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CU alumna enjoys political internship; well-rounded education

3/28/2017

Kaleigh Chitwood (‘16) is putting her business degree to work on Tennessee’s Capitol Hill. As an intern for Sen. Ferrell Haile, she is proving to be a valuable part of his team, especially when it comes to communicating with constituents.State Rep. Mark Pody worked hard to secure a coveted internship spot for Cumberland at the Tennessee General Assembly. When CU’s Office of Career Services director, Courtney Vick, was notified about the internship, she immediately thought of Chitwood as an excellent candidate because she had rechartered the College Republicans on campus and worked on Pody’s re-election campaign.

Chitwood says that her professors often emphasized the importance of gaining real world experience. “Cumberland did a fantastic job of preparing me for this internship. Even though this is political in nature and I graduated in December with my business administration degree and am now pursuing my MBA there, I felt that the professors in the business department did an excellent job on readying me for what I would experience at a job,” said Chitwood. She also is thankful that she took some classes that were not directly related to her major. They have proven to be extremely valuable in her role.

“I took advanced composition and grammar with Dr. Harris during my junior year because I knew I would need those skills in law school.  Who knew I would be writing a weekly newsletter for Senator Haile that is sent to the entire 18th district! Also, I communicate with constituents, Senators, Representatives, and even the Governor through letters and emails. I am particularly thankful for taking that class when I had room in my schedule,” she said.

Needless to say, Chitwood’s professors and CU administration and staff are proud of the important work she’s doing for our state. “Senator Haile emailed Dr. Stumb bragging on Kaleigh and Representative Pody has shared with everyone at the capitol that she is an outstanding Cumberland student,” said Bill McKee, CU’s provost. 

Chitwood added, “A major reason why I adore Cumberland so much, is that I am constantly supported. Professors care about you whether you are in their department or not. I would've never gotten the experience I've had at Cumberland at any other school. Cumberland is truly one of a kind and has given me the tools I need to be successful. I hope that I represent it well.”