Students gathered in the Maloney Great Room on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, to hear from a panel of students who have interned at various places during their time at Siena so far.
This event was hosted by the Office of Internship Programs and it was led by Alicia Pepe, director of internships at Siena College. The panel consisted of students Nora Collins, Zackary Terry, Paul MacFarlane, Ayanna Fossett and Agatha Permalino. All have or are currently interning at various business and companies in the Capital Region and beyond. Pepe prefaced the start of the panel by highlighting how important it is that undergraduate students get experience in the workforce by completing an internship. “Students who have done internships are positioned more effectively for the workforce,” she said.
The panel of students who spoke during the event have interned at vastly different places: Collins at Park Playhouse in Albany, Terry at the Latham branch of Northwestern Mutual; MacFarlane at Transfinder Corporation in Schenectady; Fossett at Tenable Network Security Company, which is based out of Maryland; and Permalino at Sterling Environmental Engineering in Latham. Collins had the opportunity to intern as a Production Stage Manager for the kid’s division of Park Playhouse this past summer and worked on their production of “James and the Giant Peach.” Terry started out as an intern for Northwestern Mutual in his junior year of high school and continued the internship into college. He has now worked his way up the ranks and is now a financial investor with the company. On his experience, Terry said, “We’re not getting coffee, getting mail or grabbing lunches. We’re actually doing work.” Terry went on to say that the experience has allowed him to get his broker’s license and start a career for himself before his college experience is even over. MacFarlane worked in coding and software support at Transfinder and said he used his internship to get experience in the computer science field. Fossett was a customer success manager intern at Tenable and was able to tailor her internship in order to accommodate what she was interested in. Permalino currently interns in the accounting department of Sterling Environmental Engineering. Pepe also said, “In the five panels we’ve done, this is the most interestingly diverse panel we’ve had.”
The Office of Internships at Siena is a vital asset to those looking for an internship in their undergraduate career. Internships that are done through Siena offer students 14 weeks to test the waters of their future career. Students typically complete 120 to 150 hours with a reflective paper due at the end of the internship. Internships can be done for credit but they don’t have to be. In the past year, the Office of Internships has posted 779 internships so there are plenty of opportunities to find an internship that you might be interested in. Pepe also made sure to note that while an internship can set you on the path of what career you might enter into, they are also a good way to determine what you are not interested in doing.
The ultimate message that the interns on the panel delivered is that internships make you more marketable and can be a great way to determine your future career. There was also an emphasis on networking and making connections with alumni and other contacts. Terry’s final piece of advice for students in the audience? It’s never to early to start looking for an internship.
For more information on finding an internship, visit the Office of Internships in Siena Hall, located in the CURCA office, or contact Alicia Pepe.