This past summer select University of Mississippi students had the opportunity to experience the internships of a lifetime.
Each summer The University of Mississippi sends select students to Washington D.C. and New York to intern in diverse fields that are similar to their major of interest.
The Washington Internship Experience has been active since 2008 and in 2009 the Associate Provost of Outreach decided to start a similar program in New York. Students not only have the opportunity to intern but they also have the chance to earn academic credit while working.
Before leaving, students go through an orientation where they learn about the city, a professional etiquette dinner where they learn about workplace culture, attend a week of orientation in New York where they meet New York-based UM alumni, visit key cultural sites and learn how to ride the subway.
Laura Antonow, the director of college programs for the division of outreach, is in charge of the New York Internship Experience Program and helps guide the students as they prepare for the internship and helps them adjust to life in New York.
“I go with the students for a week and a half in June when the students first arrive. I think that reassures both the students and their parents, as New York can be overwhelming initially,” Antonow said. “Then I return at the end of the summer for a week to conduct site visits at the various companies and agencies and host a farewell dinner for students and their supervisors.”
In order to apply students must be juniors or seniors. The Internship Experience covers numerous fields, so it encourages applicants from all majors. The students must also go through an interview process to help determine if they are ready to compete for the different internships in New York.
“We take into consideration a student’s academic achievement, campus and community involvement, work experience, writing skills and recommendations from professors and employers,” Antonow said. “It’s a very competitive market, and our goal is to only send students who we feel will be successful.”
Students such as Breonna Barnes and Bobby Kelly were chosen from competitive application pool.
Barnes, a senior IMC major had the chance to intern for a company called Fashion Update. They are a public relations firm that specializes in Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle. Barnes, a lover of fashion, speaks highly of the program and recommends it for others.
“Its more than just the internship, its the total experience all together. You will excel on a personal level and grow stronger career wise,” Barnes said. “This is a life changing opportunity. I met people who were so different from me but they taught me so much. I begin to learn who I was and what I wanted for myself On the other hand you will work in a fast pace city that will honestly prepare you to be able to handle any situation with confidence.”
Bobby Kelly, a junior psychology major, who also interned in New York, said that his studies helped him tremendously with interning. He interned at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in NYC. He split his time in the hospital, so he was able to work in the clinic with physicians as well as around the office with medical consultants.
“My studies have been very helpful to me in this internship,” Kelly said. “All of the science I have learned has helped me understand the basis of different processes and procedures, and psychology plays a huge role in medicine and dealing with different kinds of patients. But nothing can teach you more than actually experiencing the work, first hand.”