Sarah Lowry '14 and Kimberly Sperruggia interned at the Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen, Virginia.
2/7/14The Randolph-Macon College experience gives students The EDGE through an exceptional education, faculty mentorship, alumni connections and career preparation for a competitive advantage in the marketplace and lifelong success.
Yellow Jackets learn how to be leaders, thinkers, and communicators, and they can put it all into practice with a tailor-made internship—essential experience in today’s competitive job market. R-MC’s Bassett Internship Program has placed more than 3,000 students in internships in the U.S. and abroad since 1982. The program provides students the resources to identify and pursue academic, paid, or volunteer internships in any career field.
During January Term (J-term) 2014, Sarah Lowry ’14 and Kimberly Sperruggia ’14 interned at the Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen, Virginia. The Center, a multi-use facility, brings together visual, literary and performing arts.
Hands-on TrainingLowry, a studio art major and English minor, and Sperruggia, a studio art major and art history minor, worked under the guidance of Events Manager Holly Marshall. They also collaborated on projects with alumna Mackenzie Zahler ’13, who works in Guest Services.Lowry and Sperruggia managed the Center’s database, helped prepare for cultural arts events, and assisted with advertising the Center’s upcoming offerings. They also arranged the display cases in the lobby of the gift shop and helped to curate exhibits in one of the Center’s four art galleries.
“I consider this experience invaluable,” says Lowry, who consulted with The EDGE staff and worked with Drama Professor Joe Mattys and Physics Professor George Spagna, director of the Bassett Internship Program, to secure her internship. “Ms. Marshall was a great mentor; for example, she valued my opinion about how to arrange the galleries and gift shop. I saw what happens behind the scenes at the Center—and what it really takes to run this organization. The experience I gained—including mastering a type of software that is essential in the business world—will help me in any career.” Lowry, who is passionate about writing, is currently writing her first novel, and she plans on attending graduate school. “Ultimately, I would love to combine my passion for literature and visual arts to perhaps write and illustrate,” she says. “Eventually, I would love to become a book editor.”
Sperruggia, who has a keen interest in art, says the internship has prepared her for the future in many ways.
“I feel better prepared to enter the workforce, and my internship showed me that I can juggle multiple projects at once,” she says. “I’ve also learned firsthand the importance of deadlines—and the satisfaction of completing a project. In addition, I feel a lot more prepared for a job in design now, because I learned how to use Microsoft Publisher in my time at the Center.” Sperruggia is currently at work on her senior project—a life-sized tree made out of recycled objects. Her future plans include working as a graphic designer.
Real-World ExperienceBoth students, says Marshall, were able to work well with any situation handed to them.
“Internships are meant as a way for students to gain real-world experience,” she says. “Being open to any challenge and able to adapt to change is essential. Kim and Sarah took on projects working with the public and they volunteered with the Henrico PAL (Police Athletic League) program to help bring art to Henrico County children. They also hung artwork in our Gumenick Art Gallery and created beautiful art shows. They were able to enhance and utilize their talents and will be even more marketable in the workforce. It was a pleasure to work with them.”
The Randolph-Macon EDGE The EDGE is an intensive four-year program that prepares students for life after college. Located within the Career for Personal and Professional Development, the EDGE gives students a competitive advantage in the job market or graduate-school admissions process. Workshops, internships, one-on one advising and a host of other resources ensure that students who graduate from R-MC are lifelong learners who can think critically and adapt to new situations.