internships offer rich experience
John Reed, Media Relations
If you think all college students spend summer break going home
and catching up with friends, think again.
For increasing numbers of college students nationwide and at UNH,
summer has become a time to gain valuable career experience and
a competitive edge in the job market. Most are now graduating with
at least two internships under their belts.
Internships not only help them learn what it’s like working
in their prospective field of employment, it also gives them a connection
with a company that can lead to a full-time position after graduation.
Journalism major Michele Filgate, ’06, of Barrington, is spending
this summer working for Ed Bradley and the production staff at CBS
News’s 60 Minutes as a production intern. “I’m
doing actual work, not just getting coffee. It’s a lot different
than working at a paper because it pushes me in a whole other direction,”
said Filgate, who served as assigning editor at The New Hampshire
(TNH) last year.
Filgate works with Bradley’s producers, doing everything from
shadowing them to coming up with interview questions and conducting
research for upcoming stories. “It’s really fulfilling
to see how it all comes together. There’s always something
new to learn working on a story. You’re transforming a news
item into pictures and images, or simple words into something captivating
and informational at the same time,” Filgate said.
Working at 60 Minutes has exposed Filgate to the challenges of working
at a major news organization. “There’s more intense
pressure to get the facts right and make the story captivating at
the same time. It’s a challenge, but one that I really enjoy.
It inspires me,” she said.
French and international affairs major Eliza Chon, ’05, of
Salem, is spending this summer in Washington, D.C., working for
global nongovernmental organization (NGO), Youth Services America
(YSA) researching youth-oriented NGOs to whom her organization provides
Chon also is responsible for investigating the legitimacy of numerous
NGOs that receive funding from YSA.
Her research has exposed her to diverse youth organizations, such
as one in the Middle East that is working to end war in that region.
“Once you get immersed in the reading you can get blown away
by what an organization does. When you see what younger people,
even elementary school kids, are doing, it really makes you smile,”
Chon’s work this summer has helped her to hone her research
skills and focus her career goals. “I hope to bring a lot
back after this internship. I hope to apply my research skills to
my academic studies, especially with my honors senior thesis. It’s
definitely given me a bigger interest to get more involved within
the service community in Durham, and most importantly a sense of
direction of what my specific career interests are,” Chon
Electrical and computer engineering major Jason Dahlstrom, ’06,
of Durham, is working for the distribution engineering group for
the Northern Seacoast Division of PSNH. He’s responsible for
figuring out what needs to happen from an electrical engineering
perspective for any upgrades or repairs made to the northern seacoast
area’s electrical system.
Working at PSNH has given him insight into the planning necessary
to implement large-scale engineering projects. “When you design
something, so many other people are involved in implementing it.
I’m amazed at the diversity of skills that are necessary to
make things happen,” Dahlstrom said.
“I’m getting to experience the different aspects of
a company. The other day I went out with the trucks when they did
a line conversion. It was nice to be out in the field. I even got
to wear a hard hat — that’s pretty cool for pencil pushers
like me,” Dahlstrom said.
As a transfer student from Boston University, and the University
of Colorado at Boulder, Dahlstrom credits UNH and the electrical
engineering program with helping him find this internship. “Without
the help of Kathy in the electrical engineering office I would have
never known about this. The electrical engineering program is small
enough so that professors know your name, and your interests. That’s
what’s great about UNH, it’s big enough to provide many
different resources, but small enough so that you can find out about
all of the opportunities,” Dahlstrom said.
Corinne Poirier, ’04, of Seekonk, Mass., spent last summer
working in Manhattan for the talent manager at MTV. Poirer was responsible
for assisting in scheduling, handling press kits, greeting and escorting
guest stars in the MTV studios. Poirier also assisted the MTV news
department dubbing tapes for stories, and researching information
“I learned that the entertainment business is very spontaneous,
and it’s very hard to plan for. If anything, you have to expect
the unexpected, and have confidence to handle the unexpected,”
Poirier said. For information on UNH internship programs and opportunities
contact Internship coordinator Dierdre Foyle-Lyder, at 2-0271.