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Bradley Hilltopics

Spring 2009 • Volume 15, Issue 2  

Web Extras
Calling the action | Computer science meets the rainforest | Mid-year commencement | More than crunching numbers | Reaching into the community | Outstanding First-year Student Awards | Saving green by going green | Share your ROTC memories | Late Night BU | Inauguration parade march | Discovering internships | Slideshow: Legislators from BU; Historic BU baseball; BU artists in Print/Drawing International

 

Discovering internships

English major ABBY WILSON ’10 explores the Smith Career Center resources and writes about her experiences.

When I first set foot on Bradley’s campus as a freshman, my plan was to find a job teaching high school English after graduation. That quickly changed, however, after taking two classroom observation courses my freshman year. I realized I did not want to be a teacher, and quickly began investigating what else I could do with an English degree. I was able to gain a broad answer to that question from my academic adviser, Dr. Peter Dusenbery, and decided that was enough for the time being.

Junior year I began to notice that most of my friends were doing internships or working toward specific careers in their chosen fields and that I needed to be thinking about the same thing. I had a wonderful job as a student worker for Bradley Hilltopics, and I realized I needed to begin the process of building a resume and investigating the job market for editing, my choice of careers. KAREN CROWLEY METZINGER, MA ’97, director of alumni publications at Bradley, asked if I had utilized any of the resources the Smith Career Center offers. I had not, and she suggested that I try as many as possible and write about my experiences. It was the perfect idea.

I scheduled an appointment to talk to Sharon St. Germain, the Career Center’s director of experiential education, and Dr. Rick Smith, director of career development and the LAS career adviser, to discuss what resources I needed to use. Most of my friends and I never realizedólet alone utilizedóall of the opportunities that are available through the Career Center, especially at the beginning of each semester. The Center offers job fairs; the Big Event, where a professional comes to campus and gives a lecture on everything from how to write your resume to running your own business; seminars on topics such as what to wear for an interview or how to search for your first job; various electronic resources such as eRecruiting; and much more.

Putting it into practice

In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, each student needs a certain amount of junior and senior credit hours (300-level and above) to graduate. I was on track to earn the exact amount of hours I needed at the beginning of the fall 2008 semester; then Spanish literature came along. I had added a Spanish major in fall 2007, but had not spoken the language for a year when I started classes again during the spring 2008 semester. I struggled through my first class and felt like most of the knowledge I’d gained previously had returned; then the classes became more difficult. I had tested into the 300-level of Spanish when I first came to Bradley, so that was where I had to stay. I started the fall 2008 semester in a Spanish literature course and quickly realized I was far out of my league. I waited to see what the first test was like and discovered I could write page after page about a poem in English, but I could barely squeeze out one sentence in Spanish. It was time to drop the class. I still needed 300-level credit, however, and it was too late in the semester to enroll in another class.

At work, I had begun to look at the Smith Career Center Web site to see what kind of electronic resources I could use and ended up looking at internship qualifications. Each of the University’s five colleges has an internship program through the Career Center; students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences can earn up to nine hours of 300-level class credit through the program. So began my first real experience with the Career Center. I talked to Dr. Dusenbery and Dr. Smith again, and both thought it was an excellent idea to focus my time on an internship. Plus, I was already working enough hours per week to earn one credit hour over the course of the semester.

The paperwork process at the beginning of the internship consisted of evaluating my skills and setting goals for myself, as well as determining three specific projects for me to accomplish during my internship. At the end, I wrote an essay evaluating my experiences, reevaluated my skills, and determined I had met my particular internship goals. I was soon finished and had everything turned in. The entire process was much simpler than I had ever imagined. Although complete fluency in a foreign language would have looked impressive on a resume, a pre-professional internship experience does, as well.

 

Calling the action | Computer science meets the rainforest | Mid-year commencement | More than crunching numbers | Reaching into the community | Outstanding First-year Student Awards | Saving green by going green | Share your ROTC memories | Late Night BU | Inauguration parade march | Discovering internships | Slideshow: Legislators from BU; Historic BU baseball; BU artists in Print/Drawing International