My Summer Internship Experience with the Schuler Scholar Program

by Brenda Uribe, Round Lake High School Class of 2011, Denison University Class of 2015

The 2013 Summer Interns at their farewell luncheon. Thanks for all your hard work!
Brenda Uribe was a Schuler summer intern in 2013, along with Ed Ciobanu, Melissa Larson and Kevin Vargas. She wrote this reflection after finishing her eight-week internship.

After two years in college, even though I was living away from home, studying complex material, and holding a part-time job, I still felt like I was not a “real adult.” Many things stayed the same after high school graduation: I didn’t cook my daily meals, I didn’t clean the bathroom (I did clean my room!), and my primary priority was school. This summer has changed that.  As a rising junior at Denison University I can say that I feel like an adult (or closer to one than before). What happened this summer that helped my transformation? The Schuler Scholar Program (SSP) Summer Internship!

I applied for the internship because I wanted to learn about nonprofit organizations. I also wanted to stay connected to the Schuler Program, and I wanted to give back to the program for the opportunities it has given me.

On the first day of work, I met the other interns Melissa Larson (Macalester College, ‘15), Kevin Vargas (Yale University, ‘14), and Eduard Ciobanu (Williams College ‘15). As SSP interns we were given a personal cubicle at the central Schuler office in Stericycle as well as a work laptop to use for the summer. The atmosphere was professional since I was not only surrounded by Schuler staff but Stericycle workers as well.

Throughout the summer I worked on various projects that allowed me to learn professional skills for both school and future job opportunities. One of my first tasks was to connect with students from the Waukegan class of 2013 to have a coffee chat and discuss college topics, answer questions, and speak about my personal college experience.  I also traveled to Maine East High School and Waukegan High School to help the Schuler staff with paperwork and administrative tasks. In addition, I was able to speak to the new Schuler class at Collins Academy High School about my experience with the Schuler Program and college. I managed my own summer reading session with the Warren sophomore Scholars to help them prepare for their English class. I also participated in helping lead a Spanish parent panel for the recently graduated class of 2013. Throughout the summer I managed various tasks that helped me get a fuller understanding of the Schuler Program as it continues to grow.

The assignment that was most fulfilling for me was a collaborative project with my fellow intern Kevin. Together, we created a lesson plan about sexual assault awareness for the Transition to College STEP. The project took a lot of time and dedication since we had to design a lesson plan that would be taught to high school seniors. The lesson plan had a variety of topics and assignments we wanted Scholars to understand. We focused on vocabulary, analyzing media, discussing current cases, bystander intervention, and providing resources.

 Raising awareness about sexual assault is something I am passionate about. Working at the Center for Women and Gender Action at Denison University has allowed me to gain a lot of experience: I have researched topics, designed bulletin boards, and organized programs about sexual assault. The resources that we have at the center have also allowed me to gain a greater understanding because we have books, movies, brochures, and magazines specifically about sexual assault. Having previously worked at the center allowed me to give a richer input on the lesson plan and helped me to work efficiently in the office.   

I learned a lot of valuable information from the Schuler internship that I will use throughout college and my professional life. I practiced networking skills, I acquired essential skills for working in an office, and I traveled throughout the Chicago-land area.

Some of the highlights of my internship experience include:
·         Planning an exposure to the Field Museum for Round Lake Scholars.
·         Having a one-on-one individual meeting with Jack Schuler.
·         Getting to know the Schuler staff from the main office and having informational meetings with them. (They are very friendly!)
·         Traveling to different partnership high schools and getting to know the Scholars and staff.

I encourage other Scholars to apply for the SSP Summer Internship.  This is a great internship that will allow future interns to help understand the Schuler Scholar Program from an insider’s perspective while gaining valuable experience. Learn more about the 2014 summer internship position on the SSP website.


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