Hitting the career path on the right foot

Rucker Snead and Frederick AntoineA liberal arts curriculum gives students the critical thinking, communications, and analytical skills to succeed in a broad range of careers. Some students, however, are looking for advantages over other graduates entering the workforce or want to develop skills in specific areas not covered in the curriculum. These students often turn to internships.

"Through an internship students have the opportunity to develop a number of job-related skills and expand their network of contacts within a given field or industry," says L. Rucker Snead III '81, Associate Dean for Career Education and Vocational Reflection. "These experiences also provide a means to link the theory of our liberal arts education to the realities of the world."

This summer, many Hampden-Sydney students took internships in a variety of fields and locations.

Will Correll, a senior from Memphis, spent the summer working with the Memphis Research Group, an investment consultancy for a $7 billion-dollar fund in New York. He says, "I took lead roles in multiple projects and helped predict the collapse of Select Comfort share prices, which fell by more than 50% in one day. It was an amazing summer and I made valuable connections in the business and investment world and developed my skills in business and industry analysis."

Much further south, senior John Chambers worked in public affairs for the U.S. State Department at the embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He planned a large Fourth of July concert, interviewed Dominican students in Spanish for academic opportunities in the United States, conducted historical research, and managed the press at events where the U.S. ambassador was speaking.

Not content with just one internship, Scott Clayton, a senior from Scottsdale, Arizona, decided to take two this summer. First, he was a grass roots organizer with Save Our Sound of Cape Cod. Later he took his energy to Iowa to Exelon Wind, a wind-energy company. There Scott developed his own piece of environmental policy, an environmental gap analysis of all 38 operating projects, and several compliance matrices.

Frederick Antoine (pictured above with L. Rucker Snead III ’81), a junior from New York, was a sales/marketing/management intern at Silverline CRM, a Salesforce.com consulting firm in Manhattan. He prepared the firm's case studies on previous customer relationship management tool implementations and assisted with the firm's marketing strategy. Frederick says he will continue working remotely with Silverline, and he has already been offered the chance to return next year to work as an engagement management intern and, possibly, to land a job after graduation.

At the Virginia Institute of Neuropsychiatry, senior Cody Castelvecchi of Midlothian performed clinical coordinator service and conducted brain volume analyses on patients with traumatic brain injury and Tardive Akathesia. He co-authored two case reports, including "Brain MRI Volumetry in a Single Patient with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury," which is in the process of being published. Cody was excited to be working with fellow Hampden-Sydney man, Dr. David E. Ross '82.

Snead adds, "Most employers view internships as an extended job interview. They are able to watch the intern in action and then determine if they want to bring that intern on as a full-time employee. Generally, companies hope to convert 60-70% of their interns into full-time employees."

In recent years, Hampden-Sydney students have been offered jobs after completing internships with JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Ferguson Enterprises, PNC, Deutsche Bank, The Martin Agency, U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, Northrup Grumman, Virginia Ports Authority, State Department, Defense Intelligence Agency, and Norfolk Southern.

The students who spent their summer interning in their chosen fields are certain their experiences will give them a big advantage when they are ready to enter the workforce.