Marvin Rodriguez, Computer Science-May 15'
White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans Intern
"My journey in Washington, D.C., was incredible. I was exposed to Latino leaders and a network of opportunities. There was so much to absorb, comprehend and discover. I loved it.” » Read more
SUNY Oneonta sophomore Marvin Rodriguez was one of four College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) students selected nationwide to participate in an eight-week paid summer internship program with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
CAMP is a federally-funded scholarship program created in 1972 to meet the special needs of students from migrant and seasonal farm-working families in pursuing higher education. SUNY Oneonta’s CAMP program was established in 2001.
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans was established in September 1990 by President George H.W. Bush to provide advice and guidance to the secretary of education on education issues related to Hispanics and to address academic excellence and opportunities for the Hispanic community.
While in D.C., Rodriguez lived at George Washington University and worked full time performing duties such as greeting visitors, participating in staff meetings, collecting and entering data related to Latino education, assisting the chief of staff in preparing reports, helping to plan upcoming events and responding to constituent inquiries.
It was an unforgettable experience for the computer science major, who knew no English when he came to the United States from Guatemala at age 9. After a few months in California, his family moved to Greenport, N.Y., where his father works in a vineyard and his mother cleans houses.
Rodriguez first visited SUNY Oneonta for a CAMP summer leadership program after his sophomore year at Greenport High School. He liked it so much he returned the following summer as a junior counselor.
“I got motivated and became inspired, and when I came back home I saw my parents’ sacrifices and I said, `I need to do this. I need to go to college. I need to get an education.’”
Determined to become the first in his family to go to college, Rodriguez worked harder than ever—often putting in 15-hour days—to earn good grades and save money. He was accepted everywhere he applied, but chose Oneonta because of the sense of family and support offered through CAMP and the Educational Opportunity Program.
In his first semester at SUNY Oneonta, Rodriguez earned a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and was one of 180 students to receive the Susan Sutton Smith Student Award for Academic Excellence.He also got involved ina variety of student activities, including intramural soccer, the Diversity Peer Education Program, the AALANA Mentoring Program and theEOP Student Opportunities and Leadership Committee, for which he served as vice president.
He said he hopes to inspire others—including his younger sister and students at his high school—to pursue higher education and go after opportunities like the CAMP internship.
He attributes his tenacity to his parents, who overcame many obstacles to secure a better life for their family. “Although I had many sacrifices when I was growing up,” he said, “the journey that I have lived has gotten me to where I am today.”
Akeem Hyland, Fashion/Communication Studies-May 13' Colone Associates, Marketing Intern
Newman & Hall Marketing Intern
“I think that having these internships and showing that I can be flexible, that I know how to manage my time and I’m a hard worker will give me a leg up in the job market.”
Akeem Hyland gained real-world experience in both of his career interests—fashion and marketing—during two part-time summer internships in Oneonta this past summer.
A dual major in Fashion and Textiles and Communication Studies, Hyland balanced internships at two very different Oneonta companies: Colone Associates, a sports management consulting group; and Newman & Hall, an online retailer selling vintage and pre-owned clothing.
The senior from Brooklyn, N.Y., said he chose to spend his summer working full time for no pay not just to build his resume, but to apply his skills and test his knowledge. “I wanted to see what I could do outside of a classroom. When you’re actually out there in the real world, you can see what you’ve learned—and what you still need to learn.”
During his nine weeks at Colone Associates, Hyland helped develop strategies to build corporate sponsorship for the Growing Up Soccer initiative and worked with the Greater Oneonta Economic Development Council on efforts to bring jobs to Oneonta.
At Newman & Hall, he spent six weeks getting an inside look at the world of online clothing marketing. “This was a very valuable experience for me because I want to start my own online retail website with a modern urban brand of men’s clothing that I will design,” he said.
Both internships helped Hyland hone his marketing skills and gave him a sense of what jobs in his field will be like. “I learned how to effectively plan something and execute it. I got to see it inside and out: the finished product, and the bumps you’re going to have to go through to get there.”
He encouraged students who are considering pursuing an internship to go for it. “Being in a classroom, you’re put in a scenario: `Imagine this; imagine that.’ At an internship, you’re going through it day by day. You’re actually there asking people to hear you out, and pitching your ideas. You get a real feel for it.”
Kara Olney, Mass Communications/Computer Art- May 13'
LIVE! with Kelly, Production
New York, NY
“It’s definitely a cool experience seeing your work broadcast on live television. When you see something that you worked hard on up on the air, and you know that millions of people are seeing it and enjoying it— there’s nothing else like it.” » Read more
It only took one day as an intern at WABC’s “Live! With Kelly” for Kara Olney to see her work on live TV.
One of the interns’ jobs was to scour the web for quirky news items that Kelly Ripa could highlight during the show’s opening “host chat” segment. On the first day of her internship this past summer, Olney found a story about an elderly couple who had worn matching outfits every day for 50 years and submitted it to the producer for consideration
“Twenty minutes later, Kelly was talking about it on the air. I thought, `Wow, I just got here and she’s reading something that I printed out.’ It was kind of surreal.”
The internship was the perfect gig for the senior Mass Communications/Computer Art major, who has been heavily involved in SUNY Oneonta’s student-run TV station, WIRE TV, since her freshman year, including serving as executive producer for “Late Night Oneonta.”
Olney shared housing with a friend who was also in New York for a summer internship and worked eight to nine hours each day, rotating between different areas of the show. On Mondays, she helped with audience coordination; Tuesdays she was in the control room observing the director, and on Wednesdays, she assisted in the studio, interacting with producers, floor managers and camera operators. Thursday and Fridays were devoted to office work, including fielding phone calls from viewers and processing ticket requests.
Being in the studio, in the middle of the action during the live show, was her favorite part. “It’s a hectic environment, but when everything comes together it’s rewarding.”
Landing the internship took initiative and patience. After hearing from a friend that WABC was holding an internship night in New York City to recruit college students for a variety of summer positions, Olney worked with WIRE-TV adviser Jared Stanley to refine her resume. On the day of the event, she took a bus down to the city and waited in line for hours with about 500 other students for a chance to meet one-on-one with a producer. After her 15-minute interview, she stayed overnight with her sister in Brooklyn, then took a 7 a.m. bus back to Oneonta. A week later, WABC called to offer her the internship.
Though being away from her friends and family all summer and working long days for no pay was challenging, Olney said the experience was totally worth it.
“Getting to shadow producers and seeing how things work in the industry was very helpful,” she said. In addition to incorporating new insights into her work at WIRE-TV, where she’ll serve as station manager this year, she’s confident the experience she gained working at an Emmy award-winning show will help her land her first job in the industry.
Alex Lubbers, Criminal Justice-December 12'
Bassett Medical Center, Security Intern
“I learned a lot and I met a lot of people that I could network with. If I ever need a reference, I can call them, and Bassett said that if they have a job opening, they’ll call me.”
In addition to holding down two part-time jobs —helping with security at the Cooperstown Dreams Park and as a soccer official for summer league games—he spent his weekends as an unpaid intern in the Security Department at Bassett Medical Center.
“I learned a lot and I met a lot of people that I could network with,” said Lubbers, a senior from Davenport, N.Y., majoring in Criminal Justice. “I got to observe and help out the security guys with their routine patrols and paperwork. I learned how to use the cameras—they have a huge, state-of-the-art camera system there.”
Bassett Security works closely with the Cooperstown Village Police Department and the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department, so Lubbers made contacts there as well. Though he eventually plans to become a state trooper, he hopes to find a job in the criminal justice or sociology field after he graduates in December, and having fresh experience and a variety of contacts in the field will be a big help.
“The most important thing I gained from my internship is definitely the people that I’ve met,” he said. “Over the summer I became really good friends with some of the guys there. A lot of them are former police officers, and it’s great to have their support and advice to guide me in the field.”
TV Africa Internship Winter Break 2012
Prissly Mena, Mass Communications-May 13'
Oneonta Outlaw Interns Summer 2012
Hannah Hogan, History, May 12'
David Skumurski, Business Economics-May 12'
Biological Field Station Interns Summer 2012
Danielle Willsey, Biology-December 12'