Unpaid Internships Offer Valuable Experiences

The topic of internship compensation is heavily debated, especially among many college students who are constantly wondering whether it’s worth it to accept an unpaid internship.

The unfortunate reality is that this discussion is not as simple as it seems, as there are many factors that go into whether or not internships are paid.

One factor that plays a role is the type of industry being considered. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE,) there are generally more resources available to pay interns in government and business departments compared to non-profit organizations.

Students who are looking to work in an industry that typically doesn’t pay their interns, such as non-profit organizations, may have to comprise money in order to do what interests them.

For example, Tess Cimino, a senior at Marist College, has interned for non-profits and numerous other companies in New York City and California. Her internships have been both paid and non-paid.

“I was interested in sustainability and the nonprofit world so there wasn’t a lot of money in those industries, but I met a bunch of people and started doing some side paid jobs that really helped me survive while in NYC,” explained Cimino.

As Cimino mentioned, an advantage of non-paid internships is the connections that come from it. Along with that, unpaid internships offer great opportunities for students to learn as much as they can in their field of study.

Similarly, Eleni Nickolas, a junior at Marist College, worked for a startup company called Thread International last summer as an unpaid intern. Trough this internship, she was able to build connections and land a paid internship for this summer at American Eagle Outfitters.


Eleni Nicholas, promoting Thread International’s new backpack in the Pittsburgh office.

Nickolas spoke positively of her experience, saying “I learned more than I could have imagined at Thread.”

Research done by NACE shows that “students who participated in multiple internships had higher odds of being employed relative to seeking employment six months after graduation compared to those with no internships.” Therefore, when applying to jobs, what’s most important is how much experience the student has had through their internships.

Stephanie Graham, the Internship Program Coordinator at the Center for Career Services at Marist College, believes that all internships are great resume builders, regardless of whether or not they provide compensation.

“Paid or Unpaid, internships allow students to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom to a hands-on practical experience”

On the other hand, it is true that not all students can afford to take an unpaid internship. Data from NACE shows that wealthier students have a higher probability of completing an unpaid internship than students with moderate or high financial need.

One option that many students decide to do while completing an unpaid internship is working another job on the side so that they are still making an income. For Cimino and Nickolas, they chose to do unpaid internships that really interested them, while also working hard in their off time to earn money.

“I think if you have the chance to do an unpaid internship then go for it. Being able to is really a privilege and most people like myself have to be working another paid job on the side, but if it is really what you love then you will make it work” said Cimino. 

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Tess Cimino, a senior at Marist College, who is teaching in Malaysia after graduation through the Full Bright program. 

Most students suffer financially through college and for a number of years after. Unfortunately, working hard and taking that unpaid internship may just be the sacrifice that students need to make in order to be successful later on in their career.

ROTC Weekend in the Woods

Cadet Sasha Schmitt took on strong leadership roles this weekend as the ROTC program traveled to West Point to complete three full days of rugged field training.

Schmitt spoke highly of the field training exercise trip, also known as FDX. She explained that the best part is coming back and looking at everything she accomplished.

“Somethings I didn’t even know I was capable of doing. It’s also crazy to think that you really can survive off of just the basics.”

Schmitt comes from a family of impressive leadership roles. Her father, Paul Schmitt a West Point graduate, has had a long career in the military. He now works as a Defense Attaché, meaning he is responsible for military matters between the United States and the Ukraine. Having such a good experience with the military, Sasha’s father is the reason that she joined the ROTC program at Marist College.

“I actually didn’t really know that I wanted to do it in the beginning, but my dad convinced me because he said that I’ll learn a lot of other valuable life skills other than army tactics. He told me to try it out for a semester and if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have to continue, but I really liked it so I stayed with the program” stated Schmitt.

As a junior with two years of training experience she was able to put her skills to use and fill some big leadership roles.

Throughout the weekend Schmitt was a Squad Leader, meaning she was in charge of three to five other ROTC members, making sure they knew and understood their mission. She also was a Platoon Sergeant, a job where she was responsible for ensuring discipline for squad leaders.

After participating in three FDX weekend trips, Schmitt felt ready to take on these roles.

“I personally think that every time I do another one I feel more and more prepared” said Schmitt. She explained that the first time she went she didn’t know what to expect. She’s learned important lessons such as packing her bag properly so it’s easy to access her necessities in the field, or even waterproofing all of her belongings.

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Cadet Schmitt, on the right, posing with Cadet Brehm under a poncho tent.

All of Schmitt’s hard work in training will be put toward the summer which she will spend at Fort Knox in Kentucky, participating in a 37 day training camp that will test her on everything that she’s learned in ROTC.

Besides from the FDX trip that takes place every semester, Schmitt gains practice by attending physical training three days a week at 6:15 in the morning.

She is also required to take a Military Science course that helps her develop leadership abilities, and teaches her important knowledge that she will need once she is commissioned into the army.  

Schmitt is already planning for the future, as she’s signed a contract into the army, requiring her to serve for four years. Once she graduates in May, she will be commissioned as a second lieutenant.

She will eventually pick which area she prefers to go into, and she’s hoping to get military intelligence, which entails collecting and analyzing information in order to guide and assist commanders.

Schmitt stated that she will decide later on whether or not she will stay in the army for longer than four years. However, after she serves, she would like to own her own business or work with international logistics.

For now, Cadet Schmitt is working hard in her classes and focusing on her ROTC program, which she really enjoys.

Schmitt commented on the close dynamic between the members of Marist ROTC. “I love it. We’re a big family. I always have their back and they always have mine.”


Members of Marist’s ROTC Program.

Singers Benefit Concert Donates Money to Center for Autism

The Singer’s annual “Love in the Afternoon” benefit concert on March 9th and March 10th raised an impressive $4,000 for the Anderson Center for Autism.

“We were really happy with how much we were able to donate,” said Singers President, Nicki Barrett.


Singers President, Nicki Barrett singing her solo,”One and Only”

The donation will go towards the services at the Anderson Center that support the children and adults with autism who thrive through their programs.

“We have a many long years partnership with Marist College and this is yet another way we partner to improve the lives of all of our community members,” expressed the center’s Program Development Manager, Christine Wolcott.

This year’s concert took place at Marist College in the Nelly Goletti Theatre and included 30 performances, featuring the 180 members of the Marist Singers Program. The set list had a wide variety, as there were solos, duets, and small group performances. Among those small groups were The Enharmonics, Sirens, and Time Check, which are the three acapella groups at Marist. Each song performed was connected with the same theme: love.

The show opened with the entire Singers group singing “”Somebody to Love.”  Some of the other iconic love songs performed were, “I Wanna Love You,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” and “I Love you Always Forever.”


Singers group performing the opening song, “Somebody to Love”

The annual concert has always placed an emphasis on this theme of love, because each year they select a different organization to raise money for.

“We decided on the Anderson Center this year because we had a lot of connections with the center already.” We knew that a few people in Singers have family members with autism, and two of our board members are studying Special Education.” said Barrett. “Plus, the organization is local so we can physically go there and perform and interact with people we’re helping.”

“What was cool was that two of our board members held an educational seminar for Autism so that everyone in Singer’s was more informed about the people and cause we were donating to,” said Tori Schubert, a junior singers member. Special Education majors, Dylan O’Brien and Max O’Handley felt it was important for everyone to be educated about Autism so that they could really put their whole heart into it.

During the show, Sarah William, the director of Choral Activities, came out to thank everyone that had been involved, and to show appreciation towards those who came. She also spoke passionately about the fact that every year, the “fabrics of each singers hearts weave together” to produce a show that will benefit an amazing cause.

Marist College’s Autism Speaks club also worked with Singers to support the event. On the days of the concert they had a table set up at the front of the house and were available to give out information to those interested.

Schubert stated, “I really like the “Love in the Afternoon” concert because we always support a really great cause, and it’s nice because it’s not about us. It’s about helping other people and touching other people’s hearts. It feels it really good to do that.”


Women’s Lacrosse Off to Promising Start

The Marist College Women’s Lacrosse team made a statement on Saturday with a 14-5 win against Colgate.

Senior captain Logan Boyle commented, “I think as a team we played very well, especially for our first time this season playing against someone that wasn’t ourselves.”

Marist closed out the scrimmage at Tenney Stadium with nine more goals than Colgate, making the final score 14-5. The girls started off strong by securing the first goal of the game. At half-time, Marist was up 5-1. In the second half of the game, the team found a good rhythm and scored nine more goals.


Marist attackers getting ready to rush to the net

Among those scorers was captain Samantha Mehalick, a junior attacker who stated, “There wasn’t any point in the game where we had a lull or stopped trying, which was awesome!”

The team went into the game with the strategy of playing hard for 60 minutes. “We put two full halves together and didn’t ever really let up,” said Boyle, reflecting on their strategy execution.

Senior midfielder Hailey Wagner played an impressive game by dominating most draw controls. This gave the team a better chance of running the ball to the net. Another strong performance came from sophomore goalie, Delaney Galvin, who had multiple saves throughout the game.

Nine of the Marist players scored goals, one including Audrey Cerrone, a senior midfielder who just came back from an ACL injury from last year. It was her first goal since returning. The team had high energy when she scored, running to give her high fives and hugs, screaming in excitement at the same time.

Marist worked hard together as a team on the field, which the girls believe is a big advantage. “The unity and connection we have on the field is one of our biggest strengths and that honestly comes with the relationship we have with each other off the field,” said Boyle.

Mehalick also agreed that the team had such a strong performance because of their connection. “We all work really hard to make each other better every day at practice. We are very good at communicating with one another and have great team chemistry,” Mehalick said.

The Marist Women’s Lacrosse team has been training all fall and winter. They pushed through 6 a.m. practices in the fall and did lots of conditioning, working on their technical game, and discovering more of their strengths and weaknesses before heading into the season.

Junior defender, Emma LeMay admitted, “We’ve worked really hard this preseason to be competition-ready, so it was really rewarding to finally play against another team.”

After their nine goal win, the women’s team feels excited and ready for their upcoming season.

“I’m looking forward to competing and really putting everything we worked on all fall and preseason into real games” said Mehalick. She also commented on the upcoming games saying, “We have a pretty challenging schedule this year so it will be awesome to compete against some teams we’ve never seen before.”

The next Marist College Women’s game will be home at Tenney Stadium on Wednesday Feb. 13 at 4 p.m. where the Red Foxes take on the Army West Point Black Knights.


The team walking off the field happily after a big victory