Student Perspective: Internships Are Pathways to Success

July 16, 2010








According to Elizabeth Boggs, Assistant Director of the Office of Career Services at Rollins, 80 students are completing internships for credit through the Academic Internship Program for the Summer 2010 term. Students are interning in 23 states along the Atlantic coast, in the Midwest, California and Hawaii. Students are also interning in 10 countries outside the U.S., including Costa Rica, Croatia, England, Spain, Canada, Jamaica, Hungary, South Korea, Jordan and Venezuela. 

paulPaul Bennett (Class of 2011) is interning in the production department of “Live with Regis and Kelly” at WABC-TV in Lincoln Square in New York City. He applied for the position through the PACE program and even missed Fox Day 2010 to be interviewed for the job. Paul says that every day on the job is a reminder of how lucky he is. He spends his mornings in the studio, greeting guest celebrities like Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper, Mike Meyers, The Jonas Brothers and DEVO.

“Early on, I lost the ‘gasp factor’ of being around celebrities,” said Bennett. In the afternoon, he answers phones, searches for funny YouTube videos to be shown on the show and dubs tapes. “I’m getting a very well-rounded experience,” Bennett explained. “Each day I get to shadow a different department, working side by side with seasoned professionals. The greatest lesson is learning how to have thick skin. I had to learn how to get stuff done quickly and how to not screw up because live TV is hit-or-miss. We have to keep mistakes to a minimum. Here, everything comes together seamlessly. The show is run like a tight ship.” 

stephanieStephanie Posner (Class of 2011) is an intern at the Food Network in New York City. Working under the Director of International Web Editing, Stephanie spends her days collecting content for the Food Network’s websites. She also researches different cultures, determining how the Food Network can sensitively integrate its content into the lives of the people of diverse cultures.

“What I do is important because I am learning the key aspects of being an editor—like design, layout and marketing strategy,” said Posner.  She applied for the position online through Scripps Networks, parent company of the Food Network. Posner believes she got this highly competitive internship because of her love of food and traveling and her experience writing for the Rollins News Bureau.

“The greatest takeaway from this internship is the opportunity to learn from the best in the business. Since my department is so small, I feel like I’m a valued member of the team. There is more pressure than ever for a web editor because the pace of work is so fast. It is also kind of torturous looking at food all day,” Posner bemoaned.

jaciJaci Nora (Class of 2010) is a field intern for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Annapolis, MD.  Jaci is thrilled to have landed this highly sought-after position because it allows her to get her hands dirty and be out on a boat all day. Nora has been working on projects identifying sea life in Maryland’s intercoastal habitats, determining if certain species remain consistent as the result of changes in the environment. 

“A lot of what I learned in my classes, I am able to apply,” said Nora. “Rollins gave me the basics so I can have intelligent conversations with my boss and be able to problem solve in the field. Still, a lot of the learning about the habitat takes place on-site.”  For Nora, the 12-hour days fly by. “It’s really cool. I’m getting a wonderful farmer’s tan. It’s a lot of fun and I’m really lucky.” 

chrisChris Garlock (MBA Class of 2011) found his summer internship using Jobs for Tars. He was hired, along with fellow Crummer student Michael Yang (MBA Class of 2011), for the position of Research Analyst by FedVest, a consulting firm connecting small businesses with government contracts.

“Even though it is an entry level position and the pay isn’t much, I’m finding the internship to be very rewarding,” said Garlock. “It is satisfying that my opinion and my role as a team member are highly valued by my superiors. I’m also learning a great deal about how the government interacts with the marketplace.”  Garlock further explained that the tasks he is accomplishing are providing him valuable, real-world experience which will greatly benefit him in future positions.

jbI, too, am on my own internship adventure in New York City. Landing the position was the result of being in the right place at the right time and fortuitously meeting someone who opened doors for me.  I am interning with 21C Media Group, a public relations firm that represents classical music artists and performing arts organizations. Because the company is small, I am able to perform as a highly valued member of the team, and I am being given tasks that reflect this level of responsibility. I have earned the respect and trust of my colleagues while being exposed to some of the best music New York has to offer. By representing many of the top name artists in the classical music industry, interning at 21C has allowed me to attend open rehearsals and performances of the New York Philharmonic while being involved in fundraising for charitable causes. The classical training I received in the Rollins Department of Music has given me a solid foundation on which to build.

The art of obtaining a relevant and meaningful summer internship is a combination of networking, focused investigation and a little bit of luck. Felicia Erlich (Class of 2011) applied through the MTV website to get her position in the production department. Lindsey Hirsch (Class of 2011) found her internship with Liquid Assets Consulting Group, a wine promotions and marketing firm, on craigslist.com.

These students are making valuable connections that will serve them well in their future endeavors. Ginger McGraw, Assistant Director of Career Services for the Crummer Graduate School of Business, believes that, “networking is a powerful and relevant way of building relationships with others who can assist” on your professional path. It is a lifelong journey of “sharing information, resources, and ideas with others and is essential to your career.”
 
For more information on how to obtain an internship, please visit the Office of Career Services; to learn more about the Office of Academic Internships. Crummer students should contact the Career Development Office.

—Justin Braun (MBA Class of 2011)

Update: In 2009, Adam Schwartz (Class of 2011, Crummer 2012) completed a summer internship at the Howard Stern Show. Schwartz  recently published a book that chronicles his experience. Finding Howard Stern: A Summer Intern's Story takes readers through Schwartz's experiences interning for the most popular talk radio host in history. Schwartz has created a website for the book, www.HowardSternIntern.com. The book is also available on Amazon.com and on Kindle. 


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