For Immediate Release
January 6, 2021
Suffolk Students Excel in Internships Despite Pandemic’s Challenges
The global spread of COVID-19 has disrupted life as we know it, including the traditional college internship model. Yet, opportunities for work experience are still abundant.
With safety top of mind for both employers and students during COVID-19, several Suffolk County Community College students from Assistant Professor Kristin Conway’s Cooperative Education in Business course landed remote internships during the fall 2020 semester. Staying home allowed interns to learn and work safely while staying active in the job market.
“Since transitioning the asynchronous online course to virtual internship sites, we've successfully placed our business, accounting, and computer science students in business organizations throughout the US and Canada,” Conway said. “The students worked diligently to accomplish the objectives presented by the organizations.” And, Conway said the fall success is carrying over, explaining that nearly 60 students are registered for three sections of the course during the spring 2021 semester.
“Our internships are a vital part of our students' learning experience that should not be affected by the global pandemic. It was a challenging yet rewarding experience creating the virtual internship opportunities for our students and I am proud of our students’ accomplishments,” Conway said.
“The current conditions have compelled our faculty to be adaptable as they continue to provide students with experiential learning opportunities in new and expansive ways. While most students continue to intern within the county, the vision of Professor Conway has reinforced that for today, and in the future, the experiential learning laboratories for our students will extend nationally. Among other things, our mission is rooted in opportunity and transformation. I applaud creative faculty at the College who are transforming these sources of opportunity,” said Dr. Paul Beaudin, Suffolk County Community College’s vice president for academic and student affairs.
Information Technology major Edina Kiszel from Wading River said she had reservations about a virtual internship. “It was challenging in the beginning,” said Kiszel, who worked for Florida-based LiquidTech Chemicals Corporation, a minority owned, chemical company specializing in state-of-the-art, effective, yet safe cleaning and sanitization products. “Eventually everything fell into place,” Kiszel, who worked on marketing communications, digital marketing and strategic social media marketing explained. “The company CEO was available 24/7 and it was very easy to work with him and his team.”
And that left LiquidTech completely satisfied with the experience.
"Edina exhibited, from the onset, and during our internship, the success points we at LiquidTech see as a necessary for a career path,” the company wrote.
“Our company’s culture is built on focus, accountability and commitment (FAC). Employees and interns alike need to display these qualities to become a true performer. Edina exhibited these traits and maintained her passion throughout the internship. She committed her time and continuously learned and evolved in this project. We can teach others a skillset, but if they don’t want to focus, commit and be accountable, it becomes a moot point. Edina has the FAC!"
Two other students, Julianne Bentley and Michael Silva, interned with self-published children’s book author and apparel designer Luz Mack who said she worked with seven interns from three colleges. Mack said two Suffolk students stood out … “because they enjoyed the tasks, and provided input about what else I should look into,” Mack said.
“Michael managed my company’s social media page and was able to successfully set up an Instagram virtual store to connect with the website store, increase engagement, network, and even modeled the apparel,” Mack said.
“Julie acted as a Virtual Storytime Champion in which she highlighted authors of color via Instagram and also read some of their works. I had many individuals letting me know how much they appreciated when Julie posted a video because they shared it with their young ones.”
For more information about internships in business, accounting, marketing and information
technology at Suffolk County Community College, visit: www.sunysuffolk.edu.