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Summer
Summer interns in Wash­ington, D.C. | Courtesy Maggie Hroncich

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.