Spring Internship Showcase offers glimpse into students’ internship experiences

Posted by Centre News in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Careers, Experiential Learning, Internships, News 17 May 2016

Spencer OverstreetOne of the major components of the Centre Commitment is that students are guaranteed an internship or research opportunity during their four years at Centre College. Recognizing how important this can be for gaining employment after graduation, many students—as many as 70 to 80 percent of the last three graduating classes—make the most of this opportunity and complete an internship while at Centre.

The Spring Internship Showcase, an open-house that took place on May 11 in the lobby of the Norton Center, gave the Centre community a chance to learn about the range of experiences students had while completing internships during the 2016 semester.

Internship Showcases, which began two years ago, occur four times a year—at the end of both the spring and fall terms, as well as following CentreTerm and summer break.

A total of 36 students participated in internships this semester, a typical number for the spring semester says Mindy Wilson, assistant director of the Center for Career & Professional Development.

“In addition to allowing our interns to reflect on their work and what they’ve learned, I think one of the other big advantages is that it allows our non-intern students to find out first-hand about potential internships,” says Wilson of the Showcase.

Students had internships in a range of fields, including health and medicine, law and government, athletics, finance, non-profits, marketing and education.

Spencer Overstreet ’16 (pictured above) took the opportunity to learn more about the field of pharmacy by interning at the Medicine Shoppe, a community pharmacy in Danville. A biochemistry major, she has worked at CVS Pharmacy throughout her time at Centre and was able to fulfill her goal of comparing retail pharmacy with compounding pharmacy through her internship at the Medicine Shoppe.

Compounding involves creating personalized medicines and products for patients, as opposed to dispensation of commercial drugs as is practiced in retail pharmacies.

“Actually getting to compound medicines and watch my advisor make capsules was a great experience,” says Overstreet, “one that you don’t get working in retail pharmacy.”

Overstreet particularly appreciated the hands-on learning she was able to do through the internship, and she also enjoyed getting to witness firsthand the role smaller pharmacies can play in tight-knit communities. She was also able to earn credits for the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA), which will help as she applies for pharmacy school in the coming year.

Joy Asher, director of the Center for Career & Professional Development, believes that experiences like Overstreet’s are becoming ever more crucial for landing a job following graduation. She notes that companies today often hire as full-time employees about 50 percent of the interns who worked for them before graduation.

“It’s not just conducting an internship that’s important,” Asher adds. “It’s the ability of students to translate what they learn in one context—the classroom—to another, quite different context—a project done at work.”

by Mary Trollinger
May 18, 2016