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Internships that give you an edge

Anup Mohanty '11 working at a lab

You’ll find internships at pretty much every school, but you won’t find internship experiences quite like the ones you’ll get at URI. In fact, ours are so unique that we’ve been answering requests from the likes of Northeastern University, UMass Lowell, University of New Hampshire and others for information about what we do and how we do it.

Most students don’t have a research opportunity like I had a Genzyme until they’re in grad school. It definitely gave me an edge.” -Anup Mohanty ’10

“Our model involves experiential coordinators partnering with faculty members in each of URI’s degree-granting colleges and with employers to design internships with structured learning outcomes that will give students a competitive advantage,” said Kim Washor, director of the URI Office of Experiential Learning and Community Engagement. Students apply theory to practice in the field, and then return to the classroom ready to apply practice to theory.

Anup Mohanty’s internship at Genzyme – then the world leader in biopharmaceuticals for ultra-rare diseases – began as a research assistant in the drug discovery lab and grew to include experiences in the manufacturing facility, business development, and corporate operations as well. He believes that’s the reason he was the only undergrad selected for a very selective National Science Foundation fellowship. “Most students don’t have a research opportunity like I had a Genzyme until they’re in grad school. It definitely gave me an edge,” Anup said.

And you won’t engage in your internship alone. Our online course model keeps students engaged with their URI experiential coordinator and peers throughout the semester or year (yes, internships CAN be a year here). When Elizabeth Slaymaker ‘12 was a distribution operations intern at Target headquarters in Tucson, Arizona last summer, “we went back and forth talking about how to handle each new situation, proceeding through internship and developing new goals throughout the semester. By the end, Elizabeth had created a web-based portfolio that showcases everything she accomplished throughout the experience,” Washor said.

And, because of the work our experiential coordinators do with faculty across campus, your internship may offer a degree of cross-discipline and cross-college networking that others don’t. Tara Woodbine is double-majoring in political science and gender and women’s studies. Her internship at the Domestic Violence Advocate’s Office at RI’s Kent County Courthouse “was the best of both worlds because it combined my interests in the law with her passion for women’s rights. I learned that I don’t have to choose between my two majors to find a career.”

As a university, our goal is for you to get a job after graduation. Our internship model can help in a big way. Elizabeth has already received and accepted a full-time job offer from Target to work as a group leader after graduation. When Anup graduated, he was offered a manufacturing associate position – a job he never applied for – from Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Fifteen months later he’s an associate scientist in Alexion’s purification development group. URI grad Katie Beltz ’09 (pictured on the homepage), is now a marketing manager for the New England Patriots, after her internship there gave her the chance to put skills she learned at URI to use planning promotional events, coordinator player appearances, and marketing to premium ticket holders.

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