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Hands-On Learning for Post-Graduation Success

At Saint Louis University, students learn by doing, building on knowledge and skills gained in the classroom with hands-on practice and lab work, along with internships and service learning.

Students in all of SLU’s 89 undergraduate majors — from business and health care to the arts and humanities — have opportunities to practice the real-world skills sought after by today’s employers.


Mary Rose Hefner (A&S '17) majored in communication, international studies, Italian and theatre.

“At SLU, pretty much everything is hands-on learning. The professors really take an interest in how you’re doing in the class, and they’ll cater to your learning style,” she said.

Hefner’s experience collaborating with her professor and classmates to create a documentary not only helped her become more proficient with video editing software, it also gave her valuable insight into the collaboration process.

“At the end of the class, we had this really cool documentary that everyone had input on,” Hefner said. “These opportunities I’ve had at SLU have really prepared me for the outside world because I’ve worked with professors and professionals and have collaborated with my peers, and instead of just learning about everything, I’ve done things. And I’ll be able to recreate that once I graduate.”

For Mark Cadiz (DCHS '17), a pre-med student in SLU’s nutrition and dietetics program, hands-on learning included preparing foods in SLU’s food labs to later serve at Fresh Gatherings, a student-run café offering local, farm-fresh food.

“In my Ethnic Meal Management course, we would prepare an entire meal based on the cuisine of a certain area,” Cadiz said.

The skills and passion Cadiz and his fellow students bring to the table — and the kitchen — is evident; Fresh Gatherings has been named one of the country’s best college dining spots.  

Internships Offer a Window Into Life After Graduation 

SLU students are encouraged to complete internships during their years as an undergraduate. For public health and health management student Abby Paras (PH '17), an internship at Battelle Memorial Institute gave her an opportunity to work on Center for Disease Control studies and National Institute of Health studies.

“Even though I was an intern, I really got to see how a study comes together,” Paras said. “My internships and out-of-class learning experiences have really taught me about adaptability.”

Accounting student Joel Ocampo’s (CSB '17) through SLU’s business school allowed him to see firsthand what the day-to-day experience is like in the world of accounting.

“It is really great to have those internships because it makes a lot of what you’re learning into something real,” Ocampo said.

As economics and entrepreneurship student G. Byron Abrigg (CSB '17) discovered in his time at SLU, “Every experience that you have is going to provide you insight, knowledge, a connection that’s going to lead you to the next opportunity that might be bigger and better.”