By Corey Scott, Experiential Learning Projects Coordinator, Career Services
An experiential learning event like an internship can have a profound impact on a student’s approach to learning and their future career. Similarly, supervising or mentoring an intern can be a uniquely rewarding experience. Just ask Kellie Meacher, Communications Manager at Queen’s University who supervised Communications Intern Laura Wyatt beginning in May 2016:
"I didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy the mentorship role. It was very energizing!"
Laura had marketing and public relations responsibilities for five different departments at Queen’s. According to Laura, one of her proudest accomplishments was introducing a new recruitment tool for the University called LiveChat.
Laura worked with Kellie in Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment to compile research and analyze options. Laura was part of a team that successfully pitched the LiveChat option to the department’s director. According to Ms. Meacher, the project has transformed the way that the University communicates with prospective students.
When asked about the personal benefits of the internship Laura indicated that the experience helped her develop confidence in her skills, and clarified her future career path:
"I realized I have strong people skills and the ability to influence others with my ideas. I’m not just a technician; I have more to offer and I know now where I want to apply these skills. It’s really empowering."
Kellie Meacher explained that the department decided to hire a QUIP Intern in August 2016, to take part in a project designed to change the way the University communicates with students. The goal was to find someone with the right technical expertise to assist with this goal, but according to Ms. Meacher, Laura’s impact on the department exceeded expectations.
"I did not expect her to take on the role in such a mature and serious way" states Ms. Meacher. "I was impressed that she understood the need for change management during the project, and how she communicated process changes to staff". According to Ms. Meacher, Laura's "personality, energy, and positivity were contagious".
When asked if she would recommend a QUIP intern to other managers Kellie nodded emphatically stating, "Laura gave us a new set of eyes and a fresh perspective. I’m already looking forward to the next intern!"