Internships have exceptionally positive outcomes for students and community organizations. In addition to providing students hands-on experience, they provide the talent and human resources that community organizations could not otherwise afford.
Interns often find that the the security, knowledge, and confidence derived from their internship experience allows them to pursue additional opportunities during and after their time at the University, from study abroad and international volunteerism to personal projects and extracurricular research in pursuit of their career goals. Students pursuing summer internships may apply for our Lawrence Scholarship in Experiential Learning, as these three students did.
Executive Fellow, Federal Executive Board of Minnesota
My internship at the Federal Executive Board of Minnesota allowed me to complete two important projects for the federal government that also gave me valuable experience relevant to my career goals. First, I created a continuity plan for various federal agencies, including the international headquarters of an agency. These plans ensure that the government can maintain operations in the event of a terrorist attack or other catastrophic incident. For my other project, I developed an annual report for the Federal Executive Board. My internship experience provided excellent training in leadership and emergency management and I am thankful for the opportunity to focus on my professional growth rather than my finances.
Teaching Intern, LearningWorks
My experience teaching at LearningWorks has changed my thoughts, my views, and my life. I am naturally a quiet and keep-to-myself type of person, so you can imagine that the nature of teaching science to middle schoolers has challenged me to grow in many ways! When I first started last summer, classroom management was difficult. This year, though, I took on the role of a leader in my classroom with confidence. I now focus on what the students will learn, rather than what I want to teach, and make time to check in with my students to find out about how they learn, how they are feeling, and what I can do to support them. Though I don’t know that I’ll continue teaching in the long-term, I am interested in a career that allows me to support kids and teens so that they can pursue their dreams and their goals. I do know that I want to teach at LearningWorks again next summer so that I can work with the same students as 9th graders. I am also thinking about teaching abroad after I graduate and hope that that experience will further clarify what I want to do. As a first-generation college student, I am so thankful for the opportunity to get hands-on experience in a field that I am not 100 percent sure I want to pursue, but that I wanted to try.
International Trade Intern: United States Commercial Office
My internship at the US Commercial Service gave me a valuable experience and helped me better understand my career goals. Among other things, I learned a lot about the process of exporting, social media marketing, and managing client information. My key project and biggest accomplishment was assisting one of the trade officers manage company information for a water infrastructure trade mission in Southeast Asia. This project taught me a lot about organization and meeting deadlines, as I had to make sure that each company provided all of the necessary information and materials on time.
The most valuable thing I discovered from this experience was that government work is not the best fit for me. I would not have known this if I hadn’t had a chance to try it out with an internship! I hope to find a job in the private sector after I graduate.