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Published:

August 28, 2013
 
Tagged: Center for Career and Professional Development, Career Compass

Employers Tell All: Community Fellows are More Than Interns

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Having partnered with Adelphi since the inception of the Community Fellows Program (CFP) in 2010, these three dedicated non-profit organizations have hosted several interns at their site, providing extraordinary experiential learning opportunities for Adelphi students. We asked them to discuss how their organization and their community has benefited from this partnership with Adelphi, and they had very positive things to say about our interns. 


Long Island Children’s Museum

Julia Pirozzi, Volunteer Manager
Audrey O’Malley, Staff Manager
Aimee Terzulli, Director of Education
Maureen Mangan, Director of Communications and Marketing
James Packard, Theatre Manager
Irene Jimenez, Early Childhood Manager
Erik Schurink, Director of Exhibits
Amy Bass Wilson, Art Director/Graphics Media Manager

One of the biggest challenges facing career development professionals is providing students with internships that will provide meaningful work experience, allowing them to strengthen their skills and recognize their value. Nonprofit organizations are an excellent match for this goal as we frequently face the uneven equation of human resource scarcity, yet we have an abundance of meaningful work. Adelphi University recognized this “perfect match” when developing its Community Fellows Program.

Creating internship opportunities that are truly a “win-win” is important to LICM. As an educational institution, LICM has created internships to ensure that students walk away armed with relevant skills that will set them apart in the workplace.

Over the last three years, positions have been established in our Exhibits, Theater, Education, Marketing, and Graphics departments, as well as our bilingual kindergarten readiness program. Since 2011, fourteen Adelphi students have worked with Museum staff on such varied projects as preparing children for the expectations of kindergarten, the development of family theater programming, leading guided tours, research, and graphics development for new exhibits.

Before beginning, Community Fellows are introduced to the Museum, its culture and the role of play as a vital educational tool. This summer’s Fellows who worked on a grant-funded puppetry festival took part in a performer-led workshop. During the day-long workshop, they were introduced to genres of puppets, cultural nuances and storytelling techniques, and participated in program development activities.

For many interns, this is their first work experience. The review, selection and orientation process that Adelphi has built into the Fellowship program prior to placement is an important first step to establish workplace expectations. Fellows come to the Museum ready to go!

LICM builds on that workplace training by creating opportunities to help interns develop valuable social skills such as teamwork and cooperation. These are attributes central to the Museum’s culture and learning philosophy, and highly prized by employees in all industries.

The Museum’s approachable environment and unique career experiences are the reasons most often cited by Fellows for seeking out positions at LICM.

Current Fellow Nicole Chiaramonte agrees. “I’ve always been interested in the museum field and knew that I would be given a lot of experience that would help me become a teacher.” Her experience has included working on guided field trips, managing volunteers, coordinating resources and leading a daily puppet-engineering workshop—experiences that have already produced important professional results. “I’m so much more comfortable speaking before groups and confident in talking to parents about how they can help their children,” Nicole says. “I’m getting great ideas that I will use in my future classroom.”

Score that a Win-Win!
—Julia Pirozzi


Fair Media Council

Jaci Clement, Executive Director
Lisa Gioia, Communications Coordinator

Adelphi has been an extraordinary resource for the Fair Media Council. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a media society, FMC is constantly changing and evolving, and having a fresh influx of talent every year actually helps keep us innovative and challenges us to recreate ourselves. Our interns from the Adelphi Community Fellows Program (CFP) not only work here, but also serve as a litmus test for us to study their media habits.

I don’t consider our CFP students as interns; I treat them like full-fledged employees and give them their own projects and individualized goals for achievement. If you wanted to call this a tough-love household, you’d be correct. Taking the time to teach them communication and media techniques are skills that will benefit them no matter what profession they ultimately pursue. Just as important is for them to gain an understanding of how everything they do impacts the organization and their fellow coworkers. I purposely give them projects that force them to think, problem solve and troubleshoot—because those are the greatest skills found in the best workers in the global workforce. If I can get them to develop these habits, they can do anything they want with their lives.

My CFPs have coordinated events featuring some of the biggest names in the media industry, have dealt directly with my board of directors—all of whom are outstanding community leaders—and influenced our branding and marketing efforts by designing logos, brochures and talking to our audience via a variety of social media channels.

They’ve generated sponsorships and ticket sales, researched information to compile our annual guide to metro-area media and learned how to publicize and promote programs such as FMC’s Media Savvy Teacher Award program.

The best advice I can give any student is to simply hand down what my father told me: In order to be successful in any career, you need to understand business. To do that, start reading business publications and the business section of newspapers. You’ll not only gain insight into how business works and who the major players are, but you’ll gain an understanding of how the world really works. When my dad told me this, he also asked me to do him a favor. He asked to me to start reading the Wall Street Journal everyday. At the time, I was in the fourth grade. Reading that newspaper and others, every day, was and still is the greatest educational experience of my life.

—Jaci Clement


Center for Science Teaching and Learning

Ray Ann Havasy, President/Director

The Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) has enjoyed a great relationship with Adelphi University concerning the Community Fellows Program (CFP). The students that we are assigned are extremely enthusiastic and well prepared. In fact, we have hired two of our past Adelphi interns and they are now working on a global science competition!

For CSTL, the CFP program allows us to expand our staff as we get ready for the next school year, so it is very timely. The interns do not work on mundane projects; they are involved with exciting international programs. In fact, people involved with this program have been to Singapore, California, and many other interesting places. They meet professionals in global STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) corporations and help to develop signature programs. Additionally, Adelphi students have worked with Long Island-based corporations and organizations to plan STEM programs for students. The students from Adelphi have great experiences here, and we certainly appreciate their help and enthusiasm. We look forward to hosting more students in the future!

—RayAnn Havasy

This piece appeared in the Career Compass Fall 2013 issue.

 
Tagged: Center for Career and Professional Development, Career Compass