What are you going to be when you grow up?
College of the Pacific now has two dedicated professionals available to help students answer this all-important question. Sue Daugherty and Samantha Pfeiffer, both college internship development specialists, work with employers, faculty and students to match COP students with internships that suit their interests and aspirations.
We recently sat down with Sue and Samantha to ask them how they help students prepare for careers. Here are their answers.
Q: What does a college internship development specialist do?
A: We collaborate with employers to develop meaningful experiential learning opportunities for students. We also work with faculty and get their input to assist in developing guidelines for successful internships. Building relationships with faculty and department chairs creates a meaningful pipeline for promoting internships and creating a personalized approach for attracting students. We also post and manage all of the internship opportunities on Pacific’s student job board, Tiger Jobs.
Q: What is the most important way a college internship development specialist can help students?
A: In addition to reviewing and approving internship postings on Tiger jobs, we do our best to personally visit most employers that post positions. During these meetings we gain a solid understanding of their business culture, structure and expectations. When students are ready to interview for the internships we can offer them first-hand knowledge of the business to help them better prepare for a successful interview. Each semester we support students by holding workshops on professionalism, resume writing, interview skills and the overall value of internships. We work hard at developing skills in students that translate to confidence during both the interview and internship process. Since one of our goals is to build awareness around the value of internships, we want to start planting the seed with students early in their college career. Four years go by really fast and preparedness is essential to students’ post-graduate success.
Q: What is your top goal for the coming year?
A: To develop internship opportunities that are beneficial to students within College of the Pacific. We want to streamline the communication process with students regarding opportunities that will then generate an increase in student engagement and internship completion.
Q: What advice would you give COP students about preparing for a career?
A: Start your research early by talking to professionals in your areas of interest. Ask questions about their chosen career path, obstacles, challenges and benefits. Inquire about shadowing them in a professional setting. Explore internship opportunities that give you exposure to your areas of interest. In addition, utilize Pacific’s Career Resource Center as much as possible starting in your first year here by getting to know the career advisers, internship development specialists, and the other resources available to you. Also, take advantage of workshops and training sessions such as mock interviews and career fairs, etc. Finally, talk to your professors and advisers about your future career goals and aspirations.
Q: What advice would you give parents about helping their students prepare for a career?
A: Encourage students to take advantage of all available services and resources that Pacific offers. Encourage students to develop networking skills through existing family and community relationships. Take note of students’ strengths, help them explore their interests, and encourage them to challenge themselves.
Q: How important do you think the choice of a major is in a student’s career success?
A: The choice of a major helps to develop the academic foundation that will lead to success in a student’s chosen career field. However, the great thing about a liberal arts degree is that students develop important transferrable skills such as critical thinking, communication skills, and problem solving that are valuable and can be applied in any work setting. This prepares the student for a broad range of career options. The student’s own drive and dedication will be a big influence on their success.
Q: How do students get in touch with you? And when should they contact you?
A: We have an open-door policy. Feel free stop by anytime to ask us questions or explore opportunities. We have set office hours on Tuesday and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon in WPC 235 and 237. We can also be reached by phone or by email.
- Sue Daugherty: firstname.lastname@example.org, 209.932.3247
- Samantha Pfeiffer: email@example.com, 209.932.3246