in this issue

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8

News & Events

T-shirts and Totes

1

Undergrad Conference

1

Author Edson to Visit
Alexander Awarded
Toto Pulls Curtain on..
Internships a Plus
Career Services Helps
Eclectic Wins Award

Faculty & Staff News

New Professor Profile

1

Umminger's COASTING

3

Alumni News

A Katrina Story

Life After West Georgia

5

Job Spotlight on Snow
   

Course Descriptions

 

7

Fall 2006

8

Internships: Career Insurance

For most graduating seniors, the stress of final exams and meeting deadlines for last-minute paperwork is dwarfed by an incredibly daunting question: What do I do when I graduate? At the heart of this question lie two even more intimidating issues for consideration: What exact career path do I want to follow? And how does a new graduate with little experience get a foot in the door, so to speak?

Whether the problem lies in uncertainty about what career to pursue or in the inexperience that leaves a void on the resume of most new graduates, there is a viable and immediate solution available right on campus: an internship. Yet, for many students, an internship does far more than soothe the worries about what to do once they find themselves in “the real world”; according to a study conducted by a northeastern U.S. public university that surveyed both intern and non-intern business alumni, those alumni with internship experience enjoyed significant advantages early in their careers. Among those advantages: “less time to obtain first position, increased monetary compensation, and greater overall job satisfaction” (Gault, Redington, and Schlager 45).

Many new graduates find themselves disillusioned when navigating the increasingly difficult terrain of finding a career that is both relevant to their educational background and that rewards their completion of a college degree. According to Gault, Redington, and Schlager, “Internships provide students (and faculty) with a means of bridging the gap between career expectations developed in the classroom and the reality of employment in the real world” (52).

UWG student Samantha Fowler, who interned this past fall with Creative Loafing, echoes this sentiment, noting that her internship experience helped her to make the final decision between whether to pursue journalism or to continue in her English studies: “[Interning with Creative

  Loafing] helped me to decide which field to pursue; I decided journalism is not for me . . . [though] it was a very interesting experience [ . . .].”

While at one time a diploma served as a key to entering the professional world, it now opens only the first door. The U.S. Labor Department predicted that in 2005, 18 million college graduates would compete for roughly 14 million college-level jobs (Gault, Redington, and Schlager 45). Experiential education (i.e., completing a college internship) has proven to be the key element that gives graduates the edge over their equally degreed but inexperienced peers.

Student and former UWG Public Relations office intern Brooke Lambert agrees: “I truly believe that both the skills I developed and the contacts that the internship allowed me to make aided in a successful career search, which ultimately secured another position for me at UWG as an Admissions Counselor.”

Many of our majors and minors have completed a vast array of internships, such as working with the Georgia Shakespeare festival, interning at a local Congressman’s office, and Fowler’s writing and light editing for Creative Loafing. One student in particular, Amanda Whitley, spent the past summer interning with NC State’s athletics media relations office, and her exceptional work led her to a permanent position there.

If you are an English major or minor and would like to explore the possibility of an internship, contact the Career Services department (careers@westga.edu; 678-839-6431).

--Prof. Bonnie Adams

Gault, Jack, John Redington, and Tammy Schlager.
      “Undergraduate Business Internships and Career
      Success: Are They Related?” Journal of Marketing
      Education
22.1 (April 2000): 45-53.

Career Services is Not Supposed to be a Secret

As an English major with no immediate plans in education, it can sometimes be difficult to find one’s career niche before graduation. There are many things that I can do with my degree, including working with newspapers, magazines, writing freelance, etc. After deciding that I would need some work experience before I graduate, I went to Career Services, a department that many people seem to know little about. I made an appointment with Dr. Bruce Brewer to discuss my career motives and internship interests. At my appointment, we discussed my resume and my prior work experience. He then asked me what company I had in mind for an internship. As I am a huge fan of Creative Loafing, I mentioned that publication. After Dr. Brewer and I worked on my resume, we sent it to the director of internships at Creative Loafing, along with five writing samples. I landed two interviews and then got the internship. During my internship, I gained the confidence, experience, connections, and fantastic references that will be invaluable to me when I graduate. What is the point of this little blurb? For people, especially English majors and minors, to make use of Career Services and to figure out their options so the post-graduate stress will not be as stressful.

--Anisa Lewis