Internships bring challenges and opportunities

Hannah Hartline
Staff writer

Students should take a leap of faith when it comes to pursuing their dreams.

Being a senior in college is certainly one of the more stressful situations I have ever been in. The end of college, for those students who have decided not to go to grad school by this point, looms inevitably like the light at the end of the tunnel.

Not only are we in the middle of some of the hardest classes we have taken in our lives, but also just looking at the prospect of being in the real world is enough to bring some seniors to their knees.

Internships happen to be just another bump in the road on the path to graduation, and it can be a wild ride.

Internships feel like the biggest obstacle to me because they are full of uncertainty. The process can be long or short, depending on the size of the company, and sometimes sending your résumé off to these companies feels like a trial before a judge and jury.

You have no idea what the company or individual is going to think of your application, and the waiting game can be torture.

The decisions seem slow and fast all at once, leaving some students feeling like they’ve just been through a whirlwind. Summer quickly approaches, and with every looming deadline, it seems like the options are closing in.

However, there is opportunity everywhere.

Slayton Scott, a junior business major from Panama City, Florida, found her internship with the company All Risks in Richmond, Virginia, thanks to a networking opportunity through her adviser.

“We went to the Birmingham Symposium, which is a job fair, and I met a lot of companies with the risk management and insurance industry and started talking with All Risks,” Scott said. “I was so nervous because I wanted it so bad, but after a lot of prayer and just relying on God and his plan, I got offered an early acceptance because I had another job offer.”

She is expected to begin working with All Risks in summer 2015.

And while networking may be one of the ways to get an internship, students might also consider nontraditional internships.

Haley Greathouse, a junior broadcast journalism and leadership double major from Eufaula, took a less standard internship than most. Greathouse is currently interning through the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida, working in the Animal Kingdom Park as a Kilimanjaro Safari guide.

“The Disney College Program is a unique and challenging experience that for many is a stepping stone,” Greathouse said. “The internships last between five and eight months depending on what you apply for and if you extend (the program).

“That is a long time out of school, so you have to talk to teachers, advisers, any clubs you have offices in, and let them know that there is a possibility that you will not be back for the next semester.”

Greathouse said that her experience during the Disney College Program would hopefully lead her to the next step of being offered a Disney Professional Internship, where she hopes to take a broadcast journalism position.

“Take that leap of faith,” said Greathouse when asked for advice for other students. “It is worth it.”

Scott also encouraged students to step outside their comfort zones.

“Apply for anything and everything,” Scott said. “You never know what could come your way. Be positive and confident in your strengths.

“If you are having trouble, understand that failure is part of the process. You can’t have success without some bumps in the road.”

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