The Importance Of Being Interns

As part of the “Your English Degree @ Work” series, Beth King, internship coordinator of the Career Resource Center, and Thomas Olsen, chair of the English Department, have teamed up to bring students an information session about internships, featuring a panel of former and current SUNY New Paltz students.

The “Internship Information Panel and Roundtable” will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and will give students important information about the internship program, as well as real experiences from students who have successfully gone through the program.

“We are having this panel event for our students to come and listen to their peers talk about what they did on their internships, why it was a good experience for them and why do they think it will be important for other students to participate in an internship experience,” King said.

According to Moshe Siegel, a recent SUNY New Paltz graduate and panelist for the event, King and the Career Resource Center laid down the foundation for his career through an internship.

“The panel will certainly be worth attending. There is no such thing as an unpaid internship,” Siegel said.

Siegel graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing, and is currently interning with Random House Author Susannah Appelbaum.

King and Olsen will discuss the process of how to set up an internship, including information about the forms that need to be filled out and what steps should be taken, followed by the panelists speaking about their experiences, and ending with a Q&A session.

“People who come to the event can expect to know that they will be told the practical side, as well as the experiential side,” Olsen said.

For both King and Olsen, one of the most important aspects considered when putting together the internship panel was that it featured real students talking about their actual experiences.

“These are really high-achieving, really good students,” Olsen said. “I expect that they are going to give a wonderfully wide range of experiences, and really kind of give real advice from real students about their real experience.”

In addition to Siegel, panelists will include fifth-year English major Sunya Bhutta, who is currently with Time Out, New York, third-year English major Alexander Moser, who interned with Marvel Comics, Kristine Pilla, who interned with the Anton Media Group, as well as recent New Paltz graduate Robert Kilcrease who spent time with House magazine.

Kilcrease believes an internship can be a student’s foot in the door, something that can be useful in today’s marketplace.

“Employers may be willing to hire students on as interns so that they can prove themselves, but may not hire them as recent graduates,” Kilcrease said. “Graduates without internships are severely behind the curve; internships are essential.”