Internships have potential to prepare students for future career success

By Jake Allen, Managing Editor 

For many Fisher students, making the decision to apply for professional internships has the potential of landing them a full-time job offer after graduation. For other students, having internship experience is another attribute that can be added to their resume or cover letter to make themselves stand out from other applicants.

Senior marketing major Meghan Cleary interned at Hardinge, a manufacturing company, and was offered a full-time position as a Global Marketing Specialist at their Elmira headquarters. As a marketing intern, Cleary coordinated logistical efforts to host trade shows and even presented automotive industry overview reports to engineers to drive product development in growing markets. She described her experience as extremely beneficial to furthering her education and a way for her to improve her professional experience within the marketing field.

“Internships promote personal growth through the development of professional skills,” said Cleary. “While learning about the workplace and building basic office skills, one can explore a variety of career paths and build an understanding of the responsibilities and tasks associated with different positions. One of the most valuable parts of my internship experience was learning the career I don’t want.”

Participating in the internship program through the School of Business requires students to work within a professional business setting for a minimum of 135 hours total. Enrolling in the internship course that coincides with the actual internship provides students the opportunity to write seven bi-weekly reports and a final evaluation summarizing their entire experience.

When gaining the knowledge of specific courses and topics through classes on campus seems to not be enough, Fisher students can gain real-life experience of hands on work within their chosen profession by interning locally, nationally or even internationally. At Fisher, interning can be possible within an array of majors and departments, ranging from accounting to sociology, and everything in between.

Not all internship experiences lead to professional job offers but can sometimes still be of extreme value to the intern in ways that can build up their portfolio or connections within the Rochester area. Senior media management, english, and digital cultures and technologies major Morgan van der Horst has interned at four different locations throughout her college career and feels that those experiences have given her the opportunity to network and make connections with people she never thought would be so beneficial to her career path.

“I think Fisher has a lot of opportunities and the internship directors do a lot of work to help students and so do professors and professors have been really good advocates for me in sending me internship opportunities, encouraging me to apply to different things, and putting my name out there,” she said. “But I feel like across campus, the process could be better aligned between different departments and the career center.”

Even though interning isn’t required by the Department of Media and Communication, it is highly encouraged by the department to assure that students are getting the most out of their education while at Fisher. Completing 120 hours of the internship at a news station, agency or nonprofit is required by the Department of Media and Communication.

Resources for applying for an internship, crafting a resume or writing a cover letter can be found through the Career Center on campus and also on the Career Center’s website. Within each school and department are internship coordinators in which students are required to sit down with and discuss their career goals and plan of action throughout the entire internship process. As an optional resource, the Career Center can assist students with their entire professional career development at all stages as well as provide valuable tips, suggestions, and feedback regarding career decisions.

Assistant Director of the Career Center, Beth Touhsaent, works closely with students in building their resumes, exploring their professional career opportunities and applying to internships or jobs. She highlights the important attributes students should emulate and possess when applying for internships or jobs within their chosen profession.

“We help to provide the resources, the tools, and the advice and kind of get people on the right path to this is how you can be successful in obtaining an internship, but students themselves need to be motivated to put that time and energy into the search because they’re the ones that need to walk into the interview and they’re the ones that are going to be showing up to do that internship,” said Touhsaent.

Director of the Career Center, Ray Shady, stressed the importance of students engaging in internship opportunities to leverage their professional careers.

“Having a high GPA and internship experience puts students two steps above the competition,” said Shady.  

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