For the first time since 2019, the College of Arts & Letters ran its New York City Study Away Internship Program, which places Michigan State University students in customized internships in New York City, houses them in furnished apartments, and offers them the freedom to explore their career interests in one of the nation’s most diverse and dynamic cities.
Open to all majors, the program, which is run in partnership with Global Experiences, is offered as a six-credit summer course that provides student internships in a wide variety of fields, ranging from advertising, business, event planning, fashion design, film, theater, graphic design, IT, interior design, journalism, NGOs, photography, public relations, television, radio, and more.
The program wasn’t offered the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But this summer, 10 MSU students participated, with eight of those students coming from the College of Arts & Letters.
Cate Blair, a senior Apparel and Textile Design major, was one of the students who took part in this year’s program. She worked at Babel Fair Showroom, a wholesale fashion company that grows and develops international brands in American markets.
Blair says she pursued the NYC Study Away Internship to fulfill an experiential learning credit and left with hands-on experience in a field she loves and a better picture of her future career.
“This study away really showed me what my future career would look like and opened my eyes to another side of my field I hadn’t considered before,” she said. “One of the most valuable things I learned during my study away is that my dream career and city are more attainable than I thought.”
As part of her internship, Blair traveled to Las Vegas to help work a trade show.
“That was an amazing opportunity,” Blair said. “But my favorite part of the internship was getting experience working in my field in New York City. I really loved my coworkers and supervisors; it was a really good match for me.”
Using the Global Career Readiness Program, internship placements for the NYC Study Away Internship Program are structured using a strengths-based approach that focuses on helping participants meet their potential and find a career that matches their passions. The Global Career Readiness Program combines assessment, coaching, and opportunities to connect students’ academic experience with their professional ambitions.
“This study away really showed me what my future career would look like and opened my eyes to another side of my field I hadn’t considered before.”Cate Blair, senior Apparel and Textile Design major
Lily Ashburn, a senior English major, interned at Negri Firman PR & Communications as part of this year’s program. She, too, was able to explore new opportunities with the program and now is considering a new direction for her career.
“I did not know much about the PR and Communications industry prior to this internship, so I learned a lot about the industry,” Ashburn said. “My plan is to work in publishing as an editor in the future, and while this internship wasn’t really related to publishing, a lot of the skills I learned and built upon are transferable. This internship has opened my eyes to new possibilities and that working in PR and Communications could be a great starting point as I work my way towards editorial in the publishing industry.”
As a PR intern, Ashburn built upon her communication, technology, and research skills.
“Sending out lots of professional emails and communicating our projects with my boss helped me build my communication skills. Working with emails, spreadsheets, and online programs helped with my technology skills. And conducting research on different magazines and editors helped me build my research skills,” said Ashburn, whose favorite experience from the internship was seeing her handwritten note that was part of gift be posted on social media by an influencer.
“It was really cool that the personalized note I wrote was seen by so many people and helped promote the product,” she said.
Both Ashburn and Blair would recommend the NYC Study Away Internship Program to other students.
“This internship has opened my eyes to new possibilities and that working in PR and Communications could be a great starting point as I work my way towards editorial in the publishing industry.”Lily Ashburn, senior English major
“My advice for other students is to not be afraid of working somewhere you don’t have experience,” Ashburn said. “I was nervous going into my internship in PR and Communications because I didn’t have any experience with it, but using the skills I already had and being open and willing to learn from my employers helped me overcome that and have a great time at my internship, and I learned a lot from my supervisors.”
Blair is now considering moving to New York City someday.
“I wasn’t sure before going if I would see myself living in New York City long term, but after this summer, I really do think I want to live there at some point,” she said. “I would definitely recommend this program to other students. It was a really great experience!”
Applications for the Summer 2023 program will become available in late Fall 2022. For more information about the program, visit the New York City Study Away Internship Program web page.