Thanks to her hard work and some help from Mount Saint Mary College's Internship Fund, Journalism and Public Relations double major Ashley Thomaz of Newburgh, N.Y. is currently working her dream internship in New York City.
Established by the college's Office of Advancement and the Career Center, the fund provides stipends for internship positions that are unpaid or do not pay enough for students to cover related expenses.
For her internship with Channel V Media, a communications strategy and PR firm, Thomaz creates media lists, writes blog posts, pitches stories to journalists, posts to the firm's social media, and more.
"My dream is to live and work in New York City," Thomaz explained. "With this internship, I've started establishing myself and building my connections to professionals in the city."
Like many in the Hudson Valley, she travels to New York City by train. Two days a week, Thomaz starts her trek at about 7 a.m., arrives at the station 90 minutes later, then hops on the subway. By the time she gets back home at night, it's easily a dozen or more hours later. (That's on a good day.)
But the devoted student has no regrets: "It's a long day, but the experience is great," Thomaz said. "I get to learn and be involved in the business."
Thomaz pays for her own college tuition and expenses. With the money allocated to her through the Internship Fund – $1,500 – she is able to afford her travel and meals on work days, while still having the resources to maintain the other aspects of her full-time academic schedule at the Mount.
"The fund is absolutely amazing and I'm so grateful for it," said Thomaz. "I was worried that I would have to turn down this opportunity, but I was able to take this internship because of the fund."
Thomaz credits Ellen Bourhis Nolan, director of the Mount's Career Center, with helping her to obtain the internship. The Career Center prepares students for varied career opportunities in the Hudson Valley, New York City, the Capital Region, and beyond. Thomaz started utilizing the center in her sophomore year, with Channel V Media being the third internship she has earned since that time.
When she's not working towards her career goals in New York City or earning a spot on the Dean's List, Thomaz and fellow Media/Public Relations student Emily Gursky of Oakville, Conn. host their own show on the college's Knight Radio, titled A Little About a Lot with Ashley and Emily. Thomaz is also assistant editor of the college's online newspaper, The Mount Messenger, as well as a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the national honor society for Communications students.
Internships offer students the opportunity to gain work experience, build a network of connections, find mentors, and stand out when searching for a job. If you would like to contribute to the Internship Fund, please visit msmc.edu/advancement