NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Internships Impacting Career Decisions

The internship program for business, communications, and CIS majors started up this semester and has already been making an impact on those who chose to get involved. Three business transfer majors — Lucy Ouellette, Alison Posey and Adam Bergstrom — have found that the opportunities and experience gained through their internships has been well worth the work they’ve put into it.

Lucy Ouellette, a sophomore at NECC, is interning at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England in Bedford, N.H. The company actually has a relationship with NECC by distributing Coca Cola to the college which can be found in the Spurk building café.

“I loved it,” said Ouellette. “It’s one of those iconic companies, and I feel really blessed to work there.”

Ouellette is currently working on implementing a training guide.

“So far I’ve made two PowerPoints that go over the training resources available for the employees, as well as an easy-access document for the recommended training that brings them straight to the training. A lot of the training helps them with great skills that can help them with their everyday sales, such as time management, listening, thinking styles, handling objections and probing for gaps, to name a few examples,” she said. Later on in the semester, she will get to do the presentation in front of several managers from the Coca Cola Company. She will be showing them what she’s come up with and how the managers can implement it.

“I’m excited but nervous,” she said.

When there’s not a main project for Ouellette to be working on, she’ll help other employees with little projects. She has been able to gain more hands-on experience based on what she learned in the internship class, and has been able to see the company work as a team. The internship has given her inspiration for what she may want to do for a career in the future.

“It’s great working for a company that cares about the environment and recycling,” she said. Ouellette herself owns a pair of sneakers made of Coca-Cola bottles, personally displaying the beneficial ways Coca-Cola uses recycling.

“Everyone who works there is happy to be there,” she said. “It’s the internship of a lifetime.”

Alison Posey, a sophomore at NECC, started out at a four-year college in South Carolina but came back for financial reasons. It was when she started going to NECC that she realized she wanted to do accounting.

This semester she is interning at Moody, Famiglietti & Andronico, an accounting firm in Tewksbury, Mass. She had been looking for an internship for over a year, and reaching out to several different companies, but never was able to find an opening. In one of her accounting classes, Ashley Moore, the coordinator of the internship program, came in and discussed the internships available for Business majors.

Posey said she was “very happy” when presented with the opportunity to intern at this firm.

“I would definitely use the word ‘impressed’,” said Posey when describing her first impression of the firm. “They treat their employees very well.”

Posey’s main responsibilities are working in the audit department. Accountants in the department will list tasks they need completed and it’s her job to complete them. An example of a task she may have would be verifying if a customer was billed to make sure a company is receiving money.

One of the things Posey appreciates about her internship is that there’s good communication in the department, and a lot of people who she can reach out to if she gets stuck with something.

Posey sits diagonally from the President of Strategic Talent, a firm affiliated with MFA, in the office. “What she does seems so interesting, and I’ve been thinking about reaching out to her,” she said. Posey hopes to take advantage of the connections and networking that the internship is providing her with to help her as she works on finding the right career for her.

“My favorite part is being exposed to a professional business environment,” said Posey. “It’s awesome to actually see what a real job is like and apply skills I learned in the classroom in the work environment.”

Although she’s enjoyed the experience at the firm, Posey said, “There’s so many ways to go in accounting and I want to explore more in accounting than just audit.” The internship has still been an opportunity that will help her to build her path to the right career.

From her experience so far at the internship, Posey has come up with two possible options for career paths. The first is private accounting, which would involve working for one specific company and handling their accounting. The second is human resources. “I think that’s why I’m naturally curious about the President of Strategic Talent,” she said. “As a people person, I see myself being able to hire people best fit for a position.”

Adam Bergstrom, also a sophomore at NECC, is interning at MFA as well. Originally, he wanted to pursue music when he came to NECC. He decided to switch to business transfer and ended up loving his first accounting class. He still plays in a band and pursues music on the side while he’s in college.

Last semester, Bergstrom took an accounting class. One particular day, he was planning on inquiring about internship opportunities, when his professor pulled him aside and told him about an internship available at MFA. He jumped at the opportunity and was introduced to one of the company managers through email shortly after.

“I started researching the company like crazy,” Bergstrom said, once he had set up an interview.

Bergstrom came to his interview dressed in a suit and tie, and was surprised when he saw the HR woman wearing jeans. “I felt really nervous going into it, but the HR woman told me to sit back and relax,” he said. “I got offered coffee probably three times a day when I first started interning there.”

Bergstrom’s main job is to assist the tax staff. He works with a software called Caseware where clients’ information is stored. Although the work can sometimes be stressful, Bergstrom is dedicated to making sure he is doing his job efficiently.
“As tedious as the work may be sometimes, it’s time-saving for other employees,” said Bergstrom. Bergstrom also said that there is good communication in the workplace. “If I’m ever struggling with anything, I never hesitate to ask,” he said.

Interning at MFA has made Bergstrom feel even more confident in his career choice.
“It’s worth it. I love it, and I’d love to go back in the fall. I can definitely see myself working there for an entire career,” he said.