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Joe Pement at WQPT
Joe Pement ’19 (far right) and friends at his summer internship with WQPT, Quad Cities public television

How a priceless, non-paying internship works

More than 150 Augustana students had internships this summer. Some stayed local, others crossed states, and some traveled to cities such as London, Tokyo or even Kathmandu.

Students can use Augie Choice—a $2,000 grant for research, study abroad or an internship—toward a non-paying but valuable internship experience. Augustana also works to make sure interns have access to other funding sources; one example is the Illinois Cooperative Work Study grant through the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE).

For 2018-19, IBHE awarded the college nearly $36,650.00 to support Augustana student interns—most at Quad Cities-area businesses and organizations. Leslie Scheck, Augustana’s associate director of career advising and education in CORE, helped connect employers with students for IBHE grant-funded internships.

Darielle Sherrod ’19 interned with the Rock Island County Health Department, where she worked with patients of different ages, genders and races/ethnicities. With a major in public health and minors in communication studies and sociology, she has her eye on graduate school to become a community health specialist and clinical social worker.

Sherrod called her internship “a great site to triple dip in all my areas of study.”

Through CORE, Augie Choice and connections to other career resources, Augustana helps students to align their education with everything else the world can offer them.

Other internship sites included John Deere Corporation, Niabi Zoo, the QC Botanical Center, World Relief and more. Most interns used their IBHE funding for living expenses.

For political science and English major Alexis Ryckaert ’20, that included new clothing. Her internship with Rock Island County’s MetroLINK mass transit called for business-casual attire. But Ryckaert only had two outfits she considered to be acceptable, so she used some of her IBHE money to purchase “office-friendly attire and complete the internship appropriately.”

At first unsure about working in her own office as a research and analysis intern, Ryckaert enjoyed it so much it’s changing her ideas about another internship she’ll have in her senior year, in Washington, D.C.

“I am considering asking for placement at the American Public Transportation Association, so I may have both the federal and local perspective when it comes to public transit,” she said. 

Ryckaert discovered something she might never have found without her MetroLINK internship—a new passion for the benefit of mass transit to communities. She sees her internship experiences leading to a rewarding full-time job after graduating.

Internships are valuable in multiple ways. Not only do students learn career skills, they can learn so much about themselves. Through CORE, Augie Choice and connections to other career resources, Augustana helps students to align their education with everything else the world can offer them.

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