Students Shape Future Careers with Hands-on Internship Experiences
By Samantha Jette ‘20
October 03, 2023
Saint Anselm students returned to the classroom this fall with a host of hands-on educational experiences under their belt. Internships are imperative for students to learn about their fields and enhance their skills with real-world applications. Students across a variety of majors participated in internships and experiences this summer in fields spanning from politics to physics.
Forensic Chemistry major Sean Daly ’24 spent his summer as a crime lab intern in the Boston Police’s Forensic Division. Daly’s role consisted of researching new laboratory procedures in the criminalistics section, specifically in serology.
“My research has greatly benefitted my institutional knowledge about forensic science beyond what is taught in a classroom,” said Daly.
Aside from lab work, Daly watched a forensic examiner give expert witness testimony in court for a homicide case. It was through opportunities like these that Daly got to see his forensic coursework in action.
“These hands-on experiences all were my first true experience of what it would be like to have a full-time forensic job,” explained Daly.
Beyond practical experience, which builds up one’s resume, interns may also gain a sense of direction for their future careers.
“The CDC encourages all students to test drive a career with an internship,” said Associate Director of Employer Engagement at the Career Development Center (CDC) Lindsay Coats.
This summer, Peterson was a public information intern at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, where she focused on communicating environmental information with the public through press releases, website updates, newsletters, and social media posts.
“The internship definitely helped me to choose a career path that includes advocating for environmental protection and communicating with the public on such matters,” said Peterson. “Whether it’s through government agencies, non-profit organizations, or environmental lobbying, I know that I want to have a career focused on addressing environmental issues and injustices.”
Students have found that their experiences at Saint Anselm both in and out of the classroom have prepared them to be top candidates when applying for internships. Communications major Kathryn Williams ’24 served as the John DiStaso Political Fellow at WMUR-TV this summer, working on a variety of projects such as compiling a daily political newsletter and writing web stories.
One of her most exciting experiences was attending the Merrimack, N.H. July Fourth parade with WMUR, where she was introduced to several presidential candidates.
Williams, who also serves as the editor-in-chief of the Saint Anselm Crier, the student newspaper, as well as a New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) Student Ambassador, said that her prior experiences on the hilltop “provided me with a solid foundation that prepared me for the DiStaso fellowship.”
Physics major Michael Rochette ’24, also noted that his prior education and experiences gave him an upper hand when it came to securing his internship with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Washington, D.C.
Rochette, who was hired as an Office of STEM Engagement intern in the electro-optics branch, found that his advanced lab coursework and previous experiences with lasers made him stand out among other candidates during his application process.
“This definitely helped play a part in me getting the internship as I was told that out of the hundreds that applied, I was the only one that had this sort of experience,” added Rochette.
Nursing student Caitlyn McCabe ’24 drew parallels between her summer experience and fall class work. McCabe spent her summer as a student nurse at Camp Young Judaea in Amherst, N.H.
Now in her community nursing class, McCabe is learning about a nurse’s role as an advocate for patients, especially those in vulnerable populations. She connects this concept back to the population she worked with at camp.
“I find it’s important to identify those kids and give them a little extra love or support,” McCabe said.
Now that she has worked with a younger population, McCabe looks forward to applying this knowledge in her pediatric nursing course later this semester.
Pediatric nursing professor Carrie Scott emphasizes the importance of clinical experience for her students.
“Central to student learning is the opportunity to apply [their] skills within different cultures while demonstrating care and compassion for each individual,” she said.
An internship can be a step in the right direction for any student, whether their major is undecided, or they are well into their path of study. In terms of obtaining an internship, the Career Development Center is a valuable resource. They provide career advising appointments and resources such as Handshake and Focus2, where students can explore roles and connect with over 800,000 employers.
“Internships are as unique as the individual student and the CDC team can guide students through all those options to develop an individualized plan,” said Coats.