These students are building their experience, their networks and their résumés. From left, RIC students Ben Cash, Ariel Dorsey and Vincent DelPonte.
Between college and a great career could lie an internship.
Take Vincent (“Vinnie”) DelPonte, a RIC accounting major. DelPonte had no choice but to find an internship after he enrolled in a Directed Internship course at RIC.
The search wasn’t easy, he says, but sometimes it comes down to knowing a guy who knows a guy. DelPonte’s uncle knew one of the partners – Anthony Scorpio – of Mullen Scorpio, & Cerilli, a financial service firm in Providence.
Scorpio immediately took a liking to DelPonte and sent him to work in the accounts receivable department of one of their clients – Holmes Disposal.
“It’s been great,” DelPonte says, “I’m building my skill set as well as my confidence.
“For one thing, I’ve vastly improved my ability to hold a conversation. I've always been able to fumble my way into sounding confident, but I've never actually felt confident in a conversation.
“I’ve also learned how to use QuickBooks [an accounting software package], and I’m working more in-depth with Excel spreadsheets.”
Even more, DelPonte has become well acquainted with the waste disposal business.
“I might pass a receptacle and go, ‘Wow, that guy’s got a two-yarder with a locking bar,’ or ‘That dumpster is so full it can’t close; that’s an overage charge if I’ve ever seen one,’” he says, while his friends roll their eyes.
“And there’s a ridiculous amount of networking you can do here,” he says. “Ultimately, connections are king.”
Connections, indeed, are king. Ben Cash, a RIC film studies major was able to land an internship as a production assistant on the film set of the thriller “Phyllis, Silenced” through the help of RIC faculty.
The producer wrote to RIC Professor of Film Studies Vincent Bohlinger at least a month before the internship, Bohlinger forwarded the email to his colleague Assistant Professor Rosalind Sibielski, who connected with the producer and reached out to students.
Along with Cash, RIC students Emily Daltorio, Angelica Dimaio and Jonathan Pineda interned on that production. Cash says he learned things he couldn’t have learned in a classroom:
“Being on set, I came to understand the minute-to-minute routine of setting up a scene. I saw how the prop masters, lighting technicians, script supervisors and assistant directors all closely collaborate. I learned the code names for lighting equipment and watched how the director worked with the actors. He might discuss the actor’s performance, or ask for more or less emotion, or ask the actor to repeat a line of dialogue if the actor flubbed it.”
Indeed, there’s nothing like getting up close and personal on a movie set and even a TV news set.
Ariel Dorsey is currently an intern reporter for Channel 12 News. “I basically go out and shadow another reporter,” she says. “It's great to be able to get a behind-the-scenes look at what I could be doing in the future and get more clarity about the field I want to go into.”
Dorsey wants to go into broadcast journalism. At Channel 12, she’s getting help in creating a “reporter reel” – a two-to-three-minute video of her speaking on camera and showing off her skills for a potential employer. She writes her own scripts for these mock “live” news reports and practices reporting in front of a camera.
Sometimes what’s ahead of you depends on what’s behind you. Internships while you’re in college are going to help build your experience, your networks and your résumé. For more information on internships, stop by RIC’s Career Development Center located in Adams Library, Level 1A, or call 401-456-8031. The center is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.