Internships can be inspirational and even life-changing for students
February 23, 2021
From law firms and consulting agencies on the ground to the new frontier of outer space, internships can spark extraordinary careers for students in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.
Third-year student Nick Anthony entered the world of law in the summer of 2019.
He interned with a legal office in Roanoke, Virginia. Anthony’s opportunity laid the groundwork for a future career.
“When I started my internship, I had no experience in law practice,” said Anthony. “This was the first time in my life in which I worked with professionals in their workplace. I learned different aspects of the legal process as I spent more time at the firm.”
Anthony, a double major in history and philosophy, politics, and economics, observed court proceedings and learned the daily responsibilities of working in a law office. Gaining direct experience, he said, helped him adapt to a professional workplace setting.
Dana Mouritzen, a 2018 graduate in national security and foreign affairs, interned at Accenture Federal Services the summer before her senior year. That experience shaped her career trajectory.
“Without being exposed to the type of work I was doing in my internship, I would have never ended up where I am today,” said Mouritzen. “I am more confident to take on challenging projects and roles, which has ultimately led to promotions within my current career track.”
Mouritzen landed a job offer from the global consulting firm after graduation. She now works as a management consulting senior analyst for the company.
Andrew Schurr skyrocketed from an internship at NASA to a full-time job with the storied agency as strategic messaging support. “The experiences left me with connections and skills needed to launch my career in a position I’m very fortunate to have been offered,” said Schurr, a 2019 graduate in both public relations and theatre arts.
Schurr added that he would have benefited greatly from assistance during his internship experience. His internship was unpaid each summer.
“Despite being fortunate enough to be able to undertake an unpaid internship, I still had a lot of pressure to take on a part-time paid position to cover additional and unexpected expenses,” said Schurr. “Having a scholarship, even a small one, would have greatly relieved the financial pressure and made it easier to focus on the invaluable experience the internship was providing.”
With help from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences community, more doors can open for students in pursuit of rewarding careers.
Giving Day 2021, to be held for 24 hours starting on Feb. 24 at noon EST, will feature several funds — including ones for internships, research, and study abroad — that benefit undergraduates in the college. In addition, the college has two challenge grants for scholarship support for students.
Nancy Munnikhuysen, a 1974 graduate in management, housing, and family development, will donate $10,000 in scholarship support once 500 people give to any College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences program. Her gift is on behalf of the college’s Dean’s Roundtable and Alumni Advisory Board.
Once 1,000 people make such a donation, Lara (Liberal Arts and Sciences ’92) and Henry Hadad will donate $5,000 in scholarship support to students in the college.
“Internships empower students to find what they love doing, learn from role models in the field, think about different industries, and plan for their future careers,” said Monica Kimbrell, assistant dean in the college’s Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.
“The experience allows students to translate their academic majors into professional settings and to become more competitive job candidates,” Kimbrell added. “Making internships accessible for all students is a top priority for our college, and the Internship Fund helps students realize their professional dreams.”
Written by Andrew Adkins