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Intern Insider: Bio-chem major heads to LA to explore her creative side

As a women's cross country and track star and a bio-chem major at Elon, sophomore Emily Tryon finds few free moments during her days for extracurriculars or even relaxation. She maintains a steadily hectic schedule as the result of practices, meets and all the homework and studying that comes along with her field of choice.

Emily Tryon, a sophomore bio-chem major, is finding her creative side in the Elon in LA program.

So, she thought, how about using the summer months to replace organized team activities and laboratories with an environment that would allow her to express her creativity? She had become “suddenly obsessed” with California in January, so when an e-mail informed her about the Elon in Los Angeles program, she thought it was fate.

“I left like the summer was a really good time to do something, for me to do an internship and live in the real world,” Tryon says.

Tryon enrolled in the acting class and grabbed an internship with Galerie Anais, an art gallery in Santa Monica. She said being in the Elon in LA program has helped her explore a side of herself that she doesn’t get to express as readily back at Elon.

“I feel like I’ve always been a multifaceted person, and I have a very creative personality,” she says. “I felt like maybe a science major wasn’t doing anything for that, and before I fully committed to that major I wanted to know if there was something else I could work towards. I thought coming out here would help me explore other options and help me figure it out.”

And it doesn’t matter that she’s not a communications major or that she doesn’t have any communications experience. The city is big, she says, and there are several fields that students can pursue in Los Angeles.

“I just knew (Elon in LA) sounded like something I wanted to do,” Tryon says. “If you’re not a communications major, go for it. You don’t have to be. If you’re interested in coming out to LA and having this experience, do it, go for it. As long as you’re willing to learn, you won’t have any problems, and it will be a great experience.”

Still, Tryon says she enjoys the coursework in her bio-chem major. (“I really do find it the most interesting,” she says.) And as of now, she’s thinking about heading to veterinary school after college. (“But I’m going to be a sophomore, so that will change no less than 17 times probably.”) But her internship and her short month so far in SoCal has helped her realize she wants to pursue an art minor to couple with her major in the hard sciences.

“I’ve always had a passion for art,” she says. “I’ve been drawing basically since I could pick up a pencil. I really do love it.”

So Galerie Anais was a good fit. There, Tryon does some of the typical intern duties—greets visitors and studies the art and artists being showcased. But she has also designed press releases, postcards and e-mail blasts using Photoshop, a piece of software she had never once opened prior to her internship.

But the challenge of learning the program motivated and fascinated Tryon.

“I’m used to working really, really hard, and I think that Elon really does get you ready to be a hard worker and to put in that extra effort,” she says. “The academics are very rigorous and I think they teach you how to be a great person.”

Tryon says she’s using her nine weeks out west to explore the creative side of her personality. She hopes her internship and LA experience will help give her Elon career a little more focus and direction.

“My goal for the internship was, No. 1, just to get some work experience, to do something practical,” she says. “And my goal for the summer is to have a clearer picture of what direction I want to go in at Elon. I want to know if what I’m doing right now with my science major is actually what I need to be doing because it’s a big commitment, and I feel like I really do need to make sure that I’m wholeheartedly ready to commit myself to that.”

Intern Insider will run one to two times a week during the summer and will feature brief stories about some of the interns from the School of Communications or in School of Communications programs.

Colin Donohue,
7/17/2010 9:52 PM