A record 1,162 St. John’s University students packed Taffner Field House for the annual Academic Internship Fair. Co-sponsored by St. John’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) and the Career Center, the event was created to introduce students to prospective employers from across the New York metropolitan area.
“I was delighted to see the excitement on the students’ faces when they met with representatives from so many prestigious companies,” said Kathleen Vouté MacDonald, Ed.D., Dean of the College of Professional Studies. “Our students displayed a fine level of professionalism and excitement with the possibility of securing an internship in their desired fields.”
This year, more than 100 employers attended the fair, including representatives from Clear Channel Communications, Winthrop-University Hospital, The New York Mets, the Office of Senator Charles E. Schumer and the Queens Economic Development Corporation. “The event had so many great companies in one place,” said Khanh Nguyen ’15C. “It gave me a great opportunity to explore so many different areas for my career development.”
Exhibitors at the event gave high marks to the students in attendance. “They are very professional and well-prepared,” said Terrence Buckley, Police Officer with the Suffolk County Police Department. “They ask pertinent questions, and they’ve all been incredibly polite, which is nice to see.”
BET Networks was so impressed with St. John’s undergraduates that they hired four writing interns for a new show on the spot. “Talk about instant gratification,” said April Merenda, Director of External Affairs for CPS and organizer of the Academic Internship Fair since 2007.
Approximately 50 students from the Staten Island campus came to the Queens campus for the fair, and, for the first time, freshmen and sophomores were invited to participate, too. “It’s important that all undergraduate students be given the opportunity to begin their academic internship search early on,” said Ms. Merenda. “The magnitude of student opportunities like this truly sets the University apart from other institutions.”
According to Vincent Accardi ’05CPS, Director of Corporate Sales and Ticket Operations for Stony Brook University Intercollegiate Athletics, the professionalism of St. John’s students is the primary reason he looks to his alma mater for interns. “I always try to bring St. John’s students out to Stony Brook, even though the two schools are not in close proximity to each other. They always give that extra effort, no matter what is asked of them.”