2nd Annual London Tea Party

Students interested in pursuing internships in London met with HOD professors and London alumni to discuss the ins and outs of life and internships abroad.

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On Wednesday, September 20th, the HOD Capstone Internship Office hosted its annual London Tea Party. Students who are preparing for their Capstone Internship semester were invited to join us in the HOD Internship Office for an afternoon high tea.

The tea party is an amazing opportunity for students who are interested in learning more about the London internship process. Students demonstrated their London knowledge with a round of trivia, got firsthand information from previous London interns, and had a Skype session with the London HOD instructor, Professor Morgan.

 

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“I think it’s such an amazing opportunity. You really learn a lot about yourself. It’s hard to get there but it’s so worth it, because you can really live independently and live in an international city.”  – Natasha Raskin

“The best part of my HOD internship experience was doing a job I loved in a city I loved. I worked for Social Enterprise UK, where I had the pleasure of learning about all sorts of innovative ways that companies are using business methods to solve social problems. It was even better because I experienced a new work culture in another country, spent my nights exploring the amazing city of London, and spent my weekend traveling all over Europe.” – Serena Deutch

 

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Skyping with Kate Morgan, residing London HOD Capstone Professor

 

“This program is better than any opportunity out there with Vandy, because you get the study abroad cultural immersion type of thing and on the weekends you can travel but during the week you are having this completely immersive work experience. It’s a nice balance because you have the work experience in London and you can travel on the weekend and meet up with friends. It is such a cool growing experience unlike any other abroad programs.” – Aaron Chasan

“The London HOD internship provided an ideal opportunity to further my academic, professional, and personal goals through the internship coursework, international work experience, and travel opportunities.” – Kelsey Laabs

 

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For those interested in completing your HOD Capstone Internship in London, here are some helpful resources:

Critical London Internship Information

HOD London Tips

London Housing Tips

If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to these past London interns via email:

 

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The Queen would love for you to visit!

 

 

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“This is not just classroom learning, but world learning”- Interview with one of the first contributors of HOD

Nina Martin, a faculty member in the Human Development Counseling department at Vanderbilt, speaks about her experience contributing to the development of the HOD program, which was called “HD” at the time.

The Early Years:
  • Founder: Bob Innes
  • Called “HD”- the organizational development piece came later, and thus it became “HOD”
  • About 25 students total (it grew to 300 in just 4 years!)
  • Initial Goal: Think about what makes a good learning experience and how to systematically support and document it to ensure that it is of the highest caliber possible.
Interview with Nina Martin:

 

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Nina Martin

 

Q: How has the HOD Internship Program changed over the years? How has the coursework/requirements of the program changed since the program’s inception?

It has become more organized and systematic with greater numbers of assignments and structure to enhance the academic portion of the experience. The number of sites increases seemingly yearly, especially as more sites in cities outside of Nashville catch on to this opportunity.

Q: What did you hope interns would gain from this experience? Is this still the vision for our interns today?

Ideally, students will gain a sense of what it actually means to be in the world as the program is applied in nature. Students will gain an understanding of how organizations work, use research to inform real-world application, and close the gap between academic and applied experiences so that each one enhances the other and ultimately expands critical thinking. These experiences inform research while research simultaneously informs students as to the best ways in which they can understand and impact organizations. Nina’s hope for students is: “you will apply what you are learning in a real life laboratory out in the world”.

Q: How has the job market changed as far as where we place interns?

It now seems to be more important to be able to read organizations quickly and effectively; with high job turnover, it is critical for new employees and interns to integrate into the organization quickly, conduct a needs assessment, be a team player, and move forward as needed.

Q: What skills should interns focus on building during their site experience?

Academic skills, such as learning about how organizations work, what developmental stages people are organizations are in, enhancing critical thinking, practicing public speaking and giving presentations, and continuing to work on writing skills; creativity; flexibility; adaptability; sense of humor (key!); and the ability to learn and receive feedback.

Q: In your opinion, what are the strongest qualities of the HOD Internship Program? What sets it apart?

First and foremost, it is academic in nature, and rigorous at that. This is not just an internship but an experience grounded in intentionality around creating thoughtful and prepared students whose skills include ethics and organizational development, to name a few. Students produce goods in the form of a portfolio, project, and other elements along the way to end their culminating capstone. Thus, they are able to prove learning through documentation and, with the help of distinguished professors, are appropriately critical of what they learn.

Q: How do you think this sort of internship prepares students for future occupations?

It is hard to imagine how this program wouldn’t enhance your potential to work in any job as it provides students ways to learn how to integrate themselves rapidly and identify needs within organizations, while understanding how to apply best practices from research in the service of enhancing those organizations. The skills learned in this program carry forth if integrated well.

Q: If you were to describe the HOD Internship Program to an individual not familiar with it, how would you describe it?

It is an experience that prepares students to be thoughtful, responsible, and intelligent citizens and integrate themselves into the communities and organizations they want to affect. Students are emerging scholars and continually think about how to help people in an intentional, systematic way. Students are able to think about what makes a good boss, a good leader, and a good organizational member and team player, all of which one cannot learn solely in a class, but must also experience in order to internalize.

Nina’s closing words… “You might be changed by the experience as much as you may change the organization itself.”

 

“A Day in the Life” by Dana Alloy – Distance Learning Internship

Intern Spotlight

THE HOD “DAY IN THE LIFE” FEATURES STUDENTS WHO HAVE COMPLETED THE HOD INTERNSHIP AND THEN SHARE WORDS OF WISDOM TO ILLUMINATE THEIR EXPERIENCES. THIS WEEK HIGHLIGHTS THE STORY OF DANA ALLOY, WHO COMPLETED A DISTANCE INTERNSHIP AT HEART CAPITAL IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA IN THE SUMMER OF 2015.

Who: Dana Alloy

Summer 2015

Internship Site: Heart Capital – Cape Town, South Africa

 

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What was the highlight of your experience (i.e. projects you worked on, people you met, events you attended)?

The best part of my experience was being able to be immersed in the culture of Philippi, the township where I worked, without feeling like a tourist. My afternoons selling vegetables through the maze of streets with my coworkers, Monwabisi and Justice, eating “smilies” and amagwenya with the whole team, or learning about the lives of my team members were invaluable memories I will never forget.

 

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How does the HOD capstone internship compare to other internships you have had?

Working in the nonprofit space, there is always an aspect of complexity and chaos that is less present in a typical, for-profit business. My internship at Heart Capital was the most extreme case of that – on a daily basis, I faced corruption, gang issues, theft, internal conflicts, and more. The HOD curriculum provided me with frameworks to make sense of a complicated situation so that I could provide more value as an intern.

 

How do you think you have grown as a professional (i.e. skills, learning to receive feedback, professionalism tips)?

I think the most valuable lesson I learned is the importance of hard data in creating strategic initiatives in low-income areas. Secondly, I learned the importance of listening to and learning from those around me for weeks – if not months- before even beginning to take action when I am in a new environment.

 

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What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would recommend for the internship search process?

1) Go Abroad! My internship was colored by my international experience. It both gave me a greater understanding of the coursework as well as became the most influential time in my life thus far.

2) Seriously, go abroad!

3) Contact me if you want to go abroad! I now work for the organization that placed me at Heart Capital, and I would be happy to help you find an internship in Cape Town as well. You can reach me at dana@vacorps.com

 

Why did you choose your site for your internship?

I knew I wanted to work at the grassroots level in a township in order to gain more experience. My passion for social enterprise and youth employment initiatives led me to Heart Capital. I also was interested in learning more about food systems, so it seemed like a perfect fit (and it was!).

 

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How will this internship impact your future (i.e. change career, landed a job)?

My time at Heart Capital gave me a perspective that I believe is necessary for my career in the social sector. I also learned the quantitative and qualitative skills required to pursue lasting, data-driven change, and these tools will be necessary for me moving forward.

 

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“A Day in the Life” by Shannon van der Walt

Intern Spotlight

THE HOD “DAY IN THE LIFE” FEATURES STUDENTS WHO HAVE COMPLETED THE HOD INTERNSHIP AND THEN SHARE WORDS OF WISDOM TO ILLUMINATE THEIR EXPERIENCES. THIS WEEK HIGHLIGHTS THE STORY OF SHANNON VAN DER WALT, A SENIOR WHO INTERNED AT JUMA ADVENTURES IN SAN FRANCISCO DURING THE SPRING OF 2017.

Who: Shannon van der Walt

Spring 2017

Internship Site: Juma Ventures

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Shannon van der walt: “Photos of Juma youth and university pennants are scattered throughout the office, reminding us of who we serve and what they can achieve.”

 

What was the highlight of your experience?

As cliché as it sounds, the highlight of my experience was having the chance to work with some truly incredible people. My coworkers are from all over the country and world, and all have fascinating backgrounds and stories to tell. Similarly, the students we serve spend afternoons in the office and consistently bring excitement, happiness, and the latest pop culture updates. Juma is a family, my supervisor is a mentor and friend, and work has never been so much fun! From coffee/boba runs, to staff picnics out on the lawn, to cramming into the HR closet, every part of my experience has felt like a team effort. Juma made me feel valued and welcome, and it’s made all the difference!

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Views from right outside our office!

How does the HOD capstone internship compare to other internships you have had?

No other internship has ever made me feel so immersed, impactful, or independent. Working 32 hours a week, for fifteen weeks gives you a much deeper understanding of the organization, which rarely to never happens over the course of a typical internship. I was given the opportunity to work on projects that wouldn’t typically be assigned to a summer intern, and as a result, I could contribute in a more significant and meaningful way to the organization. The capstone internship also provides an invaluable opportunity to live and learn in a new city, find a healthy work-life balance, and transition from a student to a young professional.

How do you think you have grown as a professional?

Some projects that I’ve worked on include: recruiting and onboarding new youth and full time staff, designing a brand new professional development program, and creating a manager onboarding packet. Each of these projects has been a unique learning opportunity, and has taught me how to apply HOD concepts to real business processes and decisions.

What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would recommend for the internship search process?

  • Start early, and start with your passions. This is a wonderful and unique opportunity, so don’t waste it! Be proactive and find an organization that shares your values and interests. You’ll be spending four months of hundreds of hours there- make sure you’re genuinely excited about it from the start.
  • USE YOUR NETWORK. I can’t say it enough, your professors, peers, and past employers will give you the best introductions, and will genuinely enjoy helping you out. As Juma’s CEO says, “Your net worth is your network” (but also you are worth so much more). Do not be scared to reach out to people you have not talked to in a while, it’ll be worth it if they can help you land that dream internship!
  • Kill the game from the beginning. Making a very strong, very positive first impression in the first two or three weeks will make the rest of your internship a breeze, and will earn you a reference that can talk in detail about your qualifications, professionalism, and work ethic. This means: get to meetings early, always be prepared, and give it 110% to make an impression. Don’t forget to add your coworkers on LinkedIn!
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Pi Day at Juma!

Why did you choose your site for your internship?

Having just taken Jim Schorr’s class on Social Enterprises, I was fascinated by this idea of nonprofits using traditional for-profit business strategies to maximize social impact and sustainability. Throughout the class, Juma was repeatedly used as an example of an innovative nonprofit that strives to break the cycle of poverty. Enamored with the organization and the location, I reached out to Professor Schorr to make an introduction at Juma. Soon, I had an interview with the CEO and then the Director of Operations, and was offered and accepted an internship within a week. I was very lucky to have such a targeted and quick process!

How will this internship impact your future?

My capstone internship has been extremely influential in regards to my future. This internship has also given me a chance to try out living in San Francisco, and I’ve realized I love the city, and will stay here post-graduation. Through my Airbnb housing adventures, I’ve lived in 5 parts of SF. I’ve seen how diverse and wonderful different parts of the city are, and have gained an appreciation for public transportation, food trucks, and walking up and down crazy SF hills. I’ve also confirmed my passion for nonprofits, and have begun building a network within the nonprofit sector in SF. Overall, I feel so much more prepared for graduation and the post-Vanderbilt life!

 

“A Day in the Life” by Sydney Larsen

Intern Spotlight

THE HOD “DAY IN THE LIFE” FEATURES STUDENTS WHO HAVE COMPLETED THE HOD INTERNSHIP AND THEN SHARE WORDS OF WISDOM TO ILLUMINATE THEIR EXPERIENCES. THIS WEEK HIGHLIGHTS THE STORY OF SYDNEY LARSEN, A SENIOR WHO INTERNED AT INTERFAITH DENTAL CLINIC IN NASHVILLE DURING THE FALL OF 2016.

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Fall 2016

Internship Site: Interfaith Dental Clinic

What was the highlight of your experience (i.e. projects you worked on, people you met, events you attended)?

This internship gave me the chance to gain an in-depth view into all of the hard work that goes into running a healthcare-oriented non-profit organization. Working on projects for the Education Center and Development teams allowed me to cultivate new skills in Excel and graphic design, but my favorite experience by far was that involving the people that Interfaith serves. Although it was a small job, I was assigned the task of calling to inform clients that they were accepted into the comprehensive care program. Hearing the excitement and joy in many of their voices really solidified the importance of the work that Interfaith does, and reinforced my own desire to pursue involvement in the nonprofit sector of dentistry someday.

How does the HOD capstone internship compare to other internships you have had?

As a pre-health student, it is often difficult to find internships outside of the research world, as healthcare positions require a great deal of training and qualification. Participating in the HOD Internship gave me an incredibly unique opportunity to be in a healthcare setting for over 30 hours a week, something that few other pre-dental students get to do. While my time was divided between clinical observation and projects for the Education and Development teams, this experience provided in-depth shadowing experience, something that is vital for anyone pursuing dentistry. The wide variety of care that Interfaith offers gave me the chance to observe everything from simple cleanings, all the way to IV-sedated oral surgery. Additionally the internship coursework gave me the chance to focus on learning more about the challenges and opportunities of the industry and gain valuable mentors.

How do you think you have grown as a professional (i.e. skills, learning to receive feedback, professionalism tips)?

I think one of the most valuable parts of this internship was simply getting used to a “real adult” schedule and workload. Learning to balance work with the demands of coursework and life, thought difficult at first, was great practice for life after graduation.

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What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would recommend for the internship search process?

  • Start early! Even if you are still far away from your internship, start researching and actively seeking out organizations you think you might be interested in, make some contacts, and get your foot in the door. That will make the search process much less stressful.
  • Stay in your industry! This may be an unpopular opinion, but don’t use this internship as a chance to try something new or explore your far-fetched “dream job.” When it comes down to the reality of it, thirty-two hours a week is a very long time to spend doing something that you are only mildly interested in. Additionally, this is a wonderful chance to get experience and recognition within your industry, as many organizations are very enthusiastic about hiring an almost full time worker at no cost.
  • Cast a wide net. Even if you have one specific organization in mind, send out as many applications and resumes as soon as you can. Just in case things don’t work out, you will be thankful to have backups.

Why did you choose your site for your internship?

As a pre-dental HOD student (probably the only one), my choice was very straightforward. I came across Interfaith fairly early on during my sophomore year and was immediately drawn to their mission and the unique structure of the organization. Nonprofit dentistry is what I hope to do in the future, so it was very lucky that I was able to find such a perfect fit.

How will this internship impact your future (i.e. change career, landed a job)?

This internship has only reinforced and expanded my desire to pursue nonprofit dentistry. Additionally it has made me aware of Interfaith’s Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency, something that I would love to explore after my time in dental school. My time at Interfaith gave me the chance to start to create a network of dental professionals in the Nashville community, something that could be very useful in the upcoming years.

Thank you to Sydney for providing this helpful information and advice!

“A Day in the Life” by Rachel Vance

Intern Spotlight

The HOD “Day in the Life” features students who have completed the HOD Internship and then share words of wisdom to illuminate their experiences. This week highlights the story of Rachel Vance, a senior who interned at M Street in Nashville during the fall of 2016.

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Rachel Vance

Fall 2016

Internship Site: M Street

What was the highlight of your experience (i.e. projects you worked on, people you met, events you attended)?

The highlight of my experience was meeting and interacting with all of the interesting M Street employees.  Not only did I develop a relationship with my coworkers in the Corporate Office, known as the Support Center, I also was able to collaborate with Front of House (managers, waiters, bartenders) and Back of House (chefs, cooks, dishwashers, etc.) staff in the restaurants.  I had a rewarding experience as I learned so much from this group who taught me a tremendous amount about the hospitality and restaurant industry.

How does the HOD capstone internship compare to other internships you have had? Explain.

The HOD capstone internship was more rigorous than other internships I have had in the past.  This was due to the fact that in addition to working 32 hours onsite, as an HOD intern, I was required to complete a tremendous amount of work outside the office.  Also, I was not only responsible for undertaking tasks assigned to me by my supervisor at M Street, but I also had to complete my senior project for the HOD related course.

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How do you think you have grown as a professional (i.e. skills, learning to receive feedback, professionalism tips)?

This experience helped me grow as a professional.  First, I acquired HR knowledge that I will use in my professional career, specifically related to recruiting and talent development.  Additionally, I enhanced my communication skills.  I interacted with colleagues through a variety of platforms including face-to-face communication, emails, and meeting forums.  Lastly, working in an office for a majority of the week was good practice that will help ensure a smooth transition into my post graduation life.

What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would recommend for the internship search process?

I would make sure to start the internship search process early.  It is often hard to connect with employees in organizations as many of these individuals have busy schedules.  The HOD program makes you adhere to strict deadlines, so it is best to prepare early in order to comply with guidelines.  Next, I would take advantage of the HOD internship database.  There were a lot of great opportunities on this platform that eventually enabled me to connect with multiple companies of interest.  Last, I would encourage students to reach out to as many organizations that they may be interested in because the first choice may not work out.  All sites provide valuable experiences, so, the most important thing is to find one that will respond to your initial request and can ultimately accommodate an HOD intern.

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Why did you choose your site for your internship?

I chose M Street as my site for many reasons.  First, I wanted to work for an organization that represented my time spent living in Nashville.  M Street operates some of the best restaurants in the city.  These venues tend to be my “go to” options when I eat out, so I thought it would be enjoyable and rewarding to join their team.  Additionally, I was offered a position in the HR department, which is the industry I planned on pursuing after graduation.  I was hoping to learn HR related skills that would be valuable in my future endeavors.  Lastly, M Street seemed like the perfect site because they were able to meet all of the HOD requirements, wanted to learn about the internship program, and expressed interest in establishing a more formal relationship with the HOD department.

How will this internship impact your future (i.e. change career, landed a job)?

This internship has already and will continue to impact my future, as I am now better equipped to enter the working world.  Having this experience as a senior in college enabled me to get a feel for what life will be like after I graduate, and it no longer seems as daunting.  Even though I am disappointed that my college career is coming to an end, I am now more excited to begin my professional career with a prestigious HR department in NYC.  I am certain I will be able to take advantage of many of the skills I acquired during my time at M Street.

Thank you to Rachel for sharing such valuable insight!

An Afternoon with HOD Alumnus and Fashion Creative Director, Timo Weiland

An HOD alumnus and graduate of the Class of 2006, Timo Weiland, was kind enough to visit with current Vanderbilt students during his Homecoming Weekend trip and provide them with valuable information about the fashion industry. In addition to learning about his story as he began his own career in the fashion world and eventually created his own company, “Timo Weiland,” students can have a glimpse into his world as he shared a few personal vignettes and favorite NYC spots, detailed below.

Q: What would you like HOD students to know about you or your work?

TW: “As a creative director, I am constantly observing the world round me, getting inspired, and learning as much as I can from every situation, scenario, or interaction. I have a multi-faceted career that spans design, lifestyle, music, and business- but all aspects are interrelated and come down to interpersonal relationships and brand-building.”

Q: What are your favorite spots in NYC?

TW:  “Such a difficult question to answer! There are too many places to mention. Some highlights are below:

Favorite museum(s): Tie between The Frick Collection & The Cloisters
Favorite surf spot: Rockaway Beach @ 90th Street- accessible by subway
Favorite date spot: Lilia in Brooklyn
Favorite movie theater: NightHawk Cinema
Favorite bar: Acme or Loosie Rouge
Favorite breakfast meeting spot: Ludlow House
Favorite brunch spot: Marlow & Sons
Favorite burger: The Happiest Hour
Favorite staycation: The Urban Cowboy B&B”

Q: What is some advice you can give to students about things you did and/or would have done differently during your HOD experience?

TW: “HOD provided me with a phenomenal foundation for both the start of my career on Wall Street and after as an entrepreneur. In hindsight, I would have done more research and due-diligence prior to my HOD internship, especially for startup companies (now so many of them based in Nashville!). That would have ensured that I would be able to maximize learning from every aspect of the program. Take full advantage of all of the resources now available! So much more advanced and robust than when I was a student.”

Q: What do you look for in candidates who apply for jobs or internships? What do you think it takes to make it in the fashion world?

TW: “For internship candidates, I look for students that have put themselves out there in terms of extracurriculars, projects, and are committed to learning inside and outside of the classroom. We are a very all-hands-on-deck office, so we also look for candidates that can handle the fast-paced often highly stressful environment of a startup collective.”

Q: Do you have a funny story that you overcame to encourage current students?

TW: “When applying for school or a job, or starting a company of your own, it is crucially important to differentiate yourself in the most positive way possible- to really set yourself apart from the pack. When applying to Vandy in 2001, I was wait-listed (unfortunately hadn’t thought to apply Early Decision!), but was eventually accepted because the regional Admissions counselor remembered our very in-depth 1-on-1 conversation during his visit to my high school, Episcopal. Fast forward 4 years to when when I was applying for jobs on Wall Street through the Career Center, I had never seen longer lines for the meet & greets. I had minimal experience, only a 2-month internship at Merrill Lynch, but I took every opportunity to connect with Hiring Managers, Analysts, Associates, and high-ranking Vandy alum Managing Directors from each bank. I asked the right questions- things I genuinely was curious about- the learning experience of the Investment Banking Analyst program. With the Deutsche Bank Securities team, I felt a particularly strong bond and ended up as 1 of only 2 first year analysts hired from our class of 2006.”

If you are interested in learning more about Timo’s brand, visit http://www.timoweiland.com

Thinking About an Internship in London?

Students interested in pursuing internships in London met with HOD professors and London alumni to discuss the ins and outs of life and internships abroad.
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Director of the HOD Internship Program, Kristen Tompkins (center), with six HOD students who spent their semesters in London.

“I think it’s such an amazing opportunity. You really learn a lot about yourself. It’s hard to get there but it’s so worth it, because you can really live independently and live in an international city.”  – Natasha
“This program is better than any opportunity out there with Vandy, because you get the study abroad cultural immersion type of thing and on the weekends you can travel but during the week you are having this completely immersive work experience. It’s a nice balance because you have the work experience in London and you can travel on the weekend and meet up with friends. It is such a cool growing experience unlike any other abroad programs.” – Aaron
Students in the Human and Organizational Development Internship placement process had the opportunity to attend high tea and learn about internship life in London. Students engaged in an evening of London culture, trivia, and questioned an expert panel of students who successfully completed the program abroad.
The expert panel shared a host of helpful information from how to get around the city, recommendations for internship placements, how to locate and select safe and affordable housing, and how to make the most of your time in London. They also shared the impact the London internship experience had on their development:
“You get a real cultural experience. It’s amazing.” -Shelby
“The work I did at my internship was so meaningful.” – Vivian
If you would like more information about the London Internship experience, feel free to reach out to these past participants via email as listed below:
Aaron Chasan – aaron.s.chasan@vanderbilt.edu
Mary Downs – mary.m.downs@vanderbilt.edu
Maureen Driscoll – maureen.a.driscoll@vanderbilt.edu
Natasha Raskin – natasha.e.raskin@Vanderbilt.edu