Describe the steps you took to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship.
I utilized Handshake to find a part-time job as a full-time student, and I later learned about the Experiential Learning Program. The process in applying was simple and straightforward, and the self-evaluations were instrumental in my experience working at the 21st Century After-School Program.
How far in advance did you prepare and begin applying for your experiential learning opportunity?
I received an e-mail that explained the benefits of enrolling in the Experiential Learning Program after a couple of months of working for the 21st Century After-School Program. I applied and enrolled in Fall 2019.
If you used any Career Center services, resources, or events to obtain your job offer, what were they? How did they support your application process?
The College of Communication and Information and The Career Center hosted a headshot event in which I had professional photos taken for my future job and scholarship applications. I also revised my resume with the help of The Career Center’s online services and went in person to receive feedback. Receiving support from The Career Center helped me feel confident when submitting job applications and attending internship interviews.
Describe some of your responsibilities or duties during your experiential learning opportunity.
As an Activity Leader at Sabal Palm Elementary, I was responsible for supervising students from second to fifth grade. We assisted the students with their homework and designed educational and creative activities for them to participate in.
What was a typical day like "on the job?"
Aside from helping with students' homework and supervision, my job as an Activity Leader provided me with leadership skills and experience interacting with at-risk children in Title-1 schools. These children require the most support and guidance so knowing that I was helping them on a regular basis made the job feel intrinsically rewarding.
What are some major takeaways from your experience? How will these help prepare you for the next step after graduation?
A major takeaway from my experience is how imperative it is to attain at least one internship related to your major, or career goals, that will help you gain experience and insight. Also, throughout my time preparing my application materials, I realized the amount of assistance and resources The Career Center offers to Florida State students. I feel confident that The Career Center helped me develop and improve my career skills.
Did this experience help clarify your career path? If yes, how so?
Yes. Because I am a social work major with a concentration on child welfare, it is important that I have prior experience working with children. This part-time job/internship was an insightful experience that enhanced and improved the skills that will be useful to me once I begin my social work career.
Overall, this experience has made a significant impact on my career path and made me realize how much I enjoy working in primary education. I am thankful for having a supportive supervisor that consistently provided her guidance and feedback, making me a better facilitator for the students.
Michelle N. Pareja
"This experience has made a significant impact on my career path and made me realize how much I enjoy working with primary education."
Major: Social Work, Class of 2020
Company/Organization: Sabal Palm Elementary - 21st Century Program