Column: Gain experience, apply for internships

Jack Cruikshank, Staff Reporter

Today, I had to take a breath. You should, too. It was nice.

That is not to say my body forgot to inhale or exhale; rather, I had to take a moment to ponder what I was doing with my life.

As some of you might know, I’ve been trying to help with the #FundEIU movement – an idea conceived because of the current war on higher education in Illinois.

For a short time, however, I forced myself to forget about veto override votes, appropriated funds, or the claim of Eastern shutting down in the fall. I even forgot about the leads the Donald somehow had going into Super Tuesday.

I simply took an hour to worry about myself, and that was a good hour.

During that time, I applied for a few internships for this summer, which is arguably the best thing you could do if you have an hour free today.

I’ve found out – through my own personal experiences and those of other students – that internships are the best way to gain real-world experience while still remaining a student.

Worried about the costs? Try to apply locally, whether in Charleston, or in your hometown, as to save on housing costs.

Worried about being stuck in cornfields for your entire life? Try to apply as far away as possible for you, which could mean Chicago or Beijing.

Worried about not appearing professional enough per your résumé and cover letter? Head over to Career Services and they will help you fine-tune both.

While this might seem like a strange plea, please take some time as soon as possible to apply for an internship or two that you might not have previously considered.

If you have nowhere else to start, use Google to find places to apply.

If you’re concerned about just applying for random internet internships, go talk to your academic advisor to see if he or she has any recommendations.

After all, that’s why advisers are here – to help us realize and achieve our academic goals.

Everything happening here at Eastern can be hectic, especially with midterms, projects, meetings and so on, but there are bigger issues at play here for students personally.

This is not to say the budget issues – which have been mishandled from the beginning here at Eastern and in Springfield – are not important.

Rather, take a minute to appreciate that you, as an individual student, have needs that won’t be solved if Eastern were to fix all of its own problems tomorrow.

Go out and plan some summer experience away from Eastern, whether that be an internship, a trip abroad, or simply taking an interesting class or two here that you might not have otherwise taken because it isn’t required for your major.

Besides, at the end of your college career, which would you be more proud to rave about: the 4.0 you worked incessantly to receive, or the life-long memories, wonderful relationships, and valuable skills you now have as a result of leaving your comfort zone and trying something new?

Jack Cruikshank is a senior political science major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].