Internships provide out-of-classroom experiences for students
By Maria Pericozzi
For Kassadee Paulo, the decision on where to complete her internship requirements was an easy one.
She spent the spring semester as an editorial intern for the SUNY Oswego alumni magazine.
“One of my friends at The Oswegonian had interned there before and recommended it to me,” Paulo said. “I applied, not really thinking I was going to get it, but I did.”
The on-campus location is convenient for students, which is part of why many students try to intern there, Paulo said.
As an editorial intern, Paulo covered events that featured alumni speaking to students; researched into archives and copyedited the alumni magazine, which is presented three times a year.
Paulo also contributes articles for the monthly Lake E-ffect, a publication by the Oswego Alumni Association.
“I’ve learned there is a different form of writing with the alumni office,” Paulo said. “It is different writing for a newspaper and writing for a magazine that focuses on alumni relations.”
She explained that newspaper writing focuses on answering the five “W” questions and the “H” question — the who, what, when, where, why and how questions. Newspaper articles are usually written in what is called the inverted pyramid style, where the most important information is placed at the top of the story and the less important information is saved for later in the story. On the other hand, magazine writing is traditionally much more narrative in style.
Paulo learned about public relations that is involved in the writing as well.
Interning is beneficial, Paulo said, because she wants to try to get as much experience with writing for different news media so she can find out what she wants to do after she graduates.
“Having the experience at the magazine is a good way to delve into a different part of journalism,” Paulo said.
Paulo is one of many students who decide to pursue an internship while they are in college, whether to fulfill academic requirements or to gain experience.
Michelle Bandla, interim director of the Center for Experiential Learning at SUNY Oswego, said there are many opportunities for students, and they can go out and find internships wherever they are located.
Juniors and seniors with a grade-point average of 2.5 of higher are eligible to intern on the campus.
During the fall of 2017, there were 257 students doing an academic internship for credit. Of those, 175 were placed in Oswego for their internship.
Over the winter, there were seven interns, and during the spring semester, there were 250 students, with 175 Oswego placements.
On campus, two of the largest places that accept interns are the school’s communications office and The Point, a collaborative learning center comprised of student involvement, the Student Association and the registered student organizations at SUNY Oswego.
“We encourage students to do things off campus to get experience out in the work world,” Bandla said.
Christina Buckingham is a SUNY Oswego alumna with a degree in biochemistry, but works in higher education as the outreach coordinator for the Center for Experiential Learning.
“I worked for Career Services as a program assistant for two and a half years when I was a student,” Buckingham said. “I didn’t realize it was going to make me want to end up working in higher education one day.”
Buckingham said students may have an interest in their major but have no idea where their values are going to come into play.
“Until you do an internship and have that onsite experience, you’re not going to know that for yourself,” Buckingham said.
Bandla said it is never too early to start working toward internships.
“Everything that you’re doing as a freshman, sophomore, including volunteering and getting experiences, are all things working toward an internship,” Bandla said. “Don’t want until your junior year to say you should start looking for an internship.”