COD Student Gains Experience During ESPN Internship
By Mary Vanco
Student Allison Horne credits her Mass Communications course at College of DuPage for providing three key ingredients for future success – connections, networking and opportunities. Through her internship, Horne said, she gained a foothold in a tough industry she otherwise wouldn't have had.
“The greatest thing my internship at ESPN did for me was give me connections in the market that I want to make a career for myself in,” said the Downers Grove resident. “Internships have always helped me so much – I've completed four throughout my undergraduate and graduate career, and every single one of them has done something positive for me.”
Professor Sandy Fries, her Mass Communications mentor, said students don’t always realize the golden opportunities of internships.
“They are great ways to learn the industry, create business contacts and network with employers who can lead you to a full time job if you work hard enough and have a fire in your belly. COD has placed students in major market outlets such as the Disney-owned ESPN, Clear Channel, and Simon and Schuster,” Fries said.
For Horne, she learned another valuable aspect of internships. “ESPN was an awesome experience for a sports junkie like me, but it was more of a marketing/promotions internship. It made me realize what it is I wanted to do, and that I’d rather do something more related to journalism.”
Fries advises his interns to make sure they enjoy the tasks related to their intended careers.
“Everyone I’ve ever worked with who rose to the top enjoyed their work,” he said. “Personal interactions and working harder than your competitor are keys to success.”
With four internships under her belt, Horne knows internships succeed for many reasons and is quick to attribute some of her success back to her COD mentor.
“Sandy Fries was awesome. I'm used to personal interaction – I went to a small undergraduate school where all of the teachers knew my name, but Sandy was genuinely concerned about my experience with my internship and was determined to make it a good one. He would call to touch base about the internship, which was also great.”