Science and Society Program: New Internships Help Students Thrive 

April 25, 2024

For Alyssa Davenport, the School of Psychology’s new Science and Society internship program has been a critical stepping stone. Davenport, a fourth-year undergraduate in Psychology, is one of the first students to complete the new internship, and plans to pursue a doctoral degree and work in industrial-organizational psychology. 

“This internship has helped solidify that industrial-organizational psychology is the perfect field for me,” she says. “Without this experience and my background at Georgia Tech, I wouldn’t be as confident in my ability to succeed in graduate school and in my future career.”

The new internship program is the first offered in the School of Psychology, and it’s designed to give students from Psychology and across Georgia Tech the opportunity to apply their undergraduate studies to career focus areas spanning industry to human health — including human resource departments, schools, mental health centers, and rehabilitation centers.

Beyond giving students the opportunity to see first-hand how psychological theories are integrated and applied in a variety of settings, the internships are also designed to give students a competitive edge in today’s job market, and offer an opportunity for undergraduates to assess and evolve their career goals and trajectory.

Davenport’s experience underscores these goals, says Christopher Stanzione, who manages the program. “While many students who choose to study psychology go into clinically-oriented fields, Georgia Tech psychology students are well-equipped for much more,” he explains.

For example, Stanzione, who serves as a senior academic professional and the associate chair of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Psychology, cites the growing importance of data science in the business world. “This is where experience with big data comes into play,” he says. “Psychology majors in this part of the discipline are trained for careers in data science and UX (user experience), as common examples,” he says.

“In industry, we work with organizations, teams, and leadership,” Stanzione adds. “There are so many workplace-related areas where psychology is critical.”

Psychology in industry

Davenport was one of two inaugural Science and Society interns within the human resources team at Atlanta construction and civil engineering company BrandSafway. 

Brenton Jones, vice president of BrandSafway’s HR Technology and Operations division and a Scheller College of Business alumni, shares that BrandSafway interns apply learning theories and principles to build engaging, relevant employee training experiences, and enhance worker collaborations. BrandSafway Interns also work on boosting employee performance by leveraging motivation and behavior change theories — applying knowledge that the students have learned during their studies to real-world situations.

Marianna Madera, a fourth-year Psychology student, redesigned the company’s training and development website as the program’s second BrandSafway intern. Another project allowed her to put what she’s learned in psychology, computer science, and human-computer interaction into practice so she could improve UX in a corporate context.

“These projects really opened my eyes to the fact there are jobs available in all industries that match my skill set,” Madera says. “Working with such a creative and dedicated team showed me that the industry side of things can be just as exciting and fulfilling as opportunities in research or academia.”

Davenport echoes that sentiment, sharing that “the empirical and data analysis skills I’ve learned at Georgia Tech prepared me to craft a career development strategy and framework for BrandSafway,” and that the internship helped her realize “how broad the area of psychology is — specifically industrial and organizational psychology — and how flexible its application can be.”

Internships across the College of Sciences

Internship opportunities abound across Georgia Tech, and the College of Sciences is focused on cultivating more of these types of programs to meet student and employer demand, with several new efforts slated to launch in the upcoming school year. A database of internships to be offered across the College of Sciences is also under development.

James Stringfellow, Career Educator for the College, also emphasizes the importance of prioritizing internships and employment opportunities for students. This past fall, Stringfellow conducted a college-wide “Career Pulse Survey" to better understand students' post-graduation intentions, including their preferred industries and companies. 

"Leveraging these survey findings will inform the College's Career Center and Employer Connections team," he shares, "enabling them to develop strategies to attract relevant companies to campus and facilitate student career opportunities.”

The overall aim of these initiatives is for students to gain field experience in how their degree can be used for a job after graduation.

For example, the School of Biological Sciences currently offers a number of internships with a focus on local government, education, industry, and businesses. 

“These internships, available through organizations like the Atlanta Audubon Society, the Centers for Disease Control, and more, provide hands-on experience that aligns with students' desired career pathways,” says Emily Weigel, a senior academic professional who leads the School’s internship efforts.

In Psychology, Stanzione is already seeing the value that the new internship programs provide for students. 

“We provide our students with experiences beyond what they think their major can do for them, broadening their perspective and developing their networking skills for future job contacts,” he says. As the College continues to develop internship programs, he’s optimistic about the value the new Science and Society internship will continue to bring to students. 

“There’s so much that Georgia Tech students can do with their degrees,” he says. “We believe these new internship programs can highlight that for students.”

Learn more about internship, summer research, and study abroad opportunities available to College of Sciences students, and about undergraduate experiences on the @GTSciences Instagram

College of Sciences | Key Internship Contacts

Georgia Tech Career Center Resources

The Georgia Tech Career Center encourages all students to register internship experiences. Some benefits include:

  • Students will maintain their full-time status
  • Income from internships or co-ops will not negatively impact a student’s financial aid
  • Students will be offered an option to place their housing contracts on hold for experiences 25 miles or more from campus


For More Information Contact

Written by Selena Langner

Contact: Jess Hunt-Ralston
Director of Communications
College of Sciences Georgia Tech