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Washington D.C. Internship Experience NEWS

UM Students Prepare for Future Careers through NYC and DC Internships

UM Program offers insight, connections, and course credit for participants.

UM Chancellor Jeffery Vitter had the opportunity to hear from UM students who spent their summer building up their resumes as they took part in the UM Washington and New York Internship Experiences program. Vitter met with students and heard about their learning adventures during a special presentation in the Lyceum on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Pictured with the Chancellor are (L to R) Graham White of Biloxi; Harris Ormecher of Austin, Tex.; Gabriella Berlanti of Bradenton, Fla.; Divya Gosain of Clinton; and Jesse Webb of Atlanta.

OXFORD—Learning more about your own personal strengths and weaknesses is a big part of the college experience. The University of Mississippi’s Washington D.C. and New York Internship Experience program (WIE/ NYIE) housed in the UM Division of Outreach works to make those learning experiences possible for UM students each year.

“Students involved in this program can gain so much from the real world experience,” UM Chancellor Jeffery Vitter said. “An internship in the field they are interested in can really help them get the most out of their summer break.”

From attending the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, to helping uncover the next New York Times best-seller, UM students who participated in the 2016 Internship Experience Program each had their own extraordinary moments. They shared these highlights with Chancellor Vitter and program faculty during a special presentation held in the UM Lyceum on Wed. Sept. 21.

“The program is a two-way pipeline between these cities and our university,” UM Internship Experience program director Laura Antonow said. “Our students get the opportunity to work with successful UM alumni in their field of interest. In return, these alumni have the opportunity to stay connected to the students and happenings on our campus.”

Networking and gaining professional experience is the key role of the program that also helps students earn UM academic credit while they intern in a large metropolitan city. The 2016 class consisted of juniors and seniors majoring in criminal justice, public policy leadership, computer science, psychology, exercise science, political science, journalism, and marketing.

UM junior Gabriella Berlanti of Bradenton, Fla. discussed her time as an intern with Interpol Washington.

“It wasn’t as James Bond as everyone thought, but it was still very exciting,” Berlanti said.

Berlanti worked in the trans-national organized crime unit and in particular the violent crimes division.

“We sent out notices around the world about violent criminals, their activities, and whereabouts,” she said. “It was such an amazing learning experience.”

Berlanti is double majoring in criminal justice and psychology with a minor in intelligence studies. During her internship, the bombings in Paris, France became a major topic within her workplace.

“After that incidence our supervisors decided that all personnel needed to participate in active shooter response training,” Berlanti said. “It was pretty eye-opening, and I learned when and how to run, hide, or fight if needed.”

IMAGE: UM senior computer science major Linda Bardha of Tirana, Albania spent her summer serving as an intern in Washington D.C. with the broadcasting organization, The Voice of America (VOA). VOA is funded by the United States government and works to supply accurate, balanced, and comprehensive information about the U.S. to an international audience. Bardha worked on social media design and graphics as part of her internship.

Berlanti shared housing and participated in group tours and events with fellow UM students interning in Washington D.C. They included Linda Bardha of Tirana, Albania; Patricia DeFelice of Southaven; Allison Hemmer of Tuscola, Ill.; Emily McKee of Dyersburg, Tenn.; and Camille Walker of Tupelo.

Interning with Washington D.C. shadow Senator Paul Strauss was a very interesting lesson in the political world for Harris Ormecher of Austin, Tex. Ormecher helped host town hall meetings to convey to the Senator the concerns of constituents in the D.C. area. He was also involved in the New Columbia Statehood Initiative tracking policy to help Washington D.C. gain autonomy.

IMAGE: UM senior marketing major Harris Ormecher of Austin, Tex. had the opportunity to attend the Democratic National Convention held in Philadelphia this summer as part of his work with Washington D.C. shadow senator Paul Strauss.

“Mr. Strauss does not have actual voting privileges in the Senate, but he is playing an integral role in making sure the needs and concerns of D.C. citizens are heard,” Ormecher said.

Five UM students headed to New York City over Memorial Day weekend where Antonow hosted welcome week events and tours to get students acclimated. The group enjoyed a special tour at Fox News headquarters and meet and greet with former UM Journalism student Shepard Smith.

Graham White, a senior marketing major from Biloxi spent the summer interning at the White Space Group, a marketing and digital rebranding company in New York City.

“It was eye opening to be a part of important sales meetings and learn how branding happens on the front end of promotion,” White said. “I learned more about the fast-paced atmosphere of the marketing world.

“Being a part of this program showed me the importance of getting outside of your comfort zone and how beneficial it can be if you do that.”

UM junior Divya Gosain of Clinton also worked in New York City this summer. Gosain is majoring in psychology with a minor in business. She has taken a particular interest in industrial and organizational psychology that studies human behavior in the workplace.

“By interning with the Interdependence Project, I helped with research to see if meditation during the workday had any effect on the increased productivity of employees,” Gosain said.

She also interned with the law firm of Dewan and Associates hoping to learn more about employment law and legal issues concerning various workplace settings.

“I definitely have a new perspective due to these experiences,” Gosain said. “I believe I have grown personally and professionally. I am more motivated than I was before. I want to be more involved in campus activities now, because I just feel more comfortable with putting myself out there and getting to know people and participate.”

Jesse Webb of Atlanta is asenior marketing major and member of UM’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Webb, who is interested in a career in publishing, applied and was accepted for an internship with the Inkwell Management Literary Agency.

“I feel that as a publisher, I could play a part in our culture and help effect it in a positive way,” Webb said. “I received feedback on reports I was asked to write that helped me learn how to discuss writing better. I got to see the process of how a manuscript becomes a published and marketed book from the very beginning.”

Webb read over 30 manuscripts and queries, helped to plan a book tour for a new publication about yachting, and learned about international contracts and the auction process.

“It was a neat experience to think I might have played a tiny part of helping to get an interesting book to the public,” Webb said. “I’m really happy to have had this experience.”

Also, interning in New York this past summer were Lynley-Love Jones of Oxford and Breanna Lomax of Indianapolis, Ind.

UM’s Washington and New York Internship Program is currently taking applications for spring and summer 2017 participants. Juniors and seniors interested in the program should visit The deadline to apply is Friday, Nov. 11.

WIE Contact Information

Kristina Philips

Kristina Phillips, Assistant Director
Jackson Avenue Center, Suite H
P.O. Box 1848
The University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Phone: (662) 915-2746
Fax: (662) 915-5138

Laura Antonow

Laura Antonow
Jackson Avenue Center, Suite H
P.O. Box 1848
The University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
Phone: (662) 915-6511
Fax: (662) 915-5138

WIE Forms (download .pdf)