ACUHO-I Internships

SMU Residence Life & Student Housing offers a variety of internship opportunities afforded through The Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I) intern process.

You can find the most current information and job posting through the ACUHO-I Housing Internship Program portal. Our website is intended to supplement our posting(s) within the portal and provide prospective interns with insights into the SMU campus intern experience.

I chose this internship for its location and opportunities, and they definitely blew my expectations out of the water. SMU is very intentional in making sure that you are learning and growing not just in your position, but also by providing opportunities to connect and learn from other professionals across campus.

Jared Keyes, Intern '19

The memories I made and the connections I have from SMU are incredible. I could not recommend this internship enough and I truly enjoyed my time and the growth I’ve gained from my experience! This role has set me up to be an effective practitioner in my next year of grad school as well as when I start as a full-time professional!

Mal Williams, Intern '21

About the ACUHO-I Housing Internship Program

The ACUHO-I Housing Internship Program is one of the most prestigious and competitive internship opportunities available in student affairs. The program provides students invaluable real-world work experience that can be applied to their current coursework.

At the same time, institutions - like SMU - who host interns benefit from an infusion of new staff who assist with training, conference management, special projects, program development, and more. Each year, ACUHO-I member organizations from around the world post positions spanning a variety of roles within student affairs, including residence education, facilities management, conference services, occupancy management, and more.

Our available positions can be found within the ACUHO-I Housing Internship Program Portal. 

Former ACUHO-I Intern Testimonials

My summer at SMU not only provided me with an opportunity to learn more about the institution I attend, but it also allowed me to grow as a student affairs practitioner. Throughout the summer, I got the chance to explore the physical campus while also getting to know a group of SMU students on a professional and personal level. As a result, I gained more confidence regarding my leadership skills and my ability to effectively communicate with peers.

In addition to these invaluable experiences, I was able to meet with many professionals on campus across a variety of offices. Because of these professional development opportunities, I was able to learn more about what I wanted out of my career as a student affairs practitioner.

Overall, this internship experience gave me the chance to prepare for a full-time, professional role whilst reaffirming my love for student affairs!
I am so grateful that I had the privilege of being a RLSH Summer Conference Intern at SMU this summer – it was an amazing and highly rewarding experience! I was able to network with professionals in the field as well as develop personal and professional skills through the weekly professional development sessions; I learned many valuable skills. RLSH professional staff was always very supportive, engaged and friendly and were wonderful resources throughout the summer. Working with and getting to know the other interns definitely made the summer in Dallas a lot of fun. The internship experience was absolutely wonderful!
Hi, ya'll!

My name is Norma Cruz, and I am a graduate student in the Higher Education Administration Master's program at Florida State University. I am also a graduate assistant academic advisor at the Center for Academic Planning.

I am originally from the DFW area, so I was thrilled to be in Dallas for the summer. As a conference service intern at Southern Methodist University, I gained experience supervising students, coordinating conferences, and leading student staff meetings. I worked alongside three other interns to make exploring areas of Dallas easier.

As I prepare for my final year in my program, I realized how this internship gave me a preview of what a full-time job will look like post-college. I learned the importance of creating a healthy employee-to-supervisor relationship with the undergraduate students because we could not do our job without their help. I was in meetings and communicating with four different people each week, which I was not used to. I started to work on my work-life balance in preparation for the future. I am grateful for the experiences and memories I was able to make this summer at SMU. I would recommend this experience to anyone interested in working for housing or SMU in general because you have the opportunity to meet so many staff members. Kiel is also a great supervisor who is there to challenge and support you throughout the whole summer! I will miss home and SMU this school year!
My internship experience at SMU helped me to grow both personally and professionally. I did not have any Residence Life experience prior to this role; however, I felt very supported by my supervisor and peers as I navigated this new functional unit. Not only was I able to gain crisis management, problem-solving, and supervision skills, but the internship also offered various professional development opportunities outside of being a Conference Services intern. The RLSH team hosted weekly professional development sessions (resumes, networking, salary negotiation, etc.), we were able to network with other interns at different institutions in Texas, and we even got to visit Baylor for a day. Aside from professional development, I had so much fun in Dallas! I was able to explore the city as there is so much to do. Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better summer internship. I gained wonderful experience and made some great memories!

Spending my summer serving as an ACUHO-I summer conferences intern at SMU was one of the best decisions I could make for my personal and professional development! From the moment I walked on campus I was welcomed and a part of the Residence Life and Student Housing team. I was encouraged to ask questions, build meaningful connections, and was given the autonomy to explore what it meant for me to be an intern at SMU.

Working in summer conferences specifically, I gained experience in student supervision and advising as well as crisis management, organization, and customer service. I worked on a team with two other graduate interns and was able to learn more about teamwork dynamics and had friends to explore Dallas with! SMU provided weekly professional development covering topics such as LinkedIn, resume building, different institutional types and even hosted a mock TPE since we were unable to go to TCU’s due to Covid. We also got to tour and make connections with local institutions and had an amazing time at the University of North Texas engaging with different offices.

Being in Dallas was one of the biggest highlights of the summer. Dallas has amazing food and life happening all around. There is always something to do and somewhere to go! In my role, I was encouraged to spend time exploring the city and practice self-care throughout the summer. My fellow intern and I were even able to make a weekend trip to Broken Bow, Oklahoma to relax in a cabin.

The memories I made and the connections I have from SMU are incredible. I could not recommend this internship enough and I truly enjoyed my time and the growth I’ve gained from my experience! This role has set me up to be an effective practitioner in my next year of grad school as well as when I start as a full-time professional!

My experience as a Summer Conferences Intern at SMU was very transformative for me. I came to Texas for the first time and gained experience at a private, midsized institution. The position also came with a ton of professional development, both from my supervisor and the summer intern committee. I was able to enjoy Dallas with the other interns as well! Overall, it was a great way to build connections, gain work experience, and explore a new city. 

My story of landing at SMU for my RLSH Conferences Internship is a bit unusual… I originally applied for ACUHO-I internships during the late winter of 2020. I was wrapping up my first year of graduate school at Bowling Green State University and was excited about spending my summer somewhere new and exciting. I interviewed with Kiel for the Conferences position and really thought the position would be a great fit for me. However, I ended up accepting a different internship offer that I thought was a better fit for me at the time. Then, not too long after offers were made, COVID-19 made its way to the United States and eventually, summer internships for summer 2020 were canceled. I was frustrated, as I had been told by many professors and second-year graduate students that the summer between your first and second years could be life-changing, adventurous, and a one-of-a-kind learning experience. Instead, I spent my summer quarantined at my parents’ house, worrying about the state of our nation and the state of higher education.

Fast forward about nine months – a lot had changed. COVID-19 was still in full swing, but the pause of everyday life allowed me to really reflect on my values and career ambitions over the summer. After talking to trusted mentors, I ended up applying and getting accepted to a few Ph.D. programs. When I accepted an offer to pursue my Ph.D. in Higher Education in the fall of 2021, I realized I would once again have a free summer between academic semesters. I immediately reached out to Kiel to see if SMU had an open summer conference internships. He graciously offered me a position, and I had the opportunity for a “do-over” of my missed summer before heading back to school. I write this all to make one point: My experience didn’t look like I expected. Yours might not, either. That’s okay. Trust the process, trust the journey, and trust yourself.

I spent my three months in Dallas learning a lot about myself, the things I’m interested in, the things I’m good at, and where I want to be in my career a few years down the road. I could tell you all about running conferences – supervising the conference leader student staff team, learning to work with housing software, hearing way too many cheer chats, managing a campus-wide crisis when the air conditioning went out… the list is endless – but honestly, I think you could get a lot of those experiences at any ACUHO-I summer internship. What really makes the SMU summer experience special is the people – my supervisor, Kiel; my fellow interns, Mal, Olivia, Shontrea, and Dre; the full-time RLSH staff; and the numerous people I was able to connect with across campus – each person took time to invest in me not only as a higher education professional, but as an individual. I am so thankful for each person who poured time and energy into my experience, and I know I am better prepared to continue working in higher education because of their investment.

If you like tacos and wide open spaces, then come to Texas! I had a spectacular time at Southern Methodist University. Dallas is filled with many beautiful sites, restaurants, and other open spaces. I am from a very small town in Wisconsin. I graduated from high school with 28 people in my class and our town population was under 500 people. I got my bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater which is also in a small town. I am currently getting my Master’s degree from Western Illinois University, again in a smaller town. Coming to Dallas (not so small of a town) was a must! When interviewing for the SMU Conferences Intern Position, one of the questions I asked was about the "small town perspective." Dallas was the place I wanted to go because of the change of scenery, but there was still a small town vibe that was just a 15 minute away. Which made SMU the perfect spot for me to spend my summer.

While working in the Residence Life and Student Housing office I felt at home very quickly. Everyone in the office was very welcoming and I was able to find the sense of family rather quickly. Then I met the other interns and the students I would supervise, and my family grew even larger. I was able to connect with a few of the professionals in various offices, as well as with the students I supervised. The other interns and I would come together and explore the surrounding areas together. We went to the Dedman Sports Center, dinner at surrounding restaurants, and even went to a few movies at the local movie theater. The interns would hold each other accountable and knock on each other’s doors when it was time to go to the gym in the morning. If we were missing someone, we would knock until the door was answered. I will miss my SMU family very much!

When looking for an internship site, I was looking for a new and exciting experience and SMU’s RLSH office definitely delivered. My role involved serving on four committees: Assessment, Student Staff Training, Marketing, and RA Workbook. This sounded intimidating at first but I soon realized that this position was giving me a breadth of knowledge about residence life. During my time at SMU, I was able to do logistical things like building RA training sessions and assessment techniques along with tapping into my creative side by contributing to marketing initiatives and designing pieces of the RA Workbook. This internship provides a lot of room for autonomy and you are given some freedom to make this experience your own through creating learning objectives and selecting projects that will help you complete them.

One piece that really drew me to SMU was the fact that I would be living in a hall with nine other interns! Most of us were RLSH interns but there were self-search and NUFP interns as well. Throughout the summer, we were given the opportunity to attend weekly professional development seminars, TPE@TCU, have lunch and other meetings with upper level administration, and go on two site visits to Paul Quinn College and Centenary College of Louisiana. Additionally, the other interns became my support network and high quality, life-long friends. We traveled together, tried new food together, and made memories we will reminisce about for years to come.

The intern experience at SMU is really unique and as cheesy as it sounds, it was the best opportunity I could’ve had. I chose this internship for its location and opportunities, and they definitely blew my expectations out of the water. SMU is very intentional in making sure that you are learning and growing not just in your position, but also by providing opportunities to connect and learn from other professionals across campus. Every week we had the chance to learn about something or someone new, as well as sit down and talk about our experience. Along with this we also were able to visit nearby institutions and learn from them as well.

Overall I would say working with Summer Conferences is challenging but also incredibly rewarding. It’s a fast paced role and it flies by, so always be sure to make the most of every moment. Facilitating the stay of numerous conferences keeps you on your feet, and definitely keeps you from ever being bored in the position. Along with that, supervising a group of 16 conference leaders with the other interns was a helpful experience. You will definitely learn a lot about supervision and your personal style, whether it’s through completing tasks, facilitating check ins, and even meeting with students in 1 on 1s.

I think one of the most important elements of this experience is that there is a balance between work and non-work life. There’s a lot to do and a lot going on over the summer, but Kiel and the rest of the staff are very intentional in making sure that you have plenty of time and opportunity for exploring the area and enjoying the summer experience. Also, having several other ACUHO-I interns made the experience even more enjoyable, as we were able to hang out and go explore Texas together!

My experience with SMU Summer Conferencing was good! I learned a lot and enjoyed getting to meet and serve guests on campus! My favorite part about the summer was the relationships. I enjoyed meeting one on one with the Conference Leaders as well as spending time my fellow interns! From mock TPE to professional development events to on call shifts, this internship is fast paced and packed full of opportunities to grow!

I was very intentional in my search for an internship that fulfilled all the goals I wanted to set for myself for the summer. Some of my goals included: Learning more about supervision and supervision styles, branching out and getting a better understanding of other functional areas, and exploring an institution that was very different from the institution I was coming from. I can, with 100% confidence say that all of my goals were met. I was able to supervise my own group of summer RA's, who I chose, in my role as a Summer School Hall Director. The wonderful staff in the Residence Life Office sat with me and shared their supervisory skills and what had worked and not worked for them. They helped me discover what type of supervisory skills I wanted to work on and develop throughout the summer. As the summer progressed they helped me check in on what I was learning about being a supervisor and help me make adjustments as needed. 

I was highly encouraged to meet with individuals in different functional areas. I think that this was an amazing opportunity that that allowed me to explore areas that I did not know I potentially had an interest in! SMU is also completely different than my home institution, I was able to better understand how private institutions are ran, all the way from their departments to their residential commons model. 

Choosing to do my internship at Southern Methodist University has been one of the best choices I have ever made. Not only will you learn a lot, but SMU and Dallas will become your home. You will be treated like family and felt appreciated in every aspect of your job! 

My summer at SMU was phenomenal. Initially when I found out I was going to be moving to Texas for 3 months, I was worried moving away from home and working with housing for the first time. Fortunately, I was greeted by such a friendly staff that made it well known they were there to support me and make sure my time at SMU was unforgettable. From working with Cheer conferences, to planning road trips with my fellow interns, going to multiple other colleges for professional development, and weekly trivia nights with the other RLSH staff members; I learned so much about residence life, my strengths, and created relationships I will cherish forever. I always thought it was farfetched when people would say their internships changed their lives, but now I understand why and wholeheartedly agree. Thank you SMU!

Reflecting on my time at Southern Methodist University for the summer of 2018, I realized how much from my first year in my graduate program I was able to apply to this internship, and likewise how I felt more prepared going into my second year. The Residence Life and Student Housing staff were great at making all of the interns feel like professionals already in their office, and worked with us weekly on professional development opportunities, such as preparing for the mock The Placement Exchange at Texas Christian University, site visits to Huston-Tillotson University and University of Texas-Austin, along with “Coffee Chats” that discussed topics of building programing and budgeting, burn out, interview skills, and resume building workshops.

Through this internship I learned a lot about the operations side of a residence life department, and what goes on in the residence halls, called residential commons at SMU, over the summer. We met weekly with numerous campus partners like facilities, housekeeping, conference services, and special projects, to coordinate the groups coming and going each week, along with making sure that the different residential commons were clean and maintained throughout guests’ stay with our department.

This internship allowed me to supervise collectively 15 summer conference leaders and serve as an on-call member of staff, which was good practice hoping to go into residence life and housing in less than a year from my internship ending. I learned a lot about my supervision style and philosophy, and better prepared to improve on areas such as communication and programming that I already had a foundation in this summer.

Working for RLSH and Summer Conferences this summer made me more excited to work in residential life after I finish my graduate degree as the support and experiences I had at SMU during the summer of 2018 allowed me to be a better prepared student affair professional, and understand more holistically what goes into working with students living on campus.

During the summer of 2018, I was a Summer Conference Intern at SMU, without a doubt, this internship experience exceeded my expectations. The intentionality and care that went into making this experience meaningful and worthwhile was both seen and felt from day one. When I first stepped foot on Southern Methodist University’s campus, I could sense the comradery and support, and the ways in which a culture of familial concern existed on campus. From weekly coffee chats connecting with student affairs staff, to a positive and supportive supervisory relationship, I was grateful to have a work environment that allowed me to thrive and provided a plethora of developmental opportunities throughout the summer.

My role as a Summer Conference Intern allowed me to gain a copious amount of skills, whether it be customer service with clients, the ability to think quickly yet efficiently, developing training, the importance of delegation, or learning my supervisory style, I was able to gain pivotal insight into all that working in Housing has to offer! I felt challenged and supported in my role, and creativity as well as offering new ideas was encouraged. This allowed me to step outside of the box and hone in on new skills that I am able to take back to my assistantship. Having never worked in Residence Life, this experience gave me the opportunity to explore a new functional area that I can truly say I enjoy.

SMU’s mission is that world changers are shaped here and I believe this was enacted through my internship experience. I have felt empowered and trusted since I arrived, and great care was taken in how this opportunity would shape me. The culmination of skill acquisition and professional development I have gained while being here has assisted in my ability to not only make meaning of my internship, but to reflect on the development that has taken place this summer, in terms of preparation for the future. This past summer was a lot of work, and there were many opportunities to learn and grow through challenges. On the other side of this internship, I am excited to take all of the experiences, insights gained and professional development with me in the next steps of my journey. For this, and many other reasons I am so grateful my trajectory brought me to SMU!

I began this summer with a few goals. 1. To obtain experience in crisis management. 2. To improve my skills as a people manager. 3. To become more organized and maximize time management.

I was able to not only meet, but exceed those goals due to the breadth of experience afforded to me by the conference services internship.

Conferences were my introduction to residence life, and I feel like I received the perfect crash course in crisis management. We dealt with a myriad of issues that I believe deeply prepared me to deal with crisis as a professional. The support we received from our supervisor was outstanding in making everything run smoothly.

The team of four interns worked with a staff of 15 conference leaders, and managing them was a great learning experience. We were able to form a team, listen to each other, talk through our issues when things went wrong, and ultimately come to great solutions to improve the working conditions for everyone involved. At the end of the summer we were able to gain experience assessing our work. The assessment proved vital in finding the areas where we excelled as managers and where we could improve in the future.

Conference housing also forced me to increase my organizational skills and time management. Emergencies can happen at any time, so it was important to find balance between handling things after hours and getting the day-to-day duties done. Working with our intern team and our supervisor proved most helpful in finding that balance. We worked in a supportive environment where burn-out tried to be avoided and that made a big difference.

The residence life and student housing department also provided us with weekly professional development which included both Mock-TPE and campus visits to Huston-Tillotson and UT Austin. Those were transformative experiences that showcased not only their commitment to our professional development but their willingness to dedicate their time to providing interns great experiences.

I deeply enjoyed my time in conference services and would definitely recommend this internship to anyone seeking an opportunity to learn and grow as a new professional.

I completed my summer internship experience at my home institution. Although my other cohort members ventured to other universities, I found it rewarding to explore a new department at SMU. I was able to connect and network with a number of professionals in the division and acquire a new set of skills.

Throughout the summer I met with staff members in Conduct, the Career Center, Student Life, Academic Advising, and Resident Life and Student Housing. I learned about their different roles, background, and received tons of advice for when I begin my job search. I was also able to attend the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education, even though it required me to be absent for almost a week. Kiel and the intern team worked with me to make sure I was able to pick up the work as soon as I returned. The intern experience team also worked hard to provide professional development the interns were interested in. We had sessions about burnout, budgeting, resumes, and interviewing. The campus community was happy to support us through our work for the summer but also as upcoming SA professionals.

This was my first experience supervising a student staff and that was the greatest learning experience of all. I learned a lot about my supervisory style and was able to receive feedback on what I did well and how I can improve. It was also great to have the other interns share from their experiences so that we could all learn and grow together. We formed some great relationships and I look forward to seeing their successes as they return to their perspective institutions. This summer was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend students choose SMU for their internship experience!

My time at SMU was full of incredible and challenging experiences, extraordinary colleagues and students, and valuable learning that I will utilize throughout my career.

Working in conferences is unlike any experience I have had in student affairs that is why I loved it, and why I chose it for my summer internship. Conference groups are always coming and going from campus and I have enjoyed the challenge of providing excellent customer service and keeping every groups’ housing situation organized. I learned so much during my time here, from general housing knowledge and office organizational structure, to how to handle crisis situations, and developed my supervisory style.

My fellow interns and students are really what made the summer great. Everyone I interacted with was hard-working, passionate, and helpful all summer. The Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) office staff welcomed me with open arms and supported me throughout the learning process getting acclimated to working in housing and with conferences.

Not only is SMU one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever set foot on, but it is also in the heart of Dallas, which is an incredibly fun city. It was the perfect place to spend my summer and I will miss it very much!

During the 2016 summer, I had the opportunity to work as an intern for SMU Residence Life and Student Housing with summer conferences.  I had no idea how much I would learn and grow, both professionally and personally, during these three months. SMU provided a welcoming work environment and allowed the interns to make the experience our own. We were able to be transparent from the very beginning and set personal and professional goals, implement ideas and changes, and learn throughout the summer about our personal supervisory styles.

SMU also provided unique professional development experiences from weekly coffee chats to learn about other campus professional’s student affairs journeys and their personal philosophies of higher education, a site visit to the University of Texas San Antonio, and Mock TPE at Texas Christian University which allowed us to practice our interview skills and review our resumes with professionals in the field.  Outside of this, we were encouraged to meet with other student affairs professionals on campus as well as surrounding campuses, such as the University of Texas at Dallas, to continue to grow professionally.  These experiences truly enriched my summer experience and allowed me to continue to understand all that student affairs has to offer.

Personally, I have been able to foster amazing friendships with the other interns who were wonderful colleagues during the day and friends at night and weekends.  We were able to explore all that Dallas has to offer from indulging at wonderful restaurants, to riding rollercoasters at Six Flags, to taking in the beautiful city views at the top of the Reunion Tower.  This summer was a wonderful experience and I thank SMU for providing me the opportunity to grow in many aspects of my life.

This summer has been more than I could have ever expected! I have been able to grow in my supervision, on call and networking skills. Coming to SMU, I was nervous about moving to a new city for three months and not knowing anyone. The other interns and I connected from day one and have become lifelong friends and colleagues. Our supervisor Kiel King allowed us to complete 5 campus visit around the Dallas area to build our knowledge of other schools, meet professionals in the area and gain helpful advice. We were also able to attend the AFA Drive-In Conference in Austin, Texas. SMU provided an excellent professional development program to ensure we were reflecting on our experience and gaining knowledge to help us be successful. The favorite part of the internship was the opportunity to shape our experience.

This summer I had the pleasure of serving as a Summer Conferences Intern within Residence Life and Student Housing at Southern Methodist University. This experience has definitely been beneficial in my personal and professional development because I, along with my three co-interns, was able to have limitless support from SMU staff and many opportunities to grow and explore new areas of higher education and student affairs.

Through this internship, I was able to establish my own supervisory style while overseeing a 19-student staff, logistically coordinate the housing aspect of conferences, and get a better understanding of crisis management by taking part in an on-call rotation. Additionally, our wonderful residence life staff organized weekly coffee chats with professional staff from across the university which provided us with a wealth of knowledge and advice as we look to our future in the field. A site visit to University of Texas at San Antonio and a Mock TPE at Texas Christian University were planned for us to partake in. Both opportunities were amazing as we were able to network with other professionals from other universities and prepare for the job search.

I will say that one of my favorite parts of this internship was getting a chance to bond really well with my fellow interns and embrace and explore a new city – multiple actually, as we traveled to several places in Texas whenever we got a chance. SMU is conveniently centrally located to so many wonderful things to check out in the DFW area that we most certainly took advantage! Lastly, I loved being able to build meaningful, working relationships with our students and it was heart-warming seeing them develop throughout the summer. I am forever thankful to SMU for taking a chance on me and giving me one of the best summers of my life and memories that I will cherish forever.

Over the summer of 2015 I was a summer conference intern at SMU. It was an experience I am so grateful for because of the people I met and the job experience I gained. Working with other interns from different universities and developing friendships has been a source of encouragement for me since the summer ended. My favorite part of the summer was being able to work with two incredible supervisors. It is rare to find two people who encourage you and give critical feedback at the same time, but that was my experience throughout the entire summer. They gave us the opportunity to explore our own ideas and freedom to accomplish tasks the way we felt worked best. Overall, it was one of the best work experiences I have had in my life. YAY for Summer Conferences! 

My summer internship experience at SMU has been the highlight of my two years in graduate school. From the moment I accepted the position to serve as a Summer Conference Intern, the SMU staff were extremely hospitable by making sure my experience would be wonderful.

Throughout the internship period, I was able to train, supervise, and evaluate undergraduate students, plan and coordinate conferences, serve on a team in which we co-led staff meetings, collaborated with Conference Services and other departments, and serve on-call a couple times for the department. Furthermore, I was able to strengthen my problem-solving skills when issues or changes occurred. I was also given the opportunity to work on a CAS Standards project which is important in student affairs. 

Outside of the actual internship responsibilities, we were provided with amazing professional development opportunities. We were able to attend a Mock TPE at Texas Christian University. The professional staff who coordinated this program gave us constructive feedback and also helped us with our resumes. This one experience meant so much to me. Some RLSH staff took us to Austin, Texas to visit the University of Texas. Here, we toured the campus and were able to meet professionals from different departments including Housing and Campus Recreation. We were given the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about their purpose on campus. 

Another important part about a summer internship is considering the environment you're around. There were many community events and tourist spots to travel to in the DFW area. The interns and I enjoyed going to free fitness boot camps and yoga classes at Klyde Warren Park (less than 15 minutes away). There are amazing art districts, museums to check out, and concerts to go to as well. Oh, and you cannot complain about the vast amounts of food options in the city.

From my internship experience, I realized how valuable the employee-to-supervisor relationship is. I was blessed to serve on an amazing team and work together with my peers. I am now considering a career in Conference Services because of my time at SMU.

I had the opportunity to serve as a Summer Conference Intern in Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) at Southern Methodist University this past summer. This experience was above and beyond what I could have imagined. As a graduate student at SMU, I was familiar with the campus, the student affairs division and many of its professionals; however, I had never worked in a housing role. 

From the very start of the summer, I felt welcomed and supported by the RLSH staff. They allowed us to learn, grow as professionals and were always available to answer questions regardless of the hour. This internship encompasses a variety of skills and experiences that are transferable to any higher education job. I learned and implemented the conference housing process from start to finish, served as an on-call staff member, co-supervised over 30 undergraduate staff members and worked to improve all processes through continuous training and evaluation. The opportunity to work with many different offices across campus as well as individuals from undergraduate students to upper-level professionals was extremely rewarding. I finished this internship as a more confident, well-rounded professional. 

In addition, I was provided with great opportunities to meet other student affairs professionals and interns at SMU and across the state. Every week there was time set aside for all of the interns at SMU to meet for a coffee chat with various guest speakers from across campus. One of the highlights of my summer experience was traveling with other SMU interns and two SMU professionals to Austin, TX. We spent two days touring the campuses and meeting with individuals at the University of Texas at Austin and St. Edward’s University. These professional development opportunities allowed me to further expand my knowledge of student affairs and higher education and gain a better grasp on the functional areas for which I was interested in further exploring. 

My time as a Summer Conference Intern at SMU allowed me to grow professionally and personally. The professionals I worked with will forever be individuals for which I can seek advice and rely on. Leaping into the unfamiliar world of housing and summer conferences and diversifying my experiences may be one of the best decisions I made as a graduate student!

The Summer Conferences Intern experience here at SMU is unlike any other.  I would have never imagined that I would get to co-supervise a student staff of 28, directly supervise my own intern, become a housing operations guru, check in about 1,000 cheerleaders, and still manage to take in the beautiful sights of Dallas.  SMU emphasizes a well-rounded internship experience, allowing each intern to meet with various campus partners, providing resume workshops, and even setting up mock TPE-style interviews to prepare us for our job search. The campus is stunning, the people are remarkable, and the knowledge-gained is unmatched. Come be a part of the Mustang family. Pony up!

My experience as an ACUHO-I intern at SMU proved to be one of the most comprehensive, enriching, and practical internships throughout my time as a graduate student. I had never worked outside of the residence life and student staff realm so working at SMU Summer 2014, broadened my knowledge and deepened my skill set of housing operations.  Working with conference services, communicating with guests, providing the best customer service, finalizing floor plans, and communicating with facilities were only a few of the tasks that gave me an advantage when articulating my experiences during my job search this past year. SMU RLSH students and professional staff were welcoming and helped me acclimate to the culture very quickly. I learned a lot about Peruna and fell more in love with Dallas!

I can’t say enough about my internship with RLSH at SMU! I had heard so many positives from previous interns from my Master's program but one of the biggest reasons I was drawn to the ACUHO-I internship was the staff in RLSH. Everyone in this office works hard, cares about each other/their students, and has a positive and fun nature! Another reason I chose this internship was for the opportunity to be pushed out of my comfort zone by working at a private institution, with a unique student population, and in housing. I gained a new perspective in the role of housing while I working directly with AARO (orientation) and brought new skills and confidence back to my assistantship at USC in special events with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. I was challenged by supervising the student staff of employees and loved developing a working and personal relationship with the rockstars who were my intern assistant and supervisor. As a part of professional development, I was able to participate in a Mock TPE at TCU which made me feel well-prepared to handle TPE when I was job searching months later. Outside of RLSH, I was able to meet with staff in other areas of student affairs at SMU such as admissions, student conduct, and greek life. The VP of Student Affairs and student affairs staff  were more than happy to meet with summer interns and share their experience and perspective. I greatly appreciated the confidence and autonomy I was given in my role and always felt as though I was treated as a professional at SMU.  When I wasn’t working, I had time to check out museums, figure out which taco restaurant was my favorite,, go kayaking at White Rock Lake, run on the Katy Trail, try two-stepping with the SMU NODA interns, visit the Fort Worth Stockyards with the summer interns at TCU. I was also able to achieve a life goal of standing front row at a Robert Plant concert!

If you can’t already tell, I had a blast during my summer internship and left SMU having had professional development and networking opportunities, new friendships, and incredible memories. It was one of the best summers I’ve ever had I would re-live the experience in a heartbeat!

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to serve as the ACUHO-I Summer Conference Intern with Residence Life and Student Housing at Southern Methodist University. As you can possibly tell, I had an exceptional experience while at SMU working with the RLSH staff, student conference leaders, our campus partners, and more.

I chose to apply to the SMU Summer Conferences Internship position for a variety of reasons but primarily due to the recommendation by upperclassmen in my program and the opportunity to work at an institution with the demographics that comprise SMU. The professional staff that I would potentially be working with had a reputation of being dedicated to the graduate student internship experience and they did not disappoint. I also had not experienced a small, private institution throughout my academic career and wanted to see what that was like before I made my way into the professional student affairs world.

My primary responsibilities were planning and implementing summer conferences and serving in an on-call rotation, but through these I was given the autonomy and freedom to use my creativity to contribute to a positive experience for our customers as well as our student staff. I was provided the opportunity to travel with staff to visit other institutions nearby, meet with administrators, supervise a group of students, and participate in various professional development experiences with the staff. While all of those things were incredible and helped mold the student affairs professional that I am becoming today, the staff also made a point to ensure that I got the most out of my time in Dallas. People were personally invested in my experience whether it was occasionally getting my thoughts on a particular process or event or it was encouraging me to also surround myself with a variety of cultures present within the city. The staff made a point to express a high level of dedication to my feeling welcome while also growing a professional.

Previous interns on this page have spoken about how working at SMU makes you feel a part of one big family and I can wholeheartedly agree! I loved this experience, the people I worked with, and the city. I highly recommend it to anyone!

      I had a great experience as the Summer School Hall Director at Southern Methodist University. I felt supported and connected to Residence Life and Student Housing (RLSH) and Student Affairs at SMU. I was given autonomy when supervising four Summer Resident Assistants, organizing and facilitating training for the summer resident assistants, and creating programming with my staff for summer school students. I also participated in the on-call rotation with Residential Community Directors and was given the opportunity to serve on the Resident Assistant Training Committee. My supervisor, other RLSH staff, and the student affairs community on campus were great resources throughout my internship. Everyone was very willing to answer any questions and assist in my professional development. My professional development included one-on-ones with my supervisor, coffee chats with other interns on campus, the site visit to another type of institution, and participation in the training for professional staff. I was able to meet and converse with different student affairs staff at SMU including having lunch with the Vice President of Student Affairs. My supervisor and the RLSH department did a great job of treating me as a colleague and not a summer intern. I felt that they were committed to making sure that I had a great experience.

I also appreciated the opportunity to get to know the other summer interns including two other ACUHO-I interns and two NODA interns at SMU. We lived on the same floor so we easily were able to organize game nights or Dallas outings. Everyone had a different experience and perspective that I enjoyed learning. This summer internship provided me a lot of valuable experiences and helped me better understand the field of student affairs and my role in it.

Serving as an ACUHO-I Summer Conference Intern at SMU was a thoroughly rewarding experience for me. The staff of Residence Life and Student Housing warmly welcomed me into their office and challenged me throughout the summer to grow both professionally and personally. Formally, the internship responsibilities included orchestrating conference check-ins and check-outs, coordinating student staff, and serving on an on-call duty rotation. Throughout the summer, SMU professional staff provided opportunities for growth and development, in addition to my job responsibilities.

Weekly professional development meetings open to all of SMU’s summer interns. Within these roundtables, I was challenged to explore my ideas, develop an educational mission, and assess my competencies. As a group we were invited to visit a neighboring university to experience their assessment processes first hand. On a visit to another campus, we explored the possibilities and challenges presented by the integration of key services into a single office. While working at SMU, I was able to see seven university campuses and get a taste for their surrounding communities. These extracurricular experiences, partnered with my professional responsibilities, made for a summer of unforgettable memories and great strides in my development.

Historical Intern Roster



  • Kelly Carr, University of South Carolina - Summer School Hall Director
  • Brittany Guthrie, Texas A&M University - Summer Conference Intern


  • Sarah Herndon, University of Texas-Austin - Conference Intern
  • Mary Wheeler, University of South Carolina - Summer School Hall Director
  • Dana Broadnax, James Madison University - Academic Prelude Intern


  • Holly Allar, Michigan State University - Summer School Hall Director
  • Elena Ballam, Iowa State University - Conferences Intern
  • Stephanie Leader, Kent State University - Conferences Intern


  • Alicia Erwin, University of South Carolina - Prelude & Academic Initiatives Intern
  • Valerie Heruska, George Washington University - Conferences Intern
  • Jeff Grim, Michigan State University - Special Projects Intern
  • Jennifer Shields, Western Illinois University - Summer School Hall Director


  • Kelly Pearson, University of Florida - Conference Intern
  • Carolynn Nath, Indiana University - Prelude and Special Projects Intern
  • Cory Sussman, Canisius College - Summer School Hall Director


  • Abbie Schneider, George Washington University - Conference Intern
  • Tia Crawford, Texas A&M University - Summer School Hall Director


  • Jean Rekowski, Western Illinois University - Conference Intern
  • Tyler Havens, Western Illinois University - Summer School Hall Director 


  • Amy Ockenfuss, North Carolina State University - Conference Intern
  • Tim Smith, Clemson University - Conference Intern
  • Candice Derry, Western Illinois University - Residence Life Intern
  • Michael McCorvey, University of South Carolina - Residence Life Intern


  • Tricia Woodward, University of South Carolina - Residence Life Intern
  • Nick Allen, Western Illinois University - Residence Life Intern
  • Luke Jones, Washington State University - Conference Intern
  • Vita Mazza, Florida State University - Conference Intern


  • Nathan Hanke, Western Illinois University - Conference Intern
  • Angie Harris, University of South Carolina - Residence Life Intern


  • Amy Vandersanden, Ball State University - Residence Life Intern