Consider Hilldale for your next summer internship
Imagine an empty union, no classes, and replacing your dining-hall diet of tater tots and grilled cheese for eggs — college-budget eggs. For myself and about 30 other students who worked at the college over the summer, this was our life. While it was a far cry from the typical Hillsdale College experience, staying on campus this summer was a trying, but fruitful, experience and I am grateful to have stayed.
This summer I was a legal research intern for General Counsel Bob Norton. I spent more hours than I thought possible poring through legal briefs, reports, statistics, and Spotify playlists. Thankfully, I did not have to work in an office and could read a 250-page report and blast Olivia Rodrigo in the glorious sun by the chapel or in the ghost town of the Grewcock Student Union.
The weekdays were monotonous: wake up, work, work out, hangout with some friends, sleep, repeat. Occasionally, kayaking at Baw Beese provided an exciting afternoon adventure. On Thursdays, about 20 other student interns and I participated in a Hillsdale Summer Fellowship Program, which included lunch, a lecture from a faculty member, and a community-involvement activity. The purpose of the program was to help students know the importance of a local community.
We visited farms, toured downtown Hillsdale, and attended a city council meeting. While the days could be tiring, having the opportunity to spend time with other student workers was incredibly fun and provided a nice break from lonesome work. To make it even better, program members receive free housing. You also learn that the building that contains the Hillsdale Brewing Company used to be a brothel in the 1800s.
I could tell you that I loved every second of working for the college — but the summer, both in and out of work, was difficult, often felt like a waste of time, and was sometimes lonely. Friends were living their best lives in big cities, working for organizations that seemed a lot more exciting than where I was. The part I love about Hillsdale — the energetic community — was missing.
Being without a large community helped me discover strengths and weaknesses that I never knew I had. Sometimes being around others brings out good, but only temporarily. Bringing others into your struggles is necessary, but being apart from others reveals what you value most.
If you’re looking to get to know the Dale better, maybe a Hillsdale summer is for you. You’ll be able to invest in the mission of the college and have the opportunity to discover parts of your character you had no idea existed. But if you know that small towns, lazy days, and Kroger eggs just aren’t for you, stay far away.
John Paul Schlueter is a junior studying Politics and Classical Education.
Spend a summer with Hillsdle in Washington, D.C.
If you had told me a year ago that my neighbors this summer would be Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul, I wouldn’t have believed you. But after living in Washington, D.C., for a summer internship, the talking heads I’d seen on television my whole life were suddenly right in front of me.
Upon accepting a journalism internship in the city, I signed my lease to live in the Hillsdale townhouse and packed my things. Quickly, the random roommates from Hillsdale I was assigned to live with became some of my closest friends.
The Hillsdale townhouse was a hidden gem that I didn’t even know about until this summer. Nestled right in the colorful array of Capitol Hill townhomes, it’s an easy walk to Union Station and the National Mall — which made my morning coffee runs exciting.
It’s also a block away from Hillsdale’s Kirby Center, where I attended events with D.C. professors and summer barbecues, and gave me an opportunity to work the front desk on weekends. Being on main campus, I sometimes forget there is a whole Hillsdale world in D.C., and it is enriching to see all the work they are doing on the ground there — from publishing books to teaching grad classes to helping students adjust to D.C.
Because I tend to think of Hillsdale as its own planet in a small town in Michigan, I was shocked by the number of people who recognized our school. Often when I told someone I was from Hillsdale there was an instant flash of recognition in their eyes; they’ve either seen the Kirby Center in action, know one of the students interning around the city, or have met the many alumni who live in the area.
A built-in community to call home allowed me to quickly adjust to the demands of a D.C. internship and the networking that goes along with it. Social events in the city helped me grow professionally and meet peers from across the country and the world. But one has to be careful in deciphering if someone really is interested in you as a person or just wants to use you as their connection — the best description I ever heard of the city is that it is an in-person LinkedIn.
While I enjoyed entering the professional sphere and the politics with my internship, I am grateful that I did so in the comfort of the Hillsdale bubble. My apartment in the Hillsdale house — full of women from all three sororities and various athletic teams — was a community of its own. And while I’ll miss waving to Bernie on my way to work, I’m lucky to return to main campus this year with a renewed appreciation for Hillsdale beyond its Michigan roots.
Maggie Hroncich is a junior Politics and Journalism. She is the City News Editor for the Collegian.