Conversations on Studying Abroad

CAPA’s Internship Site Supervisor Awards

Nov 19, 2020 9:51:00 AM / by Hayley Ni Bhriain

Part of having a great internship experience is having a strong supervisor who's able to guide and coach a student's professional development. CAPA has launched an initiative called the ‘Internship Excellence Awards’ to recognize these wonderful supervisors and internship sites. Hear from nine CAPA students on their global professional journey and what they've learned along the way.

Students who participate in an internship with CAPA will have a dedicated supervisor at their internship site. A strong supervisor will not only coach, mentor, and guide students throughout the experience, but they can also inspire students and leave a lasting impression on students’ professional development and future career plans. Students who perform well during their internship placement may receive a strong reference letter from their supervisor at the end of the program. Having a good working relationship with your supervisor can open many doors for students’ futures too–who knows where these connections will take you!

To say ‘thank you’ and to give recognition to the many wonderful supervisors and internship sites we work with, CAPA has launched an initiative called the ‘Internship Excellence Awards’. These awards are a way for students to nominate their supervisor or internship site to be recognized if they feel they have provided an outstanding internship experience.

To nominate their supervisor or site, students needed to fill out an online form outlining why they feel their supervisor or site deserves this award. Students will need to consider the following (we have also included some quotes from our summer 2020 students who nominated their sites!):

1. The range of responsibilities and projects assigned to students at their internship placement and how they believe this has enabled them to develop both their personal and professional skills and experience.

As the marketing intern I was assigned many critical tasks such as conducting a massive website audit, SEO audit, social media campaigns, redesigning business proposals and much more. Being given such responsibility shaped me both professionally and personally. Professionally, I have learned how to communicate with other professionals in an efficient and appropriate manner. I have been able to prioritize all my tasks and learn very good time management when working on projects. Personally, I have gained confidence in myself and my ability to achieve and complete very important tasks. I have so much more faith in myself and I can truly say that interning with Pharmapod has allowed this faith to develop.

—Bethany Driggers, University of Florida student who interned remotely with Pharmapod in Dublin, Ireland.

Working from homeWorking from home.

2. Examples of how their supervisor and/or site has demonstrated effective planning, advising, and structure through their internship placement.

My site supervisors were always quick to answer my questions and provide me with feedback, which allowed me to keep projects on schedule and ensure I completed each project to the best of my ability… My site supervisors were always giving me new projects, which helped me explore how to utilize new software or challenged me to find innovative ways to edit a video together. Our weekly virtual meetings were also a great way to get to know my supervisors better, understand their goals for my projects, and to ask any clarifying questions, which helped me better structure my week and motivated me to do my best. I always enjoyed our virtual meeting because my supervisors were always supportive, encouraged me to do my best, and great to talk to.

—Valeria Valdes Cosilion, student at Arizona State University who interned remotely with a multi-platform beauty website in Sydney, Australia.

3. Examples of outstanding mentoring or coaching provisions, including professional training opportunities, feedback, and evaluation.

Out of respect to the time zones differences, I would send emails early in the morning or late at night during my time, so I did not bother my supervisor during off hours. After sending emails, my site supervisor responded very quickly. Late at night, I would send my finished blog articles, and they would be published the next morning. I would also send my finished infographics and those would be published right away. My supervisor reviewed my work immediately and always answered any questions so I could continue working. He complimented my work frequently and said my writing has improved along the way. In addition, I was wanting to learn more about search engine optimization. My supervisor gave me a brief lesson on SEO during our Zoom meeting and showed me various resources to track it and introduced me to new vocabulary. Now I am able to use these tools for my own business and my future marketing career. My supervisor was always open to any suggestions and fit my learning needs.

—Courtney Wild, student at Birmingham Southern College who interned remotely with 440Industries in Florence, Italy.

Remote Global Internship student Courtney WildRemote Global Internship student Courtney Wild.

4. One 'stand-out' moment or highlight at their internship placement.

A stand-out moment from my internship was my first couple meetings with Jamie, my supervisor. It was great to develop that relationship early on and to do so remotely was unique but something I enjoyed as it truly got me excited for the program and internship.

—John Santos, student at Arizona State University who interned remotely with Miller Insurance in London, England.

[To] See my work featured on the company's social media platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and getting my first writing credit as an author.

—Lillia Cuffey, student at Arizona State University who interned remotely with Civil Service College in London, England.

The highlight moment for me with my supervisor was one day when she noticed I began getting off track. She scheduled a phone call with me and mentioned new ideas she had to keep me on track and organized, which was sending her an email at the end of everyday elaborating my duties from that day. It helped me so much and I really appreciated her not only recognizing this issue, but helping me overcome that and taking measures in providing guidance and advice for me.

—Carolina Sanchez, student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington who interned remotely with FunTalk in Barcelona, Spain.

I really love having "code meetings" with my supervisor because I got to learn so much new programming skills that I have never learn before. The code meeting is a one-on-one meeting with my coding supervisor, and he would give me suggestions and comments on the codes that I have written. From those meetings, I didn't only learn about how to code effectively and efficiently that can help me save time in finishing my programs, I also learned how to write the code to be used in a team easily.

—Herlina Widodo, student at Arizona State University who interned remotely with Spilt Milk Studios in London, England.

One stand-out moment for me would be getting to experience reading a good submission. With my internship I would go through submissions and sift through the good and bad. It always excited me when I found a really good piece. It made me think, "this is it, this is why I want this!

—Natalie Poll, student at Michigan State University who interned remotely with Agora Books in London, England.

Dr. Venturini let me present my public health survey in her lab meeting at the Westmead Institute of Medical Research. At the lab meeting, all of her colleagues introduced themselves to me. I had a chance to meet microbiology researchers and clinicians who had researched and performed phage therapy which is what my survey was about. I presented my results and analytics from the survey to the group and had a short question and answer session with them where they asked me questions about the progression of the survey and the breakdown. This moment was a great learning experience for me and the appreciation from Dr. Venturini after my presentation was really heart-warming.

—Warda Merchant, student at Birmingham Southern College who interned remotely with the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, and The University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia.

CAPAStudyAbroad_Dublin_HayleyNiB_Warda Merchant_and_Dr.VenturiniCAPA student Warda Merchant and her supervisor, Dr. Venturini.

And the part the CAPA Internship Team enjoys the most: reviewing the nominations! I am sure you will understand from reading the students’ quotes above why this is our favorite part. We always love hearing more about what projects students have worked on, opportunities that have been afforded our students through their placements, and the ways in which their supervisors have played a key part in helping shape our students’ professional development and overall experience. It is extremely rewarding and humbling to read students’ feedback and to see how much they gain from their internship placements–personally and professionally.

The winning internship supervisors receive a digital ‘CAPA Certificate of Excellence’ award (which they can display in their office—or home office!) to recognize their valuable contribution toward our students’ professional development.

Thank you to all of our internship partners for your support of CAPA’s Global Internship program!

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Hayley Ni Bhriain


Hayley Ni Bhriain is the Senior Program Coordinator in our CAPA Dublin Center. From orientation week to the farewell dinner, Hayley works with our students every step of the way during their time in Dublin!

Topics: Internships Abroad