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Internship Offers VanBoxel a Hands-On Political Science Experience

Ferris State University students gain valuable work experience through internships. Internships also can confirm or redirect career decision-making, provide marketability, develop people skills and enhance classroom learning. Many academic programs require one, but the experience is encouraged regardless to provide students with a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the workplace.

Many students are participating in myriad internships this summer. Meet: Jacob VanBoxel

Jacob VanBoxel
He is: A junior from Newaygo, Mich., majoring in Political Science

Internship: Jacob is interning for Rep. Jon Bumstead, who represents the residents of Lake, Oceana and Newaygo counties in the Michigan House of Representatives. Bumstead also is from Newaygo.

The unpaid internship began in May and ends in August.

What he’s learning: Jacob’s responsibilities include assisting at Bumstead’s appearances. He spends most of his time in the district for meetings with constituents, local business owners and local government officials, and attending parades. 

“I will take away a better understanding of local government administration and have a more ‘hands on’ experience with what I hope to be doing in the near future,” Jacob said.

Something cool: Jacob shadowed Bumstead on the House floor in Lansing.

“I was able to be at the representative’s desk watching bills get passed and other representatives discussing ideas for future legislation,” he said. “I was given a tour of the Capitol that most people never get to experience.”

Core value: Jacob’s internship experience has proven to mirror the Ferris core value of opportunity, he said.

“I have been fortunate enough to meet Gov. Rick Snyder for a roundtable discussion at the Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency, as well as meet (former Secretary of State) Terri Lynn Land just before she announced her decision to run for United States Senate,” Jacob said. (Land recently announced she will run as a Republican for retiring Sen. Carl Levin’s seat in 2014.)

On campus: His involvement includes serving as vice president of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, vice president of the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law fraternity and as director of Internal Assessment for Student Government.

Jacob’s campus involvement has complemented the efforts of Ferris Political Science professors to prepare him for a career in his chosen field, he said.

“I believe having professors in my program such as Richard Griffin and Christine Bailey has certainly prepped me for success beyond the classroom,” he said. “I give special thanks to Phi Sigma Kappa and to my mentor, Adam Umbrasas (Ferris State alum), who is constantly challenging and pushing me to excel in all of my endeavors.”

His plan: After he graduates in the fall of 2014, Jacob would like to work as part of an administrative staff in Lansing or in local government. He eventually may pursue teaching or become an education lobbyist.