I thought it would be important for me to respond to the two recent internship op-eds in The Chronicle: “Why I Quit My Unpaid Internship” by Gisela Factora and “Mandatory shouldn't mean inhumane” by Alissa Anderson. I have been out of school for some time, but I certainly understand the difficulty in navigating academics along with trying to gain actual experience within our hoped-for professions. At LHSC, we often do that through the internship program, and that often leads to a very busy and challenged student. I am happy to say not only is help on the way, but help has arrived.
After taking the role of internship coordinator for the Herbert School, I reached out to faculty and the Career Center to prepare materials and information on our programs and how to approach them. That being said, the website has been updated and a series of workshops are now in place to help empower students in regards to this unique course and its opportunities.
Each semester, students in the appropriate majors are made aware of the internship workshops. The workshops are presented by faculty, our Career Center liaison and myself. We really try to approach interning from every angle. How to prepare, how to do research, how to connect with the opportunities and the process used to get credit. Interning is all about the opportunity at hand, mentoring involved and being at the right site for the experience. It is very important to get ahead of the process and know how to best approach the course. I highly recommend that first-year and second-year students attend these workshops so they know how to plan. These workshops also include information on how to deal with bad or difficult situations at the internship site.
I truly believe that most all of our students and faculty realize the importance of experiential learning in our programs. I also believe that there are many more positive experiences than negative. That being said, I am here to help. Please attend the next workshop (Radio, Television and Film Wednesday, Feb. 20, and Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations Wednesday, Feb. 27), and please feel free to reach out.