Internships Lead to Job Preparedness

Posted on January 13th, 2016 by Travis Dix

College students always want to know whether they’ll be able to get a job once they graduate. That is after all why so many of them go to college – to be prepared for the “real world” and their future careers. One of the things that help students obtain a job after graduation is an internship. Here at Averett, there are several departments that encourage, and even require, students to have at least one internship by the time they graduate.

Amy Boles ’15 did one better – she had two internships while she was a student at Averett. Boles majored in communication studies/journalism – a department that requires its students to earn at least 135 hours in an internship.

aboles_web“We really want the students to graduate with some hands-on experience in the field,” said Dr. Susan Huckstep ’89, assistant professor, communication studies/journalism and English. “It’s also a good opportunity for students to try things they think they might like. It’s a good testing ground for them to determine where their interests really lie.”

For her first internship Boles worked with Danville Parks & Recreation. “I learned so much during that time that when I learned there was an intern position at Hargrave Military Academy I knew I had to do it. I wanted to do everything I could to gain experience and build my résumé.” Boles had realized the college experience would only be as good as what she made of it and that she was the only one who could determine how much she excelled.

As an intern with both organizations Boles worked with the communications department. She wrote articles, press releases and public service announcements. In addition she designed rack cards, flyers, mailings and magazines.

“When I graduated from Averett I had a significant portfolio as a result of my internship work and The Chanticleer,” Boles said. “If I hadn’t done those internships, I wouldn’t have had any experience proofing, designing, writing or using InDesign outside of course work.”

Boles also credits the courses she took at Averett for preparing her for a career. “The classes I took at Averett gave me a firm background for a career in publications. As a requirement for communications studies, students have to take three semesters of The Chanticleer in order to graduate. My senior year I took the role of editor-in-chief and learned a tremendous amount during that time. Taking classes that allowed me to gain real world experience while in college and interning prepared me for life after graduation.”

Since she graduated in May, Boles has moved to Williamsburg where she has a job with James City County as a web and publications specialist. In this position she prepares, formats, proofreads and edits letters, forms, manuals and other publications for various departments. She is also assisting with the production and maintenance of creative web pages for users.

“I love that I am working in a career that is exactly what I went to college for; that in itself is very fulfilling for me,” Boles said. “As far as the actual job goes, my coworkers are wonderful, the county benefits are great and being in Williamsburg is awesome!”

Of course, there have been challenges. Boles relocated from Climax to Williamsburg and finding a place to live “was interesting.” She’s been staying at a bed and breakfast since she started the job November 16. However, the biggest challenge has been becoming familiar with everything. Since she does work for every department in the county it can seem a little overwhelming. That said, she’s confident that as time goes by she’ll learn everything thoroughly.

“I simply want to work at a job I enjoy,” Boles said. “They say if you do something you love, you’ll never ‘work’ a day in your life. I am so thankful to have landed such a perfect job for my degree and can’t wait to see where the future takes me.”