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Students 'test the waters' via internships in fall 2021

Published on December 01, 2021

Students 'test the waters' via internships in fall 2021

Fatou Ndiaye, a senior majoring in Business Administration.
Fatou Ndiaye, a senior majoring in Business Administration.

Eastern Connecticut State University students have immersed themselves in real-life practice through internships during the fall 2021 semester. Ranging from work with probation officers to nonprofit agencies, interns have explored a variety of career paths while working on careert skills for their future. 

Working in internships related to their majors, students performed tasks that they aren’t able to explore in the classroom. “I think this internship has prepared me in a lot of ways,” said Fatou Ndiaye, a senior majoring in Business Administration.

Interning for Eastern’s Office of Alumni Affairs, Ndiaye focused on organizing events, including a virtual activity as her final project. “Creating my own alumni event was a huge leap for me because it was never something that I was comfortable doing,” said Ndiaye. “Projects will be thrown at me in the business world and it is important to know how to handle them. So, in many ways, this internship has helped me step out of my comfort zone and do something different.” 

Marcel Vicente, a sophomore majoring in Political Science.
Marcel Vicente, a sophomore majoring in Political Science.

Discovering Amistad, which partnered with Eastern in the fall 2021 semester to educate students from Hartford, Windsor, East Hartford, Bloomfield and Farmington school districts, attracted several Eastern interns. “My peers and I taught middle and high school students of the famed revolt of the Amistad through the program ‘The Amistad Journey to Freedom,’" said Marcel Vicente, a sophomore majoring in Political Science. "Through this program, we presented historical presentations, facilitated discussions with the students and conducted activities related to history and social justice.”

He went on to explain how the project and internship has allowed him to prepare for his future as an international lawyer. “I feel more prepared for my professional future as I have seen firsthand how educated the younger generation is about the topics we discussed and how prepared and excited I am as a college student to further my career in making sure that everyone is entitled to their basic human rights under international law.” 

 Jaden McNally, a senior majoring in Business Administration.
Jaden McNally, a senior majoring in Business Administration.

While some interns worked at Eastern this semester, others worked for private companies and organizations. Jaden McNally, a senior majoring in Business Administration, interned at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Willimantic.

“I have several responsibilities including renting cars to customers, customer service calls, speaking with insurance companies to extend contracts and get direct bills set up, selling additional protections to customers, creating and confirming reservations, and speaking with accounts to make sure everyone is on the same page.”

 She continued by saying, “My internship has taught me a lot about sales, management functions and customer service. I think it has prepared me for my professional career after graduating Eastern because I learned how to handle many aspects of a large corporation.” 

Andrew Goldberg also interned at a private organization, Invisible Me Warriors, as a graphic design intern. “I create advocacy and awareness social media posts, collaborate on event development and execution, and maintain their merchandise store as well as create new designs for it.”

Andrew Goldberg, a junior majoring in Art and Women’s and Gender studies.
Andrew Goldberg, a junior majoring in Art and Women’s and Gender studies.

Goldberg, a junior majoring in Art and Women’s and Gender studies, said, “This internship has definitely confirmed my choice in my career. It gave me real-world experience in a field with a supervisor who is both a professor and a professional, with a large network and years of experience.” 

Working as the intern for an Adult Probation Officer through the State of Connecticut’s Judicial Branch for Adult Probation, Laura Zenk received hands-on experience in working with clients. “I can go through all client case files, do weekly or monthly office visits independently with clients when they are required to report to their Probation Office, assist with programs that are referred to the client in their best interest, keep in contact with clients and their families to ensure that they are following all required protocol for their specific case load, and manage any additional requirements that the client's file may need.”  

Not only did students receive practice in skills that they will carry with them throughout their careers, they also tested the waters for what type of job they would like to work post-graduation. “This is a field I can see myself going into that I would not have previously investigated,” said Zenk.

“I find that I fit well in this role and communicate very well with clients to best assess and address their needs to help them become re-integrated into their communities in a positive way. Even if I do not go into this field, I will definitely have experience and insight to find a field or position that is best suited for me in my near professional career.”   

Interns will complete their work at the end of the fall 2021 semester, with many of them earning credits through a course within their major. The work they have completed has helped them to expand their education outside of Eastern’s curriculum, with practice that will allow them to feel more prepared for their future careers and aspirations.  

Written by Molly Boucher