Posted September 25, 2015 by
Tags: Internship The Liberal Arts Spiritual Life My Wheaton Global and Experiential Learning
Over the summer I spent two months in Germany with Wheaton in Germany, an immersive history, culture, and language program. In late June we began the internship portion of the program, working at the Berlin City Mission, an evangelical organization with functions ranging from neighborhood childcare to a youth hostel.
Along with several others, I worked at the refugee reception center, a temporary structure built to serve the overwhelming numbers of Syrian and Albanian refugees flooding into Berlin. The building housed around 500 people while helping them apply for asylum, learn German, and resettle in government housing. From the moment the refugees arrive--exhausted, tense, and with almost nothing but the clothes on their backs--they are welcomed and treated kindly and respectfully. I worked an evening shift in the kitchen, spending the rest of my days exploring the city’s museums and cafes.
As I became friends with the Syrian children and their families, I began to spend more of my free time at the center, playing soccer, giving the children much needed affection and attention, teaching basic German to the adults, and relaxing outside late into the evening as the family that “adopted” me discussed politics. One evening towards the end of my internship, I became part of the reception process first-hand.
It was already about 11 p.m., and I was sitting with my adopted Syrian family listening to them talk about Middle Eastern politics and cuddling with the children. Suddenly my friend Amr, an Egyptian Coptic Christian who works at the center, asked me to come with him. A new Syrian family had just arrived and they needed to apply for asylum at the nearby police station before they could stay at the reception center. Amr could speak with the family but he needed me to translate into German. I felt adrenaline rush through me as I realized that for the first time, something important depended on my familiarity with my second language.
My heart went out to the family who had traveled for multiple days with their whole life contained in two bags. Their two young daughters were visibly exhausted, and although the parents were wonderfully patient, it was clear they were also fatigued. We took them to the police station and, working together, Amr and I filled out the necessary paperwork for them. Unfortunately, the family had to wait at the police station for five hours while the papers were processed. It was uncomfortable there, so we returned to the center to retrieve food and blankets for the family. It was a small gesture but their gratitude was evident, and I hope they felt a warmer welcome into their new country than the police station offered. I was joyful to be in the right place at the right time and grateful I worked at a center that allowed me such experiences.
Clementine Kane ’18 is a sophomore studying art history with a minor in German who participated in Wheaton in Germany. Photo Captions: Clementine and Tim Wruck ’17 working at a summer festival hosted by Berlin City Mission; two refugee children at Berlin City Mission; the refugee center at Berlin City Mission.
“Who would you rather be: Batman or Robin, and why?”
When the interviewer asked, I answered quickly. I was prepared for a question like this.
"Batman," I said, “Because he has the opportunity to influence more people."
After a brief discussion, another question came:
“Which is more important: maintaining the team, or achieving the goal?”
This was more complicated, so I thought carefully before responding.
"I think it's important to strike a balance," I said, and continued on with support for my position.
These, and many other questions, were part of a series of three interviews I went through before receiving an offer for an internship with the San Diego Padres this summer. I first learned about the internship online, and wasn’t sure if I realistically had a chance at it. This was my home team, the one that I had grown up watching. I figured it was worth a shot, and filled out the online application.
A little over a month later, my interviews began, and at that point I was very thankful for all the wisdom and guidance I had received from my business and economics professors and the staff at Wheaton’s Center for Vocation and Career. Here are three things I learned during my MLB interview process:
On the first day of my internship, I was so nervous I arrived a half hour early just to make sure I was there on time. Thankfully, once I met my boss and the other members of the department, I realized I had nothing to be nervous about. One of the things I appreciated most about my internship with the Padres was that my boss explained the reason for each of my projects. For example, my first project included organizing all of the invoices for the Guest Services department. Before giving me the invoices, my boss explained that you can learn a lot about an organization by looking at what they spend their money on. This project gave me the opportunity to learn what was important to the Padres’ Guest Services department.
Wheaton is a special place full of people who want to help you succeed—from professors to coaches to the Center for Vocation and Career staff. I am so grateful for the unique opportunity to combine my love of baseball and my hometown with a professional work setting. This one of a kind opportunity truly embodies my Wheaton experience.
Lyndsey Pritchard ’16 is a senior studying business/economics. What is your #MyWheaton internship experience? Share with us on social media using the hashtag #MyWheaton, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story. Photo captions (from top): Lyndsey with fellow summer 2015 interns; A snapshot from the San Diego Padres' home stadium.
Q: How did Wheaton equip you for this internship?
A: The Wheaton community is full of people who will push you to become the best version of who the Lord has made you to be. Professors, Center for Vocation and Career advisers, and various directors have all done this for me in some capacity. They support your God-given passions and desires and point you to avenues that help develop them. Classes and involvement in student groups have engendered in me a work ethic that is nothing but beneficial outside of the Wheaton campus. Hard work, though it may not have become any easier, has become much more expected and manageable. Also, the spiritual growth that happens beyond the classroom at Wheaton has deepened a love for and trust in God and his calling for my life.
Q: What have been some of your "favorite moments" during your internship?
A: My most favorite moment from my internship took place one night when my supervisor invited our staff team to his family’s home for dinner. We spent the evening sharing good food, telling stories, worshiping through song and relaxing together. It was a beautiful community moment filled with genuine care for each other. It was a moment that made me confident that there was a great purpose for this summer. My second favorite moment happened at the first of our Young Adult ministry gatherings. Being able to come together with people in a similar place in life and worship together is exciting. It was an evening that was the beginning of something beautiful. My last favorite memory entails all of small the conversations that I’ve had with people in my department. These men and women have spoken some profound truths into my life and taken the time to tackle the difficult things with me. The Lord has blessed them with unmatched drive and passion and I am so grateful to glean from it.
Q: What are three things that you’ve learned during your internship this summer?
Photo captions (from top): (Stage): This is what a typical rehearsal looks like. Leading worship is not only something that I truly believe is a calling on my life, but it is an avenue in which the Lord gives me the most joy. (Behind camera) This summer I have been learning so much about the production side of creative ministry. What you may see on any given Sunday morning has hours and hours of prep behind it. (Group selfie) This is my team! I have had the privilege of working with some of the most innovative, God-fearing people I know. What I have learned from them are things that I will take with me as I go further into this ministry and beyond.
Charlotte Hallstrom '16 is a senior Communication and Biblical and Theological Studies major who interned at Harvest Bible Chapel this summer. Share your summer internship experiences using the hashtag #MyWheaton.
During my time at HoneyRock, while taking a philosophy class with Dr. Fletcher, I learned to fully immerse myself in my community. In two short weeks, I learned a lot of things—here are three of them:
Katie Mann ’18 is a sophomore applied health science major who participated in Wheaton in the Northwoods, a summer study program at HoneyRock: Wheaton College’s Center for Outdoor Leadership Development. Share your summer Wheaton experiences using the hashtag #MyWheaton.
I remember what it was like, sitting in that classroom on Wheaton College’s campus in May with the 43 unfamiliar faces I'd be spending six weeks abroad with. Six weeks traveling across Israel, Greece, Turkey, and Italy. The air of mixed excitement and uncertainty was prominent, as Dr. Chris Vlachos stood at the front of the room giving a pre-trip lecture on the climactic moment of Jesus' ministry when He looked upon His disciples and asked:
But who do you say that I am?
Then the waves were crashing along the shoreline at Caesarea Philippi. The air was warm and the sun bright. We sat upon the rocks and the passage was read once more. The 43 faces around me were more familiar now—somehow the late hours together and sweat from a blazing Israeli sun cultivated a kind of friendship that couldn't be bought. And being there with them, the question seemed to ring louder, as if it were being asked not of the disciples but of us. In a world that denies, twists, and confuses His identity,
Who do you say that I am?
It was not asked of a single person, but to the whole of the group; an open question in need of response. I imagine them looking around at one another, letting the words hang uncertainly in the air. Perhaps the answer was what all of them were thinking. Perhaps it had not yet occurred to some of them. But it was Simon Peter who stepped forward with the bold reply:
You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
It was the last event of our last day: the Scavi tour underneath St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Those 43 were no longer simply faces but beautiful souls with whom I'd experienced the journey of a lifetime. We went below, 12 at a time, to a small room containing an even smaller box that held the purple-stained bones of an elderly man who died in the first century, the bones more likely than not of Peter: the first person to openly declare Jesus as the Christ. The passage from Matthew 16 was read once more, closing the six-week long circle. Wheaton to Israel to Rome, the lingering question remains. In our speech, in our actions, in our lives;
Jillian Hedges ’17 is a Communication (Media Studies) major who traveled abroad with Wheaton in the Holy Lands this summer. Photo captions (from top): He is the Christ, the son of the living God (Enxi '17, Daniela '17, Abby '17, Jillian '17, and Caitlyn '17 in Caesarea Philippi, Israel); His provision abounds like a stream in the desert (Arad, Israel); Lifting up our voices in the most incredible places (Abby '17, Casey '17, Peter '17 and J.R. '16 in Metora, Greece); Finding peace where there should be none (Judean Wilderness, Israel). Photos by Dan Chung ’17. Tell us about your summer experiences abroad using the hashtag #MyWheaton.