The advantages of an internship during an undergraduate's tenure are many. It allows a student to gain valuable hands-on work experience. They can explore a career path and see if its right for them. They can develop and refine their skillset and network with professionals in their chosen field. Finally, they can receive financial compensation as they gain confidence in transitioning their classroom experience into the real world.
Students can also contribute to their view of a better world while they perform these functions. Many interns work for non-profit organizations that promote the welfare of their communities. These students reach beyond their experiences to fulfill their personal commitments to an idea greater than themselves. Here are a few examples of this.
Rebecca Fritz during her summer worked for the Randolph Partnership for Children in Ashboro. Established in 1999, the Partnership is the community's lead organization for the education of Randolph County on the needs of children and the importance of early education. They also offer training, mentoring, resources, networking, and advocacy to parents/families, childcare providers, and early educators.
During her internship she was involved with updating the Family Resource Guide booklet and their brochure, making it more organized and user-friendly. She attended meetings to learn about the Partnership's upcoming programs and events, and represented the Partnership at several community meetings. She was an important part of their family engagement efforts; she conducted surveys via phone and email to other organizations for their input and opinions on the services provided by the community for families.
In addition, she participated in community events to spread awareness about the Partnership and to sign children up for their programs. These are only some of my responsibilities and activities. With the knowledge gained from interning at Randolph Partnership for Children, Rebecca was able to correlate her experiences with her classwork. The experience affirmed that marketing is the right field for her. Prior to starting the internship, Rebecca was concerned with whether she would be good at marketing; it's one thing to learn about it in class and another to put what is learned into practice. Rebecca knows now she will be able to do the job. She found the job both difficult and rewarding.
Richard Lochbaum during his internship worked at the Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina, here in Boone. His role in the company has been through the Welcome Home Thriftique which is a thrift shop funded by the Hospitality House where donations are the sole source of the products that are sold. The Welcome Home Thriftique project began in 2013 with the mission of connecting the Hospitality House further to the community and providing another source of revenue for it. The mission of the Hospitality House is to combat homelessness in the High-Country area by providing different types of housing, Emergency Shelter, Winter Shelter, Transitional Housing, Family Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing, to support those in need and help them get back on their feet. All the revenues from Welcome Home Thriftique are fed directly into the Hospitality House so marketing for the thrift store was essentially marketing for the Hospitality House as well.
The responsibilities placed on Richard involved creatively marketing Welcome Home Thriftique with the budget constraints that were handed down from the board of directors of the Hospitality House. While the main mission was to market the Welcome Home Thriftique store, he spent time marketing the Hospitality House itself through the promotions he created. Through utilizing the well-established brand and mission of the Hospitality House in the Boone area, Richard was able to promote the store and raise awareness for the different community projects that the Hospitality House runs to benefit those in need of help.
Richard found that the most practical skills used were sales, customer relations, merchandizing, finding creative outlets for marketing and working on a project self-sufficiently. This internship also impacted his career views and aspirations by putting far more consideration into the nonprofit sector. Richard found it was very fulfilling work. After having worked at Welcome Home Thriftique Richard said: "I have worked at the Hospitality House and got to see the clients that I have been working to help and that was valuable to me." Richard feels that any profession he works at in the future he will aim to help people.
Hannah O'Briant during her internship worked with Victory Junction in Randleman, North Carolina near Greensboro. Victory Junction is a camp that serves children living with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. It is a medically safe camp that challenges campers to try new things and just be a kid, leaving each child with a new outlook on the life ahead of them.
The theme for Victory Junction is NASCAR because Adam Petty, a fourth-generation race car driver from the famous Petty family and a rising star in the sport, had a dream to build a camp such as this one devoted to children. Adam tragically lost his life in a racing accident at the young age of 19 years old. His family realized this dream and made it a reality in 2004 with the help of corporations, individuals, and foundations. Victory Junction now appears as a sponsor on Darrel "Bubba" Wallace's race car in annual races. Hannah had the opportunity to intern with this amazing organization this Summer and learned more than she ever expected regarding marketing.
Victory Junction's product is a non-tangible service for children living with disabilities. This camp is a nonprofit organization that characterizes itself as the perfect charity to donate towards. The camp benefits not only campers and families who attend throughout the year, but also volunteers, year-round staff, and summer counselors who see Victory Junction as more than just a job or volunteer hours. They see the camp as a place that creates memories, friendships, and an experience that many look forward to year-round. Campers spend a week at camp at no cost to their families. This means that donations to Victory Junction are what make this organization successful. It takes $2,500 to send a camper to camp for a week. This price is based off housing, food, medical attention, and activities provided. Additionally, money is needed for building maintenance, campaigns, employee salaries, and extra expenses.
Skills and traits that Hannah acquired from the internship include communication, writing, and being able to successfully carry out a project. Her communication skills significantly improved at Victory Junction because of the necessity to interview campers, volunteers, and staff to collect information for a blog each week. By writing a blog, Hannah improved her technique each week. She felt her vocabulary expanded immensely by taking on this project every week. Lastly, the different social media and development projects throughout the summer which typically had tight deadlines helped to refine her skills under pressure. Her work at Victory Junction, serving children living with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses, opened her eyes to how many options there are for people seeking a career in Marketing and has made her seriously consider entering a career field that makes such a difference in the lives of others.
A student will be able to gain a full-time work experience in business and particularly in the area of supply chain management. Six semester hours of credit are granted for a normal 400 hour internship and three semester hours of credit are granted for a 200 hour internship. Students are encouraged to do the internship during the summer between their junior and senior years of study. Students will work with the Director of the Supply Chain Management Program at Appalachian State University to process the course enrollment formalities. The SCM Program Director will review the job description to approve the internship. The internship coordinator and/or the Director may visit the intern at the company's site. The supervisor of the intern will be requested to evaluate the intern's work and send the evaluation form to the Program Director.
Several of our students have successfully completed their internship with organizations including Lowe's Companies, C. H. Robinson, Staller Genes Greer, CED Green Tech, Bosch Inc., Schneider, Inmar, Evergreen Packaging, Trinity Transport, BMW, B & E Aerospace, and others. Our students have gained valuable experience and we strongly encourage students to pursue an internship. Please feel free to contact Dr. Dinesh Davè (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director of the Supply Chain Management Program if you have any question about Supply Chain Management internship.