College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Internships Give Students Chance to Learn from Best Teacher—Experience

Students in the College take advantage of a wide variety of internship opportunities to transfer classroom knowledge into the workplace.

In this story, we highlight the role of internships in three College departments: Journalism, Theatre Arts, and Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Journalism

Last year, more than 50 journalism students completed internships, many at highly sought-after spots with Woman’s Day magazine, USA Today and Fox News.

In journalism, getting an internship is essential to gaining future employment. Samir Husni, chair and professor of journalism and Hederman Lecturer, calls it the “CIJ” concept: clips, internships and jobs.

Once a portfolio of work that has been printed or aired on campus is created, Husni encourages students to intern at a hometown media outlet after their first year, a larger state media outlet after the second year and national the third year.

“Journalism is one of those careers that requires both classroom learning and hands-on experience,” said Ellen Meacham, career and internship coordinator for the journalism department. “Contacts can help, but it’s really the quality of your work and the evaluation of that work by your internship supervisors that is going to impress employers.”

Theatre Arts

The Department of Theatre Arts encourages students to experience and contribute to theatre off campus during the summer. Students have been involved in a rich variety of experiences, including stage-managing an opera company, performing in Shakespeare productions, in dinner theatre and at a living history camp.

Theatre major Winslow Rumph from Marshallville, Ga., spent more than 12 hours daily preparing costumes and sets for musicals at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse in Bigfork, Mont., last summer.

“The production team at BSP looks for company members who have a good work ethic, work well with others, have positive attitudes and, most importantly, who are passionate about what they’re doing on and off the stage,” Rumph said.

“Students come back to campus in the fall inspired by the knowledge that what they have learned at UM has served them well in the real world,” said theatre arts chair Rhona Justice-Malloy.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

The forensic chemistry program is building a national reputation for training crime-lab professionals, in part due to its internship requirement. Between their junior and senior years, students complete internships in crime labs at the state and federal levels.

“This experience assists students in deciding on specialty courses during their senior year, which provide greater depth in a specific forensic area,” said Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Director of Forensic Chemistry Murrell Godfrey.

Forensic chemistry student Jamie Tingle landed a prestigious internship at the FBI training facility in Quantico, Va. In a real-life “CSI” scenario, she worked with the evidence response team, which goes to crime scenes to gather and process evidence. The FBI also sent her to Denver for latent fingerprint training.

Help Wanted

The College of Liberal Arts is looking for ways to expand our students’ internship possibilities. Do you work in a business or organization that could provide internships for our students? Or can you provide financial support to help offset the living expenses of students who accept unpaid internships? If so, our students need your help. Please contact Dean Hopkins at 662-915-7178 or at ghopkins@olemiss.edu.