Bridget Campbell supported UA students in their career discovery and job and internship searches as a Career Peer Coach.
How did you get your internship and why did you choose this opportunity?
I got this internship through networking! I spoke to Brittney Crawford, one of the Applied Humanities Internship professors, after class to see if she knew of any opportunities around campus that would allow me to gain skills in coaching or mentoring. I expressed that I really wanted to be doing something that was fulfilling, rather than working a job just for the money. She put me in contact with Amanda, my future site supervisor, and I went through the interviewing process. I am so grateful that I asked for help, and that my professor was willing to help me. This was one of the best things to ever happen to me!
I chose this internship because I was extremely interested in the coaching industry, and I wanted to see if it was of any interest to me. My mom is a career coach, therefore I hear a lot about what she deals with on a daily basis. I have always been very interested in the field, and thought this would be a perfect way to test it out. I also love helping people in my everyday life. This internship gave me the ability to help people in my work which I loved!
What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?
As a Peer Career Coach at the Office of Student Engagement & Career Development (SECD), I worked with individual students on strengthening their knowledge of career discovery and job application skills, as well as creating and leading workshops on career development topics, such as resume/cover letter building, job searching, and LinkedIn profiles. In addition, I created a lot of material for the center, including blog posts and written things to put on our website. This job was very outward facing to the school community, therefore I was constantly interacting with students in person and online.
One of the tasks I was given was promoting our “Journey to Internship Series” content on our website. Traditionally, the website features longer recorded presentations that students may not listen to all the way through. I had an idea of using my skills in marketing and content management to make this information more accessible to students. Soon after I voiced this idea, my manager, Amanda, appointed me as the project manager for a short form video project, taking written content and turning it into short form content. This was a very large project and I got to write scripts, edit videos, and collaborate with other peer coaches and colleagues of mine to participate in the videos. I feel that this was an influential project for SECD because they will start transitioning more of their website content to short form content and I got to contribute to that strategy.
What was the most significant contribution you made?
Overall, I feel that I contributed a new perspective and approach to what SECD normally presents to its audience. Early in the internship, after seeing multiple presentations and writing from SECD, I brought up the importance of authenticity in storytelling, especially to students. There is no doubt that the information SECD has is extremely helpful and important for students, so I hoped that by incorporating that tone of vulnerability when discussing intimidating topics like internships and career exploration, it might help students feel more engaged in presentations, appointments, and even when searching online.
What is the impact of your internship experience?
I was able to work with a large group of amazing students, helping them get internships, jobs, and find their passions. The impact I had in this role was one of the reasons I loved it so much. I was able to attend career fairs which were also super impactful. I practiced with student’s their elevator pitches, and what they would ask the employers at the fair. I really felt that this had a huge impact on their experience at the career fair. I loved making people feel more confident about themselves and what they bring to the table.
What did you find challenging about your internship?
The most challenging part of this internship was showing up as my best self everyday, when maybe I was feeling stressed or tired from my busy schedule. As a coach, it is important to know how to put your own emotions/moods aside for a while and focus on someone else. I found this very challenging in the beginning, especially if I was stressed out or struggling one week. However, grounding yourself and focusing on the problem-solving that I could offer the student helped me overcome this.
What advice do you have for other students as they search for their internship?
My advice is to challenge yourself to do something out of your comfort zone. Maybe it is something you have always wanted to do, or had an interest in, but have never pursued it because it does not align with your major. I truly believe that these things are often the most fulfilling, and they open up a lot of opportunities. The coaching space was something that had always drawn my attention, however I thought it was well out of my abilities. After completing my internship, I now know that I would love to pursue more opportunities for coaching in the future…who would have thought!