Internships create unique opportunity for Viterbo students

By Tim Metzler

Online News Editor

The deadline for Viterbo students to have an internship for credit during the spring semester of 2013 was Jan. 11.  However, any student looking for volunteer opportunities or to have an internship for no credit can receive assistance from community engagement coordinator Denise Lorenz.

Lorenz is in charge of internship coordination and service learning project coordination.  “Essentially, I work with experiential learning,” Lorenz said.

“I think internships are very important to Viterbo students because they help students to apply what they are learning academically,” Lorenz said.

“Internships help students make connections—professional connections, especially; they help with resumes, and most importantly, they set you apart from the others in your major,” Lorenz said.

“When you get out of here, you don’t want to be just another college graduate, you want to be someone special.  An internship doesn’t just give you experience; it gives you confidence.  It makes you someone special,” Lorenz said.

Shawn Keenan, a senior business management major from Embden, Maine, was an intern through Viterbo’s program at Myrick and Hixon EcoParks during the 2012 spring semester.  This spring, Keenan will be interning with Inland Labels.

“I found out about the Inland internship through Mike Behan.  He recommended the internship to me and then served as a reference when I applied,” Keenan said.

Behan is an assistant professor in the Dahl School of Business.

“What I’m hoping to gain from the internship is an increased working knowledge of how marketing works, and experience,” Keenan said.

“I would encourage all Viterbo students to have an internship at some point in time during their education.  The process of interviewing for the position and the information you receive while working that internship is an important part of learning to function in the business world,” Keenan said.

In the spring 2013 semester, 30 Viterbo students will be active in internships at dozens of businesses around the La Crosse area.  These businesses include Logistics Health, Gundersen Lutheran, La Crosse Area District Attorney’s Office, YMCA, YWCA, Viterbo Fine Arts Center and many more.

Lorenz is also in charge of service learning at Viterbo.  During the spring 2013 semester, the university will have 10 serving the common good classes, with over 200 students enrolled.  Serving the common good is the VUSM 300 level course, typically taken by juniors, in which each student partakes in 25 hours of service activity.

“The point of service learning classes is to have students engage with community partners to provide a service, as well as benefit from a learning opportunity,” Lorenz said.

“Viterbo is a recipient of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Award,” Lorenz said.  “I want Viterbo’s internship and service learning program to shoot for that award every year.”

Although it is too late for students to sign up for an internship for credit, interested students may contact Lorenz to set up an internship for no credit.

Additionally, any student interested in getting a fall or summer internship should talk to Lorenz before registering for fall semester classes for 2013.  Registration begins on April 8.

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