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Invaluable Internships

October 23, 2019

 

I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about my personal experience on both sides of internships and encourage you to encourage your child to take part in at least one internship while they’re in college. 

 

I have been with Parents of Ole Miss for about a year now, and I have really grown close to our interns. I enjoy seeing them grow and watching them get excited to learn new things; and they are teaching me new things, too! The ideas, lingo and thought processes that our college-aged interns bring to the table are just as important as the real-life experience and business knowledge that Kate and I have to offer. 

 

I had an internship outside of Chicago during the summer before my senior year at Ole Miss. What an experience! I was hundreds of miles from home, all alone, with a 9-5 “job” at the age of 21 – and I loved every minute of it. I shadowed and helped out in all departments of a small advertising and marketing design firm and learned so much more than I would have just sitting in a classroom. I made friends at work and they introduced me to more people; I ended up having dozens of guests at a going-away party thrown by my coworker at the end of the summer. It was an invaluable life experience; one that I will encourage my own kids to take part in when they are in college.

 

After working at my previous job for about three years, I had the opportunity to mentor a senior from Delta State (a small college in nearby Cleveland, MS). It was definitely challenging for me to have an intern under my wing and oversee her duties/make sure she was learning in addition to fulfilling my own responsibilities at work – but it was really rewarding to see her learn and grow. My then-employer ended up hiring the intern to stay on with the company after she graduated and she is still there, six years later! (Shout-out to you, Becca!)

 

There are some opportunities to earn college credits by completing an internship, but not all opportunities would qualify for such credit. Don’t let that stop your student, though! Experience is experience- whether they're getting graded on it or not! Some internships are paid (minimum wage or just slightly above), but many are not. They are strictly to gain experience - which in this day in age, is almost more valuable than money (in regards to job-hunting). Employers seem to be looking for eager young minds that they can pay a "starting" salary, but have at least 3-5 years of experience. Yeah – you heard me. Ask anyone who has graduated from college in the last 10 years – finding a job is HARD! The more experience you have under your belt – even if you worked for free – the better!

 

I would highly recommend that you encourage your child to take part in at least one during their tenure at Vanderbilt Whether it be in Nashville, your hometown while your student is home for the summer, or with a business in another city - an internship could really help mold them to be a more well-rounded employee for their future in the workforce. Stay tuned for more on this topic in the upcoming months!

 

Emily Suber
Director of Sales, Parents of
Sales Manager Parents of Ole Miss

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