Do what you love.
A senior business administration major, Anthony Bell, completed an internship with Ford Motor Co. in Detroit this summer. His love for cars translated through his work in the sales and purchasing division, which landed him a full-time job after graduation. His advice for internship-seeking students is to find what you love and go after it.
“Do what you love,” Bell said. “Cars was something that I loved since I was a little kid.”
Bell also suggests taking advantage of the university’s resources.
“Reach out to your resources. The career center is a very great way to reach out and really figure out exactly what you want to do and what the stepping stones are to do it,” he said.
Marie Smallwood, assistant director of the FAMU Career and Professional Development Center, works diligently to ensure students are exposed to employment opportunities and professional development workshops.
“We have a lot of students applying for internships that want to know the tricks to the trade,” Smallwood said.
For this reason, she spearheads programs such as the “Career Success Series” and the “Internship Showcase” that enable students to network with fellow Rattlers and professionals who are aware of what recruiters look for.
According to senior psychology major Jasmine Hudson, recruiters were looking for representation at her internship in Washington, DC.
“The application for my program had a series of questions but the main one they asked was, ‘If you were elected president, what would be three things you would talk about in your inaugural address’,” Hudson said.
She felt hesitant to express her political views at first, but believes it was her transparency that helped her land the job. She encourages students to be themselves, especially when applying for an internship.
“At first I was a little reserved because I didn’t really know the type of program I was applying for and I did not want them to think I was too liberal, but they loved it.
“They wanted more students like me,” she added.
Hudson’s advice for students who may face similar situations during their path to securing an internship is to respond honestly and intentionally.
“There is no right or wrong answer to a question like this. Say how you feel,” she said.
Diversity and inclusion are initiatives for many employers.
“In my internship, out of 50 to 60 people, only six of us came from HBCUs. We need more representation because these opportunities are for us,” Hudson said.
She wants FAMU students to know that minority grants exist. Minority grants are typically for underrepresented students who exhibit financial need. Unlike scholarships, these funds are need-based and mainly focus on the applicant’s cultural heritage.
There are also non-ethnic minority grants for woman and students with disabilities.
Aside from the expressed need for diversity, both Bell and Hudson believe their internship experiences introduced them to work-life balance.
The two interns were able to enjoy excursions outside of the office such as baseball games, museum tours, community service events and mixers. Their advice to students is to apply for internships that pique their interests to avoid missing out on fun memories and a meaningful experience.
A freshman political science major, Makira Burns, was able to witness these interns tell their stories. She believes that hearing about their experiences will help her and other students walk through their future endeavors with less fear.
“Being able to talk and listen to the upperclassmen give you advice is really encouraging because we all come from the same place. It’s like if they can do it, I can do it,” she said.
To find internship opportunities, go to famu.joinhandshake.com