Students use summer to prepare for careers


Jims Porter, Managing print editor

I didn’t want to end up locked in the classroom all summer,” said Ryan Cannon, international studies and French minor. “So, I didn’t.”
Cannon spent the summer living in Montpellier, France. He traveled to the England, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. He went to a music festival in Croatia and swam in the ocean in Morocco.
And he did all of this for credit.
Many students find ways to earn credit, gain experience and prepare for their careers without taking traditional summer classes.
Internships, work-studies and study-abroads, though not required for all programs at IU Southeast, can help students fulfil graduation requirements. They can also help you be a more competitive job candidate, said Alex Pavek, graphic design senior.
While Cannon earned credit and job experience abroad, other students, like Pavek, find similar opportunities closer to home.

I didn’t want to end up locked in the classroom all summer. So I didn’t.”

— Ryan Cannon

Last year, she was selected to participate in a yearlong internship program called “The Design Center,” which helped her land a position as a designer at Campus Life this summer. Both experiences, she said, helped her feel more confident about working after graduation.
“They provided really good real-world experience—setting and keeping appointments with clients, keeping track of deadlines,” she said. “And even though you earn credit, it’s like a real job, not just a project.”
Cannon recommends students look for summer opportunities that are “out of their comfort zone.”
Whether locally, “in another city or a different country, now is the time to get the experience to find a job after graduation.”

RYAN CANNON, international studies and french
Job: Courier at Caisse d’Epargne bank
Internship: Montpellier, France

Cannon interned through the Montpellier Sister Cities work exchange.
The experience “helped me prepare for what I want to do after graduation because it allowed me to become more acquainted with the language,” he said.
The program selected nine Louisville students and nine French students from over 200 applicants to work in each other’s communities for the summer, he said.
With aspirations to move to France after graduation, Cannon said the experience allowed him to “better learn the language, adapt to the culture and customs of the country, and be better prepared for what life after graduation.”
Internships are helpful, he said, because in addition to earning credit, students gain work experience that can give them a taste of what their jobs may be like after graduation.
“I am so happy I did it. I believe it was truly a once in a life time experience.”

ALEX PAVEK, graphic design
Job: Designer at IUS Campus Life
Internship: New Albany, In

During the 2013-14 school year, Pavek was one of several graphic design students selected to participate in a yearlong internship program.
“You work for different nonprofits and organizations, some provided to you by the professor, and some that you find on your own.”
Pavek worked for a number of local organizations, like Hosparus Hospice and the Mai oh Mai food truck. She said the program helped her earn long lasting clients to work for, even after graduation.
That program, she said, helped her become qualified for a design position that opened at Campus Life last spring. She started there in May and will continue to work for them until she graduates.
She said both experiences prepared her for life after graduation.
“I definitely want to relocate,” she said. “And now I know I could work as a freelance designer or photographer until I find a job.”