Student finds internship through prof's connection, investment in students' success
By Katherine Adams
Job applications almost always ask if the candidate has previous relevant work experience. Although many students have part-time jobs, it can be difficult for a recent college graduate to acquire degree-related work experience unless they’ve had an internship.
“How many students have looked at job boards and seen ‘experience required or preferred?’” said University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Lecturer in Marketing Lynn Place. “Your degree fulfills one qualification, and experience will set you apart. Marketing is not an exact science. An internship will let you practice making better marketing recommendations.”
Place, who teaches an Introduction to Marketing class in UH-Clear Lake’s College of Business, gives students like Taylor Turnpaugh internship information throughout the semester, encouraging them to apply. The internships are across industry, geared toward business and marketing students.
Turnpaugh, a senior pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Finance, said that Place works closely with the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and it was through her connection that she received an internship at the Chamber as an event support intern.
“In my class with Prof. Place, I really learned a lot about how to not just make your business marketable, but how to make yourself marketable to business,” she said. “The Chamber is open to working with any kind of business major, and Prof. Place has taught us about the application process and writes recommendations. She is extremely invested in her students—always looking out for us.”
She said she had also learned about the importance of knowing a target audience in business, doing research, and becoming familiar with businesses you might be working with. “The fact that I have these skills already is helpful to a potential employer,” she said.
Turnpaugh said she chose an internship that was not directly related to her finance coursework because it offered a variety of opportunities to learn. “I work with the Chamber’s membership coordinator, the event coordinator and in marketing,” she said. “I’m getting to do a lot of things instead of one specific thing.”
Most of all, she said that working at the Pasadena Chamber would be a good business experience to put on her resume and applications. “I’m having the chance to meet and make connections with people who have businesses and might have an opportunity for me when I graduate,” she said. “This is a great networking opportunity and my end goal is to get a job with one of the businesses that is a member of the Chamber. I’d like to stay in the area.”
She said that she learned more than just marketing from her courses at UHCL. “I have taken a lot of courses that have taught me to focus on the big picture, which is something I didn’t do as much,” she said. “I’ve learned to look further down the road and think about the future.”
Place said the Pasadena Chamber hires a UHCL intern nearly each semester. “Our students do well in internships because they are highly motivated and they receive a diverse core education as part of the College of Business curriculum,” she said.
UHCL offers assistance to students seeking internships across all industry. Learn more by visiting Strategic Partnerships.