This year saw the second successful run of the Franklin University Switzerland Global Internship Program, intended to help Franklin students take advantage of internships and work experience opportunities around the globe. The program was conceived and is supported by Jay Tucker, an alumnus and member of Franklin’s Board of Trustees. Every year, five students are selected as ‘Tucker Family Fellows’, matched with internships created by leveraging the University’s expanding and diverse alumni and parent network, and provided with funding to support them through their internship experiences.
Jay Tucker’s investment in the program stems from his strong belief in Franklin’s uniqueness in the world of education. “Education is in a disruptive environment now and the delivery mechanisms for the curriculum are changing”, said Tucker. “What will not change though is the value of actual exposure to diverse cultural, social and geographical differences. This is Franklin’s strength.”
The 2015 Tucker Family Fellows certainly embarked on enriching, exploratory internship experiences this past summer.
Elena McGuire ’17 interned at Down the Road Beer Co. in Massachusetts, USA, as Marketing Specialist. “Since the internship, I have been able to bring my marketing knowledge back to marketing classes as reference points”, Elena said. “I have also begun to understand the importance of marketing not only within business environments, but also within other disciplines, such as environmental science. The marketing elements that I engaged with are key to the acceptance and success of any project or decision, whether it’s a business deal, museum exhibition, or proposal for a more sustainable future.”
Jordan Ricker '16 interned with Nigerian company Wecyclers in Lagos this summer, a recycling social enterprise based in Lagos that works to reduce the environmental degradation caused by uncollected waste and simultaneously increase the living standards of Nigerians living in slums. As part of his internship, Jordan worked as Executive Assistant to the CEO of Wecyclers. “One of my biggest realizations during my internship this summer was how extremely important soft skills, writing ability, and researching are”, Jordan noted. As a History and Communications major, he is constantly reading, analyzing, and writing and all of these skills turned out to be extremely useful during his internship, allowing him to quickly and accurately look at data and provide feedback to his co-workers and boss. Notably, while Jordan was interning, he also participated in the Seif Awards for Social Entrepreneurship 2015 Finals with his team, and won the award!
Alyssa Wilson ’17 interned at the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), a small nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. She was brought on as a Program Intern, and helped coordinate various international political exchanges for young, rising politicians from around the world. “My internship has helped me feel more confident in my abilities, seeing my strengths and acknowledging my weaknesses. Working teaches you to rationalize and rank tasks based on deadlines and coordination within a group. My experience at ACYPL has taught me that you are responsible for the work you produce, and what you make of it.” This accountability has helped Alyssa take more control of her academics, exploring and delving into subjects that interest her and taking the time to research a topic, and then reporting and writing about it as accurately as possible. As she noted, the internship “has revitalized my desire to learn about the world around me, a desire that originally brought me to Franklin back in 2013, and that has kept me returning ever since.”
Tyler Sadutto ’15 interned as a forest ecology and biogeochemistry for the MELNHE Research Project, funded by the National Science Foundation. He conducted field experiments and performed laboratory work in order to assist forest ecologists with their research. “Conducting my own research experiment helped me cultivate my leadership and management skills, as I had to lead a small team of other interns to help me in collecting my samples”, he noted. “I learned how to become more assertive and how to delegate tasks to other people. Having worked in the field, I am now able to bring a new perspective to my studies. I am able to read scientific articles more critically, because I am aware of the limitations of field studies and the importance of experimental design with respect to statistical analysis. Having this background information allows me to assess which class texts hold more merit than others, and which sources should be avoided when writing essays.”
The fifth intern, Anna Jones ’17, joined the Stockholm Environment Institute, specifically with the Arctic Resilience Report team. The internship included traveling to Washington D.C. for an Arctic Resilience Report workshop and project steering committee meetings. “The most important thing I learned during my internship was to always take a chance. Whether it’s working on a new project, or having a conversation with someone you are nervous to meet, taking chances almost always leads to exciting experiences and good connections.”
These students are all excited about the opportunity to apply their global education in a practical setting. There is no doubt that, thus far, the Tucker Family Fellows program has been a sure success and has provided students with interesting opportunities they may otherwise not have had. These global citizens are on the path to exciting careers around the world, and Franklin's Global Internship Program is certainly a great step towards their professional success.