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Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

The value of an internship

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By: Brie White, Senior Writer

College students are spending more time embracing the benefits of internships. Rebecca Parker, internships and employer relations director at the Space, says this is because “having internship experience makes students more competitive when they’re looking for a job. It’s very hard to get hired without work experience now.”

If you’re seeking internship experience, Parker can help. “The best thing for students to do is come in and meet with us,” she says. “We want to get to know you and your skills and goals. We won’t find an internship for you but we can give you tools to help find one yourself.”

Students can work at internships during the summer, but also during Interim, like Mary Bradley Cassada ’19. Cassada worked with the Greenville Journal this past January, commuting Monday through Thursday and working from 9 am to 4:30 p.m. Most of Her work included data entry, where she had access to the event submission email. Community members who waned their events published in the paper would email her. Cassada’s supervisor was a food and culture staff writer, allowing her to observe interviews and learn about restaurants, theatre and art in Greenville.

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“It’s very enlightening to learn about a city and all of its inner workings,” says Cassada. “So much is happening in a thriving city like Greenville; as a reporter, you are aware of everything. My internship exposed me to the daily life of a journalist, which is exciting, fast paced and different everyday.”

Cassada says her writing capabilities improved because of the internship. “I became more articulate and precise with my writing while writing briefs,”she says. “Journalism requires a specific type of style that is completely objective and factual. While many of my papers for school are argument or research based, it is beneficial to learn to write without bias or persuasion.”

Emily Batista ’17 completed her internship in the summer of 2015, working for a nonprofit organization called Terrra Comum in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Beginning in early June and ending in early August, Batista worked Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“Terra Comum is an organization that seeks to raise awareness and political advocacy for various indigenous groups located in the Brazilian Amazon,” explains Batista. “The organization and its founder are based in Rio, but organization leaders frequently visit groups they work with in the Amazon.”

The Space sponsored this internship and Batista found out about it through the Wofford Daily Announcements. After being selected, she went through training about Terra Comum and eventually wrote blog posts for the organization’s website, ran their Instagram page, developed posts for the Facebook page and organized newsletters.

Batista feels her experience was doubly beneficial because it was in a foreign country.

“The internship experience was really valuable! Not only did I develop new skills, especially Photoshop, but I learned a lot about myself through working in a different country,” she says. “Brazilian work culture is a lot different than it is in the U.S., mainly because it’s much more laid- back. Some days I would show up to work at 9 a.m. and my boss would text me at 11 a.m. saying she was running late. I also learned a lot about myself outside of work. This was the first time I lived in a foreign country without my parents or family, which allowed for a lot of independence.”

Maggie Stewart ’17 expresses similar feelings as Batista. Stewart worked with the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2014. However, her experience lead her to the realization that she was “not interested in campaigning because of how hostile it can become.” This committee assists Republicans in house elections. Stewart worked in the communications department doing research on Democratic opposition, writing blog and website posts, and writing statements about election results and candidates for Greg Walden, the Chairman of the NRCC.

“Like any job, some days were busier than others,” she says. “I liked working with the politicians because I’m hoping to do work in international political development. Understanding and talking to politicians has given me the ability to understand how they become elected and hold office. I gained a better understanding of the work that goes into campaigns and elections and how a committee like the NRCC has the power to sway elections because of their support of a candidate and monetary donations.”

Sheridan Kate Murray ’19, worked with the Asheville Art Museum in their education department in the summer of 2016, facilitating art camps for students from kindergarten to 12th grade. She calls the experience, “extremely valuable.”

“I have always been interested in education, and this helped me realize that museum education is where my passion lies,” she says. “I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t completed the internship, so it definitely paid off. I also am interested in working in a small to medium museum like the Asheville Art Museum, because you get to put on so many hats and have a hand in everything!”

Murray wishes to continue in these fields, hoping her eventual career will be pursued in one of them. She says, “I think having such an involved experience will put me a step ahead of competitors in the future. This internship has already opened the door to other internships in the field, which is obviously super beneficial as well.”

Madison Guyton ’18, a government and environmental studies major, interned in New York City working as the Humanitarian Aid Campaign intern for MADRE, an international women’s rights organization. This was all spurred on by a class assignment while in a World Politics Class. “While writing the research paper for the class I came across MADRE and really fell in love with their work,” she says.

Guyton worked in the Partnerships for Change Division of the organization under the operations manager, who she describes as an “incredible mentor.”

“Each day I was in the same office as incredible people who had written published papers that I had cited in assignments,” she says. “The internship definitely benefited my future. During my time at MADRE I developed and gained invaluable professional and personal skills, and I realized all the different work that goes into operating nongovernmental organizations. Getting the internship and accomplishing what I did during the time I was there gave me the confidence to apply for internships and tackle projects that I would have considered outside of my reach a year ago.

“My time at MADRE also strengthened my passion for empowering women and improving women’s livelihoods. This summer, I will continue to develop the skills I gained at MADRE while interning for TATU, an organization that facilitates equal and sustainable development projects together with the community members in northern Tanzania.

Kendall Eoute ’17 interned with the Spartanburg Public Defender’s Office from Feb. 2016-Aug. 2016, about 12 hours a week during the semester. Currently, she is interning at Cate Law Firm. She began this job in August and plans to continue working there. During the semester she works 20 hours a week and over breaks she works full time.

Eoute heard about her current internship through a friend at Wofford who had a job there but was going abroad. Eoute sent in her resume, was offered the position and now reports to the firm’s founder, Ruth Cate.

“This is a family law firm, so the job is a lot different than what I did with the public defender,” she says. “In this role, I do clerical work, such as answering phones, scheduling appointments and taking payments, and legal work as well. I draft letters to clients, the opposing counsel and judges. I do a lot of research related to the specific case I’m working on. I help clients in drafting and editing their affidavits as well as sort through hundreds of papers of discovery sent over from the opposing counsel.”

Euote has a clearer vision for her future because of her expereince with Cate Law Firm. “I’ve been admitted to the University of South Carolina School of Law for this fall and now I know what kind of concentration and field I am interested in,” she says.

Be it for an interim, a summer, or throughout the semester, Wofford students are invested in expanding their academic experiences through internships. The above circumstances are evidence of internship endeavors that have been enlightening.

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