During her undergraduate years at UT Austin, Kailyn Newsom always knew she wanted to practice transactional law one day, but she needed more experience in the business world to get the competitive edge. When she learned about the University Co-op Internship—a College-to-Career program in the Longhorn Center for Academic Equity—she was quick to sign up. Soon, she found herself immersed in the flagship store’s myriad business operations—from accounting to product merchandising to human resources.
Now a J.D. candidate at The University of Texas School of Law, Newsom is wrapping up her summer internship as a law clerk at an insurance company and preparing to continue her work at the University Co-op this fall. We caught up with the Moody College of Communication alum (B.S., Corporate Communications ’21) to learn more about her work in the nonprofit retail industry and how it has positioned her for success in the field of law.
What spurred your interest in law?
In high school, I noticed how much power the law holds in our society. I’ve always desired to know how the law works and wanted to be a part of the conversation.
What kind of work did you do with the University Co-op Internship?
I worked in the human resources department, where I gained experience onboarding new employees, setting up quarterly conversations, writing job descriptions, planning community moments and facilitating several HR platforms. I enjoy this work because there is something new to get into every day. It keeps me on my toes, and I get to learn so much valuable information. Not to mention, I have the best manager in the entire world, David Powell!
Why did you decide to continue interning at the University Co-op?
I decided to continue being a part of the internship because it feels like home. I enjoy the people I work with, and I know what I do is important!
Overall, what were some big lessons you learned while participating in this internship?
I learned to not be afraid to ask questions. This was my very first internship, so I knew little to nothing when I started. But I learned quicker by being transparent with my team. I also learned how important it is to work with great people and have a welcoming culture in the workplace. It makes a huge difference.
Do you have any advice for incoming Longhorns who are looking for direction in their career paths?
There is a lot of pressure for young students to know exactly what they want to do, but I would recommend going out and just getting experience in whatever is of interest to you. Stay focused and try not to compare your journey to those around you!
More about the C2C University Co-op Internship Program
Launched in 2018 by the Longhorn Center for Academic Equity, the College-to-Career (C2C) UT Co-op Internship is a two-and-a-half-year program that introduces students to a variety of fields. The first leg of the program incorporates job shadowing and classes taught by LCAE and Co-op staff. Participating students then rotate through different departments, where they are able to discover the nuances of various jobs within the retail industry. They later work on the retail floor before moving into a department that more closely aligns with their career goals. Go here to learn more.