It’s by no simple coincidence that SCAD touts a 98 percent employment rate. An internship is something that will set any recent graduate aside, giving them a much better chance of employment upon graduation. It’s the difference between, “I’ve graduated and need to start looking for jobs,” and “I’m about to graduate and already have a job lined up for me.” It’s no wonder that a lot of SCAD alumni graduate with one if not two or three internships behind their belts.

Paid or unpaid, in your hometown or hundreds of miles away, when it comes to an internship it does not matter how, when or where you’re doing it but what you get out of it. This summer, SCAD District’s Intern Diaries will outline the various internships SCAD students are participating in across the U.S. and beyond. Stay tuned to find out the many benefits of gaining experience in your field before graduating.

Grand Rapids, Michigan native and third-year sound design major Chloe VanTil started her summer at EXPLO working for Wellesley College as their Audio Visual Coordinator. VanTil got to work in her major, get paid for it, live and eat for free AND teach a fencing workshop.

It may not be the dream job, but VanTil appreciated a summer job that directly aligned with her major and gave her a chance to apply her skills. As EXPLO 360 Wellesley advertises on their website, it’s for, “people who love doing their thing — and people who are finding the thing they love to do.” And for VanTil, it was about loving what she does. As well as opportunities to shine like figuring out how to patch a wireless mic system to a board in one of Wellesley’s ballrooms for a magician.

Much like her time at SCAD, VanTil was kept very busy and worked very long hours. “SCAD had definitely prepared me for this because ‘Sleep. Comes. After. Death,'” she said. In charge of all things audio/visual at the summer program as one of two AV coordinators, VanTil worked from 6 a.m. to about 11 p.m. every day with a few hours in the day to eat and rest.

Everyday tasks included setting up the stage for main events, sound checks, running the board for meetings and performances, writing logs, teaching fencing and assisting teachers with all AV equipment during on-call times.

“So it was long days,” said VanTil.

With no money spent on food and lodging, VanTil only had to pay for her ticket there and back and gained valuable work experience.

Her advice to students pursuing summer internships:

“I think a lot of people get overwhelmed and scared about internships (at least I do) and the biggest thing I told myself when searching is that I wanted to be a role model to myself. So I looked for positions that offered growth and the type of responsibilities I wanted to take on,” she said.

“It’s terrifying because being an adult is weird and scary, but most of us have nothing to lose right now. If you end up hating it then you know to not do it in the future and if you love it then you’re one step closer to your life duty,” VanTil added.

Most embarrassing moment: “When I farted during one of our orientation meetings. Lack of sleep makes me gassy and really uncomfortable in my surroundings.”