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Job & Internship Expo Tuesday, March 2, 2004 - 10:00-3:00, Campus Center Ballroom

Feature

For UAlbany interns opportunities abound

Donna Bellino
  Donna Bellino

Because of their internships at UAlbany, senior Donna Bellino has a front-row seat on the workings of the New York State Legislature this semester, while another senior, Sarah Decker is engaged in the challenges of promoting an Art Museum – the University’s own.

For both Bellino and Decker, these “real-world” experiences exemplify the opportunities UAlbany students find each year through internships. The possibilities range from public affairs and art to social services, teaching, marketing, sales, and sports and recreation, to name just a few. There were more than 900 internship opportunities made available to students last year, according to Sharon B. Allen, assistant director/internship coordinator of the Career Development Center. At UAlbany, the internship possibilities, Allen observes, “are endless.”

As the Stanley Fink Legislative Intern, Bellino began working for 101st District (Ulster County) Assemblyman Kevin Cahill in January. From her post in the Legislative Office Building, the Brewster, N.Y., native handles correspondence, sets up appointments, and otherwise helps Cahill to maintain contact with his constituents. A criminal justice and psychology major with a 3.83 grade point average, Bellino says the internship is “a great learning experience.” She earns 15 academic credits and receives a $5,000 scholarship for her work at the Assembly. “I couldn’t think of a better way to end my last undergraduate semester than with this remarkable experience as the Stanley Fink Legislative Intern,” says Bellino, who hopes to continue her studies in criminal justice or in industrial organizational psychology after graduation.

Supported by an initial grant from Bell-Atlantic Foundation, the internship is named for the late Stanley Fink, former speaker of the New York State Assembly and a former senior executive with Bell-Atlantic. To be eligible for the internship, a student must meet the academic requirements for the Dean’s List and have earned at least 56 academic credits at the University.

Sarah Decker
  Sarah Decker

Decker, an Oakton, Virginia, native majoring in American history, has had a two-year internship at the University Art Museum. She put her academic background to use when she worked on a 2002 exhibit that commemorated the city of Albany’s 350th anniversary with lectures and paintings, photographs, and other archival materials that vividly evoked the city's heritage. She recently researched the artists and helped to write promotion and press releases for the current exhibit at the museum, Home Extension, which features the work of ten internationally known contemporary artists. “It has been a wonderful experience. I have learned so much about contemporary art. It embodies such a wide array of different media and can be embraced by anyone – a computer whiz, a photographer, a sculptor, a filmmaker. I think contemporary art brings people together from all walks of life and helps to break down outdated social barriers through peaceful, artistic means.”

Although she claims to be “artistically challenged,” her internship work led to her taking a photography class this semester. She has “been able to unleash a bit of my creative side.” After graduating in May, this aspiring high school history teacher may eventually opt to earn her Ph.D. and teach at a university. She credits her internship with “teaching me skills, such as working with others and brainstorming for future events, necessary for any career.”

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