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  Alumni / Advancement    

Summer in the City

By Elizabeth Walker

Nine Holy Cross students will move from high-intensity classrooms on The Hill to high-energy offices in The Big Apple this summer, thanks to the generosity of the Holy Cross Leadership Council of New York. In support of the College’s new Summer Internship Program, Council members raised more than $100,000 at their annual dinner/dance in March to underwrite nine paid summer internships they created specifically for Holy Cross students. The Council is providing stipends of $6,000 for each internship.

“The Leadership Council puts to work the accomplishments of Holy Cross New York grads for the benefit of the next generation,” said Tom Carey ’66, outgoing Council chair and president of advertising giant BBDO North America. “It’s really a win-win situation. The employers get eager, qualified, impressive Holy Cross juniors; the students get exposure to a quality, meaningful summer employment opportunity which could lead to full-time employment the following year. We’ll track this summer’s first experience closely, but I will be very surprised if it is not a resounding success.”

It makes sense for liberal arts colleges to encourage students to participate in professional internship experiences, Acting President Frank Vellaccio told faculty and administrators when he announced the creation of the Holy Cross Summer Internship Program earlier this year. Internships can complement rigorous academic programs by offering equally intense working experiences.

“For students, the process of identifying how they will contribute to the world of work is facilitated by an internship experience,” Vellaccio said. “We used to think that internships gave liberal arts graduates an advantage in the job search. Today, we know that they are a requirement for employment with competitive and prestigious organizations and companies. The Summer Internship Program is one strategy for addressing this reality, especially when you consider that more than 70 percent of Holy Cross students enter the workforce directly after graduation. That’s why we’re so excited by and grateful for such strong support from the Leadership Council (of New York).”

Nearly 100 sophomores and juniors applied for the nine paid summer slots, according to Amy Murphy, director of the new Summer Internship Program. (Associate Professor Nancy Baldiga of the economics department is the faculty advisor.) Forty students were interviewed for the program; 28 were accepted and invited to apply for the internships. As in the world of work, it is the employers who decide which students they want to interview and ultimately select for their summer internships.

“The summer internships initiative was created to provide real-work opportunities for students to try out their professional wings,” Murphy said. “It’s a competitive program with great opportunities. The New York City internships include a broad cross-section of industries and professions, including social policy, Web design, advertising, finance, insurance and medicine, among others. Our goal is to have 200-250 challenging, project-oriented summer internships for Holy Cross students across the country that reflect the geographic diversity and wide-ranging career interests of our students.”

Alumni already provide paid internship in other locations—Jerome Cura ’71, for example, offers an internship at Menzie Cura & Associates, an environmental consulting firm in Chelmsford, Mass., and Mark Cannon ’77 provided the entrée at Duo-Fast, a manufacturing firm located near Chicago.

“I would love to hear from alumni who feel they can offer our students this kind of professional experience.” Murphy said.

(Note: Amy Murphy can be reached at 508-793-3880 or at amurphy@holycross.edu)





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