Courtesy of Mercer SGA
Students who are applying for summer internships now have the opportunity to also apply for free housing on the Macon and Atlanta campuses.
In order to qualify for free housing, students must first find an internship.
“Internships not only accomplish that goal of getting students engaged, but it also provides an opportunity for students to grow and learn as professionals,”said Cole Porter, External Relations Committee Chair of the Student Government Association. “On the External Relations Committee, our biggest goal is to get students involved in the community.”
Porter said that after speaking with many students, the External Relations Committee “saw that they wanted more internships, particularly during the summer.”
When looking at providing more internships for students during the summer, Porter and SGA saw an obstacle: housing.
“Our job on SGA is to take student concerns or interests and spark the conversation on that topic to find a solution,” Porter said.
Porter said the housing concern was taken to the External Relations Committee, President William Underwood, Residence Life and Career Services. The solution they came up with is free housing from May 30 to July 29 for students with summer internships near the Atlanta and Macon campuses.
Fliers posted around campus, through social media and campus email have advertised that students must apply to qualify for the free housing opportunity after they have found an internship.
“We actually have limited space availability which is why we said you had to qualify,” Atlanta Campus Director of Employer Relations and Special Events Cindy Strowbridge said.
The free housing available for internships consists of 12 beds on the Atlanta campus and 12 beds on the Macon campus. The location of an internship will determine where the student qualifies for housing. “They must live somewhere close to their internship site, which will be one of the campuses,” Strowbridge said.
Applications to qualify for housing can be found at: www.tinyurl.com/musummerintern until March 13 at 5 p.m.
The applications will then be evaluated by a committee that consists of Strowbridge, other employees of career services and a few Mercer students, Strowbridge said.
“My office and Career Management and Career services, we want to give every student the best opportunity to find a job,” Strowbridge said.
Although there will be no bill sent to the students selected to receive summer housing, they “must still follow the student code of conduct and sign a modified housing contract,” Strowbridge said. “The housing contract is really just there in case they make damages to where they are living.”
Students who receive free housing will be a factor in deciding whether or not to continue to offer this opportunity to future students.
“We hope that this [opportunity] will encourage more students to stay in Macon or Atlanta during the summer and develop connections with the community as they carry out their internship,” Porter said. “We’ve all seen what Mercer students can do for the community when given the chance; that’s the ultimate goal here.”
For students who are interested in applying for internships in general, SGA created a program for Career Services’ course for academic-year internships, Porter said. “This will allow students to apply for an internship based on their interests or ambitions, and we will match them with community organizations that fit their interests.”
The students who are selected from the matching program through the academic-year internship course “will have the internship for the 2017-2018 academic year and will receive course credit for the internship,” Porter said.
After deciding to apply for an internship of any kind,“you know you need a resume, a cover letter, and some interviewing skills,” said Hugh Hunter, Career Consultant for Career Services and Undergraduate and Graduate Business Programs. “Mercer offers multiple ways to achieve all of those goals, so prepare yourself first. I’d just say be prepared and be courageous.”
The Career Services website offers answers to frequently asked questions about internships and how to apply, along with a link to another website, BEARLink, that lists available internships.
Along with his role of being a Career Consultant, Hunter said he will be a part of the team that reviews submitted applications for internships. He will also serve as a mentor to some of the selected interns.
After getting help from Career services on how to begin applying for internships, “do not procrastinate,” Hunter said.
“Mercer students are talented, sharp and a pleasure to be around. You already have the skills that the world is looking for, it’s all about getting to where the action is now,” he said. “Utilize your advisors and your faculty connections. Network every chance you get. Plan ahead so you don’t fall behind. And always, always do well by doing good.”