Reverse Internship Fair gives students opportunity to ‘reflect’ on summer experiences
Centre College students are encouraged to delve deep into their academic interests, some 81 percent making use of the College’s internship and research guarantee to expand their boundaries beyond the classroom and engage in experiential learning around the globe. This summer alone, a record number of students traveled to participate in internships, many of whom gathered at the Norton Center for the Arts in early September to share their experiences at Centre’s Reverse Internship Fair.
According to Mindy Wilson, assistant director for the Center for Career and Professional Development, the fair provided participating students the opportunity to not only present their summer work through a visual presentation but also reflect fully on their experiences.
“An element of a strong high-impact practice, such as an internship, is reflection,” says Wilson. “The reverse internship fair allows the space for an intern to step back and really look at the work they completed, helping them integrate the experience academically and personally.”
Among the 45 participating students, Kiera Bowman ’16 was eager to present her summer internship in Shanghai, China, as a customer satisfaction and social networking manager for an antique business.
Bowman explains she did far more than just observe and shadow during the internship, claiming her most rewarding accomplishment was the sense that she had a genuine part in the company’s success and growth.
“One thing I realized looking back on my internship was that I actually helped build a company. It wasn’t much when it was founded, but now it is one of the most highly ranked antique dealers in Shanghai.”
Senior Olivia Kernekin also used the fair as a time to reflect on her experience as a production management intern at the Chautauqua Theater in New York.
“Looking back, the most rewarding aspect of my internship was that it allowed me to get a glimpse into a side of theatre that was unknown to me before,” says Kernekin. “This experience helped reveal what I really want out of my future, giving me the opportunity to develop and refine my career goals.”
While the internship fair was beneficial to the students presenting, Wilson also stressed that it was equally valuable to those who attended to view the students’ work.
“Ultimately, our goal was to allow the Centre community to see what diverse and worthwhile work our students are engaging in through their internships,” explains Wilson. “It’s also the perfect setting for other students to gain inspiration and explore the wealth of internship opportunities they might choose to pursue in the future.”
By John Ross Wyatt ’15