Photo Courtesy of Roanoke College
Article Written by Alexa Doiron, Kaitlin Lertora
This past week, Roanoke College hosted multiple internship poster fairs in order for students to spread information about their experiences. While this happens every semester, the information presented changes and helps other students to get ideas of where they could potentially do internships.
Finding an internship can be a hard endeavor, one which many students are intimidated by. Although there are several available resources at Roanoke College, some students still find it hard to reach out in order to find the right one for them. However, in the past year, students have noticed an increase in the amount of internship-related emails in my Roanoke Outlook inbox; it’s safe to say career services is aware of students’ fears and is trying to bridge the gap between uncertainty and opportunity.
Career services offers intuitive advice on resume building, where to look for jobs/internships and how to approach an interview. Their services are helpful and are often over- looked by new students. Junior, Kaitlin Lertora found the Career Services to be very helpful as they helped her to improve her resume in small ways that she would not have thought. In September, Lertora started her internship at the Roanoke news station, WFXR Fox News. The position included learning about news writing, web posts, video editing, and working with high- tech equipment.
Lertora recalls being able to do more in her position than she thought she would have been able to. As an intern, she shadowed a night- time producer and was able to help him write scripts and re- search stories. One journalistic aspect that she experienced was being able to go out into the field and help reporters with interviews and equipment.
“Although the work environment was primarily self-driven,—and I struggled to feel productive due to lack of direction,” said Lertora, “it taught me a lot about being self-sufficient in getting things done.”
Other students presented their work as well such as junior, Emily Irby who interned at Pheseant Ridge Nursing and Rehab Facility. Her internship took place over the summer and has opened up more opportunities for her this coming spring as she looks forward to starting a career in this field. While RC helps students in many ways to place them at their internships, Irby found it difficult to find anything through the school.
“I think the school wasn’t much help because they hadn’t really had anyone else in this department want to go the route I was looking for,” said Irby. RC has been expanding their programs to allow for a greater variety of opportunities. This has allowed students to branch out in their interests and really gain the skills they are looking for. While Irby’s internship wasn’t found through her department’s program, she discovered the opportunity during one of her classes.
It was in her HHP 225 class that students were assigned to go into the Roanoke community and find a professional to interview in their desired field. Irby found a nursing home facilitator who kept in touch with her to help set up a student internship. This was an experience that Irby felt very grateful for because it helped to prepare her for some of the more difficult aspects of the job.
“My internship really helped me to develop people skills when dealing with people’s families and personal and sensitive issues,” said Irby. “Advance directive, end-of-life care/ hospice, the switch from skilled resident to long- term resident are all aspects of the job that take a lot of practice to know how to handle.”
Senior, Alex Difelice, was happy to find that the school’s alumni network helped her to make the connections needed to start an internship at Salem High School where she assisted counselors on a day-to-day basis. Her internship advisor was a graduate of ‘95 and worked closely with Difelice to ensure she received the experience and credit that she needed. Her time there was incredibly valuable and it really helped her to get a sense of the field that, while overwhelming at times, is overall worthwhile.
“I became more sure that I am passionate about working with adolescents, and that I am passionate about the counseling profession,” said Difelice. “At first, though, I was nervous because for the first time I wasn’t reading about how to counsel, I was actually doing it. It occurred to me that every valuable piece of information I would learn would be from direct experiences and not from the books.”
Thanks to the opportunities available at RC, students are able to find internships that create great learning experiences and get them out working in their desired areas. The experiences available through the school help students to build their resume and gain a sense of direction in their future careers, all of which is something these students valued greatly. Student should never hesitate to reach out and talk to other peers who have completed internships in order to get a better understanding of the value they can bring to a college experience.