Interning: Poughkeepsie Versus NYC

After college applications the next most competitive aspect of college has to be applying for internships. Near or far, the process of filling out applications, hoping for a response, landing an interview and then getting the position is something college students have become all come too familiar with.

But for Marist College students finding an internship in Manhattan is not always the biggest challenge. Rather, managing the time and finances to make the commute during the school year can be the biggest challenge for a majority of students as it is much harder than it initially seems.

For anyone in Poughkeepsie going to New York City for work or internships the commute is a common one, considering all the opportunities available in such a large city. Unfortunately some college students do not have the time to travel to the city in order to attend an internship, which makes it all the more important to research whether or not Poughkeepsie offers any interning opportunities.

“The positions exist, we reference them regularly, they take it [students] and do well,” said Marist College internship coordinator Gerry McNulty about local internships. Although he thinks that most of the time New York internships can hold a little more prestige as positions to work for, there is absolutely nothing wrong with working locally especially while juggling a full class schedule.

Another idea to take into consideration when deciding between a New York City internship and a more local one is the experience and training that will be given. McNulty said “there’s always a chance that students at smaller scale companies in Poughkeepsie can get more hands-on work experiences than big NYC companies.”

For a business major in Poughkeepsie finding a local internship with big names such as Merill Lynch, Morgan Stanley or even Northwestern Mutual is a great experience. The only problem is that many of these companies only offer a very small selection of internship opportunities for students.

For companies like the Poughkeepsie Journal and Hudson Valley Magazine, they only offer one position for interns per semester. Companies like these used to have 6 or 7 interns at their local operations according to McNulty.

Career development professor at Marist College Ellyn Enisman said theirs a lot to consider when choosing between an internship in Poughkeepsie and one in New York City. Having been guiding students now for so many years into choosing the right internship and making the best decisions for long term planning, Enisman is aware of the difficulties that arise from taking on a New York City internship during the school year.

“Students should take into consideration the recognition of the company, what they would like to accomplish and their schedule,” said Enisman.

Enisman stressed the importance of becoming educated on the industry any particular student hopes to intern and work for, because while it would be great to have an opportunity in NYC, sometimes interning locally works just as well.

She also suggest students consider taking an internship at a less reputable company in Poughkeepsie during the school year, this will then make them more desirable for a more prestigious internship in the summertime.

For students who could have a choice between interning in NYC or more locally, the decision was not easy. Taking into consideration so many different aspects, many students recognize what a toll the commute can take, especially during the semester. For Brian Gannon, an accounting major at Marist College, he feels that “its not always easier to get internships locally because of the lack of reputable companies.” And even when he had the opportunity to possibly work locally for Northwestern Mutual a life insurance and financial planning company, the intern position was not exactly his career path.

Other majors such as fashion, reall have no internship opportunities locally; the commute to the city is the only way to gain any kind of experience throughout the year. For Olivia Aller, fashion major and senior at Marist College, she said “you really have no choice but to do the city internships for fashion, and even though the commute can get tiring after just a few weeks, its definitely worth the experience.” For Aller any experience is valuable, so for her to gain hands-on experience is worth the traveling, costs and strict time management it takes to juggle a New York City internship.

Katie O’Leary, journalism major said she commutes now to NYC to attend her internship twice a week for an advertising agency. When seeking an interning opportunity for the semester O’Leary was hoping to find one closer to home, but with significant competition locally, she found it difficult to get any position. O’Leary would have preferred the chance to intern with companies like Hudson Valley Magazine or The Poughkeepsie Journal rather than commuting twice a week to the city.

“Experience, skills learned, the status of the company, and how the internship is going to benefit a student are all aspects to take into consideration when deciding between an internship in Poughkeepsie or NYC,” said Enisman. And lastly, Enisman made it a point to stress that any experience is really ideal, whether it’s local, in New York City or a Marist College internship.

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