A new gift from former Davidson parent Scott MacDonald will allow students to pursue internship experiences that are consistent with their career interests and would not have been possible without financial support. The MacDonald Family Internship Program is a companion to the successful MacDonald Community Scholars Program at Davidson and jointly honors MacDonald's sons, Davidson graduates Andrew '03 and Ross '08.
"Graduates today who are looking for good jobs are expected to have relevant work experience, but summer internships often pay little or nothing," said MacDonald, who had a long and successful career in commercial real estate before retiring earlier in 2016. "The only ones who can afford working without compensation are typically from wealthier families, and this puts students with financial need at a competitive disadvantage. This is inherently unfair. These funds enable students to gain valuable work experience and should make available future job and career opportunities."
The new program has been put to immediate use, helping to fund summer internships for Eric Haas '17 and Tara O'Herlihy '18.
Haas, a biology major who hopes to pursue a doctoral degree, holds an internship at the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The club is a non-profit sports-social organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate and professional football in the Charlotte region.
"This internship provides me with the opportunity to see a different aspect of the sport I love and hold dear to my heart," said Haas. "It also provides opportunities to network with current and former NFL players, corporate sponsors and others. The knowledge gained in this experience will help me share with Davidson students and the Davidson community the good works and service that are being done in our area."
O'Herlihy currently is an intern with the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA). With the help of more than 5,000 members, volunteers and supporters in the greater Washington area, the UNA-NCA works to build public knowledge, strengthen UN-U.S. relations and aid the UN in achieving its goals.
"By working at the UNA-NCA this summer, I've learned the skills necessary to succeed, network and make connections, and learned a great deal more about international relations," said the political science major. "Bringing everything I learn back to Davidson, I will be able to start and continue a conversation about the role of the UN and how it, and other international issues such as world poverty and human rights, impact the Davidson community."
This gift continues the MacDonald family's deep commitment to supporting students with financial need. In 2005, Scott MacDonald created the MacDonald Community Scholars program, which provides support to students who make a significant commitment to community service. Scholars are selected each year from the selective Bonner Scholarship pool. Scholars take part in 280 hours of direct service, leadership training and enrichment activities each academic year for four years along with Bonner Scholars.