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Internships Set King University Business Students on Notable Career Path

BRISTOL, Tenn., Jan. 5, 2018 – King University’s Director of Career Development Donna Felty says now is the perfect time to plan for a summer internship. During the fall months when most students are thinking about their studies and coming exams, many organizations are already searching for that perfect summer intern. Three King University Business majors shared their experiences with recent internships.

Kingsport native Avondre McCrary, a senior Accounting major, spent the summer of 2017 interning with The Summit Companies, a local Bristol organization comprised of individual companies dedicated to business solutions and consulting services. He learned about the internship from his Accounting professor Jason Corvin, who happened to go to graduate school at Liberty University with Eric Fields, president of The Summit Companies and 2002 graduate of King University.

“Accounting is a key to a gate that will broaden your horizons,” McCrary said. “During my internship, Mr. Fields definitely broadened my horizons. I learned accounting software. I spent time with Mr. Fields, attending all meetings alongside him. I also helped with the accounting for various businesses and organizations including several manufacturing firms, a local church, and new brewing company that all utilize Summit’s services. I also gained hands-on experience with clients under Mr. Fields’ guidance. The internship was unpaid; however, you don’t get what you want in life without taking risks. The experience I gained was more valuable than any paycheck I could have received this summer.”

McCrary already has another internship lined up for the spring 2018 semester with Brown and Edwards, in Bristol, Virginia, a professional assurance, tax, and advisory services company. He plans to get his master’s degree and CPA and hopes to open his own business in the future that will provide multiple services such as accounting and consulting.

The process of applying for internships is a bit different if you are an international student. According to Crystal Davidson, international student advisor at King, “Although international students must follow specific rules when it comes to working within U.S. borders, any work an international student can do is beneficial. The experience allows them to see how American employers think and act. It gives them insight into how American companies operate globally.”

Faber Bickerstaffe graduated from King in Dec. 2017, with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a minor in Psychology. The soccer player originally hails from London, England, but now calls Geneva, Switzerland, home. As a Business major, Bickerstaffe was required to complete an internship. During the summer of 2017, he spent time interning for Duplo USA, a print finishing company located in Santa Ana, California.

The internship came by way of a friend’s father. “My friend’s dad is the CEO of the Duplo International Ltd., located in the United Kingdom. He spoke with the CEO of Duplo USA to help arrange the internship. I spent the entire summer in Orange County, which was amazing. The internship was paid, including accommodations and food; however, I did have to find my own accommodations. In addition to working with inventory and economic loss, I learned a great deal about the hierarchy within an organization. I’d never worked in an office before. I feel so much of being successful in an office environment is communicating with people around you, being friendly, and showing people you’ve put in a lot of work. If you work your hardest, you might get invited back like it happened to me.

“I’m hoping to use the rest of my OPT time (Optional Practical Training) working there. I plan to get my master’s at a top school either in America or abroad, and eventually, I want to go back to Switzerland. Down the line, I’d like to own my own business,” added Bickerstaffe.

Juan Carlos Somoza, a native of Cancun, Mexico, is a junior at King majoring in Business Management, specializing in Sport Management and a minoring in Coaching. He is also a member of the Tornado swim team. Having been a swimmer all his life, Somoza wanted to incorporate his love for the sport with his degree and subsequently his internship. Together, it has brought him one step closer to realizing his career goals. “My summer internship was for my coaching minor; I worked for the National Ability Center (NAC) in Cancun, Mexico, teaching children with disabilities to swim. It was so rewarding,” said Somoza. “After working with the kids throughout the summer, I was given a coaching position with the [NAC’s] swim team. I’m very involved with the team, and when I go back home, I am the assistant coach or coach for the kids.

“King helped me find my purpose,” said Somoza. “My goal is to be part of the National Olympic Committee for my country of Mexico. Mexico stays behind in medal counts because we are good only in soccer. There is a gigantic number of talented people; that is something I want to help everyone else see. For that, I need to be on the inside. So, I want to take my degree and [internship] experience all the way to Mexico and work my way up through the Olympic Committee. I would also like to go to the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, as an athlete hopefully.”

When asked what advice they would give to other students looking to land an internship, each one echoed the other.

“Step out of your comfort zone. I’d never been to Orange County, California ever. I did that for a summer and had to find my feet there; that was almost as good a learning experience as the internship itself,” said Bickerstaffe.

McCrary said, “Do not turn down an internship because it is not paid, and make sure your resume is updated and flows well. Also, go to the Chamber [of Commerce] meetings because you could meet potential employers.”

Somoza wrapped up by saying, “As soon as you declare your major, find your internship, either for the semester or for the summer. Whether you are an international student or not, you can get an internship anywhere you want; you just have to work for it. Your internship is your work experience for your resume. If you can provide one, two, or even three internships that you have done, you will go to the top of the list when you apply for jobs in the future.”

“Many of the more prestigious internships and research opportunities—those that can make a difference in the direction of your career—are highly competitive and require students to plan ahead,” said Felty. “Internship possibilities, such as an agency of the federal government, have internships posted for a very short period of time—one to three weeks—so you have to be ready to apply quickly and within the application period. The key to landing a great internship is to plan ahead, have your materials ready to submit, and do your research.”

Whether your business is seeking interns or you are a student looking for an internship opportunity, King University’s Career Center staff can help. For more information contact Donna Felty, director of Career Development, at or 423.652.4752, or Finley Green, director of Career Services, at or 423.652.4865. Also, visit


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.