Washington, DC Summer Intern: Kendra McCarthy

Posted on September 5, 2014. Filed under: Career, College, Featured Intern, Internship, Michigan State University, Social Work, Washington | Tags: , , , , |

Meet Kendra, a driven individual majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies at MSU who completed the summer internship program in Washington, DC through the College of Social Science Study and Internship Programs. Read what she has to say about her experience and the hustle and bustle of a big city like Washington, DC.

Kendra McCarthy Portrait

Name: Kendra McCarthy

Hometown: Sturgis, MI

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Science

Graduation: May/August 2014

Internship Placement: YMCA of Metropolitan Washington

Internship Location: YMCA of Arlington


What were your primary responsibilities at your internship?

I was responsible for creating and updating a roster of all the children attending Camp Letts, a camp that has 9 sessions throughout the summer. I was in charge of keeping track of the children’s session choices, transportation needs, payments, scholarship funding, and collecting forms.  


What was one of your fondest highlights of your internship? A highlight of my internship was being able to send children to camp, the other day I received an email from a mother thanking me and the YMCA for giving her children the chance to go to camp. She expressed how the YMCA is such a great support for her children. I forwarded it to my supervisor and she said times like these make her realize how worth it all is to her.


What was the biggest adjustment you had to make living in Washington, DC? The rush is a big adjustment. People are always on the go, it’s so busy here. There are so many people and everyone has somewhere they need to be “right now”. It’s a very fast paced environment, especially with taking the metro!


How has your internship enhanced your academic and career plans? I am interested in non profits and social work. I was able to see how much work goes into providing just one program for a community. And I was able to see the number of people impacted by one organization. I met someone who started out as a social worker in the schools and now he is a director of the child care program. That was encouraging because it has opened my eyes to the possibility of doing more than what I originally planned. Before I never considered being the director of any type of program, but to see he started out as a social worker lets me know I am on the right track.


Why should an MSU student apply to this internship program? You get the chance to live in another city without worrying about paying any bills! The only thing I knew before coming here was that I wanted to go to grad school after graduation, but coming here has given me clarity as to what exactly I want to do and what I need to do to get there. I have met some amazing people and made some great connections that I hope to continue after I leave here. The workshops and experience are both really beneficial; they teach you things that you would never learn in a classroom. They are life skills and experience that you can take with you even after you have left MSU.

The YMCA is one of our long-standing internship opportunities for students in many of the program cities.  The YMCA is known for being the “gold standard” in youth programming and their interns come away with valuable knowledge in this area and something that stands out on their resume.  If you are interested in a YMCA internship, please call 517-432-4541 to learn more about these programs.


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