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Meet Spring Intern Mckenna Cassford

View More: http://tomsheehanphotography.pass.us/mckenna_cassford_senior_pictures

Major: Human Resources
Minor: Sociology & Marketing
Extracurricular: Bryant University Student Ambassador, Office of Admission Student Coordinator
Graduation: May, 2019

Q&A

Why did you choose Bryant University?

Bryant was actually the first school that I toured and I instantly fell in love. I loved the way their program is structured so that I could major in the School of Business and still have a minor in the School of Science. While I enjoy Human Resources, I also love Sociology and wanted to be able to pursue it further.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose Human Resources because I love working with people and I do similar work at my job on campus.

What is your favorite part about this internship?

My favorite part of this internship has to be sitting in on interviews and observing to refine my own skills. I look forward to coming in each day knowing that I will learn something new.

Have you had any other internships?

I have not. Through my work as Student Coordinator in the Admission Office at Bryant, I have gained a lot of insight into the on-boarding, training, and personnel management side of HR. It was my campus job that inspired me to enter the world of HR.

What motivates you?

My motivation stems from wanting to be a positive influence for my 2 younger sisters. I’ve always wanted to be a good role model for them and motivate them to be the best that they can be.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I hope to have a steady life and to have traveled to at least some of my bucket list destinations. A dog is also a must!

What are your hobbies?

In my spare time I love hiking, reading, watching Netflix, and traveling. I’m always planning my next trip, currently I am looking into hiking trails in Acadia National Park for my trip in April!

Where is the one place you want to travel in your lifetime?

One of the first places on my bucket list is Athens, Greece. I was (am) a major nerd and have always loved everything about Ancient Greece.

What is the most exciting place you have ever been to?

The most exciting place I have ever been has to be the Chichen Itza ruins in Mexico. While I am a big beach girl, taking the day trip to the ruins was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.

What are you most passionate about?

I’m passionate about my family, my friends, the environment, music, and history. With that said, my friends and family are not as passionate about my random fun facts and music choice as I am.

Internship of All Internships

It all started on a rainy day during the middle of football season. A teammate and I walk to a Bryant University student SHRM meeting forgetting who was scheduled to speak with us after a hard practice. We both walk in and in front of us is Tony Pivirotto. As Tony began speaking with the ten SHRM members present at the meeting he discussed the internship program that his company, MSI, offers. My mind quickly thinks of the worst possible internship, filing and sorting important documents alone in a room with no windows, but to my surprise Tony describes an incredibly in depth and educational internship opportunity.

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Tony’s description of the internship sounded perfect to a young HR student. This verbal description eventually, led to my applying for the spring internship position at MSI. As I began working at MSI I realized that there was so much more to this position than what Tony described. As the weeks went on, constant meetings with Tony occur, and my search for a good summer internship begins. While I conduct research on companies, submit my resume, and begin to have interviews with various organizations, I have an epiphany. Every moment working at MSI, has allowed me to gain a basic understanding of the concepts and processes of recruiting and the necessary steps involved in it.

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As I do my research, and ask other Bryant students who have had internships I hear the horror stories about miserable internships. They tell me how they were provided busy work which gave them no real world work experience at all besides a company name to put on a resume. So why is having a good internship important? What is the difference between a good internship and a bad one?

In the various interviews I have been on, I am asked, “What have you been working on at your current internship?” They expect a generic response of, “I have been filing papers and doing data entry.” Little do they know that I have an ace up my sleeve.

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The ace is the foundation that MSI has provided me. I have done research for various searches ranging from manufacturing to HR positions in multiple industries. This provided me the building block and entry point where MSI has begun construction for my future. After I have found qualified candidates, which took multiple tries the first time, I went on to the next step of the process, the cold recruiting calls. For these I utilized databases and other resources to find phone numbers connected to the qualified candidate and then listened to various recruiters pitch the job. This process allowed me to learn the nuances of cold calling and the knowledge of the position I was doing the search for. Gaining more exposure to the skills and experiences, I was allowed to help interview a candidate. In these interviews I broke down current responsibilities and areas of expertise, along with short term and long term career goals, as this was a key step in the candidate selection process. After the interview I was asked my opinion of the candidate and how I believed the interview went. This was an extremely exciting part of the process because as an intern I felt my input actually meant something that you do not usually see in other ordinary internships. Directly correlating with the interview was a formal candidate summary for the client. I was assigned a portion of this candidate summary based on my findings and beliefs of the candidate from the interview. This foundation of knowledge and experiences that MSI allowed me to gain are second to none and when someone interviews me and hears how involved and valued I was as an intern, they are shocked with the important pieces I was assigned.

This to me is where the MSI internship stands out. Tony and everyone has provided me with the foundation to succeed in the work force. They also gave me with real life projects that are important to the organization instead of busy work just to say that I interned with them. They had a trust in me that I would be able to complete this work to the best of my ability and that it will be satisfactory within the high standards of MSI. To have someone trust in you at such an early stage in your career is important to create the level of confidence needed to be successful in any field of study. That’s why having a good internship is important

So the question remains, how can you differentiate a good internship and a bad one? The answer can be pretty simple, good ones, provide an opportunity to gain valuable real world experience, while the bad ones, provide you with the experience of picking papers off of a printer and submitting files into folders for seven hours out of an eight hour day with the eighth hour being lunch. So how can you determine what the internship is like before you are working there? That is more difficult. This is where you have to be prepared by doing your research, and breaking down the job description posted and be willing to ask the right questions before, during, and after your interview with the company. For certain positions filing and sorting is inevitable, it comes with the job, but you do not want to have an internship where that is the majority of your day to day activity.

 

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Try to find internships that discuss relevant aspects of your field of study. For my internship at MSI, Tony brought up terms such as recruiting, candidate summary reports, and maintaining a blog and twitter account. Tony also stressed the importance of utilizing my network, and leaving a legacy to help develop and prepare the future interns at MSI. He strongly suggested I contact Cam Sullivan, a former MSI intern and fellow athlete, to discuss what the internship was really like. Along with utilizing my network, Tony provided me a packet of letters from last semester’s interns and had a current intern, Catherine Campbell, interview me. This detailed process provided me realistic expectations of what MSI’s internship was like.

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This information provided me guidelines and convinced me the standard at MSI was a commitment to excellence. MSI has taught me one of the most valuable lessons possible, never losing the ability to learn. An MSI internship is a stepping stone that propels you to your next chapter in life. So when looking for that internship, ask the tough questions, find out if that internship is the right fit or if they are just fluffing up the description to make it sound good on paper because in reality, it is your knowledge and experiences that will help you in an interview not the company’s name on a resume.

-Andrew Barton

Bryant University Class of 2017

 

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