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Intern Success

A successful internship can help you turn a summer experience into a career opportunity. But there are specific things you should do to ensure success:

Creating a Successful Internship

Did you complete a great internship (or have a really bad experience) you'd like to report? Please click on the following link to share information about what you did this summer!

Internship Tracking

Read about how your fellow students are using their interenships to gain valuable work experience:

Name: Cody Freels

Year in school: Senior

Major: Secondary Education in Life Science

Internship Company: Black Pine Animal Sanctuary

Career Goals: Become a middle school science teacher.


Brief explanation about what you learned about the work environment, yourself, and your career path in general: The work environment I was in was very fast paced and had a fast learning curve.  I got used to doing things on the fly, using problem solving and critical thinking to accomplish tasks, and going above and beyond the average to make sure I was being the best I could be.  I learned a little about myself in this frantic rush of work, mainly that I enjoy being busy and that challenges are what keeps life interesting.  I am still looking forward to my career path of an educator because I feel like it will be challenging and rewarding at the same time, just like my internship at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary.

How did your internship impact your future career?

I spent a lot of time giving tours and teaching the public about our animals and about the exotic pet trade in general. This really helped me with my public speaking and it showed me that I definitely want to be in some type of educational field.  It has made me widen my search for after school employment.  Now I am not only looking for schools that might have teacher availabilites, I am also looking at zoos, national parks, and museums that might have an education or interpretation job opening.


Would you recommend students complete an internship before they graduate and why?

I would definitely recommend students completing an internship before they graduate, even if it isn't exactly in the field they want to go into after graduation.  It teaches responsibility and it really shows you what it is like outside of the college world.  Often times it shows them what potential employers are looking for in a potential job candidate.  Best of all, you can develop some good relationships and make some important connections that can help you get a job after graduation.

Check out these awesome pictures of Cody and the animals he helped with!

Name: Kelsey Barta

Year in school: Senior

Major: English

Internship Company: Indianapolis Make-A-Wish

Career Goals: Work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation


Brief explanation about what you learned about the work environment, yourself, and your career path in general: I learned just how much work goes into what the ladies at the office do and how much the wish kids would affect their lives. They were so passionate about these kids and the impact they were making. I liked how we were never trying to sell something or push anything upon people. Our goal was not to sell a product or to make money, but to make kid's dreams come true. It was the healthiest work environment I have ever been a part of. As for myself, I learned that little things I do make a huge difference. I may have been doing behind the scenes details of wishes, but I was a key part in making things run smoothly. I learned to handle conversations with strangers and have on the spot responses to answer questions. The experience gave me insights about the career path and how it takes a special type of person to work there. Maybe I'm talking myself up a bit, but I discovered that I am that type. I genuinely care about the well being of others; this career isn't about the salary or benefits. I had never been so happy to go to work on a Monday morning and that says a lot about the work environment, myself, and that career path.


How did your internship impact your future career?

I had been interested in non profits for awhile, but never knew exactly what they entailed. This internship allowed me to see all the ins and outs of the non profit sector. It also showed me the good people can do in the world. As cliche as it sounds, I saw countless number of people dedicate their time to paint a garage, meet with wish families and talk to businesses for donations. If there was any doubt about going into the non profit sector, it all went away because of the impact this summer had on me.


Would you recommend students complete an internship before they graduate and why?

I think it is beyond important to complete an internship before you graduate. The summer before this past one, I had an internship that showed me what I did NOT want to do after graduation. Luckily, Make-A-Wish pointed me in the right direction. If nothing else, it gave me something to put on my resume and great references. 

Check out this article from WishTV about one of Kelsey's projects, and see her in the video to the left!




Name: Josh Vardaman

Year in school: Senior

Major: English

Internship Company: Northern Indiana Community Foundation

Career Goals: Become a sports journalist

Brief Explanation about what you learned about the work environment, yourself, and your career path in general:

My internship at NICF was my first time being in an office setting. Because of that, I learned how to carry myself in this type of work environment, and I learned how much I thrive in an office setting. When I reach my goal of becoming a sports journalist I will be required to be in this kind of setting, so NICF did a great job of getting me prepared for it.

How did your internship impact your future career?

I have always wanted to be a sports journalist, and working as a donor stories writer for NICF helped me improve my writing skills, which was very helpful. I also got to experience first-hand what non-profits are all about, and am now thinking about working with non-profits after I graduate from MU.

Would you recommend students complete an internship before they graduate and why?

Yes, without a doubt. Internships are the perfect tool available to students to get them ready for life after Manchester. Working in a specific field at an internship helps solidify the choice of a certain career, and helps students network with possible future employers. There is no better way to get your foot in the door of a certain organization than to participate in an internship program.

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If you had a great experience or worked with an awesome company as an intern over the summer, email us with your story and it might get posted here!

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