The Executive Internship at Elon University, created in 2011, is intended to showcase some of Elon’s most driven students. Applications for the 2017-2018 cohort are due Feb. 20.

The 2016-2017 academic year program’s participants includes juniors and seniors of a variety of majors and career interests. The program allows these students to gain experience and practice alongside some of Elon’s senior staff members. Last year, 60 students applied to be a part of the 11-student program.

Senior Emma Warman, who was accepted into the program last spring, said she first heard about the program from a fellow tour guide who highly recommended the program to her.

She said she used the internship as a way to leave her mark on Elon.

“Spring of my junior year, I had just come back from abroad, and I was looking for a way to make lasting change on this campus,” Warman said. “I saw this opportunity as a really good way to do so. It was my desire to make a tangible change on campus and give back to Elon before graduating.”

After the application and selection process, the chosen interns are honored at the Annual Internship Breakfast in May. Each intern is assigned a “placement,” which can be in one of a wide arrangement of categories, including: Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Associate Provost for Inclusive Community, Associate Provost for Faculty Staff Affairs, University Advancement, Business, Technology, and Finance, Student Life, Admissions and Financial Planning, University Communications, Athletics, the Center for Access and Success, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education.

The interns then begin a year of involvement, beginning the fall semester of their selected year, when they attend orientation and meet their supervisors. During this semester, interns can spend between two to four hours every week brainstorming possible ideas and goals for what they plan to accomplish during Winter Term, when most of their work is conducted.

When January rolls around, interns work with their supervisors every week on their assigned projects. During this time, interns can conduct research and work with members of Elon’s staff to gain communication skills.

During their spring semester, interns begin presenting projects to several committees or specialized teams and finish any educational requirements. The Board of Trustees meeting in the spring is also a valuable opportunity for Executive Interns to make an appearance alongside several influential Elon figures. When the application process begins again, current interns play a part in the intern selection process.

The confidentiality agreement proved to be a way for Warman to grow closer with the senior staff.

“The level of trust between [the Executive Interns] and the senior staff is just so flattering,” Warman said.

Gregory Nantz ’14, who was an Executive Intern, agreed.

“The Executive Internship is great preparation for those interested in education policy or management, planning and leadership more generally,” Nantz said. “The mentor-mentee relationship between leaders of the university and interns is one of the greatest strengths of the program.”

The internship also taught Warman about the way decisions are made at Elon, and she said it was an intense operation.

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“There are so many flow charts of leadership and decision-making and planning for the tiniest things on this campus,” Warman said. “Elon is such a student-centered university, and that carries through every level of the process of planning at the school.”

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