Some East Carolina University students are turning summer vacation into a vocation at internships across the United States and beyond. 

From teaching to public health, from weaving to writing, students have been learning about their intended professions while gaining valuable on-the-job experience before returning to campus this fall. 

"Related work experience that adds to a student's academic preparation pays great dividends," said Jim Kuras, associate director of ECU Career Services. "Many of our students will complete multiple internships prior to graduation, and the experience, contacts and recommendations that they develop will definitely help launch their career." 

Employers use internship and co-op programs as a tool to recruit and retain students as potential post-graduation employees, making offers to nearly 73 percent of their interns and co-op students. Of those, about 60 percent will become full-time employees, Kuras said. 

For English education major Glenesha Berryman, her summer internship has helped solidify her plan to work with underserved students after graduation. 

"The internship will inspire me to work hard in college so that I can spend my life serving students like the ones I've taught this summer," Berryman said.

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