Summer is an opportune time to relax, travel to a tropical destination, and soak up the sun. But for students seeking to gain experience, build their résumés, and stand out to potential employers, summertime also offers the opportunity to pursue an internship.

According to Career and Professional Development at Virginia Tech, now is the time to start planning internship experiences for next summer. Career and Professional Development is a great place to start when it comes to summer internship possibilities. Advisors at Career and Professional Development serve students by providing guidance and ample resources.

“We are available to meet with students to assist them in developing a plan to seek the kind of experience they want in a location that is attractive to them,” said Claire Childress, associate director for Career and Professional Development. “What I enjoy most about helping students find internships is hearing about what they gained when they get back from their experiences.”

Check out the different places Hokies interned this summer:

Savannah Padgett, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is a junior majoring in English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She is a diver on the varsity swim and dive team at Virginia Tech. This summer, Padgett assisted the Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise ship operator, in what they call “experience innovation” and brand development. Padgett interned with Sachs Media Group, a public affairs communication company located in Florida. The Carnival Corporation is one of Sachs’ clients.

“I've gained a broad understanding of the complexities associated with enterprise scale business development,” said Padgett, “I've also learned the importance of strong communication, personal relationships, and team work.”

Alyssa Golombik, of Fairfax, Virginia is a senior majoring in management in the Pamplin College of Business. She was interested in traveling during the summer and pursued an internship abroad.

Golombik spent her summer in Paris working for a startup company called “It functions in a similar manner to Airbnb but for camping,” said Golombik. “Campers rent outdoor space at very reasonable prices from hosts who have property suitable for camping. Because I speak French, I was responsible for all English-language media relations, translations, and social media.”

The Pamplin College of Business led Golombik to discover this internship. Students are encouraged to speak with advisors in their department to learn about internship opportunities.

Nicole Orosa, of Potomac Falls, Virginia, is a senior majoring in public relations in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. As a golf enthusiast, Orosa was ecstatic when she was selected to be a junior golf intern for the Middle Atlantic PGA section, located in Stafford, Virginia. She was recommended for the internship by the Virginia Tech men’s golf team coach, Jay Hardwick. She is a member of the Sports Business Club at Virginia Tech and is appreciative of the university’s role in discovering the internship.

“All students should try to have at least one internship under their belt before they enter the workforce,” said Orosa. “The opportunity to meet someone who could help you down the road is invaluable.” Orosa hopes to work in an administrative role for a Washington, D.C., professional sports team such as the Nationals or the Capitals.

Gabe Cohen, of Atlanta, Georgia, is a senior majoring in mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering. He is a member of the Division of Student Affairs Student Communication Advisory Board and this year starts a new role as undergraduate representative to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. Cohen didn’t sit behind a desk this summer. He worked with the 777 large commercial airplanes as an intern for Boeing in Seattle, Washington.

“My passion is learning,” said Cohen. “I love to figure out how and why things work.” At Boeing, Cohen worked as a quality engineer in the design and manufacturing of the aircraft.

Cohen has always wanted the opportunity to work for a Fortune 500 company, and it all started at Virginia Tech. During his sophomore year, Cohen attended the Business Horizons Career Fair, hosted by the Pamplin College of Business. He met representatives from Boeing and landed an internship for the summer, which led to another opportunity this summer.

Last year, 977 students seeking experience came to Career and Professional Development to have one-on-one appointments with advisors. While students can seek out internships on their own, Career and Professional Development can point students to resources as well.

“The impact of experiential learning on future success is clear. We have ample data to show that these opportunities develop competencies and capacities, strengthen confidence, create connections, and open doors,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Patty Perillo. “Each experience is valuable, and it is our hope that the opportunities we provide with and for our students help them realize the profound potential for learning in everything they do.”

A recent Gallup survey of Virginia Tech alumni found that hands-on experience is associated with higher levels of engagement at work later in life. The Gallup data showed that Virginia Tech graduates outpace the national average when it comes to thriving at work, having great careers, and leading meaningful lives. Results also indicate that Virginia Tech alumni flourish in all five elements of well-being, outpacing the national average and peer institutions.

Students interested in pursuing an internship are encouraged to stop by Career and Professional Development, located in the Smith Career Center on the corner of Washington Street and West Campus Drive, and visit their website for more information.

Written by Hayley Paljug, of Radford, Virginia, a senior majoring in public relations in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.