Internships Offer Paths to Employment
by Andrew Tellijohn | Winter 2011
Kyle Simonette, human resource development, ’10
Kyle Simonette discovered a new career passion through an internship at his employer University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.
Kyle Simonette started working at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, as a nursing assistant, then became a lab assistant on his way to what he thought would be a medical career. But as he advanced in the classroom and at the job, he discovered he was better at caring for fellow employees than patients.
“I began to realize that my passion was more about teaching and helping employees be happier and more productive at work,” he says. “I began working at the hospital because I had always thought I wanted to go to medical school. What I realized, however, is that I didn’t actually care for the role of the physician.”
Paul Shanafelt, youth studies, senior
Paul Shanafelt has turned his internship at The Garage, a youth-run recreation center and music venue in Burnsville, into an ongoing job teaching youth how to run mixing boards and other sound equipment.
Though his initial internship fulfilled a requirement for his youth studies major, senior Paul Shanafelt hasn’t taken much convincing to keep working at The Garage, a Burnsville community center run almost exclusively by teenagers that hosts weekend concerts.
The program director asked Shanafelt—whose musical background includes time at the Minneapolis Institute of Production and Recording; work experience at Taylor Sound; and roles in two bands as a vocalist, a keyboard player, and a programmer—to develop a weekly class around working with sound gear. After Shanafelt got that up and running, The Garage’s teen advisory board offered him a permanent part-time position teaching and engineering live sound.
A Passion to Perform
Sara Jo Lehrer, youth studies, ’10
Sara Jo Lehrer was drawn to Patrick’s Cabaret’s dedication to diverse artists. When she found youth programming slim, she put her degree to work.
After studying missions and positions at more than a dozen possible locations for her youth studies internship, Sara Jo Lehrer found herself drawn to Patrick’s Cabaret. The arts have always been a part of Lehrer’s life, so she thought the nonprofit would be a good fit.
“I really connected with their mission,” says Lehrer, whose goal is finding ways that art can create social change.
The mission of Patrick’s Cabaret is to encourage artists of all experience levels to try new things, take risks, or present works in progress. The cabaret’s first commitment is to serve the needs of local performing artists, specifically reaching out to artists of color, GLBT/queer-identified artists, and those with disabilities.
Into the Wild
Nate Benham, ’10, and Cory Dahl, ’09,
recreation, park, and leisure studies
Learning by doing—that’s the recreation, park, and leisure studies way. This approach has forged strong connections between current students and alumni in the Minnesota parks and recreation field and created job opportunities for graduates. Wilderness Inquiry, a nonprofit aimed at making adventure travel accessible to people of all skill levels, is one such organization that works closely with the program and its director Connie Magnuson.