Sally McQuire is traveling to Washington DC for an internship through the Washington Internship Institute. This is her second internship. (Erin Morris/Collegian photographer)

By Erin Morris
Staff reporter

Anyone who has been in the hallways of Mossman recently has seen that the walls are decorated in international flags and the display boards are filled to the brim. Welcome the “Internship Fair with an International Flair.”

Information on international and domestic internships is available to students. The fair is hosted by the social sciences division and will continue until Nov. 22 when students break for Thanksgiving.

Internships are an aspect of the college life that are much talked about, but maybe never fully understood until taken a closer look at.

Sally McGuire took that closer look and is ready to sign up for her second internship experience.

McGuire’s first internship was with Project Transformation. “I thought I didn’t like little kids, and I ended up doing PT. It showed me I actually have patience for kids,” said McGuire.

Normally, professors and advisors would recommend pursuing an internship associated with the student’s chosen major, but McGuire also recommends pursuing other interests. “If you’re completely set, might as well branch out now. It gives you a new perspective.”

She also said, “The most important thing is to do something you won’t get bored doing and that you have a passion for.”

She does, however, caution students to know exactly what they’re getting into. “The more you research and the more you know about it, the better off you will be.”

McGuire’s first internship broadened her horizons and showed her something about herself she may never have known. But now that she has a more clear idea of what she wants to do, she’s ready for a more specific internship tailored to her exact tastes.

Enter the Washington Internship Institute (WII). The WII offers internships to students from three categories. McGuire chose the “Go Green!” category. After determining which area she was interested in, she sent in her application, resume, essays, and letters of recommendation. That information is sent to a specific contact in the program who will pair up McGuire’s interests with an internship in Washington, DC.

“I’ll be living right outside of DC with other interns. My point of contact is sending my stuff to the Sierra Club, WWF, Nature Conservatory, Green Peace USA, and a couple other ones. The Sierra Club is my No. 1 choice,” said McGuire.

McGuire discovered WII through her advisor, who had paired other students up with the program in the past. “From what I’ve heard, it seems like they’ve all had great experiences,” said McGuire.

Internships are plentiful and Southwestern is doing its best to bring them right to students. Besides the fair in Mossman, students are also encouraged to check out the database on Leadership’s webpage or speak to an advisor or professor.

“I think everyone should do one. It not only looks good on your resume, it opens up your mind in different ways,” said McGuire.

Erin Morris is a sophomore majoring in professional communication. You may email her at erin.morris@sckans.edu.