For many college students, internships are the first step toward finding jobs after graduation, even for students interested in music and theatre.
Madeline Levy ’15, for instance, is an intern with the Seattle Opera.
“As a stage management intern on the ‘Ring,’ I have the opportunity to shadow two professional stage managers and five professional assistant stage managers,” she said. “Every day I feel lucky to be a part of this process.”
Levy is one of 125 Whitman students pursuing internships around the country thanks to the philanthropic support of alumni, parents and friends of the college. Whitman is committed to helping students obtain internships that help them gain valuable job skills through experiential learning.
The Whitman Internship Program has greatly expanded since last year, going from 82 interns in 2012 to 125 this year. Money raised during the Now Is the Time Campaign supports the Whitman Internship Program. A targeted funding effort by the Parents Leadership Committee, support for the David Stevens Internship Endowment and gifts from individual donors have transformed the internship program and increased the opportunities for Whitman students. In addition, Trustee Andy Ferrari ’68 and his wife, Barbara Quagliata Ferrari, provided funding for summer environmental studies internships. In 2012-13, the newly established Don and Virginia Sherwood Trust Internship Endowment provided students with additional opportunities with local nonprofits.
“Summer internships provide a remarkable opportunity for students to take what they are learning in the classroom and use it in practical ways,” said Noah Leavitt, assistant dean for student engagement. “It’s putting the liberal arts into an applied context. Whitman students are already innovative and ambitious, so they have a very high likelihood of success when they pursue their passions and turn them into careers.”
Levy said she will be able to use the skills she’s learned at the Seattle Opera when she returns to Whitman.
“I’m looking forward to taking the experience I have gained and using it when I stage manage ‘Tartuffe’ in the fall at Harper Joy Theatre. I also hope to apply the lessons I learn in communicating clearly and effectively throughout my life – in the professional sphere, in the classroom and in social settings.”
To explore the experiences of a few of Whitman’s interns, click here.