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The Real-World Connection: Internships Help Armstrong Students Get Ahead

A young man wearing safety glasses and plastic gloves uses a digital microscope. The image from the microscope is displayed on a computer screen.
Pictured: Michael Kelly in the lab at Arizona Chemical

(August 2, 2016) – When it comes to earning a degree, there’s a wealth of information to be found outside of a textbook. That’s why Armstrong strives to connect higher education with real-world experiences, encouraging students to pursue internship opportunities. For many students, internships are game changers.

“The real magic happens in the field,” says Shalli Davis, a Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate student who interned with Lowcountry Therapy. “I feel that I learned the most during my internship. I had the opportunity to apply all of the content I learned in the past year to begin making a difference in children’s lives.”

Shalli Davis with Lowcountry Therapy

During her internship, Davis cultivated relationships with her patients while applying classroom knowledge and was able to develop treatment plans that improved their overall communication.

“I learned so much during my time at Lowcountry Therapy,” notes Davis. “It was a phenomenal experience. I hope I can call a place like this my job one day.”

Chemistry student, Michael Kelly, who enjoyed a summer internship with Arizona Chemical, agrees, explaining that his experience helped shape his future plans.

“When I initially applied to Armstrong, I was planning on pursuing physical therapy school,” he says. “However, after working at Arizona Chemical this summer, it has given me valuable insight into careers directly related to my major, and I’m now reconsidering my plans after graduation.”

Hannah Bryan with Tom Mazza, the CEO of Everywhere Studios

Hannah Bryan, an undergraduate Professional Communications major with a focus in Creative Writing and Film, also learned the importance of extending experience beyond classroom walls during a recent internship with EveryWhere Studios in Los Angeles.

“I learned that in most cases, experience speaks louder than education around L.A.,” she explains. “It’s not a guarantee for success, but previous connections come in handy.”

New to the industry, Bryan’s enthusiasm and “can-do” approach went far, working among film and television veterans like Dan Angel, writer and producer of “The X-Files”; Tom Mazza, president of Sony Television and executive vice president of creative affairs at Paramount Studios; and Julia Eisenman, a producer whose resume includes films like “Erin Brockovich” and “Hotel Rwanda.” At the conclusion of Bryan’s internship, she was offered a position as writing assistant.

Gena Cohen on the job at South Magazine

Over the summer, Professional Communications major Gena Cohen had the chance to put her writing chops to work as an editorial intern for South Magazine. While she still dreams of being a novelist, the internship widened her professional horizons.

“An internship offers a glimpse of the real world,” she notes. “And you get hands-on experience in the field of work that you are getting a degree in.”​

Michelle Burghardt

“I chose Armstrong because it combined all the elements I was looking for in a college: small class sizes and an affordable but excellent education, all in the perfect setting.”

Michelle Burghardt
Class of 2015