• Summer internships prepare Baylor students for their next career steps

    Alyssa Beck, Bryce McWhirter and Blake Kidder

    In a competitive job market, getting hired often comes down to who you know. Summer internships are a great way to get a leg up in that arena, while also getting valuable experience even before graduation.

    With the support of professors and campus organizations, Baylor students are serving in a wide variety of internships this summer, all across the country. We tracked down three who were able to spare a few moments from their busy schedules to share what they’re gaining from their experiences this summer, and how Baylor helped them get there:

    Alyssa Beck, a senior management and international business major from Ohio, is spending the summer in Dallas a recruiting and sales intern for Apex Systems, a technology services business.

    What do you hope to get out of your time at Apex this summer? I hope to gain valuable experience in the recruiting world as well as make connections with the people I’ll interact with!

    What brought you to BU? Being from Ohio, I wanted a change of scenery as well as a university with a strong business school. Once I found Baylor and learned more information, I knew this is where I wanted to be. I began my journey at Baylor in the Fall of 2020 during COVID. I quickly joined a business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, where I found some amazing friends. I will graduate in May of 2023 as a management and international business double major with a French minor.

    Was there someone who had significant impact on finding this internship? Jason Nacario, President of Alpha Kappa Psi, referred me to this opportunity directly, so he receives all the credit for setting me up for this position. I can’t express how grateful I am for finding AKPsi through the business school at Baylor and how much it has helped me grow professionally and personally.

    Bryce McWhirter, a computer science major from Texas, is an e-commerce product manager intern at Walmart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., this summer.

    Why BU? I come from a Baylor family, so I knew I wanted to go there when I was young. I am proud of this choice because Baylor has shaped me into the leader I am through the academic and social experience. It was because of Baylor that I was able to land this internship with Walmart.

    What are some of your internship responsibilities? I have been tasked with remodel execution and defining the term “store of the future” for Walmart.

    What parts of your time at BU have prepared you for this internships? Baylor prepared me for this role by providing a tough degree program in computer science. It also prepared me through the opportunities I have had in various student organizations. My experience in BYX and volunteering with Baylor social media allowed me to learn core business principles that I utilize today.

    Blake Kidder, a junior Science Research Fellow from Nebraska, is a visiting scholar in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

    So what is SURP? This is a 10-week program that pairs interns with a research mentor. Interns complete a research project, have access to shadowing, and present findings in a poster session. I am working with the MD/PhD department, and my mentor is Dr. Nicole Shonka from the Division of Oncology and Hematology. I am researching under her collaborator, Dr. Raghupathy Vengoji. We are exploring the expression of various proteins in human glioma cancer cells. I am extremely blessed for this opportunity, and I am excited to see what our findings conclude.

    Why Baylor? Baylor University is an institution with unmatched opportunities. From stellar academics to top-notch athletics, BU has it all. In high school, Baylor’s well-rounded campus atmosphere drove me to explore it as a potential option for my undergraduate education. Two tours later, I was hooked.  My first year at Baylor has been nothing short of a blessing. The people at Baylor are truly what sets it apart. There is an overwhelming sense of community, facilitated by students and faculty alike. I have made lifelong friends through Baylor Wake, Alpha Epsilon Delta, and the freshman dorms.

    How did BU prepare you for your role this summer? Baylor’s Science Research Fellows major, directed by Dr. Rizalia Klausmeyer, greatly enabled me to succeed in SURP. In class, Science Fellows spend the first semester aligning their interests with a lab on Baylor’s campus. I joined Dr. Koutakis’ Clinical Muscle Biology lab where I began training. I am still fairly new to the realm of researching, but I have already learned so much! In addition, the genetics lab course, taught by Dr. Elizabeth Pitts, exposed me to several techniques that I am using in my internship this summer! I am very thankful to have such supportive faculty at Baylor. They truly make a difference in the lives of students.

    Sic ’em, Baylor summer interns!

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