Career Exploration & Development
Week of April 30, 2015

Video: Summer & Post-Graduate Plans

As the summer approaches, more and more students are making concrete commitments for internships or full-time opportunities. From a volunteer in Nicaragua to a business analyst for a premiere consulting firm, Denison students are going on to new and exciting things. Play the video below to see all the responses.

Grad School on a Budget?

Graduate school will be a different than your undergraduate experience. You will most likely have to balance your personal life, employment, school work, and your budget! Here are some simple ways to help you stay organized and make the most out of your graduate school stipend.  

Abroad Internship Spotlight:
Nelson Dow
The Greater Wellington Regional Council

Name: Nelson Dow

Major(s): Environmental Studies; Sociology/Anthropology Minor

Company/Organization: The Greater Wellington Regional Council

Position Title: Sustainable Transportation Intern

What were your day-to-day responsibilities?
One other intern and I were responsible for organizing 6 "Big Bike Fix-Up" events throughout the Wellington region, and my daily responsibilities varied from going in bike shops to talk to local mechanics, calling city council members, creating posters, and organizing material for the events.

What was the best day of your internship? What was the worst?
The best day of my internship was probably when we went to a secondary school (middle school). We posted our mini shop up outside, and when school got out we had about 30 kids rush out to us with scooters and bikes. They were all really happy about getting their vehicles fixed, and some of them were really interested in learning how to do repairs.

I wouldn't say I had any really bad days. There was one event where we messed up a car reservation, so we had to walk about 2 miles with a table, bags of bike parts, and boxes of various material. The event turned out well but it was very tiring.

What did you learn?
I learned how to change a flat and tune gear and bike cables. I also got some good experience with event planning, collaboration with local organizations, and project management skills.

What did you find to be most challenging?
Starting these projects from the ground-up was definitely challenging. The Regional Council had never done anything like this before, so the two of us were responsible for creating these events and making sure they ran smoothly, with really nothing to look back on to refer to. We had to ask a lot of questions about policies, regulations, and processes, because we were also very new to the city and country when we started.

You mentioned in an article with Denison that you participated in some events to fix-up bikes. So, what qualities do you look for in a bike? What kind of bike do you ride?
I bike a lot in my hometown of Cambridge, MA, and I biked a lot while I was living in Wellington. I don't really bike here at Denison because it's so easy to get anywhere within a 10 minute walk.

When I'm in the city I like having a fast and light bike because a lot of times you have to dodge cars and people. At home I have a green cyclocross bike, which is a lot of fun to ride. I never drive anywhere in the city so this is my main mode of transportation.

Have you kept in touch with your employers?
I have! The team I worked with are all very supportive and kind. One of them even wrote me a reference letter for a summer internship application. If I ever make it back to Wellington, they're definitely people at the top of my list to see.

Did your liberal arts education contribute to your ability to excel in your internship? In what way?
Absolutely. A big part of my internship was communication and being able to talk with people from all different backgrounds. I had to call policymakers, shop owners, parks department employees, managers, and everyone in between. It was very interdisciplinary work that had roots in environmental, social and economic issues.

Could you see yourself returning to New Zealand one day?

Absolutely! I had an amazing time and know that there's so much more to see, despite it being such a small country. The people are the friendliest in the world, and the landscapes are beautiful.

Pros and Cons of Going to Grad School