By: Timaj Yusuf, '18
Starting her freshman year, sophomore Jordan Lloyd, ‘19, made sure to take advantage of the events and workshops provided by the Office of Alumni & Career Services because she wanted to have an internship early on. “I had never had an internship before, and I was uncertain what field I’d like to work in,” said Lloyd.
During one of the events she attended, Lloyd found out about the office’s Spider Shadowing program, which gives students the opportunity to participate in half- or full-day job shadowing experiences during winter and summer breaks. She thought the program would be the perfect opportunity to try out different careers that she hadn’t been exposed to, without the commitment of a job or internship.
During winter break 2015, Lloyd shadowed UR alumna Christie Getman, ’97, at her job as the Senior Director for Program Quality and Technical Support at Lutheran World Relief in Baltimore, Maryland. Getman noted that she could see that Lloyd’s piqued interest about their work, and her clear self-initiative, might be worth the risk of investing in such a bright, young professional. After talking with Getman and the staff at Lutheran World Relief that day, Lloyd’s interest in interning at a non-profit organization grew. “Christie provided me with many names of organizations and people I could research and even offered me an intern position at LWR for the summer if I could secure University funding,” says Lloyd. Not long afterward, Lloyd submitted an application and received a Spider Internship Fund through the UR Summer Fellowships program.
During the summer of the intern experience, Getman was blown away by the professionalism and poise Lloyd demonstrated. “Jordan was very driven, and highly professional,” Getman says. “She excelled very quickly at the tasks that we gave her. She became a real part of our team.”
Getman recommends that all students who are looking for a job or internship take advantage of programs like Spider Shadowing to gain hands-on exposure to the professional world.
Lloyd also recommends that students start looking for internships early and believes that seeing career opportunities first-hand and gaining real-world experiences give students more confidence and direction. “Most people don’t start this process until they’re at least juniors,” Lloyd says. “As an 18 year old, inexperienced freshman, most people would just assume I was lucky in comparison to the competition. If by "luck," they mean where my months of preparation met calculated opportunity; then yes, I am a lucky Spider indeed.”