Undergraduate Spring Internships and Beyond: Part Two

Part Two of the Undergraduate Spring Internship article features interviews with current interns Kathleen Gargan, Shalyn Benway, and Ashley Fischer. (Click here for “Part One” of this article.) Read on to see what kinds of tasks these students are performing in their internships, the benefits they are finding in their positions, and their suggestions for future interns!

Kathleen Gargan (pictured to the left) has been working as an intern this spring at the Saint Rose Curriculum Library. Regarding her experience and duties so far Kathleen tells us, “I am gathering information regarding the New York State Education Department (NYSED) new Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy. A text list has been generated from NYSED. I have been using the catalog to see if our libraries on campus house these texts. I will be helping to create a webpage for the Curriculum Library utilizing the information retrieved from the project. I am working in collaboration with the Curriculum Library Director, Marisa Gitto, for the Curriculum Library Workshop Series on March 20, 2012.”

After graduation Kathleen plans on applying to graduate school here at Saint Rose. Kathleen will be applying to the CSSA (College Student Services Administration) program, which concentrates in Student Affairs.  Kathleen comments, “This program will fully prepare me to work on any college campus in Student Affairs, and working at the Curriculum Library has shown me how different offices work with them. In my field I might have to work on the website so learning how to do these things now is beneficial. This project I have been working on is going to help so many students and that is my main motivation for everything that I do.” Helping her prepare in many ways for a future in her desired field, Kathleen has found a great fit at the Saint Rose Curriculum Library. Kathleen comments on the connection, “In the Student Affairs field we are focused on the students and how to give them the tools to succeed and that is what this internship is all about!”

As someone who has been through the application experience, Kathleen has some advice for the next batch of interns getting ready to apply in Fall 2012: “Apply to as many internships as you can. Make sure you do so early in the fall semester so you aren’t scrambling for a place. Pick an internship that you are interested in, don’t pick one because it’s easy or convenient. Do not be afraid to ask for help from your internship supervisor in the English Department. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Do not be afraid to turn places down. Make sure the internship is a good fit for you. Make sure you have your resume and cover letters critiqued and meet deadlines for everything. Make sure you represent the English Department at Saint Rose well!”

Next up is Shalyn Benway (pictured to the left), who is currently interning for The Saratogian. Shalyn tells us about her position and the types of jobs she performs: “The Saratogian is a local newspaper that also releases a quarterly magazine. My tasks include going out and about in the town of Saratoga, usually on Broadway and finding an individual to interview. Once I have asked them five questions, Who, What, Where, When and Why, I compose their answers into a mini-article to be put into the paper the next day. Aside from doing theses mini interviews, I also help out with The Saratogian’s magazine as well. I suggest ideas for articles for the magazine and help research information for the articles. There are also other tasks that I perform such as helping out with the letters to the editor and listening to The Saratogian’s messages left by anyone willing to share their thoughts and opinions.”

While journalism isn’t the specific vein of writing that Shalyn is interested in pursuing after graduating, she is happy that her experience in journalism  has fulfilled her interests in cultural immersion. Shalyn comments, “One aspect to journalism that I find interesting is getting to know the people in my area. I enjoyed meeting new people who I have interviewed and learning something about their lives. I had never really considered a career in journalism/reporting before, but this internship experience at least has allowed me to observe the different career possibilities that are out there. You never know what you may be interested in, or not, unless you give it a try!” Taking her experiences at The Saratogian with her, Shalyn hopes to follow her interests of fiction writing, poetry, and travel when she enters the job market: “One thing is for sure after I graduate, I will be traveling. My inspiration for my writing comes from being immersed in other cultures and experiencing different worlds other than my own. Hopefully I will be able to find a job that will perhaps require me to travel and write at the same time!”

Shalyn recommends applying to The Saratogian for anyone interested in journalism, and she has a few pointers that might help you edge out the competition. Shalyn advises, “It would be most advantageous if you apply sooner rather than later. There may be many students who will apply for an internship there, so it’s important to express your interest in interning with them as soon as you can.”

Ashley Fischer is currently interning in Group Sales at the Times Union Center. Ashley tells us about her responsibilities: “Overall, in Group Sales we target different groups of people to buy tickets for events. A lot of the work is researching different groups, coming up with ways to target them, either through email, fax, direct mail, or telemarketing, and then encouraging them to buy our group discounts. Taking orders and ensuring accuracy is critical in Group Sales. I am constantly looking out for different organizations, schools, and centers to get our information out there and make sure everything is always up-to-date. I work on a lot on informational packets, emails, and fliers that I design to send out to these different places we target.” Ashley also tells us that great communication skills are essential to her internship: “It all comes down to communication and maintaining a positive relationship with our clients,” Ashley says, and she realizes that these are real-world skills that will only benefit her when she enters the job market. Ashley comments, “I am utilizing and gaining greater communication skills, research skills, and public relation skills. I know I will continue to use the research, marketing, and communication skills that I have gained from working at the Times Union Center in my future since they are such mandatory and beneficial skills needed in today’s world.” Connecting to the community is another great benefit of Ashley’s internship: “The work done in group sales is very community oriented, and I enjoy seeing the outcome of all of my research. Working there has helped me open up and allowed me to realize that I want to make a change in peoples’ lives everyday.”

For anyone interested in an internship that is weighted in communications and public relations like Ashley’s is, here is some more information about her experience.  Telling us about a particular event she recently helped coordinate, Ashley says, “Recently we had the Harlem Globetrotters come to the Times Union Center. We were asked by the promoter to find an organization to perform at half time. We ended up using a younger step team in the Albany area, the Chimalsi Steppers. We decided to use them because it was such a family oriented event and we felt they deserved to be connected to the public since they are a part of the community. A lot of work went into scheduling their performance and the other meet and greets that occurred with birthday groups and special needs groups to meet the Harlem Globetrotters.”

Communications, public relations, and making a difference in the community have resulted in internship success for Ashley, and she has advice on how the next group of senior interns might succeed as well: “The best advice I can give when looking for an internship is to start your search early, be open to different positions, and apply to as many as you can. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t receive the position you were looking for exactly; the whole search process and internship is a learning experience. You should be open to new opportunities because you may end up enjoying the experience in the end. If not, you are a step ahead of others because you realize what direction you shouldn’t be going in and you can take the next step to where you want to be.”

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Now that you know a little bit more about what kinds of internships are out there and you have some advice from some students who have been through the internship processes, start looking around to find placements that fulfill your interests, and remember to ask Dr. Colton and Dr. Palecanda if you have questions!

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One response to “Undergraduate Spring Internships and Beyond: Part Two

  1. Pingback: Undergraduate Spring Internships and Beyond: Part One | The Saint Rose English Blog