Keene State College held its first virtual co-curricular activity on Tuesday, March 24. The fifth week of the Career Speaker Series on internships was held virtually with the purpose to help students find the right internships for them during their college experience. The event page of the speaker series said, “Internships are an increasingly vital part of the college to employment pipeline.”

With about 25 participants, including students, hosts and the panelists, the Zoom conference call started at 6 p.m. and ran until 7:15 p.m. The call was hosted by Director of External Relations Steve Fortier and Events and Conferencing Business Manager Kennedy Misty. 

Some of the participants who attended the event virtually were junior biology and secondary education major Jordyn Burke, senior graphic design major Josh Goodwin, Associate Professor of Communication Chitra Akkoor and KSC Career Advisor Louise Ewing.

The panelists were Internship Coordinator and KSC alumna Kristin Brooks, the CEO of Electronic Imaging Materials and Operations Alex Henkel and Director at Hannah Grimes Center Samantha Buckler, who has hosted many KSC interns. Buckler is an example of a young alum who was able to shape her career path with a successful internship.

KSC President Melinda Treadwell attended the event for the first few minutes and she shared her experience of her two internships during her time as a student at KSC. Treadwell shared how she was offered a job before she finished at KSC. Treadwell also expressed her regrets toward the ongoing situation of the semester going online and her gratefulness to the people who attended the event virtually. 

According to Treadwell, internships help students be better professionals and help them engage better in classes.

Brooks encouraged students to schedule online appointments with an academic or career advisor. According to Brooks, any KSC student can have either an independent internship or a four-credit internship. She explained that the major of a student shouldn’t limit their internship experience.

Panelist Henkel said they take direct referrals from students very seriously. He said among different things employers consider, the interest of the applicant in their field and their willingness to learn from others are crucial. He said one’s ability to work together in groups matters a lot when recruiting interns.

The Zoom call had the option of chatting, where students were encouraged to ask questions. KSC senior Peyton Kopp expressed her concern regarding COVID-19’s effect on the world. She asked the panel about the chances of getting an internship for the time and if it’s going to affect her possible plans for her career and graduate schools. 

Brooks answered Kopp’s question by saying that employers are hopeful and eager to host interns. She asked the students not to let this situation hold them back, and said going through an interview process is a great experience in itself. 

Brooks further encouraged students to use sites like Jobwise, which is available at KSC’s website. She asked students to talk to people around them to network and to use resources such as Academic and Career Advising.

The Career Speaker Series will be going virtual for the rest of the semester. The next speaker series Zoom call is “Careers in Journalism,” which is on March 31, starting at 6 p.m. The URL to join the event is https://keene.zoom.us/j/876114956.

 

Puja Thapa can be contacted at

pthapa@kscequinox.com