Local Connections: IC Students Spend the Summer Interning in Ithaca
As soon as IC students finish their last exams on the South Hill, most pack up and leave for their summer vacations, jobs, or internships back home with astonishing speed. But not everyone heads home for the three-month break. If some upperclassmen could pass along one piece of advice, it's this: spend at least one summer in Ithaca.
For these four IC students, summer in Ithaca offers the chance to to experience the warm weather, the gorges, and the town at its best — all while gaining real-world experience interning with Ithaca's local businesses.
Kirsten Samanich ’14 interns with Essays & Fictions, a small online magazine based in Ithaca, where she reads submissions, sends rejection letters to submitting authors, and logs each magazine piece's progress in the editing and publishing process.
As a writing major looking to break into the editing and publishing industry, Samanich says working for a small publication not only gives her insight into different styles of writing but also helps her become a better writer.
“It's been really interesting to have that exposure to the constant influx of the good, the bad, and the horribly amusing when it comes to aspiring writers,” she says. “If nothing else, I have learned just how subjective the writing world really is.”
Plus, Samanich says she’s had more time to learn about the area during her free time this summer.
“I know Ithaca in an entirely different way than I knew before,” she explains.
Health sciences major Shayna Goldfine '13 has been the president of the College's American Red Cross Club since she was a freshman. She teaches CPR courses and volunteers with the organization, so interning for the Red Cross in Ithaca over the summer was a natural move.
This summer, Goldfine works with disaster services updating temporary shelter agreements with local schools and churches and creating emergency shelter "to-go" kits.
"You have to be flexible with a lot of things, and just take things as they come," Goldfine says of her work.
She says the experience she's gained putting together shelter kits and agreements is exactly the kind of work she hopes to do on a larger scale in the future after earning a master's degree in public health and disaster management in graduate school.
Television-radio major Cassie Medcalf ’14 scored a paid internship with Cayuga Radio Group through the New York State Broadcasters Association this summer.
As an intern for a group of seven local radio stations, Medcalf does a little bit of everything — from compiling promotions calendars and shadowing the morning show personalities to writing copy for commercials that have aired on several stations.
Medcalf says she’s been able to apply her experience at Cayuga Radio Group with the work she does on campus for WICB as a summer staff radio personality and promotions director.
“They all work together so well,” Medcalf says. “Seeing that is really inspiring for what I’m doing at the College. It helps me realize how important cooperation and everything is in the professional world.”
John Shirley ’13 works for Sea Change Family Chiropractic — an internship at a small doctor’s office that’s out of the ordinary for a business administration major. Shirley manages the office’s social media, helps the office transition its paper records to the Electronic Health Record, and works with the doctor to organize an annual event for local businesses called Community Wellness Day.
Along the way, he’s picked up management skills and practiced using business software and Wordpress. But Shirley says his most valuable experience was when his supervisor asked him to represent Sea Change Chiropractic at Business Networking International, a conference where local businesses update the community on their latest projects.
“I’ve learned so much about the businesses in this area,” Shirley says. “I’ve been in Ithaca for three years and I knew all of these small businesses, and now I’m working with them.”
For Shirley, interning with a small business in Ithaca meant he could interact with his employers and the customers without "getting lost in a sea of interns" — and explore the city at the same time.
“College goes by fast enough,” Shirley says. “I wanted to develop more of a relationship with Ithaca.”
Photos by Krystal Cannon
Originally published in Fuse: Local Connections: IC Students Spend the Summer Interning in Ithaca.