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Oct. 13, 2017
By Hannah Brod, media relations assistant
Whether they were working for a zoo, summer camp or news station, Northwest Missouri State University students took their skills and experiences from the classrooms to the real world during the summer and built their résumés through internships.
Throughout the summer, students submitted photos of their adventures to Career Services’ annual Internship Photo Contest, which is open each trimester to all Northwest students participating in internships, practicums, field experiences or directed teaching experiences.
A panel of judges selected Haley Meier, a junior therapeutic recreation major from Topeka, Kansas, as the winner of the 2017 summer photo contest. Meier completed an internship at Wonderland Camp, a camp for individuals with disabilities, in the Lake of the Ozarks. She worked with a high ropes team on its ropes challenge course and helped facilitate activities involving a rock wall, tree climb and Burma Bridge.
“I liked the experience a lot,” Meier said. “At times it was very stressful, but my campers would do things throughout the day to make me realize that it was all worth it.”
She added, “The most heartwarming experience I had was when I took Nate, who uses a wheelchair, on a rock wall. Nate came down super excited and yelled, ‘My mom never thought I would climb a rock wall!”
Meier plans to continue her education after completing her bachelor’s degree. She wants to work with children or adults with disabilities as an occupational or recreational therapist.
“I learned that I really do enjoy working with people with disabilities so that was nice to see,” Meier said. “I am excited to continue my education so that I can do this as my future career.”
Many Northwest students share similar experiences after completing their summer internships. To learn more about resources offered through Northwest Career Services, internship opportunities or to view more photos submitted to the Internship Photo Contest, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/career/.
Haley Fitzpatrick: KOCO 5 News
Haley Fitzpatrick, a senior geography major from St. Louis, Missouri, spent her summer interning for KOCO 5 News in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, as a meteorologist.
Fitzpatrick gained experience with a weather wall – the green screen that meteorologists stand near to deliver their forecasts – to practice her live presentation and he own forecast reports.
Fitzpatrick plans to continue her education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in meteorology.
“It was good that I took this internship because now I have a lot of background knowledge of what I am going to be studying, and how I am going to do it,” Fitzpatrick said. “This is definitely something I can see myself doing and succeeding in.”
Colton Elliot: Kansas City Zoo
Colton Elliot, a senior animal science major from Brunswick, Missouri, interned as a zoo camp counselor at the Kansas City Zoo, where he worked with children and taught them about the animals.
“We worked with different kids each week,” Elliot said. “Watching these kids see the animals, the shows that the zoo performed for the children and how excited they got was so fun.”
Elliot said he gained more from the experience than an addition to his résumé.
“This internship taught me more about responsibility, and being on time,” he said. “I was not used to working in a big city. I am used to working on my grandparent’s farm. So this was really different for me, but definitely a good experience.”
He added, “Getting out of your comfort zone, and learning how to work with different people is what an internship is all about.”
Kelsey Adams: Tri-State Large Animal Vet Clinic
Kelsey Adams, a pre-vet animal science major from Kansas City, Missouri, landed a summer internship with the Tri-State Large Animal Vet Clinic in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with Dr. Jay Dee Fox, who has worked as a veterinarian for 45 years.
Adams wanted to find an internship in Wyoming because she has family in the state. After a Google search, she called all of the veterinarians she could find in the state, and Fox agreed to hire her as an intern.
“Being away from home was hard sometimes, but you just learn to make friends where you are,” Adams said. “I became friends with my 73-year-old boss and went to his house a couple times for dinner. You are around a lot of adults, but with that you hear a lot of cool stories that you would not hear from a couple of 20-year-olds.”
Adams said the internship experience gave her confidence that she is on the right path.
“It definitely strengthened my passion that this is what I truly want to do.” She said. “Seeing that the practices I have learned in my animal science classes were used in my internship made me realize I do need this, it’s not just for a grade.”
Adams said she also realized the importance of making connections.
“Give out your name, number, and information to anyone you meet,” Adams said. “You do not know what they know or who they know. In addition, it’s how you present yourself. You need to make sure you look good and are representing yourself well.”
After graduation, Adams plans to attend graduate school to earn her doctorate degree in veterinarian medicine.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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