News

Hartwick Internship Opportunities Open Doors to Career Success

March 24, 2010

While seniors are reviewing their resumes in preparation for their first post-college job, others are searching for summer internships. Resume Rescue Week, sponsored by the Career Development and Education Office (CDE), is scheduled for April 12-16. Students can submit electronically or drop off hard copies at CDE in Golisano Hall.

According to a 2009 study conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 81 percent of employers surveyed “expect students to complete an internship or community-based field project to connect classroom learning with real-world experiences.”

“More and more employers are saying work exposure is key to post-graduate success.” Internship Coordinator Melissa Marietta said (pictured at right). “This includes internships, informational interviews, and job shadows. Students can see how academics relate to work as well as what their schedule is going to be like. They can also practice office etiquette and build interpersonal relationships.”

Marietta recommended students search for internships using online databases available through the Office of Career Development and Education. Databases available on the website include the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and the Liberal Arts Career Network (LACN).

“Students can just browse for opportunities that interest them or contact mentors or employers. You have WickWorks for local opportunities, LACN specifically for liberal arts jobs and NACE for national jobs. Three databases, one place to go,” Marietta said.

Students who need help with internships should begin by contacting an academic advisor for advice.

“Every department is different,” Marietta said. “Some departments have one person who approves all of the internships, while others are by committee.”

Marietta suggested students should be willing to seek out their own opportunities as well.

“Sometimes you have to reach out to an employer. I tell students that before they ever pick up the phone they need to practice what they’re going to say. This is your first impression. If you send an e-mail, make sure it’s written out like a letter. The more initiative you take, the better chance you have of getting it.”

Justin Pedersen ’11, a biology major in the pre-allied health program, shadowed a Registered Physician Assistant – Certified (RPA’C) at Sherburne Family Health Center during J-Term. He also spent three days observing surgeries at Chenango Memorial Hospital with a private orthopedic doctor. Pedersen plans to become a physician’s assistant.

Pedersen noted that most of the patients he encountered welcomed a student observer.

“I went into the exam room with most of the patients. In between patients I’d look over charts. My supervisor did a good job of explaining diseases, pathologies, and prescriptions. It was interesting to see his depth of knowledge. You’d see everything from someone with diabetes, the next patient might have a laceration, another a common cold.”

Pedersen advised students to keep an open mind during the internship.

“I was originally leaning towards a family practice," he said. "I never thought I’d be fascinated by surgery. Being patient through the process and working hard during the initial steps will lead to a better experience.”

Psychology major Cheryl Abbott ’10 interned at the Otsego County Chemical Dependency Clinic last fall as part of her senior capstone. Abbott had interned previously at Trillium Place and discovered the second internship was far different than she expected.

“During a typical day, I sat in on evaluations to see if people needed treatment. I would attend women’s group therapy. I did a lot of paperwork. I also sat in on intake group. We would go over their information step by step.”

“I think I would have tried to schedule differently at the same site. I should have found a specific person to shadow and scheduled my internship hours to match that person’s schedule. That probably would have changed my whole experience.”

Abbott suggested that students take advantage of extra opportunities and try to learn something from every internship. “I now know, without a doubt, how to use a fax machine,” she said.

Ashleigh Remmers ’11 found a J-Term internship at A.O. Fox Hospital that combined her interest in both pre-allied health studies and business.

“I worked under the supervision of the human resources manager. I would wake up at 5 a.m. and work a 12-hour day,” Remmers said. “I saw 75% of hospital in two weeks.”

“I saw a different department—sometimes two different departments—every day. I saw the foundation office, physical therapy, accounting, and more. Near the end of the internship, I realized how all of the departments were interconnected,” Remmers said. “I started out knowing I really wanted to work in a hospital. I narrowed that down even further to the administrative or physical therapy side.”

“My supervisor took me to all of his meetings - some of them were with the top people in the company. They’d always ask for my input every single time. I wouldn’t have expected that.” Remmers added, “I can’t say enough good things about my internship. At Fox, every department was like a family.”

“This is a huge time of year for schools and businesses to post internships,” Marietta said. “Don’t just look for big names. You can still have great experiences locally.”

Students can complete internships throughout the year. Internships for academic credit must be registered before students begin working. Internship applications for Summer and Fall 2010 are due on April 12. Applications are also available in the Office of Career Development & Education. Students must submit completed learning agreements for Summer and Fall 2010 by May 21.

Contact Melissa Marietta at marriettam@hartwick.edu for more information.

By Alicia Walstad '10

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
E-mail: lottc@hartwick.edu
Phone: 607-431-4030