The Importance of Being Mickey’s Personal Assistant

The Cynic and Career Services are teaming up for a series of articles about how valuable internships are to the success of your future career. This week, Patrice Fanning, Career Assistant at Career Services talks about her experiences at and away from UVM.

During my freshman year here at UVM, I realized that I needed more than my grades to get me ahead in a career. So I spoke with family and friends of the family about a summer job that would be more career-oriented. I had assumed that it would be an unpaid position and figured I would support myself with my restaurant/bartending job. To my surprise, I ended with a paid internship for the summer working for a live, call-in cable news show, and I’ve worked there ever since that summer during summer, spring, and winter breaks.

Right before the end of my freshman year I found a job at Career Services so I wouldn’t have to work off campus or off my savings account for spending money. The winter of my sophomore year I was accepted to work for the Walt Disney World College Program Internship for the spring semester. (In other words, I became Mickey’s personal assistant for one semester, and effectively avoided a Vermont winter). After much pleading and begging with the transfer affairs office, I was able to get some credit to keep me from falling behind in my graduation plans.

Upon returning from Disney, I ended up with an incredibly intense course load and after that I knew I wanted to be in the working world ASAP. At this point I started to consider going into the communications field more seriously, only I would have a business degree, and I knew that I would need more experience since I didn’t have the more formal education. I wasn’t too worried because my previous job experience had taught me that on-the-job training was much more useful than books and tests. So I decided I needed to be on the job more. That summer, I logged onto and found an internship with Burlington Broadcasters. The next semester I worked with two local radio stations, 106.7 WIZN and 99.9 The Buzz.

This semester I extended my hours with Career Services and am now the intern to Marie Vea-Fagnant, the internship coordinator of the “Service Learning Internship Program”. This program is an interesting option that UVM offers that I found many students aren’t aware of. By working for a local non-profit organization, a student can earn credit by working there and writing some papers.

I graduate in May and I am not nervous about my future. My hope is to continue with communications, but I know that I have enough experience on my resume to prove to any employer that I am well worth hiring. It’s nice to feel fully prepared to enter the job market with both a purpose and the flexibility to take anything that might come along. Need help with your future? Give Career Services a call 6-3450.