Career Development Center holds Internship Social

Kristin Kennedy, News Editor

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IUS students who have been interning in a variety of settings — labs, prosecutors’ offices, accounting firms and others — during the 2015-16 academic year received recognition for their work during the 2016 Internship Social.

The Career Development Center held the social on Tuesday, April 19 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Hoosier Room in University Center North.

Danielle Leffler, director of the Career Development Center, recognized interns, their supervisors and mentors, company representatives, faculty sponsors, academic advisers and the Career Development Center staff.

Leffler said students from all majors participate in the IUS internship program, and they take on diverse responsibilities in their internships. For example, Leffler said some interns have been working in corporate offices, some have been working with global information systems and others have been studying frogs’ behavior.

“When we look at our student evaluations, we’re always intrigued with the things that students are doing in the community,” Leffler said.

Jason Meriwether, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student affairs, was the keynote speaker during the Internship Social. Meriwether said the IUS internship program has been robust, and he was blown away by a report about the program when he came to the university in 2013.

“When I read that and I came here to interview on campus, I could really tell that people cared about shaping the students,” he said. “But what was more important than the fact that people on campus cared was the fact that they cultivated that care into a cadre of partnerships across the Southern Indiana, Louisville, Metro Louisville region.”

Meriwether said he wanted attendees to converse with each other about internships while he facilitated the conversation. To do this, he had the attendees answer questions about their experiences with internships before discussing them with each other.

Victoria Kingsley, business senior and intern at Monroe Shine & Co., a tax, accounting and business consulting firm, said she has learned several things during her internship.

“I learned to go into each tax return with an open mind, put my best foot forward, to always try my best and to never stop improving,” Kingsley said.

James Dezern, psychology sophomore, said he attended the event because he thought it was an informational session about internships. However, he said he believes internships can improve interns’ outlooks on life and help them learn to be more professional in the workplace, and he also said he thinks an internship will allow him to develop more long-term goals.

After the attendees discussed their experiences, Meriwether said the main reward of internship experiences is the opportunity to grow. He explained five I’s of growing: in your interests, in intellectual capital, in innovation, in initiative and in influence.

“If we apply those five I’s to the concept of growth, we will have more and more of these banquets year over year,” Meriwether said. “We’ll see it [the internship program] grow. We’ll see more opportunities for students at IU Southeast and students at other places, and you never know. Not only will your internship open up a door for you, or will your provision of an internship create an opportunity for someone else, you never know who else is looking who says, ‘Hey, if they can grow that way, I can try to grow that way as well.’”

In addition to Meriwether’s speech, the Internship Social featured a performance by Cold Front, a student jazz ensemble at IU Southeast. Attendees could also enjoy Mexican, American and Asian food, as well as a variety of desserts.

Also, a few of the interns were showcased in a video that played toward the beginning of the event. Halim Chambers, video production specialist, created the video with input from the Career Development Center staff.

In the video, Dreshon Bonds, communications junior, said internships can teach several skills, such as working with a team and time management. Bonds also said it’s important to take on responsibilities during internships.

Sarah Barger, communications junior, also gave internship advice in the video. Barger said that if students complete internships for credit, they shouldn’t just think about that credit they are earning.

“Think about the experience, because the experience that you get is priceless,” Barger said.