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NEWARK, Del. — Career exploration is part of the learning experience for college students. For two Blue Hens, unpaid internships paved the way to new opportunities but imposed financial hardships. Communication majors Jenna Landesman (AS20) and Madison Berry (AS21) described the life-changing impact of awards from funds like the Transformational Learning Fund. The financial support made it possible to accept unpaid
summer internships, enabling them to pursue their passions and gain
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Jenna Landesman (AS20), Communication major
"I was hesitant at first to accept an unpaid summer internship opportunity in New York City due to the expenses associated with commuting from central New Jersey. After shadowing at Cumulus Media for a day back in the fall, I saw the opportunity for professional growth in an environment that I could see myself working in. As someone who has always been interested in working in some facet of the entertainment industry, I wanted to get a summer internship that would prepare me to enter the competitive workforce. I explored other internship opportunities that were paid; however, this opportunity excited me the most — the only aspect that prevented me from saying yes immediately was that the position would be unpaid."
Because of the funding, I get to spend my summer pursuing my passion without having to worry about the expensive cost of transportation. The funding is able to offset my transportation expenses which is a major relief, as I will not be making much of an income this upcoming summer. Without this funding, I would have had to turn down this opportunity. I am so grateful for the financial assistance in being able to pursue my passion. Thank you so much to those who donated. It is truly making a positive impact on my career development." — Jenna Landesman
Madison Berry (AS21), Communication major
“On top of working an unpaid internship, I planned to work a sales job to have some sort of income. But due to COVID-19, I would have been unable to make any money last summer as my sales job was no longer hiring and this was my only source of income. With the funding of this grant, I was able to subsidize my living expenses, which included rent, groceries, utilities, and other costs for my apartment in Delaware. Without this funding, I wouldn't have been able to support myself as I wasn't able to find a paying job during this crisis. This grant was very beneficial to my experience as a Blue Hen as well as for my future career." — Madison Berry
You can play a part in the success and in the personal and professional development of Blue Hens. The Department of Communication works closely with UD's Office of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) to offer communication majors access to mentorship, networking, job shadowing and insights, and internship and job opportunities. To learn more, visit UD's Help a Student page.
Hire Blue Hens. Students and young alumni are looking for professional experience through full-time, part-time, internships, or temporary positions. The UD Career Center offers resources to recruit talented Blue Hens, including the Hire a Hen Program, graduate student services, and the Handshake platform. If you need an extra hand at work, submit help requests for short-term projects — ranging from copyediting to data entry to science research — via UD DAR's Blue Hen Projects.
Mentor a Blue Hen. Through the UD Career Mentoring Program, alumni are currently mentoring 89 communication majors (39 juniors and 50 seniors). These mentors listen, inspire, and offer advice about challenges and opportunities. Each year, alumni are matched with students based on academics, background, common interests and professional aspirations. To get started, email CareerMentoringProgram@udel.edu and request an online assessment survey.
University of Delaware Career Acceleration Network (UD CAN). UD CAN is a free resource that helps students and alumni build their professional networks and connect with Blue Hens who share similar interests. Blue Hens can join special interest groups or work with the UD CAN team to moderate their own groups. To learn more, email CareerAccelerationNetwork@udel.edu.
Financial Support. You can help strengthen and sustain Communication programs when you make an online gift to support the Department of Communication. Alternatively, call toll-free 866-535-4504 or send a check to the Office of Annual Giving – 83 E. Main St., Newark, DE 19716. Be sure to note “Department of Communication" in the note section of your check to ensure your gift is designated correctly.
Many companies match gifts of their employees. This is a great way to double or even triple your gift. Check with your company's Human Resources Department or visit DAR's How to Give page and scroll down to “Matching Gifts."
Choose to support Communication programs, students, or a new center for research and public engagement.
If you're interested in learning more about how your gift can make a greater impact, email Chadeia Buycks or call 302-831-1294.
Article by Communication Department staff, images courtesy of Jenna Landesman and Madison Berry