Internships are a fantastic way to not only get class credits, but to gain valuable experience outside of the classroom that you can apply to your future career.
Radford University’s sociology department requires that each student in the major complete at least a three credit internship consisting of 120 hours of work in order to graduate.
When I first declared sociology as an additional major to psychology, I found this requirement annoying and hindering.
It was not until I found my internship at the Women’s Resource Center that this opinion changed. For those of you who do not know, the Women’s Resource Center is located here in Radford.
It was established in 1977 and was officially relocated in Radford in 1980. It is an organization aimed at serving individuals, both adults and children, that have been victims of domestic and sexual violence.
This non-profit organization offers many services such as long-term living arrangements at a reduced cost and have a 24-hour hotline at (540) 639-1123 for those in crisis situations.
I have been able to work at their emergency shelter, specifically with the children that come and go over time.
This internship has proven to be extremely rewarding and educational, certainly providing me with more than credits to graduate. It has helped me gain awareness on sexual and domestic violence and how to best assist those in need.
I want to become a school psychologist and work with students with various needs.
This work has given me a very specific type of training and has also simply given me the chance to work on speaking with children in order to build relationships and trust with them, as I will one day do in my career.
Recently, R-SPaCE at RU had their Bear Factory event where students could come build bears and other stuffed animals for five dollars each.
This year, the event was done slightly different as students were encouraged to also make another bear to be donated to the Women’s Resource Center.
Something as simple as a stuffed animal can be extremely comforting to a child that does not have one. It was fantastic to see the university promoting this positive community connection and this gained the Women’s Resource Center some recognition.
It is really important for the university to maintain these kinds of positive relationships and to help get students involved in local community efforts.
If you are not already graduating this May, I encourage you to look into completing an internship at the WRC in Radford or any internship in general.
It is a dually beneficial relationship as they can provide you with knowledge and information and you can provide your personal effort and hard work to the organization where you work.
Organizations like the Women’s Resource Center could not function without the aid of volunteers and interns, and university students are the perfect resource to find this assistance.
Of course, if you are very lucky, the internship you choose may even be paid. Yet, lack of pay should not prevent you from choosing a wonderful internship opportunity.