“Learn, question and work hard in the organization. Build yourself a brand and reputation.”
by James Forkan
“The internship program has exploded,” said Neil Halloran, the internship coordinator at the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business since March 2014.
“Since May 1, we have placed 250 interns,”he said in December 2014. “About 98 percent of our internships are paid.”
Halloran, a senior adjunct professor at Adelphi for more than 10 years, has been developing the necessary infrastructure and streamlining the process of applying for internships. “There were no records prior to my taking over the internship program,” he noted. Having a formal program with better records within the School, he believes, will make the process measurable.
The emphasis on the importance of internships comes from the top. “Internships are essential,” Adelphi President Robert A. Scott said during his State of the University speech in September 2014. “Students thrive academically when they study that for which they have a passion. An internship can help them prepare for life after study.”
On a practical level, Halloran observed, “Internships are currently being viewed by employers as the No. 1 criterion in placing people into the job market.”
Summarizing his key advice to students, Halloran said, “Learn, question and work hard in the organization. Build yourself a brand and reputation. The result may be getting hired in the firm and/or building your professional business experience.”
Halloran, who has placed students at such companies as Merrill Lynch, IBM, Gap Inc. and MakerBot, said the number of participating companies has topped 80, up from 40 last spring—some featured on the new internship website he developed for the Willumstad School. Outlining his procedure, Halloran said, “I screen each student and request a résumé during my screening. I log in each intern candidate and prepare them for each interview for an open position.”
Halloran said that Rupinder Kaur ’14, who has interned for Merrill Lynch, is now doing so at Penn Mutual, as is Danielle Clark, a senior marketing major. Citing other examples, he added that Stacy Saul (a Nassau Community College transfer) is working as a social media/marketing intern at FragranceNet.com, which sells fragrances and skincare products online, while Michael Tarone is an intern for Muscle Milk, which markets protein products in ready-to-drink, powder and energy bar forms.
Saul said, “I assist in Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts and contests and help send out letters to contest winners. I also write blog posts on our site about different products we sell and assign new tags to products to optimize consumer experiences.”
Saul, due to graduate in December 2014, added, “Mr. Halloran played a huge part in helping me obtain this internship and even helped me with résumé tips and interview questions. He gave me great advice and made the process of finding an interesting internship very easy.”
Clark, due to graduate in May 2015, is interning in marketing and life insurance at Penn Mutual. As Halloran had promised, her internship is “a great learning experience—not running around getting coffee.” He helps build his interns’ résumés and preps them for interviews “so we will be more comfortable,” she added.
Kaur, now working toward an M.B.A. specialization in accounting in May 2015, described the Merrill Lynch internship as “absolutely amazing. It helped me develop strong people skills.” She added, “All my interviews went very successfully. Due to my experience at Merrill Lynch and Penn Mutual, I already have an offer from a prestigious CPA firm.”
Besides training in a business environment, Halloran’s interns benefit from having him as a mentor. “We are currently mentoring 20 interns for a three-month period of time,” he noted.
Rahat Jalil, a senior business management major who interned at GEICO in Summer 2014, praised Halloran’s mentorship, saying, “His monthly meetings provided me an opportunity to expand my critical thinking abilities.”
The mentoring program gives the interns direct access to Halloran’s 20 years of experience with IBM in various management positions. After IBM, he became director of corporate and executive training for 1-800-Flowers.com, where he was recognized by Forbes for his accomplishments in training—and then formed Halloran & Associates, Inc.
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