Internships have the potential to transform students’ lives by providing hands-on experiences and access to professional networks. Alumni play an important role in making internship opportunities possible.
Approximately 70 percent of graduating Vanderbilt seniors report completing an internship. Vanderbilt students’ internships run the gamut—from conducting medical research and working on a telescope project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to providing hospitality for NBC’s sponsors at the Olympic Games—and all can be a turning point in their education and a potential career starter.
Recently my wife, Linda Watson Lovinger, BA’87, and I were thrilled to hear from students who had completed internships supported by stipends from a fund we created for opportunities working in media. These incredible students described the impact their internships had on their lives.
For example, junior Kaitlin Joshua worked as a press intern for the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs within the U.S. House of Representatives; senior Kyra Levenson worked at actor Jim Parsons’ production company in Burbank, California; and junior Jamie Fisher made a difference at the ACLU of Tennessee. Learning about their experiences is one of the many reasons Linda and I are passionate about supporting students’ career opportunities.
As alumni, we can offer internships at our places of employment by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. I created the Vandy on Madison Avenue Summer Internship Program more than a decade ago to provide access to media jobs in New York and connect students to established media executives, including Vandy alumni.
Other alumni volunteer as career advisers. To become a career adviser, visit vuconnect.com/careeradviser and update your alumni profile to communicate your openness to being contacted. Simply respond to email inquiries from students and share insights about your industry and experiences. I urge you to find a way you can make a difference for Vanderbilt’s bright and deserving students.
—DAN LOVINGER, BA’87