Internship programs: A boost for a small business – Part II

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Mark G. Auerbach

Editor’s note: This post is a follow-up to Part I of this series, which explains how having an internship program can benefit a small business.

Meet some interns who have something to say

Let me introduce four college students or recent grads who I’ve met while producing and hosting “What Young People Think” for my radio and TV series On The Mark.

Courtney Berry

Courtney Berry will graduate from University of Hartford in 2022 with a BSBA and MBA in Business Management with a minor in Communications. She is currently a legislative intern with the Connecticut General Assembly. Her internship is part of a course requirement for which she received college credit.

Grace Boland, a Communications Major with a concentration in public relations at Westfield State University, has been an intern with Blount Fine Foods, working with their communications staff on internal and external communications programs in their headquarters and other offices nationwide. She will graduate this spring. Her internship was partially paid, and partially for credit.

Matt Jones

Matthew Jones graduated from Manhattanville College last year, with a degree in Political Science, Global and International Studies. He studied abroad and will head to Tel Aviv University in Israel this fall to pursue graduate school. He did a research internship at the Truman Institute for The Advancement of Peace, a legislative internship in the office of Massachusetts State Senator Eric P. Lesser, and a communications and event planning internship with the Westchester Networking for Professionals. He got credit for one internship and looked at the other as resume builders.

Jason Martin

Jason Martins is completing his third year at Western New England University. Last summer he was a financial advisor intern at Northwestern Mutual Insurance Company. He is currently a CRM and data analyst intern at MCRA, a biomedical consulting firm. He has also accepted a portfolio analytics internship with New England Asset Management starting this summer. (Jason also works part-time for my company managing social media for my clients). All of his internships have been paid.

The four have advice for those bringing interns onboard. 

Courtney Berry says, “I would advise them to use their interns as much as they can and to keep your intern involved. This is a very important piece to the internship, that you and your intern form a good connection, and keeping them involved, even if it is just observing sometimes, makes the experience much more valuable to both you and the intern.”

Grace Boland

Grace Boland adds, “Try to make sure you are giving your intern work that will challenge them; there is no better way to learn than by being pushed out of their comfort zone and figuring out tasks on their own.”

Matt Jones cautions: “The internship should be geared towards helping the student gain necessary skills in a particular field and not about giving away work that no one wants to do. Internships are competitive and taking advantage of students desperate to prove themselves is unhelpful. Make yourself an asset for that student and discuss their career goals with them.”

Jason Martins adds, “I would advise someone who is offering an internship to list their internship on multiple websites so it is easy to find. I would also advise them to give new interns a chance. Many college students do not have the chance to gain internship experience, especially during a pandemic, so please give people a chance as college interns can be a great addition to a company.”

The four offer advice to students seeking an internship. 

Grace Boland observes, “Make sure your values and goals align with what the company wants from you. You may get offered a full-time position at the end of your internship, but you are hesitant to accept it because of the emotions you associate with the company. Make sure you can see yourself working there long term before you accept.”

Matt Jones advises, “Find an internship where it is clear how they can help you in your career. Make sure you are doing work that enhances our skills or provides new ones that can translate across fields.”

Courtney Berry advocates internships. “I would say go for it. Even if it is something you might not think you will like, any experience is good experience. You are not going to love everything you do, but even if you realize you do not like it, that is still something you can check off that you do not want to pursue. Interning anywhere is a valuable experience and you can learn and make connections anywhere, so go for it and do not be afraid to put yourself out there. It is your future, so you have to go out and get what you want out of it!”

Jason Martins says, “I would advise a fellow student to look into the company to see how other interns have rated their experience. I would also advise someone to make a decision based on how much they are interested in the internship as a future career and based on the salary.”

To learn more about Courtney Berry:

To learn more about Grace Boland:

To learn more about Matthew Jones:

To learn more about Jason Martins:


Mark G. Auerbach is principal at Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations, a Springfield, MA, based marketing, public relations, development and events consultancy. You can find more information about Mark at Facebook and LinkedIn. Mark also produces ArtsBeat in print in The Westfield News, on radio for Pioneer Valley Radio and on TV and radio on WCPC15 and 89.5fm/WSKB. His new series, On The Mark, premiered in October.


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