Does a student with a social science major have a potential place in the police department? The police department seems to think so. Otherwise, they probably wouldn’t have set up shop at the FHSS internship fair last month.
For the past four years, the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences has supported an Internship Fair for social science majors and minors. The fair has grown from 30 Internship Providers and 300 participating students the first year to 50 Internship Providers and 700 student participants this year. There were several kinds of internships offered at this year’s fair including:
- Social Work
- Criminal Justice
- Family Support
- Treatment Programs
- Fashion Design/Production
- Interior Design
- Victim Advocacy
- International through BYU
- Washington Seminar
Karen Christensen, Internship Coordinator for BYU’s College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, has been organizing the event since its outset. “Often students think they need to finish up all of their coursework before they consider what they can do with their degree,” says Christensen, “But the best way to make the most of your undergraduate program is to integrate experience opportunities all along the way. Students can participate in basic volunteer opportunities early in their program and then participate in more meaningful internship experiences during their junior and senior years.”
“Sometimes social science majors start out planning on graduate school and then decide that is not the right plan for them. At that point, they think there are no other options available for them. That’s when internships can be really beneficial in trying out some other options. There are a wide range of opportunities available to students in the social sciences; it’s just a matter of getting out there in the mix to discover some of them.”
Social science majors can actually pursue a wide variety of careers, Many organizations are recognizing the benefits of hiring people who can think critically, problem-solve, communicate effectively, and understand people and relationships; and a background in the social sciences is the perfect fit.
That being said, social science graduates need to be able to connect the dots for the employer to show how their training and background has prepared them to be well-suited for the organization. And internship experience can be what demonstrates that match. This is not only because it shows they have work experience, but because it can give them a chance to explain how they’ve applied the skills they acquired in the social sciences to real-world scenarios.
“It’s critical to get experience along with your coursework. Doing so really helps you to apply the skills you’ve learned in the classroom – and that experience helps you be more marketable at graduation,” says Christensen. The Internship Fair helps students see the many opportunities available and can help them make connections with organizations that will strengthen their resumes and grad school applications in the future.
If you missed the fair, you can still find out about internships by calling 801-422-2168 or coming to 944 SWKT, or checking out their social media channels.
Did you go to the Fair? What did you think?