Summers Well Spent

By Marlee Talbot '19
  • First semester is well underway, which means summer is over.
  • There are so many different ways to spend the four months of freedom that summer provides.
  • But, no matter how we spend the summer, it’s always good to be back home in East Lansing.

Some people work or take classes, and some just relax in the sun. Others study abroad or travel, while some stay at home. These past four months had Spartan students scattered across the world, doing everything imaginable.

There is no standard for summer plans, but here’s what a handful of Spartan students got up to this summer.

Junior Shwan Shadaia, a kinesiology major from Rochester Hills, Michigan, spent his summer here in East Lansing, both working and working out. Aside from his job with an events tents company, Shadaia is on the MSU Wrestling Team and trained as much as he could over the summer. He wanted to prove to himself that he can become an NCAA qualifier and All-American this year.

This summer Shadaia also learned a valuable lesson. He said he found that, “Your performance is directly affected by your preparation. If you don't invest time into something, you can't expect to accomplish much.”

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Shadaia in his wrestling uniform. (Photo courtesy of Shwan Shadaia)

Meanwhile, far from East Lansing, Jiyun Kim was taking classes. 

A junior in supply chain management from Rochester Hills, Michigan, Kim spent her summer working on her Spanish minor in Valenica, Spain. Never having traveled to Europe before, Kim was excited about the opportunity that this MSU Study Abroad program provided. Her favorite memories of her time abroad are those she made traveling with friends on the weekends.

 “Traveling to Europe and specifically Spain has been an experience I could never obtain somewhere else,” Kim said about her time there and her MSU Study Abroad program.

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Kim on a weekend trip to Barcelona, Spain. (Photo courtesy of Jiyun Kim)

Others look for work experience over the summer, in order to support and explore their future careers.

Senior applied engineering sciences major Patrick Donovan, from Ada, Michigan, did just that. He spent his summer in Southern California, interning for Amway. As a manufacturing engineer, he focused on decreasing changeover times to increase the efficiency of the plant. This was Donovan’s second summer in the position, after finding the opportunity as a sophomore at an MSU career fair. 

“I knew it would be good experience working for such a great company,” Donovan said. “The fact that I got to live in California for two summers and see so many new things was just a bonus!”

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While he wasn't working, Donovan was enjoying the Southern California lifestyle. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Donovan)

Maddie Briggs, a junior interior design major from right here in East Lansing, took an internship even further from home this summer.

Briggs spent the summer in Vietnam, interning for DKO Architecture. She helped the company with projects involving all aspects of the interior design industry, which excited Briggs. “I was getting real industry experience, and enjoying a new country and culture at the same time,” Briggs explained.

Through her time at DKO Architecture, Briggs learned the importance of working together to tackle problems and meet deadlines. This is a lesson that is sure to carry her far in her future career.

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Briggs got to pick granite countertops for a project. (Photo courtesy of Maddie Briggs)

With so many amazing ways to spend the summer, it’s always hard to see it end. All of these students were pleased to be returning to MSU this fall though. Kim and Donovan are both looking forward to tailgating and Spartan football. Shadaia agrees and says he’s also excited to “start preseason training.” Then, Griggs voiced how we all feel about returning to MSU when she said, “I am most looking forward to new opportunities, and spending time with some of the people I love most.”

So welcome home, Spartans! I hope you all spent your summers well.

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