As an undergraduate student pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Health Education, at Morgan State University, I had a couple of opportunities for experiential learning through the American Red Cross and the Maryland Department of Manpower Management. At the time, I didn’t realize how important an internship could have been to my career development. As a result, I didn’t take full advantage of the opportunity to learn more about my chosen field of interest or make the connections that would have benefited me finding employment after graduation. I do remember the highlight for me at the American Red Cross was volunteering at their annual fundraiser. The theme showcased the history of nurses with the American Red Cross. A student peer and myself dressed up in vintage WWII nurses uniforms and was photographed for the Baltimore Sun in the events section. It was my first time at an elegant event of that nature and I truly enjoyed the experience. Later in my career I would attend numerous formal events on behalf of my employer.
Another highlight of my internship experience occurred at the Maryland Department of Manpower Management where I coordinated a career fair. This experience provided me an opportunity to utilize my relationship building strengths which would be utilized in future positions with several organizations. Although I may not have taken advantage of my internships, there was value in gaining experience outside of the classroom and learning more about the world of work.
By: Lisa Punter, Professional Development Institute Coordinator, Career and Professional Development Center