McKenzie Clark '23 | University of Portland

McKenzie Clark '23

Majors: Secondary Education / English McKenzie Clark

EPI internship: WorldOregon

What were your summer internship responsibilities?

I was on the Development, Evaluations, and Global classrooms teams. I had the opportunity to work on the information and resources that WO had created for teachers to use in classrooms as well as help review programs and talk to members about their experiences with the organization.

How did you find out about the Ethics and the Professions Internship program, and why did you apply?

Father Jim Gallagher sent out an email with information about EPI and I was immediately intrigued by it! I applied because I wanted an opportunity to explore ethical implications and decision-making in the workplace.

What did you learn?

I learned a lot of new skills about databases, member-relationship building techniques, and effective communication (especially when working remotely). Each of these are incredibly useful moving forwards both in my intended career and beyond.

What was your favorite moment as an intern?

At the end of my internship, I visited the WorldOregon office in-person and met up with some of the team that I had worked with. It was incredible to see the culture boxes and resources that I had been working on remotely in person. The entire WO team was so warm and welcoming, and it was amazing to spend time with them and see their hard work and how it had contributed to classroom resources.

Why do you believe internships are important for undergraduate students?

The internship allowed me to explore a professional space that had been previously closed to me. I was able to apply techniques and theories that I had learned in the classroom to the work that I was doing at the organization. The application of skills into the real-world was invaluable. Furthermore, the EPI team provided so many amazing resources to all of the interns. Hannah and Dan personalized the Internship around the interns’ interests and passions. It was heartwarming to feel so valued and have a program reflect the things that I care most deeply about.

What tips do you have for students wanting an internship?

Apply to any and all internships that interest you! There is no way to know what you might gain from the experience and even the process of applying is beneficial as it introduces you to the interview process.

What other experiences have made your time at UP unique?

I’ve had a wide array of incredible professors, residence life leadership, student activities, and other people and experiences that have contributed to my time on the bluff. With each interaction, I know that those around me care about my development and the betterment of our community and it’s been a blessing to be here.

How did this internship influence how you will approach your plans after graduation?

I don’t think the internship directly changed my career aspirations, but I know now how highly I value a strong team commitment and relationship within a position. I think this will influence the way that I evaluate job offers, potential work experiences, and future endeavors.

I now have a selection of questions that I developed that I know I should ask at any organization that I work with. These questions are about how they center relationships, what they are doing to support their employees, and how they continually work to increase ethical conversations and spaces.

Anything else you would like to add?

The entire experience with EPI was incredible! I was so thankful that our cohort was incredibly thoughtful and they came from a wide array of backgrounds. Together with Dan and Hannah’s leadership I gained so much from the entire experience.