Experiences beyond the classroom
frequently provide the opportunities that distinguish Saint
Michael's College graduates from other biology graduates.
Internships in particular have the potential to provide hands-on
experience that wonderfully complements a studentís academic biology
program. In addition to learning specialized techniques and gaining
formative experiences, interns make networking connections that can
lead directly to employment and other post-graduate opportunities.
Saint Michael's biology students have
participated as interns in diverse situations that include molecular
biology, waste-water treatment, and medical examinerís laboratories
as well as at the clinics of dentists, veterinarians and medical
doctors. Students frequently earn academic credit for their
internship experience. The internship experience is a valuable
addition to any graduating studentís resume and can be the icing on
the cake that catches the eye of a future employer or a graduate
Some of our recent student interns
share their experiences below.
In her internship at the
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington, Ashley Jean
'10 attended autopsies, reviewed cases, and is currently working on
a research project using the case log database. She had not
anticipated how much anatomy and physiology she would learn from
Jeanís advice for biology students:
"Definitely pursue an internship. Not only does it give you a great
experience and learning opportunity but it also can help you build a
network of people that can and are willing to help you succeed in
Department of Fish and Wildlife
Felgate and Alex Miller monitoring trees
Brittany Felgate '09 and Alex Miller
'10 were both summer interns this year for
Fish and Wildlife in Essex Junction continuing a tradition of
such internships fostered by Professor Doug Facey. Felgate and
Millerís duties included electrofishing, watershed riparian zone
monitoring, wetland and soil surveys, and mapping transects using
Brittany Felgate's suggestion for her
peers: "Make time for internships! They're a great asset to
have, and give you a chance to explore what you're interested in."
Felgate is further expanding her
horizons by volunteering at the ECHO center on Burlingtonís Lake
Sopher Investment Management in South Burlington provided a
unique internship opportunity for Lynsey Nally '10. The firm has
offered internships to Saint Michael's College business majors for
many years but has expanded their internship offerings to involve
students with biology and environmental science backgrounds. This
year, Saint Michael's interns are working to document the
environmental sustainability practices of a range of companies.
The motivation behind Nallyís choice
of internship: "I am strongly interested in the environmental field
as a possible job prospect for after graduation. In addition, I
thought this position could possibly give me further ideas about
what direction within the natural sciences I would like to pursue."
Adrian Cloutier with Mister
Technician Assistant, the formal
title of Adrian Cloutierís '10 internship position at the
Veterinary Surgical Center does not begin to describe the
diversity of duties he performs.
assist with pre-operative procedures including testing blood
samples, taking x-rays, and prepping the patient," Cloutier said. "I
also assist in surgery when the doctor needs a different instrument
or some type of assistance. Lastly I help with the post-operative
duties including monitoring the patient until they wake up,
re-sterilizing the equipment, and cleaning the surgery room."
Jill Ingalls' '10 internship also
focused on health care, but of the human variety. She recently began
shadowing the nurse practitioners in Good Health, an adult care
facility in South Burlington. After encountering some initial
difficulty finding a health care internship, Ingalls met with Joanne LaBrake Muehlberger, the Saint Michael's College Internship
Coordinator, and an opportunity was identified in short order.
More internship opportunities
The students in this article found
their internships using campus contacts including the professors in
the biology department, the
Saint Michael's internship Web site, on more traditional notice
boards, and from previous student interns. Saint Michael's College
Internship Coordinator Joanne La Brake Muehlberger stresses the
importance of planning ahead for students interested in finding an
internship. She notes that in the current economic climate, the
completion of an internship could make the difference that allows a
student to readily find a job after graduation.