Miarri Phillips showing off her internship website, Millennials 4 Environmental Justice

BGSU student perseveres with two internships during pandemic

Miarri Phillips gains valuable experience despite COVID

By Marie Dunn '95, '19

For many students, finding that perfect internship can be a challenge, especially when so many employees are working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Miarri Phillips, however, found two internships that have helped her grow and learn more about her field of study.

Phillips is currently a second-year psychology and sociology major who jumped at the opportunity to apply for a summer internship with Millennials 4 Environmental Justice. The non-profit organization was founded by BGSU alumna Diamond Spratling '18 and focuses on informing, engaging and advocating for environmental justice in communities that suffer disproportionately from poor health and social and and economic outcomes because of the poor quality of neighborhoods they live in. While this internship was unpaid, Phillips valued the experience.

“I really liked its mission and goals and since this was such a new organization I thought I could contribute a lot to it,” Phillips said.

Phillips was assigned as the health and justice intern and was tasked with a project to come up with a digital campaign on gentrification.

“It’s a term that I was familiar with but I didn’t know too much about gentrification, so it was a great experience to be able to immerse myself in it,” she said.

Phillips lives in Rochester, New York, and was able to work for the organization remotely. She enjoyed working at her own pace doing extensive research on gentrification and even made connections while attending a virtual conference.

“That was a great experience, being able to immerse myself with people who are familiar with gentrification and provide me with resources and books to read and other sources of knowledge,” she said.

Her internship during the summer of 2020 was supposed to end in August but she continued working through the fall semester so that she could see her project through completion.

“I didn’t want to pass it on to anyone until I finished the work since I spent so much time on it," she said.

While this internship allowed her to work remotely at her own pace, Phillips also landed a paid internship at Wegman Food Markets chain, where she has worked since the ninth grade. This was her first year of the three-year internship.

“That internship was a completely different aspect. I was learning about management and how to run different parts of the company,” she said.

Phillips was able to find these internships during her freshman year as a BGSU student. She credited grit and hard work that helped her find them, especially since many companies seek out third or fourth-year students.

“I put so much pressure on myself being a freshman wanting an internship," she said. "I think if you really want something you have to persevere and have that go-getter mindset. I think that will set you up for success.”

Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349