Internships are a chance to learn on-the-job skills and try on a career path to see if it’s right for you.

Your internship might also give you unexpected — but memorable — opportunities like holding a flamingo, setting up a Ferrari test drive, or holding the door for a movie star. We talked with students at St. Edward’s about what they learned from their internship and the impact it made on their future.

Olivia Rome

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Olivia Rome ’20, an Environmental Science and Policy major, interned with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Her primary job was to document air quality in the Midland area, where the oil and gas industry is booming.

“My internship helped me realize that I wanted to work for TCEQ, and now I work for the agency as a water investigator in Waco.”

Silvia Colunga

Dress for Success Austin

Silvia Colunga ’21, a Business Administration major, was the assistant volunteer coordinator intern at Dress for Success Austin, which provides career coaching and professional attire for disadvantaged women.

“I realized I want to continue working with nonprofits in the future and maybe even start one myself. Nonprofits have a great impact in the community, and I want to continue being a part of that change.”

Anthony Carreon

Sustainable Food Center

Marketing major Anthony Carreon ’22 was the farmers’ market development intern at the Sustainable Food Center in Austin.

“My internship gave me the opportunity to design farmers’ profiles that will be showcased on the Sustainable Food Center’s website. It was a rewarding project that has led me to apply to UX programs for graduate school.”

Alek Nybro

Catalyst Education

Marketing major Alek Nybro ’21 interns at Catalyst Education, which builds software for college STEM courses. Nybro manages the company’s social media strategy and email campaigns sent to chemistry professors across the country. “Always take initiative to do the smaller, mundane tasks that others don’t want to do. Schedule regular one-on-ones with your supervisor to ask for feedback and help, or simply to check in. That’s how you build lasting professional connections.”

Marissa Sanchez

Girls Empowerment Network

Social Work major Marissa Sanchez ’20 interned with the Girls Empowerment Network. She led groups of 3rd- through 12th-grade girls in activities to build confidence and coping skills.

“Two things I learned: the impact created by this organization, and the direct service work I was doing with the Central Texas community. I will never forget how I helped young girls find their power and use new skills to better their futures.”

Sierra Rozen

Austin Woman Magazine

Sierra Rozen ’20, a Communication major, interned at Austin Woman Magazine.

“The most valuable thing I learned was how to develop and refine my story pitches. My internship only solidified my passion for storytelling. Every time I sat down to write, I almost had to pinch myself when I realized that what I want to do for a living is so immensely rewarding.”

Giovanna DiNapoli

Texas Homeless Network

Finance major Giovanna DiNapoli ’22 is the racial equity intern at the Texas Homeless Network. She compares THN’s data with national data to determine whether the organization’s practices are perpetuating racial inequities, and she makes recommendations for how THN can serve the community equitably.

“Don’t be afraid to share your ideas. As interns, we sometimes fear sharing our thoughts due to our temporary employment status in the organization, but you are a valuable member of the team and can implement something extraordinary. Prove you are dependable through quality work, and you will find that your co-workers will support you through implementing your ideas.”

Victoria Garcia

Austin Sobering Center

Criminal justice major Victoria Garcia ’21 interned with the Austin Sobering Center, which gives publicly intoxicated people a place to sober up instead of being taken to jail or the emergency room. After her internship, she was hired as a community outreach and education specialist, and after a year she was promoted to coordinator.

“Substance misuse is a health problem, not a criminal justice issue. Placing people in jail doesn’t solve the substance misuse problem, it just places people in the system over and over and continues to add to the list of barriers that prevent recovering addicts from becoming productive members of society.” 

Jojo Kong

CVS Health 

Jojo Kong ’21, an International Business and Marketing major, completed a virtual internship for CVS Health in retail operations innovation. She was offered a full-time position in the company’s General Management Leadership Development Program after graduation.

“I learned about the importance of collaboration and proactive networking, especially at a large Fortune 500 company like CVS. I worked with colleagues across various departments to develop my summer project and connected with inspirational senior leaders to refine my career goals.”

John Walker

Austin Film Society

Communication major John Walker ’20 interned with the Austin Film Society and helped with the Texas Film Awards.

“The people at AFS — from interns to staff — were so friendly, helpful and welcoming. I saw so many movies at the AFS Cinema I can’t even count or remember them all. And I got to hold the door open for Matthew McConaughey during the White Boy Rick premiere. That was cool.”

Ella Fotinos

San Antonio Zoo

Biology major and future veterinarian Ella Fotinos ’22 interned in the bird department at the San Antonio Zoo.

“Some highlights were holding 8-day-old flamingos, making enrichment toys for marabou storks, feeding 6-foot-tall cranes, and taking sick birds to the zoo veterinarian. I also held flamingos whose neck would wrap all the way around my body, and then they’d bite the back of my neck.”

Matt Carter

Austin Police Department

Criminal Justice major Matt Carter ’22 interned with the Austin Police Department. He completed rotations with several units and interviewed the department heads to learn about their jobs.

“While I was in the Homicide Unit rotation, I assisted with serving a warrant on a suspect. I was able to see what a police department’s actions are while serving a warrant. Policing is a very difficult job that has a multitude of variables that affect each call that patrol officers respond to.”

Stella Cunningham

The Nature Conservancy

Mathematics major Stella Cunningham ’21 interned with The Nature Conservancy’s urban ecology project focused on Waller Creek in downtown Austin. She and her teammates collected data about air quality, vegetation and wildlife along the creek, which is the focus of a massive, multi-year restoration and parks development effort.

“My internship gave me hands-on field experience collecting environmental data and collaborating with the City of Austin and other organizations that used that data. I could see the powerful story data could tell and how it influenced decisions that affected our city’s environment. Because of this experience, I decided to pursue a career in data science and analytics after graduation.”

Christoph Hoermann

Ferrari of Austin

Finance major Christoph Hoermann ’22 interned with Ferrari of Austin.

“I’ll never forget the test drive event held in the West Texas town of Midland. Setting up a test-drive event for 60 people to test the Ferrari 488 Pista was both challenging and rewarding.”

Vivian Phillips

Equal Justice Center

Vivian Phillips ’20, a Spanish and Global Studies major, interned with the nonprofit law firm the Equal Justice Center. She helped people apply to renew their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, work permits.

“I’ll never forget when the DACA card of someone I worked with arrived in the mail. Getting to see someone’s DACA application be completed from start to finish made me happy for the recipient, even if I had just a small part in the process.”

Annabel Sweeney

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Economics and Finance major Annabel Sweeney ’20 interned with Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Houston over the summer. At the end of the internship she was offered a part-time job for the school year.

“If something is out of your reach, say you will complete the task, even if you have zero idea how. This shows initiative and a strong work ethic that employers love. When I put myself in this situation, I researched the task or took a LinkedIn Learning to figure it out. If I couldn’t figure it out on my own, I would find other interns or people I had met through networking at St. Edward’s to help me solve the problem.”

Jazmin Velasquez

Keep Texas Beautiful

Jazmin Velasquez ’21, a Writing and Rhetoric major, was the communications and marketing intern at Keep Texas Beautiful, which promotes environmental initiatives like litter prevention.

“The internship confirmed my interest in pursuing a career in communications and taught me valuable skills, like writing media pitches and creating contact lists, that will help me in my profession.”