Monday, March 28, 2011

Externship Reflections: Jennifer Eckl '11

This week we are going to profile two student guest bloggers who participated in the Externship program in New York City over spring break. First up is Jennifer Eckl!

My name is Jennifer Eckl, and I am one of sixteen Geneseo students who took part in the 2011 Externship Program.

I first heard about the program from a professor who referenced this "hidden gem" during a class in the fall semester. The program sounded like a fantastic opportunity, and as a senior communication major interested in advertising, I was thrilled to learn that the program's destination this year was New York City.

On Saturday, March 12, I arrived at Penn Station, fumbling with luggage and terrified that I would be separated from the group and swept away in the crowds. I spent the first night discreetly clinging to the hoods on other externs' coats to avoid becoming lost on the streets of Manhattan.

On Friday, March 18, I returned to the same platform I had arrived at one week earlier, but I had changed. Both my career goals and my life goals were different. I was confident, self-assured and ready to face
graduation and the challenges that lay ahead.

Throughout our week in New York, my fellow externs and I networked with professionals, received important advice from alumni, experienced different corporate cultures and became skilled at navigating the
city. We learned about transitions, resumes and networking. We learned about ourselves, and what we want to pursue in our professional and personal lives as we approach the next phase of our lives.

As a group, we visited Time Inc., the New York Stock Exchange, the New York County Criminal Courthouse , Aeropostale, the Recording Academy, and  Neuberger Berman.We also completed "individual
visits," which gave us the opportunity to speak to alumni in our desired career field. I was able to interview an alumnus who maintains a successful career with an impressive advertising agency, and I have
already implemented some of his invaluable suggestions into my job search.

Finally, I learned that the generosity of Geneseo alumni is limitless. They devoted a great deal of time and effort to designing engaging presentations, developing interesting tours, answering our questions, and teaching us how to foster successful careers. I am very grateful for the kindness of the alumni, and I know that I will continue to have this supportive network after I graduate. The externship program has helped me to improve my professional presence and has given me confidence in myself, and I look forward to helping future students in the way alumni have helped me.

For more information on how you can participate in future externships as an alum, visit the externship website or contact Michelle Worden at or 585.245.5506.

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