Summer internships send students across country

As summer kicks off, many students will spread across the country to pursue real-world experience in their field of study. Internships will provide networking connections, experiential learning and self-exploration for these three students studying science, business and music.

Photo submitted by Lauren Ostlie. Graphic by Jeni Fjelstad.

Public Health

Senior Lauren Ostlie will graduate into a public health internship through the Kennedy Krieger Institute this summer to apply her biology major and medical humanities minor in real life.

“I think I’m really excited to broaden my knowledge just in medical humanities and medicine,” Ostlie said. “I’ve been interested in public health ever since I took a medical humanities class. The ability to both integrate my dream in medicine or just my future vocational goals in medicine with my interests in public health and medical humanities, I’m really excited to have that come full circle.”

Ostlie will join South Dakota RISE-UP to study public health and pediatrics in underserved communities. The program starts May 30 with orientation in Baltimore, Maryland, for symposiums, presentations, and a tour of Johns Hopkins with the other interns from across the country.

Then she’ll live in the Augustana dorms while researching public health at the Avera Research Institute, especially studying disparities for Indigenous communities in the state.

“Another goal would be just learning more about public health and about different discrepancies in South Dakota that I didn’t realize, like maybe there’s something with the Native American population that I didn’t know before or maybe there’s something that I didn’t realize was even an issue,” Ostlie said.

At the end of July, she’ll present her research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Georgia. The pre-med student hopes to take a gap year to decide whether to pursue an M.D. or a Ph.D. and to continue to explore her interests.

Photo submitted by Gilbert DeWitte. Graphic by Jeni Fjelstad.

Multimedia Production

Sophomore Gilbert DeWitte, who studies multimedia entrepreneurship and music, plans to intern for Jason Derulo this summer. After a connection in Los Angeles helped him get a coffee-running-type internship with the singer last summer, DeWitte has been working his way up through J-term and now has an official internship.

“They gave enough trust to me where I was able to give input and then eventually become a producer and engineer for him in different, various songs that he’s recorded and getting ready to put out and has put out,” DeWitte said.

Last summer he responded to late-night calls to help out at the recording studio in Los Angeles, sometimes all night, but this summer, DeWitte said he has the opportunity to tour with the performer. Derulo’s website lists his tour locations from New York to California to Spain. During a show in Las Vegas last summer, the Augustana intern spoke into Derulo’s earpiece to let him know which song was up next, and the upcoming internship could bring similar possibilities.

DeWitte plans to continue learning the industry standard tool, Avid, at Augustana and move toward producing pop and hip hop music like he’s recording in his current internship.

“The fact that they’ve really given me this opportunity and stepping stone into that industry,” DeWitte said. “Because you hear about breakthrough artists, it’s like a miraculous breakthrough to get into that industry, but it’s kind of true. To really have a career in that industry, you either have to know someone or you have to prove yourself slowly but surely.”

Photo by Marcus Naess. Graphic by Jeni Fjelstad.

Audit Accounting

Junior Harley Tran is off to Minneapolis this summer to intern for EY, one of the four biggest accounting firms in the world. From mid-June to mid-August, she’ll join other interns for the paid public accountancy position. The junior accounting major has tried internships dealing with taxes before, but found herself bored. Instead, this position will allow her to explore another sector of accounting: auditing.

“Probably my biggest goal is to find what really sparks the joy of ‘Oh I’m so grateful to be doing this. I’m making changes. I’m creating value for somebody,’” Tran said. “It gives a meaning to the profession.”

She’s also interested in EY for their projects in areas such as climate change and helping underserved populations. As she experiments with ways to use her accounting skills, she hopes  someday to work with a non-profit organization or live in other countries.

“It has opportunities wherever I want to go, and I’m a traveling person,” Tran said. “I do not want to be stuck in a place for too long. So yeah, it would be nice if I could go to different countries and live and work there.”

She said she hopes the internship will be a career stepping stone to a full-time position with the major company, which has offices all over the world. Tran’s dreams of travel could be fulfilled by transferring within the company to offices abroad, or perhaps in her home country of Vietnam.

Meet a few other Augustana interns

Photo submitted by Reese Hanna. Graphic by Jeni Fjelstad.

Photo submitted by Heidi Petersen. Graphic by Jeni Fjelstad.

Photo submitted by Madison Croomes. Graphic by Jeni Fjelstad.