St. Andrews business students share internship experiences
“It was an eye-opener for me. My coworkers would come to me because they knew I’d taken classes in horse related care and understood that there was a lot of knowledge on the various subjects. Because of that experience, I am a more independent and confident person.”
This statement by St. Andrews Presbyterian College student Amanda Ligouri after her summer internship at the Rockbrook Camp for Girls in Brevard emphasized a large part of what these experiences are about.
“We find that the broader workplace experiences are similar, but, because of the specialized placements, there are also significant insights that help shape, or refine, a student’s career path,” said Professor of Business Corinne Nicholson, who oversees the internship program at St. Andrews.
Like Ligouri, Mariann Stark gained experience and confidence through her internship with Carter Dressage in Marshall, Va.
“I did a lot of barn work and revised the center’s business plan while also making recommendations on how to process the accounting,” she said. “I learned the importance of efficiency. I had to learn to think like a barn manager. The experience gave me a lot of confidence to be able to run a barn. I had a great experience and I am excited to go out and do something like this after graduation.”
Andrew Roberts had the opportunity to intern with Omniture, an Adobe Company, in Orem, Utah and he was able to gain a broader perspective than his assigned duties in accounts receivable.
“My goal was to develop an understanding of the business process,” he said. “The last week I was there I got to do interviews with vice presidents from across the company. As I was the only intern in the Orem office, they really weren’t sure what to expect. I focused a lot on the technology they use, how accounting works and how to work cooperatively as an international company. I was able to obtain a broad perspective on effective business techniques.
“I liked meeting with various managers and realized how much you can learn from just letting them talk,” he added. “I also learned that I hate cubicles. They are counterproductive to work and you hear all sorts of things and its very distracting.”
For Robert Lawson, interning with TD Bank in Burlington, Mass., gave him a chance to find out if he truly wants to pursue banking after graduation.
“I was given a project to develop profiles comparing online versus offline customers,” he said. “I took samples of the customers and looked at the account details. I created charts that displayed the analysis and also analyzed loan and deposit patterns. The bank didn’t know what I would find and their expectations were low.”
After compiling all the information, Laswson presented the findings to a panel of executives.
“I was able to make recommendations for growth and the design of new products,” Lawson said. “They used the recommendations to develop a business plan that will save them $5.4 million in fiscal year 2011.”
While Roberts and Lawson were exploring areas of interest on new ground, several of their fellow St. Andrews interns returned to familiar territory but found unexpected insight.
“I’ve known the family for 13 years,” said Donna Fowble of her internship at Riverview Stables in Frederick, Md. “It’s where I started and I wanted to go back to work on this part of my training. My goal was originally to go to more of a training facility after graduation, but I realize that I like teaching a lot so now I want to do more teaching.”
Dana Perry spent the summer interning at Maryland Therapeutic Riding in Annapolis, Md., and like Fowble was returning to familiar territory.
“It was created by Naomi Parry and my little sister was her first client,” Perry said. “I worked closely with the founder and she would take me aside and share things that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.”
Working as a barn assistant, instructor in training, a test rider and doing office work, Perry completed her NARHA certification while also realizing “how much managing was going on.”
“I worked with one little boy with sever autism and the progress he made over the summer was the most rewarding part of the job,” she said. “I was offered a job at the end of summer but while I like barns, I realized I couldn’t work in one 40 hours a week.”
Fellow intern Betsy Kaplan, also received a job offer after completing her internship with Roaring Gap Club in Roaring Gap, N.C.
“It was a hectic schedule, with just two of us,” she said. “We provided lessons on a first come, first served basis and that kept us busy. One of the owners of the club was very complimentary of our work and shared that the members were very happy with the experience. It was a very good experience for me and I got a job offer at the end of summer, which is a nice option to have.”
Job offers were not the only measure of success used by the interns.
“Ellie was my summer project,” Alex Myers reported of one aspect of her internship with Cloverleaf Ranch in Rocky Point, N.C. “I rode her the first day and I got to feel how she improved throughout the summer and it made me feel successful."
Myers was also able to learn the nuts and bolts of the start up of an equestrian related facility as Cloverleaf Ranch opened earlier this year.
“I learned about having to shop around to see where the prices for your services need to be set,” she said. “While the owner was lucky to have taught at several other locations in the area to bring in some business at the start, she also had to work to bring in more. The process helped me realize the value of continuing education through magazines, internet resources and specialized television programs.”
At the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School in Glen Arm, Md., Candace Brown got to do lessons with four children during the two training sessions. The first two were a pair of non-verbal autistic boys.
“It was a challenge for me but it went well,” she said. “I also got to work with a pair of older boys, teaching them some basic barn chores. It was great because one of the things one of the boys had to work on was his reading. He would bring his book and read to one of the ponies. The horse would look at the pages as if following along and it was amazing to watch and be a part of it.”
For Cate Quigley, who interned with Manuel Breeding Farm in Vincetown, N.J., the internship exposed her to some different aspects of equestrian related activities.
“They are a training facility and sales location mostly for jumpers,” she said. “As part of my internship I got free lessons and they taught me riding from the jumper style and expectations, which was different from the hunter I’d done at St. Andrews. My seat definitely improved through the process.
“They also do breeding and on my first day a foal was born,” Quigley continued. “It was not something I had been involved with before and it was a learning experience. I didn’t know that the foal’s name has to start with the same first letter as the stud and for their facility the name must also be a city. So we spent two hours researching for a city that began with a ‘C’ that would fit her.”
Quigley also assisted with horse shows throughout her internship. “It is the type of job where you pull a lot of hours but it is something you love to do. It was a great experience.”
“It is clear that all of our interns were able to gain a significant level of confidence and flexibility to deal with whatever came their way,” said Nicholson.
About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.
On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.