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Connections Career Center

Mount Saint Mary College • 330 Powell Avenue, Newburgh, NY 12550 NYSCEEA

Veterans Administration

Student of the Year

Alexander Peguero Medrano

Alexander Peguero Medrano

Veronica Devers

Amber McCafferty


Nursing students learn while caring for veterans In the Bronx at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center


’m loving every moment of my experience at the VA in the Bronx,” says Alexander Peguero Medrano. I get to work in every unit and with two or three different BSN preceptors a week. And some are MSMC alumni.” Alex, along with fellow senior nursing majors, Veronica Devers and Amber McCafferty, worked at area Veterans Administration Medical Centers in the Summer Veterans Administration Learning Opportunity Residency (VALOR) Program. Competition for the few positions was stiff, with each student meeting the requirements with an overall minimum GPA of 3.0, “B’s” or better in each nursing course, nomination by the chairperson of the nursing division and successful completion of a rigorous interview. He continues, “Being a VALOR student is a highly rewarding position at the VA. Everyone is eager to teach me and expose me to various cases and patient diagnoses. Even the attending MDs are eager to teach me. As a VALOR student I’m part of the nursing team in which I’m able to listen to patient status reports, focus on the patients assigned to my preceptor, and initiate nursing care.” “I didn’t fully appreciate the nursing education I received at Mount Saint Mary College until I began working at the VA. Everything I learned, from anatomy and physiology to med-surg, I have been able to incorporate into my nursing care.”

In Manhattan at the VA New York Harbor Health Care System


eronica Devers agrees, “Working at the VA has been an exhilarating experience. I feel so overwhelmed, but at the same time extremely fortunate to have this position. After finishing med-surg nursing classes I didn’t know how I would remember everything. I feel much more confident going into my senior year of nursing knowing I have learned so much this summer. From an academic knowledge base, I was very prepared for the position. I have sharpened and gained new clinical skills. At the VA, I get to see a lot of different procedures and I can bring out what I learned in class and apply it here. The MSMC nursing program requires courses in pathophysiology and critical care. It is very advanced and prepares us well.”

In the Hudson Valley at the VA Hudson Valley Health Care System


mber McCafferty says, “Working for the VA and shadowing the daily tasks of a nurse has helped enhance my ability to prioritize patient care. Spending ten weeks in various departments showed me how each specialty has a different priority focus. I specifically wanted to be a part of the VALOR program at the VA Hudson Valley because of the mental health component. However, I am glad that the program included rotation to a med-surg unit. After this experience I feel more comfortable with medications, IV lines, time management and prioritizing various aspects of patient care. I highly recommend the VALOR program because it allows a nursing student to be a part of the patient’s treatment team.” Veronica’s advice to nursing students: “Get an externship because the clinical experience is very valuable.” Alex recommends, “Get involved in co-ops/internships early. Not only do you enhance your nursing skills and education, but you also become more confident with your nursing career.”


Snapshots Business/Finance

Students in the field

Above: Caitlin Moore at the Orange County Citizens Foundation

Above: Kristine Alo at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center

Career Center

Communications/Media Studies

Communications/Public Relations

Above: Agnes Choinski at New Victory Theater on 42nd Street, NYC


Below: Mary Moran Deatherage ’74 and Nure Useinoski ’12 at Morgan Stanley

Above: Jillian Torre at Sublime Management in Union Square, NYC

Mount Saint Mary College • 330 Powell Avenue, Newburgh, NY 12550 • Aquinas Hall, Room 151 | 845-569-3175 | Kathleen O’Keefe, Editor, Coordinator, Co-Ops and Internships Janet Zeman, Executive Director Ellen Bourhis Nolan, Director of Career Development Robin Rosenberg, Coordinator, Co-Ops and Internships Maureen Aurigemma, Coordinator, Co-Ops and Internships Lynn Frank, Secretary

Mock interview pays off By Magda Reyes ’10, MBA


fter I decided to go back to school to pursue my MBA in accounting, I was determined to get good grades, get an internship and make as many connections as possible. Thanks to the Career Center and the relationships I made there, I accomplished all my goals and then some. They helped me get my foot in the door with a great internship and obtain a full-time job right after graduation. This journey started when representatives from the Career Center came to my classes to promote their services. I attended Career Center workshops, completed their internship orientation process, had my resume reviewed and received one-on-one interviewing tips. I had several leads for internships and jobs right away. With their help, I landed a six-month internship at a local CPA firm. Then, I was chosen to be part of their Salary Negotiation Workshop as the “interviewee” during a mock interview led by Thomas Weddell, the Managing Partner of Vanacore, DeBenedictus, DiGovanni and Weddell LLP. This nerve-racking mock interview in front of nearly 100 students led me to a real interview with the firm and ultimately a full-time job. I’ve been there more than a year now and I am looking forward to becoming a certified public accountant and growing within the firm.

Out in the real world Checking in with recent Mount graduates

Don’t do it alone


By Gianna Cesa ’10, BA, Public Relations

s a student thinking about what life will be like outside Mount Saint Mary College, you begin to realize it is merely a chapter in a fairly large book. Take it from me, never underestimate the number of pages that chapter holds, for it is one of the most important pieces to your novel. Once the shock sets in that you aren’t spending the rest of your life living in a dorm, eating in Aquinas and attending class, the reality that you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up is close at hand. An internship is your first plunge into the real world. It’s your practice before a big game, or rehearsal before a big production. Most importantly, it is your first glance into what the rest of your life could be. Scary? It can be. Tough? Well, you get what you put into it. Overwhelming? Only if you try and do it alone. Fortunately, Mount Saint Mary College has a Career Center so you don’t have to. Whether you’re looking for an intern-

Gianna participated in internships with the Orange and Ulster Medical Society and the Boy Scouts of America and is now a public relations professional at Behrman Communications in NYC. ship to gain the necessary tools to advance your skills and polish your talent, or looking to secure your first dream job, you can find a home away from home in the Career Center. I know I did. I can sit here today and think back to the many phone conversations and last-minute meetings I made with this office, frantic that I was never going to get an interview or be where I am today.

Campus resources lead to success By John Maggi ’09, MS in Education


he process of finding employment is a full time job. The effort it takes to craft a resume that pops off the page and screams “give me a shot” can be exhausting. The employment process was much easier once I began working with the Career Center. As an alum with a master’s degree in education, I experienced layoffs due to budgeting twice. I was concerned about my background and education transitioning well into other sectors. The skills and tools the Career Center provided me with made that transition seamless.

I worked with their staff to develop a resume that played to my strengths and participated in mock interviews that gave me invaluable feedback. This not only aided me professionally but it also did so personally in rebuilding my confidence. I began to understand that I have a lot of skills and strengths. Thanks to the annual campus employment fair, I found a new career with Time Warner Cable. My advice to job seekers out there is to use what tools you have here on campus and use them well. Something good will come of it.

Thinking and planning ahead By Rachel Terry ’11, BSN, RN


n addition to my education at the Mount, the tools and experience I gained with the help of the Career Center are most valuable to me. Early in my college career, I made connections with local hospitals. By the end of my sophomore year, I worked as a student nurse intern at Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC). This was a great opportunity for me to get hands-on experience with patients and become more comfortable in the clinical setting. At the end of that summer, I could gauge how my skills and confidence had grown. During my junior year, I advanced clinically in my schooling. I applied for and accepted a student nurse extern position at VBMC. This opportunity to work side-by-side with a nurse and observe her role showed me what it was like to be a nurse. My preceptor constantly had me thinking one step ahead. By the end of summer, my critical thinking skills had grown tremendously. Entering my senior year, I was feeling the pressure of the “real world” that I would soon enter. As a result of my experience at VBMC, I became one of the 11 graduates hired for the VBMC’s Bridge to Practice Program, an intensive work-based orientation program for new RNs. If I hadn’t developed connections early on, I would not have been selected for this competitive program. The skills, experience and knowledge that I gained working at VBMC have been invaluable. They made me the professional nurse I am today. I am thankful for the tools and resources that were available to me through the Career Center that made this transition possible.

Career Center Connections

2011 Edition

Matt Bucco, right, with Orange County Radiological Officer Casey Karsten

48 Hours

In the news By Kathleen O’Keefe


eghan Darcy’s internship with CBS’ 48 Hours was anything but ordinary. Her weekly emails made me want to read more. Dear Mrs. O’Keefe, How are you? I was assigned to help on a murder case. I have been working on the case on my own time and updating the producer with the information. I can see how the contacts I made through my previous internships are helping me with research in connecting with the right people.

... The Royal Wedding was a super busy day! I watched the CBS special with the producers and editors! It was interesting to see how a special is aired and how last-minute changes are made even as a scene is being aired. I also got to transcribe the interview that Tracy Smith covered on Kate Middleton’s dress.

Dear Meghan: It sounds like a great internship. Be sure to update your resume!

Division of Emergency Management Preparing for disasters By Matthew Bucco, Marketing


hroughout my fifteen-week internship working with the Orange County Division of Emergency Management, I was involved in many different aspects of emergency planning including winter storms, floods, nuclear energy center incidents, meetings, trainings, research, and organizing radiological equipment for actual deployments. This was not your typical office job. Each and every day at emergency management was a new and exciting experience. I attended meetings and trainings with my supervisor who is the County’s Radiological Officer. When the tsunami struck in Japan,

Interns above all By Katie Milano, Public Relations/Media Studies

T JetBlue

his summer, I interned at JetBlue in the Corporate Communications Department. The JetBlue internship is unique. Interns meet regularly to hear guest speakers as part of the company’s College Crew program. Members of different departments share experiences and help interns decide what careers they may want to pursue. CEO and President Dave Barger even set aside an afternoon

there was a lot of concern about the safety of the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. We participated in many meetings with different agencies from local counties, New York State and with Indian Point representatives in the Orange County Emergency Operations Center. Having completed my internship, I am now a volunteer member of Orange County’s Incident Management Team. My job is to assist in managing large-scale complex incidents and/or events throughout Orange County. I work with professionals from emergency management and many other professional fields.

to speak to the College Crew. While working at JetBlue, I drafted press releases, ran media reports, created media lists, pitched stories to reporters, and organized media mentions and internal communications. I never felt like “just an intern.” From day one, I was treated like a Crew member, and fully immersed in the values and culture that make JetBlue so special. My time at JetBlue was an invaluable experience. I learned that when you love your job, it doesn’t feel like working and that great people make all the difference.

Career Center Connections

2011 Edition

First impressions really do matter


ell aware that Russin Lumber Corporation would be attending the Mount’s annual Employment Fair, Agustin Ponce was determined to make a good first impression. Knowing that the company posted an internship opportunity to assist in the redesign of the company’s website, Agustin did his research and attended the fair with a ‘mock-up’ of a new web page. Jordan Russin, vice president of Russin Lumber, was very impressed with Agustin’s initiative and drive and hired Agustin as the IT intern. Jordan says, “Agustin was hired for this internship due to his web development skills. He is extremely talented and was more than up to the task. He served as an assistant to our IT Director and helped

speed the solution of any IT problems that cropped up during his tenure. He is an extremely professional and impressive

Oak Tree Program

Alzheimer’s Association

Agustin Ponce, left, at Russin Lumber with Jordan Russin

Russin Lumber Corporation young man. I have no doubt that he will be a tremendous asset to any company he seeks to join.”

O.C. Social Services

Close to heart

Making connections

Everyone benefits

By Jackie Ivan, Psychology

By Steven Grande, Human Services

By Danielle Newhard, Human Services

he Oak Tree Program in the Chenango Forks (NY) School District works with children on the autism spectrum by focusing on visual aids to help children communicate. Autism is close to my heart, because my cousin is on the spectrum and I am his primary babysitter. He inspires me to learn more. Starting my internship, I was nervous about working with the older students, but I soon grew more comfortable. It was fun working with the elementary school children. On my last day, a boy who was non-verbal kept giving me hugs. I had to fight not to cry. As a psychology major, my internship helped me explore a potential career choice, and I am grateful.

learned so much during my internship for the Alzheimer’s Association, including the importance of fundraising, providing people with support and services, and socializing for senior citizens to help them maintain their mental functioning and positive emotional feelings. This internship gave me a sense of the type of human service setting I would like to work in. It has shown me how an office with the right dynamic between co-workers can foster effective client care. I really enjoy the fact that every day at the Alzheimer’s Association provides me with a unique learning experience. The staff has given me an incredible amount of information to build upon and carry forward in my career.

y working with the Orange County Department of Social Services, Children’s Services Division, I was able to experience a line of work that is beneficial to society. It has been an action-packed internship that has included home visits, listening, court appearances, and assistance with food, housing and transportation. DSS focuses on vulnerable people who need a hand. Sometimes the smallest things can make a difference, such as a caring word or new clothing. With resources and a supportive team, many adults and children can get the help they need. I find it a pleasure to work with such a great team, as well as all the precious children. For me this has been a wonderful opportunity to help others.




Career Center Connections

2011 Edition

Kleinfeld Bridal Say yes to the internship! By Shannon Doyle, Marketing


nterning this summer at Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan was an amazing opportunity. I remember the first day commuting into the city and wondering what was ahead of me. The day began with a morning meeting including a full staff and camera crew ready to go! From that day forward I began to work with the Kleinfeld bridal consultants, learning techniques in finding the perfect wedding gown for a bride, and learning how to handle different personalities. Each consultant, including

the ones who are on the TV show Say Yes to the Dress, was eager to share her experiences and knowledge with me. Each day brought something different. I worked closely with a variety of designers, such as Pnina Tornai, Lazaro, Henry and Michelle Roth, and had an exclusive peek at their new collections. This internship was a rewarding experience because I was able to help pick out perfect wedding gowns for the brides and really hone my customer service skills.

Laerdal Medical

A unique experience


Employer of the Year

By Christine Coffey, IT/Education


s a student seeking elementary education certification, I have always dreamed of becoming an educator. As an information technology major with only teaching experience, I decided to explore all my options. This summer, I joined seven other interns at Laerdal Medical in Wappingers Falls as a Technical Service Specialist. This entailed researching service calls logged in the system and creating frequently asked questions (FAQs) out of those calls and uploading them into Laerdal’s solutions system, Siebel. I did this to assist the help desk specialists and sales representatives answer calls more effectively. The most interesting and exciting part of my internship was being included in a team project with members from Norway and France who came to kick off this global project. I was introduced to other cultures, work ethics and talents. I gained experience, friends and knowledge that I will take with me throughout life. My advice to anyone who is hesitant about an internship: Go for it! In the end, the experience that you take away is unique and better prepares you for the future.

Love your work By Angela Oliveri, Public Relations


s the development intern at the YWCA of the City of New York, the work I performed was very writing and research intensive. I researched ways to promote events that reinforce the YWCA’s goal to empower women and encourage diversity. I researched items for auction at the Summer Soiree, so I could write descriptions for programs and displays. I learned how much work goes into planning an event as big as the Soiree: choosing a venue, selecting the menu, incorporating a theme, selecting music, updating mailing lists, sending out invitations and tracking donations. Though the work consumed the entire team, it was enjoyable to see our vision come to life in the sophisticated Edison Ballroom. This internship allowed me to do so much more than improve my writing, research and Microsoft Office skills. I learned to work as part of a team; to focus on the tasks assigned to me; to know that whenever I needed help or had a question, someone else on the team would help me. I learned that while it may be crucial to separate your personal life from your work, it’s important to get to know the people you work with. I enjoyed going to work and never missed a day. Interning for the YWCA of the City of New York taught me the importance of loving work. Working for a cause that you have a strong and passionate belief in makes a world of difference. It has an effect on the rest of your life. If you earn a living doing something you love and take pride in, it makes you a happier person and puts a positive spin on your world.

Mount Saint Mary College Career Center Connections 2011  
Mount Saint Mary College Career Center Connections 2011  

The 2011 edition of Connections, the annual newsletter of the Mount Saint Mary College Career Center for Co-ops and Internships