As part of their undergraduate education, 65% of Washington College students complete internships.
These applied experiences allow students the opportunity to learn how the skills and abilities they develop in their Sociology courses can be put to use in the real world. Completing a summer or semester internship also allows students to explore career areas and refine plans for work, education, and their goals beyond their years at Washington College.
Jada Aristilde, ’21, Sociology major: Internship with the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Last semester I began my internship at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington DC. My internship was one of the many offered through the C.V. Starr Center Explore America Internships however, my specific internship was one of its kind. It was spawned by a collaboration between Washington College’s Starr Center and NMAAHC for a community curation of Kent County’s African American history.
Last semester, I ventured to NMAAHC every Monday on an accredited internship for sociology. My course work was based around 3 sociological ideologies: organizational processes, open systems framework, and visual sociology. I learned how to analyze, study and understand the inner and outer workings of museums through the sociological lens. By the end of the accredited internship, I was able to answer some of the most critical questions posed in the museum field today, like how location in both time and space affects a museum, how NMAAHC analyzes and approaches visual culture within their exhibits and the most commonly what the purpose of NMAACH is and what makes NMAAHC so unique. Through this internship, I was able to graze the surface of a plethora of sociological principals while gaining hands-on experience in sociological ethnography in one of the Smithsonian’s most prominent museums.
This fast-tracked learning experience was carefully shaped to fit my learning style and needs. It has left me with a new and improved transferrable skill set, substantial knowledge in museum studies and windows and doors of different available opportunities for possible careers in the museum, sociological and African American history fields.
Kayla Hamel ’17, Double major in Sociology and Psychology: Internship with Kent County Behavioral Health
“Through this experience, I am able to shadow a social worker and gain hands-on experience interacting with clients. My supervisor is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, which is what I hope to one day be as I continue my academic career at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Being an intern at KCBH has allowed me to observe clinical techniques for treating a wide range of mental health disorders. I am also able to interact with a diverse population of clients, as I travel to the middle schools to assist with school-based therapy, and I see a variety of ages, abilities, and diagnoses in the office. Not only am I able to shadow my LCSW supervisor, but I am also able to sit in on sessions with nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and professional counselors. This allows me to view the wide range of career opportunities in the field of mental health, and understand how each profession works together to become a team of support for the clients. Through my internship at Kent County Behavioral Health, I have learned the exact nature of the job of a social worker, as well as the specific responsibilities of the career. This experience has helped me to solidify my career goals and has better prepared me for the coursework I will encounter in graduate school.”
Erin Famularo ’15; Major in Sociology: Internship with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia
“I spent two and a half months at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights through the Comegys Bight Fellowship offered through the CV Starr Center. I spent the summer creating content for social media — Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, etc.. Through this experience I learned how difficult it is to post tweets and facebook statuses that will engage the most diverse group of people while keeping the content-neutral, relatable, and mission-driven. I was allowed to accompany tours and help run events. In addition, I was tasked with countless graphic design jobs that included creating fliers, sponsorship packages, a ‘Year in Review’ package, and coupons. I helped generate group sales by researching potential organizations, churches, and educational groups that would benefit from a trip to The Center. Majoring in sociology prepared me to handle sensitive information that inevitably comes up in an environment such as The Center in an educated way. Graduating with a degree in Sociology from WAC has also taught me how to look at different perspectives in both a broad and focused manner that allowed me to contribute to The Center’s mission of giving a “voice to the voiceless” by creating a safe space for a more inclusive dialogue surrounding civil and human rights. I’m happy to report that through my internship I secured a full-time job at The Center for Civil and Human Rights!”