What are SMU Nursing Students Up To?

Kayla May, Staff Writer 

Here at Saint Martin’s, the nursing program is “dedicated to creating a learner-centered education grounded in the university core values of faith, reason, service and community,” as explained on the university’s website.

Their goal is to “prepare nursing graduates who are committed to evidence-based practice, social justice and lifelong learning to meet the needs of the global community in the 21st century”.

Nursing has long been an in-demand profession because of the critical role it plays in the healthcare system, which has become especially evident during the pandemic. Yet, the nursing shortage is growing due to several factors.

One of the main factors contributing to nursing shortages is burnout. Working conditions with a high workload, low staffing, and long shifts lead nurses to leave and move on to a different profession. Other factors include an aging population, an aging workforce, rising travel nursing popularity, and a lack of nursing educators.

To get a sense of what nursing students at SMU are experiencing, I talked to juniors Vanessa Smoke and Bernanidino Mariano, as well as senior Abigail Burton.

Smoke and Mariano are learning about managing chronic diseases, putting in catheters, IVs, and doing wound care as well as the appraisal of different levels of evidence.

Burton explains that seniors within the Spring ’23 cohort are taking classes discussing the transition into their nursing careers and public and community health. She describes the workload seniors are dealing with. A combination of Capstone Dissertation projects, clinical practicum (working full-time in a hospital with preceptor nurses), and studying for the national board exam for nurses. Despite all of these things on her plate, Burton describes how she’s feeling about her final semester, “I am honestly so excited to graduate- I am counting down the days!”

When asked what something they have struggled with during their time in the nursing program, they all shared a common answer: time management. Mariano describes his experience, “The nursing program is such as demanding area of study that requires a balance between a heavy course load of assignments, on top of studying, and attending clinical shifts that range from four to twelve hours every week.”

The task of time management becomes even more difficult when you add athletics in the mix explains Smoke, who is a softball player, “So far in my first year of upper division nursing, I have struggled with learning how to manage all my time between academics and sports. It is a huge learning curve being in upper divisions and very humbling when it comes to exams.”

Each of them shared some tips for others nursing students or those thinking about pursuing a career in nursing. Burton and Smoke both agreed that lots of sleep should always be a priority, regardless of how much studying you have to do. They also agreed that finding a study group and taking advantage of the tutors is very beneficial.

Mariano said to not fall behind and find fulfillment in what you’re doing, “The nursing program is easy to get tired and have low motivation to continue but to truly make it through the program I think that finding fulfillment and enjoyment in being of service to others is an important part of making it through.”

Their reasoning for pursuing a career in nursing varies from wanting to give back to their community to a fascination with the human body and healthy living. They have also been inspired to care for others by caring for sick family members.

Their passions within the field of nursing also vary. Mariano has an interest in being a travel nurse and hopes to be able to travel internationally to provide care in areas with lower access to healthcare. He also is eager to be a public health nurse that “researches systemic issues that prevent these [marginalized] groups from getting the care they need and finding solutions to combat systemic barriers and biases.”

Smoke is curious about working in the OR (operating room) and being able to watch surgeries but could also see herself working in Labor and Delivery. Burton originally wanted to work in the emergency room because of the variety of patient populations and problems, but has now fallen in love with the idea of working in Labor and Delivery and, “helping mothers bring life into this world.”

Nursing has been and will continue to be a crucial part of the medical process, especially in handling any further pandemics that are thrown our way. It is important to acknowledge the hard work nursing students put in and support them in their endeavors to join such an important profession.

Staying Fit is What You Need

Shy Yamasaki, Staff Writer

Staying fit is what you need to keep a well-balanced life. It also creates a better self mentally and physically. Many people here on campus have a personal diet, go to the gym, or even drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Personal hygiene is also important because the routine of hygiene can help set the groundwork to mentally and physically keep yourself fit. Staying fit for many people looks different. Training styles to eat healthily is something you will get to build  around social life, school, work, and much more. Most of our student-athletes here at SMU have different training programs and lifts they have to do for their specific sport. Many sports here, like Volleyball and Basketball, do a lot of Calisthenics to improve speed, strength, cardio, and jumping ability. Other sports like Track & Field, baseball, and softball do a lot of weight lifting in order for them to be explosive and be able to move quickly. It also gives them the ability to strengthen muscles we don’t typically do as casual people go to the gym. Each person has many different workout or training programs, whether an athlete or not.

Besides working out or playing a sport, a healthy diet and maintaining mental health are important to stay fit. A diet helps you keep a specific physique and to maintain the muscle you have gained through working out. There are many different ways for you to support a well-balanced diet as a person. There is a diet called the Vertical diet. A Vertical diet is a foundation for high bioavailable nutrients that help you enhance metabolism and overall digestive health. It helps support a structure that is adjusted to meet what your body is demanding specifically. This diet also teaches you about using whole foods, optimizing your gut health and hormone imbalances, and improving your energy, stamina, endurance, and recovery. It also helps to teach you about improving your health through a sustainable lifestyle and the modifications you can make with this. Furthermore, a vertical diet helps you keep on track with a weight loss goal, muscle gain, perform better in athletics, health optimization, and reduce GI distress.

Nonetheless, even if you create a well-balanced diet and work out, your mental health is also very important. Getting the right mental health resources or accessing them can create a space for you to stay on track with having a good mental health rate. Learning what affects you most during your workout can be trial and error, but mental health is not something you should experiment with. Your mental health is a foundation in one’s path to getting fit, as well as staying on top of the goals you have for yourself along the way. It needs attention and to constantly be worked on. Take the time to work on yourself; A resource here on campus you have access to is the Counseling and Wellness Center.

How To Adult

Caleb Sharp, Student Writer

The college experience comes with its own sets of perks, such as frequent exposure to new ideas, being able to meet new people of various backgrounds, and the enrichment of one’s own knowledge. The lack of adult responsibilities is a seldom considered perk of most students’ college experience.

From car insurance payments to full-time jobs, college students generally don’t deal with the day-to-day responsibilities of adulthood. Despite this, it is beneficial for students to graduate with a basic understanding of how to approach and deal with a wide range of issues they may encounter during their adult lives. 

The number of possible challenges and issues a college graduate may face is near infinite. However, for the sake of brevity, only two issues will be covered. These are: 

  • How to do taxes
  • How to change a tire

Doing one’s own taxes may seem, at first glance, like a daunting task, as manually filing personal tax income is a confusing and convoluted process. Luckily, tax filing software such as TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxSlayer smoothly streamline the experience. All that is required to begin using these programs are the specific tax documents associated with one’s line of work. The most common tax document employers dole out to their employees are W-4 documents, which contain information like total annual income and tax exemption status. From here, all one has to do is simply plug these pieces of information into a tax filing program. Easy as pie.

What may not be so easy or straightforward to understand, as is the case for filing taxes, is automobile maintenance. 

Knowing how to address automobile issues is crucial when a mechanic or mechanically inclined buddy can’t lend assistance. One such situation would be swapping out a flat tire for a spare tire in a pinch. 

Before changing the flat tire, defer to your car’s owner manual for additional information, as different makes and models of automobiles may require different tools or steps in order to change the tire. For most cars, only three tools are needed: a jack, a lug nut wrench (sometimes referred to as a tire iron), and a spare tire. Use the wrench to loosen, but not fully remove, the lug nuts attaching the tire to the car. Once the lug nuts are loosened, align the jack beneath the car’s jack point and begin rotating the jack’s handle to lift the car off the ground. Next, use the wrench to fully remove the lug nuts and remove the tire from the axle. The last step is to put the spare tire on the car, screw the lug nuts back on using the wrench and lower the car back to the ground (making sure to tighten once more once the car is lowered)). 

And those are the basics of how to do taxes and how to change a car tire. The next time you find yourself doing taxes or changing out a flat, remember these basic instructions and get the job done!

Program for Integrating Fostering Success

Gilbert Smith, Staff Writer

The Saint Martin’s University school website phrases what the Fostering Success Program does as, “Saint Martin’s University supports foster, homeless, and unaccompanied youth through our integrative Fostering Success program.” The website continues with, “We combine the resources needed to navigate your college career as an independent student and provide a network of contacts to help you with your journey.” Something to note is that this program is part of a scholarship program due to some support in the form of financial aid.  The Fostering Success Program is not central to Saint Martin’s University. In fact, the University of Arizona has a similar program. 

Until recently, Pamela J. Holsinger-Fuchs was the main overseer of the project on campus. Pamela helped students in need with issues relating to foster care, homelessness, and unaccompanied youth. Crystal Cardona, also from the Office of Campus Ministry and the College of Arts and Sciences, will now oversee the program. The Belltower interviewed Pamela J. Holsinger-Fuchs for her insight.

While she had many important things to say over Zoom, she first discussed the Washington Passport Network Program. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington Passport Network Program has been assisting people from foster care in college and now homeless youth. It also includes McKinney–Vento students in it. Specifically, the Passport Program website says, “the Washington Passport Network is a statewide collective impact initiative committed to supporting students from foster care and the adult professionals they rely on.” We empower professionals supporting students from foster care and unaccompanied homeless youth with information, knowledge, and tools to improve practices and student outcomes. If you are a professional working to support students from foster care or those experiencing unaccompanied homelessness in accessing, persisting in, or completing post-secondary education or apprenticeships in Washington state, then we consider you a member of the Washington Passport Network. The program provides a scholarship of $5,000 per year for college. They also have to do this when applying for the FAFSA as independents through various programs offered by the federal government. She also worked in a similar program in the state of Wisconsin. There are 12 students in this program currently at Saint Martins.

McKinney and Vento were senators who drafted legislation to help former foster youth. This law is known today as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The program also made sure they were allowed to stay during breaks. They also get additional money for books and make them a birthday cake on their birthday.

There are two student peer mentors for the program. She helped in the program to support former foster care students and has a support network here. She previously worked in Wisconsin, where she did the same. Now that she is retired, she still meets former students from the program.

Colored In Red: Celebrating the Lunar New Year on Campus

Caleb Sharp, Student Writer 

On January 23rd, the Asian Student Alliance, alongside the Office of Housing and Residence Life, invited students to the TUB to celebrate the beginning of the Lunar New Year. 

As students began filing into the TUB’s auditorium in preparation for the events to come, those who arrived early received lucky red envelopes, traditionally referred to as ‘hóngbāo’ in Chinese. These lucky red envelopes usually contain money or small gifts and are said to bring good luck to those who receive them. For the purposes of this event, the envelopes were filled with raffle tickets instead of money.

Once everyone was seated, the Lunar New Year event kicked off in full swing. The President of the ASA, Amaiya Rose-Nyugen, along with other members of the ASA, introduced themselves and prompted the audience to do the same with those sitting next to them. After breaking the ice, the ASA hosts began to tell the story of Nian, a four-legged beast closely associated with myriad Lunar New Year traditions. 

As the story goes, Nian was a mighty beast that feasted upon human flesh on Lunar New Year’s Day. In order to ward off Nian, people would hang red paper decorations on their doors, light paper lanterns ablaze and set off firecrackers on Lunar New Year’s Eve, as Nian feared fire and the color red. And thus, the Lunar New Year’s association with the color red, firecrackers, lantern making, and good luck was born. 

Naturally, after explaining some of the history behind the Lunar New Year, the ASA handed out supplies for the audience to make their very own red paper lanterns to scare off Nian and bring good luck into their lives. From here on, people were encouraged to mingle with their neighbors, enjoy some gyoza and discuss the celebrated traditions of the Lunar New Year.

While the lantern-making activity and brief history lesson were received well, the clear star of this event was the calligraphy station. In conjunction with the Office of International Programs and Development, the ASA was able to hire Jun, a professional calligraphist, for the Lunar New Year event. Jun instructed students on how to draw Chinese kanji symbols onto pieces of red paper, which is thought to promote good luck throughout the Lunar New Year.

The ASA’s Lunar New Year event went off without a hitch and gave students the opportunity to learn more about the Lunar New Year and its time-honored traditions. For some students of Asian descent, however, the event signified more than fun and games. To some, the event was an acknowledgment and celebration of a cultural tradition that receives very little recognition in the United States.

ASA Lunar New Year event organizers: Calligraphist Jun (pictured center), and ASA President Amaiya Rose-Nyugen (pictured center-right)
Photo Credit: Caleb Sharp

When asked what the Lunar New Year event means to her, Rose-Nyugen explained, “coming here [to Washington], I saw that it wasn’t really a big thing. Down here in Lacey, there’s not a big Asian community that does stuff in public. Celebrating the Lunar New Year is a way for me to connect to my family and my culture. It’s a good way for me to get in touch with my culture, especially growing up in America.” 

Overall, the ASA’s event was an insightful experience for students who weren’t familiar with the Lunar New Year while also giving other students the chance to reconnect to their culture. Here’s to the Lunar New Year; may it bring good luck and fortune to all!

Pacific Exhibition

Phoebe Young, Staff Writer

There is a vast array of wonderful clubs and organizations here at Saint Martin’s, one of them being the Pacific Islanders Club. The Pacific Islanders Club is an organization that aims to bring students from the Pacific Islands together and allow them to express and embrace their true identities. They also work to educate Saint Martin’s students about the culture and traditions of the Pacific Islands, as well as to share this culture with those who may not know about it or be a part of it. Furthermore, the Pacific Islanders club functions as an affinity space and motivates and encourages club members to strive for their fullest academic potential by providing them with the resources and assistance they need to achieve academic excellence.

The Pacific Islanders Club has put on a multitude of fun events in the past, such as; the Holiday Hangout that occurred at the beginning of December in 2021 dedicated to making gingerbread houses, eating Panda express, prizes and raffles; the Halloween Spooktacular that the club put on in October 2021 including a costume contest, food eating contest, game booths, prizes and more; the Pizza and Painting event held in October of 2021 for students to paint, study, hang out with one another and eat pizza; and many other exciting and inclusive events for students of all kinds at Saint Martin’s to participate in. 

This March, the Pacific Islanders Club is going to be putting on an event called the Pacific Exhibition. The event will occur in the Norman Worthington Conference Center (NWCC) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30. At this year’s Pacific Exhibition, the theme will be Stories of the Pacific. The Belltower spoke with club President Ligi Saolotoga, who told us that this theme was chosen with the intention of introducing people to stories and information about the Pacific they may not have known about before.

Saolotoga also went on to explain to me that the event will focus predominantly on displaying a collection of some of the incredible art that comes from the various Pacific Islands.

We chose this theme to showcase the different and unique stories of each Pacific Island that people may not have knowledge of. This event also mainly focuses on the showcasing of a mixture of dances and songs that originate from the different pacific islands.

President Ligi Saolotoga

The event will also be providing amazing Pacific Islander foods that you definitely do not want to miss out on. It is going to be an exciting event full of the beautiful culture of the Pacific Islands.

If you are interested in attending and experiencing the Pacific Exhibition in March, you can purchase a ticket later on. Spots are limited, so if you are planning on attending, be sure to get your ticket as soon as possible. Ticket sales will be advertised on the Pacific Islanders Club’s social media, so stay on the lookout and do not miss out on this wonderful event! You can keep up to date on this event and any others the club puts on by following the club’s Instagram, which is under the handle: @smu_pacificislandersclub. Make sure to stay updated and pay attention to the club’s posts so that you don’t miss out on the Pacific Exhibition or any of the other fabulous club events!

Volunteering for the Greater Good

Shy Yamasaki, Staff Writer 

Volunteering and Service are some of the many Benedictine values at Saint Martin’s University. It is taught through some classes and through the ways of the community here on campus. That is why volunteering, leadership, and service are very important here at SMU, and highly recommended to volunteer and serve whenever it’s available. There are many different ways you can serve here on campus as well as off-campus. There are ways you can find out more information about volunteering and service on campus through ASSMU, different clubs posting their connections with volunteering opportunities, or posters through campus on ways you can volunteer and serve. Volunteering helps fill the service credits and fills up your heart in the process making you feel like you have made a difference around school or off-campus. 

Volunteering and serving on and off-campus helps make you understand why small changes can really make a difference in a community so close like Saint Martin’s or the Lacey and Olympia community. It has the amount of uplift and a beat to volunteering since it does affect others around you and seeing that changes are possible even though you start small then work up towards bigger changes. Volunteering with friends is always a good day because you can set goals for you and your friends to accomplish throughout your volunteering opportunity. If you are doing it with a club, you can always challenge them to see how many records they break with collecting canned foods or the number of times they have worked at a shelter for women and children to support what is needed for them.

Many ways you can serve here on campus is by working for the Admissions office since you are serving the students by showing them around campus and getting them comfortable with what they are seeing on campus. Another way you can serve, or volunteer is helping with clothing drives that are held on campus along with being an AHANA or Incipio Leader at the beginning of school. It makes you feel good about helping someone that you have been in the shoes of and making sure they feel comfortable with the campus and showing them the friendly faces, they will see around. Some other ways you can be volunteering are at Our Common Farms, Boys and Girls Club, and at the Thurston Food Bank. The Thurston Food Bank is always looking for volunteers to help distribute canned foods or even donations for the long winter days or for holidays where families and individuals need it the most. One volunteer opportunity that is coming up soon is through our Community Kitchen. The Community Kitchen holds volunteer opportunities every first Friday of each month. CRS does participate in helping and volunteering options at the Community Kitchen. The next volunteer opportunity for the community kitchen is on March 4th, so if you want to join in this opportunity contact Krystal Cardona for more information on how you could join and volunteer for this opportunity.

Restaurant Review: Pizzeria La Gitana

Phoebe Young, Staff Writer 

The Olympia and Lacey area is bursting at the seams with an incredible variety of different cafes and restaurants, many of which offer an array of good foods. In particular, there are many wonderful Italian restaurants throughout the area. If you like authentic Italian food in a classy, modern setting, you need to check out Pizzeria La Gitana in downtown Olympia. Pizzeria La Gitana was recommended to me by a friend who told me that it was highly underrated and not super well known. I love Italian food, so I went to try it out over the weekend with a few of my friends, and I was very pleasantly surprised. The environment there is very romantic and classy. There are lots of warm lights that illuminate the tables from the ceilings and walls, lots of vines hanging from the ceiling, paintings and miscellaneous art along the walls, and we even had a real rose in a vase on our table. They have a huge, authentic pizza oven behind the counter, and you can actually watch as your pizza is being made, which definitely adds to the experience of Italian cuisine. The building is very spacious and clean, and overall, a very aesthetic place to enjoy your meal.

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Photo from twitter @ThurstonTalk

Our waiters were very kind and helpful, and they seemed genuinely pleased to serve us, even though we arrived a little less than an hour before they closed for the night. They were patient as we decided on what to order, checked up on us often, and very willingly answered all of the questions we had about different menu items. The food was wonderful as well, although a little pricier than I had anticipated. Our meal started off with complimentary flatbread covered in sea salt and rosemary which was delicious. We ordered a side salad as well, which came with mixed greens, balsamic vinegar, mushrooms, olives, olive oil, and artichokes, which was very refreshing. I also ordered a breve, and I was very pleased with the quality and flavor of the espresso.

We ordered Carbonara over fusilli and a Fresca pizza as well, which both arrived very quickly and tasted great. The Carbonara was creamy, and the bacon was savory, although we felt the sauce itself could benefit from a little more seasoning. The portion size was not large enough for the price, but it was still filling, and we definitely did not leave any leftovers. The Fresca was delicious and had a wonderful balance of heartiness from the cheese and refreshing lightness from the tomatoes and basil. 
For our dessert, we ordered both the tiramisu and the affogato, both of which we felt were very good. The tiramisu was one of the best I have ever had and was super light and fluffy. It had a perfect balance of sweetness and lightness from the ladyfingers and mascarpone cream, and bitterness from the espresso. I had never had affogato before, but it was very good as well. The gelato was sweet and creamy and complimented the espresso very well. As with my breve and the tiramisu, the espresso was delicious, and of very good quality. Overall, Pizzeria La Gitana is definitely somewhere I would go again and recommend to others. The food is very good and worth spending a little extra money on, the workers are great, and the restaurant itself is beautiful. If you are in need of a date spot and want to check out some new restaurants in the area, or just enjoy Italian food, Pizzeria La Gitana is definitely worth checking out.

Mental Health in Student-Athletes at Saint Martin’s

Malia Pinder, Staff Writer

Athletes are provided with trainers to help with any sort of physical problem that could stop them from performing, but unfortunately, a majority of athletes are not provided this same care for their minds. If you ask most athletes, they will say that their sport is more mental than physical, that they prepare their minds just as much as their bodies for competition. So why is this care for the mental side not provided? 

It’s because athletes are not typically portrayed as people who struggle with mental health. Athletes are portrayed as confident, tough, and untouchable. What people do not see is that most athletes are perfectionists who face failure and defeat daily. Olivia Schmidt, a junior on the softball team at Saint Martin’s, said “We as athletes expect perfection just as much as our coaches do… We as athletes put the most pressure on ourselves, fearing to let down those around us”. This pressure, added to the stress of being a full-time student, is a lot. Student-athletes spend upwards of 20 hours a week practicing. Schmidt compared this to having a full-time job. This does not include team meetings or individual practices. The pressures of class and athletics pile up quickly and require the care of someone who understands that struggle. Without that proper support, it’s easy for athletes’ mental health to decline.  

Along with struggling to balance school and athletics while facing failure, the attitude towards competition is just that: compete. Athletes are raised to be the best and anything less than that is not good enough. When you get to the collegiate level, “the level of player is just as good as you or even better”, said Nathan Mclellan, a sophomore on the men’s soccer team. Athletes go from being the best in their town or on their club team to an environment where perfection is expected all the time. What this does to your mental health, he said, is “cause many people to go into a downward spiral with confidence and overthinking whether you truly belong”. Schmidt said something similar, saying that “there is so much exterior pressure on athletes in general but what people don’t see is the self-inflicted pressure and standards that athletes hold in their name”. 

When asked how to support the mental health of athletes, Schmidt said “keeping [athletes] mental health in the forefront of their minds and to combat their thoughts and emotions as soon as possible” is essential. She said that “mental health should always be addressed in support of athletics and academics”. Mclellan added that “by giving [athletes] more outlets for support” such as “a day or two to dedicate ourselves to mental health support whether that’s therapy or other ways with mental health professionals”, athletes will see a decrease in mental health conditions and can have a healthier time playing sports. 

To support mental health awareness, Saint Martin’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee held a Mental Health Awareness Night at the men’s basketball game on Jan. 27. Members of SAAC handed out green Saint Martin’s shirts to those who attended the game, and information on mental health resources were provided throughout the night. 

If you are struggling with mental health, there are multiple resources at Saint Martin’s. The Counseling and Wellness Center provides free care on campus, in person, or over Zoom. There is also Timely Care, an app that offers online care 24/7. The Saint Martin’s NAMI Club is a club on campus centered around mental health as well. Saint Martin’s is here to provide support wherever they can. 

The Value of Internships

Phoebe Young, Staff writer 

Internships are opportunities for students to work in professional settings, typically ones that they are interested in finding careers in down the road. Some internships are paid, and other times they are used for school credit, or solely for experience. Whatever the case, internships hold far more value than simply monetary and academic. They can introduce students to professional work settings, allow them to connect with potential future employers, help students improve their resume, and help students feel more confident in their abilities as an employee. 

One of the most beneficial aspects of an internship is the experience that is gained through working in a professional field. Very commonly, finding careers can be difficult, and students who are just leaving school often face difficulties when trying to enter the workforce. Oftentimes, employers want to hire employees who have previous experience in the field, and they may even require a certain amount of experience for the job. This presents difficulties for students who have only had educational experience, and have not yet been involved in professional settings. Internships present students with the opportunity to get job experience while still completing their education, and provide students with more potential job opportunities after graduation.

This looks good on students’ resumes, but it also allows students to feel more comfortable and confident in their own abilities within the workforce. New jobs can be intimidating, and despite the numerous diligent hours you may have spent studying a subject, it is never quite the same as working in that field. Being involved in internships allows students to have experience with the careers they have interest in before being fully immersed in them, and allows them to know what to expect once they move into a career. Confidence is a valuable trait both when searching for jobs, so having an understanding and background in any professional setting, especially one specific to your desired career, can put you at an advantage.

Even if an internship does not align with a student’s future plans, or said plans change over time, the experience and knowledge gained from internships does not go to waste. Essentially any internship will assist students in developing and mastering professional soft skills, such as time management, interpersonal skills, work ethic, problem solving, adaptability and more. These are skills that are not career specific, and can be transferable, meaning they can be applied in any career or field. Internships allow students to perfect these skills early on, so that they can be used in future careers of all kinds.

Not only do students get to experience life as an employee throughout their internships, their employers also have the ability to see how they work, and possibly decide to offer them a higher position later on. Internships allow you to get a foot in the door with potential future employers, and may even present you with a career once you leave. Employers may also be willing to recommend you to other businesses or companies within your field of interest, and having connections to employers and other professionals in a field can be extremely beneficial when job searching.

Internships allow students to learn about and gain experience in their field of interest. They are great steppingstones into choosing a career and joining the workforce, while simultaneously pursuing an education, and they can be infinitely beneficial for preparing for life after college.