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Davis, California

Monday, February 26, 2024

What are you doing this summer?


Roving reporter uncovers student plans

The summer months can be an ambitious period of self-realization for students. Taking many forms, it’s an opportunity to travel to new places, explore professional realms, complete research and fulfill major requirements. Taking a walk down the quad will reveal the diverse paths students follow and the opportunities that pop up, and slip away.

Taylor Schuman, a second-year communication major, is taking an academic approach to summer 2018.

“This summer I plan on taking summer classes, during summer session one,” Schuman said. “I’m taking a philosophy class and a linguistics class.”

The simplicity of Schuman’s plan evades some students, though they find excitement in taking advantage of the fleeting summer days. Balancing familial obligations and intimacy with internship opportunities can be essential.

Katie Rickleton, a second-year biological sciences major, looks forward to a fast-paced, domestically diverse summer.

“Over the summer I am going to Southern California with my cousin, going to Disneyland for a few days,” Rickleton said. “Then I’m going to New Mexico and Colorado for some family reunion-type events, and then I’m going to the east coast to Boston area for about a month to work in a genetics lab, so I’m going to be doing that for about a month and then I’ll be heading to Seattle to do some more family stuff. It’s honestly just a really crazy summer, it’s usually not like this, I don’t really have a lot of time at home so I’ve just kind of made time for as much as I could because I already knew I had to do a lot of the family things but then I also knew that I really wanted to do these internships and get the experience for school, obviously.”

For science and humanities majors alike, academic internship experience can be a foremost priority. Given the difficulty of balancing academic coursework and a lab or research assistant position, there’s no time like the summer. For some students, like Rickleton, this means planning ahead and respecting family events. For Christopher Lopez, a third-year biochemistry and microbiology double-major, his internship enabled him to stay close to family.

“I’m spending a 10-week program at the Amgen Scholars at UCLA, for research,” Lopez said. “I’ll be researching in muscular cell disease. I live 25 minutes from UCLA so I’ll actually be living on the campus but I’ll be going back and forth every weekend to say hi to my family, spend time with them. It’s the main reason why I chose going there. So potentially being [there], [is] setting me up for the future.”

The serendipity of future opportunity close to family is appealing to some, but the lure of travel certainly calls to many. With numerous study abroad opportunities overseas, some including academic coursework, others packing in internship experiences, dreams can come true.

Alexis Roberts, a third-year international relations major, will get a taste of her future career goals in Switzerland.

“I’m studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland to do the United Nations program so I’ll just be taking classes with WHO, UNICEF, the WTO and several other organizations, IO’s, NGO’s and so it’s going to be a really fantastic opportunity, just to learn about the UN,” Roberts said. “I’ve been doing model UN for quite a while now, so it’s literally like my dream, dream job. [The program is ] about a month, so it’s a shorter study abroad program but I think it’s a perfect amount of time and it’s over the summer, too. I’ll be traveling around Europe for about two and a half weeks afterwards in Italy and Spain. And then right afterwards I’m not entirely sure, hopefully an internship, but we’ll see. I’d really like to work in Sacramento, hopefully working with some government entity there, I’m not entirely sure which one though yet. At the capital there are so many opportunities.”

Her sister Victoria Roberts, an incoming freshman in Fall 2018, happened to be visiting the campus and was a day away from a trip to Southern Spain.

“Starting tomorrow, I’m leaving for Spain,” Roberts said. “I’ll be visiting Southern Spain. I’m also going to Italy, but she and I are missing each other. And then I’m going to come back and I’m working for the city of Arcata […] for their Parks and Rec. Department. I’m a camp counselor, so I’ll be working with kids in the redwood forest. When I come back I’ll be an incoming freshman in the nutrition science program here.”

Emily Cowan, a second-year biological sciences major, looks forward to a study abroad experience that may not speak as directly to career goals, but will get her ahead in her coursework.

“This summer I’m actually doing one of the study abroad trips,” Cowan said. “Through UCEAP I’m going to the University of Sussex in Brighton, England and I’m getting my whole physics seven series done, in that summer. It starts in June and then it’s going to go all the way to mid-August and then after that I’m going to stay in Europe, because might as well while I’m there, and go to Greece. They offer three different study abroads […] I really liked the England one because I liked that, it’s easy to fly out of […] London area to go to other places so I thought that was nice, it’s […] more central to other things. I knew I wanted to travel around while I’m doing the study abroad program, so I was like, ‘this is the way to get the cheapest flights and like easiest to fly out of and take a train.’ I’m going to be home for probably like ten days before my trip, because I live in Southern California. So, I mean, I’m already kind of used to not being home for like weeks at a time. Then this is going to be so exciting, I mean, I’ve been out of the country twice before […] but this is like totally on my own and like studying somewhere else, I’m so excited.”

Christian Martinez, a fourth-year communication major, doesn’t have the plane tickets between his fingers yet, but has plans in the works, and the hopes that they will give direction to his future career path.

“I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do this summer, there’s a possibility of me going to the Ukraine with a friend of mine to work at a summer school program teaching English,” Martinez said. “And possibly also just working or getting an internship here or near Davis. Part of that is to kind of figure out what I’ll be doing this next year after I graduate. It’s dependent upon when I decide but hopefully before, hopefully soon-ish, probably before the end of this month.”

While the summer is only a few months, for Martinez it could be a pivotal moment in his life path. Wherever the summer takes Aggies and no matter how unclear the next three months appear now, it’s clear they take advantage of every minute.



Written by: Stella Sappington — features@theaggie.org


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