by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
We’ve all heard about the importance of internships in the modern undergraduate career. But how to get started? And what to expect?
More than 170 students sought answers to those questions during Internship Networking Day, a Saturday-afternoon event that connected them with fellow students in the know, as well as alumni in their chosen fields.
The highlight was a series of student-led, industry-specific panel discussions on internships in the arts and in legal, marketing, sports, technology, nonprofit, government and publishing fields. There also were opportunities to lunch with Phil Jones, assistant vice president and dean of the Career Center, take part in mock interviews with alumni and Career Center staff and spiff up their LinkedIn profiles with a little help from College Photographer Carl Socolow ’77.
The afternoon concluded with a networking event that included the 36 student-panelists, all of whom had completed one or more internships through Dickinson’s Internship Notation Program.
Some students, like Bryan Wacker ’15 and Jesse Skaff ’15, described internships that related directly to their chosen careers. Wacker, a biology major, interned at the Thiele Lab (Duke University Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology) to gain more exposure to the kind of work he’d be doing as a physician, while political-science major Skaff launched his own dream job when he interned with the Boston Red Sox.
Others, like Eric Neumeister ’15, took a less direct, yet equally enlightening route. An international-studies major, Neumeister was awarded a Career Center grant to fund an international internship with Rwenzori Information Centres Network (Ft. Portal, Uganda); he also worked with the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) in Washington, D.C.
“Neither [internship] fit explicitly into my plans after Dickinson, in that I don’t plan to work at either organization or, likely, similar ones,” he said, “but I certainly benefited and grew from both in enormous ways, and my perspective has changed dramatically as a result of both experiences.”
Biology major Katri Thiele ’15—who interned at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and at science departments at universities in Switzerland and Finland—can relate. “My internships broadened my horizons about careers in clinical research and the importance of communication within and among labs,” she said. “It's important to take every opportunity to broaden your horizons.”
Published March 3, 2015