Summer internships yield valuable work experience

Marjorie McWilliams, Staff Writer

Courtesy of Kelsey Deemer
Sophomore Kelsey Deemer walks with both her campers and a fellow counselor at a summer camp in Brookston, Indiana in July. Deemer spent nine weeks sleeping in a cabin with 13-14 year old girls and doing activities such as spa nights, ropes courses and boat races this summer.

While the school year is crammed with classes, course work and extracurriculars, for some the summer is just as action packed. 

Between internships, jobs and summer fun, many UVM students were busy learning and expanding their horizons this summer. 

Sophomore Kelsey Deemer worked as a camp counselor this summer in Brookston, Indiana. 

She spent nine weeks sleeping in a cabin with 13-14 year old girls and doing activities such as spa nights, ropes courses and boat races.

“I loved this age range. They’re old enough to know when they need to shower, but they’re still young enough to be curious and creative without the social pressure of being too cool,” she said. 

Deemer wants to work with kids after graduation and values her experience as a camp counselor.

“Being a camp counselor is probably the most fun job I’ll ever have,” she said.

While Deemer found satisfaction working with kids, junior Stella Cunningham explored another field of work. 

Cunningham, from Berlin, Maryland tapped into the plant world at a produce stand and plant nursery.

“I’ve taken on the wildest jobs, like cutting back Boston ferns bigger than me, or hoeing and planting multiple rows of our garden,” Cunningham said. She found that her work helped connect her with her surroundings.

“Working here has taught me to be one with my environment, which has definitely reduced my heebie jeebies while surrounded by so many insects,” she said.

Sophomore Walter Logan worked at an anti-discrimination nonprofit in New York City that taught students to faciliate workshops on issues they are passionate about.

“We started by talking to high schoolers about things like racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.,” Logan said. 

Logan said what the students had to say trended toward education issues. 

“One student facilitated a workshop on segregation in NYC public schools. We also had someone talk about how the Reserve Officers Training Corps enhances the military industrial complex,” they said.

Whether your interests lie in science, art or somewhere inbetween, opportunities are abundant to participate in your field of choice. 

Devoting time to a job or an internship can shape students by giving them fresh perspectives, knowledge and skills outside of the classroom. 

Deemer found this to be true about finding the line between being an authority figure and a friend to the teenagers she counseled. 

“I learned so much about how to lead people, how to make others feel included, how to be gentle and strong at the same time,” Deemer said.