Internships are essential!
By Jenelle Dulack
Knightly News Reporter
Students preparing for internship recently attended a panel discussion and ice cream social hosted by Career Services.
Students Genesis Gonzalez, Michelle Donaghy and Chris Anderson, and alumni Parker Rose and Tyler Coleman, spoke about their internship experiences.
The moderator of the event, Internship Coordinator Kristin Fike, asked what their responsibilities include (or included), how long their internships were, how they felt about their internship sites and whether they had any advice for students who will soon be moving into an internship.
Internships are helpful, and fun
Donaghy, a business administration major and the newest intern in Highmark Health’s dental department, has yet to fully indulge herself in her work. So far, she said, she’s completed orientation but is very optimistic about what’s to come. Much of her work will include handling patients’ insurance information, and she said she is confident in the mission of her internship site. Her parting advice was to ask for more to do! She advised students not to wait for opportunities to come to them, but to make them for themselves.
Anderson, a criminal justice major, completed his internship with the Cumberland County Criminal Investigation Division. Anderson received the PennACE Joanne Day Student of the Year Award for his outstanding work as an intern. During his time at his site, he got hands-on experience by taking ride-alongs, attending autopsies and creating lasting relationships with his mentors. From his internship, he learned that it’s okay to make mistakes and to learn from them, and advised upcoming interns not to be afraid to speak up and present new ideas.
“After hearing Chris talk at the panel discussion, I realized that what he did in his internship is what I’m looking for in an internship too,” Jennifer Molter, a homeland security major, said. “I hadn’t known opportunities were out here for students, but I’m glad I do now.”
Gonzalez, a legal studies major, did her internship with the Dauphin County Bar Association. Her favorite part was connecting with people over Zoom, but she said she was given little guidance at first and had to learn procedures on the fly. Regardless of the difficulties, Gonzalez advised new interns to keep a positive attitude.
Words to the about-to-be-wise
Accounting graduate Rose spoke about his time for AJS Accounting Inc., in Marysville. Rose now works at AJS and said he is very satisfied. Handling taxes is a stressful task, with much room for error, but he suggested that prospective accounting interns be open-minded. There may be many ways to come to one solution.
Corporate communications graduate Tyler Coleman completed his internship with the Pennsylvania Cable Network and was able to produce television content. He was hired shortly after, but his time there was unfortunately cut short by the coronavirus. He recommends that new interns remain willing to learn and to be proactive. Ask questions often, he said.
Anderson, Gonzalez and Rose all started their internships around the same time, just before the start of COVID-19. When much of the state and country closed, their previously planned internships fell through and the three temporarily struggled to find internships. A piece of unspoken advice that came from this part of the discussion was to remain persistent in the in the face of disappointment or failure.
Not only are internships required to graduate, but each panelist agreed that completing an internship significantly boosts confidence, improves skills and expands professional networks. Career Services uploads new internship opportunities for all majors to Optimal Resume frequently, which can also be found in the Career Resources tab on Blackboard. For more information about internships, contact Kristin Fike.
Dulack is co-president of The Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College.
Story idea of comment? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.
Edited by club co-adviser Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.