By Seren Jones
But who can blame them? The thought of having to buy their own places and cars, provide for themselves and their (eventual) significant other, paying taxes, bills, rent and whatever else that comes through the mailbox; these are daunting thoughts. So although the panic may have already hit home for some, the purpose of this article is to show that internships, while one sign that students are growing up, can be pretty cool.
As a matter of fact, many of LIU Post’s students have been fortunate enough to receive internships that are both relative to
their major, and engaging. Opportunities ranging from working for prestigious law firms, to filming with national networks such as NBC, have contributed to the motivation of college students, while encouraging them to pursue a career in the field in which they were interning. Evidently, cool internships are accessible to all, but who has had the coolest experience?
Kieran Mercer, former soccer player and international alumni, is one of the few Post students who succeeded to intern at the United Nations Organization in New York. Having received an undergraduate degree in Law at the University of Exeter in England, and then gaining a graduate degree at Post in Political Science, Mercer merged his interests in law and politics, and subsequently experienced advisory work and duties at one of the world’s largest international organizations.
“The most surprising aspect of interning at a UN Mission is the almost unlimited access you’re given to the UN on your first day,” Mercer said. “The Delegate Pass gives you access to any open meeting inside the UN, including the Security Council. In addition to being treated like any other delegate, the scope and quality of the debates that can be witnessed are fascinating and often inspiring.”
Mercer commented on how fortunate he is to have had such an opportunity. “The speakers that the UN attracts are often the leading minds in their relevant fields. These very capable people, in conjunction with diplomats from each country, are attempting to answer the world’s most complex challenges. Having the opportunity to listen to these individuals and ask them questions once the meeting has concluded is, in my opinion, unique.”
Mercer’s period of interning at the UN has further sparked his interest in politics, and thus has confirmed his decision in pursuing a career in the field. “I was very cynical about the world of politics before I interned. I believed the common stereotype – most politicians are power hungry and dishonest. I thought young politicians often entered politics with good intentions, but ultimately caved to the pressures, and lost sight of the good work they intended to do. My internship challenged that assumption and proved it wrong,” he said.
“I’ve met and listened to many politicians who have devoted themselves to working for the common good. Many of these have been very humble, and have not sought thanks or notoriety for the work they do. This experience encouraged me to try to emulate such people in the work I do.”
Mercer isn’t the only one experiencing a cool internship. Tamara Garriock, senior Sociology major, has started interning at the non-profit organization of Women’s Fund of Long Island, and like Mercer, she admits that her opportunity has encouraged her to work at a similar organization, once she is done with graduate school. “[Working at the organization] has affirmed my decision to go for my masters of Public Administration/Policy once I graduate from Post, and potentially end up working in a non-profit organization, or for the Canadian government.”
Similarly, Malin Hedberg, senior Business Administration major, agrees. “My internship at Keyhole Financial Services in Glen Cove has given me the opportunity to see and take part in the daily operations at a small financial services company. To work for a financial services firm in New York is a great opportunity for me, because it means that I get to see more of what is out there before I graduate, and it will hopefully give me a better idea of what I want to do later in life. It has inspired me, and I have become more interested in a career in finance.”
So even though the concept of interning during the spring semester, and even over the summer can appear overwhelming and stressful, just remember many internships can be cool, as well as useful – and a great way to jumpstart life in the real world.