Drake University students discuss internship opportunities
Internships are a vital part of the college experience, with many students vying for those coveted positions – yet sometimes they don’t go as planned for students.
Timm Pilcher, the Assistant Director of Professional and Career Services, helps students within the School of Journalism and Mass Communication not only get internships but jobs as well.
“The SJMC has 31 students with paid internships and three unpaid,” Pilcher said.
About 93% of Drake students have at least one internship before they graduate, with many having multiple internships.
Pilcher is always there to help students find internships, and he has many goals when helping students find their perfect internship.
“I have a few goals. One is that it’s the right fit in the right location; that’s huge when it comes to having a good experience,” Pilcher said. “They also need to have good supervisor feedback. Of course, I want them to get paid and to get Drake credit if they want or need it. But most importantly for me, I want it to be an excellent overall educational experience.”
Princess Hart, a senior at Drake University majoring in graphic design with a minor in magazine media, has been at her internship for a little over ten months now – but she didn’t get any help from Drake University throughout the process.
“I have an internship at Heartland AEA in Johnston as a graphic designer. My favorite part about working with this company is the people,” Hart said. “My creative service team have been the kindest people, as well as some of the best mentors that I’ve had. Heartland offers me the space to experiment with my craft. But just as importantly, they push me to take care of myself first and prioritize school and well-being before any intern work.”
Hart said the process was easy but was very nerve wracking waiting to hear back from the company.
“I had to go through the standard hiring process – applying online and going through a virtual interview. I think it was particularly hard for me because this was the first internship I have ever applied for, so I was especially nervous,” Hart said. “I was looking for internships for about 6 months before I got the one at Heartland.”
Hart wants to let students know that internships can be hard to get, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop applying for them.
Though students such as Elizabeth Miller, a senior majoring in publication relations, haven’t had the best luck getting an internship. She is currently applying for a summer internship but has had some troubles.
“I’m in the process of trying to get an internship for the summer and my struggle is finding something that allows a graduate to apply, having to patiently wait,” Miller said. “I’ve gotten a couple rejection letters and all people tell you to do is keep applying.”
She feels that there are a lot of things that Drake could do to help students get internships, whether it is connecting students directly with alumni or recruiters that specialize in specific fields.