A chat about summer plans between Roanoke College student Jamie Donahue and the Rev. Jeff Wilson of her home congregation, Bethel Lutheran Church in Manassas, Virginia, shaped into a creative and mutually beneficial arrangement.
“Trust me… we won’t be asking Jamie to get coffee or mow the church lawn,” said Pr. Wilson, who blogged* about the the inception of an internship for Donahue with the church. “Jamie is a business and marketing major,” he noted. “I like this so much for her because the church, as opposed to a large firm, is smaller, and she’ll be able to oversee projects from beginning to end.”
Intentional steps were taken when planning this internship.
- Acquire professor/school approval for internship site to assure college credit
- Set specific goals to keep focus on the student and her/his learning
- Check-in weekly to share observations, identify obstacles, and lay out next steps
- Field input/ideas from congregation with intern to keep internship focused
“This process is intended to help her grow,” said Pr. Wilson. “I thought it would be worth sharing in case other congregations have a chance to do something like this to help form young adults for their vocations in the world.”