If Edward Foring, clinical director at ProRehab Louisville, had an opening, he’d definitely hire Chris Hunt, a senior pre-physical therapy major who worked
as an intern this year.
“Chris was energetic, engaged and had a great work ethic,” Foring said. “He had a passion to be in this field and took the initiative for opportunity. He quickly connected with employees and patients during his time here. He would be
an employee I would hire.”
Foring’s experience isn’t unique. In post-internship surveys, more than 75 percent of internship supervisors said they would hire their Bellarmine student if a position was available within their office.
“Our supervisor evaluations reveal how incredibly career-ready our students are and how well-poised they are to become leaders in their fields,” said Dr. Lilly Massa-McKinley, assistant vice president of career development and
strategic partnerships. “Our surveys also indicate students find their internships to be extremely positive and helpful.”
Experiential learning is a critical part of the Bellarmine experience, so much so, the university guarantees every student will have the opportunity to land an internship, develop a career plan and build a professional network.
In recent years, Bellarmine has created numerous initiatives to support that guarantee including the introduction of two courses that prepare students for internships and their profession of choice: “Major & Career Pathways” and “Internship
Preparation and Success.” Student who complete those classes are also eligible for the Summer Internship Scholarship, which provides free tuition for a three-credit summer internship course.
In 2017, Bellarmine also received grants from the James Graham Brown Foundation and the Ogle Foundation to provide paid experiences for students pursuing internships in the nonprofit and government sectors of Louisville and Southern Indiana. The program,
Live.Work.Lead.Serve, supports Bellarmine’s
mission to engage students with the community while exploring and pursuing pathways to meaningful work.
When surveyed, Bellarmine students who’ve completed internships this year overwhelmingly reported that they gained necessary skills, hands-on training and important career connections.
“I was able to interact with the criminal justice system every day, allowing me to apply the sociological theories and ideas I learned throughout my time as an undergraduate student in the real world,” said Madison Boucher, who interned with
the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk. “I was able to observe all aspects, both civil and criminal, of the legal system as well as interact with all parties involved, such as judges and attorneys.”
COVID-19 affected many students’ internships this past spring, but they were still able to progress to completion, even if the initial format of the internship changed or the work was moved online.
“Due to the coronavirus, my place of work was shut down,” said Emma Peavler, who worked as intern in the community integrated health program of Louisville’s YMCA. “However, with the help of my staff, we were able to get enough
hours to complete my internship from home. Overall, this has been a good learning experience and readiness for the work force.”
More than 75 percent of internship supervisors said they would hire their Bellarmine student.
Bellarmine’s Career Development Center services
don’t stop with internships. Students get a dedicated success advocate for six months after graduation. Bellarmine alumni have free career services for life, such as assistance with job searching, considering graduate school or transitioning
to a new profession.
“When we say you’re a Knight for life, we mean it,” said Massa-McKinley.
Employers across the community say they've come to expect the Bellarmine difference in the interns they hire.
Natalie Chaudoin, director of Public Relations at the Louisville Regional Airport Authority, said intern Alexandra Scott, a communications major, was smart, engaging and hard-working.
“She was able to bring insight and ideas from her classwork and previous hands-on experience to the Airport Authority,” Chaudoin said. “She was quick to learn and always open to being a team player to do whatever is needed to accomplish
a goal. She has strong written communication skills and is able to clearly express her ideas to a group.”
Sandy Bryant, coordinator of cardiopulmonary rehab at Norton Cardiac Rehab, had a similar experience with intern Peyton O’Leary, an exercise science major.
“Peyton did an excellent job throughout his internship here at Norton,” Bryant said. “He was eager to learn and often stepped up to participate in all areas of the rehab program. He developed a great and professional relationship with
both staff and patients. Peyton will be an asset to any facility where he chooses to work.”
Click here to read more about Bellarmine’s Career Development Center and the services it provides for students and alumni.