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Student internships provide crucial experience

03/04/15

Experience gained through serving an internship is a powerful tool as students enter the job market and embark on their career.

C:\fakepath\Power of Internships Craig Deraway crop.jpgCraig Deraway ’14 of Clarksburg, Mass. (top right), who studied business administration at MCLA, worked as a case management intern with Soldier On, a non-profit that serves homeless war veterans. Now, he works for the organization.

“Internships are very important in modern society,” Deraway said. “Living in such a competitive world, where many young individuals are all going to college, it’s internships that separate you from the rest. Being able to write on a resume that you took up an internship, even if it wasn’t paid, shows future employers that you really care about your career.”

The experience he had at Soldier On as a case management intern, Deraway said, was crucial for his career path.

“I always knew that I wanted to become familiar with how a business runs, even a non-profit. As I started to work as an intern, my path changed a bit in a sense where I really started to enjoy doing social work and giving back to the veterans,” he said.

Deraway, who graduated from MCLA in December, now is a case manager at Soldier On, and is interviewing for a position as a “Supporting Services for Veteran’s Families” case manager for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

English/communications major Abigail Egan ’14 of Quincy, Mass. (pictured at bottom right with Spencer Moser of MCLA’s Center for Citizenship), who also graduated in December, served two internships while at MCLA. The first was with Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., in its communications department.

“I learned about social media community building and public relations tactics, and did a bit of design work for logos and brochures,” she said. “This internship was a pivotal opportunity for me because I realized that I loved social media and PR.”

C:\fakepath\Power of Internships Abby Egan crop.jpgFrom that experience, Egan went on to intern at the Northern Berkshire YMCA in North Adams as a public relations intern.

“I created an entire social media platform for them to connect to their community and members via the Internet,” Egan explained. “This internship taught me that, although I was good at commercial PR, my true interest remained in social media community building. That insight gave me the idea that maybe I would be most helpful in higher education, working with a communications team.”

According to Egan, both internships were “incredibly helpful” with regard to her job search.

“I learned things as simple as how to dress appropriately for a professional atmosphere, and how to communicate clearly with local newspapers and television stations when submitting press release forms and proposals,” she said.

Egan, who recently applied to attend graduate school at Boston University, is interviewing for part-time positions while she waits to hear back regarding her acceptance.  Depending on the outcome, she will decide on her next best step.

In the meantime, she is serving a third internship at True North Brand Group in Hingham, Mass., where she is learning more about design work and layout techniques.

“It’s been great so far because my boss really encourages me to try different things and continually be learning something new,” she said.