Video: Psychology Majors Thrive in Summer Internships

Author: Todd Boruff

Ashley Lawrence ’14

Katie Ferrello ’14

Since 2010, more than 200 College of Arts and Letters students have received in excess of $500,000 from the Arts and Letters Summer Internship Program (ALSIP). The program provides funding to students in both paid and unpaid internships in any industry or location around the world.

Among them were two psychology majors in the class of 2014: Ashley Lawrence and Katie Ferrello.

Lawrence received an ALSIP grant in summer 2013 to intern in Baltimore at the Laboratory for Behavioral Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health. Her project focused on the stress hormone cortisol and how it relates to age-related changes in brain volume.

Now pursuing a graduate degree in psychology at the University of Arizona, Lawrence said the internship not only gave her valuable experience in analyzing longitudinal data and using different statistical programs, but also helped shape her career path.

“It’s definitely given me a direction in terms of where I want to go to grad school and the types of things I want to study,” she said at the conclusion of her internship.

“I’ve just learned a lot about how to put together a research project from start to finish, which will be very important for the rest of my studies.”

Ferrello agreed that internships play an important role in allowing students to explore various fields and positions.

“Don’t be afraid to branch out; go somewhere new,” she said. “It’s a perfect opportunity to gain experience and also be able to see a different part of the country.”

During the summer of 2013, Ferrello received ALSIP funding to support her social media internship with Liquidity Services, a reverse supply chain management company based in Washington, D.C.

As a psychology major, she found social media marketing especially interesting because “when it comes down to it, it’s about forming relationships with people and different ways to communicate with people.”

Ferrello, who is now a recruiter for HireStrategy, a staffing firm in the Washington, D.C. area, said she encourages students to seek an internship as soon as they can.

“Internships are so valuable. You learn so much about working in a business environment.”

Originally published by Todd Boruff at on March 05, 2015.