Internships give students knowledge, experience for future careers

Natasha Ivery and Natasha Ivery

Two University students participated in some major internships this summer.

Senior Nichole Braxton is continuing an internship from the summer with SkyLife Corporation, a company that assists with disaster relief and aid.

“The company’s headquarters is based in Rossford, Ohio. I assisted with project management and research, which consisted of conducting SWOT analysis with different companies looking up events to assist in the company’s growth, and coming up with an innovative way to deliver aid. They specialize in micro-delivery and mass distribution which is currently being patented,” said Braxton.

Junior Greg Harrison took a more political route as an intern for the highly coveted Washington Center program in Washington, D.C.

“The Washington Center was more than an internship,” Greg said. “I took classes at NYU, worked with a human rights campaign and also got involved with MANA, a Latina advocacy immigration/reproductive justice group this summer. I immersed myself in a lot of civic engagement for agencies and cause.”

Jeff Jackson, vice president for the Career Center, says that internships are important for students and that the Career Center is here to help.

“Our intention is to engage with the students,” Jackson said. “We use multiple venues to educate students about different opportunities. That is evident with the Falcon Internship Guarantee, which is a new program for incoming freshman that guarantees them an internship to get them connected to their career. They register the first semester of their freshman year to get started early and they uphold a good GPA. The most important thing is getting the students to connect.”

Securing an internship can be an extensive process depending on how vigorously a student works.

“When people ask me how I got my internship, I say it was a blessing,” Braxton said. “I attended the Hatch and a business marketer was there. We had a conversation and here I am. It was a blessing to be placed in a position for me to have an opportunity like this. My efforts helped them to understand their customers; I’m a team player. The World Food Program [part of the UN Department] is number one in the world for providing food for victims around the world. I worked with the Project Manager to monitor it and get a clearer understanding of the focus, and now I’m assisting the executive manager, virtually documenting forms and researching patents.”

“I started early,” Greg said. “I’m majoring in public relations but I’m super passionate about politics and civic engagement. I began to research internships in D.C. My PLA director Julie Snyder helped, and I also sought the help of Jeff Jackson at the Career Center. I was invited on a networking trip spring semester and met different nonprofits and companies in D.C. along with some BG alumni. That’s how I got connected with the Washington Center. The internship was the piece to the puzzle. I applied and sent in the application along with recommendation letters and transcripts. I got accepted mid-February, early March.

Jackson stressed the importance of getting connected to get the career of your dreams.

“I was once a student so I know how it is, “Jackson said. “That’s why I chose to be the advisor for WAX (We Are Excellence), collaborating with USG and BSU and using our Career Students Ambassadors to get that peer to peer connection established, especially for students of color. We are currently trying to get paraphernalia in the halls, I’m in collaboration with Res Life for that. We have employees on campus all the time, that’s not the issue. It’s getting the students to come. I can’t make the employers hire students, but I can create an environment for students to secure jobs. I’m here to help.

Both students have a different agenda for after graduation and what they learned from their internships.

“It taught me a great deal about being a true social justice advocate. I actually don’t want to do public relations but the knowledge I’ve learned is extremely helpful for me to pursue my dream of becoming an elected official. I want to attend law school and become a civil rights attorney. PR helps in knowing your audience enough to communicate. I learned that one has to advocate all people before a specific group, intersectionality is important. I love black issue, lie race relations and building bridges, being a better advocate for the LGBT community. Everyone’s issues are connected and everyone has to have a seat at the table.

“If you want to secure an internship, start early and be confident,” Greg said. “The bigger the opportunity, the more people are going to go after it, but be confident. Know what assets and skills you bring to the table and capitalize on that to get your dream.“