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Student Perspectives on Internships

Even as freshmen and sophomores, students in the Honors College are encouraged to apply for internships—and many students receive financial support that enables them to take unpaid internships. Here are some of our students’ comments about their internship experiences.

I’ve filled out several internship applications now and to be able to write down your ideas and express yourself in written word, I think is really important. And, it's helped me. I've done 2 interviews for internships and they ask you, “What have you done in college, what have you learned, what skills have you developed?” They don't want to hear, “Well, I've learned what the criminal justice system is, from my criminology professor.” But to be able to say that I went to core class with this kind of idea and was able to critically think about it because I was introduced to people who thought something totally different than I did. And now that I can write that and express that in a way I never could before, that is just very beneficial.

Other people recognize that too. I had an internship this summer in a government agency called national government intelligence center. It was originally a division of the FBI, now it has become its own entity, under the department of justice. What it really does is concentrate on strategic intelligence, all kinds of stuff, they have detail from the CIA, FBI, EEA, all in this building and what they are really concentrating on is cutting edge research and producing intelligence documents about trends and possible future trends. I was specifically assigned to do a lot of Internet research and statistical research.

When I started, I was just an intern, an undergraduate intern, and had no experience in government and was able to contribute to a project that is going to be nationally published because I was able to think out of the box, because I had to do it throughout my undergraduate career. I heard it so many times, “It is so fascinating to see a college kid who is able to contribute to this, who is able to think for himself or to argue for himself.” Some of the people I worked with were in their mid-forties or fifties, others mid-twenties, late twenties, I was by far the youngest person there, most of them were my parents age or older.



My intership was a very good experience. I did a program run by the Fund for American Studies. I was at the Capitol Research Center, Washington, D.C. I was writing for their newsletter, and they actually have had me write articles since I have left. I'm writing a feature article for the March issue. The Fund for American Studies brought in special speakers every week. You would do site briefings at the Capitol. We sat on the floor of the House of Representatives. So it was on politics and economics and there was a heavy foreign policy focus. It was a great experience. There were four of us there from the Honors College. And we have all found success there, and the Fund for American Studies has been highly impressed with our students, and we are beginning to become a feeder school now for this program. People from the Ivies go there; it is a pretty prestigious program.