Internship. It can be a scary word for college students. One that conjures up images of coffee-fetching, menial drudgery, or the strategically worded resume. We’re often told that you can’t go anywhere post-grad without some successful internships under your belt. And though I think that philosophy is perhaps a little dramatic, it’s not entirely untrue. In fact, probably the main reason I came to Drake is because I knew there was a plethora of internship opportunities to give me real world experience before I even left college. Being situated right in the heart of Des Moines, means Drake is connected to massive industries just minutes from campus. And to be honest, most college towns just simply can’t compete with those resources.
I’ve been lucky enough to take advantage of Drake’s location and connections for some incredible internships in my college career. I spent a year at the Meredith Corporation working for and alongside some of the biggest names in magazine publishing. Then I spent the summer pursuing my dream of non-profit communications. This year, I’m working as a marketing and communications intern with the Boys & Girls Club of Central Iowa. In this position, I get to travel to the different Boys & Girls Club sites in the Des Moines area, write stories and take photography to illustrate the stories of club kids, and work on social media promotion. Essentially, I get to do what I love while hanging out with some really awesome kids. Sorry if this sounds braggy, but what I’m saying is that my job is kind of the best.
It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Drake has been entrenched in my internship experience from the very beginning. Not only did I get the job because my future boss came to speak in one of my classes, but I often work in a club site right across from campus, and collaborate with Drake students and alumni in the Boys & Girls Club organization every day. And maybe the best part? There’s nary a coffee run in sight.
Obviously I talk about myself quite a bit, but my experience is definitely not unique. Every Drake student I know has had at least one internship experience, and perhaps more importantly, at least one truly meaningful internship experience with real responsibilities and learning opportunities. So I’ll revise the previously stated internship maxim. It’s not that you can’t go anywhere post-grad without some successful internships under your belt. It’s that you’ll go so much further and be much so better prepared if you have completed meaningful internships. Although I’m just now figuring this out, I guess Drake has known it all along.