COLUMBUS, Miss. – Whatever their majors, Mississippi University for Women students have the opportunity to gain on the job training through various internships.
On Thursday, Jan. 24, some of these students will present their experiences as part of the Gordy Honors College Forum Speakers Series held each semester. Dr. Brian Anderson, chair of the MUW Department of History, Political Science, and Geography, also will talk about the value of internships, how to find one and what to look for in one. The presentations are scheduled at 6 p.m. in Nissan Auditorium, Parkinson Hall.
Menuka Ban and Karen Lott, both in The W’s political science program, interned at The Washington Center. Ban worked with the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) International, and Lott interned with an education policy non-profit called For the Love of Children (FLOC). Ban and Lott also took for-credit seminars through The Washington Center.
Ban is a senior majoring in political science and mathematics. Her role as an intern was to coordinate advocacy campaign in the U.S. Congress.
She said, “While lobbying in the U.S. Congress, I met many influential people on Capitol Hill. Living in Washington, D.C., was an amazing experience. Coming from a small developing country, Nepal, and being able to experience professional life in the U.S. capital, added a significant value to my university education.”
Ban enjoyed working with the torture survivors and being able to assist them. “Being around people from diverse backgrounds helped me to improve my interpersonal skills, and it also helped me to grow personally as well as professionally.”
Whitney Russell, a senior majoring in history with a minor in English and religious studies, interned at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. She was one of 17 Museum Services, Operations, and Enrichment interns chosen. Her daily duties included working coat check, information desk, doing surveys of visitors, taking part of educational programs, working with various school/organization groups and working with Holocaust survivors.
“There were so many experiences that I loved about my internship, but the one that stands out the most to me was getting to see first person interviews with Holocaust survivors. In these interviews, they told their story of the experiences they went through and all of the things they had to overcome.
“Not only getting to work with these people but to also hear them tell their stories really affected me in a different way than just learning about it in class,” Russell said.
She also saw Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, writer, professor, political activist and Nobel Laureate. “I didn't meet him or talk to him, but it was still pretty cool to see him and know who he was.”
Russell had had to have a security check through Homeland Security, and she was given a radio which signaled to the Pentagon.
“I felt very important because of that. Being in the heart of Washington, D.C., and having to go through all the security was a really interesting part of my job as well.”
Both Lott and Russell will present their internship experiences as part of the Gordy Honors College Forum Speakers Series.
Tshering Lama Sherpa, a junior majoring in biology with a minor in mathematics, interned at MIT in the summer research program.
Her 10-week long research focused on ClpAP proteases–one of the protein degradation machinery in E. coli bacteria.
“Had it not been the first research experience at The W and such encouraging faculty, I would not have had the courage to apply to such a reputed institute,” she said.
Sherpa was able to meet with faculty members from MIT’s Biology and Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department twice a week. She also attended a lecture series by professor Walter Lewin, a famous physics professor.
“The best part of the whole experience was being a part of the team, getting feedback on my work and learning from my mistakes,” she said.
Erin Boozer, a senior communication major, interned at WOIO-TV 19 Action News in Cleveland, Ohio. She wrote commercials for Subway and Designer’s furniture and edited and shot commercial spots for the station.
Her supervisor wrote, “Erin has been a quality intern. She showed up on time and ready for work. Erin was responsible for meeting with clients, planning commercials, writing scripts, lighting and shooting spots, editing, sound design and graphics. She completed every project on time with a degree of professionalism not found in many interns.”
Nine students in the Department of Theatre worked for three different theater companies in the summer.
David Carter, associate professor, worked with seven students on the musical “Show Boat!” at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, N.C. They were Casey Davis, Dustin Gibson, who graduated in May, Joseph Musgrove, LaVosha Kern, Jonathan Bailey, Emma Bailey and Andrew Partin.
Carter designed the “Show Boat” set and many of the students helped build and paint it.
“The thing I find most astounding about `Show Boat’ was the fact that it was built by our interns in an incredibly short period of time,” he said. “It went from bare stage to finished set in 11 days! The students formed the entirety of the crew and they built, painted and dressed the set with surgical precision and intensity.”
Other MUW students participated in many internship experiences a bit closer to home, from doing research at Gulf Islands National Seashore to writing stories for local and area newspapers and television stations.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 15, 2013
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins