Jessica Sykes ’16, Managing Editor

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Dickinson students stationed themselves across the country and globe this summer for once-in-a-lifetime internships that brought with them unique opportunities and experiences for personal and professional development.

The Internship Notation Program (INP), according to Amity Fox, associate director of the Career Center, hosted 185 interns this summer. In the last three to four years, the program has grown approximately 200 percent and continues to grow in popularity. The INP program gives students the opportunity to have their internships recorded on their official academic transcript.

In a summer experience survey sent out by the Career Center, close to 650 students participated in internships this summer, not limited to the INP program, and the numbers are still coming in. This past summer, students completed internships in fields such as medical research, museum curatorial work, medical illustration, and public diplomacy.

In a new initiative this summer, the Career Center gave Dickinson students the opportunity to share their experiences in real time through social media. They encouraged students to post pictures to twitter, instagram, and other social media accounts with the hashtag #DsonIntern so their experiences could be shared. All these posts were compiled into a website and can be viewed at http://dickinson.edu/custom/internships.html.

Nina Kuntz ’14 spent the summer as a Public Diplomacy Intern at the U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon. She was hired by Public Affairs, but got to work in multiple sections of the Embassy, including Consular, Political/Economic, and Management. Her responsibilities within public affairs consisted of cultural outreach, educational programming and press operations. In the other areas, Kuntz was involved in tasks including but not limited to interviews, cable writing, working the visa window, and conducting fraud prevention.

Kuntz initially found out about this opportunity from her freshman year RA who had completed an internship in Togo through the State Department.

“I wasn’t directly interested in diplomacy at the time, but the idea stuck in the back of my mind. Two years and a google search later and I had applied,” she said.
Kuntz’s time in Cameroon not only reinforced her previously held beliefs about travel and life abroad, but gave her new insights as well.

“My 2.5 months in Yaoundé reinforced my conviction that the most applicable skills are learned outside the classroom—which is why if you came to Dickinson starting in 2012, you have yet to see me on campus,” she said. “I learned that while I love studying and working abroad, America is actually great and I want to spend some more of my life here…and most importantly, that unrelenting, militant optimism is always your ally.”

Kuntz had many adventures in Cameroon, making it hard to pick a favorite part. But there were specific moments that stood out in particular.

“Highlights [of my internship] include showing two groups of my Dickinson compatriots around the Embassy, interviewing political leaders in French, living in four different houses, and eating countless pineapples,” she said. “Oh, and being randomly saluted by the Cameroonian military…they mistook me for the ambassador!”
Kevin Doyle ’16 did not travel quite as far as Kuntz for his internship this summer. Doyle spent his summer in Carlisle working at the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) at the Army War College.

Doyle found his internship through DickinsonConnect and learned more about the military culture. Doyle said that the most memorable part of his internship was participating in shooting at an electronic shooting range. His everyday tasks included the upkeep and running of their Lessons Learned database. He also wrote an article for the PKSOI journal.

“I really took away a better understanding of why the military does certain things,” he said.

Looking forward, Doyle’s internship will be useful for his future goals. He hopes to work in the international sphere and appreciates the basic military understanding to help him with foreign relations.

Additionally, “I plan on building on some of the ideas I encountered at the Institute regarding the role of the government and military in stability and nation-building,” he added.

Michael Meyers ’14 interned in the Scheduling Department of the Office of President William J. Clinton in Harlem, New York this summer.

“[My primary responsibility] was to aid in the logistical aspects of President Clinton’s day-to-day activities,” he said. “This included memo writing, correspondence with high-level aids, upkeep of department records, and assisting with scheduling requests.”

The Career Center helped Meyers initially hear about this internship through a poster in the Holland Union Building (HUB), which pictured Matthew Hillsberg ’13 with President Clinton. From there, Meyers researched the internship and opportunities on the Clinton Foundation’s website.

Meyers learned about the different writing styles in the professional world compared to those of academic standards.

“I quickly discovered that academic writing differs from what should be included in an office memo,” he said. “This will definitely help me in the future because I won’t have to go through the learning process when I am seeing employment.”

The most memorable part of Meyers’s summer involves meeting President Clinton himself.

“The most memorable part about my summer was getting to hear President Clinton speak and then having my picture taken with him,” he said.

Dickinson College’s Career Center encourages every student to do at least one internship before graduating, and Fox encourages every student to not shy away from applying for his or her dream internship.

“Don’t be afraid of internships, don’t shy away from opportunities… put yourself out there and really go after your dream opportunities,” said Fox.

To hear about more internships that students completed through the INP program this summer, attend the Internship Showcase this Thursday, Sept. 12 where 52 students will share their experience.

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