Kelly Huhtanen

Kelly Huhtanen

Picture1Hometown: Pomfret, CT

Major: English/Elementary Education

Graduation Year: 2017

Q:   What is your internship position?

A:    I am the social media intern for the  International Hoccleve Society, based on the medieval poet, Thomas Hoccleve.

Q: What were your responsibilities for the internship?

A:    With this internship, I managed our Twitter, LinkedIn, and Storify account. I use our popular hash tag, #HoccleveTravels, to promote our society and bring awareness to old English. I meet with Dr. Varand in the English department once a week to go over our agenda for the week and strategizing how to grow the brand.

Q: How is it managing these accounts and promoting the I.H.S.?

A: I really enjoy it, but the one struggle I consistently have is relating Thomas Hoccleve’s language to modern day. Even I occasionally have difficulty understanding what he is saying, so I have to make sure our readers can understand as well. I also have to incorporate humor to keep our followers interested.

Q: Did you have any work experience prior to this internship?

A: Yes. I worked in the student center at the information desk. Now, I work in the back office of the student center and am responsible for supplying technology for the building. This ranges from giving the right equipment to clubs, to setting up major events in the theater and café.

Q: What do you like the most about your internship?

A:   What I enjoy most is the flexible schedule I have, since most of my work is online. Besides meeting Dr. Varand once a week, I am free to do whatever I please, as long as my work gets done. To many this may seem easy, but I have to make sure I hit my quota for social media activity.  I don’t know how I would  manage all this with my 21 credit semester if I had to physically be somewhere.

Q: What are your career goals?

A: Despite my social media and English experience, my career goal is to go into elementary education . I am in my second semester of my clinical placement of elementary education and begin student teaching next year. I am excited to have this opportunity next year.

Q: How helpful do you feel this internship, and internships in general are?

A: I feel they are one of the main criteria for landing your first job in your early career. In my case, even though my social media internship is not directly correlated to the field I am going into, the professionalism and experience I am gaining is very beneficial. Everyone will need to know how to effectively communicate and use technology. My writing background helps as well.

Q: Any advice to other students eager to gain experience?

A:    Being proactive is the most important thing I would recommend for anyone looking for a internship or fulltime job. Also, make sure that you are doing the work for the job. Do not slack and be very qualified for the position. As long as you do the work required you will always be fine. Lastly, I would stress the importance of networking.

Emily Komornik

Emily Komornik

KomornikHometown: Shelton, CT

Major: History/English

Graduation Year: 2016

Q:   What was your internship position?

A:    I was the only intern in the law firm and I reached out to the firm because I wanted to gain exposure in the field of law. Law firms rarely post internships like other fields, such as business or medicine. I had to be proactive.

Q: What were your responsibilities for the internship?

A:    I was basically a paralegal, where I helped sort data, prepare cases, and  provide support wherever necessary. My main goal for this internship was to gain basic understandings of a law office and to see if I liked the work they were completing.

Q: Did you have any work experience prior to this internship?

A: Yes. One of the experiences that helped me the most was working for department chair Kurchman. I was the assistant for the Polish American Studies Journal and was responsible for publishing historical journals. I have always been interested in history as well as publishing, that is why I wanted to gain exposure in the law industry.

Q: What were the best parts of your internship?

A:   My favorite part was the fact that I finally got a chance to utilize my writing skills. I spent years honing my skills throughout my courses and I finally had real world experience to use my argumentative and writing background.

Q: What are your career goals?

A:   Currently, I am leaning towards having a career in law that is dedicated towards defending women in sexual assault cases. I believe women need more advocates so my goal is to get my J.D. and either work closely with police departments or within an established firm to represent these females.

Q: How important do you think internships are going forward?

A: Very Important. One of the biggest components is getting your feet wet and finding out if you like the work. You might think you like your major and the ideal work, but the actual work may be different than what you thought. That is huge.

Q: Advice to others?

A: Use the resources around you, and try anything. I found that you need to experience your major before you commit to a career in it. I started off as a education major and didn’t fit well with teaching. I believe the earlier you discover if you like the work in your field/major, the better off you’ll be. Take advantage of opportunities around you and be willing to try multiple things.

Stephanie Nolting

Expected Graduation Date: May 2014
Employer: Women’s Center of Eastern Connecticut State University

Internship Title: Ambassador/Intern
Though an internship does not need to be completed for Stephanie’s major in English, it is mandated by her minor in Women’s Studies. Stephanie’s duties as an intern include her having to be present for 9 office hours weekly. During this time she works on different Women’s Center programs that she is charged with throughout the semester, or helps other ambassadors with their respective programs. Stephanie also answers phone calls and completes other tasks as needed by the center. She describes the Women’s Center as a welcoming place to which visitors feel comfortable going.
Stephanie is not positive exactly what she wants to do after graduating, but she is sure that she wants to be an advocate for Women’s Rights. Possible options for Stephanie are attending Law School or getting her masters degree in Social Work, either of which would be accomplished while focusing on issues relating to women.
Stephanie’s advice for other students seeking internships in the future is to always think ahead. She says not to wait until the last minute to get involved. Because she found her internship through a staff member, Stephanie says to not hesitate talking to professors, as they often have connections to possible internships. Further she says that by connecting with a professor in a preferred field, students can easily become involved with what they really want to do.
Story submitted by Francisco Bravo

Eric Alan

Expected Graduation Date: December 2012
Major: English

Title: Officer Support Assistant

Employer: United States Coast Guard

In today’s economy, turning an internship into a career is a hard trick to pull. Most college students work for free and are given valuable real world experience, but don’t have the career to show for it. Eric Alan, due to graduate this December, can say he beat the odds. After having served in the U.S. Coast Guard for many years and lovingly tended to his farm in Mansfield, CT, Eric returned to school to study English at Eastern Connecticut State University. Through his military experience, he eventually acquired a working role with ECSU’s Vets Center. It was with their guidance that he secured his spot in his life’s goals.

Over the summer Eric interned with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as a Library Assistant. His day to day tasks included book sorting and shelving, interpersonal interaction, and manning the circulation desk. Eric inevitably hopes to receive a MS in Library Science and pursue wholeheartedly his dreams of being a librarian. This internship, to say the least, was a perfect fit for him. And in the end, it was his internship with the US Coast Guard Academy that gave him a full time job staffing their library. His internship turned into success, bringing him where his goals wanted to take him.

While not every internship will turn into a job, it is important to give it your all. Working hard is the path to success. “Work as hard as you can, even if you are just an intern,” Eric adds, “If you impress the right people you can get a full time career position.” He followed his own advice and now comfortably begins his life in the book shelves.

Story by Alexandra Remy