The Rutgers University Internship Excellence Award is given to students who have shown exceptional passion for and dedication to their internships.
Students can apply through a form on the Rutgers Career Exploration and Success website, which requires them to describe their internship responsibilities and projects they have worked on. A reference from their internship supervisor is also required. Winners are given a $350 monetary award and a dinner celebrating their achievement. Unfortunately, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the dinner has been cancelled.
The award in the Rutgers Internship and Co-op Program Non-Profit Category was given to Cassidy Duhigg, a senior graduating this December. Duhigg is a Communication major specializing in public relations and strategic communications. She is also minoring in psychology. Her internship was with the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. She started as the communication and marketing intern during the Spring 2019 semester and was offered a student worker position afterwards. Some of her responsibilities include maintaining the website, planning social media and marketing campaigns, sending out the bi-weekly newsletter, and conducting interviews with faculty and alumni to write feature stories and spotlight articles. She is planning to intern at Johnson and Johnson this summer and she has also been accepted into SC&I’s Master of Communication Program.
Victoria Zhou, also a senior, won the award in the Arts, Communications, and Entertainment Career Cluster Category. Zhou is majoring in Journalism and Media Studies minoring in the Digital Communication, Information and Media Minor (DCIM). She was the editorial intern for Bustle, an online media publishing company. During her time at Bustle, she checked the news daily to find new stories to cover, wrote newsy and evergreen stories, transcribed interviews that team members conducted, and was able to write pieces from interviews she did. She conducted interviews with celebrities such as Heather McMahan and Elizabeth Lail. She said the internship enabled her to improve her writing skills, gain experience with day-to-day editorial operations, participate in weekly pitch meetings, and adapt to the voice and CMS of a brand with millions of views in readership. She is grateful to Rutgers’ Office of Career Exploration and Success for not only sponsoring the Awards to recognize students’ internship achievements but also for aiding her career journey, and those of others, through advising and mentorship programs that have ultimately shaped her awareness and preparedness for her role at Bustle and those to come. Zhou is graduating from Rutgers this May.
Joseph Rosenberg, a Communication major and minor in DCIM, won the award in the Business, Financial Services, and Logistics Career Cluster Category. Rosenberg was an intern at Slice, a leading online ordering platform that powers over 13,000 small business pizza restaurants across the country. As the marketing intern, he studied the consumer and restaurant side of the business, employed strategies to increase growth, put together a strategy report for executives, developed a college marketing strategy and their brand ambassador program. After working as an intern for nine months, he was offered a full-time position and now works as an Acquisition Marketing Associate. Rosenberg is scheduled to graduate this December.
Rosenberg and his team at Slice are working on designing solutions to help small business restaurants that are being heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In supporting these efforts, the company has been able to raise more than $250k along with their non-profit partner, Slice Out Hunger, as a part of their Pizza vs Pandemic initiative that is focused on sending pizza to front-line healthcare workers and supporting local restaurants by driving them large orders in the process.
When the three winners were asked how SC&I helped them through their internship experiences that led to this award, they all had something positive to say about the school.
“Ildiko Koczan from career services at SC&I helped me improve my interview skills, which helped me land my future communications internship with Johnson and Johnson,” said Duhigg.
“There’s a lot of brand credibility with SC&I,” said Rosenberg. “I like being able to go to large companies to say that I’m part of Rutgers and I’m a communications major.”
“I love how professors at SC&I are generous with their resources,” said Zhou. “They understand what’s the best in the industry and want to help you get your foot in the door.”
More information about studying Communication, Digital Communication, Information and Media Minor (DCIM), and Journalism and Media Studies at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information is available on the website.