Release Date: 11/28/2007
This story is the fourth of several in a series on students and their summer internships and experiences while studying at the University of the Ozarks.
Summer internships are one of the many ways a college student can prepare for life after, well, college. Rose Southwell, a current senior at the University of the Ozarks, decided to try an internship last summer.
The McKinney, Texas native spent last summer working at Mo-Ranch Conference Center in Hunt, Texas. Mo-Ranch is a Presbyterian conference center set on 500 acres, 12 miles west of Kerrville. Mo-Ranch provides a setting for summer camps, conferences and retreats for all ages.
“Hunt is right in the middle of the Hill Country,” said Rose. “It sits right next to the Guadalupe River. The area is beautiful.”
Rose served as the Summer Program Facilitator for Mo-Ranch. She dealt with all groups that were hosting conferences at the center. Her main duties included orchestrating the conference logistics and providing leadership to the groups during their stay.
“I would help set up the auditoriums and classrooms,” said Rose. “The great thing about my position during the summer was that it changed every week with the different groups attending.”
Groups such as men, women and teens all attended the diverse conferences hosted at the center.
“I would meet new people every day,” said Rose. “But with that, my tasks changed daily in order to facilitate these groups with their needs.”
Rose’s job allowed her to sit-in on several of the conferences, including a women’s conference which featured Anne Weems, a religious writer, as the keynote speaker.
Mo-Ranch also serves as a retreat center. One of the programs is titled “Art, Recreation and Therapy at Mo” (ART-at-Mo), in which participants take part in bead making, book making, painting with watercolors and welding.
“The majority of the ART-at-Mo classes are based around art,” said Rose. “I was able to participate in a few of those classes during my days off.”
Though Rose was able to take part in some of the experiences at Mo-Ranch, she was still a member of the working staff. She lived at the center and was on call 24 hours a day, while the center was hosting a group for a conference.
“I was on call in case the groups needed anything at any time,” said Rose. “I was called out of bed a couple of times in order to handle a few matters.”
Mo-Ranch left a lot of good impressions on Rose. She describes the center as being family oriented and very tight knit.
“This was the first summer that I have spent away from home,” said Rose. “It was very different for me to be away from my family and working the whole summer, but the people at Mo-Ranch are so tight knit. The experiences at Mo-Ranch forever changed my life.”
Rose says that management classes at Ozarks helped prepare her for the day-to-day duties of this internship. She also says that being president of the Presbyterian Student Organization and working with the College Republicans on campus helped her with her job during the summer.
The political science major says that the internship has opened doors and pointed her in a direction for after college. She plans on pursuing a career in special event planning and conference management. Rose is also a former theatre major at Ozarks and says that she has experience in stage managing and design which will help provide her a broad background in such a career.
“I have combined my theatre background and my political science major in order to prepare for this type of career,” said Rose. “I’m able to utilize many of my strengths in this career.”
Before embarking in a full-time position in this career, Rose says she is thinking about taking another internship to gain more experience.
“Ozarks offers a lot of opportunities to specialize in whatever you want to do,” said Rose. “This place is very good at developing opportunities for students and will really tailor to a student’s needs. That’s what I like about Ozarks.”