Senior Business major Amy Walters completed a management internship last semester with the Lucy Desi National Center for Comedy in Jamestown.
By: Kara Murray, ’17
Fredonia’s Career Development Office, or “CDO,” is a powerful resource for job and internship listings, interview preparation, and graduate school planning. Located in Gregory Hall, it helps alumni and students reach their goals by making the right steps toward their future.
The CDO not only provides an abundant database of positions, but its professional team provides assistance in interview preparation with mock interviews, and résumé and cover letter writing tips. Its mentoring program, the Fredonia Career Connection, provides a network of professionals to help current students and graduates explore a variety of options — career decisions, internships, employment opportunities, graduate school and relocation advice. Mentors include Fredonia alumni and friends of the university who are willing to share their expertise.
“Students won’t stand out without an internship,” advised CDO Director Tracy Collingwood. “Through the internship program and partnerships with alumni/employers in innovative programming and events, students benefit from applied learning opportunities in professional career pathways and in traditionally strong liberal arts programs.”
And the CDO has that covered. When it assumed responsibility for the internship program in 2006, there were only 213 positions. Today there are more than 1,000. Fredonia is rich in applied learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. The CDO connects students and alumni through intentional and meaningful opportunities involving educational objectives, student learning outcomes and reflection. Students completed 71,080 hours in credit-bearing experiences in 2014-15. This translates into 586 internships with students working with employers, gaining real-world experience and professional connections.
Amy Walters, a senior Business major, held a management internship this past fall with the Lucy Desi National Center for Comedy in Jamestown — Lucy’s hometown.
She had always been impressed by the organization’s events and the economic growth it had sparked. However, Ms. Walters didn’t connect with the company until the CDO’s Job and Internship Expo last March, allowing her to make a great first impression, face-to-face.
She was given a variety of responsibilities including assisting with advertising/group sales, recording data and working on financial statements. Her largest task was building an online shopping kiosk.
“My favorite memory is when we opened the archives [sent to us] from Universal Studios [Theme Park in Orlando, Fla.],” recalls Walters. “It was wild. We opened these huge crates on the side of the road, and they were full of life-sized mannequins, fully costumed, with props which we had to carry out.”
Alexis Ziccardi, a senior Audio/Radio Production major, spent last summer in her dream internship with Entercom Communications in Buffalo, N.Y.
As a Radio Programming Intern, Ms. Ziccardi assisted during air shifts by taking calls and posting on social media. She attended meetings with the programming department and decided what music to play. She also helped in promotions by working concerts. Her favorite part was meeting artists on surprise visits to the studio, such as Matt and Kim and various local artists.
Ziccardi’s biggest role model was Jud Huessler, a 2012 Fredonia graduate and the afternoon, drive-time radio personality on Entercom’s WKSE, a.k.a. KISS 98.5 FM.
“Jud was amazing to work for,” she explained. “He gave me a ton of advice about how to finish my time at Fredonia, and would always ask about my job at the campus station. He also offered to help wherever he could, and taught me how important it is to take every opportunity you can and put yourself out there.”
Ziccardi has stayed in touch with Jud since her internship and continues to reach out for advice. He recommended her for a production job with Entercom’s WBEN-AM, and a few months later she was hired as a part-time technical producer at the news/talk station.
What many are unaware of, however, is that the CDO’s benefits do not end when their time at Fredonia does. Fredonia is one of the few collegiate career development offices that provides free services to alumni — for life.
The CDO helps alumni at every stage of their careers, whether it’s finding a job, asking for a promotion, managing a career change or preparing to return to the work place after time off raising children.
Alumni can also use the CDO to give back to Fredonia students.
“Alumni are quite powerful,” Collingwood emphasized. “We really appreciate that relationship and that connection.”
Through the Employer/Alumni-in-Residence program, alumni are welcomed back to campus to find and interview job candidates, and offer informational interviews and professional mentoring. This way alumni can give back to their alma mater, benefit today’s students, and gain valuable employees.
To connect with the CDO, visit: www.fredonia.edu/cdo.