Student Success - Internships
Studies have shown that job applicants who have internship experiences on their resumes are 14 percent more likely to be hired than applicants who do not – a significant boost in employability. For that reason, Winston-Salem State University has placed a strong focus on developing partnerships with businesses and foundations to create internship opportunities for its students.
“At WSSU, we understand that high-impact learning opportunities such as internships are critical for developing those essential skills that prepare students to succeed and lead,” said LaMonica Sloan, Career Development Services director at WSSU. “As we developed the 2016-2021 strategic plan, we listened to our partners – businesses and other employers – to make sure that our graduates were prepared to join and lead their institutions.”
Sloan said the university learned that employers want a workforce that has more than just the basic skills to do the job. They want employees who engage thoughtfully with issues and contribute significantly to society. They want colleagues and partners who have those intangible yet essential skills – critical thinking, creative problem solving, adaptability, and interpersonal skills.
“We intend to enhance partnerships with businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations to ensure that significantly more of our students have access to internship opportunities that foster deeper learning and prepare them to lead and serve their local communities,” said Sloan.
During the 2015-16 academic year, more than 200 WSSU students landed internships working with Career Development Services.
Rising senior political science major Mona Zahir is taking advantage of her opportunity. She is interning with the Center for Design Innovation (CDI) this summer.
“I absolutely love working at the Center for Design and Innovation. It is a hidden secret for Winston-Salem State University students because it is just minutes away from the university and is a research incubator for the entire UNC system,” said Zahir, a Charlotte, NC, native and president of the WSSU Student Government Association. “Working at the CDI has taught me how to access information, the importance of networking and researching, and the value of entrepreneurship.”
For Jarius Johnson, a rising junior computer science major from Winston-Salem, his summer internship has engaged him in a project that may well lead him to an interesting and exciting career opportunity.
“I am a part of the software team for a project called Construckts,” he said. “I am working with the team to develop a virtual aspect for the physical building blocks. Part of our goal is to create a game for all ages on the Microsoft Hololens, a virtual reality headset. Being a part the software team has been extremely helpful for my future career plans.” For more information about WSSU’s Career Development Services Office, contact James Taylor at 336-750-3245 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.