Career Services staff: internships are key to success
Kesha Williams August 28, 2013
Elizabeth City State University students aren't simply returning to campus for the
next semester of classes. They are returning to the Office of Career Services to plan
for the future.
Makitta Whitehurst-McLean, director of Career Services, has announced workshops and
career fairs that will take place during the next three months. Events include workshops
that cover resume writing tips, employer expectations, job search strategies and use
of social media. A career fair is scheduled for Sept. 19 in the R. L. Vaughan Center
from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A job and internship expo for the natural sciences is scheduled
for Nov. 21 in the lobby of the Jimmy R. Jenkins Science Center. Whitehurst-McLean
said she applauds students who are adding the events to their fall calendar.
Whitehurst-McLean also is working on internship student evaluation forms. The forms
reveal details of summer internships completed by ECSU students. Each Friday, the
staff in Career Services distributes an "e-booklet" that lists internships and employment
opportunities across the state and the nation. ECSU students receive them via email
and select those they determine most related to their career ambitions. Six students
currently are reflecting on their summer internships. Whitehurst-McLean said internships
are invaluable because they help students gain practical experience that prepares
them for the real world of work.
"Our workshops prepare students for career fairs, interviews and events related to
the job interview. An internship, however, can be an eye opener for students who are
trying to set long-term career choices. Employers are looking for students who have
on-the-job training or experience related to their college major," Whitehurst-McLean
"A student who completed an internship has an advantage over job applicants with no
previous experience," she continued. "Although students prefer paid internships, those
that offer low or no pay can prove to be a valuable experience for students. The knowledge
gained on a job site, and the expectations employers have of employees at the site,
are crucial for college students."
Six ECSU students recently returned to campus and discussed their internships at Dulles
International Airport, the Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, Walt Disney
and Tuskegee University. All agree they experienced a work site far more engaging
than what they had imagined. Donyai Moffatt, an aviation science major from Kinston,
N.C., completed an internship at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton.
"An internship is the first time you actually test your hands on what you have been
studying. My supervisor took measures to assure that my internship was challenging
and enjoyable. I appreciate the staff here for helping me find a rigorous internship
through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund," Moffatt said.
ECSU's Office of Career Services represents one of 47 institutions that partner with
the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to identify internships and scholarships and to
hold professional development seminars for college students at the nation's public
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Valerie Edwards, a senior from Whiteville, N.C., is majoring in aviation science and
her minor is communications. She completed an internship in the Office of External
Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management. She
learned how the agency uses newsletters and social media to relay its news and information
to employees and external audiences who want to learn about related nuclear clean-up
"Being at the Department of Energy this summer shed light on the countless possibilities
for me to choose from, and that excites me," Edwards said.
For more information on Career Services, call the Office of Career Services at 252.335.3287.