Erica Fish, Public Policy Intern
Pursuing an internship shows the drive and passion one carries, and when there’s the motivation to seek experience outside the university, this boosts your chances of being hired post-graduation with likely higher pay and all in all hands-on knowledge for your upcoming career.
An internship is not a resume booster – it is a rewarding experience for upcoming and recent graduates to navigate their next chapter of their hoped-for professional plans and next academic ventures. Based on the major, junior or senior-level students seek internships whether it is required, or if they want to gain experience. Sadly though, not all students apply for intern roles. This could be because of a rigorous course schedule, or from personal experience, knowing classmates who are too nervous or not willing to put themselves out there. In a currently saturated job market, reaching a certain level of academic rigor while gaining necessary life skills, are proof for career preparedness and achieving experiential work-based learning.
Interacting with professionals who have years of experience reinforces what’s been learned in the classroom and truly immerses yourself in your field of work. Work-based learning defines opportunity and structures decision making when reaching long-term career goals; especially when there’s expectations set by both parties.
Since beginning my public policy internship with the Greater Naples Chamber, it’s been an absolute pleasure working with a team of supportive individuals who’ve exposed me to a variety of experiences and have been part of making my senior year of college the best of my academic career.
I’m incredibly fortunate for my mentor, Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster, director of Government Relations, who has been my main supporter and teacher throughout this year. From networking and being introduced to Florida legislators, attending government relations and legislative delegation meetings, addressing social issues and developing public policy content for blog posts and reports, and researching/monitoring legislative actions and current issues; my passions for advocating and implementing what defines a journalist: a watchdog of government and society, has solidified my professional aspirations and what I want to achieve once completing undergrad.
It cannot be stressed enough the learning outcomes and opportunities that come with an internship – exploring career options and developing work experience opens new doors and sets the bar for dedication, prospects and goals you’re actively working towards.
If your business is interested in developing the upcoming workforce, retaining our local talent, and connecting to students, please contact Alex Breault, director of talent initiatives, to learn about various ways to engage with work-based learning.