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Real-world experience, Part II

by Patricia Senephias, staff writer


In the August issue, I told you about my own internship experience. It was required by the College of Communication, which made it available as a 3-credit practicum. Not all HPU programs require practicums for graduation; in fact, some don’t even require internships, and few offer them through the department, school, or college.

Most HPU students get their internship experience through the Career Services Center. That’s where Rachel Silberstein, a senior majoring in Travel Industry Management, found hers.

Silberstein, who interned at the Radisson Hotel Waikiki on Kuhio Avenue, was excited because the hotel created a position just for her. “During the interview the director of human resourses asked me about my main interest in the industry,” Silberstein explained. “I mentioned that I would like to work in the banquet department. Unfortunately, the department was closed down. She called the director of food and beverages to see if he had anything available for me. He came to the office and asked me if I would like to get the banquet department ready to reopen in October. Of course, I said yes!”

Analyzing her experience, Silberstein expressed the wish that there was less paperwork involved in securing an internship, and she commented on the small number of contacts the Career Services Center had in the tourism industry. “I was very disappointed,” Silberstein said. “I thought that HPU had more connections.” Nonetheless, she is convinced that this experience is crucial to her future professional life, and she added that even if the internship were not mandatory, she would have done one.

Keren Shohet, an HPU senior and advertising major, got her internship through the College of Communication. She began in early May at Flicker Media, an online dating agency based in Honolulu, doing telemarketing and creating advertisements for the company. The flexibility her employers offered her in the creation of the marketing and advertising material made her more confident in her ability to face the real world. She said that her best experience was working on a video to promote an abstinence program. “It’s been really fun to work on the set and help out with video production and prop management,” said Shohet.

She recalls her worst experience when she had to conduct telemarketing sessions and deal with short-tempered clients. “I just really hate the whole concept of telemarketing,” says Shohet, “even if the parties are familiar with the product.”

Like Shohet, Brittany Pules got her internship through the Communication Practicum class. Pules is a Public Relations senior at HPU who interned at STAR 101.9, a radio station. She handled the station’s promotions and feels she was given a lot of responsibility, especially when she was stage manager at a Pepper concert.

“ Being a stage manager is basically making sure the bands go on and off the stage at the correct times and making sure that all the band members are accounted for,” explained Pules. “It also consists of making sure fans don’t get on the stage and keeping the stage area clear of traffic."

For Pules, this was the best and worst experience because it was exciting and challenging at the same time. Even if she does not stay at STAR 101.9, Pules will most likely stay in the radio business.

Visit the Career Services Center, or, if you are a communication major, visit the College of Communication office and look through the Communication Practicum book of companies that offer internships. Both departments are on the fifth floor of the First Hawaiian Tower at 1132 Bishop.



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