COLUMBUS, Miss. -- While the summer may be a time for many students to vacation, Mississippi University for Women students explored new opportunities and challenges from their summer internships.

Terrie Whitehead, a senior culinary major from Brandon, spent her summer interning in the banquet department at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, Va. From food preparation for the Friday night seafood buffet to working the action station or preparing breakfast, she learned that every day is different.

“One week we prepared 30 prime ribs. The next week, we catered for a small group,” explained Whitehead. “Nothing is consistent. I like inconsistent.”

WhiteheadWhitehead admits, while searching for an internship, she wanted something different. She wanted something that would prepare her to achieve her future goal of owning a catering business. Her internship has tested her culinary skills by the necessity of the fast- paced environment and accuracy needed to deliver the best quality meal.

She also had the opportunity to directly interact with many of her guests. One of her most unexpected moments was when she helped host an event for members of Congress.

“I didn’t think I could do that,” explained Whitehead. “They all asked me, ‘Where are you from?’”

Senior culinary major Lamon Stapleton spent his summer internship prepping, portioning and working the cook line at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.

“I have learned several things at my internship, but one thing that stood out most was time management. Use your time wisely. Once it is gone, there's no way to retract it,” said Stapleton.

Prior to coming to Asheville, Stapleton was worried about the outcome of his internship with the new
prestigious environment, new people and new location. After his first two weeks, he grew to love the environment, the chefs and the people he met along the way. Stapleton added, “I instantly became attached.”

After working with chefs at the Biltmore Estate, Stapleton received encouragement to venture out and travel the world to gain experience.

“I consider those conversations a valuable lesson because we tend to stay within our comfort zones and miss out on grand opportunities,” stated Stapleton. “And later on in life, we think about what we could've done differently to better our success. So, whenever an opportunity presents itself, go for it!”

In the coming weeks, Ashmita Bhandari will be ending her internship with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in Alexandria, Va. The IACP is the oldest and the largest non-profit law enforcement association in the world. The senior accounting major from Lalitpur, Nepal, has been the finance intern for the IACP’s department of finance and operations since May.

BhandariAt the IACP, she performs data analysis for federal grants and non-grants, as well as assisting with accounts payable and receivables and updating the accounting procedure manual for the NGO. She also has undertaken digitizing procurement procedures, which will help ensure procurement policy is followed throughout the organization.

Bhandari has gained not only a greater understanding of learning the operations of a non-profit organization, but learned a lot about the problems faced by the law enforcement organizations across the country. She said the most valuable lesson she has learned is to expose yourself to new opportunities.

“Do not say no to any opportunity given to you, be it small or big,” said Bhandari.

Katy Osborne is a senior history major from Lucedale. Her summer internship led her to the Singing River Genealogy-Local History Library in Pascagoula. Osborne has been digitizing a collection of World War II letters for the library as well as adding material to the library’s online archive that will launch in the December. She has helped local library patrons by providing programming that introduces them to genealogy and preservation. Osborne

“I have really been able to get a feel for digitization. I understand what goes into making quality digital resources,” said Osborne. “It is time consuming and often tedious, but the end result is worth it all. I am so excited that the work I have done this summer will be available for the public to enjoy and learn from.”

Josh Herrick is junior history student from Columbus who also interned at a local library over the summer. At the Billups-Garth Archives located in the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, Herrick aided head archivist Mona Vance-Ali. For the majority of his internship, he re-sleeved negatives and photos for the Carl Brown Collection. He also organized, crated a finding aid and indexed minutes of Session meetings for the Woodlawn Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s records.

“The one lesson that this internship taught me is to cherish the local history of a town. You might not know how interesting a seemingly small city's history is until you dig deeper, down to the roots,” explained Herrick.

W students Dipa Bhattarai and Shelly Hicks recently completed a one-year internship with the finance and planning team of International Paper’s (IP) Columbus Mill. Bhattarai and Hicks were responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the mill’s fiber procurement system. From inputting data and overseeing contracts to vendor relations, their job was a critical component of mill operations.

“IP has been a great atmosphere in which to learn and grow. Everyone works together to lend a hand whenever we need it and makes us feel valued. It’s nice to have an opportunity like this so close to home,” said Hicks.

“Although we are only interns, we are never made to feel that way. Shelly and I are respected for our work and the contributions we bring. The organization is not just focused on us now but is genuinely concerned about our future career endeavors,” said Bhattarai.

Senior Biology students Shreya Ghimire and Lisa Sreshtha interned this summer in associate professor of biology Ghanshyam Heda’s research laboratory. Sreshtha worked with biochemical and molecular methods in improving detection methods for a protein called CFTR. Shreya worked with cell culture of human lung cells and detection of CFTR by immunofluorescence. CFTR is a protein that functions as chloride ion channel and its mutation causes the genetic disease cystic fibrosis.

Meng Wu was responsible for conducting research, preparing presentations, conducting surveys, creating and extending databases and creating new donor recognition listings while interning for the United Way this summer. Wu began the summer interning with the fundraising team, but has since moved to the finance team.

W students will return to campus for Move-In Day Aug. 19 and return to classes Aug. 24.

Aug. 7, 2017
Contact: Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7863
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