Accessibility Tools (CTRL+U)
Hide the tools

After hiding the tool, if you would like to re-enable it, just press CTRL+U to open this window. Or, move your cursor near the tool to display it.

Currently Reading:

PLU Students thrive in internships through pandemic

PLU Students thrive in internships through pandemic

Posted by:
August 14, 2020
By Rosemary Bennett '21
Marketing & Communications

Across the world, we've seen a change in our daily routines as we seek to socially distance and help flatten the curve of the current pandemic. Nearly every part of daily life has been affected from how we learn, to how we work.

What does this mean for college students preparing for a professional life that is growing more and more uncertain as case numbers rise?

Internships across the country fell to COVID-19 along with the professional development experience that they offer. Luckily, for current students, Brennan LaBrie ’21 and Armanda Dupont ’21, not even the pandemic could stop them from growing their skills in preparation for their graduation in May. 

LaBrie is continuing his work in Port Townsend with the local paper The Leader. He began the job with an internship in summer 2019 and returned this summer with a promotion, as a part-time reporter and photographer. 

Comparing this year to his previous work with the paper, LaBrie said, “It’s interesting to see what it’s like in journalism right now because we’re trying to make sense of this new way of life just like everyone else. But at the same time, we’re the ones in charge of documenting it.” 

LaBrie is building valuable skills, learning to find stories in unique places, writing, and practicing his photography skills.

“I’ve had two of my photographs on the front page this summer,” said Labrie. “Luciano Marano, who is the senior reporter at The Leader, has been an excellent mentor to my photography, and I’m learning a lot about how to get a compelling shot.” 

“I really do love journalism. I love the art of telling stories and making it something you want to read, instead of just a list of facts. Plus, it’s pretty cool to see my work published,” LaBrie said. “I’m not sure where my career will lead me, but I know I’m developing the skills in writing and communication that will help me no matter where I go.” 

LaBrie hopes to continue working in journalism or public relations after graduation in May.  

Meanwhile, Armanda Dupont is honing her skills in a different area of communications, working in internal communications for McKinstry, a construction engineering company in Seattle. 

“It was nerve-wracking in the beginning, especially because my internship is entirely remote, but my boss and my team members have made it a very comfortable place for me to learn and challenge myself. I really have gotten so much more confident, practicing these skills I learned in school in a real professional environment,” Dupont said. 

Dupont is working with McKinstry full-time from home, building skills in writing, web design, video editing, organizational communications, and promotion.

“I’m very thankful for this work,” Dupont said. “I feel like I’m doing something valuable with my summer. It’s been so nice to use this time to grow my skills. I’ve gotten great hands-on skills, keeping communication going through something as dramatic as the pandemic.”

These students are working hard to ensure that even a global pandemic will not slow their professional development. Thanks to the help of the excellent mentorship they are receiving as part of their summer work, and their determination to stay ahead, the pandemic has become an opportunity to put the skills they learn at PLU to the test in a real working environment.