Communication alumni share experience

Clarion, Pa.- Despite the initial power outage in Becker and other locations on campus Tuesday, over 30 students attended the Communication Department’s internship workshop on Nov. 10 in room 124.

Titled “Your First Steps: Taking Your Education to Work with You,” the program was the second of four workshops the department offers students. The other three include a portfolio event occurring earlier this semester, a job search and interview workshops scheduled for the spring semester.

The workshop featured an alumni panel consisting of 2015 graduate Amerigo Allegretto, 2013 graduates Ashley Harrison and Lacy Nettleton, 2010 graduate Jonathan Winkler and 2007 graduate Alycia Rea.

“These students were willing and excited to come back to Clarion…the enthusiasm was just amazing,” associate communication professor Naomi Bell O’Neil said. She and professor Andrew Lingwall are co-coordinators of the department’s internship program.

The panelists drew from their personal experiences to answer questions concerning finding internships.

Panelist Rea said, “I think the more open you are to the different opportunities, the better your chances are…There’s really no right or wrong internship, and you can do as many as you need to do to get or learn what you feel like you need to prepare you for the job.”

Professor Lingwall later added that internship postings can be found under the “Communication Majors and Minors” tab on D2L.

Panelists also noted that having two internships is ideal, where Harrison said, “The second one says you really want to keep learning.”

Winkler added, “The more you do, the more you can open your eyes to what you’re passionate about.”

However, Allegretto suggested that one solid experience that produces good content could suffice.

For students having difficulties gaining internship experience, panelists suggested alternatives to students. Allegretto mentioned his freelance work for the Tri-County Sunday News in DuBois, his involvement with The Clarion Call and other student media.

“You make connections anywhere you go,” Winkler said and cited volunteering at the Clarion Chamber of Commerce during school has helped him in his current position as a marketing and communications coordinator at the Oakland Business Improvement District.

Nettleton was a member of Ad Club and Rea was a part of PRSSA.

Panelists highlighted key traits of successful interns including confidence, eagerness, strong organizational skills, and willingness to take on unpaid opportunities and courage to follow up.

Allegretto said, “Be that go-getter. Don’t wait for things to come to you, come to it.”

After the panel, Lingwall opened the floor to recent and current interns to share their experiences and advice. Students were advised to network, keep applying for internships, become go-getters and leave their comfort zones

Lingwall said he felt the workshop and panel were a success, stating, “Our alumni and current interns were really the stars tonight…it was all about the dialogue.”

Students reacted positively to the panel. Katlyn Reesman, a junior strategic communication major, said, “It was every engaging, and all the questions and answers were very helpful. The panelists were very helpful when talking about their internships.”

Senior strategic communication major Brendan Cook added, “I was impressed with the stories, and I liked the fact there was a diverse group of graduates.” Cook was able to network with panelist Winkler after the workshop.

For communication majors preparing for a spring internship, O’Neil can be reached at Future summer interns can contact Lingwall at

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