Internships prepare students for their chosen careers

Most college students entering the final phase of their educational journey are focused on finishing classes, graduating, and landing the perfect job. For many, completing an internship is the final task before accepting their diploma.

But internships aren’t simply a requirement that needs to be checked off a list. Internships give students extensive and unique opportunities to gain meaningful professional experience in their chosen field. They are also an excellent way for students to explore different career paths and learn new skills. 

According to Grant Lee, accounting, finance, and human resources management department chair at Davenport, internships are vital to the education process as they help prepare students for their careers.   

“Internships provide students with the opportunity to learn the job requirements, participate in meetings and projects, and meet and interact with professionals,” Lee said. 

Lee also teaches an internship class that students are required to take while they complete their internship, and he offers students this advice:

  • Be enthusiastic about learning from professionals and always maintain an attitude of constant learning. 
  • Listen and be attentive to directions.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need something clarified.


Spotlight on DU interns

Hundreds of Davenport students complete successful internships every year. Here, we highlight a few who excelled.

JUSTIN HUGHES, BBA ‘23         

Justin Hughes earned his bachelor’s in human resources management in December and completed his internship with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in Detroit. 

Internship title: HR specialist

Duties: A variety of human resources-related tasks. 

What he enjoyed most: Collaborating with others on human resources functions.

The most valuable lesson learned: Learning the importance of safeguarding personally identifiable information (PII) of veterans and government employees.

Donjuan Moultrie, human resources supervisor at VHA, said Hughes showed remarkable professionalism, dedication, and a commendable work ethic while working with the organization’s Adherence and Quality Standards team. 

“Justin completed in-depth audits of employee records and demonstrated an ability to adapt quickly to new tasks,” said Moultrie. He also worked efficiently under pressure and exhibited compassion when dealing with customers.”

Moultrie also said Hughes proved to be a valuable asset to their team, and he is confident that the skills and knowledge he acquired during his internship will benefit his future academic and professional endeavors.    



Reegan Zomer earned a bachelor’s in business in April 2023 and completed her internship with the Ford Leadership Forum in Grand Rapids.

Internship title: Project planning intern

Duties: Event planning, marketing, communications, strategic planning, media relations, recruiting and budget maintenance.

What she enjoyed most: The overall hands-on experience, especially with marketing and event planning.

The most valuable lesson learned: How beneficial the entire internship experience was. 

Zomer’s internship supervisor, Jeff Polet, director of the Ford Leadership Forum at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, said Reegan was a terrific intern who always went above and beyond. 

“Reegan is extremely well-organized, efficient, eager to help, and willing to take initiative,” said Polet. 

Zomer performed so well during her internship that she was offered and accepted a full-time job after graduation. 



Ryan Markham will graduate in April with a bachelor’s in marketing with a digital marketing and promotion concentration. He completed his internship with Davenport University’s communication team. 

Internship title: Communications intern 

Duties: Created content and assisted with social media, created newsletters and mass emails, wrote and published Davenpost articles, created digital screen graphics and created the DU Review digital magazine template.

What he enjoyed most: The people he worked with.

The most valuable lesson learned: To take initiative and never hesitate to ask questions. 

Hannah Magoon, digital content manager, said Ryan was a great asset to the team. “He was eager to learn new skills and technologies and exceeded my expectations with the work he created,” said Magoon. 

Markham performed so well during his internship that he was asked to stay with the team as a student worker until he graduates in April. 


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