On Tuesday, August 28 the Lyon College Career Center held the Summer Experience Fair (SEF), an event that Annette Castleberry, Lyon’s Director of Career Services, describes as a “casual, interactive forum where younger students learn from upperclassmen how they found summertime career-building opportunities.” Such opportunities include internships, research assistantships, academic travel and more.
Student presenter Melanie Beehler, who spent her summer doing research in Fayetteville, first arrived at Lyon knowing little about internships except that they were integral to success. Beehler hopes that her presentation at the SEF will “help other students know how to get [an internship] and what to expect from it.”
Patrick Mulick, Dean of Students, is also excited to see students helping each other, saying, “I think this is a valuable experience because students get to bring back to the college the experiences they had while they were away. Without an event like this, those experiences are often lost. They may learn something or may have gained an experience, but to get to share those experiences with the rest of the students perpetuates that cycle of more and more students going out and getting internships.”
Taylor Donnerson, a senior who spent her summer working on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., found herself in this once-in-a-lifetime position when a member of her Lyon College family nominated her for the Arkansas Leadership Forum. This nomination set off a chain reaction that landed Donnerson in Washington D.C., where she worked alongside senators and advocated for Arkansas. Donnerson described her experience working with peers and mentors in Washington as being “like a wave.” The SEF strives to help Lyon students collaborate and, together, make waves of their own.
Donnerson won the 2018 Summer Experience Fair Scholarship prize of $1,000.