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Career Services

Internships and Field Placements

  • Carly Barker

Carly Barker ’15


Environmental Science


Marshfield, Wis.

Name of Business/Organization

Public Health Madison and Dane County in Madison, Wis.

Internship Position

Intern in Environmental Health Lab

Give three words that sum up your internship experience.

Challenging, Rewarding, Fulfilling

How did you learn about your internship?

“Because Carthage doesn’t offer any public health classes, I reached out to my chemistry professor Dr. Blaine in order to see if she had any suggestions of public health internships that could help me gain experience in the field. She referred me to Career Services for information about the Community Health Internship Placement because a previous Carthage student had participated in the program.”

Describe your internship.

“The primary project I worked on at Public Health Madison and Dane County was the Dane County Private Well Drinking Water Test Pilot, in which I worked as part of a team to collect and analyze water samples from private wells throughout Dane County for nitrate and bacteria levels. One of my primary responsibilities in this project was writing a letter that was sent to residents with private wells educating them of the issues with nitrate and bacteria contamination and encouraging them to participate in the water testing.”

What do you enjoy most about your internship? What are some of the challenges?

“In addition to working in the Environmental Lab at Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC), I had the opportunity to shadow within different community health departments in Madison. One of my favorite opportunities was shadowing at the Well Woman Program, which works to provide screening and necessary treatment for low-income women with breast and cervical cancer. I specifically enjoyed shadowing the bilingual caseworker, who worked specifically with Spanish-speaking women in the community.

The main challenge that I faced in my internship was the amount of time required to work as a team to make decisions regarding how we were going to carry out the project. Because I was only placed at the public health department for eight weeks, it was difficult to schedule routine meetings and carry out the entire project within my internship period and thus the project was not completely finished by the time my internship ended.”

How does your internship fit with your long-term career goals?

“My internship gave me a great introduction to working at a local public health agency, which is one of my potential long-term career goals. I am currently applying for positions in graduate school within public health and this opportunity has provided me with great experience that will help enhance my applications.”

During your internship search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?

“The main way I made myself stand out on applications was emphasizing the diverse classes I’ve taken at Carthage and detailing the hands-on experience I’ve had throughout my time here. As a science major, I think I’ve had a huge advantage at Carthage because I’ve had so many experiences for independent research that can be difficult to obtain at a larger school and I really think my diverse research helped me stand out on applications.”

What did you find to be the most helpful during your internship search process?

“I think it’s really important to work with professors at Carthage to have them proofread personal statements and other application requirements when applying for internships, jobs, or further education. It’s really important to develop personal relationships with professors because they are then able to write letters of recommendation and provide suggestions for personal statements and essays that can make you stand out, particularly when reviewers are looking at numerous applications.”

Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?

“My main tip when searching for internships is to apply for a lot of different positions with the understanding that a lot of internships are very competitive and you won’t receive everything you apply for. With that said, I think Carthage students are prepared to excel in internships because of our diverse education and hands-on experiences.

I also think it’s important for students to know how beneficial it is to receive an internship in the field their interested in before pursuing a long-term career in that field. While I liked my internship and am still interested in pursuing a career in public health, there were different aspects of my internship that presented challenges I wouldn’t have experienced without that firsthand experience in the field. A lot of college students gain experience during internships that shows them that career might not be the right fit for them and are able to alter their career plans before being locked into a full time job.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

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    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …