Students share their summer plans, express their enthusiasm for gaining experience or earning money
Stress and time management take on a whole new meaning at the end of the spring semester, a time when most students are wrapping up their classes while still making summer plans a reality. The idea of getting a job or an internship for the summer can be daunting. However, once secured, enthusiasm for hands-on experience and new opportunities sets in. As students take advantage of the many opportunities offered by Trinity or turn to hometown companies for work, they are dipping their toes into their career-focused future.
Trinity Wagner, a first-year engineering science major, secured an engineering and materials science research internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico for the summer. The internship is sponsored by Texas A&M University, but application was open to all students.
“I’m excited to have a more practical application of what we’re actually going to learn and to see how research and working with people with high degrees […] going,” Wagner said.
Wagner will work under the guidance of a mentor, focusing on material equations of state. She said that throughout the internship, she would perform material calculations to generate energy versus volume curves, and then see how they apply to different shapes and different types of data.
Blaine Martin, a freshman majoring in international studies and political science, said his Spanish teacher told him about Trinity’s MAS Alvarez summer internship scholarship program and it was a perfect fit for him. The program awards a $4,000 stipend to students who complete unpaid internships at nonprofit organizations that work with the Latinx community. Martin will work with the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, a local non-profit organization that promotes peace, justice and cultural preservation, and he will focus on the protection and preservation of various historic sites around San Antonio related to the movement. Chicano. . As a native of Midland, Texas, he said he always knew he wanted to stay in San Antonio over the summer to settle there and develop a network of community connections.
“I discovered the internship and saw it as a potential opportunity to do[…] The only opportunity I had planned for the summer was to be a waiter in a restaurant. [back home] and this opportunity offers a position that is much more connected to my potential future career,” said Martine.
Although internships are a great way to gain experience in an area of interest, some students choose to work full-time or part-time during the summer. For the past five years, Keller Maharrey, a senior business administration major, has spent his summers fighting wildfires in the western United States.
“We work like 16 hour days most of the time […] and then we work for 14 days straight […] It’s a hell of a job and it allows me to accumulate money during the summers and not have to work so much during the school year,” said Maharrey.
Maharrey said he tends to be assigned to fight a wildfire every year just before school starts because August is the peak of the wildfire season.
“Basically every year I showed up [to school] like a day after being on a wildfire and so it’s always been like this crazy whiplash where I go a million miles an hour on a wildfire coming to school,” said Maharrey said.
This summer will be the last wildfire fighting season in Maharrey.
“I had the opportunity to be on a star team this summer, which is kind of like the Navy Seals of firefights, and so I really couldn’t turn down that opportunity. It was sort of always sort my focus in firefighting,” Maharrey said.
The experience and knowledge gained from working over the summer can be invaluable and point students toward what they ultimately want to do after college. Once those summer plans are set in stone, it’s hard to be anything but excited about embarking on something that could shape your career path.