Supporting Student Opportunities Via the Summer Internship Award

Thursday, September 21, 2017post has video

Lissette Vasquez, an Industrial and Systems Engineering major, shares her internship story at U.S. Postal Service with Jamey Power, right, during a Summer Internship Award reception.Lissette Vasquez, an Industrial and Systems Engineering major, shares her internship story at U.S. Postal Service with Jamey Power, right, during a Summer Internship Award reception.

Opportunities are possibilities for life. Therefore, opportunities mean everything. So, when 36 University of San Diego undergraduate students in a cross-section of majors and schools received a Summer Internship Award — courtesy of the Kenrose Kitchen Table Foundation, USD Parent Association Board and USD Career Development Center — it enabled them to make their opportunity a reality.

The Summer Internship Award gave these students the chance to do an interesting and meaningful internship, do important research and test themselves and gain valuable exposure to and experience their field of interest. 

“At the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), I was impressed and inspired by all the doctors’ knowledge, skills, dedication, determination and compassion. Each week I rotated in a different specialty, including neurosurgery, oncology, general pediatrics, Chinese medicine, metabolics and neurology,” Julia Heaton, a behavioral neuroscience major who interned at CHOC, explained. 

The award financially supported Heaton and other USD students. While the amount given to each student did not replace their wages, it was actually an award intended to offset living, transportation and other expenses while participating in their experience. Often, financial concerns can be the difference when a student is seeking an internship or similar opportunity. 

“This experience allowed me to learn how to work more efficiently on my own as well as how to develop my own methodology for research,” said Ernesto Reyes, a biology major who worked at the local Cabrillo National Monument on two resource management projects. 

Jack Brusa, an international relations major, interned in Washington D.C. in Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s office. “Going into the job, I had no idea how many staffers were on a congressional staff, or just how hard everyone in a congressional office worked. … Not only did I learn more about the congressional staff, but I learned more about the legislative process as well. … It was an incredible opportunity because I was right in the middle of it all.” 

USD Summer Internship Award 2017 from USD Career Development Center on Vimeo.

Nearly 200 students have received the award in its four years of existence. It was started by the Power family, which includes Jamey Power, a 1985 USD alumnus (BA, History). 

The 2017 USD student recipients, listed with their major and who they worked for or at this summer, were: Mallory Banner, International Business/Marketing, Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens; Robert Bock, Finance, Travis Manion Foundation; Madison Rayne, Visual Arts, The Lambesis Agency; Lissette Vasquez, Industrial and Systems Engineering, U.S. Postal Service; Connor Reuss, Mechanical Engineering, Borrelli Designs; Brenna Westergaard, Economics/Mathematics, Rosano Partners; Sirena Tran, Biochemistry, Duke University; Sarah Knapp, Theology and Religious Studies, Good Neighbor Gardens; Mohammad Sultani, Political Science, The Farah Law Firm, P.C.; Sydney Pidgeon, Psychology/Theology and Religious Studies, Child and Adolescent Services Research Center; Sara Stith, Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania; Liam Burke, Economics/Anthropology, RBC Bearings; Hailie Carpenter, Business Economics, U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Economics and Business Affairs; Hannah Winterbottom, Industrial and Systems Engineering, U.S. Postal Service; Dylan Valdivia, Marketing, California Association of Student Leaders; Amber Morrow, Political Science, San Diego County District Attorney's Office; Aman Chopra, Marketing/International Business, Cuba Beverage Company; Athena Jimenez, Behavioral Neuroscience, UC San Diego; Emily Vanden Busch, Visual Arts, Family Building Blocks; Taylor Wong, Computer Science, AgeX; Songo Wawa, International Relations, South County Economic Development; Rory McHarg, Marketing, Toth and Co.; Sarah Di Fede, Liberal Studies, One Hope Ministries - Cultivate; Julia Heaton, Behavioral Neuroscience, Children's Hospital of Orange County; Jhonnatan Chinchilla, Accounting, Sempra Energy Utility, SDG&E; Janaye Perry, Sociology, St. Anthony's Foundation; Hailey Sachs, Psychology, THINK Together; Mackenzie Minchan, Biochemistry, Cope Health Scholars; Jessica Bertken, Marketing, MAX Smart Home; Jacob Gillan, Mechanical Engineering, Clarity Design; Gracie Brumsickle, Communication Studies, DC Tutoring and Mentoring Initiative; Gregory Barr, Mechanical Engineering, SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific; Lizzie Bader, Psychology, Child and Adolescent Services Research Center; Ernesto Reyes, Biology, Cabrillo National Monument; Jenna Matin, Biology, UC Irvine; and Jack Brusa, International Relations, House of Representatives for Congressman Jimmy Panetta.

A follow-up reception was held at USD’s Manchester Hall earlier this month that enabled students to share their summer experiences with other students and to meet and talk with those who had supported the award. To learn more about the Summer Internship Award, contact the USD Career Development Center. 

— Ryan T. Blystone