Independent Minds, Working Together

Wooster students put learning to work in the real world this summer

APEX Fellowships fund career exploration, work experience

2 July, 2014 by John Hopkins

WOOSTER, Ohio - From Chicago to Kathmandu, London to the Twin Cities, 50 Wooster students are exploring career opportunities and gaining valuable work experience this summer, thanks to fellowships from APEX, the college's integrated program of academic and career advising, planning, and experiential learning.

Abigail Helvering, a political science major who has just completed her sophomore year at Wooster, is interning in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Representative Susan Brooks of Indiana, attending Congressional hearings, doing issue research in the areas of homeland security and emergency preparedness, and writing news releases under the supervision of a staff mentor.

Tali Westreich, who will be a sophomore in the fall and plans to declare a major in communication sciences and disorders, is in St. Paul, Minn., working with Northern Voices, a pre-school for hearing impaired children, and with Minnesota Hands and Voices, and organization that helps parents figure out the best way to raise their child with hearing loss.

APEX Fellowships offer structure and mentored support to students engaged in unpaid summer internships or vocational exploration programs. The fellowships include funding of up to $3,100, a learning contract, regular structured reflection, a final reflective assignment and evaluation, on-campus reporting, and ongoing staff support. The competitive awards are open to all students, no matter their major, beginning the summer after their first year at Wooster.

Jack Crawley's APEX Fellowship has taken the business economics major to London and an account executive intern position with New Century Media. "I'm gaining high-level, client facing experience across the full range of corporate communication services," he said, "including issues and crisis management, and in a variety of sectors including energy, sports business, and transportation."

Michael Andes, a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major, received an Edward J. Andrew Fellowship to support his work with dentists and dental students in Kathmandu, Nepal. Rachel Dietz, a psychology and Spanish double major who is also an Andrew Fellow, is shadowing a psychologist in his clinical practice in Madrid.

Clare Carlson, an anthropology major interning with the Underscore Theatre Company in Chicago, summed up the value of her APEX Fellowship this way: "My internship offers experience in production work specific to the theatre, but also provides experience that translates to any work environment, such as project management, marketing, and team building."

The College of Wooster is America's premier college for mentored undergraduate research. By working one-on-one with a faculty adviser to conceive, organize, and complete an original research project, written work, performance or art exhibit, every Wooster student develops independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.