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Summer Internship: Sarah Maxwell ’15 and Tracie Mooneyham ’16

Aug 03, 2015

Two students at Robins Foundation internshipThis summer, Randolph-Macon College students Sarah Maxwell '15 and Tracie Mooneyham '16 are participating in internships at the Robins Foundation in Richmond, Virginia. The Foundation supports organizations and projects for children ages 0-18 and their parents/caregivers to ensure children are prepared for kindergarten, are engaged in school, thrive academically, and graduate on time with the necessary skills and opportunities for success. Maxwell and Mooneyham are learning what it takes to operate a successful non-profit grant-making foundation.

Getting The Edge on Workplace Experience
Maxwell is an economics/business and political science major and classical studies minor; Mooneyham is an English major and studio arts minor. Under the guidance of Office Manager Martha Loving, Maxwell and Mooneyham conduct research and accompany program directors on site visits, reporting back on the use of grant funding from 2014. Both students secured their internships with the help of The Edge, R-MC's four-year career program. The Edge prepares students for life after college through workshops, internships, one-on-one advising and a host of other resources.

This is Maxwell's third internship. In 2012, she interned for Virginia Congressional Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and in 2014 she interned for Virginia General Assembly Delegate Christopher K. Peace.

"An internship provides you with practical experience," she says. "You learn how to work with a diverse group of people, how to prioritize, and how to meet deadlines. I am trying new things and applying concepts I learned in the classroom. My internship experiences will serve me well, no matter what the future holds." This fall, Maxwell will begin graduate school at The Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business. She's excited about being a Global MBA student and looks forward to experiencing the international focus of the program.

"An internship is crucial to helping students find their niche," says Mooneyham. "Internships are a great way to dip your toe into a few areas to see where your talents can best be applied." Mooneyham's future plans include graduate school and a career in teaching. "I also know that I want to continue to work with non-profits on a foundational level," she says.

Loving says that the Foundation provides a practical and memorable experience for students who intern.

"Experiencing the process of awarding grant funds to other non-profits allows students to become acquainted with the non-profit sector in Richmond and work closely with many programs that enrich the local communities," says Loving. "Sarah and Tracie are developing and honing professional skills required to work in a fast-paced and varied environment through their internships with the Foundation."

A vital part of the R-MC experience is experiential learning. Internships offer a real-world setting for connecting academic learning with the workplace. Internships allow students to explore a career path before committing to it; network, practice careers skills, and expand learning beyond the classroom; discover interests and capabilities; and make confident choices about the future.