Summer Internships 2020
This article appeared originally in the Fall 2020 issue of Frontiers Magazine.
Summer is for many students the perfect time to take on internships. SMC takes summer internships very seriously, even making them a requirement for the bachelor’s degree programs. Megan Georgion, the Director of Internships and Employer Relations at SMC, explains why SMC places so much importance on internships.
Q: WHY ARE INTERNSHIPS SUCH VALUABLE EXPERIENCES FOR STUDENTS?
MG: Internships are important because they provide a hands-on learning experience in the student’s career field of choice. What better way to decide whether a certain field is the one for you than by jumping in on a project with professionals that know what it takes to succeed in the industry? An internship can also help students decide that they are not interested in a particular career path, which gives them time to pivot and try something else before committing.
Q: HOW MANY INTERNSHIP CREDIT HOURS MUST A STUDENT COMPLETE AS PART OF THE CAMAK CORE (SMC’S REQUIRED SIX COURSES IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT)?
MG: SMC feels that internships are a vital component of the professional development process – so much so that the College requires 120 contact hours/3 credits of internship courses in our bachelor's degree programs.
Q: HOW DO THE CAMAK CORE CLASSES PREPARE STUDENTS FOR THEIR INTERNSHIPS?
MG: In the first Camak Core course, Professional Communications, students learn how to conduct an internship search, how to comport themselves professionally, how to answer interview questions, how to dress for success, and much more. Students are even required to complete a mock interview and participate in networking events to practice before seeking an internship. Feedback is provided along the way to encourage professional growth and to prepare students for scenarios they could face in an internship.
Q: HOW HAVE STUDENTS AND COMPANIES ADAPTED THE INTERNSHIP PROCESS DURING THE TIME OF COVID-19?
MG: COVID-19 has presented many challenges to the internship process, and both the College and local employers have adapted to meet student needs during this time. Companies have offered fully virtual internships or hybrid options, and the College has encouraged students to take advantage of these opportunities. With many companies shifting to hybrid or remote work options outside of COVID-19, I think virtual internships give students an idea of what that culture looks like if they were to be offered a remote position in the future.
In the summer of 2020, 15 SMC students from the B.A. class of 2021 completed internships, either remotely or on-site. We asked them to share their thoughts on their experiences.
SMC MARKETING DEPARTMENT
“This internship was amazing, and my experience here has already opened doors to other opportunities. It gave me an overview of what it’s like to work in the marketing department of a nonprofit and gave me valuable skills for further exploring a career in marketing. SMC even provided me with a course in social media marketing so I could become certified – which actually led to a job offer from another nonprofit!”
“Through my internship, I learned that there are many different qualities and skills needed to be a successful manager while also maintaining a good relationship with your employees. It also taught me the importance of following a process through to have the best success rate possible. The experience that I gained through this internship helped me grow professionally by giving me insight into what kind of leader I want to be in the future and what role I want to pursue within the sales industry.”
SMC ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT
“I learned a lot about creating and implementing a social media marketing campaign. I was fortunate to be working with great supervisors, who involved me in every aspect of the marketing process – from brainstorming ideas to creating templates. This internship helped me grow professionally by giving me opportunities to practice time management, creativity, and communication skills. My supervisors encouraged me to be creative and work independently. Completing my internship remotely meant it was vital to have the best communication skills possible.”
SMC MARKETING DEPARTMENT
“I learned that the field of marketing is very broad and there are lots of areas I can specialize in. I gained experience in editing content, market research, and project management. I also strengthened my time management and interviewing skills. The improvement of these skills helped me grow professionally. Overall, it was an impactful experience that provided great insight not only to the field of marketing but also a professional workplace.”
HUB CITY BOOKSHOP AND PRESS
“I learned a lot about the book publishing industry, primarily independent book publishing. It was interesting to work with manuscripts, proofreading books, and giving design input. Once a week I would also work at the bookshop and learn about bookselling, so I got both a publisher’s and a seller’s perspective of the field. Working at Hub City helped me strengthen my communication skills and network with professionals in the industry. I enjoyed my time at Hub City Bookshop so much that I now work there part-time.”
SHERMAN COLLEGE OF CHIROPRACTIC ENROLLMENT SERVICES
“This internship provided me a behind-the-scenes look into higher education. I learned how individual departments work together with other departments to accomplish their common goals. It is a team effort, and they all work together to ensure that the students are successful in their time at the school. One of my big projects was helping plan the college’s recruitment events and collecting information on the people who attended. Because this internship was during a pandemic, it allowed me to see how people in higher education must adapt quickly to change. I have gained a better understanding of how you need to be flexible, accept change, and adjust to the unexpected.”