Internships pave career paths for students pursuing variety of writing fields
Building on their affinity for writing and creative work, Keene State College seniors in English and Communication 497: Writing and Publishing Internship connect with businesses, organizations, and nonprofits while learning professional skills. Professors Dr. Kate Tirabassi (Communication and director of the Center for Research and Writing) and Dr. Emily Robins Sharpe (Communication) also bring in career speakers who demonstrate the wide variety of opportunities open to students in the liberal arts.
Melody Crist ’22 (BA English, summa cum laude) has always loved writing.
“Even my high school science teacher told me to be a writer,” she said, and she followed through on that advice at Keene State, sharpening her natural abilities as a writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
English 497 landed Melody an internship with the Keene Downtown Group, which represents dozens of local merchants and organizations, and with Life Is Sweet candy shop. Her role was to help to develop a membership drive, update the contact list, and create an email campaign.
“I got feedback on my first effort and rewrote it, which made it so much better – I had to learn about my audience and how to craft the main messages,” Melody said.
Her campaign brought in more than thirty new members. In addition, she wrote blog posts for Life Is Sweet and created a DIY candy “bouquet” for Mother’s Day.
“This course, as well as my Writing with Style course with Steve Kessler, taught me a professional style of writing, and opened my eyes to the possibilities of jobs,” Melody said.
She said she plans to work for a year before enrolling in a master’s degree program on technical and professional digital content writing.
Emma Goodridge ’22 (BA Psychology, Communications minor, magna cum laude) has excelled on the lacrosse field as well as in the classroom, racing toward graduation while playing in the Little East Conference lacrosse championships this spring.
Emma’s internship was with Keene State Athletics, where she worked with Abe Osheyack, sports information director and assistant athletics director, to create social media posts for athletes on wellness topics, such as hydration, sleep, diet, and other areas.
Collaborating with a roommate who studies public health, she surveyed seventy-five athletes to see how health practices correlate with performance, and then analyzed the data.
Although Emma’s parents and older sister are all Keene State alumni, as a high school senior Emma had no intention of coming to Keene until she toured the campus.
“I was a Communications major at first but fell in love with Psychology with my first intro course. My friends all tell me I have a natural tendency to be a therapist,” she said with a laugh. “The professors here are so caring about the students. I’ve been inspired by my teachers, especially Karen Jennings and Larry Welkowitz. Now, I feel bittersweet about graduating.”
Emma’s courses in psychology, especially a junior seminar on autism spectrum disorder, have led directly to a full-time job. In June, Emma will begin work at H.O.P.E, an agency in Dover, NH, which assists families, and toddlers diagnosed with autism with clinic-based and custom services, parent training, and behavioral consulting.
“H.O.P.E. uses ABA – applied behavior analysis – to work one-on-one with children,” Emma explained. “At first, my job will be half training, half working with kids, then full-time with children.
“I’ve learned a lot at Keene State and can’t wait to apply it. I know the work will be demanding but rewarding.”