By Ashley Widtfeldt
For Elyse Jardine, the internship experience has been what she considers a continuous loop of learning. She applies what she learns in class to her internship and then what she learns in her internship to her classes, creating this expanding circle of knowledge. “It increases the information I learn at least ten fold,” she stated.
Elyse is studying Public Administration with a concentration in International Development. This made her internship with the World Affairs Council of Montana a perfect match for her academic interests. Her main role at the World Affairs Council of Montana is to plan Academic World Quest, a competition between Montana High School Students that showcases their knowledge concerning our nation’s six top national security issues.
This has been Elyse’s first big experience in the nonprofit field and she has made connections throughout Montana as well as in the International Community that will be invaluable to her future job search. Also through this internship, she can now include things like public relations, event planning, and member development to her resume. Not to mention the $120,000 grant she co-wrote with her supervisor, a feat that’s sure to impress any future employer. “My resume now is massive and I feel like I’m marketable as a person to do all these different things,” claims Elyse.
Elyse would “hands down” recommend every student seek out an internship experience. She believes that it is the best way to learn how to apply what has been learned in the classroom and also adapt to new scenarios that might not be the textbook case: “Sometimes what you get in class is the ideal book version and that’s not always how it happens in the real world.”
Thinking about attending the Big Sky Employment and Academic Enrichment Fair?
Internship advice from Dr. Cheryl Minnick, Ed.D, Internship Coordinator & Career Advisor
Here are five helpful hints:
- First impressions count! You don’t get a second chance for a first impression. Have a strong hand-shake, bring a few copies of your resume and remember your manners (say please and thank you).
- Dress professionally; which means if Gramma would have a problem with your outfit, your shoes, hair or bling, more than likely an employer would too. (this includes fresh smelling breath and pits)
- Think about the goal of an internship – is it to try on skills, check out a company, expand your experience or get a job… and consider if the internship and company would be a good fit. Not all would be.
- Sometimes employers do not have a current opening, but they may in the future. Talk with them now and be the student they think of first when an internship does open.
- Be prepared to speak of your accomplishments, academic and extra-curricular; including: internships, community involvement, study abroad and other academic enrichment achievements.
Remember: Real experiences get you real jobs.