Nicole Taylor '14 interned at Henry Clay Elementary School.
3/17/14The 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), Nicole Taylor ’14 interned at Henry Clay Elementary School (HCES) in Ashland, Virginia.
Hands-on TrainingThe psychology major worked under the guidance of School Counselor Paula Little.
“Working with Ms. Little was a great honor,” says Taylor. “I learned so much from her—and from the children. In the elementary-school setting you never know what will happen; children are so imaginative at that age. There was never a dull moment during my internship.”By observing Little, Taylor learned how to encourage students’ success in academics and social skills. She was also given the opportunity to teach on her own.
“My favorite part of teaching is when the lesson incorporates a story,” she says. “I found that the more animated I was while reading to the children, the more they enjoyed the lesson. I also participated in ‘Lunch Buddies’—I talked to students during lunchtime and assisted them with their reading skills or social-interaction skills.”
“As a psychology major, Nicole was able to apply the knowledge and theory learned from her classes to the elementary-school setting,” says Little, who has worked as a school counselor for 28 years. “She worked with individual students and in the classroom, gaining a real perspective on the challenges and rewards of the job.”
Campus ConnectionsOn campus, Taylor is an active member of One Change at a Time, whose mission is to promote community service to the Hanover community. Each week, One Change members work with children in the HCES Positive Action Club, a prevention program for children in grades K through 5. Taylor is also a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity whose goal is to help those in need and promote peace through service.
Future Plans“I took several courses dealing with disabilities, which inspired me to make it my mission to help children with disabilities,” she explains. “I took several of Psychology Professor Robert Resnick’s classes, and the stories he shared with us—about his life’s path, for example—were so compelling. Through his experiences I learned so much more than just what the textbook offered. My goal is to teach children that it is okay to be different.” Whatever path she chooses, Taylor is confident that her internship will help her.
“Internships are great opportunities—a way to find out if a career path is the right fit for you,” she says. “With a degree in psychology there are so many avenues one can pursue and that can be overwhelming, but having the opportunity to shadow Ms. Little gave me insight into what a guidance counselor experiences on a typical day. I dream of creating an after-school program for children with disabilities and serving as a counselor.”
The Randolph-Macon EDGEThe 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.