October 04, 2011

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 82, Issue 2

NU students offer internship advice

In today's competitive job market, employers are seeking college graduates who have real-world experiences. What better way to distinguish oneself than by applying classroom knowledge in the workforce?

Two Niagara University seniors, Brett Baldeck and Trevor Smith, were able to do just that this past summer. Both students left home and traveled to other states to take on some challenging opportunities.

Baldeck, a communications major, had his internship with WEIU-TV as both a news reporter and anchor in Charleston, Ill. He said he felt prepared for the internship, but he also had a lot thrown at him as he had to learn the editing system, use new cameras, and effectively deliver the news live on television.

Overall, the biggest challenges that he faced were the stress and pressure to deliver timely news reports. Although the interns were all learning, the full-time employees of WEIU-TV did not go easy on them.

Baldeck said he had to interview people, write stories, and edit video all before the 5:30 p.m. newscast, and I cut it close sometimes.

Baldeck became friends with the news crew, and utilized his relatively close location to Chicago by going to a White Sox game and 12-hour canoe ride with the other interns.

Overall, he was able to gain real-world skills, as shown in comparing his beginning interview tapes to his final reports of the summer. Even colleagues from the station noticed tremendous improvement in his delivery and an increase in his confidence on television.

Baldeck experienced a taste of the working world, and in his case he got to live out his dream job for three months of summer, he said.

Senior marketing major Smith, originally from Rochester, ventured a little farther west for his internship with Epson America Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. The company specializes in computer printing and digital technology.

Smith worked 40-hour weeks from the beginning of June until the end of August. His department was in charge of mobile scanners, and he spent much of his time working on advertising for its website. Smith spent the majority of his time summarizing focus group reports and customer reviews.

He said he enjoyed his time in California. On his days off, Smith was able to do some traveling to Venice Beach and Six Flags Theme Park. He also was able to pursue his passion for surfing, and surfed at Huntington, Hermosa and Seal beaches.

Smith said, I loved the job for being a good source of networking and a strong resume builder.

There were parts of the internship that Smith did not enjoy, however, including doing tedious jobs (extensive filing, running errands). But, At the end of the internship, Epson America Inc. offered me a full-time job after graduation, he said.

Smith is considering taking the position, while waiting to see what other opportunities come his way.

Finding an appealing internship takes time and commitment. Baldeck agrees that knowing where to apply, and having an organized resume are key to maintaining an internship. Baldeck needed a resume tape, and his former internship in Buffalo provided him with one.

So, technically, I was able to get this internship in Illinois because Eyewitness News in Buffalo helped me out, he said. I was very grateful for that.

Smith encountered a different situation when he applied for his internship. I was able to get into Epson America Inc. because my father works for the company and was my key networking contact, he said. Despite that, I had to have a resume and go through phone interviews and in-person interviews, as well. It was a long process, but it was worth it.

For more information on resume formatting and finding internships to apply for, contact Stephanie Newman in NU's career services department at 716-286-8500.

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