Teaching Assistant and LitLabs Fellow

Chase Crehan headshot
Chase Crehan
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Chase Crehan served as a teaching assistant and research assistant for LitLabs, expanding his research skills and practicing his writing and editing.

How did you get your internship?

I received my internship during winter break when I applied to an opportunity posted by Dr. Jacqueline Barrios, my previous professor from PAH 200: Intro to Applied Humanities. Towards the end of the fall semester, she announced to our class that she would be opening up spots for an internship for teaching assistant positions for the course for the next semester. I jumped at the opportunity and reached out via email. After a couple emails back and forth and a round of interview questions, I was offered my role. 
What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?

My role in this internship experience was a Teaching Assistant and a Research Assistant. Throughout the course of my internship my workload became increasingly heavier as I became more involved. I began by just taking class attendance, assisting students with assignments, and attending weekly meetings. Then I also assisted with events and in-class activities. Then, by the end of the semester I had conducted multiple hours of research both online and on-sight with our community partner El Pueblo Activity and Senior Center in South Tucson that culminated in a press release for the class. The press release was a project that I collaborated on with Dr. Barrios to tie in my minor in Journalism. 
What is unique about your situation that influenced your internship selection or experience? 

Something unique about my situation that influenced my internship experience was my minor. I recently declared a minor in Journalism before accepting my role for the Litlabs program, and my supervisor helped incorporate journalism into my work. A big part of my role was conducting research and assisting in implementing new ideas for revitalizing our clients' space. For the final project of my internship, Dr. Barrios proposed that I write a press release for the class project with details of the community partnership. I would get to tap into my journalism skills by conducting interviews, curating media, and writing. I was excited by the idea and spent weeks working on it and enjoyed every second of the process. 
What was the most satisfying part of your internship?  

The most satisfying part of my internship was when we got to host events to showcase our final projects. I got to see all of my own work come to fruition as well as that of my students and partners that I had been collaborating with all semester. At one of the specific events, Día Del Niñez, I was able to see all of the students' semester-long projects be shared with the community. What made the event even more special was seeing all of the children and families at the event who live in the community enjoy the work we had done. To see the community really engage with the work we did made all of the efforts worth it and it brought a smile to my face to see the impact of our work.
How has your internship experience influenced your plans for your future?

My internship experience has influenced my plans for the future by changing the way I view my academic work. For as long as I can remember, I've always felt kind of disconnected from the work that I do in my academic and work life. However, through this experience I was able to find joy in the work and research I did and was able to forge new ideas and bring them to life with the support of my team. I have also never seen the effects of the work I've done on others before. Seeing the impact that our projects made within the community and hearing the community stories I've learned through my research helped me understand what it feels like to feel personally connected to my work.
What did you find challenging about your internship? 

What I found most challenging about my internship was the time commitment. While taking on this internship I was also taking six classes. Finding the time to balance out my research, homework, classes, and social life was not easy but it was doable. At first I struggled and different aspects of my life paid the price, but once I found my footing and a system that worked for me I was able to accomplish my goal of finding more balance. My biggest takeaway from this challenge was that it's important to be ambitious and set high goals but don't forget to take care of yourself along the way.
What advice do you have for other students as they search for their internship?

My advice for other students as they begin to search for their internship is to really take advantage of your network. Your network is bigger than you know and the most fruitful parts of it are the ones that you have the weakest ties to. Also, don't be afraid to go after something that you may not think is a fit for you; you never know how an opportunity can change your life so always be open to any door that unlocks for you.