A year ago, near the end of her sophomore year, Soo Hyun Lee ’16—who goes by Susan—sent a note to the Office of Public Affairs (OPA), inquiring about a summer internship. As an international student, Lee had to meet a visa requirement that she take time off from classes last summer, and she wasn’t planning on traveling home to Korea, so she was looking for a learning experience at the College.
“Should you do this? For sure,” says Susan Lee ’16, when asked about whether she’d recommend the internship to other students. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)
The complication? OPA has an endowed student internship, the Whitney Campbell internship, but it’s usually runs fall to spring and has traditionally been awarded to a student writer. But Susan Boutwell, OPA’s director of editorial services, was intrigued by the sample videos Lee sent along with her inquiry. Boutwell invited Lee to join the OPA team for the summer of 2014, connecting her with the office’s emerging social media and video group. Lee’s summer work was so successful that Boutwell offered her the Whitney Campbell internship for the fall and winter terms.
The experiment paid off for both intern and office. Lee capped her internship at the end of winter term by helping OPA launch the first installment of the “DartArt” videos, which Lee produced in collaboration with Stewart Marton, OPA’s videographer. The next installments will be published in the coming months.
Lee sat down with Dartmouth Now recently to talk about this encounter with experiential learning.
What was the most challenging part of your work here?
What was hardest for me was knowing that my work was going to be seen by the public—that this was for real and for Dartmouth. That made me want to do a good job, to be a good contributor and team member.
What was the most fun?
Getting to work with the whole team in the office was amazing: experiencing all the different things they do, how it all comes together, and getting to know lots of different people.
What was most surprising?
I went in with no expectations, so in a sense, not so much was surprising. I knew about Vox, and knew that somebody worked on it. I know a lot more about the behind-the-scenes of that now.
Any advice for other students about internships and other experiential learning programs?
Should you do this? For sure. And it’s OK if you know what you want to do, or already know a lot about the area you’re interning in—but I found that it’s OK, too, if you don’t exactly, which was my situation. Either way, you’ll learn a lot—about the field, but also about working with people.