Bethany College Communications Students Build Cutting-Edge, Professional Media Experience with Summer 2011 Internships

BETHANY, W.Va. — Fourteen Bethany College communications majors are bringing their media studies to life this summer with professional internships in print, radio, public relations, social media and more at locations across the country.
 
“An internship crystallizes the classroom experiences and practical skill sets and allows students to be amazed both by what they do know and what they don’t,” said Department of Communications and Media Arts Chair M.E. Yancosek Gamble. 
 
The 14 students represent approximately 20 percent of Bethany’s currently enrolled communications majors. A requirement for graduation from the department, the internships act as a rite of passage for students ready to apply the abilities they have developed in the classroom to real-world situations. And, while they give students exposure to a broader collection of media experiences than they have had in the past, the internships also give soon-to-be graduates the opportunity to focus their interests and finalize their immediate career goals.
 
Kaitlyn Black, a rising senior who is working with the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, said, “I never thought I would have an internship that allowed me to be so involved. While working for the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation this summer I have been a part of the planning of major fundraisers, ran the social media sites and even attended board meetings.” 
 
Black also spoke of the edge she believes the experience will give her as she prepares to wrap up her studies at Bethany and begin her work as a full-time professional. “The internship has given me many opportunities to socialize and network with multiple significant figures throughout Pittsburgh . . . I’m grateful for not only working for such a great foundation, but also to be connected with the Pittsburgh Penguins! This is definitely the stand-out point on my resume for future employers," she said.
 
Communications internships must include 160 hours of work. Students are required to complete three on-campus media experiences in different areas before engaging in their formal, off-campus internship. Throughout their college career, students also hear from a wide variety of prominent media professionals in class and through visits to cities like New York, D.C. and Chicago as part of their coursework.  
 
“This internship is a great opportunity for me to do a lot of hands-on learning such as camera work for shows, editing video and production of other video,” stated James Reeves, who is completing an internship through Pennsylvania Cable Network’s Pittsburgh Bureau Office. “Being a very experience-based field of study and work,” he continued, “the more experiences I can receive the better. So this means a great deal to me and my career.”
 
Chelsea Rommes, who is working with two companies this summer — Weirton (W.Va.) Medical Center and Centria’s Pittsburgh, Pa., office — is completing an eclectic assortment of tasks that reflects the varied demands placed on communications professionals daily. Rommes writes monthly newsletters, photographs hospital events, helps develop online company portfolios and more. She shares that her work has given her greater exposure to some of the latest software and technology driving the world of marketing and public relations, giving her a stronger sense of the opportunities she would like to pursue after graduation.    
 
After completing their 160 internship hours, students share their experiences at an internship fair organized by the Department of Communications and Media Arts the following academic year.
 
“I learned so much,” said Carly Pavlecic, who interned with Pittsburgh-based BD&E, a company specializing in strategic branding, design and communications services. “With the many meetings I attended and working with everything and everyone at the company, this internship has led me in the right direction for my career in communications. My only hope is I work at a company just like BD&E!"
 
Four of the summer 2011 internships are with Bethany communications alumni, included below.
 
Summer 2011 Internships, Department of Communications and Media Arts (class years are for 2011-2012):
 
Hailey Astorina, junior: WJPA AM/FM, Washington, Pa.
Kaitlyn Black, senior: Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Michael Bonaventura, senior: WTOV TV, Steubenville, Ohio
Benjamin Donavan, senior: KDKA Radio 1020, Promotions Department, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Brittany Grams, senior: The Peak 95, Hanover, Pa.
Margaret Harris, senior, WCBE 90.5 FM (NPR Station), Columbus, Ohio
Tara Harris, senior: Bethany College Student Government Association, Bethany, W.Va.
Loren McAnany, senior: Letterthree, Wheeling, W.Va. (Carrie Scanlon West ’94)
Carly Pavlecic, senior: BD&E, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Jeff Flick ’82)
James Reeves, junior: Pennsylvania Cable Network, Pittsburgh Bureau Office, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Doug Sicchitano ‘00)
Amanda Rodabaugh, junior: Booz Allen Hamilton, Washington D.C. (Grant McLaughlin ’91, Steve Raddick ’03)
Chelsea Rommes, senior: Weirton Medical Center, Communications Office, Weirton, W.Va., and Centria, Marketing Department, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Nicolas Wiery, senior: Astro Shapes Aluminum Extrusion, Communications and Sales, Youngstown, Ohio
Anne Wilson, senior: The General Henry Knox Museum, Thomaston, Maine

Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.