Katelyn Wurtz, Senior (May 2014)
Major: Special Education
Internship: SEAL Management Intern with UW-Whitewater Career & Leadership Development
How did you find out about this internship? What interested you in the opportunity?
About two years ago, I was a member of the Event Crew on campus, where we would staff any Special Events on campus. Through this position, there were occasions when we would staff larger SEAL (Student Entertainment Awareness League) events should they need it. I had already attended numerous comedians and movies on campus that were sponsored by SEAL; therefore, I felt that I had an idea of what SEAL was. I loved the idea of providing the campus with events like the hilarious comedians and great musicians that I had seen throughout my years on campus. I decided to apply in the spring of 2011, got an interview, and was later hired as the Community Service Intern on SEAL. This past spring, I reapplied and am currently the Management Intern on SEAL. Considering that this process is a different process than your average internship, it did not take as long to secure it. It was an application and interview process which then led to summer training.
Describe your internship experience.
Since I have had two different intern positions on SEAL these past two years, I have had different responsibilities. Last year, as the Community Service Intern, I coordinated the America Reads program on campus where students could sign up to volunteer in the local schools helping students in their academics. I also took part in planning Freeze Fest/Special Olympics Wisconsin Polar Plunge and our annual Make a Difference Day.
This year, as the Management Intern, I have the responsibility for the day-to-day operations of SEAL. I am also responsible for collaborating and reaching out to student organizations on campus. Since SEAL provides events for free or at a low cost, we try to market our events as much as possible to get the campus to attend. This is why I try to reach out to those organizations to get a larger, diverse population to attend these events.
What have you learned during your internship experience? How does this opportunity relate to your career goals?
Through this internship, I have gained many leadership skills as well as skills that I can apply to the real world after college. I have progressively bettered my public speaking skills through this internship and although I still struggle at times, I know that over the past few years I have gained those skills to help better my public speaking.
As an education major, I know that I will be a leader of my classroom at some point in the near future. At the same time, I also know that on a daily basis I will be speaking in public (or my classroom). My students will hopefully look up to me as someone that is a reliable, responsible source that they can come to when in need. I have learned that it takes a lot to be a leader including diligence, responsibility and organization. Even though this internship is not directly working in a classroom or related to my major, I have found that all of the skills that I have gained through my internship can be applied to my future in teaching.
What advice would you give other students about internships?
As a leader on campus, I have come to the conclusion that no matter where you go, know that there is a good chance that someone will see the actions that you make, whether they be good or bad.
I would tell other students who are applying for internships to make good decisions when outside of the workplace. By outside of the workplace, I am not necessarily saying at the bars or at a party, but anywhere. As we all know, Facebook and Twitter are huge parts of our society right now. It is important to be careful about what you post because although you may not be friends with someone, it is possible that a friend of yours is friends with another person who can or may report back information that you thought was private.
Overall, an internship can be a huge step towards your future career. You choose what you want to get out of your internship and personally, I recommend that you get the most out of it! Besides, you can only benefit from getting the most out of it! You may realize that the path you are taking is not for you—but at least you will realize it earlier than later. At the same time, you may realize that you made a good choice and would like to stay with the company you are working for in the future. Therefore, my biggest piece of advice would be to try to get the most out of your internship as possible because it can only benefit you!
What did Katelyn’s supervisor have to say?
Katelyn is always trying to better herself as a student and as a professional. She takes every piece of criticism to heart and is always trying to improve. This is all I can ask for out of an intern I supervise.
As a Leadership Advisor in the office of Career & Leadership Development, I have had the opportunity to work with several students and rarely do I meet a student who is as passionate about a students’ overall college experience than Katelyn is. Katelyn joined SEAL because she wanted to assist in making UW-Whitewater a great place for all students. Katelyn has consistently shown that she is an advocate for students, which is an important characteristic for someone who is a leader on campus.
Congratulations Katelyn on being selected as UW-Whitewater Intern of the Month for November 2012!
Are you having or have you had an outstanding internship experience like Katelyn? Tell employers, faculty, and, of course, fellow UW-Whitewater students what makes/made your internship experience so great! Be featured in the Intern Spotlight! To learn more, visit the UWW Intern of the Month Program page.
Be sure to check out past featured students’ stories as well!