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University of Pikeville
Office of Career & Professional Development
Darwin V. Kysor
Learn More about Darwin
Campus Employment Specialist
Learn more about Sonia
What is an Internship?
An internship is a structured learning situation where concepts learned in the classroom are applied to the realities of an on-the-job experience related to the student’s major and career goals. Internship experiences facilitate student entry into their chosen profession and can provide them with experience at state-of-the-art facilities, training on specialized equipment, income to help offset educational expenses, academic credit applied toward a degree program and a professional network. In addition, the college gains valuable feedback from employers on instruction, curricula and programs.
The primary purpose of an internship is to provide an educationally sound platform for the development of the student’s human, social and career readiness skills through a field-based activity. Interns receive practical training and experience in a variety of settings through cooperatively arranged placements. Interns are employed in pre-professional (not menial) positions and work side-by-side with permanent employees.
Internships provide students with the opportunity to:
In a competitive job market, career-related work experience can be the key to obtaining full-time employment following graduation. Many employers use internships as a means of identifying potential employees and “trying” them out before committing to full-time hire. A career-related internship experience can give you the edge in the employment marketplace.
Each year up to 123 UPIKE students participate in substantive, career related internship experiences. The keys to their success are getting an early start and preparing. The following are a few guidelines outlining steps in the process.
Must you earn money or can you volunteer? Are there specific things you must have included as part of the experience or is general exposure okay? Can you live anywhere or is a specific location necessary?
Know what you bring to a potential internship employer: interests, skills, personal characteristics. Develop a resume (attend a Career Development workshop) to effectively market and distinguish yourself from other candidates. Understand how your qualifications fit with a particular employer and prepare to sell them on how you can assist in solving their problems.
The Career Development Office has a variety of resources available to assist you in identifying potential internship employers. Potential resources include Bears@Work, employer/internship directories, internet databases, career fairs, faculty, alumni contacts and places with ongoing relationships with the University of Pikeville Don’t forget your personal network of contacts.
It is always better to be too early than too late. Many of the best formulated internship experiences have early application deadlines. Some as early as January for summer internship experiences. Typically it is appropriate to contact a human resources department (or other appropriate individual) 3-4 months in advance. Call or write to request information and ascertain application procedure.
Internships-USA – Post resumes and search internships. USERNAME: Upike PASSWORD: GoBears
Neatly complete (type) any application forms/materials. Ensure that your file is complete. Should you be offered an interview, be prepared. Consider attending an interview workshop offered by the Career Development Office.
Always send a thank you letter indicating your appreciation and interest. If you were not granted an interview, follow-up as well to distinguish yourself from other candidates for the next round of internship hires.
The Internship Process
A student pursuing a credit internship must be of junior or senior status, have a 2.0 cumulative grade point average, and be in good academic standing. Individual departments may set additional requirements including a higher GPA standard.
1. A student who is currently employed in a position related to his/her academic studies may consult with Career Development and/or the Faculty Sponsor to determine if the position satisfies all internship program requirements.
2. A student who is not currently employed in a position related to his/her academic studies may be provided with assistance in conducting a search to secure such an internship experience: contact the Career Development Office.
3. Once the student secures a position and wants to proceed with registering the internship, the student then secures a Faculty Sponsor (Credit Internships ONLY) to oversee the internship experience.
4. To register an internship, the student must?
5. The student will consult with the Faculty Sponsor to determine the number of internship credits attempted, requirements and evaluation process.
6. Approval Emails will be sent to the Department Chair, Academic Advisor and On-Site Supervisor before being submitted to Career Development for processing and official registration with the Registrar’s Office.
7. The student begins the internship work experience.
8. Career Development or the Faculty Sponsor sends a student evaluation form.
9. The student completes the Student Evaluation Form
10. Career Development will send the On-Site Supervisor an evaluation form
11. The Faculty Sponsor grades the experience.
Credit for internships is not given for work per se. Students apply theoretical concepts to the workplace and reassess ideas. Hence, academic credit is given for placing the pre-professional work experience in a conceptual and comparative context. Internship placement is a coordinated responsibility of the student, faculty and career development staff. For credit internships, the student and academic department lead the effort.
In the case of credit internships students may be compensated for internship work as long as the department and/or faculty sponsor believes that the college can maintain enough control of the internship experience to ensure its academic validity.
Darwin V. Kysor, Ph.D., LPC, NCC
Darwin Kysor has over 30 years of experience in higher education and has been a member of the professional staff at the University of Pikeville since 2020, serving as Director of Career & Professional Development. Previously, he was the Director of Career Services and Internships at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, Coordinator of Job Placement & Cooperative Education at Harford Community College in Bel Air, MD and the Cooperative Education Coordinator/Career Counselor at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA.
Darwin graduated with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and M.A. in Counselor Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in College Student Services Administration from Oregon State University where he wrote his dissertation on the career benefits of cooperative education/internship experiences. He has been a National Certified Counselor since 1998 and in 2007 was selected as a Fulbright Scholar in the U.S. – Germany International Education Administrators Program.
Professionally, Darwin is a member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers, National Career Development Association, Kentucky Association of College and Employers, Kentucky Career Development Association and the American Counseling Association. He is a Program Reviewer for both NACE and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Darwin’s family includes spouse Patricia, daughters Riley and Summer and sons Roman, Connor and Pierce.
Sonia Smith, M.A
Sonia has more than 10 years’ experience in higher education, providing career guidance to students on their journey as they explore how they want to live and craft a meaningful life. Utilizing reflection, listening, curiosity, questioning, experiential learning, and holistic exploration she has developed opportunities and created and managed programs for students to connect their studies, major, interest, responsibilities, work and what they are curious about doing in the world in order to better design their life. Sonia integrates and utilizes her background and experience in ministry, human resources, work with non-profits, internship and job development, volunteer services, and student employment to engage students, connecting their desire for work with interests in studies and life.
Guided by a professional interest and emphasis on “How Do I Do What I Say I Believe in the World,” Sonia enthusiastically works with students to design a life with purpose and meaning. Sonia has certifications to work with and interpret the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and the Strong Interest Inventory in addition to grant writing. Her educational background includes psychology, understanding human development and counseling as well as teaching and administration along with curriculum development. She holds a M.A.C.E. from Union Seminary and B.A in Psychology from Meredith College. Professionally she has taught college classes and presented at conferences for organizations including the national conference for the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) “Fostering Student Vocational Discernment through Clearness Committees” (also awarded a grant for this) and Career Development Professionals of Indiana, state conference, on a marketing case study.
At the University of Pikeville, Sonia enjoys helping students find where they are supposed to be as they connect their education with employment. She served as a mentor for the national NASPA Undergraduate Fellow Program (NUFP) and oversees the university’s participation in the “Student of the Year” national award including winning the KY state award two years in a row. For fun, Sonia appreciates cooking, reading, traveling (in person and virtually) domestically and internationally, spending time with friends and family, and keeping up with her nieces, ages 6 and 21.
To contact Sonia: email@example.com or 606-218-5223