BETHANY, W.Va. – As COVID-19 canceled many internships for college students across the country, Bethany College senior Olivia Archer considers herself fortunate to be among the eight students to work for the American Bankers Association this summer.
The Wheeling native had planned to spend her summer in Washington and had received a D.C. housing grant sponsored by Bethany alumni Kylin ’03 and Matt McCardle ’04.
Once Archer heard she received the grant, the political science and psychology major began applying for government relations and legal assistant internships Washington.
But it was Kylin McCardle who helped Archer to secure the internship at ABA, she said. McCardle is director of client, regulatory and external affairs at Citi and was connected with someone at ABA.
While the internship didn’t provide the D.C. living experience that Archer envisioned, it did result in a valuable learning experience.
“The internship [gave] me the opportunity to further explore the concepts that I’ve learned in my political science education, specifically in legislative affairs,” Archer said. “My position at ABA [gave] me the opportunity to listen to congressional hearings and understand advocacy and innovation in D.C.”
As COVID-19 prompted business closures and colleges such as Bethany to shift to remote learning, Archer said she was concerned that the internship might not happen. But, she said ABA kept in contact with its intern class throughout the spring.
She began work on June 15 and said that her manager Brian Murphy and Austyn Martin in ABA’s human resources department were helpful in keeping her informed.
“To help adjust to the remote working environment, Brian set up weekly Zoom calls every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so that I could stay updated on projects and talk about how I [was] doing,” Archer said.
During the internship, she was also able to interact with the seven other ABA interns in such activities as Zoom coffee meetings, and etiquette class, and classes about financial literacy and banking. She also was able to virtually meet other ABA employees.
“This experience has taught me to keep an open mind when thinking about what type of career I’d like to pursue,” Archer said. “Some of my favorite memories are sitting in on team meetings and learning about the different jobs people hold that makes policy and advocacy a success.”
The internship was shorter than Archer initially planned, but she still learned a lot.
“I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to work at ABA and gain a better understanding of how a trade association operations,” she said.
Archer said she is hugely grateful to the McCardles for their generosity.
“While I was not able to utilize the housing grant for the summer, they were both still involved in connecting me with ABA,” Archer said. “I still keep in touch with them and appreciate how much time and effort they’ve put into helping Bethanians like myself.”
ABOUT BETHANY COLLEGE
Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.