Richard Ricciardi and William Hill have been helping Monmouth University students find internships and jobs for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t slowed their efforts.
When Monmouth shifted to remote instruction this spring, Ricciardi, the corporate relations officer for the Leon Hess Business School, and Hill, the assistant dean of career services, started using Zoom to advise students on everything from resumes to job search skills to investigating internships in their desired field.
“It has allowed us to maintain the commitment Monmouth has to offering individualized, robust services to our students,” said Hill. That’s particularly important as students and graduates are facing one of toughest job and internship markets in memory, Ricciardi added.
“Summer internships are at a premium right now because the economy is in such a crisis mode, but that’s not to say they’re not available,” Hill said. Many employers he has spoken with want to honor their internship obligations by going remote this summer—if possible. “That’s the key term, because some employers can’t go remote,” Hill said.
Other companies are offering micro-internships, Hill said. These internships might run 15-20 hours total, and can be completed remotely over the course of a few days. “Employers are throwing this option out and they’re saying, ‘We can’t give you a full 12-week, 15- to 20-hours-per week internship, but we want to do something so you have an experience to put on your resume.’”
Christine Kelly, a junior in the five-year M.B.A. program who will be interning at Hackensack Meridian Health this summer, said Ricciardi and Hill were a valuable resource during her search process. First, they arranged and helped her prepare for an internship interview at a multinational chemical and consumer goods corporation. When that opportunity fell through—the company’s offices closed because of COVID-19, Kelly said—Ricciardi and Hill reached back out to her to share alternative internship opportunities and connect her with their contacts at local companies.
“Searching for an internship is incredibly stressful,” Kelly said. “But I always felt like I could reach out to them whenever I needed with any questions I had. They’re very supportive, and I appreciate that—especially with everything that is going on.”
Jordan Petchel, another junior in the five-year M.B.A. program, echoed that sentiment.
“Rich and Will were extremely helpful, especially in the beginning steps of finding and applying for internships,” Petchel said. “They reviewed my resume and cover letter, connected me with their contacts that are in industries that align with my interests, and shared various internship opportunities.”
Ricciardi, a former chair and current member of the Monmouth University Business Council, said that he and Hill hope to expand the number of students they’re assisting.
“Between the contacts we have, and the insights we can share, we feel we can be a valuable resource for Monmouth students,” Ricciardi said. “And we’re able to do everything we normally would remotely. We want students to know they’re still connected to the university.”