When he first learned of the summer Outreach Coordinator position with the Rhode Island Public Defenders Office, Politics and Law student Andrew McCotter ’21 knew it would be perfect for him. It would give him an opportunity to build experience and learn firsthand about the career he was preparing for.
For McCotter, a fellowship made that dream internship possible. Through Bryant’s 2019 Summer Internship Fellowship program, he and students like him from across a range of disciplines were empowered to take on key internships helping them find their path and realize their career goals.
“I thought that I had wanted to go into public law before my fellowship, but my summer in the Public Defenders Office confirmed it. Now I can’t see myself doing anything other than criminal justice reform,” says McCotter. “My internship helped me clarify my path and my goals – and make so many connections that I know are going to be helpful in the future.”
Honoring their gifts
Offered through Bryant’s Amica Center for Career Education, the Summer Internship Fellowships allow students to pursue high-level internships that provide only a small stipend or are unpaid. This allows them to explore career options, learn more about a prospective field, and develop skills they'll need for success.
“Our students at Bryant are devoted to honoring their gifts and talents. One way of doing that is in finding careers and positions that provide the best fit,” notes Amy Ames, a Career Coach with the Career Education Center and Coordinator of the Summer Internship Fellowship program.
“It means a lot when you can go to work doing something you’d want to do.”
“When I was exposed to the field of health communication my freshman year at Bryant University, I knew I wanted to pursue that as my field of study because growing up I wanted to work in a hospital to help those in need,” explains fellowship recipient Meghan Angers ’20. “However, I only knew what health care communication was based on the textbooks I read in classes. I didn’t know what it meant to actually do the job in a professional work setting.”
Through her fellowship, Angers was able to augment her academic knowledge with experience as a Community and Marketing Intern at Lowell General Hospital. Now, as she prepares for life after college, Angers is ready to hit the ground running. “As I enter my senior year, I feel grateful for this experience at Lowell General Hospital because I feel confident in pursuing a career in communication and marketing in a healthcare setting.”
The fellowships also allow students to expand their skills in a professional setting. As a Marketing and Sales Intern with the New Tradition media company, Marketing major Nicholas Blonder ’20 was surprised how easily he became a part of the office, and that his coworkers seemed impressed with his skills. “My internship was really eye-opening, and showed me a whole different area of marketing. I learned so much about the industry and how it operates – and how much work goes into it.”
“By the end of their fellowships, the students’ confidence has grown exponentially.”
He’s grateful for the experience the fellowship made possible. “It really helped me out,” he says. “It means a lot when you can go to work doing something you’d want to do.”
Communication major Mikayla Nogueira ’20 spent her summer as a Digital Media Intern at Townsquare Media radio station FUN 107, where she wrote news articles, reported on area events, created social media posts, and built connections with local venues. “My internship gave me the opportunity to apply everything I’ve learned through my major,” she says. “Because it was so broad, it helped me gain experience in so many different areas, from public speaking to professional writing to production. Going forward, I can point to real things I’ve done in interviews.”
“This fellowship gives the students the opportunity to better understand who they want to be and practice being that person in the world.”
“By the end of their fellowships, the students’ confidence has grown exponentially,” notes Ames. “They’ve been given the opportunity to do real work in their field of interest.”
Understanding who you want to be
International Business student Kelly Jacobsen ’20 used her fellowship to help others achieve their ambitions while gaining much-needed experience. She spent her summer as an Entrepreneurship Growth and Selection Intern at Endeavor Global, a non-profit organization that supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets to fuel economic growth. “The internship was a perfect way of combining my interest in international business and my desire to help others,” notes Jacobson.
Ames sees that’s one of the main goals of the fellowship. It “gives the students the opportunity to better understand who they want to be and practice being that person in the world,” she says.
As for McCotter, his internship taught him more than job skills and about working in a professional office. He learned that hard work can change people’s lives, which inspired him to commit to being part of that change. “A small group of motivated people, like the ones at the Rhode Island Public Defenders office, can really make a difference in the lives of an entire population,” he says. “Every day I saw someone in the office go above and beyond their position’s official duties. The people in my office truly were an inspiration.”