Lynn Downie, associate director of PC’s Career and Professional Development Office, often offers students an analogy about interning and career readiness.
“I talk about how athletes and musicians don’t take the field or the stage until they’ve practiced whatever it is they’re going to do,” Downie says.
“Our office affords four years of practice for students to build workplace skills, interview skills, confidence in talking to professionals and learning about the variety of careers that are out there rather than feeling like they have to step on stage at graduation with no preparation.”
Real-World Experience on Display
PC students who gained that preparation this summer recently presented what they learned at Career and Professional Development’s Internship Showcase.
Fourteen students participated in the event at Cornelson Atrium and Kuhne Auditorium, where they showcased posters, engaged with employers and faculty, and provided presentations on their internships.
Downie said it was exciting to bring faculty, employers and students in the same room. She also noted students showcased their significant work experience in a way that is similar to how they would on Honors Day.
Their summer internships ranged from working for South Carolina’s U.S. senators, as well as in medical, government and law offices, newspapers, and manufacturing companies.
Forty-six PC students interned this summer, three times more than last year.
Downie credits a new internship program for summer school, which she says makes it more cost-effective for students to earn credit for the work they do in the summer and to get more significant work experience full time rather than a few hours a week during the academic year.
Internships Prepare Students for after College
During the event, Reagan Fowler, a junior business major, and Jake Rice, a senior business administration major, were named Summer 2019 interns of the year.
Interns were evaluated on eight key skill sets as part of the National Career Readiness Project pilot program through SkillSurvey in partnership with NACE Center for Career Development and Talent Acquisition. Faculty and career staff were also asked to provide a numeric score for students who scored above 99% on the employer evaluation.
Faculty scores were based on written work (0-100); career staff scores (0-4) were based on participation in career development opportunities and other aspects of the internship program.
Fowler interned with Pee Dee Electric Co-op in Darlington, S.C., and Rice worked with Wayne’s Environmental Services in Birmingham, Ala. The two said gaining experience in a formal work setting proved valuable, as they ready for the workforce and graduate programs.
“It’s very beneficial,” said Rice, who plans on getting a master’s degree in agricultural business.
“I’m going to be working with companies like this one day, so to be able to get my foot in the door and be able to say the supervisors and presidents of these companies know me personally and would see me as a potential future hire, that’s a big step in the right direction.”
Outstanding Interns were also recognized at the event and include:
- Will Alewine
- Reagan Fowler
- Lindsay Harris
- Sierra Jones
- Jake Rice
- Thomas Roddey
- Ashley Roebuck
- Hannah Sawyer
- Colton Springs
- Abby Stiver
More about Internship Opportunities
All PC students gain hands-on experience by interning, conducting research or studying abroad. Please visit Career & Professional Development to learn more about how PC prepares students for internships and careers.