That Dickinson Connection

students gather at the Internship Fair to share their internship experiences.

Each fall, students share their summer-internship experiences during the Internship Showcase. This year's event, held Sept. 12, showcased displays by 54 summer interns who worked in top companies, nonprofits and foundations across the country and around the world.

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

This summer Catherine Maugle ’15, Callie Marx ’15 and William Nelligan’14 interned for finance titan/media mogul/philanthropist Amy Nauiokas ’94; Ziqi Zhang ’15 found a dream internship through Asia Society CFO and Vice President Don Nagle ’75; and Aleksa D’Orsi ’15 traveled to the intersection of arts and marketing with media maven and art historian Liz Grazioli ’09—the fourth Dickinson student to make that trip since Grazioli founded ArtSee in 2011.

Alumni-student connections such as these tap a tradition of lifelong engagement at Dickinson, and they offer invaluable assistance to students on the cusp of their professional careers while providing satisfying experiences for the mentors as well.

Inspiring experiences

As a film-production intern at Nauiokas’ production company, Archer Gray, Marx evaluated screenplays and submitted a report on each script’s potential commercial appeal, projected budget and target audience. She also worked on a film that was already underway, performing production tasks such as securing licensing for clips, creating contact sheets for the cast and coordinating product placements.

Nelligan interned at My Dash LLC, Nauiokas' holding company, which owns and administers her film-production, nonprofit and media ventures. “One day, I might have been pulling together due-diligence documents for one of Amy’s potential investments. Another day, I might have been writing a strategy memo advocating for a certain investment. The next day, I might have read a film script and provided feedback,” he says.

Zhang, an international business & marketing major who had completed a marketing internship in New York last year, seized a chance to put her international-finance skills to the test at the Asia Society. “I gained a great deal of financial knowledge,” says Zhang, noting that her supervisor also took the time to teach her the basics of a commonly used accounting program.

D’Orsi interned at Grazioli’s arts-media firm after completing a curatorial internship at the Boca Museum of Art the summer before. She reports that Grazioli assigned readings and planned special intern-development days to ensure that D’Orsi learned as much as possible in the span of three months, during which she polished her social-media skills, met with artists and curated, exhibited and marketed their art.

Former ArtSee intern Norah Maxwell ’12, who interned for Grazioli immediately after graduation, says that experiences like these yield a practical knowledge base that is not only wide but deep. “I had several summer internships, but no others stand out to me the way ArtSee did—Liz gave me a lot of responsibility,” she says.

What goes around . . .

That sentiment is common among alumni-student interns past and present, because while all good internships can bring great rewards, alumni-facilitated internships may be particularly poised to do so, since alumni are naturally invested in helping fellow Dickinsonians succeed. 

Additionally, as D'Orsi notes, a Dickinson mentor can broaden an intern's professional networks exponentially by introducing top students not only to contacts within their fields but also to fellow established alumni who may be able to help down the road. And, as Marx and Nelligan point out, the chance to see a highly successful fellow Dickinsonian at work is also, in itself, simply rewarding. “Amy helped me realize how transformational an education like ours can be,” Nelligan says.

For Grazioli, it’s a matter of karma.

“I enjoyed every minute of my time at Dickinson—I learned a lot, I made all of my best friends there,” she says. “I also had great mentors—alumni, professors and leaders on campus—who helped me find my way and still are there for me. All that was given to me, so I try to give it back.”

Internship Roundup

2013 summer internships took students across the nation and around the world. Participating organizations included:

  • Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian Museum of American History (Washington, D.C.)
  • Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology (Baltimore, Md.)
  • Office of William J. Clinton (New York, N.Y.)
  • Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (Binh Duong, Vietnam)
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (Washington, D.C.)
  • Appalachian Trail Conservancy (Harpers Ferry, W.V.)
  • Lookingglass Theatre (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Morningstar, Inc. (Chicago, Ill.)
  • U.S. Army War College PKSOI (Carlisle, Pa.)
  • Autism Link (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
  • The National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Md.)
  • Federated Media (Boulder, Co.)
  • Lindskog Malmstrom Law Firm (Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Jewish National Fund (Baltimore, Md.)
  • Dimitriaki SA (Athens, Greece)
  • American Field Services (Les Condes, Santiago, Chile)
  • Center for Immigration Studies (Washington, D.C.)
  • Pacific Council on International Policy (Los Angeles, Ca.)
  • Women's Media Center (Washington, D.C.)

Learn more about internships at Dickinson.

Published September 18, 2013