Study Away

NYC Experience/Internship Journals

Examples of the Summer 2012 NYC Program Student Experiences


Mary  Vercillo (click for Mary’s NYC blog)

“I started my internship this week and it has been amazing! Last night I went to my first event at the Tommy Hilfiger on 5th Ave. The event was co-hosted with InStyle magazine, so it was an amazing opportunity to network. I even attended and helped out with a couple photo shoots for this upcoming children’s fall collection. Overall, I have just been adjusting to the long hours and work, but I love it!! After many interviews and a lot of thought and consideration, I chose to intern with Tommy Hilfiger. I will be interning in the marketing department, but my experience will be in the brand development department of marketing. I work closely with e-commerce and regional stores. Such as Macy’, Canada, and United states stores/outlets I am not limited to just the marketing department, and I can work closely with PR department as well. My goal is to gain better understanding of Tommy Hilfiger markets and advertising. I will do this by asking a lot of questions and be very involved. I will volunteer for any task and meet as many people in the corporation as possible.”

Mary is also a peer advisor for the NYC program!  You can find her contact information here if you want to reach out to her for more information about the student experience!

Michael Nguyen

“After the N-YHS meeting Monday, I went to find the Rockefeller Center because I’ve never been there before. Along the way, I took photographs of building tops and interesting street corners for the Week 1 Passport. I was super super cold so I just hurried to find it, only knew it was close to Time Square. Felt like I was going to get sick at this point. I wished it wasn’t so cold, otherwise I would have walked around the city more. I felt like I reached the promised land when I saw the sign “Rockefeller Plaza”. Yesterday, I went to Lower Manhattan to see the 9/11 Memorial. Of course, you would need tickets in advanced to gain entrance. It was a bummer. I went to Battery Park, which was really cool. Had a great view of the Hudson River. It was so peaceful. Saw neat memorials like the Korean War, U.S. Air Force, Marine Memorial and later the Vietnam War Memorial. Completed my week 1 & 2 passport assignments. I finally walked up Lower Manhattan to City Hall Park and ended my day there. As far as my experience project, I’ve been doing some more preliminary research on my neighborhood. I was thinking of changing it up a little bit. I had this debate since the project’s inception, whether or not to make it a full length documentary or break it up in different parts. I was thinking of separating the different topics into different short videos. For example, I had an idea of covering Van Cortlandt Park near my house, which apparently has a bbq almost every Saturday where people bring their own dishes and share with others at the park. Other idea was covering life for the street vendors that sell food, jewelry, or any other commodities. I was thinking of putting these videos on YouTube and call my project TrekNY; it’ll be almost like a video blog. My friend and I are working on a neat logo.  I recently got a part time job at the dollar store right down the street. I might work tomorrow depending on if they process my paperwork. Just wanted something 2-3 days a week to save up some money on the side. It’s going to be the best commute ever!”

Check out the video Michael produced about NYC’s Koreatown at the bottom of this page here!

Kelly Clawson (click for Kelly’s NYC blog)

“My experience element will be evaluating the effectiveness of the New York Historical Societies current website and redesigning it based on necessity. This will be evaluated through research of competition and of the websites target audience to provide a friendly and effective user experience. In addition the tourism marketing materials will also be evaluated for redesign to coincide with the website.  Overall I will heading the design committee for our class overseeing the direction, strategy and creative concept going into each piece. I will also be attending the majority of meeting on Monday at NYHS while also working remotely from various locations.”

Kelly also won the Lew Klein Scholarship to help her fund the program.  Learn more about that and other SMC scholarships here!

Myah Hollis

“This semester, for my Experience Course, I will be working on a novel that is set on the Upper East Side. This book is about three years in the making, so I’m very excited for the opportunity to really have time to work on it and study the city more closely. I will be working on incorporating details and experiences that I have throughout the summer into my storyline. The idea is to immerse myself, in a way, into the life of my main character. My goal is to have the novel done and ready to be edited by September. I will also be looking into publishing options while I’m in the city.”

Audrey Allen

“Initially, my plan was to intern with two organizations, Viper Records and the New-York Historical Society. However, since beginning my internship at Viper Records my aspirations for my experience in New York have grown exponentially. My role at Viper Records, as Director of Social Networking and Promotions, was very well received. As a result, I have decided, with the assistance of my employer at Viper Records, Jonathan Stuart, to create a social network marketing and promotions business. Stuart and I have already begun networking with local business owners and artists to build my clientele. I expect to continue networking and creating professional relationships throughout the summer, building a strong foundation for my business. Additionally, I have been chosen by Stuart to attend a conference for social networking and promotions of small record labels on behalf of Viper Records, a tool I will use to learn and network for both myself and Viper Records. I want to use my time in this amazing city to absorb any and all that I can to become a competitive marketer and promoter on social networks. I have already gotten my Brooklyn library card and have put it to use!

I am also very excited to be a part of the New-York Historical Societies team. I hope to learn a lot from the veterans our class interviews, and look forward to seeing the exhibit come to fruition. Learning about World War II is near and dear to my heart. Members of my family experienced the war first hand, and I unfortunately will never have documentation of the things that they went through. Through these interviews and crafting the exhibit I anticipate learning more about my heritage and my family’s history. I want to be a part of the interview team, working under Ben. I am also hoping to get involved with the promotions team as well. I think that working on online promotions for N-YHS could give me great translatable experience to use at Viper Records and in my future.”

Check out Audrey’s video about Drumming Circles in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park at the bottom of this page here!

Peter Orbach (click for Peter’s NYC blog)

“For my experience aspect of this program I am doing a number of jobs. First, and mainly, I am interning for the non-profit organization Kids In Distressed Situations (or K.I.D.S.) three days a week for roughly 6 hours each day (around 18 a week). My duties there will initially include generally filing and writing, and will turn into grant writing, writing PR releases, and possibly much more. I am also volunteering at two other places this summer. One of the two is an E-Waste warehouse where I will help receive deliveries of unwanted or unused electronics that we ensure gets recycled properly so as to reduce the level hazardous wastes going into landfills. I will be devoting around 6-10 hrs per week to this portion of my experience. And last, but certainly not least, I have already started volunteering with Rooftop Films, a not for profit organization that shows independent films and other films of that nature to the public in various locations in the city. This is a lot of fun and I have already volunteered for three shows as of this writing. This part of my experience is very flexible and I will most likely average one show a week. However sometimes there are shows that seem very interesting and tempting so I will probably end up doing two in one week every now and again.”

Jess Smith

“Innovation today is all around us. Then again, innovation and entrepreneurship has also has been male-dominant for quite a while now. Living in New York City this summer, I plan to use my time wisely and put a woman’s touch into innovative products.  I major in BTMM, but my main interest recently has been startup companies. Whether these startup companies be tech-related, or product/consumer related, I am always up to date on them. My experience for this course has a lot of things intertwined that are going to all come together to give me hands-on experience with entrepreneurs all over this city.

I recently volunteered for’s million dollar drink expo, where CEO’s of new beverages on the market expose their product to compete to win funding from investors. This was a two day thing that I spent all day at, and I have never made more connections in a matter of 48 hours than I did here. This being said, I have secured an internship with TWO startup beverage companies that which I will be taking on the role of marketing these beverages, and conducting necessary administrative tasks to make their branding strategies as effective as possible. The first internship I will have is with Coco Cafe, a new coconut latte-based beverage that has only been on the market for one year, and is spreading fast nationwide. I will be putting together events for them as well as taking care of business development tasks in their office twice a week to market their product. The other beverage that I have secured an internship with is another startup brand called Ruma Tea. I will spend about 2-3 days a week in Ruma’s office working directly with the CEO himself to act as a communications intern along with a street-team to help build his brand.

Moving over, recently I have also found a love for the tech-startup industry. That being said, I have already secured a 4-day volunteer opportunity in July where I will do camera work for New York’s biggest “Hackers Convention.” This convention, Hackers On Planet Earth, will be giving me experience in the technology and cyber-media field that I am extremely looking forward to. This volunteer opportunity will have people that are in the cyber-media world that I would have never known existed, and I am eager to learn from them.

As you can tell, my experience for this course is very well-rounded, as I will be taking on many tasks that will take advantage of my communication skills, but at the same time keep me learning the basics of business within the innovative process of any company as I wish to be an entrepreneur one day myself. My goals for my experience this summer are very simple; to network and to keep learning. Innovation has inspired me to constantly learn about how people in any business have come up with the ideas that they have, and how they execute them the right way in order to run a business or a brand. If you were to ask me and the rest of my fellow classmates, the experience that we are getting is not just the reality of the business world. The experience that we should receive credit for is the constant networking skills that we are developing living in this city. The power of networking is huge today, and it can open up hundreds of opportunities for anyone who’s willing to risk it all.

 Syketa Harris

“For my experience portion of this journey in New York I would like to track everything that I run into that is different than my culture at home; Philadelphia. This can be something as the MTA or the parks in New York. This is not a writing journal; we have our passports for that. This will be viewed as a documentary/ webisode. They will be posted on my YouTube channel ( with all of my production work that I have done through my four years at school. This idea will not only be something that I will cherish after it’s over, but I can also be a useful tool to prepare further study away New York students that are not familiar with the city.  My check points for each term are to have four webisodes per term posted on my YouTube channel, each running 3-5 min (due dates June 29th, August 10th).  My goal for this experience is to further my brand, stay in touch with my editing and producing skills, and make a legit memory of this opportunity that I have. I feel as though pictures are good, but hearing it from the horse’s mouth is even better. Once I go on with my career I want to use this experience and my work during this experience to further my sense of well-being. I want to learn this city culture, and maybe become an official New Yorker, I may live here someday. It is amazing how the city is diverse, but all the same.”

Christopher Lehman

“On Monday of this week I started my internship at SiriusXM Satellite Radio; a 12-week (this is tentative) involvement as an Ad Sales & Marketing intern in the corporate office at 1221 Avenue of the America’s (49th and 6th Ave). During this internship experience I will be conducting market research on competitor radio stations, assisting the Ad Sales department in transactions, gathering and analyzing data for the trafficking department, and completing filing and shipping work. I have already begun market research on competitor radio stations and I am required to listen to services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Slacker. Upon listening, I record the advertisers during commercial breaks and list them alphabetically in excel sheets. I have also recoded advertisers within magazine niches that related to Sirius’ target audience. I will also be provided with resume and interview workshops and networking opportunities.

Sirius requires each intern to work a minimum of 20 hours per week and a maximum of 30. To meet this requirement, my mentor and I have proposed my schedule to be Monday-Thursday, 10am-4pm—so, 6 hours a day and 24 hours a week. I am excited to further involve myself with this experience and record my progress as time passes! I would like to remember this experience as one that was the gate opener to personal and professional opportunities and insight. Of course by opportunities I do mean networking initiatives and job possibilities, but I also want to solidify my interest in marketing and truly make sure that this is what I am interested in. I use the term “gate opener” because I want to remember this experience as one that provided me with the opportunity to apply the theories I have learned in school in practice and I also want to remember this experience as one that provided me with lessons I couldn’t learn in the classroom.”