BY NICK IRONSIDE // APRIL 9, 2012 //
His spring 2011 internship at the Massachusetts State Police department “spoiled” Mike Griffin, who was the first intern to ever work in its media relations department. That means he got to do a lot, and work beside a lot of powerful people.
According to the senior communication and management major, his next internship had to be something similarly big. Cue U.S. Sen. John Kerry.
Griffin now interns in the senator’s Boston office, working with Kerry’s health care staffer, and is earning three academic credits. He’s also building relationships with high-achieving professionals, which could lead to a high-level job down the road.
Maureen Ashburn, director of Career Services at Curry, says there are pros and cons to interning at big-name organizations. Large companies offer “name recognition,” Ashburn says, and the people students come in contact with provide excellent networking opportunities. However, interning at smaller organizations can carry great value, too.
“The benefit is that you get to be a jack-of-all-trades,” says Ashburn, noting that more than 100 students at Curry are currently interning for academic credit. “You can wear multiple hats in that [smaller] internship, and there’s a lot of informal connections that can be made for you.
“I think it depends on the individual,” she adds.
But there’s something to be said about a brand name. So, like Griffin, Curry junior Kassandra Spadaro went big with her internship last fall.
The communication major interned in the Boston Celtics’ media relations department, working with reporters and other media professionals. Spadaro says she was able to stand courtside and watch the home opener while working with the media. Even though the NBA season was shortened because of labor negotiations and an ensuing lockout, Spadaro says she learned a ton and met some great people.
“We would do a lot of community service and go around to schools,” she says. “We couldn’t go with players during the lockout, but they’d come (to community service events) after the season began.”
Senior politics and history major Kirk Dillon interned in the corridors of power last fall, working in Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s operations and scheduling department.
“Getting to meet all the political figures who run Massachusetts, getting to meet and go with Gov. Patrick to certain events and help out was really an eye-opening experience,” says Dillon.
“History class just kind of clicked, and I learned the politics aspect of things,” he adds. “I was interested in politics as well as the political figures that run our society.”
If you’re looking to make professional connections, those aren’t bad people to know.