Center for Internships and Career Development

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Eric Alan

Eric Alan

English Major
Class of 2012 (December)

Title: Officer Support Assistant
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 whole heartedly 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

Mike Calvo

Mike Calvo.JPGMike Calvo has jumpstarted his career through an exciting internship experience. Mike is a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science with a minor in English. Over the summer Mike became a Research Assistant at University of Connecticut through the Research Experience for Undergraduates Program, which is funded by the United States Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation.

            As Research Assistant, Mike worked with a team of students to try and find ways to detect whether or not a Trojan virus was inserted into a microchip. Mike's team came up with methods to extract data from microchips that might indicate whether or not there was a Trojan virus present in the chip. "Since data from Trojan free/inserted chips are very similar, my job was to come up with analysis techniques for the data, hoping to make the difference more obvious."

             At the end of each week the team would share findings and discoveries. "Networking was cool and it helped motivate me and helped me to stay on task."

            Mike recognizes Career Services as part of his success and has frequently visited for career and school advice. Mike's first visit was during Fall 2010 where he sought out advice in regards to his goals for the next five years and steps he could take to get there. Career Services staff also helped Mike set up his profile.

            Mike shares his advice with other students: "I really got lucky in a sense that

the internship opportunity came to me. I didn't expect that to happen and people should not expect that to happen either. You need to get yourself out there and email prospective jobs and try and find something that is either unpaid or paid. You just need to take the risk."

     Congratulations on your success Mike! Keep up the great work!


Story Submitted By Stacey Elizabeth Sankow

Amanda Topping

Thumbnail image for AmandaTopping.jpgMy first day at Soundings magazine - a national boating publication in Essex, Conn. - began the day after Memorial Day. Right from the get-go, I knew this company would present me with the perfect internship.I was right.

This experience has been the deciding factor in the career path that is now laid out before me. As an English Major, I faced the difficult choice between teaching and journalism. The experiences I embraced at Soundings were so fantastic I now crave the life of a journalist/editor/proofreader/reporter.

At Soundings I was offered the chance to be considered a regular worker. "Intern" is an almost non-existent word in the office. Though it is an unpaid internship, I realized quickly that I would gain from this experience only what I put into it. With that in mind, I happily took on any assignment my editor threw at me.

This attitude paid off, and in my six weeks there I've written my own story to appear in a later issue, and have come away with my byline on various other sections of the magazine.
I jumped at the chance to fill in as full-time proofreader during our busiest deadline time (signed off later by the editors, of course!) and also gained experience in conducting interviews, writing book reviews, making contacts in public relations, and writing briefs from press releases.
I have learned a great deal that a classroom environment could not offer as easily.
By not limiting myself, and throwing myself into even the assignments that proved slightly intimidating at first (Interviewing the commodore of the Coast Guard Auxiliary!) I have created for myself the chance to succeed in a career that would've been difficult to break into otherwise. No doubt, when I graduate next year, I will be more prepared for the "real world" and have the know-how to continue in the field of journalism.
I see rings from coffee mugs stained on newspapers and magazines, and deadline calendars marked in red ink in my near future.
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