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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

May 17, 2007

Students earn valuable summer experience

by Erin Rosacker

Does summer break drum up memories of a job waiting tables, long days at the pool, or cramming an entire semester of information into a few weeks? For these Iowa State students, summer school is invaluable on-the-job training.

Tennis, anyone?

Joe Bowser will make his first trip overseas, as he heads to England for a summer internship at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, home of the Wimbledon tennis championships. The junior from Fort Dodge, Iowa, is a horticulture major with an area of emphasis in turfgrass.

Joe Bowser

Joe Bowser, a junior horticulture major, landed a summer internship at Wimbledon. Photo by Bob Elbert.

Bowser connected with Wimbledon groundskeeper Eddie Seaward through ISU horticulture professor David Minner, beginning his e-mail campaign for the position as a freshman. He'll be part of the temporary grounds staff hired over the summer, working from May through August, including the Wimbledon Championships (June 25 through July 8).

The position is paid, and Bowser can receive one internship credit after completing a report on his experience. He said his duties most likely will include mowing, edging and rolling the courts. He spent last summer working for the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines and has worked on ISU's athletics fields this year.

His major does not require the completion of an internship in order to graduate, but Bowser said having experience is important.

"It's pretty tough to get a job if you haven't done anything," he said.

Rubbing elbows

Did you see a celebrity talking on the newest Motorola cell phone or sipping from a bottle of Evian on the red carpet? The folks at UPP Entertainment Marketing in Burbank, Calif. -- where junior Jenna Schulte will be an intern -- are hoping you noticed.

Schulte will work in UPP's Lifestyle Marketing division from May to August, an unpaid internship that earns the advertising major three credit hours after she completes a final report and portfolio. UPP places its clients' products in the hands of entertainment personalities, getting the brands exposure in films, on television and even in the public lives of the world's most watched lifestyles.

Schulte found out about the internship from Greenlee School assistant professor Jay Newell, who has studied product placement in the film and television industry. Although unsure of her specific duties, Schulte expects to handle research and public relations surrounding special events. The Westphalia, Iowa, native said she is anxious to put her classroom theories into practice.

"Internships are crucial in coming to realization of what you want in your career," Schulte said. "I feel lucky enough to have been able to do one that has such an interest to me."

Fly me to the moon

Stephen McKim, a junior aerospace engineering major from Prairie Village, Kan., will spend most of his summer at NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.

"The co-op is geared toward aerospace engineering, and it is also space-related, which is really my passion," McKim said. "I can't wait to work with other engineers to solve problems, as well as actually contribute to a program that will eventually have satellites in orbit providing important data for science and the country's goal to one day return to the moon."

McKim applied for the paid co-op position after learning about it from an e-mail sent to aerospace engineering students by department chair Tom Shih. Although he hasn't received his specific responsibilities, McKim anticipates working in the Propulsion Branch, conducting analysis and modeling work of spacecraft propulsion systems. He said there are two spacecrafts that he could be assigned to -- the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or the next generation vehicle for the SOHO mission. The orbiter is a part of the Orion mission to return to the moon, while the SOHO mission observes the sun.

"I really hope to get a better idea about the engineering process, as well as how a team works to solve complicated and real-life problems," McKim said. "I want to see if I really do have a passion for this kind of work, and to see if this is something I want to do for the rest of my working life."

Training camp

Andrea Nickell, a junior psychology major from Eagan, Minn., headed south immediately following the spring semester to begin a three-month unpaid internship at Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach, Fla. Nickell is working with the park's marine mammals, including bottlenose dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins, California sea lions and harbor seals.

The marine mammal interns learn about husbandry and spend time training and caring for the park animals. They conduct presentations and shows for park guests and serve as educators for youth camps, field trips and special events. Interns also become a part of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, on call to respond and assist stranded or beached animals.

Nickell, who is interested in pursuing a career in marine mammal training, found the job on her own by researching internship possibilities online. She hopes to be a dolphin trainer some day.

"At school, I don't really have the opportunity to work with animals at all," Nickell said. "I'm hoping that I can narrow down what kind of animals I really want to work with and make sure what I really want to do."

Being so far from family and friends for her first internship experience is one thing she'd like to change next time.

"I'm hoping next year I can get somewhere closer to home," Nickell said. "If I could get an internship at the Minnesota Zoo, that would be amazing."


"Internships are crucial in coming to realization of what you want in your career."

- junior Jenna Schulte