After reading The Bachelor a few weeks back and after having recently received funding for my dream summer internship, I’ve had a feeling all week that I couldn’t shake. A feeling that I ought to share the positive experiences I’ve had with Career Services, and to bring to light some of the ways that Career Services truly makes Wabash what it is.
While this piece in some ways might represent a response to an article a few weeks back, by no means am I trying to attack the character, opinions or experiences of the author of the previous opinion. I am merely wanting to highlight how Career Services has tools and abundant support available for all Wabash students, and that their team is available and enthusiastic about building relationships and supporting all of us.
Both of my brothers attended Wabash before me and acted as full-time recruiters to sell me on the somewhat unattractive prospect of coming to an all-male school in the middle of a country and state that I didn’t know much about. They consistently talked about Career Services, the power of the relationships you can form with their team and the support they offer students to plan and develop a professional career while still in school.
Since my freshman year, I’ve already had three internships and three separate professional experiences. The reality, however, is that it was never advertised to me that Wabash would just hand me an available internship each summer, but rather that if I were to seek out experiences and opportunities that Career Services would find the means to support me.
Of my three internships, just one of them has been through a Wabash connection and program. The other two were completely established and crafted by me, with the support of Cassie Hagan. Interestingly enough, if I were to bump into Cassie on campus today and ask her what my major was, she would likely tell me that she has absolutely no idea. And frankly, she probably doesn’t care – because all my experiences have been self-identified, as I believed each would uniquely help shape my career, build new skills and help me figure out what I personally want to do as a history major.
Last summer, for example, I reached out to a company I wanted to work for and established a relationship to plan an internship with them. They had no priorly established formal internship positions.
After this process, I met with Cassie to discuss how to bring it to life, and most importantly, how I could fund it. Cassie helped me frame and develop the internship around the Dill Fund award, which I applied for and was granted. The Dill Fund has absolutely no requirements or criteria for specific fields, positions or majors – it is a fund open to all students. The Dill Fund awards “selected student internships, independent study or educational opportunities not available at Wabash.”
This is just one of many options students can apply for through Career Services should they not find the right internship through the Wabash network. Internships typically come in the form of business positions, since these industries typically have the necessary funds and programs for interns to have impactful experiences. Should you have interest in a non-business career, there is nothing stopping you from using your Wabash network, finding or crafting your own internship and then seeking support from Career Services to find funding or practical advice.
I’d like to take this opportunity to challenge my fellow students not to see Career Services as a Christmas tree with gifts waiting for you underneath it, but rather, as a resource that we must engage with to build networks and relationships that will offer a personalized experience and an entryway into the professional world. I still have no idea how I will use my liberal arts, 9-class history major in the professional world. But if it weren’t for Career Services, I would likely be skill-less, idea-less and have a resume that boasted about the landscaping I did in high school. Career Services is part of the Wabash DNA, yet in typical Wabash fashion, it requires true engagement and a proactive mindset.