The Mountain Times

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Castleton communications students opt out of summer break, and into the work force

CASTLETON - While many students use the summer months to relax and unwind after a long school year, 12 Communication students will be hard at work learning tricks of the trade as they partake in various summer internships.

These students from the Communication Department acquired internships in the fields of public relations, marketing, graphic design and journalism stretching from the Castleton campus to Boston and all parts in between. "It's really gratifying when you send out an intern that you know will do well and you hear back that they are really helping," said internship supervisor Bob Gershon, who has heard nothing but kind words of this year's interns.

One of those students is Digital Media major Ryan Ackerman, who has been conducting e-commerce and marketing analytics for several semesters with The Vermont Country Store. Developing his skills in online marketing and phone sales, Ackerman has become a valuable asset to the team.

"He tells me they call him the 'Excel Ninja'," joked Gershon.

Working with The Vermont Country Store has allowed Ackerman to gain valuable industry standard tools, while immersing him in a potential business environment.

"Experience is no longer optional," he said, "Exposure to real-world situations is vital to obtaining a job after graduation."

Communication student JenniLee Mark is spending her summer surrounded by Major League Soccer players as she interns with the New England Revolution in Foxborough, Mass. An athlete and sports enthusiast herself, Mark found the publicity department of the professional sports team to be a perfect fit for the summer.

"It's important to see what someone in your field does on a daily basis and what a job for you may entail," she said.

Her normal day can range from clipping news articles to collecting player quotes while in the office, but Mark finds game days to be most eventful.

"On game days it's a very different scene," said Mark, adding that she helps set up equipment, organize player appearances and assist in media check-ins. "They are always long and busy, but exciting."

Mark believes her summer experience will better prepare her for entering the job market and has opened doors for her in the communication field.

"It makes me learn how to think for myself and take initiative," said Mark. "I am pushed to my limits and challenged every day."
Senior Martina Marchese is working as a reporter at The Poughkeepsie Journal in New York.

As an aspiring journalist, Marchese has been shadowing other reporters, conducting interviews and writing stories for the local newspaper since the beginning of June.

"There's only so much you can lean in a classroom," she said. "The real nitty-gritty stuff you have to experience firsthand."
Journalism Professor Dave Blow has enjoyed following the success of student interns through both the spring and summer semesters.

Having worked closely with, and taught many of the students, he takes great pride in seeing the work they achieve while on the job and looks forward to hearing feedback from supervisors.

"I don't think there is any greater reward," said Blow of reading his students published work and having them frequently share with him their recent accomplishments. "That's why we do this."

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