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Students Learn Entry-Level Skills & Network in D.C. Internships

Students Learn Entry-Level Skills & Network in D.C. Internships

The Patriot-News

October 21, 2009

Oct. 19—Brynn Conapitski got the idea that she might have a career in sports public relations while doing an internship with the Hershey Bears.

Now, as an intern at Brotman Winter Fried Communications in East Falls Church, Va., she’s even more sure she’ll pursue the field after she graduates from Shippensburg University this spring.

Conapitski, 22, of Myerstown, snagged the internship through the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s partnership with the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.

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More than 250 State System students have participated in the center’s internship program since 2002.

The State System will be honored today by the Washington Center as the university system of the year for its commitment to sending students to Washington, D.C., for internships with government, business and nonprofit organizations.

Shippensburg and Millersville are among the 14 public universities that make up the State System.

Pennsylvania students have interned with such organizations as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Library of Congress and the Peace Corps. The State System also will be recognized today at the center’s annual gala at the National Building Museum. The gala, which will be moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS News, helps raise scholarship money for the program.

Joseph Johnston, the center’s senior vice president, said the center receives more students from the State System than from any other state.

“These students have the competencies to compete with anyone, but sometimes they don’t have the connections they need,” he said.

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Conapitski said that although she’s heard the job market is tough, the internship has given her a confidence boost heading into a post-graduation job search.

Conapitski, who is earning 15 academic credits for her internship, said one of the highlights of the program is that the Washington Center connects applicants with professionals whose jobs the students would like to have in five years.

“It helps establish networking and makes me feel better prepared, ahead of other people,” she said.

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