Internship Fair highlights Career Center’s involvement in student internships

Tammy Tran

(Nhi Nguyen)

The Career Center hosted Lawrence’s first internship fair since 2002 at the Warch Campus Center Art Gallery Oct. 4. Eighteen summer and fall interns were present at the event.
Students at the internship fair presented their experiences at a diverse group of organizations, ranging from Fox Cities Magazine to Pacific Gas and Electric.
Career Center Internship Coordinator Patricia Plutz said that the main purpose of the fair was “for students to understand what other students have done.”
Through the internship fair, explained Plutz, students are able to “gain a better understanding of how valuable an internship experience can be. They were able to learn how to go about finding an internship opportunity, as well as the value of visiting the campus Career Center.”
Students who attended the event expressed gratitude for the wealth of information they received. According to Nicholas Mendez ’14, “It was really helpful to see that people who were in my place a couple years ago were trying to get their feet wet as I am now. And here they are today, at the internship fair embracing their experiences and sharing them with others.”
The Career Center supports student interns not only through events like this fair but also through individualized support.
“The Career Center really helped me to produce the best resume I could,” said Wesley Hough-Cornwell ’11, a summer intern at Tommy Hilfiger’s international marketing department.
Once a student is situated with an internship, the Career Center supplements their experience with a supportive program. Anyone can take advantage of this program, in which the internship coordinator sets up site visits and evaluations to further support the student’s experience.
Claire de Rochefort-Reynolds ’11, a summer intern at both the Museum at the Castle and the Hearthstone Historic House Museum, noted that she was really grateful for the Career Center’s support: “It’s nice to know that someone thinks you are taking the right step and going in the right direction by taking on an internship.”
Internships can greatly contribute to the experience and value of being a Lawrence University student.
“Students at Lawrence find a topic of interest and delve really deeply into it, taking many classes in that area. In my internship, I was able to delve really deeply into the museum field and I really loved it,” said de Rochefort-Reynolds.
While some internships offer credit, others do not. Some majors already offer internship courses which provide participating students with credit. To enroll in these courses, students are required to secure a faculty advisor who supports the student in their internship experience.
Associate Professor of Psychology Beth Haines has been an active faculty advisor, helping students achieve their internship credits and enhancing experiences with evaluations and supervision.
“I’ve never had anyone regret an internship,” said Haines. “Start by talking to the people at the Career Center. Try not to get overwhelmed and talk to your advisers and professors.”
Alexis VanZalen ’13, an intern at the Hearthstone Historic House Museum, advised students to “be willing to try new things. Even if you don’t think you’ll like it, you’ll learn a lot.”
Hough-Cornwell observed that students should consider the career path that they have in mind when thinking of an internship opportunity.
“I absolutely loved the marketing aspect of my internship,” she said. “When I started I thought I’d want a career in the fashion industry, but I learned through my internship that it wasn’t for me. But I wasn’t disappointed by my internship experience.”
Plutz advises students looking to start an internship to start early. “Don’t be afraid to make an appointment at the Career Center,” she said. “Start early and be persistent.