UNG students talk internships, career experience and class credit

Not all internships have students running around to get skinny caramel lattes with almond milk, extra whip and a single pinch of cinnamon for their bosses.

(Photo by Jake Cantrell)

Despite the negative way they are sometimes portrayed in movies and television, internships provide an opportunity for students to take an active role in their fields before finishing their undergraduate degree.

Employers consistently stress the importance of having at least one internship prior to graduation,” said Lori Cleymans, internship coordinator and career service specialist at the University of North Georgia’s Gainesville campus. “Lately, I’ve seen more and more internship job announcements that are requiring that students already have a previous internship before applying.”

According to Cleymans, 15 students on the Gainesville campus and 139 students on the Dahlonega campus are participating in internships for class credit. This number doesn’t include students who are interning independently, without earning credit.

For both Gainesville and Dahlonega, the number of students completing internships has been steadily rising; however, the numbers are still extremely low,” Cleymans said in an email.

We spoke with three UNG students to get firsthand accounts of their internship experiences.

Maddy McRee, Junior, Psychology — Intern at Walt Disney World
What do you do at your internship?
I am working in merchandise, so I work 30-50 hours a week in different shops in Hollywood Studios.

What do you like/dislike about the internship?
I love getting to talk to people from all over the world, and the people I work with are SO nice. The most difficult part is definitely the language barrier between myself and the guests from different countries. It’s a huge learning experience!

What would you say to students who are considering an internship?
You should definitely go for it! You can go to school forever, but you may not always be able to do that internship … so go for it!

Tyler Wheat, Junior, Pre-Law Political Science – Intern at Volkswagen Group of America
What do you do at your internship?
I work in the General Purchasing Department for all of the Volkswagen America brands as a junior buyer.

What do you like/dislike about the internship?
It challenges me to work and stay in a dedicated schedule, and it makes me feel like I get to communicate with a really diverse group of people on a daily basis.

How do you balance your internship with the rest of your classes and with being a student in general?
I am still in online classes through UNG, and I’ve actually found it better to balance work like this. VW puts a really high emphasis on finishing school. It’s very motivating to be in an environment like that.

Patrícia C.E. Loyola Elliot, Senior, Political Science and History — Intern at the Longstreet Society’s Historic Piedmont Hotel & Museum
What do you do at your internship?
I work at the Matthew Reynolds Library, which is the museum’s library.

How do you balance your internship with the rest of your classes and with being a student in general?
The museum offers a flexible schedule that is extremely appreciated, especially when you are attempting to manage your classes, your internship, your home, and your family duties all at once. Did I mention that I am a non-traditional 50-year-old student?

What would you say to students who are considering an internship?
If you have the opportunity like I did, to divide your total allowed internship hours in two semesters; please do it. It allows you to do continuity to the work you started. It allows you to adjust, adapt and accomplish the work in detail.

For more information regarding internships while enrolled at UNG, visit the Career Services website.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.