Alumnus Lauren Sell Shares Washington, D.C. ExperiencesOct. 3, 2012
After receiving her Bachelor's degree in May 2012, Lauren Sell participated in LCU Washington, the D.C. based internship program provided by Lubbock Christian University. The program, directed by Dr. Stacy Patty, is a recent addition to the opportunities available to LCU students.
Sell, like many students, did not realize her path in life until after having attended LCU for several years. Formerly an education major, Sell had already begun her methods block when she realized that her true passion was to become a manager of a successful restaurant. Close to graduation, she decided to change her major to humanities, and she claims that it was one of the best decisions of her life.
The former LCU student senate president discovered LCU Washington when searching the school catalog for a needed upper level class to complete her credits. In her search, she saw that the program could substitute for various classes. After discussing it with her advisor and Dr. Patty, she found out that it would not work in her case.
"They were very helpful in providing information and working with me. Even after finding out that it wouldn't count, we all agreed it would still be a great experience," Sell said. "I always wanted to do an internship in college and the timing could not have been better."
Sell went on to discuss her preparation.
"I prepared more in getting used to the environment, like reading tourist books and maps ... I studied more on D.C. culture than the actual job or class responsibilities," Sell said admittedly. "I probably should have prepared more academically, or more for work."
Sell then gave some insight about the process for participation in the program, which involved submitting the application with an essay and resume. The essay and resume were then submitted on her behalf to a great number of companies.
"(My essay and resume) were submitted to about 30 companies. If they were interested, they would contact you to set up an interview. If that company wants you, you can either accept or decline, but once you have accepted, it is highly recommended that you stay."
The organization that wanted her was the TechAmerica Foundation, the non-profit sector of the TechAmerica Company, where she worked as a vision intern.
Sell said that the majority of her job involved searching for information on clients and products in databases. She was also responsible for calling them to get more information among other things.
When asked about networking, Sell paused. "I was not great if I'm being completely honest," she said. "But within the workplace, there would be parties and ice cream socials where I would meet cool people."
Perhaps her most lasting connection will be with her supervisor. However, she said that the connection would be more of a friendship. She then gave an account of a trip with her supervisor to an important meeting with Boeing. "We'd have good discussions about work and life in general." Lauren said.
Sell fell in love with D.C. and gave thanks and praise to Dr. Patty. She claimed that without his support and counseling throughout, the trip would not have been the same.
"One time, Dr. Patty even came to visit us in D.C. He came to get a feel of it and check up on us. I think he also came to get an understanding of what he'd be sending future students to be a part of. He also spoke with our supervisors and went to each location inquiring about our day-to-day responsibilities and activities. He also took us to dinner and asked us all about everything that was going on. The trip was basically for us."
For an experience that only lasted through the summer, the stories were endless and her excitement in telling them only grew.
"One night at sunset, I went running and there happened to be a random Navy concert going on outside the capitol building. It was also where on the 4th of July we saw a concert that was broadcast on PBS actually. We were sitting on the grass close to the stage and it was awesome," Sell said as she sat up in her chair and looked off into the distance as if she was watching all of her favorite memories and recounting her favorite places in the city.
"Can I tell you another memory? I just liked the place too much looking back and want to go back," she said. "Most college students have at least one internship and those without one are at a disadvantage."
The LCU Washington program is an ongoing process of providing students a unique combination of guided study, internships, reporting, and seminars. Students receive 12-15 hours of credit in the semester program, and 6-9 credit hours in the summer program. Students involved in the fall semester are: Andrew Chilton, Tiffany Guerrero, Taylor Hyde, Jared McDougal, Jacob Parnell, Jedidiah Payne, Luke Richardson, Eric Schaff, Blaze Taylor and Matthew Trice.