Internship, or senior capstone?
BY Staff Reporter
Students are often told that internships are the best practical learning experience available. Many programs at the university encourage students to pursue an internship instead of taking a particular three-credit course during their senior year.
“After seven semesters of regular classes, I was excited about the opportunity to change things up and explore the field that I’ve been learning about during college,” senior English major Allison Hochman said.
Many students choose the internship option over a heavy course-load, their interest fostered by the university’s numerous career fairs and internship panels before and during the semester.
“I know this experience will help me to narrow down what I like and don’t like in terms of my future career,” Hochman said. “It’s great to be able to actually work somewhere during your last semester of college and get some real life experience rather than sitting in a classroom for the eighth semester in a row,”
Many majors, including English, require students to take a senior capstone, with the option to either enroll in a specific class or find an internship that meets the criteria.
“I went to the journalism internship panel in the fall and started networking with the employers that I met there and ended up getting an internship position at Beasley Media in Wilmington,” Hochman said. “The first six weeks of the job have taught me about what it’s like working for a media company and exposed me to all of the kinks that need to be worked out at any given moment. Components of the projects that I’m working on are constantly changing, which means I have to get myself up to speed and still meet deadlines, something that can’t be learned in a classroom.”
Paige Dana, an English major, took a capstone class during the first semester of her senior year. Dana found herself craving an experience beyond what the class offered and therefore decided to find an internship for credit the next semester.
“I work at Out & About Magazine in Wilmington,” Dana said. “I put together a lot of the monthly columns such as “BITES,” “FYI” and “Tuned-in.” I also put together short briefs and work on looking over stuff before it goes into final copies. Internships teach you a lot more hands on experience, I don’t think I would have been exposed to a lot of the things I am at my internship, I wouldn’t have been published in a regular class.”
Some majors do not accept internships, and students must take the actual capstone course for credit. Catherine Cirella, a senior marketing major, is taking two capstone classes right now, one for business administration and another for marketing.
“An internship would be more beneficial than the capstone class because the capstone classes try to teach you real world skills and give you real world projects without the benefit, impact or success of interning for a company,” Cirella said. “The classes are challenging, time consuming and teach you a lot, but you can’t put it on your resume.”
Alia Zukerman, a senior business management and marketing double major, is taking a business administration capstone course in which students participate in an online marketing simulation.
“The capstone classes offer a sense of culmination of learning over the past 4 years. It allows me to reflect on everything I have learned in a bunch of my past classes,” Zukerman said. “This required me to use information I learned within my intro level business classes, finance courses and marketing courses all together in one unified project that is actually hands on.”