Internships set BYU students a step above the rest in the professional world

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The professional job hunt can be tedious and overwhelming for soon-to-be-graduated students. However, a solid internship on a résumé can place an applicant a step above the rest.

From theater to accounting to exercise sciences, there are many opportunities that can be provided in all fields through internships.

Kyle Stapley is the internship coordinator for the Theatre and Media Arts Department at BYU. One thing he noted is that students often don’t realize just how crucial an internship is to their future career, no matter what their major is.

Henry's internship with the World Triathlon Corporation has allowed her to network with famous triathletes from across the nation. (Photo Courtesy of Meghan Henry)
Henry’s internship with the World Triathlon Corporation has allowed her to network with famous triathletes from across the nation. (Photo Courtesy of Meghan Henry)

“The No. 1 thing our students gain from an internship is the networking,” Stapley said. “Students underestimate how important networking is to their future careers. The contacts you make on your internship will help you get future jobs much more than sending out hundreds of résumés or going to hundreds of interviews. Your contacts will be the best résumé you could ever put out there.”

Many majors at BYU encourage students to seek out internship opportunities to broaden their views of their fields and experience real application in the professional world.

BYU junior Shawn Fielding from Vancouver, Wash., works as an intern at Intermountain Healthcare at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in American Fork Hospital.

Fielding, a public relations major, mentioned he was interested in medical PR, and his professor recommended this specific internship to him. Many of his BYU courses have prepared him for his role at the hospital.

“So far most of the major courses have all focused on writing, making sure I am good at public relations writing, which is what I have been doing mostly as an intern,” Fielding said. “I do a lot of writing for internal magazine as well as new press releases, and my courses have definitely over-prepared me for all of the tasks I do.”

In addition to actual professional experience, there are several benefits and opportunities that can come as a result.

“One opportunity I have seen is that many of the people who have been hired at Intermountain are BYU graduates,” Fielding said. “I know there will be eventual opportunities either with Intermountain or, because Intermountain has such a great name recognition across the country, I know that with this experience on my résumé I could get a job almost anywhere in the field.”

Internship opportunities are everywhere. Some can be found close to home, and others can send you across the nation, as happened to BYU junior Meghan Henry.

Henry, a Yelm, Wash. native, found her dream internship working for the World Triathalon Corporation–IRONMAN Foundation in Florida.

“I like to think I found this internship through revelation,” Henry said. “Like really. One night I was going to bed and a thought popped into my head that I had to check if there was such a thing as interning for the World Triathlon Corporation.”

Henry has participated in multiple IRONMAN races, and is currently training for an international IRONMAN in the spring. With a passion for the World Triathlon Corporation, it is only fitting that Henry would go to work for the corporation as well.

“This internship will provide me with the necessary skills in order to become qualified for a specific position at the World Triathlon Corporation,” Henry said. “The biggest component is creating connections with other people and other companies. Having these connections will provide me with an ample amount of job opportunities when the time is right.”

When it came down to selecting an internship, one of Henry’s priorities was to find one that would allow her to do something she loved.

“Do something you have a passion for,” Henry said. “Don’t settle for mediocrity. Whatever you want to become in life, you can achieve. An internship is the ultimate segue for a future career.”

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