Internships X 5 How Calvin prepared her to work for Southwest, Disney Cruise Lines and more

Internships X 5

MAJOR: strategic communication
CURRENT OCCUPATION: working as the public relations intern for Disny Cruise Lines

Many internships

Think one college internship is enough? Talk to Alicia Davids.

She landed four different internships during her time at Calvin, including one with Southwest Airlines. She graduated from Calvin in December with a double major in strategic communication and Spanish, but wasn’t ready to stop learning. That led her to Disney Cruise Lines (DCL) in Florida, where she’s currently working as the public relations intern—her fifth internship.

At DCL, Alicia is the first point of contact for media inquiries. She also updates the company’s news website, creates reports on media coverage and coordinates media cruise ship tours.

Alicia answers our questions about her amazing internships and how Calvin prepared her for them.

Why so many internships?

Strategic communication is such a broad degree, and there are countless career opportunities available with it. My internships helped me identify my skills and determine which particular area of communications interests me most. My coursework prepared me for my internships, but my time at Calvin would not have been complete without my professional experience outside the classroom.

How did Calvin prepare you for work in PR?

The strategic communication program at Calvin helped me learn how to identify a key audience and determine effective communication methods in order to successfully convey a message. And the critical thinking, writing and speaking skills I learned will be useful in any role and career that I choose.

What is the best part of your job?

I love the opportunity to work with a small team within such a large organization. DCL is a smaller component of Disney, so I’m able to learn a lot about that area while gaining exposure to a global brand. Disney is one of the most beloved brands in the world, so it’s great to learn firsthand what communication tactics help make them so successful. I feel like I’m learning from the best!

What advice would you give other students?

Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, whether that is a leadership position, an internship or a study-abroad experience. Even if it may not seem to directly impact your career, you’ll learn more about yourself and gain skills that will help you in the future. For example, my study-abroad experiences taught me to be open to change. I learned to be flexible, and that has been an extremely important skill in my internships.

VERGE: spring 2014

First-Year Experience