The Eagle-Tribune, KISS 108 and the Coca Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England are just a few of the companies where Northern Essex Community College students in the business and journalism/communication programs are successfully securing internships under a new pilot program.
Ashley Bragger, the new internship coordinator for the program, said the college recognized that while certain NECC academic programs had practicums, internships, and externships in place, others, such as business and journalism/communication, did not.
“These areas are receiving assistance with the management and standardization of the internship program,” Bragger said. “Northern Essex recognizes how important internship experiences are in helping our students advance with their academic and career goals. At the same time, we wanted the program to address some of the soft skills gaps of recent graduates that have been noted by employers and advisory board members.”
Some of the soft skills that are honed include professionalism in the work place — attendance, emailing and cell phone etiquette, dressing for success, improved verbal and written communication skills through journaling, attending a business etiquette luncheon, improving interview skills by participating in mock interviews, time management, and creating an updated and relevant resume.
The pilot program was created within the guidelines of the Massachusetts Community Colleges Experiential Education Handbook on Internships and Cooperative Education. A recruitment and implementation program was created in the fall and the first group of interns was placed this spring. Working closely on the project were business program coordinator Patricia Morrow, journalism/communication coordinator Amy Callahan, and the assistant vice president of planning and strategic initiatives Ellen Grondine.
Broadcast journalism major Chad Gorham, 36, of Newbury interned at the radio station KISS 108, where he was responsible for collecting news items each morning that he would pass along to radio personality Billy Costa. Christine Hillner, 19, of Dracut, a communication major, also interned at KISS 108. She was given the nickname “dancing intern” by radio personality Matt Siegel and was occasionally called “on air.”