On Wednesday, Aug. 31, the Centre community gathered in the lobby of the Norton Center for the Arts to learn about the summer internship experiences of over 70 Centre College students at the annual Summer Internship Showcase.
“I love this event because it allows the entire Centre community to discover what great things our students have learned throughout their internship experiences,” says Mindy Wilson, assistant director of the Center for Career & Professional Development. “It also allows for other students to network with their peers to possibly find their own internships in the future.”
Over the summer, students completed internships in such fields as politics, animal research, education, medicine and economics, among others.
“The variety of fields that our students find internships in is astounding to me,” Wilson remarks. “Because our career counselors work one-on-one with students, we are able to help students locate internships in their fields of interest, and at Centre, that can be in almost anything.”
Cameron Beach ’18 was even able to incorporate several fields into one internship while working at Hincapie Sportswear in Greenville, S.C.
“I worked with pretty much every department, which was really awesome,” she says. “I did a lot preparing for their annual inventory. I worked with shipping, with the marketing department on photoshoots, with accounting, with sales. They really had me doing a variety of things.”
The active-wear company also sponsored Beach as she completed a bike ride across the state of South Carolina during the summer. A Greenville native, Beach found her internship with Hincapie to be fulfilling not only because of the knowledge she gained, but also for the people she worked alongside there.
“I grew up looking up to this company. I was first introduced to it when I was part of a kids’ triathlon club when I was ten,” Beach says. “So just having the opportunity to be in this environment with these people I look up to, being able to work with them on a daily basis and learn from them, was an incredible opportunity.”
The work Mey Mey Kong ’17 (pictured above right, presenting her work to a peer) completed through her summer internship in Alabama at the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge is far from over, as she will continue to analyze the data she collected there throughout this academic year.
Kong collected snail samples at the refuge to study parasites.
“The snails are the intermediate host for parasites in fresh water, so when fish eat the snails, they’re infected, and when birds eat the fish, they’re infected,” Kong explains. “Wheeler Wildlife Refuge is one of the biggest refuges for migratory birds each year, so it’s a problem. My job was to see which parasites are infecting these fish or birds.”
When Kong completes her research, she will pass it along to refuge management for them to use when making decisions about water treatment. The hands-on aspect of the work was appealing to Kong.
“I enjoyed the field work a lot,” she says.
Alexander Stickney ’17 traveled to Zagreb, Croatia, for his summer internship at the embassy with the Department of State. Stickney highlights the cultural exchange between himself and his coworkers there as one of his favorite parts of the internship.
“I really loved working with ‘locally employed staff,’ people native to Croatia or dual citizens,” he says. “I enjoyed talking to them, getting to hear their stories and learning about their experiences and what it is like to work in the embassy.”
Stickney found that his study abroad experiences at Centre—including a summer in Strasbourg and CentreTerm trips to London and Egypt—gave him a leg up when looking for an internship.
“When my employer saw I’d been abroad, that really carried a lot of weight with them,” Stickney says. “They knew they were hiring someone responsible, world-traveled and interested in learning about new cultures.”
All Centre students are guaranteed the opportunity to complete an internship or research project through the Centre Commitment, which also guarantees a study abroad experience and graduation in four years. Between 70 and 80 percent of the last three graduating classes of Centre seniors have taken advantage of that commitment and completed an internship.
by Elizabeth Trollinger
September 6, 2016