Bertschmann, Collins head University Communications as undergrad interns

Charles Beers, Staff Writer

The University’s Undergraduate Executive Internship Program has thrived throughout the 2015-2016 academic year. Not only has it allowed undergraduates to receive direct professional experience from staff members within their fields of interests, it has also provided students with the opportunity to give back to the University community. Maddie Bertschmann ’16 and Devin Collins ’16 are current interns in the Office of Communications. 

The internship program is devised with four major goals in mind: to provide leadership-oriented students with a learning opportunity within major administrative operations of the University, to promote communication between students and faculty by getting the staff members to know students both professionally and personally, to commit to two to four annual programs through the internship experience, and to make the program self-sustaining through student input and feedback.

Bertschmann is a Markets, Innovation & Design major. She serves as the Public Relations Chair of Students for Sustainable Development and is a member of two honor societies. 

“I was really excited to get to go behind the scenes and gain an understanding of how all the different pieces of Bucknell work together to make one cohesive University,” Bertschmann said. “Having the opportunity to interact with senior staff in the University, in addition to many other major University stakeholders on and off campus, is very exciting.”

Bertschmann said that as an intern, she is able to do meaningful work and grow as a student and professional. The University offices also benefit, by getting more direct access to the student perspective.

“I think it’s really important for a school to foster a strong administrative-student relationship, and BUEIP is a perfect tool for doing so,” Bertschmann said. 

“[The interns] act as liaisons between the student body and the Administration; they help bridge the gap and find compromises in what both parties want to see at Bucknell. I think that is one of the most important jobs on campus and essential to keeping the community together as one cohesive unit,” Bertschmann said.

Bertschman’s favorite project so far has been working on the Student Stories, which are posted on the University website and feature standout students from different departments. Bertschmann had the opportunity of interviewing students and then writing their stories.  

“It has really driven home for me how many different people we have on campus who are passionate about and involved in such a huge diversity of things,” Bertschman said. 

She also acknowledged opportunities for personal growth in the internship. 

“Although most of my resume revolves around the graphic design side of marketing … I think it’s important to get a fuller understanding of the entire space I’d want to be working in, and my internship has certainly provided me that. My plans for after graduation are to settle back home in Boston and work in advertising,” Bertschmann said. 

Collins has also worked extensively on some of the same projects within the Office of Communications, such as the Student Stories.

Collins is a Markets, Innovation, and Design major with a minor in Creative Writing. She serves as a Teaching Assistant for Management 101 and is also a tour guide.  

Collins said she had an idea of what her internship in the Office of Communications entailed early on and was encouraged by her friends to apply.  

“I actually knew I wanted to apply for the internship my sophomore year because my friend Molly Davis ’14 was working as an intern in the Office of Communications at the time,” Collins said. 

“She would come into work in the Admissions office and tell me about the people she was meeting, the projects she was working on, and the numerous doors the Internship Program was opening for her. I also wanted to see the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of Bucknell and work on projects that I know could make a real difference,” Collins said. 

Collins and Bertschmann both work closely with Molly O’Brien-Foelsch, director for University marketing and web content, and Christina Wallace, associate director for University marketing and web content.

“I work on a variety of things from Student Stories and Faculty Profiles that live on the website to Communications videos, Alumni interviews, and research and content re-writes for various website pages,” Collins said.

“As an intern I also get to attend various events to represent Bucknell, for example, the WE DO campaign,” she said.

“The Undergraduate Internship Program has allowed me to act as an empowered member of the Bucknell community who has a real hand in making a positive and long-term impact on the University,” Collins said. 

Collins said her career plans have also been influenced by the internship because it motivated her to pursue a career in communications. 

She plans to keep writing and developing the skills she has learned through her newly-accepted job with the Management Consulting group at RSM US LLP (formerly known as McGladrey) in Boston, which she will be starting in July 2016.

Overall, the Office of Communications provides a special opportunity for these undergraduate interns to prepare for their future and give back to the community they love. 

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