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.

Campus Resources

Hillary Thompson, Staff Writer

Saint Martin’s offers a variety of resources to help students achieve success. One of them being the Career Center with the help of director Ann Adams and assistant director Alyssa Nastasi. They help students define and plan for post-graduation as well as guide them to their career goal. Saint Martin’s is known to be a military-friendly school and one of their support resources focuses on students with military backgrounds. One other support resource is the Diversity and Equity Center. They help students become more inclusive and promote diversity. Another resource on campus is the tutoring center.

“The tutoring center at the Center for Student Success can provide help for students, whether it be for various subjects or specifically for writing. We have subject tutors that cover all major topics like biology, chemistry, math, physics, nursing, legal studies, business, and even some language tutors for students studying Japanese, French, or Spanish. We also have various writing tutors who help with all parts of the writing process like brainstorming, drafting, revising, etc. They also specialize in different styles of writing like MLA and APA, and different types of writing like creative writing, narrative writing, and reports. We use LibCal to book an appointment with a subject tutor or writing tutor. Go to this website https://stmartin.libcal.com/appointments. From here, you can book a tutor based on the times they have available. After selecting your tutor and the date/time of your appointment, there will be questions that require answers to help the tutor better know you and your needs for the tutoring session. It is important to upload all documents like homework, notes, rubrics, drafts, etc., to LibCal to help the tutor plan the session. After booking the appointment, you should expect an email from LibCal that says your appointment is confirmed, and in that email, you will receive a Zoom link if you are meeting your tutor on Zoom. For any questions about the Center for Student Success, feel free to contact Julie Yamamato at jyamamoto@stmartin.edu.”

Julie Yamamoto, Director of Academic Support

Freshman Marilyn Thompson talks about her experiences using resources on campus

“For tutoring, it was an up and down experience. Sometimes we would get the work done and other times my tutoring would not know the material I am learning. Some days I felt like I didn’t get a lot out of a session. I think one factor that contributed to me not getting much out of the session is the tutor that I choose. So, I am grateful that there is more than one option for a tutor. On the other hand, when I would schedule an appointment with a tutor that understood the material better than me, I am happy with what I get out of the session. I leave with a better understanding, and I like how some tutors would go above and beyond to help me understand the material like extending the hours I scheduled. I have had some awesome experiences with some tutors, and I have had some bad experiences with others, but I am grateful to anyone that would take time out of their day to teach me the material I am having difficulty understanding.”

“My experience using therapy at first was nerve-racking. I have never seen a therapist, nor spoken to one over my 18 years of living. I walked into the counseling room and the atmosphere was pleasant. The man who sat at the front desk was welcoming and kind. He spoke in a soft tone and asked me what he could help me with. I answered that I wanted to see a therapist and he gave me two choices. I chose Yuki because I felt more comfortable talking to a woman that also happened to be a minority. I sat down in a soft comfy chair and filled out some paperwork. I proceeded to the back room and as soon as my appointment was done, I was eager to schedule another one. It was a good experience all around.”

Marilyn Thompson, Student

Overall, there are many resources at Saint Martin’s to support students and help them find success.

Do’s and Don’ts: Traveling During a Pandemic

Dominique Bornilla, Staff Writer

This year has brought about a lot of unprecedented events. While the world is slowly adjusting to life dealing with Covid-19, the only thing we can count on is the unpredictability that the pandemic brings. When I got the notice that a study abroad program was available, the one thing that kept running through my head was, “Should this pandemic stop me from living my best life?”.

I set up an initial appointment with the Office of International Programs and Development (OIPD) to talk more about the study abroad program. When I heard it was in Seoul, I was so excited having spent most of my summer watching K-dramas, getting into K-pop, and cooking/eating Korean food. Whether I would be able to go abroad was touch and go for a while, especially working through financial issues and trying to get a visa on time without having the ability to go to the embassy in person.

Despite some setbacks, I was on a flight to Seoul before I knew it. Here are some of the “do’s and don’ts” I learned in the process of getting ready to leave, dealing with quarantine, and life after quarantine.

Do’s:

DO YOUR RESEARCH! There are many things to consider when traveling, especially to a different country. I read many articles about things to pack for Korea, i.e., what to bring and what not to bring. One tip I learned from my research was that I should pack more pants than tops because of how different clothing sizes in Korea are from America. Writers expressed that it would be difficult to find bottoms in your size because Korean clothing tends to run small. 

Other things I researched were expats’ experiences in Seoul. Expat is the abbreviated word for expatriate. I learned that it was easy for English-speaking foreigners to get by in Korea without knowing the language. Because I did not register to take a Korean language class, this insight put me at ease about getting around Seoul. Another thing important to research is the culture of the country you are visiting. As much as we would like for the world to be inclusive, some cultures are not as open to the idea of foreigners. You do not want to come off as ignorant, so take the time to learn about the common practices of the place you are visiting. Just be mindful of the culture and be respectful!

Make a budget. Making a budget helps so much in the planning process for your trip. The essential things on my budget were rent, transportation costs, and food costs. Depending on how long you stay for the program, knowing how much you will need every month will keep you more organized and not prone to impulse spending. That being said, you should also budget for any other miscellaneous activities such as visiting tourist spots or eating out. Make sure to always have money for backup as well. While I was in quarantine, I ended up spending $100 more than I had planned to just on food because my quarantine company did not give me enough food for the two weeks. I used money from my other savings account to have food delivered to me. 

Make copies of everything. Before you leave, make sure you have a checklist of all the things you need to bring and that you have everything packed and ready to go. You will also need copies of everything. By everything I mean copies of your passport, social security, vaccination cards, all your other forms of identification, extra copies of your visa, and your Covid-19 test results. When I arrived at Incheon airport, the quarantine officials kept a copy of my test results, and it was a good thing I had printed out two copies because I had to show the officials at the testing site my results as well. 

Exchanged your money to the correct currency in advance. Personally, I exchanged $100 for Korean won at my bank because the exchange rates at the airport are higher, but to be extra safe, you should exchange $200.

Plan out as much as possible. I researched how much taxis cost to get from the airport to my quarantine place. Some services allow you to reserve a taxi in advance, and you can have a definite price to pay. Since many people were traveling into South Korea the same day I did, I found out my taxi reservation fell through. I searched for other services but still could not get another reservation, but I found that you can also get taxis at the airport; however, knowing how much it should cost you ahead of time helps a lot. This way, you won’t get scammed and end up overpaying. There were several taxi companies to choose from, and thankfully, I got a taxi that fit into the original price range I needed.  

Learn some common phrases to help you get by. Learning some common phrases will help you integrate more into the culture. Most people who live and work in Seoul know at least a little English or can get someone who can speak it. Knowing how to greet people or say, “thank you” is something the locals appreciate and usually are impressed by. I found as well that the locals tend to be more friendly when you try to speak their language because it shows good effort and appreciation of their culture. Some phrases I learned that are helpful to know, “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Excuse me,” “Please,” “Thank you,” “Yes,” and “No.” 

As were still in a pandemic, make sure you are up to date on what rules may be in place where you are going. The mask mandate and social distancing rules are very strict in Korea so a day before I was released from quarantine, I made sure to familiarize myself with the guidelines. 

For the first two weeks out of quarantine, my housemates and I had to make sure to only go out in pairs after six pm. 

Find company with people who are travelling or have already traveled to the same place as you. I had quite a bit of anxiety in the days leading up to my departure. Thankfully, the company I was renting a room under set up a Discord for all their potential residents. It was there that I found other students who were flying out the day before me – I was able to talk to them about how the process went for them, for example how to go through customs and what the quarantine check-ins would be like. I also found a lot of people on Tiktok who would create content about their study abroad experiences in South Korea, so I made a point to reach out and ask for advice. 

Here are some don’ts: 

Don’t be afraid to explore. It might be a little scary at first to explore a city in a different country, especially if you do not know the language, but it is honestly such a freeing and wonderful experience when you do. If you need to take baby steps, just try to go on walks by yourself, maybe exploring your campus or the area surrounding your house if you live off-campus. Simply walking can help you familiarize yourself with your surroundings and you are not pressured to talk to anyone. I take walks every day for exercise, and it is even safe to walk late at night here in Seoul. I was able to find cute restaurants and cafes on these walks and a couple of hidden gems.

Don’t disrespect the cultural norms. Like I mentioned before, be mindful of the culture. Korea has certain beauty standards and my housemates and I found out that certain things are more acceptable to wear than others. For example, for females, it is not necessarily looked on kindly to wear tops that expose a lot of your upper body. Wearing bottoms that expose a lot of legs is more acceptable. We had to adhere to that to avoid getting stared at. 

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. As introverted as you are . . . ignore it! Your experience will be so much better if you are more open to meeting new people. Be involved and proactive about joining in on activities. Being in lockdown for a long time made me more introverted than I thought, and I used to have anxiety about meeting new people. I decided not to let that get in the way of having a good experience abroad, so I joined most of the activities they offer to foreigners and exchange students. I ended up filming a YouTube video with a regional celebrity for one of Korea’s travel and tourism companies.

Don’t forget to call home. Having the ability to talk to friends and family back home helped me keep my sanity while I was stuck in quarantine. Even now that I’ve gotten used to living in Seoul, every new thing I experience, I feel the desire to tell my sisters back home about it. Since we text every day, I feel it’s best to call home consistently to avoid homesickness.

Don’t forget to have fun and make the most of your trip. This one should be self-explanatory!

Staying Safe for Spooky Season

Phoebe Young, Staff Writer

With Halloween just around the corner, it is important to be aware of possible dangers the holiday may present. Halloween weekend can be very fun but can also include lots of monsters much greater than bedsheet ghosts and plastic skeletons. I spoke with Public Safety officer Jared Cunningham about some things to be cautious of and one of the main occurrences he listed was vehicular accidents. “On Halloween there are a lot of people on the road in costume or dressed in black,” he states, “the most important thing is to be aware of what’s going on.”

 Cunningham advises that drivers slow down and pay close attention to their surroundings in order to avoid accidents. He also reminds students that they do have resources to stay safe this Halloween if they are on campus. “If you see anything out of the ordinary or you’re uncomfortable on Halloween, you can contact public safety 24/7 as usual and they will be happy to look into it,” Cunningham assures. The phone number for public safety is (360)438-4555. Other available resources Cunningham listed that are open to students on Halloween include the residence life staff, such as RAs, and the campus life staff at Saint Martin’s.

Parties of all sorts are also common on Halloween. Saint Martin’s is a dry campus, meaning that substance use of any kind is not permitted nor encouraged at any time. However, if you are of age and plan to participate in drinking off campus, ensure that you do so safely by taking precautionary measures. This may include but is not limited to having a designated driver, eating before consuming alcohol, drinking in moderation, being aware of what you are consuming, never accepting any drinks from strangers, and as is always the case, only driving if you are entirely sober. Still, the easiest and most effective way to ensure your safety is to avoid alcohol entirely.

 In the event of any type of gathering, be aware that COVID-19 is still very prevalent and large gatherings put you at risk of exposure. A few safety tips from the Washington State Department of Health include being sure to always wear a mask, social distance when it is possible, avoid gatherings with lots of people, staying home if you are sick or have been recently exposed to COVID-19, and making sure to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer regularly. Further general party safety may include covering your drink, arriving and leaving with a group you trust, and always telling someone where you are going.

Aside from personal get-togethers, there is a multitude of safe and fun activities to join in on in the area this Halloween to get into the spirit of the spooky season. On Oct. 31, Campus Life will be hosting the Saints Pumpkin Bash in the Trautman Union Building from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The bash will consist of Trunk-Or-Treat, exciting games, fun prizes, and a costume contest. The costume contest will be held at 2:30 p.m. and involves big prizes. This event is open to SMU students and faculty as well as the Lacey community, so be sure to attend.

Other activities occurring off campus include My Morbid Mind Haunted House on Oct. 31 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 4548 Marvin Road SE. Tickets can be bought at https://mymorbidmind.com/ or at the door. You can also visit a variety of pumpkin patches such as Schilter Family Farm which is open daily until 8 p.m. through Oct. 31 which offers pumpkins, great food, a giant corn maze, and more. No matter how you choose to spend your holiday weekend, be sure to stay safe, have fun, and have a ghoulishly good time!