Landing an internship can be a catalyst to a long-term career opportunity for a student, or, at the very least, a way to build a skillset for a future job. While the Merrick School of Business has a formalized internship program, students aren’t required to take an internship for credit. If a student opts to take an internship for credit, it is typically a part-time position requiring the student to work at least 120 hours over the course of the semester. But sometimes, not-for-credit internship is more suitable for a student. That is true for business administration major Chandra Boyd.
Three years ago, Boyd signed up to be a volunteer at the Ray Lewis Family Foundation with no expectation that it would lead to an internship. After all, she was busy hatching the idea for her own business, Dakota’s Concierge Service that specializes in providing personal assistants to celebrities and professionals.
“I remember saying to myself ‘I know I’m not getting paid as a volunteer, but I want to do a good job as if I were a paid employee—because you just never know where this path might go,’” Boyd recalled. “I think they took notice of me and eventually let me play for the team.”
In 2010, Boyd began her internship with the Ray Lewis Family Foundation. She sees her internship with the foundation as a “golden ticket” for long-term success. She now sees amazing opportunities on the horizon.
“Learning how a new company is managed and being right there to see what works and what doesn’t are valuable lessons that will stay with me for years to come,” Boyd said.
Boyd believes that time management has been her biggest challenge. When she isn’t interning at the foundation she is working at her full-time job, going to school and participating in extracurricular activities—not to mention her start-up company.
“Making sure my priorities are set can become a bit overwhelming,” she said. “But I realize that nothing in life comes without a little back pain and sweat. I press on and stay positive and everything always works out.”
Boyd shared an important piece of advice that other students could benefit from: volunteer—anywhere, anytime, for any worthy cause.
“Your dream job won’t be sent to you like a package delivered by UPS on graduation day. You have to let prospective employers know you’re ready and willing to be a part of their team,” she said.