Internships: A Distinct Advantage

Rebecca Lieberman

A job shadowing experience at accounting firm KPMG’s office in Short Hills, N.J., led first to an internship and then a job offer for senior Rebecca Lieberman. Her job shadowing, part of the university’s Sophomore Experiential Learning program, introduced her to an alumnus who soon became her mentor, Mark Thomas ’91, a partner in the firm.

“Mark Thomas got my foot in the KPMG door,” says Lieberman, who graduates in May with an accounting degree and concentration in fraud examination and begins her new position in October.

Lieberman, from Randolph, N.J., came to Bloomsburg both for the accounting program and to play soccer. During her KPMG internship, she calculated the revenue on various models for auto company BMW, figured out currency exchange rates for pharmaceutical company Pfizer, and helped review the quarterly Security and Exchange Commission submission for technology firm Dialogic.

She also learned that major accounting firms want to hire students who can sit for the certified public examiner exam immediately after graduation. Knowing that, she took additional courses and is graduating with 150 credits instead of the required 120. •

Gabby Vielhauer

Gabby Vielhauer, of Pottstown, put her anthropology skills into action during an internship last fall with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Vielhauer, a junior at Bloomsburg, sorted through federal documents that detail archeological sites in the Allegheny National Forest to help determine whether they meet state guidelines for historic preservation.

The federal government identifies even small findings, Vielhauer says, but the state guidelines recognize only more significant sites. She mainly studied old oil rigs and logging operations and was able to identify about 40 sites that were placed on the state’s archeological mapping system used by researchers.

“I recognize that what they do at the Bureau for Historic Preservation is very important, and I appreciated the experience,” she says. “But I also learned that I really want the focus of my career to be on education and be more hands-on.”

Vielhauer obtained the internship through The Harrisburg Internship Semester, offered by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. •

Mass Communications:
Joseph Fisher

Joseph Fisher graduates this spring after completing dual degrees in mass communications and political science in three years. But he realized early on that real-world experience would be as valuable to landing a job as his academic studies. He worked on the campus TV station, BUTV; was managing editor of the student newspaper, The Voice; and interned with Bloomsburg’s local newspaper, Press Enterprise.Last summer Fisher, of Huntingdon Valley, interned with KNBC in Burbank, Calif., where he helped produce on-air segments for Today in LA and the NBC4 News at Noon. As producer, he scheduled guests and wrote scripts for on-air personalities, working more than 700 hours from May to August.In honing his skills, Fisher says he’s enjoyed producing programs for BUTV’s In Focus, In Depth, including an interview with Rebecca (Funk) Campbell ’83, president of ABC-Owned Television Stations Group, when she recently returned to campus.“I’m really happy to have that connection,” Fisher says of meeting Campbell. “That’s just one example of what every student could be doing with an alumnus in their major.” •
Digital Forensics:
Ryan Ammermann
Ryan Ammermann values the experience and connections gained during his 10-week internship last summer with CNN, Washington, D.C.Ammermann graduates this May with a bachelor’s degree in digital forensics from BU – the study of how to retrieve data from computers and smart devices and the first program of its kind in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. In an internship arranged through the Washington Center, a liaison that matches students with companies, he worked on CNN’s help desk, assisting staff with computer issues, and was entrusted with installing 14 new graphic servers after receiving instruction from his supervisor.Ammermann, of Mount Bethel, says his studies prepared him for the job, but there is no substitute for having a chance to put the classroom knowledge to use. The internship also showed him what to expect in the corporate environment. “I did make a lot of connections,” he says. “There are a lot of people at CNN who I can now contact and ask questions about anything. I am connected with them, and that’s good.” •
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