Create Your Own Adventure
Students from any major / minor can conduct a WGSS internship selecting from a list of pre-existing partnerships or visioning a new collaboration with a local nonprofit or small business. Internships are an excellent means for gaining workplace experience, expanding a student’s professional network, and developing a portfolio of materials to accompany them into the job market. Students learn and practice new skills related to community organizing, compassionate care, professional writing, and nonprofit management. The range of outputs or professional products created through internships is equally diverse. Recent projects include digitizing the adoption process for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, working with houseless communities to ensure their pets are vaccinated and sterilized for free, designing a print booklet teaching new pet owners positive (versus punishment-based) training methods, and executing a craft makerspace community engagement event on campus.
Existing internship partnerships include Black Mountain College Museum (writer, exhibit support), Planned Parenthood (patient greeter), Our Voice (event planning and execution) and Blue Ridge Pride (archivist, oral history interviewer). Internships can be paid or unpaid, and grant opportunities exist at UNC Asheville to help students cover costs related to an internship.
Students who want to create their own internship adventure can identify organizations with which they’d like to work and alert the program director (email@example.com) so we can try to build the partnership. For more information about why students should do internships during college and what funding is available at UNC Asheville to support internship related costs, check out the Career Center’s page.
Previous Internship Partnerships
Tyler Kirkpatrick, Latina Outreach Program Creation and Development, Our VOICE
“The WGSS Internship opportunity has allowed me to put both of my passions, the Spanish language and Gender sexual rights, to good use. Within this line of work, I have acquired useful knowledge and networking skills pertaining to the non-profit environment and also have learned about myself. I hope to continue this work and make this program successful and beneficial to an underserved Latina community in our community.”
Annie Oblinger, Helpmate Crisis Line and Court Advocate Volunteer
“I can honestly say that this internship has been my favorite part of my college career, and also the most rewarding. Aside from all of the personal and interpersonal growth, I feel that this experience will open many doors to me in my academic and career future. I have gotten a taste of many different types of work, and have honed down on what I think will suit me best. For this clarity, I am more confident in myself and what I will make of my future…. I think that being able to participate in an internship while in college is an amazing opportunity…it teaches you so much more than could ever be taught in a classroom.”
Dana Middleton, Open Umbrella Collective, Doula Support
“Working with the Open Umbrella Collective this semester has given me new perspectives on what it means to be involved with the community, and what it means to be a part of a group working for something it believes in… This experience has absolutely changed me – personally, politically, ethically, and radically.”
Jessica Olivencia, Pisgah Legal Services, Intake
“This entire experience proved that if I were to pursue non-profit management at the graduate level that I would find a position in which I would not only excel but find purpose. That’s what the WGSS program is all about to me, finding meaning in the society we live in and learning how we can make it better. …It’s about getting out in the community and being an active member of change. I believe that is why I came to enjoy my internship so much…I was helping people obtain justice for the various wrongs that have been done to them by others, by the system, sometimes by the law itself, and that to me means so much more than a paper ever could.”
Amanda Rutledge, The Mediation Center, Family Visitation Program
“Over the course of time I spent interning with the Mediation Center’s Family Visitation Program, I was able to have an experience that reviewed and applied ideas learned from the classroom as well as gain a better understanding of myself. Working with clients and staff helped me to learn about a non-profit/social work setting, as well as ways I could improve my performance in that kind of work…”