Today we feature junior Communication Studies major and Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts events and publications intern Jessica Newell. Jessica also minors in Spanish and Women and Gender Studies, and holds an Honors Concentration. She is from Williamstown, NJ (Gloucester County) and lives on campus at 230 Victoria.
Through my internship I am gaining experience in the fields of publications and event planning. I am in charge of our newsletter called the Edelman CCCA Update, and I will be in charge of event planning such as the career fair we run with the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, our open doors day admissions acceptance event, and I will be helping out with commencement.
I plan to go into higher education. I am looking at a master’s in Higher Education Administration, so this internship will help me see what working in an office in higher education is like. I am able to see what it is like to work in a college environment, and I feel that I am very up to date in what is happening in my College and in the University.
I got the internship by reaching out directly to Gina DiBartolo, the coordinator of communication and outreach for the College. I had been really involved in the College in my first few years here. I had volunteered to participate in Open Doors Day by giving tours and talking to families, and I had always shown up to things. I am also involved as a student leader within the College. When I reached out and said “are there any internship opportunities available”, she said they would be glad to help me, and have me work with them.
I believe that my internship is very directly related to my course work. I picked this internship to pursue because I wanted to see what it was like to do communication. I had been learning about communication in my courses. Doing things such as event planning and media are a potential pathway to take with a Communication Studies degree, so it was taking what I learned in the classroom and applying it to a day to day work environment. A lot of the teamwork and critical thinking strategies I learned in my courses will come into play, as I have to meet with a lot of other departments on campus, especially during COVID.
I am doing this internship during COVID, so I have had to be very creative with my work. We may have to plan a lot of virtual events. I am only able to video chat with my coworkers and talk through email instead of being able to chat face to face. I have been working from my apartment instead of at the Dean’s office at 301 High Street. I have been able to learn how to work as a team and still collaborate with others while being physically distanced from them. It has also been very exciting to work with how the times are changing and focus is really shifting towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. I got to write one of our annual reports, which we shifted and were able to talk about DEI. I feel that I am doing very timely work.
My advice for anyone looking to pursue an internship is don’t be afraid to reach out directly yourself. Sometimes even your professors might know someone in the field, or be involved in a lab or research project. People who are enthusiastic and take initiative to reach out to others can sometimes surprise themselves and get an internship. Reach out, be brave, and advocate for yourself.
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Story and photos by:
Rachel Rumsby, sophomore communication studies and public relations double major