Working 9 to 5: Juniors reflect on May internships


Photo courtesy of Emily Ownby.

During the week of May 15th to May 19th, the juniors embarked onto the annual internships week. Organizations such as Mother’s Milk Bank, Intel, and Planned Parenthood participated in providing an opportunity for students to gain experience in the workplace respective to their ARS pathways. Students had days during the spring semester to practice dressing for success, where they wore business outfits and learning about introducing themselves professionally. The students also had mock interviews to prepare for their real ones. Each student was places in one of their top 3 business choices for internship week. Here are the reflections of a student from each pathway.


Photo courtesy of Sarahi Villalobos.

Biomedical – Farrell & Pak

We live in a world controlled by attorneys. This is something I did not realize until I interned at a law firm for a week. For my junior internship, I got the opportunity to intern for Farrell & Pak, an elder law firm in Austin. There are four attorneys and two paralegals that keep the place intact. My partner, Isabella Aguilar, and I mainly worked alongside the attorneys who were Clyde Farrell, Greg Johnson, Bliss Pak, and Meredith Sullivan. Initially, I was extremely intimidated by having to work with adults with law degrees who hold a lot of responsibility and power in our community. Despite their reputation they are the most down to earth people I have ever met. Isa and I both have a strong passion for social justice, which is what the attorneys at Farrell & Pak are dedicated to. Throughout our internship we were either working on our research project, which was presented to us by Greg on Monday. He asked us to research whether or not they had to implement and follow federal HIPAA laws at the firm and if they are complying with all three standards—administrative, physical, and technological—set forth by the Security Rule from 2000. We compiled all the information into a 6 page legal memo and presented it in front of all the attorneys and two women from the Ann Richards Foundation on Friday. The legal memo is an analysis written by attorneys to answer a specific question asked by another attorney or their client. The research took us about 12 hours, by Friday I knew so much about HIPAA I was getting ready for the department of health and human services to call me and offer me a job. Aside from the research, we visited another firm and got to observe two guardianship cases. Both cases allowed us to observe the rules we learned at both firms in action, our brains put two and two together. Overall this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and the people we met throughout the internship will be our lifelong friends. One thing that will stick with me until the day that I die are the words of wisdom that Clyde gave us on our last day at the firm, “Do what you love, the money will follow.”


-Sarahi Villalobos


Photo courtesy of Dana Nichols.

Engineering – Tasktop


In the past week, which I spent at Tasktop (an integration-based software company founded in Vancouver), I’ve learned a lot about the value of various positions within in a tech business. When thinking about what’s needed to have a successful company focused on computer science, it’s pretty easy to solely imagine a dozen or so engineering sitting at desks, silently typing away at their laptops and writing code. While this may be the case within some departments of the company, there’s much more that goes into marketing and selling a software product, which is when my internship comes in.

I spent my internship working in the marketing department for Tasktop, helping create graphics for their Youtube channel and email headers, as well as writing for their blog and formatting emails. This wasn’t a standard engineering internship, and I am actually quite thankful for that.

On the second day of our internship (Tuesday), Esperanza and I went with the VP of Product Management to her daughter’s 4th grade career day at Casis Elementary. In our time there, we learned and saw for ourselves how advanced some students already were at such a young age in the field of computer science – some of them spouting out the names of coding styles we weren’t even familiar with. The exposure to this information, especially in the growing technology industry, from elementary school and onward is meant to help create a stronger group of scientists and engineers than the world’s ever had before.


-Dana Nichols


Photo courtesy of Emily Ownby.

Media Technology- KLRU


When I saw that I had landed my first-choice internship site, I was thrilled. KLRU is so well known and locally received, I thought an internship there would be an awesome addition to my resume. I knew going in that it was going to be video journalism based, two skills which I was fairly confident in. I was looking forward to being able to spend the week with people who love sharing stories and making videos.

Our assignment was to create a short video to be featured on the KLRU Decibel Facebook page about a news or event we would like to cover. We were also challenged to brainstorm social media posts that would be posted on the Decibel Facebook page about our process.

We decided to feature ARS’ BYOD policy, talking about the role of technology in the classroom. While we worked on production, we also developed various posts to feature on Facebook to preview our story.

Being in production with these professionals was really eye-opening. They know exactly what choices to make and how to make them quickly. I learned a lot about social media outreach for content promotion, intuitive editing, and professionalism. Working in a professional environment was fantastic; everyone there is so dedicated to their work.

The highlight of my week was Friday afternoon, following our presentation to Ms. Goka. Alexis and I were invited to sit in the control room during the live taping of KLRU’s program Overheard Tapes with Evan Smith. It was a really cool look into the behind the scenes of a show that I was familiar with.
This week of interning was such a great learning experience. I built creative problem solving, communication, and collaboration skills while creating something I am proud of. It was a wonderful way to finish my Junior year.


-Emily Ownby