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Internship Experience: Samantha Cameron ’16 and Caleb Hatcher ’16

Feb 19, 2016

two students at political science internshipDuring January Term (J-term) 2016, Randolph-Macon College students Samantha Cameron '16 and Caleb Hatcher '16 interned at Richweb in Ashland, Virginia. Richweb specializes in developing comprehensive technology solutions for medium to large enterprises and non-profits. Cameron and Hatcher worked with R-MC Computer Science Professor John McManus '84 to arrange the internship through the college's Bassett Internship Program.

At Richweb, Cameron and Hatcher honed their network engineering and programming skills. They also learned how to configure routers and network switches.

Samantha Cameron '16
Cameron, a computer science major and mathematics minor from Longwood, Florida, took her first computer class at R-MC at the suggestion of her mother.

"My mom was a computer science major and a programmer for IBM," she explains. "When I was a freshman, she suggested I take an introductory computer class, and as a result, I fell in love with computer science."  Cameron works as a computer science tutor in R-MC's Higgins Academic Center, and as a lab assistant for introductory computer science classes. After graduating this year, she will work as a software engineer for Viasat Wireless Services, where she did an internship in summer 2015.

"Both of my internships helped me broaden my technical skills so that I am more prepared for my career," she says. "It was also great to intern under the guidance of a fellow Yellow Jacket. Jacob Dunn '14, a programmer at Richweb, helped me come up to speed with Wordpress, Perl, CSS, and HTML. In addition, my computer science professors—John McManus, John Rabung, Benjamin Burrell, and Rance Necaise—have been very helpful to me throughout the years, both in and out of the classroom."

Caleb Hatcher '16
Hatcher, a computer science major and biology minor, hails from West Point, Virginia. He chose R-MC for its soccer program and for its close-knit community.

At Richweb, Hatcher learned how to configuring cisco routers by shadowing a network engineer. He also learned a lot about the collaboration that goes into every project.

"Richweb does so much in the tech field that it was good to see all the possible job opportunities—software development with web programming, network engineering, and more—that are available out there," he says. Hatcher plans to have a career in software development. "Mr. Lea and Jacob were great on-site mentors."

Lea says Richweb is committed to serving and supporting Hanover, Ashland, and Richmond, and that there here is no better way to engage with the community than with J-term.

"Samantha and Caleb came to work with great attitudes and energy that invigorated the workplace," says Lea. "In turn, we provided them with IT experiences that challenged them to build on their knowledge and gain valuable experience. We thank Professor McManus for reaching out to us and facilitating this arrangement, and we hope our participation in the J-term program will continue."

"We are very lucky to have Richweb in the community," says McManus. "Mark Lea and his team have provided several excellent internships for our students. Samantha and Caleb gained valuable experience working in a very dynamic environment."

R-MC Internships
J-term internships offer a real-world setting for connecting academic learning with the workplace. R-MC's Edge Career Center and dedicated faculty assist students in finding the perfect internship opportunity.

The Edge is an intensive four-year program that prepares students for life after college. Located within The Edge Career Center, it gives students a competitive advantage in the job market or graduate-school admissions process. Workshops, internships, one-on one advising, a career and networking Boot Camp, 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.

More than 130 students participated in J-term 2016 internships, shadowing professionals and gaining experience at a wide variety of businesses and non-profits, including: Genworth Financial, Bon Secours Richmond Health Systems, Goodwill of Central Virginia, and McGuireWoods. R-MC's Bassett Internship program offers academic credit and connects students with tailor-made internships to explore a wide range of career fields in various locations. Students can also choose from a variety of paid or volunteer internship opportunities.