Service & Internship Fair XV

October 3, 2022
Student signing up at the Service & Internship Fair with UELF.

Student signing up at the Service & Internship Fair with UELF.

Meryl Wenger

The Service & Internship Fair has returned to Sonoma State after two years of cancellation due to the pandemic. Hosted in the Seawolf Plaza, this event drew students, staff, and faculty out to connect with local organizations and explore options for service-based internships and volunteer opportunities.

The attending organizations were just as happy to be back on campus as SSU and CCE were to welcome them. Chris, a member of Buckelew Programs’ suicide hotline, was excited to get SSU students involved with the volunteer opportunity and spread awareness about the 988 crisis and lifeline number. “We just want to get it out [there],” she said. The program can provide both support for the SSU community and allow students to gain volunteer experience. Deb, who volunteers with the hotline, recommended the program for psychology majors and anyone interested in connecting with their community as a meaningful career path. 

“I want to support people,” SSU student Alex voiced. He and fellow classmate, Carly, are both psychology majors who are interested in working with community members directly around issues such as mental illness and domestic violence. They both discussed the benefit of an internship as a way to explore career opportunities, specifically for programs that prioritize social work and social justice. Alex and Carly visited with YWCA Sonoma County, CASA, and NAMI Sonoma County organizers at the Fair, who reflected their desires to connect on a personal level with those in need.

Internships are not only a great way to look into potential career paths, but they can help establish a permanent job within the organization itself. Laura, who was representing LandPaths at the Internship Fair, said that multiple of their current employees are SSU alumni that started with the conservation non-profit as interns during their time at Sonoma State. Laura herself can attest to the benefits of an internship. “[Internships] are great for people like me who were a little lost and didn’t know what to do,” and participating in an internship helped guide her into her current position where she gets to connect kids and adults with the nature around them. Her excitement to connect with students was mirrored by the other organizers, and Sonoma State students themselves got to explore and hang out with Renaissance Healing and Learning Center’s pony in an event that marks the return of the vibrant in-person campus culture.