Lindsay Dougan investigates juniors' summer plans

Kate Taylor

By Lindsay Dougan, ’11, Contributor

My Vogue mental image of stiletto-clad New York City women interviewing at top notch firms turned out to be a misleading fantasy. Being sixteen in the 2008 job market consisted of turning in thirty applications and never receiving a call back. I was disheartened and didn’t want to fall into the last year’s quagmire of rejection again, so I decided to network.

To answer my question, what kind of work or internships are out there, and how do I get into one, who better to turn to than my college counselor? For what is summer work but a preparation for college and the mysterious thing we call “real life?” Director of College Counseling Sarah Beyreis showed me a shelf of three inch binders containing summer opportunities that she has compiled over the years. Clearly I’m not the only one looking for help, but possibly the last one to take advantage of these resources.  As a first year student at CCDS, this is my first summer with such information available. Before I dug in on my own, I found out what my peers were doing this summer.

Jetsetter Will Duncan, ’11, will hop on a flight to Spain and spend a month experiencing the cities of Madrid, Barcelona, and Bilbao before settling for two weeks in the northern city of Gijon to live with a host family and take classes to improve his Spanish. Duncan is traveling through the Rassias Summer Language Programs, which offers international trips to Spain, France, and China for high school students taking the appropriate language for each country.

Those with less wanderlust or a stronger interest in science may be inspired by the summer plans of Kate Taylor, ’11, and Tyrique Wilson, ’11. Taylor will spend five weeks of her summer participating in the Howard Hughes Medical ExSEL Program. Taylor won a coveted spot in the program, which accepts only twenty students, and will have a paid research position at UC’s College of Medicine. Wilson is attending the Heath Careers Exploration Program (HCARE) which is another highly competitive program that introduces health careers to high school students. HCARE is located at UC’s College of Medicine as well.  

University programs prove to be extremely popular this summer. Chris Ferguson, ’11, is participating in UC’s “Men in Engineering” camp, while William Bismayer, ’11, is going to Terra Haute, IN for Rose Hulman’s Engineering “Project Catapult.” Michael Fitzgerald, ’11, is attending ghd University of Notre Dame’s summer program focusing on law.

Those who would like to follow a more artistic path may be interested in the summer plans of Ali Breneman, ’11. Breneman will be attending the University of Michigan’s Musical Theatre program. Amanda Young, ’11, the Scroll’s co-editor-in-chief, is attending Northwestern’s “Cherubs” program for Journalism, and prodigy cameraman Baldur Tangvald, ’11, is participating in Yale’s six week film production course.

Others might be interested in getting a job like Cody Pomeranz, ’11, who will be teaching for Breakthrough Cincinnati this summer.

Armed with the knowledge of what my classmates are doing this summer, I was ready to find an opportunity for myself. With Mrs. Beyreis’s aid, I wrote a resume and cover letter and sent it to a UC psychiatrist and researcher. Within a week, I got a call inviting me to work as a volunteer for two days a week at UC. I’ll be helping with clinical trials, brain imaging research, and whatever else they throw my way.

Setting up summer plans to research at UC on such short notice was surprisingly easy, and I feel lucky to have the opportunity to do work there this summer. However, to have success incompetitive summer programs, I realize now that early action is key. Students seeking summer internships apply as early as December. Decide now what interests you and how you would like to spend next summer. Next fall, speak with your teachers and college counselor to get a jump start on the summer program search. Not only will a summer internship look impressive on a college resume, but it will be a fun and educational way to spend those otherwise lazy afternoons.

Photo courtesy of myweb.whitman.syr.edu