Amanda Olmstead-Brown with students

Students Prep for Careers through Summer Internships

UM Internship Experience Program introduces students to alumni in Atlanta, D.C. and New York

OXFORD, Miss. – This past summer, 15 University of Mississippi students gained valuable career experience through some unique learning opportunities as they tapped into the Ole Miss alumni network in major cities around the country.

DeJour at the Brooklyn Bridge University of Mississippi senior business major DéJour Fox of Brookhaven enjoys at day exploring Brooklyn, New York this past summer as a participant in the UM Internship Experience Program. Fox interned at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.

Because of these connections, some of these students headed off to pitch meetings with UM alumni in New York, networking events with D.C. staffers and behind-the-scenes tours at the "TNT Sports" studio in Atlanta, just to name a few.

These are examples of the career-building opportunities the UM Internship Experience Program afforded students looking to gain professional experience in a variety of fields in some of the nation's largest hubs of business, health care, art, fashion and politics.

"I wanted to try this program to get real experience in my future profession, and the opportunity to do that has been amazing," said Dyamon Brown, a junior psychology major from the Marion County town of Columbia.

Brown interned at Synapse, an outpatient care facility in Atlanta that focuses on neuroplasticity, the field of helping the brain heal itself.

"I had the opportunity to work with actual patients measuring brain waves, administering personality tests and reviewing symptom checklists with each of them," she said.

Brown said her summer internship helped her make the career decision to stick with clinical psychology, particularly focusing on mental disorders.

"I think the internship helped confirm what I want to do in my career, and it lets me know that people really want help; they just need encouragement and a push in the right direction."

Brown is working to prepare for the graduate school application process and hopes to eventually earn her Ph.D.

The connections students make with UM alumni in these major cities has not only been a successful learning experience, but also a great way to keep alumni close to the Ole Miss family, said Kristina Phillips, assistant director of college programs.

"Networking with UM alumni and making a professional connection in their field of study provides students the opportunity to make meaningful associations between what they are learning at Ole Miss and their future careers," Phillips said.

During a recent presentation by several students who took part in the Internship Experience Program, Provost Noel Wilkin explained the importance of internship opportunities and the way they help set students up for success.

"Student are having engaging experiences with people in fields and industries in the real world that we can't do in our traditional classrooms," Wilkin said. "These internships help push students outside of their comfort zone, which is critical for getting the fullness out of your experience."

As an intern at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., UM senior art history major Grace Moorman came a step closer to her dream of becoming a museum curator.

"It was a dream come true, but also a really good opportunity for me to get the experience I need to go into this field full time," Moorman said.

She interned with curator Robin Asleson, researching an exhibition that is going up in 2020 about American women artists in Paris from 1900 to 1939.

"I had a chance to learn more about why these incredible writers, artists, dancers, musicians and other avant-garde women, who dreamed of pursuing artistic freedom, fled to Paris during this time in history."

She plans to return to Washington to see the exhibition go up for public viewing in the spring.

De'Jour Fox, of Brookhaven, shadowed faculty at the Fashion Institute of Technology at New York University this summer through connections made through Ole Miss alumni.

He helped with special projects, oversaw students during class visits, and learned about fashion marketing and forecasting.

"Making connections with others opened up my eyes to the world of fashion merchandising and the business of meeting people and learning new things," Fox said.

Before leaving for their positions, participants in the UM Internship Experience Program are enrolled in internship exploration and preparation courses that assist them in finding internships, prepare them for interviews and working in a professional setting, as well as dining etiquette and more.

Interested students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to begin the internship search. The final deadline to apply is March 3 for summer 2020 participants.

For more information on the program or to start an online application, visit http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/internships/.