Written by: Sarah Mulnick '17
Think you want to major in business? Spend a summer working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Love zoology but not sure if you have what it takes to work with large animals? Get a taste of your future career at the North Carolina Zoo. Dream of working as a TV anchor? Find mentors and guides interning at a local TV station.
By the time they graduate, 87 percent of Elon students undertake at least one internship. It's a great way to confirm your professional aspirations. Or to trigger a change if your intended profession turns out not to be what you expected.
Whatever your goals, whatever the internship, Elon has built-in resources designed to support you throughout the process
Tim Kraus '16, Casey Brown ’15 and Emily Drago ’15 completed internships last summer in a variety of areas, from working with a professional football team to a production company to a media public relations firm. The students say their internships afforded them the opportunity to explore their professional options as well as gain academic credit for the experience.
Kraus worked with the New England Patriots and ESPNBoston.com. He worked concerts, soccer games, field days, NFL training camp and special events, such as corporate sponsor training camp. One memorable day he worked a team autograph signing before later helping with a Taylor Swift concert that night.
Kraus credits Elon's Student Professional Development Center with helping him prepare to successfully manage the internship.
The center, which includes Career Services and Corporate & Employer Relations, works with students throughout their four years at Elon to define, determine and then pursue their professional goals. Dedicated career advisers work with students based on academic discipline. The center also works closely with employers to bring them to campus and recruit Elon students.
“The Career Services office made sure that I was prepared for the summer,” Kraus says. “We went over what the university expected of me, because I received credit for the internship, and what I should expect in a work environment.”
Brown and Drago, who completed their internships as part of the Elon in LA program, credit their advisers with helping them find an internship in a very competitive job market – Brown submitted applications to upwards of 70 internships, and Drago had a similar experience.
Brown, an English major, worked at Apartment 3B Productions where she spent her time reading scripts and helping her boss plan a “Day of Indulgence” for female celebrities in Los Angeles.
“It was the best opportunity I could have asked for,” Brown says, adding that she loved reading scripts from the ‘blacklist’ – the scripts that were read that year by Hollywood executives but weren't picked up by studios.
Drago, a strategic communications major, interned with Motormouthmedia, a PR company “specializing in cutting-edge music and pop culture accounts,” according to its website. She helped with press reports and managing artists’ appearances in media.
For Drago, the importance of an internship – or multiple internships – cannot be understated, especially as it pertains establishing a foundation for future job and internship searches. “The first internship helps build a network,” she says, explaining that her experience has been incredibly helpful in applying for a second internship this summer.
All three of the students' internships received credit through the university’s co-op program, which allows students to earn academic credit for their work. In order to receive credit, students must be either juniors or seniors (or sophomores with special permission), have at least a 2.0 GPA, and have the approval of appropriate faculty and staff members.
Staff in the Student Professional Development Center work with students as they pursue internships and also help manage communication between faculty overseeing academic work and the supervisor of the position. The result is a program tailored to individual students that allow them to receive academic credit for an invaluable professional experience.
“Professors supervise the students and are actively engaged in the internship reflection process with the students," says Debby Wall, director of internships.
Because many majors require an internship for graduation – any degree in the School of Communication or Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, for example – students typically begin looking for an internship after declaring their major.
Wall recommends students start networking with personal contacts for internships and come to the SPDC, where they can have an extra set of eyes looking over their resumes and cover letters, and receive assistance with interview preparation for their internships.
The Elon Job Network is another avenue for students to begin their internship search. The EJN allows students to search for positions by geography, major, salary, previous employment of Elon students and alumni and industry. Students might also find mentors in the network who really want to connect with students and provide valuable advice.
“The Elon Job Network is an excellent start,” Wall says, adding that many students go from there to the Career Fair, Job and Internship Expo and information sessions held by employers on Elon’s campus.
To start the internship registration process, students should contact the appropriate internship director for their major. After identifying an internship, students then find faculty mentors in their majors and/or minors who will agree to supervise internships. Students will receive academic assignments and a letter grade at the end of the term.
“Start looking for quality experiences each year," Wall says. "The SPDC has many resources and ideas about where you may find an internship and how that internship may count for academic credit. We want to see you throughout your college career.”
|May 1||Deadline for $500 enrollment deposit ($300 for commuter students)|
|June & July|
Adventures in Leadership: June 28- July 3 and July 6-11
Discovery: June 22-28
PreSERVE: June 13-19
Live the Maroon Life: July 13-18
Chapter One: A Creative Writing Workshop: July 6-11
Roots: June 19-24
|Aug. 22||Move-in day/new student orientation begins|
|Aug. 26||Classes begin|
|Sept. 19-21||Family Weekend|
|Oct. 11-16||Fall Break (begins at 2:50 p.m. on Friday and ends at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning)|
|Nov. 1||Early Decision application deadline for first-year students enrolling fall ‘15|
|Nov. 10||Early Action application deadline for first-year students enrolling fall ‘15|
|Nov. 15*||Explore Elon, an open house for prospective students|
|Jan. 10||Deadline for Fellows program applications and regular deadline for admission|
*Invitations for Open House days are emailed four to six weeks in advance. For additional information, please call the admissions office at 800-334-8448.
Visit our website, elon.edu/admissions, to find out more about application deadlines and notification dates.