Give three words that sum up your internship experience.
Stimulating, Friendly, Lively
How did you learn about your internship?
“I heard about the Women and Children’s Horizons summer camp internship from the Carthage Education Department.”
Describe your internship.
“I lead the Women and Children’s Horizons summer camp with another intern. Every week we worked with a group of volunteers from Journey Church’s HOPE week program. These volunteers are new every week and are typically high school aged. On Mondays, we give these volunteers a tour of the Women and Children’s Horizons’ shelter. Then we work with the volunteers and create curriculum plans for summer camp that week. The summer campers are children ages five to 12 who are currently living at WCH’s shelter or whose parents are former clients. Then on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, we work with the volunteers and lead several educational and recreational activities with the summer campers.”
What do you enjoy most about your internship? What are some of the challenges?
“I really enjoy working with the children. My favorite aspect of my internship is hearing children say that they wished that summer camp would never end. Many of the campers in the program do not get to experience a lot of activities that other children have the opportunity to do so. One of my favorite days was when we took a field trip to the Kenosha Historical Society Museum. After going to the museum, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the beach. Some of the campers have not seen Lake Michigan before. I love that I am able to teach and expose students to new experiences. One of the hardest aspects of my internship is when a camper refuses to listen. I find it helpful in situations like this to understand where campers are coming from. It is very useful to understand why a child is behaving the way they are. By asking the child why they are making a poor choice, it can help me work with children to make their negative behavior a positive one.”
How does your internship fit with your long-term career goals?
“After I graduate, I plan on becoming an elementary school teacher. This internship has taught me not only how to work with young children, but also with people of various ages and backgrounds. I am working with adult and high school volunteers to create curriculum plans. I work with the Women and Children’s Horizons staff at all three of their facilities. I also have experience communicating with parents of the summer campers which will definitely be a skill that I will use in my future teaching career.”
During your internship search, how did you make yourself stand out to employers?
“Be yourself. I think of job applications and interviews as a way for employers to understand the real you. They want to know that you would be a good fit for them. Share experiences, both volunteer and job related, where you used skills that are related to the internship. Even if your experiences do not directly match up with the position you are applying for, describe skills that would be helpful in any career.”
What did you find to be the most helpful during your internship search process?
“I have had people from Career Services come into my classes to help with developing resumes and interviewing. I found it most helpful to hear from experts what people in my field are looking for. This helped me with improving my resume and interviewing skills.”
Do you have any tips to share with other students about your experience?
“Stay positive and be flexible. I think this is good advice for anyone in any career. Do not focus on the negative. If something has gone wrong, try to learn from it. There have been times during my internship experience where something has not gone the way I planned. It is best to stay calm and have a backup plan handy.”