he would give to students. 

As a Social and Behavioral Research Coordinator, Willie recruits people for research projects surrounding topics in community health. He takes patients through the research activities and gathers preliminary data for researchers to analyze. His main goal is to create an environment of comfort within the research space. 

In his DePaul experience, he initially pursued the pre-medicine track but changed to focus on the community health perspective rather than the individualized perspective of health. He interned at the Cook County Jail in the Cermak Hospital, which was one of his most influential experiences. After graduating from DePaul, he worked at Baxter before transitioning into his current position. 

His advice for students interested in community health is to try everything and be curious. If you go off of your preconceived notions, this restricts you. Being curious and exploring the resources around you will benefit your career exploration! To connect with Willie and other DePaul alums, join the DePaul Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) Network!

My Pre-Health Journey at DePaul

by Kyra Buenaventura

My aspirations for becoming a physician started when I was in middle school. I also contemplated starting a bakery, becoming a forensic scientist or becoming a gemologist. However, I ultimately found my calling: to pursue a career in the health field. In high school, I volunteered at a hospital, and it was my first time being in a clinical setting. Through volunteering, I was able to meet people who further ignited my passion to be in the healthcare field. 

During my junior year of high school, I got a job in an orthodontics office. I was incredibly excited about this opportunity because I was able to be hands-on in a clinical setting, and I talked to a dentist about her experiences in college. By the end of my time working at the office, I was more than excited but extremely nervous to start my journey into becoming a health professional.

A picture I took during one of my chemistry lectures

Through my research into the process of becoming a physician, I was overwhelmed by the amount of work that I had to do in order to become a competitive applicant. I was insecure in my  capacity to do the work I needed to do to the best of my abilities. In turn, I had trouble trying to adjust to the workload of college classes and the pressure of being accepted to medical school right after graduation.

Fortunately, as school progressed, I got into the rhythm of college life and schoolwork, and I started making more progress toward my career endeavors. I focused on the friendships that I have developed, and I got closer to my roommates. They were an integral part of my freshman year, and they acted as my support system through the rest of my college career.

I started going to the library and coffee shops more often because I realized that I was not productive when I studied in my dorm. I focused on bettering myself on what I could do in that moment instead of focusing on the things I was not able to do. 

I volunteered at Ann and Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. I volunteered in the playroom, and I was able to facilitate activities for the patients. The patient interaction that I experienced as a volunteer was exceptional, and it furthered my passion for becoming a physician. 

During my junior year, I went through the PAC (Pre-Health Advising Committee) process. This was the culmination of all of my health care related experiences. I utilized the Career Center to help with the interview that would happen at the end of the process. I was extremely nervous because I knew how important this interview would be towards my career aspirations. The help I received at the Career Center was extremely helpful, and I do not believe I would have been as successful as I was without their help. 

Me in my volunteer vest! Lurie Children’s also had some awesome views from their playroom.

 After careful deliberation, I decided to take a gap year — one year “off” before starting medical school. This was so I could focus on taking the MCAT and gain even more experience as a health professional. Even though this was not my original plan, I feel more comfortable and excited as ever to continue my endeavors. This gap year will enable me to gain a breather from the academic world, and will allow me to develop my skills as an individual outside of the classroom.  

DePaul Career Center Summer 2021 Programming

We are excited to share our Summer 2021 programming schedule below! These regularly scheduled virtual events and workshops will help you stay on top of your career goals, gain new skills, and navigate the ever-changing job market.

June 24: Unveil Your Purpose

Unveiling your life’s purpose is essential to living life to its fullest potential. In this highly engaged and interactive virtual workshop, you will be provided the tools to evolve your inner self while navigating the journey of living out your purpose.

June 29: Resume Workshop for Seniors

Knowing how to successfully create a resume is the essential first step in your search. We encourage you to come join us to discuss the basics of resume development where we will share concrete strategies and resources to help best prepare you.

July 8: Interviewing Basics

Whether you’ve already done a few or are eagerly anticipating your first one, we encourage you to come join us to discuss the basics of interviewing where we will share concrete strategies and resources to help best prepare you.

July 27: Big East Virtual Career Fair

You’ve learned, led, and succeeded in college, and now you’ll have the opportunity to tell your story to employers at the BIG EAST Virtual Career Fair. This event, created exclusively for graduates who completed their degrees in 2020 and 2021 at a BIG EAST school, will connect you with organizations hiring now.

July 27: The Art of Professional Communication

Join the DePaul Career Center as we talk through Professional Communication and what you need to succeed when you join the workforce. We will go over tips and tricks and must-know facts.

August 4: The Business of Healthcare

Join us for an interactive employer panel highlighting companies in the Healthcare and Science industry that also have opportunities in business. Learn about industry trends and skills needed to be successful. We will also discuss changes since the pandemic and initiatives supporting employee wellbeing.


August 18: I have graduated from college, Now what?

Join us for an informal Q&A with recent DePaul alums to get answers and insight into your most burning post-grad questions and to connect with your fellow alums! They will be sharing insights into their own journeys after graduation, lessons learned, and helpful tips to set you up for post-college success.

This summer, the Career Center is introducing a job search group for first generation graduating seniors who are looking for to get their career started. The group will meet three times over the summer where you will learn search strategies to help you through the job search process. You will receive support, advice, individualized openings based on your specific interests, and valuable connections to alumni. Spaces are limited, so be sure to fill out the form to receive updates and grab a spot!

Sign up Today!

There are a variety of remote options to connect with our team for career guidance and insight. Drop-in with a peer career coach in Zoom, submit your resume or cover letter for an email review, or schedule an appointment with an advisor in Handshake.

Employer Spotlight: Carlo Varquez (MS ’18) LifeStart

The Health Care & Science (HCS) Career Community wants to introduce students to a wide range of careers. Students may be familiar with popular clinical roles (e.g., nurse, physician, veterinarian), but less familiar with jobs like healthcare data analytics, health administration, or biotech research.  

Today, we highlight a certified personal trainer, certified nutrition coach, and small business owner. In a virtual interview, Debbie Kaltman (HCS Employer Engagement Specialist) spoke with Carlo Varquez (MS Exercise Physiology ‘18) to learn about his educational and career journey, insights into pursuing preventative health and fitness professions, and advice to students.

Carlo’s educational and clinical experiences in the healthcare industry shifted his perspective and career goals to focus on preventing rather than treating health issues. In the health promotion, wellness, and fitness industry, Carlos serves as a general manager for LifeStart and founder of Pride Wellness, a small business built to empower clients to invest in their overall health via online classes and coaching sessions. As a certified fitness trainer and nutrition coach, Carlos seeks to take care of other people’s health so they come to feel better about themselves, believe they’re part of something, and vision their life in different ways. He plans to keep learning to become a “master trainer” who has a well-rounded skill set and is well-known as a person who will work hard for his clients.

Carlo’s advice to students interested in preventative health, wellness, and fitness: “Invest in yourself first before you invest in others! A) It gives you credibility. You practice what you preach. B) If you’re not following the right steps to keep yourself healthy, it’s going to be hard to advise others to be healthy.”

“Take every opportunity no matter how big it may seem. If you feel like it’s the right thing in your gut, just do it. I’m a big advocate for that gut feeling. It doesn’t make sense, you don’t know why it’s making you feel this way, but it feels right at the same time. Just follow your gut and take care of yourself.”