As the summer comes to an end, many students are wrapping up summer internships with nationwide companies and organizations, and preparing to head back to Mother Tuskegee for another academic year. As for sophomore social work major Sidney Minor, her summer internship was just what she needed to remind her to stay focused on her ultimate goal.
Finding a new path
Minor, a native of Decatur, Alabama, is a first-generation college student who says, with having both parents as retired veterans and five brothers, it’s no doubt she wouldn’t have had a passion for helping people.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a genuine desire to work in a field that focuses on improving people’s lives,” she said. “I’ve always known that social workers spend their days working with individuals, families in group settings, and in communities — and because of that they are able to make a positive impact in any work environment.”
Piquing new interests
This summer, Minor was an education intern fellow with New York’s Brooklyn Museum, where she planed day-to-day workplace activities, projects and camps for children and families.
“I was referred by my wonderful English professor, Dr. Zanice Bond, who informed me of the opportunity to work with the museum as a fellow. She also expressed that the museum was specifically looking for interns from HBCUs and suggested I would be a great fit,” Minor recalled.
“I was able to propose new ideas and help prep for weekend events such as family days and ‘First Saturday,’ as well as blog about my work experience,” she noted.
Minor said while interning at the museum and working with countless children and families, she never felt that her interests waivered into another career area.
“One of the really great things about the social work field is its versatility,” she explained. “Social workers develop and run programs, counsel others and deliver social services in a vast array of settings, and this summer has assured me that I definitely want to work in the social work field.”
As far as a career in museum administration, Minor said she’s not totally opposed to the idea, however, she explained the skills she learned at the museum will take her far in life.
“I have learned how to successfully network,” she said. “I have been to multiple site visits and shared contact information with many people from various institutions in New York, and the biggest wake-up call for me has been that persistency is key — but to also not let the fear of rejection come in the way.”
As Minor prepares to leave Brooklyn and return to campus, she wants to encourage her peers to get out of their comfort zones and explore opportunities in major cities.
“I was homesick my entire first week in Brooklyn, but knew that I would have regretted turning down this amazing opportunity,” she noted. “Coming from a small town and being thrown into the groove of a bustling city like Brooklyn was not easy but necessary.”
Minor said she’s looking forward to the fall semester as an English tutor for T-CAEIL and serving as the public relations chair of the Street Team for the 2018-2019 school year.
Upon graduation, Minor plans to obtain her master’s degree in social work, then go on to start her own chain of recreation centers that offers programs for minority youth, such as mentoring, tutoring and little league sports teams.