Why I chose to extend my internship

by Divya Murthy

December 17, 2018

Five Newhouse in New York students explain why they stayed on after the semester was over

Three short months: that’s how long most internships last. But it doesn’t have to end there. Many Newhouse in New York students have found that an extension allowed them to master skills and build connections that were just starting to crystalize as their departure date drew near. For others, an extension—whether by a few weeks during their winter break or over an entire summer—can be a way to try new tasks or even intern in a different department. But how do you decide whether to stay with your current company or try something new? Here, four Newhouse in New York alumni and one current student explain why they chose to extend their internships.

Yerin Kim '18
Yerin Kim '18

Yerin Kim ’18

Magazine

Assistant editor, Snapchat discover at Seventeen

Yerin Kim had two goals when she began interning at InStyle the summer before her senior year: to get bylines, and to form lasting relationships with her editors. Though she accomplished those goals to an extent, when July came around, she wasn’t quite ready to leave, she says. She applied for an extension through the fall semester, when she’d be participating in Newhouse in New York.

“By the time my internship at InStyle ended (in December), on top of my ‘typical’ intern tasks, I was also regularly writing for the site, interviewing celebrities and experts, and developing closer relationships with editors—things that I know I couldn’t have done if I hadn’t extended my internship,” she says. “Those tasks not only added extra experience and bullet points to my resume, but the more time I had to get to know the staff and establish myself among the team was so invaluable.”

Her six-month stint made her stand out to potential recruiters and employers, she says, who were impressed with the valuable work experience and knowledge that came from interning at a company for half a year as opposed to three months.

What should you consider before extending your internship?

“I would say the number one thing you should consider is if you feel that you’ve learned the most you possibly could have during the internship. Were you able to achieve all (or at least most) of the goals you had coming into the internship? Did you take advantage of every resource and learning opportunity that came your way? What more could you learn or achieve if you extended your internship?”

Alexandra Parducci '16
Alexandra Parducci '16

Alexandra Parducci ’16

Advertising

Brand strategist, VMLY&R

Alexandra Parducci now works as a brand strategist at VMLY&R, but her path to that position began when she was a Newhouse in New York student in spring 2015. During that semester, she was an account management intern at Red Fuse, an agency within Y&R (prior to a merger between Y&R and VML, which created VMLY&R in 2018). During her internship, Parducci gained a deeper interest in the strategy department. She began thinking, “What better way to get more experience than to stay on and slowly start integrating myself into the strategy department?” Parducci extended her internship into the summer and stayed with the company for a total of eight months. The extension gave her a chance to figure out her strengths and build a large network of contacts.

What should you consider before extending your internship?

“It’s like going on a date. Do you see yourself having more dates with that person? If you don’t, that internship is like your first date. There’s no chemistry here at all, so don’t feel like you have to stay. If you think you can build it to something deeper and more meaningful, then definitely extend.”

Nicole DeMentri '18
Nicole DeMentri '18

Nicole DeMentri ’18

Broadcast and digital journalism

Reporter/multimedia journalist, WKBW-TV

Nicole DeMentri did the Newhouse in New York semester in fall 2017 during her senior year. After interning at NBC, Bloomberg, The Week and CNYCentral during previous breaks and semesters, DeMentri was looking for an internship that would set her up for a job after graduation. She chose to return to NBC Specials—NBC remembered DeMentri from two summers earlier, when she interned simultaneously for NBC and the MSNBC Special Investigative Unit.

“There was a comfort in knowing what the culture was at NBC, how great of an intern program it was,” she says. She had such a great experience that the company asked her to take a gap semester off and continue interning. She faced a tough choice, she says, but ultimately, she decided to return to school to graduate with her class on time.

What should you consider before extending your internship?

“Talk with your supervisors. See what more you can get out of the internship. Will you do different things and work different hours? Ask a lot of questions. Use your resources. Use your mentor. I try to ask as many people as I can to get as many different perspectives.”

Dan Denning '18
Dan Denning '18

Dan Denning ’18

Advertising

Account executive, The Public Relations and Marketing Group (PRMG)

As an advertising major who loved reading books, Dan Denning found an opportunity to apply his skills to both his interests by interning in the marketing department at Penguin Random House, one of the  “Big Five” book publishers that brings over 85,000 print and digital titles into the world every year. Denning participated in Newhouse in New York in spring 2017, working part-time with children’s, middle grade and young adult books and, by the end of the semester, found that he still wanted to do more.

“I just felt that it was a really short internship, and I was learning a lot, but not necessarily doing a lot,” he says. “I wanted to sink my teeth into the real work they were trusting me with.” Denning did more of the same tasks during the summer, but his supervisors also began trusting him with newer and bigger projects. “It became less like an internship and more like an actual job,” he says.

What should you consider before extending your internship?

“I knew there was more for me to learn. The department I worked in was really big and had a lot of different facets to it. I worked with 30 different people and was taking on projects from 20 people. I think I had enough to keep going there.”

Kristin Mascolo '19
Kristin Mascolo '19

Kristin Mascolo ’19

Public relations

Senior at Syracuse University

Kristin Mascolo was a corporate communications intern at 21st Century Fox in summer 2017 when she found out she had been accepted into Newhouse in New York for the upcoming fall. Within the first two weeks of her summer internship, Mascolo informed her supervisor that she would be living in Manhattan through December—would there be spots available for a fall intern? Luckily for her, there were. Mascolo ended up interning for more than six months at 21st Century Fox and trying her hand at longer-term projects.

“The length of time you’re there is not only impressive on a résumé, but you’re actually getting to dive into the work and become a member of the team,” she says. “In later interviews, you have such a wealth of knowledge and you can talk about the transition as well.”

What should you consider before extending your internship?

“You feel so much pressure to try so many things and get as much experience as you can. [But] if you feel like you really love a company and you’re thriving there, don’t deny yourself the happiness of saying yes just because you want to put something else on your résumé.”

Divya Murthy is a senior magazine major and former intern at Basic Books, a nonfiction imprint within Hachette Book Group.