Situated behind a basket filled with questions, a panel of eight students eagerly sat at the front of Meredith 104 waiting to help their peers learn more about internships. At 7 p.m. on September 23 the panelists began the discussion by talking about their personal experiences to the student filled room.
The Magazine Center hosts this annual internship panel for students every fall.
“We do it so early in the fall to give students a jump start to their internship path,” Magazine Program Chair Cathrine Staub said.
The panel is run and organized by the Karyl Van scholarship recipient. This year’s recipient and panel moderator was senior Madison Kelly.
“We really wanted this [panel] to be about bringing in students and giving firsthand experiences, because I think you learn more from that than a professional,” Kelly said.
Around 20 students attended this year’s panel. This audience was bigger than previous years and extra chairs had to be brought into seat everyone.
Kelly picked a diverse panel of majors and internships to speak with the students. The panel included; Ashley Flaws, Samantha Jones, Adam Heater, Will Follet, Rachel Wente, Hannah Nuss and Lily Enzler.
Panelists shared that they all applied to multiple internships in the hope of getting just one.
“Apply to everything. It is better to have too many options than none at all,” Follet said in response to a question from the audience.
Junior Vada Abrahamson attended the panel looking for more information on how to find internships. She shared the panel was beneficial to her because it was a peer-to-peer event.
“I think it’s really helpful knowing these are current students,” Abrahamson said. “It’s not people who have already made it big and are coming back going ‘ten years ago I had my first internship.’ It’s actually people in the same boat as us and they understand the struggle of trying to get an internship and being scared that they aren’t good enough for them.”
The panelists internship locations ranged from Des Moines to New York City, with some in between. However, regardless of location they all shared a similar sentiment that students should not fear being underqualified.
“Everyone starts somewhere,” Kelly said.
On top of applying for several internships, the panel also stressed the importance of networking. They urged students to keep in contact with past employers because one day they could prove to be a valuable reference.
Many applications require students to submit samples of their work. Students were encouraged to keep the work they produce in class and through on campus publications, whether it be writing, pictures, or graphics.
“Keep everything you’ve ever done,” Heater said when addressing the question.
When the panelists had finished sharing their experiences and the basket of questions was empty, the end was signaled by a round of applause from the audience.
For more information on internships, visit Handshake at My.Drake.edu and reach out to your advisors.
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