Making the most of the Summer of COVID-19

August 31, 2020

A global pandemic did not stop Miami Herbert undergraduates from pursuing their summer internships and personal development. Despite many changes and challenges, our students were able to make the best of a very unusual summer thanks to their passion and hard work.

Anamarie Del Amostudent anamarie
Anamarie, a junior majoring in business law, kept herself busy this summer by taking summer classes, working part time as a receptionist at MKRS Law, and volunteering (virtually) at Camp Kesem, a national organization dedicated to uplifting communities affected by cancer. Camp Kesem offers a free two-week summer camp for children who have been impacted by a parent’s cancer. It is completely free to participants thanks to all the hardworking college students who fundraise year-round and donate their time and money to the cause. Due to COVID-19, Camp Kesem was re-envisioned and became “Kesem at Home,” a virtual camp.

“Although we all had to adjust to the virtual environment, we were able to pull off an amazing virtual summer camp for the kids and kept the Kesem magic alive,” said Anamarie. “It was a rewarding experience – helping campers and impacting their lives – I can’t wait to do it again next summer!”

A year from now, Anamarie aspires to be attending law school. This fall, when she’s not in class, you can catch Anamarie attending the Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC) meetings. The FEC is a nonprofit student organization at the University of Miami that promotes many aspects of the rich Cuban culture to the university community and the community at large. She is also involved in the UM chapter of Camp Kesem.

Yiorgos Takoudisstudent yiorgos
Yiorgos Takoudis, a senior studying finance, management, real estate, and business technology spent his summer working with a team of commercial brokers at CBRE, where he has been working part time since October. His day-to-day tasks include data analysis, calling potential clients, and other items related to real estate transactions.

With regards to the virtual transition, he felt extremely lucky that his part-time internship started in October allowing him ample face-to-face time with his colleagues, which made the transition less drastic.

“The onsite to online transition went a little smoother for me with work than it did for school,” said Yiorgos. “It was easier to get my work done at CBRE because I just continued doing what I was doing but from home. It is harder with school because you’re learning abstract ideas in a virtual space and even though you still have access to professors, it’s different than being in-person.”

Although Yiorgos is looking forward to resuming his internship and school onsite, he is relieved he doesn’t have to contend with the everyday traffic.

“Since I don’t have to plan around traffic to and from work and school, I have been able to spend more time on work than he ever could before,” he said.

In addition to his internship, he was planning virtual events for STEP (Students Together Ending Poverty), staying in touch with friends in accordance with physical distancing guidelines, and swimming on a regular basis, among other things.  

Steven Krinickasstudent steven
After seeing everyone fulfilling their dreams on LinkedIn, senior Steven Krinickas, realized he could be using his time off more productively.

“Throughout the summer I realized there were a lot of resources available to me that I could use to my advantage,” Steven said. “I attained an advanced google analytics course certificate, and I have been working towards an excel proficiency certificate as well.”

Maintaining a work-life balance is important to Steven, so he has made sure to carve out family time when he can. He’s even thinking about training for an Ironman triathlon with his brother so that they can spend more time together.

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