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Students gain field experience in spring 2024 internships

Published on May 07, 2024

Students gain field experience in spring 2024 internships

Brianna Calamis

Dravyn Okoney

Jacob Silverman

Students from a broad selection of disciplines at Eastern Connecticut State University gained valuable professional experience through internships during the spring 2024 semester. Internships ranged from live sound engineering to hospitality and criminal justice services.

Jacob Silverman interned at FLIK Hospitality Group, located at Travelers in Hartford. As a FLIK marketing intern, Silverman gained experience in corporate dining services, communicating with chefs and revising menus as part of his responsibilities.

Silverman’s first of two main takeaways is that “connections are everything. If you have the opportunity to talk to and get to know everyone you come in contact with, it will make things so much easier for you,” he said.

Secondly, Silverman learned that “nothing you do goes unnoticed in the correct working environment.” After he graduates, Silverman plans to continue his work with Travelers in the same position, which he hopes will enable him to grow professionally.

Criminology major Claire Langton interned at Perception Programs Inc. in Willimantic. She worked in a department called Alternatives in the Community, “a community-based program for adults involved in the criminal justice system.”

“We offer skill-building groups that are rooted in cognitive behavioral techniques,” said Langton. “One of the groups I sit in on weekly and have co-facilitated is called ‘Living Safely Without Violence.’”

Her responsibilities included client intakes and entering notes into the Country Development Cooperation Strategy website. She also joined the Windham Reentry Council through her internship, helping to plan “a major event taking place in town.”

Finance major Brianna Calamis worked as a tax intern at Pue, Chick, Leibowitz & Blezard Certified Public Accountants in Vernon. Her responsibilities included “initial intake of documents, scanning documents and verifying the information was correctly picked up, preparing and assembling the tax returns and calling clients.”

Calamis’s internship opened her mind to a professional avenue she could pursue. “I am exploring many options for my future and attending graduate school to pursue accounting is one of them,” she said. “The office was extremely helpful in aiding me in making this decision.”

Calamis also gained real-world experience in a way she hadn’t before. “As a finance major, I had little experience in the professional accounting world,” she said. “Throughout this process, I learned many valuable professional and accounting skills I can take with me to future jobs.”

Dravyn Okoney gained financial planning experience as a financial coach trainee at Primerica Financial Services. “I sat in on client calls to understand how the client acquisition process at Primerica works,” he said.

As part of his experience, Primerica promoted Okoney to earn a financial license. “I am planning to work in financial sectors that require financial licenses, so I’m very glad I was able to take advantage of this opportunity and get a head start,” he said.

Senior music major Evan Gianfriddo interned as a sound engineer at The Stomping Ground, a bar, restaurant and live music venue in Putnam. Responsibilities included “communicating with musicians, running live sound, mixing and setting the sound to fit the room.”

Accounting major Daniel Galliher worked as a tax intern for Mahoney Sabol & Company, LLP, an accounting firm in Glastonbury. Galliher’s responsibilities included initiating the tax return process by preparing returns and identifying documents. “My main takeaway from the experience is that the only shortcut to learning is mentorship,” said Galliher.

Galliher plans to work in public accounting for 10 years before starting his own firm. “My internship propelled me tremendously to be ahead of the game for my class because it is rare for (younger students) to get an internship,” he said.

Written by Noel Teter