January 19, 2017
On Saturday, January 7th, the Community Foundation of New Jersey held a “Summer Opportunities” workshop for recipients of its various scholarships. Held at the PSEG Conference Center in Newark, the conference provided students with information on summer abroad programs, creating LinkedIn profiles, and an opportunity to hear from a student panel on internships.
Judge Kenneth MacKenzie, a member of the Community Foundation’s Board and Chair of its Scholarship Committee, welcomed the students and emphasized the Community Foundation’s commitment to each of their success.
Beth Ricca, Director of the Career Development Center at Ramapo College, presented the breakout session exploring the “why, how, where, and when” of internships and summer abroad programs. Highlights of her presentation included the benefits and drawbacks of different internship types (pay, non-pay, or credit earning), knowing your goals and the time required to attain them, and effective networking.
Ricca emphasized the importance of being aware of scam internships, especially those posted online, including through LinkedIn. If an internship requires money upfront, it is important to be extremely careful and diligent about next steps. Colleges have seen a recent spike in the number of internship scams created to defraud students.
Karen Dilsizian, Senior Assistant Director in the Career Center at Stevens Institute of Technology, presented a workshop on LinkedIn, the business and employment-oriented social networking service. Dilsizian focused on corporate brand recognition and the ways in which LinkedIn is essentially a form of branding for the individual. She presented a LinkedIn profile that captured all of the aspects that would make a candidate attractive to potential employers while using a variety of the components available on the website.
To end the day, two scholarship student panelists discussed their experiences with internships. Cynthia Amuruto, Legal Studies major at Montclair State University, talked about her paid internship with the Essex County Prosecutors Office and the Public Defender’s Office in Newark. August Arndt, Business major at Fordham University, talked about his experience with Environment New York. The students answered questions about all aspects of their internships, and how these opportunities helped shape the paths they are pursuing in school.
Each presenter and panelist graciously volunteered to be a resource for the students and also encouraged the students to utilize their schools’ career centers.
We are grateful to PSEG, and particularly Marion O’Neill, Manager of Corporate Contributions, for hosting this important event, and we look forward to continued partnership on behalf of these inspiring students.