Final projects are being finished, grades are due and graduation looms. Students prepare for the real world of employment the best way they can— through internships.
This is a great opportunity for students to be able to practice and apply the knowledge they have learned from their years of hard work in the classroom.
Nikki Campbell, senior Art Education major at Mississippi University for Women, said that she is grateful for her opportunity to be a part of a teaching observation as her final requirement for graduation.
“My internship is one of the greatest experiences of my life,” Campbell said. “I’m learning hands-on what my career will offer me.”
Campbell, like many students in her position, feels that internships are a vital part of graduation preparation. In order to understand the different aspects of the job, students must put themselves in the shoes of the professionals in that field.
“Without my internship, I wouldn’t be prepared to graduate and get my dream job,” says Campbell. “I’m learning things you can't learn in a classroom. This is real life happening.”
Students are not the only ones who agree that internships are beneficial. Dr. Brandy Larmon, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Nursing at The W, said that she notices the positive impact internships have on students within the nursing program.
For the nursing program, students are offered optional externships during the summer and required preceptorships closer to graduation. These programs are designed similar to internships, but with more involvement from the professors.
“It gives [the students] an opportunity to really see what it’s like to work as a nurse,” Larmon said. “It makes them more marketable to those hospitals.”
She also said that other teachers within the department are fortunate that nursing students are able to apply all of the knowledge they have learned into real-world scenarios.
“I feel as if preceptorships should be required because they are at the end of senior year and help with the ease of transition from being a nursing student to a [registered nurse],” Christina Clark, a junior Nursing major at The W, said.
The overall attitude toward required internships is positive among students and faculty. Students are able to test their knowledge on a subject in an environment where it is safe to make mistakes. Teachers are able to follow the progress of a student’s academic journey that brings them to the workforce.
According to the interns, there is no better way to experience the job than to do the job. And internships are the gateway.