Interns Insider

June 18, 2024


Welcome to the first of my summer blogs here at the Gardner Institute! My name is Alexandra (Ally) Fisher, and I am the graduate student intern this summer. My experience with higher education has been in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. I attended Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania, Mansfield (formerly Mansfield University) for my undergrad where I studied Political Science and Music. I was a very overly involved student, I ended up serving as the student government president my senior year. I loved being so involved on campus, it made me a better person, leader, and student. My experience as student government president is what really made me consider a career in student affairs. I ended up applying for the M.Ed. Educational Leadership: College Student Affairs program at Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg (formerly Bloomsburg University). I am now going into my second year of my program and set to graduate in May of 2025.

I am a graduate assistant in the First-Year Experience office where I have been working on new first and second-year experience programs for our newly merged institution. Through my research for the office, I was brought to the Gardner Institute website where I stumbled on their internship program. A part-time online internship was perfect for someone balancing another job, so I sent it to all my classmates who had yet to find a summer internship. I was already set to work in first-year experience and orientation for the summer and wasn’t looking for something. The more I read about the institute and the internship the more I started to consider applying. Eventually, I decided I needed to apply, it was too good of an opportunity to not at least try. I didn’t think there was a chance I would get it so I didn’t tell anyone except my boyfriend. Once I got the email for the interview I jumped a little and I had to tell people. Everyone in my office was so excited at the idea that I might get to work with the Gardner Institute. A couple of weeks later I had my interview. I left that interview thinking it had went horribly; my answers were wrong, I made too many jokes, and there was no way they were going to pick me. I was so annoyed I had told people about the interview because I was going to have to tell them I didn’t get it. To my shock, I got an email a couple of weeks later offering me the position! This goes to show you can’t cast judgment on how you did in an interview.

I have been working for a few weeks now and I love it. I work with a wonderful team who have created a very welcoming environment. As a young professional, it can be hard to find a job/internship where the people really want to hear your opinion. I am treated as a valued member of the team, which from my experiences and hearing about some of my peers’ experiences, that is not always the norm. Through this internship, I now have the opportunity to write this very blog. I plan to use this blog to reflect on my internship experience, graduate school, how I’m preparing for my future career, and I guess whatever stroke of genius comes to me.

Happy first blog,