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.

Apply Now: 10 Internship Openings in Chicago

1. Marketing InternThe Magnificent Mile Association

Sample projects will include managing daily event and marketing program logistics, including website and social media inquiries, developing and maintaining consumer website, social media outlets and e-newsletters, assisting in recruiting member participation through various consumer seasonal campaigns.

2. Public Relations Intern The Door Online

The Door is a creative relations firm with offices in New York City, Chicago and LA. The Chicago office is currently looking for interns who are interested in furthering their public relations experience at a hands-on agency. Individuals with an interest in culinary, hospitality and entertainment PR will be considered for their part-time (2-3 days per week) internship program.

3. Special Events InternCystic Fibrosis Foundation

Assist the Chicago chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of assigned events and other chapter programs while developing relationships with key volunteers, donors, and sponsors.

4. Weekend Enrichment Teaching AssistantCenter for Talent Development

Teaching Assistants work closely with lead instructors to provide safe, challenging and differentiated experiences in the classroom. They also supervise students during breaks and all transition times.

5. Spring Internship: Freshwater Conservation ResearchShedd Aquarium

The Freshwater Conservation Research Intern will assist research in conservation genetics of freshwater mussels in the Great Lakes region. The data will be used to estimate genetic diversity and structure of natural populations and understand evolutionary history of mussel species in the region.

6. Accounting InternBBJ Group LLC

BBJ Group (BBJ) a growing environmental consulting and engineering firm is seeking a dynamic part-time Accounting Intern. The Accounting Intern, will be working directly with accounting personnel to collaborate on projects that directly affect the business. A strong candidate for this internship possesses an understanding of accounting and financial principals and a positive attitude. Candidates should be collaborative, trustworthy, receptive to feedback and eager to learn.

7. Spring 2020 Curatorial InternDesign Museum of Chicago

Each intern will also propose and complete a special project over the course of the internship. Although the initial project idea will be generated by the intern, museum staff will help hone the project to be both related to the intern’s field of study or professional aspirations as well as serve the museum’s mission and goals. Duties will also include assisting with special events, and participating in exhibition development and grant-writing efforts.

8. Game Programming Internship – Dark Catt Studios

Ideal candidates would be innovative individuals who enjoy brainstorming and working on a variety of projects. This is a hands-on internship program rooted in building your fundamental skills and understanding what game production in the workplace looks like. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to not only further their skills, but also gain the opportunity to collaborate in other roles within the company to obtain a more well rounded knowledge of production as a whole.

9. Video & Photography Internship – Dim Events

If you are the type of person who has a lot of ideas on visually storytelling and needs help finding guidance on how to utilize your ideas in the creative field, this internship may be for you! Dim Events is a boutique company that loves innovation and new ideas, they require their interns to experiment with new trends and concepts. You will meet at a minimum of 2-3 times a week with the owners and event teams to go over tasks and duties, with an option to work from home based on your schedule.

10. Multiple InternshipsChicago Ideas

Chicago Ideas is interviewing candidates to fill internship positions for the Winter term, working until mid March. We are looking for interns with a self-starter attitude who have a wide array of interests and skills. This internship will provide a stipend and is highly valuable in exposure and experience with a nonprofit start-up organization that is growing and thriving.

A Day in the Life of a U.S. Cellular Intern

By Katie Tychynska, Summer 2019 Pricing and Promotions Intern at U.S. Cellular

katie and internsThis summer, I got the opportunity to intern at U.S. Cellular in Chicago. I was a part of the Pricing & Promotions team within the marketing department of USCC. In addition to this, I just finished my last class online at DePaul and recently graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Finance. This summer has been busy, but so rewarding!

You have most likely heard of U.S. Cellular, as they are the 5th largest wireless carrier in the nation! As an intern on the Pricing & Promotions team, I play a crucial role in helping USCC create pricing and phone plan strategies to meet their business objectives (no coffee runs or filing here). A day in the life of a USCC intern is different every day but generally, it usually goes like this…

7:30AM

Rise and shine! I wake up and get ready for work. I walk and feed my puppy before grabbing a coffee and walking to the train. USCC has no shortage of coffee in the office but, since I’m not a morning person, I definitely need my dose right after I wake up.

8:00AM

I live in the South Loop of Chicago, so I typically take the blue line to work every day. It’s super convenient because the train drops me off right into the USCC parking lot!

9:00AM

I get to the office and take the elevator up to the 9th floor. My desk is at the south end of the building, with an amazing view of the Chicago skyline! The first thing I do in the morning is check my emails and schedule for the day. Something super cool about the cubes at USCC is that the barriers are actually dry erase boards, which are helpful for jotting down quick notes.

I prepare my to-do list for the day and get started with any projects I am working on. One of the projects I worked on this summer was creating a plan for a specific customer segment we want to target. The best thing about working at U.S. Cellular is that I get to be independent and a self-starter in working on my projects. I analyze data, do competitive research, and present my findings and strategy to the team.

US cellular office

11:00AM

I typically sit in on a few meetings in the morning and throughout the day. My leader is very receptive to letting me sit in on meetings I am interested in.

For example: I was interested in learning more about market research so my leader invited me to sit in on recurring meetings regarding a market research initiative she is working on. The wireless industry is very exciting and fast-paced and there is always more to learn!

12:00PM

For lunch, I typically will pack my own.  Sometimes, I grab lunch from the cafeteria (which has so many great options) or Farmer’s Fridge (my favorite), which is a fresh vending machine full of delicious salads. I might catch up with some of the other interns or even take a walk around the campus to get some steps in.

katies-skyline-1.jpg

3:00PM

I usually have some meetings to attend in the afternoon. I’ve also been able to attend a few workshops during my time here. One workshop I attended was about positioning within marketing and we got to go through different case studies and also brainstorm positioning ideas for U.S. Cellular.

5:00PM

I wrap up any emails or meeting invitations I have to send out and head out to catch my train.

The skills I have learned at U.S. Cellular are invaluable as I have interacted with so many experienced people from all different departments and learned from them. I encourage everyone to try to have at least one internship during their time at DePaul. It will really set you apart from others and lead you to a successful post-grad career.

So You Scored Your First Internship? 10 Tips for Success

By: Chloe Leuthaeuser, DePaul University Communications and Media Major ‘17

Are you feeling a little uncertain about starting a new internship? Heed these 10 student and supervisor-approved tips to get the most out of your internship and wow your coworkers.

1. Go in open-minded and be willing to do something new. Internships can turn into some of the most formative and worthwhile experiences. They allow you to dive into tasks, roles or projects you never expected to attempt; but, if you keep an open mind, you can learn something from these new or unfamiliar experiences. Supervisors will appreciate your willing attitude! Internships can also lead you to new cities or industries. Embrace every aspect and don’t be afraid to welcome the unknown.

2. Even if you initially don’t love an industry, give it a second chance. There is so much to learn from every industry—from technology, consumer goods, healthcare or fashion—and it’s extremely advantageous for you to have a diverse list of experiences under your belt, especially as you continue to explore career avenues.

3. Set specific goals for yourself and communicate them with your supervisor early on. Although this may just seem like a class assignment, do it! If you set measurable goals for yourself, you can track progress and better understand the importance of target dates and staying on track. Creating goals and measuring your success will come in handy during future job interviews as well; you will be able to communicate to employers exactly what you achieved and how you got there. Plus, creating your own goals is also a great way to make sure you’re getting what you want out of the internship.

4. Say yes to everything you can. Doing an extra research project? Lending a hand to a new team? Helping plan a new event? Getting drinks with coworkers? Yes, yes, yes and yes. The connections and experiences that form during your internship may come when you least expect it, so get in the habit of saying yes—but make sure you can follow through, of course!

5. Ask, “How can I help?” Offer a helping hand before coworkers even ask. Even if they don’t need help at that moment, they will surely remember your eagerness to get your hands dirty and help out. This shows you are willing to take initiative and are proactively seeking projects.

6. Timing really is everything. Internships are designed to teach you how to deal with managers, stress, multiple projects, and deadlines. Get in the habit of asking your supervisor when a deadline is and approximately how long that project will take. Then, check your list of other projects and deadlines, and appropriately respond. It’s OK to say no if you have too much on your plate! Quality is better than quantity in these situations.

7. Take time to talk to your coworkers and supervisors. Sometimes the most rewarding parts of an internship are the lasting connections you make. Consider this:

  • Ask supervisors and higher-ups for informational interviews over lunch or coffee
  • Sit and chat with coworkers close to your age
  • Pick everyone’s brain about everything—from their career path, insights on the industry or company, or tips for someone in your shoes

8. Put in the extra effort. Put your best effort into every assignment. Your hard work will not go unnoticed. Even if you don’t see the point of an assignment, it was assigned for a reason. If you demonstrate your capabilities early on with easy tasks it is almost guaranteed that you will be given more substantial projects later on.

9. Have a good attitude. Millennials sometimes get a bad rap for acting entitled and having a bad attitude, but prove that image wrong! Plus, a little positivity will significantly improve your experience (even if you’re not doing something you love).

10. Make some time for yourself. Take advantage of your situation! Don’t burn yourself out within the first few weeks by working on weekends and nights if you don’t have to. You can still put in hard work and get noticed without working overtime. You’re allowed to have a little fun, too!

Now, go out there and wow your new coworkers!