Young adults need a chance for real world experience to either confirm or discourage their potential vocational path. As a college student, my spouse, Lisa, was certain she wanted to become an accountant. She participated in an internship after her junior year and promptly changed her major. Discovering what you do not want to do for the rest of your life is a successful internship.
On the other hand, I spent a semester during my junior year working in a downtown church in Pittsburgh that was also providing incredible social services to the homeless and abused children, and recovery support for those with addictions. This was also a successful internship as it confirmed my intent to enter seminary and Christian service.
Beginning in the summer of 2020, Davis & Elkins College is teaming up with the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber to offer 10 college students an incredible opportunity to find their vocation. Five of these students will be D&E students from outside Randolph County, and five will be Randolph County residents who are receiving their undergraduate education at a college other than D&E.
For nine weeks this summer, these 10 young men and women will be the first cohort in the Summer Highlands Internship Program, aka SHIP. This unique program, modeled after a similar one in Parkersburg, is focused on both intern“ship” and leader“ship.”
Students will be assigned to a local business or non-profit where they will be paid to work four days a week, learning the ins and outs of their chosen field.
On the fifth day of the week, the 10 students will come together in the classroom at D&E to apply what they are learning and to learn from the experiences and insights of their peers. Under the leadership of Chris Jones, Director of Career Services at Davis & Elkins, this unique fifth day addition will make the most of experiential learning and leadership development.
It is our intent to begin with 10 students this year and slowly increase that number in subsequent years. Beyond the internship and leadership opportunity, we also want to showcase Elkins and Randolph County as we encourage students to consider making this region their home. As the Chamber often says, we want to encourage potential employees to see Randolph County as a place to live, work, play and stay.
Davis & Elkins College and the Elkins-Randolph Chamber are grateful to the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for a grant to underwrite this initiative.
Any college students, either from D&E or local students attending other colleges, who are interested in SHIP are asked to contact Chris Jones at 304-637-1220. Employers interested in further details about providing an internship should contact Lisa Wood, Executive Director, at the Elkins-Randolph Chamber at 304-636-2717.
Davis & Elkins College is committed to working together with our local region to ensure an ever-increasing quality of life for our citizenry. Young college graduates staying in this region as additions to our workforce is one of the keys for a bright future for our region. SHIP is just the beginning of more opportunities as D&E and the community-at-large work together to promote a vibrant community that benefits us all.
The journey continues…