Summer brings opportunities to K-State students

Chandler Riley | Collegian Lisa Collins, senior in marketing, had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy for five weeks this summer.

Summer plans can begin as soon as spring semester ends. For many K-State students this means taking a leap of faith and venturing out of their own comfort zone, especially when it comes to traveling.

K-State offers numerous opportunities that can help lead students to the perfect internship, study abroad program or summer job. For three K-State students, these opportunities helped open new doors to experiences and personal growth.

“The summer project that I was given was really challenging,” Jake Ilten, junior in finance and accounting, said. “I had no idea if I would be able to finish it or not, and I actually did not get the opportunity to do so due to some of the challenges.”

Ilten spent the summer interning for ConocoPhillips in Bartlesville, Okla., where he worked on pricing and volume accounting projects for oil, gas and water in facilities located in Canada.

“What I did learn from it was amazing,” Ilten said. “It really made me use innovation and think outside the box. It wasn’t concrete work like school work had been.”

Craig Wiebe, senior in wildlife and outdoor management, spent the summer working for the National Outdoor Leadership School, N.O.L.S., as the transportation manager in Palmer, Ark. Wiebe spent most of the summer scheduling bus routes for students and checking out equipment for them whether they went ice climbing, hiking or sea kayaking. Even though his job may seem boring to some, Wiebe said he made lasting memories.

“It was a lot of fun,” Wiebe said. “One of the guys that did operations at N.O.L.S. showed up one day with his rifle and backpack and set his backpack on the ground and pulled out a huge grizzly bear skin laid out with full claws and teeth.”

While some students found internships and jobs within the states like Ilten and Wiebe, others took a plunge and decided to take positions abroad.

Lisa Collins, senior in marketing, was one of those students.

“I always wanted to go abroad,” Collins said. “It seemed like an opportune time.”

Collins spent the summer studying in Paderno del Grappa, Italy. She was studying global economics and intercultural communications, but had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe to Spain, France and Greece.

“I was scared I wasn’t going to make any friends,” Collins said. “Adjusting to the language was one of the struggles I faced going from country to country.”

As for every student who travels abroad, unforeseen challenges plagued Collins. One such challenge occurred when she missed a bus stop in Venice on her last night in Italy. Collins said she had to drag her suitcase in 90 degree weather to get to another stop.

“Everyone was really hospitable,” Collins said. “Italy had amazing food. Greece was the most welcoming. But Barcelona was my favorite stop. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.”