Caitlyn Creasey, a senior in the School of Human Environmental Sciences majoring in Family Sciences, recently finished the Military Extension Internship Program. She was one of the School's first interns through this program.
The Internship is an opportunity for college students to gain practical work experience in child development, school-age, and youth programs. The interns work on military installations around the world for at least 10 weeks. They receive a broad range of experiences, from working with children and youth and implementing programs, to learning about the management of child and youth centers. Creasey was stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. "This was the smallest town I had ever been in, and the closest city was about 3 hours away. So not only was it a culture shock being part of the military environment, but also being in a different part of the country and so far away from home," said Creasey.
Students learn to enhance programmatic or childcare efforts, connect families with support systems, and engage new youth/families in programs. Creasey was given a lot of responsibility and guidance from her boss. She said that she "met a lot of amazing people" and that there is great opportunity for growth within the military civil service.
However, someone looking into this type of career needs to be prepared to move around a lot. Creasey recommends that individuals interested should be independent and have a strong work ethic, because the job has the possibility to take you far away from home to remote areas of the country where it is difficult to meet people.
Creasey will graduate this December from UK. She was offered the training and curriculum specialist position, which is what her internship position at the child development center was. She declined the job offer because she wishes to pursue a career that will be close to friends and family without the possibility of moving bases every couple of years. In January she will start a Child Life internship at the Kentucky Children's Hospital.
"It was a wonderful learning experience and I highly recommend the internship to individuals who have a high independence level and are looking for a military civil service career," said Creasey when talking about the internship experience overall.
Applications for summer 2011 internships will be accepted November 30th through February 1st. For information on the internship and how to apply visit: http://www.ag.purdue.edu/extension/military/Pages/default.aspx