Internship Pathways in Grand Rapids How students find amazing internships

Internship Pathways in Grand Rapids
Calvin's location in the growing city of Grand Rapids makes it easy for Calvin students to get internships.

Internships are essential stops on your path to finding the career that fits you best. Calvin’s location in a rapidly growing city means that you will have abundant options for job exploration in almost any field. Here are stories from just a few of the more than 82% of students who complete internships while at Calvin. 

Harris

Andrew Harris ’15 Business - Marketing, Philosophy

Q: Where are you interning?

A: I am interning for Eenhoorn LLC, a real estate investment company located in downtown Grand Rapids. The company owns and operates apartment complexes across the U.S. and Europe.

Q: How did you find your internship?

A: My awesome faculty advisor was the one who introduced the internship to me. One day between classes, I was sitting in his office and we got to talking about future plans. He encouraged me to check out Eenhoorn and said he would help guide me through the application process. It goes to show that professors are incredible mentors outside of the classroom.

Q: How do you see this experience shaping your future?

A: My experience at Eenhoorn is immersing me in countless business processes and experiences, boosting my confidence as I look ahead to graduation and entering the “real world.” I work with 28 other people in the corporate office, and because of the company’s small business culture, I am always jumping on new projects. The internship is strengthening my abilities to be flexible and prepared at all times.

Q: What is your favorite part about your internship?

A: I am learning a ton as an intern, but my favorite part about the experience is the friendships I have made. My coworkers are incredibly smart and inspiring people, and I consider them to be my mentors. Though my job title says I am an intern, I am part of the Eenhoorn family, and that fact makes it easy to wake up and head to work.

Smith

Erin Smith ’15 - Literature Major

Women & Environment Intern at West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC)

Erin is an English literature major who has been able to explore her two passions, women’s issues and the environment, in one internship. Her friend connected her to a position at the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, where she uses her writing and communication skills to plan and market events.

Ubwa

Terver Ubwa ’15 - Accounting Major

Information Systems Intern at Spectrum Health (IS Vendor Management Office)

Terver is an accounting major who found an internship through a networking event sponsored by the area’s largest health care system, Spectrum Health. He says, “Working in the Vendor Management Office has exposed me to the business world in a way I never anticipated at this stage in my life. I have been able to directly apply the knowledge that I have obtained through my studies at Calvin to my duties and responsibilities at work. I believe this well-rounded experience will fully prepare me for any challenges I am bound to face in my career in the business world and help me excel as a future CPA.”

Griffin

Tom Griffin ’15 - Business Major 

Volunteer Engagement Intern at ArtPrize

Tom had the opportunity to work for one of Grand Rapids' best-known organizations: ArtPrize. This event brings over 1,500 artists to Grand Rapids for three weeks to display art downtown, something that draws almost 500,000 visitors each year. Tom helped to coordinate the over 1,000 volunteers that make ArtPrize such a success each year. He says, "ArtPrze helped me expand my network and connections through coworkers, because of meeting so many people who are apart of different organizations that are connected to ArtPrize. Overall, I believe ArtPrize helped me create a career foundation that I will need after I leave Calvin."

How to land the perfect internship

  1. Ask a prof: Talk to your professors about your interests and take advantage of their large professional networks to find an internship or your first post-graduation job.

  2. Network: Go to regular networking events and career fairs promoted by Calvin’s Career Development office.

  3. Connect online: Check CalvinLink for hundreds of area internship and job postings. LinkedIn can also be a great resource.

  4. Phone a friend: Talk to people in your major (especially ones in the year ahead of you) to find out where they’ve found internships.

How a liberal arts student got an internship—and a job offer

VERGE: spring 2015

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