For college students who are beginning to consider their post-graduation plans, completing at least one internship in their field of interest is a common goal. In addition to providing valuable perspective on the working world, internships are currently more important than ever to employers when deciding whom to hire. At Sarah Lawrence, students are lucky enough to have access to the vibrant world of New York City, where internships are on offer in every field imaginable.
This semester, close to a hundred students will participate in internships at companies ranging from financial giant Merrill Lynch, to Atlantic Records, to prestigious publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire, to CBS Sports, to the Museum of Natural History. Many are interning at non-profits as well, like Environment NY and Lambda Legal, which champions the civil rights of gender and sexual minorities.
Kimberly Lionel has an internship at 826 NYC, an organization that helps children to improve their creative writing skills as well as offers free after school tutoring. “I help kids with their homework as well as help them with their writing by providing prompts and revising their work. I will also have the opportunity to help with putting together 826 NYC 's publications that features the children's stories.” Said Lionel, “It's great seeing how infinite the kid's imaginations are. I love interning here because I love seeing how much these kids love writing and I want to able to inspire them to write.”
Balancing an internship with school and other responsibilities can be tough. Maddy McArn, ’15, is a fashion intern at Cosmopolitan this fall and works there two days a week, often for more than ten hours, on top of schoolwork and jobs both on- and off-campus. When asked about the difficulty of balancing her responsibilities, she was candid: “I was originally doing three days a week, but it was just too much on top of my class schedule,” she says. “It’s a big commitment and school has to come first… it’s not easy, but it’s so rewarding.” The fashion industry is known for being cutthroat, which she confirms. “You really have to prove yourself. It’s definitely a kick in the pants.” McArn hopes to obtain an internship at Zara in the spring, and go on post-graduation to a career as an event coordinator in fashion.
Sarah Lawrence offers options for students who don’t want to balance an internship with a full class schedule. Many internships can be used as fieldwork, which gives college credit. Gabriel Cortez-Adams, ’15, recently started fieldwork in the editorial department of publishing titan Simon & Schuster. “I’m doing that internship as well as additional outside work with a professor,” he says. “It’s pretty much the equivalent of taking three classes here.”
For students interested in acquiring fieldwork or another internship, Career Services has extensive resources to offer. Katherine Bradshaw, the Internship Program Manager, is extremely friendly and helpful, and has a variety of resources to offer students who are interested in internships. CareerLink, the college’s job and internship database, is available through MySLC and boasts thousands of internships, which are updated daily. Career Services also will also hold an Internship Fair on Thursday, November 6th from 12:00-2:00 on the south lawn, if you’re even slightly interested, come and learn more.
Opportunities for finding internships doesn’t end at the fair, Career Services hosts other events throughout the year to connect students with potential employers. For example, Cortez-Adams went to an employers perspectives panel, “I had a few questions to ask [the representative from Simon & Schuster]. I guess I made a good impression. She told me to apply for the internship.”
Career Services still urges students who find internships outside their office to register with them. They even offer incentives: a treasure chest kept well-stocked with books, candy, Starbucks gift cards, and SLC swag will be thrown open to any student who registers their non-credit internship – definitely worth a trip down to Bates.
Photos courtesy of Career Services