Summers Well Spent

September 20, 2017
  • 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. The Summer of '17 saw Spartan students scattered across the world, doing everything imaginable. I spoke with a few of them, and here is what they had to tell me about their summers well spent.

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Shwan Shadaia

Shwan Shadaia

Junior Shwan Shadaia, a kinesiology major from Rochester Hills, Michigan, spent his summer in East Lansing, both working and working out. Aside from his job with an event 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 told me he also learned a valuable lesson: “Your performance is directly affected by your preparation. If you don't invest time into something, you can't expect to accomplish much.”

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. She said that 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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Jiyun Kim

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 Michigan-based Amway. As a manufacturing engineer, Donovan focused on decreasing changeover times to increase the efficiency of the plant.

This was his second summer in the position, after finding the opportunity as a sophomore at an career fair held by Student Affairs and Service's Career Services Network.

“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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Patrick Donovan

Patrick Donovan

Maddie Briggs, a junior interior design major from East Lansing, took an internship even farther from home this summer: She spent her summer in Vietnam.

Interning for DKO Architecture, Briggs told me she helped the company with projects involving all aspects of the interior design industry, which was exciting.

“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, she learned the importance of working together with colleagues 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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Maddie Briggs (on left)

Maddie Briggs (on left)

With so many amazing ways to spend the summer, it’s always hard to see it end. But each of these students said they were pleased to be among the thousands returning to MSU this fall. Kim and Donovan said they were both looking forward to tailgating and Spartan football. Shadaia agreed, adding that he was also excited to start preseason training.

Then Briggs 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.” I couldn't agree more!

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

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