With a lot of students’ internships being canceled or shortened this past summer, and opportunities made more scarce by the coronavirus pandemic, IC’s Office of Career Services launched a micro-internship program to help students get the hands-on experiences they need. These short, project-based internships were hosted by alumni of Ithaca College who mentored students and provided valuable experience. Here are a few examples of students who took advantage of the micro-internship program.
Katelyn Levine ’22
Katelyn Levine ’22, a violin music education major, interned with Brooklyn-based violinist Zoe Aqua, MM ’17, and her students, who were taking an online Klezmer music class during July and August through the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Levine had been planning to work at IC’s Summer Music Academy, or a local camp in her hometown in Long Island, but the Summer Music Academy was canceled this year due to COVID, and she has an immunocompromised family member, which made it nearly impossible to work outside the home.
“All my summer plans of travel, work and teaching really got squashed by this situation,” Levine said. “I had been searching for some sort of online teaching position, and I luckily saw this one posted to Handshake and quickly applied. This internship gave me to opportunity to further my skills and keep making music with students despite the difficult situation I was dealing with, and I am so grateful for that!”
Levine worked as a teaching assistant for the online music class, meeting in breakout rooms with students who needed extra help learning the tunes and skills. She also had the chance to teach entire class sections.
“I learned so much about online teaching and what an online music class can look like. I was able to take away so many amazing ideas for my own teaching in the future.”Katelyn Levine ’22, a violin music education major
“Before this internship, I had never played or really listened to Klezmer music at all,” Levine said. “I am so glad that I was able to both explore this new genre personally, and that I got to learn more about teaching a genre of music that is not classical music. Additionally, I learned so much about online teaching and what an online music class can look like. I was able to take away so many amazing ideas for my own teaching in the future.”
But the biggest thing she got out of the internship, Levine says, was the chance to put on her “teacher voice” and lead the class.
“Any experience I get in this before I have to do my actual student teaching is so helpful,” she said. “Practice makes perfect for this kind of stuff.”
Julia Cohen ’21
Julia Cohen ’21, a speech-language pathology and audiology major, interned with Mariellen VanDyke Brown ’05 at Ithaca.Community, a website that helps individuals and families find resources and activities that meet their needs in the local community.
As part of her internship, she explored the issue of affordable childcare in Ithaca and the benefits of providing free and low-cost childcare to employees and community members. Cohen conducted research, writing, graphic design, and editing for the website. She also produced a number of marketing pieces including a blog post, PDF toolkit, social media images and a slideshow video.
“One of my greatest desires is to have a meaningful impact in the work that I do. Ithaca.Community opened me up to important conversations with local residents and an opportunity to give back and provide resources based on their feedback.”Julia Cohen ’21, a speech-language pathology and audiology major
“One of my greatest desires is to have a meaningful impact in the work that I do,” said Cohen, who wants to pursue public health or health psychology as a career. “Ithaca.Community opened me up to important conversations with local residents and an opportunity to give back and provide resources based on their feedback.”
She said the virtual aspect of the internship allowed her make her own schedule and manage her own time. “I think these are very valuable skills for college students to develop,” she said.
This is especially true for Cohen, who was simultaneously working on a research project to improve adolescent adherence to asthma preventer medication funded by the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.
After she completed her micro-internship, Cohen decided to continue working on new projects for Ithaca.Community during the fall semester. Her research will focus on the business and community benefits of providing senior discounts, vegan/vegetarian options and outdoor seating.
Thomas Edson ’21
Thomas Edson ’21, politics and communication management and design major, participated in two micro-internships this summer. The first was with Spottie, a startup company working on technology to improve dog-walking businesses, and Trivver, which specializes in augmented reality implementation for companies looking to try the technology.
Edson’s role as a market strategy intern for Spottie took a total of 30 hours spread out over three weeks to complete. For Trivver, Edson worked 5-10 hours per week, conducting market research to generate social media content for the company’s Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
“The biggest thing I gained was insight into fields I hadn’t necessarily looked at before, specifically in my work with Trivver,” he said. “I appreciate what Ithaca College was able to do in connecting alumni with students to find opportunities for us to develop professionally and, in some cases, earn money. I think this is a program that IC should look to continue beyond COVID.”
Savannah Dames ’22
Savannah Dames ’22, integrated marketing communications major, worked as a social media intern for Narrative Images, a wedding photography business in San Diego, California.
She was in charge of creating content for the business’s blog, writing about six posts per week.
“Some of them were about San Diego wedding venues, while others focused on information like, ‘10 Reasons to Book an Engagement Shoot,’” she said. “I also scheduled posts for their Instagram including captions and hashtags.”
Dames said the internship provided exposure to the wedding industry and was a great networking opportunity.
“I honed my writing skills and built a portfolio of writing pieces,” she said. “I was able to manage their social media which was great for my resume. This micro-internship wouldn’t have been possible without Career Services stepping up and making remote options possible.”