Internships connect students, alumni through work

Irene Vazquez, Copy Editor

Lillian had her own office and desk at W. J. Alexander and Associates. (Courtesy photo)
Lillian had her own office and desk at W. J. Alexander and Associates. (Courtesy photo)

“Most people assume that insurance is just a green lizard telling you that ‘15 minutes can save you 15% off your car insurance,’” junior Lillian Chen said after her internship with W. J. Alexander and Associates.  “Insurance is at the heart and soul of every business, organization, building, house or car.”

Lillian worked with W.J. Alexander and Associates, an insurance brokerage firm. During her two-week internship, she learned about risk management and risk financing as well as insurance. Lillian and other students gained exposure to various professions as part of the alumni internship program this summer.

“Every person when they grow up will need to pay for and understand insurance,” Lillian said.

As an intern, Lillian proofread official documents and helped print and bind proposals.

“We could talk about similar experiences, like the rigorous academic program or the sensation of being on SJS sports teams,” Lillian said. “We even bonded over teachers still at SJS that we both knew.”

Lillian experienced the work schedule of a real company while interning.

“I had my own office and got to meet some very hardworking and kind co-workers,” Lillian said. “Working there helped me to learn about a whole new area I hadn’t known anything about before.”

Junior John Sholeen interned for two weeks at Athlon Solutions, a chemical solutions company where alumnus Chris Johnson (’86) is Chief Financial Officer. John worked in their Information and Technology (IT) Department as a part of their help desk.

“People hate the words ‘Have you tried restarting the computer?’” John said. John also worked on tasks that the head of IT passed down to him.

Seniors Zoe Margolis and Robin Granberry worked with SJS alumnus Lucy Chambers (‘81) at Bright Sky Press for two weeks.

“Publishing takes way more work than most people think,” Robin said. “It’s not just a matter of editing once or twice, it takes hundreds of times. Everyone in the office would read through a manuscript four or five times before it would even be considered for printing.”

As interns, they read writing submissions and helped with current projects at the small press.

“There is so much more to a publishing team than just editors and printers,” Zoe said. “They do all the design for the covers and pages, and there are people whose focus is just PR or finances.”

Robin also wrote a piece that will be included in a book on the history of SJS.

“Ms. Chambers and I talked about school, since it was such a large part of our project,” Robin said. “It gave us a good way to relate to one another.”