March 27, 2017
Communications and Marketing
Saint Anselm students seeking business experiences outside of the classroom are now finding additional support through the newly established Professional Development Initiative (PDI). Launched in fall 2016, the PDI has provided more than 50 students with financial support through paid fellowships awarded at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.
Recipients demonstrate to the PDI that they have acquired an internship or work experience for the following semester and are then eligible to receive up to $1,200 to alleviate associated costs. In addition, the initiative is also offering the student body opportunities to meet and greet alumni and business professionals to further student-networks and employment prospects. One such opportunity is the program's first annual forum on April 5, 6 - 8 p.m., in the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. All students on campus are encouraged to attend to learn more about business work experiences and career opportunities.
The PDI was developed to reduce financial burden and inspire students to seek out more experiential opportunities. Finance professor Luke Miller, PDI faculty advisor, believes that it's important to employers that students have work experience on their resume. He encourages students to complete internships before graduation and credits the PDI with motivating students to find more opportunities. "The program has effected true change," he says. "Students are really interested and want to get involved."
Finance major and PDI student co-director, Rachel Henderson '17 from Powell, Ohio, is case in point. "I've learned how important internships are," she says. "So it's really exciting to be involved in this."
Support from the PDI has been provided to Saint Anselm students with internships at Walt Disney World, Wells Fargo, and Allstate, to name a few.
Recipient Andrew Vogl '18 from Cazenovia, N.Y., says the support he received offset the cost of getting to and from his internship at Northstar Financial Planning in Windham, N.H. Through his internship, he's learning about retirement planning, portfolios, and tax and estate planning. He also realizes the value of his experience and is grateful for the opportunity. "An internship is a gateway to a full-time job," says the finance and business double major.
Business major Elizabeth David '17 is also appreciative of the support for which the PDI has provided her. "The PDI fellowship has helped me greatly in covering my commuting costs, certification fees, and other miscellaneous expenses that come with having an unpaid internship," she says. Through her internship at Single Digits, David earned valuable knowledge about database management and corporate operations.
The PDI is led by six Saint Anselm student co-directors: Henderson, Shane Ceurvels '17, John "JJ" Courtney '17, Autrey Gates '17, Brendon Kerrigan '17, Emily Mason '17, and Gabi Toro '17. The group is marketing the program to fellow students, meeting with alumni, and planning the networking event. They say being involved in growing the program has also become a learning experience.
"As a team, we've learned a lot and have been really productive," says Gates. "Working with this group is a unique experience— there isn't anything like it on campus and I really love it."
All seven have completed internships and several have already committed to jobs post-graduation, at organizations such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Dell EMC, Eaton Vance, and Northwest Mutual.
In addition to the student co-directors, alumnus Casey Shaughnessy '12 is the program coordinator.
The initiative has been funded by a gift from alumni and trustees, Daniel Flatley, Kevin Gould, and Richard Meelia. The students are acutely aware of the trustees' participation. "None of this would be possible without the generous donations of alumni," says Kerrigan.
"It put into perspective why it's important to give back," says Toro.