Six Voorhees College students were selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of the 2019 Voorhees College Paid Internship Program (VC-PISP). The internship placements are challenging work opportunities related to the student’s major or intended career that force students to reflect and integrate college learning in the professional world.
According to the internship facilitators, VC–PISP operates based on best practices in guided career pathways and includes four foci that work in tandem: (1) career internship program stipends, (2) career services and resources and professional development, (3) domestic and abroad career and cultural study, and (4) career consultant engagement. Direct student funding includes: career mentorship and consultation, professional attire, graduate/professional school application and examination fees, paid internships, and iPad technology.
“The expected outcomes from the internship experiences should increase retention, graduation and employment placement in high-demand, high-paying careers and an increased job force for the state of South Carolina, in the United States and throughout the world,” said Dr. Ronnie Hopkins, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. The skills advantage interns develop through their professional experience focus on the critical skills new professionals need to be competitive in the workplace such as risk-taking, leadership, cooperation, critical thinking, and problem solving.
Participation in VC-PISP provides students a comprehensive career program that maximizes career development and preparation. “This is exactly what employers value most,” said Kimoni Hickman, director of Career Pathways Initiative (CPI). “The Voorhees College CPI Advisory Council comprises of industry and corporate leaders informs us that experiential learning and co-curricular engagement that complements academic study is the greatest priority for students competing for high-demand careers,” Hickman continued.
MaShayla Brown, a freshman criminal justice major from Atlanta and Denzel Walls, a junior business finance major from Savannah, Ga. gain direct experience in policy and administration in the Office of the Provost/Division of Academic Affairs. Computer Science majors Patrick Rollins, a junior from Summerville, S.C., and Courtney Bradford, a sophomore from Atlanta, work directly in the institution’s cybersecurity lab under the management of Professor Veronical Gadsden, assistant professor of computer science and cybersecurity.
Psychology majors William Robinson, a sophomore from Savannah Ga., and Philita Wing, a freshman from Beaufort, S.C., experience the day-to-day interaction of academic psychology under the management of Dr. Tywana Chenault, assistant professor of psychology/department chairperson of Humanities, Education and Social Science. The CPI team contends that internships are key to building critical experiences and developing a positive work ethic for students.
Employers are much more likely to hire individuals with internships and work experience rather than someone with a generic resume, and lacking experience. VC-PISP is funded by the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education–Carolina Career Cluster.
For additional information, contact Kimoni Hickman, director of the Voorhees College Career Pathways Initiative, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803.780.1273.