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King University News :: Value of Internship Experiences Grow in Importance for Today’s Students

Internships provide King students with experiential learning opportunities

In today’s workplace, many employers have expectations of the inclusion of one or more internship experiences when considering someone for employment, particularly when the applicant is a recent college graduate.

“Internships are one of the most valuable elements of the student resume,” said Andrea C. Hurst, director of the Career Success Center. “Through the internship program, a student applies the material learned in the classroom to gain extremely valuable work experience. An internship gives the student an opportunity to test-drive his or her area of interest. Such experiential learning will not only sharpen but also develop a student's skill-set. Internships allow the student to begin networking, obtain references, and build relationships in his or her industry of interest.”

This type of experiential learning is something of which many King students are taking advantage. This summer, numerous King students participated in internships, both in the U.S. and Africa.

Mary Catherine Correia will graduate in May 2015 with her degree in Physical Education and minor in Sports Management. This summer she traveled to Winter Park, Fla., to intern for Spectrum Sports Performance. While there, she shadowed certified strength and conditioning coaches, assisted coaches, athletes, and fitness clients, and learned the company’s methodologies while applying physiology to coaching.

Sara Fox’s internship took her a bit farther from home. The King senior, who is majoring in Cell Molecular Biology with a minor in Intercultural Studies, traveled to Kumasi, Ghana to intern through Plan My Gap Year in the maternity ward of the Manhyia District Hospital.

“I learned about the differences in medical care in the developing world,” commented Fox. “Specifically I was able to learn how education, knowledge, experience, and availability affect the health of women in Kumasi. In the maternity ward, I gained practical experience as well as learned traditional techniques used in labor and delivery without the use of Western medical practices. Experiencing this first hand has encouraged me in my endeavors of pursuing global health and medicine to promote greater women's health in the developing world.”

Senior Accounting major Nicholas Piumelli traveled to New York, N.Y., to intern as an assistant project accountant with Hailey Development Group, LLC. While there, Piumelli was responsible for preparing monthly requisitions for subcontractors, preparing lien waivers for check releases, and coordinating with the subcontractors, owners, and project accountants on requisitions.

Piumelli said, “Interning with a company in Manhattan was such an incredible experience; it is the center of the world when it comes to money and business.”

Sarah Hennies, a King senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in English and Photography, interned with the Behavioral Health Department at Lyster Army Medical Clinic at Fort Rucker Army Base in Fort Rucker, Ala.

Her internship duties included organizing patient records and assisting in the preparations for inspection and accreditation. “If you ever have a chance to work on any military base, it is an amazing experience. You learn so much about our armed forces and will gain a new appreciation for what they do for us on a daily basis.”

Then a rising sophomore, Lindsay Kihnel spent a portion of her summer interning alongside graduate students with The Streit Council for a Union of Democracies based out of Annandale, Va. Kihnel is studying Security and Intelligence Studies, Political Science, and Spanish at King.

“Every day I would go through articles sent to me by the Council and decipher what I would then summarize. I worked with the Transatlantic Security Section of the Streit Council. Many of the articles I summarized dealt with issues in the Ukraine, Japan, and Iran. I also wrote blog posts on policy issues.”

Royce Nichols will graduate in Dec. 2014 with his degree in Neuroscience and a minor in Security and Intelligence Studies. This summer he interned with Louisiana State University’s Health Science Center in Shreveport, La., as a member of their SUPER program – Summer Undergraduate Pharmacology Experience in Research. The opportunity came through Nichols meeting one of LSU’s toxicologists at the Society of Toxicology meeting in March 2014.

“My research project focused on the potential decrease in the cell’s ability to produce the energy molecule known as ATP after DGA exposure. To do this, I isolated mitochondria, the part of the cell that produces ATP, and measured the ability of specific regions of the mitochondria to function properly.”

Nichols added, “King has prepared me well for this internship. Dr. Vanessa Fitsanakis, associate professor of Biology, is a great mentor and has taught me how to conduct research, think critically, and has provided me with a solid background in toxicology.”

In October, Royce was accepted into the PhD program in Environmental Toxicology at Mississippi State University.

To learn more about King’s internship program visit, or contact Donna Felty, regional director of Career Development for the Tri-Cities at 423.652.4752 or, Finley Green, director of Career Services at 423.652.4865 or, or Andrea Hurst at 865.769.3123 or