Bright Lights, Big Cities and the Professional Experience of a Lifetime

December 8, 2014


Big-city internships, arranged through International Programs and Career Services, give Stonehill students not only the practical experience they need to launch careers and enter graduate school but also the cultural experiences that allow them to expand their perspective, sharpen their problem-solving skills, collaborate with different people and become global thinkers.

From their 384-acre campus outside of Boston, Stonehill students venture out for internships in major cosmopolitan centers from LA to London. Here, a few share thoughts on why they went and what they learned.

Boston

Jovan Zilic ’15

Jovan Zilic ’15
Internship: State Street Global Advisors
Major: Finance
Hometown: Revere, Massachusetts

State Street Global Advisors in Boston is as fast-paced and demanding as Wall Street, and Jovan Zilic ’15 wouldn’t have it any other way. He loved every second of his internship — multitasking, meeting deadlines and being immersed in the financial world.

“Being in Boston allowed me to develop a sense of independence and adaptability, [and] the fast-paced environment inside the workplace gave me the opportunity to improve my critical-thinking skills,” said Jovan, who helped analyze portfolio returns, compare risk indicators and evaluate their behavior during market crises. “This allowed me to hone my analytical skills [and to] better understand the complex world of financial management,” Jovan said.

The internship also provided invaluable networking opportunities at the major financial house. Said Jovan, “It gave me the opportunity to ultimately build strong professional relationships.”


Paris

Matthew Stathis ‘15

Matthew Stathis ’15
Internship: Set in Paris Movie Tours
Major: Foreign languages
Hometown: East Bridgewater, Massachusetts

When Matthew Stathis ’15 flew into Paris for his internship with Set in Paris Movie Tours, he couldn’t have imagined the breadth of skills and knowledge the experience would provide him.

“For 10 weeks, this small luxury bus tour company provided me with unique insight into how much work it takes to keep a small business running,” he said of the firm, which offers tours of memorable film locations in the French capital. “[It] enabled me to observe all aspects of sustaining this business from the ground up.” Just as important, he said, were the cultural lessons. Watching business dealings, he was struck by how negotiations were less corporate than what he’d seen in the United States and more intensely focused on personal relationships.

“What I really gained was an expanded sense of business management,” he said. “Seeing the time and effort that goes into making sure that the business partnership was the right one for Set in Paris was such an educational experience.”


Dublin

Patrick O’Mara ‘15

Patrick O’Mara ’15
Internship: Office of Dublin City Councilor Gerry Breen
Major: Political science & international studies
Hometown: Amherst, N.H.

Patrick O’Mara ’15 knew his internship in the office of a Dublin city councilor would have him deeply involved in the workings of municipal government, but he didn’t expect to be meeting the Irish prime minister and his cabinet.

Patrick spent his internship as a personal aide and campaign manager to Dublin City Councilor Gerry Breen, and one of the highlights was being asked to attend a late-night meeting at a hotel near Kildare Street.

“I arrived with Gerry [and] was taken to the event room and greeted by the prime minister, Enda Kenny, as well as the members of his cabinet,” he recounted. “I was sitting next to the minister of state and across from the minister of transportation.”

He is now investigating the possibility of a master’s degree at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. “[This] came about because a Stonehill alumnus who works there was reading over my resume and was intrigued by my work in Ireland.”


New York

Grace Hazelwood ’15

Grace Hazelwood ’15
Internship:
Major League Baseball
Major: Communication
Hometown: West Simsbury, Connecticut

Sports management had long been an interest of Grace Hazelwood ’15, but it wasn’t until she accepted a Major League Baseball internship at MLB headquarters in Manhattan that she knew for sure it was what she wanted to do with her professional life.

While interning in New York, Grace compiled media reports and helped produce the 2013 World Series Media Guide, writing short synopses of key games. In between she fielded calls from baseball writers working for major broadcasting networks or newspapers.

“This opportunity threw me into a high-energy and successful industry where I learned a lot,” she said. “And also this busy internship helped boost my confidence [while] working in a tough but fun environment.”

“This opportunity threw me into a high-energy and successful industry where I learned a lot, this busy internship helped boost my confidence [while] working in a tough but fun environment.”
Grace Hazelwood '15

Washington

Anthony Elias '15 with Maine Congressman Michael Michaud

Anthony Elias ’15
Internship:
Office of U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine
Major: Political science
Hometown: Waterville, Maine

The experience of helping run a congressional office showed Anthony Elias ’15 the amazing change that can come when you bring together passionate people committed to helping others.

“After everything I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met, I am now more than ever inspired to create change,” said Anthony, who interned for Maine Congressman Michael Michaud. For more than 30 years, the Stonehill in Washington program has placed students in high-profile internships that give them skills useful in their field of study and puts them face to face with people in the highest levels of national and international leadership. “I'm taking everything that I've learned and hoping to create change at Stonehill.”


London

Bottom left Austin Alfredson ’15

Austin Alfredson ’15
Internship:
ESPN
Major: Communication
Hometown: Middleton, Massachusetts

Stonehill’s Office of International Programs works with students who aspire to complete their internship abroad to help them figure out where they want to go and then make sure they have the skills and experiences to get there.

The result for Austin Alfredson ’15 was an internship that put him in a modern office building on Queen Caroline Street in West London, analyzing consumer data with ESPN’s Market Research Department. He also took four courses at London’s CAPA International Education Center, including Ethical Issues & Media and Advertising & Marketing in Britain.

“From living and learning in the heart of London, to working at one of the most globally recognized leaders in sports, this Stonehill experience has changed my life,” he said.

“From living and learning in the heart of London, to working at one of the most globally recognized leaders in sports, this Stonehill experience has changed my life,”
Austin Alfredson '15

Florence

Adriana Solimine ’14 first from the left

Adriana Solimine ’14
Internship:
The Florentine (newspaper)
Majors: Communication and foreign languages
Hometown: Peabody, Massachusetts

Adriana Solimine ’14 knew she’d be dealing with a time difference when she went to Florence, Italy, for her internship at an Italian newspaper, but she didn’t realize she’d be dealing with a “time difference.”

“In Italy, as well as many other European countries, the perception of time is completely different,” she said, noting that the business culture there puts less emphasis on speed and punctuality.

“As a communication and foreign languages (Italian/Spanish) double major, I was particularly interested in differences related to the work and communication styles I would encounter,” she said. “I learned much more than simply journalism skills while at The Florentine — [I also learned] how to successfully communicate with Italians while learning cultural norms and being able to participate daily in workplace activity.”

She said the experience helped her not only develop professional skills but also grow as a person. “I gained a unique insight and appreciation of the culture and everyday Italian lifestyle, as well as the Italian business environment,” she said. “Most important, I learned to slow down and take time to make sure whatever I am doing is done to the best of my ability.”


Los Angeles

Osasu Igbinedion ’13

Osasu Igbinedion ’13
Internship:
MGM
Degree: Communication
Hometown: Newton, Massachusetts

One of the traits that served Osasu Igbinedion ’13 well before she even set foot on Hollywood Boulevard is one that everyone in the entertainment business knows is crucial: tenacity.

Osasu had hoped to intern in Los Angeles her junior year but was edged out in one of the most competitive internship environments around. She recommitted herself through coursework and on-the-job experience, including a corporate communications internship at Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. and as a marketing intern for software development company MEGA.

It paid off. Osasu won a spot in the competitive Los Angeles internship program her senior year. “It was actually a blessing in disguise — going to LA as a senior was more beneficial than it would have been the year before,” said Osasu.

She says her time as a TV marketing intern for MGM helped her further define her future. Now a student at the New York Film Academy, she eventually plans to return to her native Nigeria and start a PR firm that helps create positive community impact.


New York

Kaitlyn Rose ’10 and Brianna Lertora ’13

Brianna Lertora ’13
Internship: Women’s Media Center
Degrees: Communication and Spanish
Hometown: Suffield, Connecticut

Brianna Lertora ’13 was always interested in nonprofits, and as a journalism minor, she was also passionate about women’s representation in media.

So just before graduating, she spent a summer interning at the Women’s Media Center, a New York City-based nonprofit that works through media advocacy, media monitoring, media training and campaigns “to give women the presence and the voice they deserve in our media-driven society.”

As an intern, she monitored print and online media for sexist coverage, blogged, wrote for the WMC website, and researched media and girls’ organizations with which WMC could team.

“Internships are great because in addition to learning about the field, you learn a lot about yourself,” she said. “WMC helped me narrow in on my passions and interests. It also showed me what type of professional environment and culture I want to work in. It was inspiring to work with such motivated and genuine people who were all there because they believed in” the same cause.


Dublin

Bridget Cassidy ’15

Bridget Cassidy ’15
Internship: Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital-Crumlin
Major: Healthcare administration
Hometown: Brockton, Massachusetts

Bridget Cassidy ’15 had certainly heard of teatime before traveling to Dublin for an internship at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital-Crumlin, but she didn’t know how it had evolved with the times.

“It was interesting to see how employees valued and utilized this daily ritual to better the working environment,” said Bridget, whose internship had her rotating through multiple departments, working with people ranging from data security administrators to cardiac nurse specialists. “This social time allowed them to learn more about one another, which led them to work more effectively as a unit.”

Bridget said the internship and another one closer to home have helped establish a network of contacts that she sees as having great potential. “I have made some great connections here and abroad. I have stayed in touch with the cardiac nurse specialists, who have said the door is always open for my return to work with them. My internship has also piqued the interest of some of my supervisors here, who have now helped me gather contact information at different hospitals and fundraising groups in Boston.”


New York

Daniel J. Doherty ’15

Daniel J. Doherty ’15
Internship: Goldman Sachs
Majors: Economics and finance
Hometown: Woburn, Massachusetts

There’s an energy to big cities that permeates every aspect of life, and nowhere is it more palpable than New York. Daniel J. Doherty ’15 got a healthy dose of this energy during a summer internship at Goldman Sachs this year, and it has stuck with him ever since.

“This past summer opened my eyes to the level of intelligence, passion and dedication in New York City,” said Dan. “A huge number of people work very hard for the chance to earn a summer analyst position on Wall Street. I soon realized you have to be hungry, humble and prepared every day to stand out from the crowd. The energy level in NYC is also incredible. People never stop!”

His internship had him working on the Listed Derivatives Trade Management team, where he acquired new skills, developed professional relationships and balanced several responsibilities at once. But he also recognizes the immense value of the connections he made.

“I had the opportunity to collaborate with professionals and interns in all of the firm’s major global offices,” he said. “I worked with some of the most interesting people I have ever met and made long-lasting friendships.”


Boston

Jamie Kaminski ’15 left

Jamie Kaminski ’15
Internship: Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Major: Neuroscience
Hometown: Milford, Connecticut

As an intern at the Traumatic Brain Injury Research Lab at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Jamie Kaminski ’15 learned from the world’s top neuropsychologists and other brain injury specialists.

“The research team focuses on one patient every week, performing neuropsychological assessments [and] determining appropriate treatment plans,” said Jamie, whose internship also included work on grant approvals and analysis for the lab’s research projects.

Jamie said her internship directly influenced her decision to pursue a career as a neuropsychologist. She is currently applying to various doctoral graduate programs. “My time at Spaulding has shown me all that brain injury research has to offer. I was able to explore the field of neuropsychology in its entirety.”

Working in Boston “opened up so many doors in the healthcare field. I was able to meet and network with many influential neuropsychologists and researchers,” said Jamie. “Also, the hospital’s therapeutic and research-based community allowed for my immersion in many different aspects of rehabilitation.”


Boston

Jessie Lebowitz ’15

Jessie Lebowitz ’15
Internship: Institute of Contemporary Art
Majors: Art history and studio art
Hometown: Haworth, New Jersey

Working at a major art museum in a big city was a dream internship for art major Jessie Lebowitz, who interned at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

She worked directly with two curatorial assistants to prepare two exhibits, including “Arlene Shechet: All at Once,” a major exhibit that includes more than 150 of the artist’s unique, visceral sculptures. 

“Working at an esteemed museum in a big city [gave me a] great look at all of the steps that go toward curating an exhibition,” said Jessie, whose duties at the ICA included updating exhibition checklists, researching prospective artists to add into the permanent collection, and contacting galleries and museums that loan artwork to the museum.

“One of my favorite experiences at the ICA was attending a tour of the new installation of the permanent collection by the curator,” said Jessie. “I was able to hear her curatorial decisions and process.”

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