Fair offers foot in the door

The College of Professional Studies and the Career Center held an Academic Internship Fair in Taffner Field House on Sept. 27.

Representatives from dozens of companies came to the University to offer undergraduates a chance to gain experience in their desired fields. Students were able to meet face-to-face with the representatives, get a chance to hand in résumés, and get their foot in the door.

Lisa O’Connor from the Career Center said that the importance of having an internship is especially important in this job market. “Anyone who doesn’t have exposure is at an even more of a disadvantage than someone who does,” she said.

She also said students coming into the fair should keep an open mind when looking for possible internships. “You should be open to different industries,” she said. “Different skills are transferrable. Finance majors don’t need to work at a bank.”

Peter Sammarco, a representative from the NYC Sherriff’s office, said that one might not know what possible fields there are within a company. “It doesn’t just have to be criminal justice majors,” he said. “We handle a lot of money so we can work with accounting majors as well.”

Dr. Judith Cramer said she “could not emphasize enough how important” internships are. “I think this [the fair] is a great way to introduce yourself,” she said. When asked what students should expect in an internship she said that they will “not be coddled.”

“You will be treated like an employee,” she said. “You’ll also have to take an initiative and become an integral part of where you’re working.”
Fabiola Nunez, a junior, has had experience with internships in the past but is now looking for something that could possibly benefit her in the long run. “If I can find something where I can stay for a while and possibly be hired that’d be great,” she said.

Junior Simon Son did not put as much importance on landing an internship before graduation. “It’s not that important to me but if I could get one that’d be nice,” he said.

The majority of the students present were juniors and seniors looking to get their foot in the door as graduation approaches. However, Daniella Grezinger, a freshman, felt that it was important to be prepared. “Especially in these economic times it’s better to be prepared,” she said. Grezinger, a Spanish major, said that her main objective was to find somewhere she felt comfortable working.

Dr. Cramer said freshmen should consider classroom education before they seek out real world experience. “You have to have applied education as well as theoretical education,” she explained.