Arts & Sciences, Communication

Meaningful internships are the cure for the summertime blues

The summer months in Milwaukee are short and sweet with lots of fun things to do. Many students also use the time to get a jump start on their future careers, branching out into the work world with a professional learning experience to help move their resumes to the top of the list after graduation.

Johnnie Brooker

For rising junior Johnnie Brooker, a past professor and a distinguished scholarship were key to landing a summer internship at a newsroom in Milwaukee, a top 30 media market.

“Through the Emma Bowen Foundation fellowship, I was provided with an opportunity to interview with WITI, FOX 6 News in Milwaukee,” Brooker, a journalism and political science major, says. “I chose this job because FOX’s name is global, and it can take me places that I’ve never dreamed of and open doors that I can walk through.”

He spends his days as a digital intern and part of a team that produces content on various platforms. Brooker realizes that he’s working beside some of the best news professionals in the business.

“My goal is to soak up as much knowledge as possible so that by the end of the summer I can leave with a better understanding of what I want for my future,” Brooker explains. “Essentially, interning now is helping me get my foot in the door later.”

Incoming sophomore Abby Lamkins found her internship match through an advertisement on social media platform LinkedIn.

Abby Lamkins

“A communication specialist position at the Department of Revenue interested me because I would be able to contribute to their social media, video production and communication strategies, which are all things I enjoy,” Lamkins says.

The position is seemingly perfect for the digital media and public relations double major. Lamkins’ main role is assisting the communication team in the Division of State and Local Finance.

“I help with production of educational videos, review surveys, create graphics and other related tasks,” Lamkins says. “This summer, I hope to learn about what working for the state looks like as well as how I can integrate my skills into a larger team environment.”

Lamkins especially enjoys the flexible hybrid schedule and hopes this experience will show future employers that she can succeed in different workplace situations, including government.

Clare McGinnis

Clare McGinnis was excited when she got offered a summer internship with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

“During the school year, I work as the communications assistant for the Office of Resident Life, which has a lot of similarities with my current internship role,” McGinnis says. “There’s a lot of variety to my day, whether it’s contributing to their newsletter or social media; ultimately, this internship will help me build valuable skills in preparation for entering the workforce.”

The rising senior who’s majoring in writing intensive English with a minor in business administration and gender and sexuality studies says she wasn’t sure what to expect with this first internship, but she’s been pleasantly surprised.

“I didn’t expect the staff to be so trusting and considerate towards a newcomer like me. It’s been really great; I feel like I’m a part of their team,” McGinnis says.

Sheena Carey

Since 2003, Sheena Carey has been an internship director at Marquette, helping students identify and gain internship experiences. They often ask her about the value of an internship; Carey says they provide four main outcomes: exposure, exploration, experience and employment.

“Internships expose them to the jobs that are available in their major or career of choice and an opportunity to explore these positions to determine if it’s a fit,” Carey says. “They also get to apply the knowledge they’ve learned in the classroom, develop specific career-related skills and so much more.”

Reflecting on her own internship at a local bank decades earlier, Carey recalls that it exposed her to the world of communication consulting — which, in turn, helped her start her own consultancy. Ultimately, she points out, internships set students up for success.

“Quite a few of our students who are interning in corporations as seniors are often offered positions in those companies after graduation,” Carey says. “One such organization is Northwestern Mutual; another is R.W. Baird for our corporate communication and public relations majors.”

One thing is for sure: Marquette students are highly sought after for both internships and permanent positions because of their work ethic and willingness to take on new challenges.

“Never in a million years did I think I’d be interning at FOX 6 News,” Brooker says. “I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and it’s a blessing that I have this opportunity. That’s why everyday when I enter the newsroom, I give 110%.”

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