Four UMD students described how summer classes are helping them achieve a timely graduation.
Engage in Online Courses
Jessica Garvin, a current UMD junior and marketing major, has taken online courses for two summers. She took a human nutrition class in 2011 and History and Systems of Psychology in 2012 to earn extra credits towards her psychology minor. Garvin wanted to get ahead so she would only need to take 12 credits during fall and spring semester. That wasn’t the only upside to summer classes. “Summer classes are a lot easier to get into," she said. "Also, it’s a GPA booster. Being able to focus on just one class got me an 'A'. During the regular school year, getting that grade would’ve been a lot harder,” she stated.
Get Requirements Out of the Way
Last summer, April Rollins, another UMD junior, took General Chemistry I and II, both classes with lecture and lab components. As a cell and molecular biology major and a chemistry minor, Rollins took these two classes to get ahead on her prerequisites so she would have less stress her senior year. “I found out about summer courses through the UMD website and by using Grad Planner,” said Rollins. "I really liked the smaller class sizes." She said the campus was quiet for studying, parking was a lot easier to find, and students took the summer classes more seriously. She recommends summer courses but only to students who make the time commitment and keep up with the workload. “I was working full time on top of my summer classes. It was definitely stressful at times," she said. "I think working, attending classes every day, and scheduling my time to keep up with homework, was the key to my success, especially for those summer courses.”
Interships to Boost Career Experience
Peter Ryan, a senior communication major at UMD, did a summer internship at KUMD-FM, UMD's radio station, in 2012. Ryan did marketing and promotions work for KUMD. "We called ourselves The Street Team," he said. He was responsible for the station’s social media presence which included managing their Facebook and Twitter accounts. His Facebook posts often spiked views by 300 percent. "I worked on promoting local music events and drawing in listeners for The Basement," he said. The Basement airs after 9 p.m. every night. All the D.J.s are students and all of the programming is chosen by students. Ryan created posts to advertise events, giveaways and programs. Ryan, who wants to pursue a career in social media, said the internship was valuable. “The best part about the internship was learning how to sell the idea of being a KUMD listener and meeting a ton of new people. ”
Get Internship Credits While Working in a Larger Market
Last summer, communication major, journalism and philosophy minor, Angie Kneer worked with Minneapolis radio station KDWB as a promotional assistant. The internship credits counted towards her communication major. She had the opportunity to promote the station at concerts and events. She put up posters and flyers and ran the prize give-aways. Back at the station she contacted listeners. Kneer, who is now a junior, said, “It was nice to get credits, but the best part of the internship was the great experience I had in the working world.” Both her internship and her part-time job were flexible, so it was easy for Kneer to balance the two. “Doing a summer internship was really easy," she said. She will be working as an intern at KDWB again in summer 2013. “I recommend taking summer classes. Just do it! Take advantage of the time you have," Kneer said. "Whether it’s a class or an internship, it’s a benefit.”