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Internships: the keys to successful futures

By Joshua Poirier
On March 10, 2016

Attention students: start compiling those resumes because the real world is right around the corner. Though some like to believe that college is just about cheap beer and parties, that isn’t the case.

Believe it or not, college is also a platform for an education that will lead to a successful job. Learning in a classroom, however, is not going to be enough to stand-out in the big, bad working world.

Good grades are a great start, but students should be able to demonstrate what they have learned rather than repeating a couple of lines from a textbook verbatim.

The solution: internships.

Internships are the answer to everything. They are the first footin-the-door, providing students an opportunity to show their work and expertise.

They can also give students a glimpse of what life might look like after receiving that wonderful piece of paper announcing the completion of their degree.

Professor Nigel Dobereiner, the internship coordinator for the communication department, helps students find the perfect fit for their internships.

The department accepts 30 interns each spring, ranging from local television stations, newspapers, and public relations agencies. Professor Dobereiner has worked as the internship coordinator for five years and has watched students excel in their field, exceed expectations, and jump into the job without any fear.

"If you could possibly be offered a job, why wouldn't you try your hardest? Don't be afraid, but don't be afraid to ask questions either," said Dobereiner on the importance of internships.

Students can use a mentor, the career center, or anyone else that can help them figure out their future rather than gliding through their four years of college. Before they know it, it is time to find that first job.

Peter Francis, an alum and communication graduate from the Class of 2013, speaks highly of the career center, which led him to his internship and his first job. In turn, this job was the springboard to his title as reporter for the newspaper “The Eagle Tribune.”

Francis believes an internship is there for students to succeed, fail, and learn as much as they can to bring those experiences with them.

Establishing good habits now is the key to having good habits in the future. With an internship, students expose themselves to a variety of experiences that lead to new habits they can take into the classroom and the working world.

As Francis says, "a degree doesn't get you off your parents couch."

One piece of paper does not set a student apart from the rest of their graduating class; rather, what they have done up until that point does. Considering internships, career fairs, alumni mentor nights, and over 800 internship opportunities in the Westfield State job database, the possibilities are endless.

Westfield sets its students up to step out into the world with internships under their belts and enough knowledge to tackle the tasks they will encounter.

Even by checking their campus email, students can see that Westfield offers more than they may think.

Katherine Bennett, a senior in the communications department, obtained her internship through a school email from the career center that was sent out to all communication majors.

She has been working with the career center by helping coordinate the University’s social media accounts in hopes her career field goes down the same path.

"Honestly, so many people take for granted everything the school offers," Bennett said.

The deadline for internship applications for academic credit is April 15, so it is a good idea to exercise those good habits now and apply sooner than later.

Students will not want to miss out on such an opportunity.

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