Opinion: Apply for an internship

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  • Gaining experience with professionals

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  • Communicating with professionals

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Doing an internship allows students to apply classroom learning in a professional environment. Gaining hands-on experience next to various characters and professionals. Working around a range of ages and cultural backgrounds exposes students to different learning styles, enhancing effective communication skills.

“I see a lot of students who are nervous about taking on an internship but, they’ve learned to accept things like criticism, but also have confidence in presenting their own ideas, and confidence that what they’ve learned at school is truly going to translate into whatever career they choose,” Christy Mcrozek, an Armstrong internship coordinator and professor in the writing and linguistics department said.

Denice Jenkins is a Navy veteran and senior at Georgia Southern. After she got out of the military, Jenkins worked on electrical systems for aircraft in the Navy and Gulf Stream. Jenkins is graduating this year with a technical writing degree. In hopes of writing aviation publications to write manuals, she used to work in the Navy and at Gulf Stream.

Jenkins wanted to make money while putting in hours for an internship, so she approached Mcrozek for guidance. “Just go up to any teacher you are comfortable with. Chances are they have advice on the direction to go in…Don’t go to a teacher you don’t have a good connection with,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins landed a paid internship under Dr. Weiland in the department of chemistry. Jenkins is currently writing and editing almost 30 pre-med students’ personal statements to help them get into medical school.

Georgia Southern departments have a network of local contacts, but students must seek those opportunities out. “There are plenty of internships available, but students have to be proactive about it,” Mroczek said.

For students looking to apply for an internship, get an account on Handshake. Create a profile and update it frequently. This exposes students to a market of employers sifting through potential candidates’ profiles. Plus, the Office of Career and Professional Development uses Handshake heavily when finding the best-fitting internship for students.

Students should write clear statements about their skills and interests when communicating with employers to solidify an internship that will steer them down their desired career path. “Students, make sure the internship is fair to you. Make sure it fits your plan for your degree, and make sure you get something out of it,” Mcrozek notes.

The mothership of internship information is the Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) for students looking to dive into what internships are available in their department.

Students with 30 credit hours or more should consider applying for the Internship Scholarship. The Internship Scholarship Program (ISP) has offered the OCPD scholarships for career-related internships since 2019 to supplement students in non-paying internships. Rewards are as high as 036;3,000 this year. Students should act fast because the deadline to apply for a Summer 2023 interning scholarship is Mar. 31st!