The Power of Fellowships
For careers, internships have never been more important.
For internships, St. Lawrence alumni and parents are absolutely essential.
Daylan Salmeron Gomez ’20 was about to plug into the Laurentian network.
“Everything was very unexpected, to be honest,” he says.
As he prepared to graduate in the spring of 2020, he hadn’t yet lined up a job, but he was volunteering at Campus Kitchens.
“One day, I was volunteering with Pat Alden.” She’s a St. Lawrence professor emerita of English. “I told her I wanted to work in financial services and she said, ‘I might know someone who can help.’”
That was Zhihong “Hook” Huang ’02, the CCO/COO at Qsemble Capital Management LP, a financial advisory firm headquartered in New York City.
“He was really honest,” Gomez says. “He looked over my resume and said, ‘You have all this international experience in economics and languages. Instead of financial services, you should work at the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank.’ Then he said talk with Career Services.”
He spoke with Michelle Gould M’10. She’s the associate director of what is now the greatly expanded St. Lawrence Center for Career Excellence.
“Michelle put me in touch with an alumna who used to work at the World Bank,” Gomez says. “She explained that she didn’t work there anymore, but could send my resume to a few people there."
"In, like, 20 minutes, she got back to me saying, "‘There’s someone who’d like to talk with you.’”
That was Andrew Dabalen ’90, a lead economist at the World Bank. He introduced Gomez to the senior economist who interviewed him and eventually offered Gomez an internship.
That’s five Laurentians, each essential to Gomez getting a foot in the door of the World Bank. This story—and thousands like it—explain why the St. Lawrence alumni network is ranked one of the best in the country each year by the Princeton Review.
A foot in the door is not enough.
The World Bank offered Gomez an unpaid internship. To accept it, he would need financial assistance to cover expenses, like travel, housing, and food throughout the internship.
The St. Lawrence Internship Fellowship did exactly that. Established in 1997, this program helps our students say “Yes” to opportunities, like research positions or internships like the one offered to Gomez. Put another way, this program launches careers, which is essentially what happened.
Gomez applied for and received the Internship Fellowship. With that financial help, he accepted the World Bank internship and spent the next few months analyzing data to understand how sub-Saharan Africa was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and to identify economic opportunities for people in the region.
After the internship, the World Bank hired him to keep doing all this and more.
"Here, I feel that we are doing work for the world,” he says.
Working for St. Lawrence Students
“The internship experience is really the icing on the cake of the St. Lawrence experience,” Sarah Coburn says. She’s the senior associate director of the University’s Center for Career Excellence. “Our students have learned so much on campus and developed the important skills they need. Internships reveal how their knowledge relates to the work they want to do. With that experience, they can land where they want to be after graduation.”
She adds that, as many types of professional work have gone online, internships have followed.
“Some are still in-person,” Coburn says, “some are remote. Students still have the same opportunity to join a team, network, and make an impact in the workplace.”
There are two key ways our alumni and parents can make an impact internships:
Many internships are unpaid, and— in-person or remote—that’s not a viable option for students dependent on income from on-campus jobs or summer work.
To ensure that our students can accept internships and research positions, St. Lawrence offers financial assistance through several funds, including:
- Tanner Fellowship
- Sullivan Summer Research Funds
- Saints Start Challenge Grants
- Public Health Internship
- Center for International and Intercultural Studies Travel Grants
Philanthropic giving to these funds can make a vital impact on the St. Lawrence student experience. This support connects our students to the future they're working to build.
Creating New Internship Opportunities
Your business or company can offer internships directly to St. Lawrence students. The Center for Career Excellence strategically aligns opportunities with the students who have the most relevant knowledge and interests to meet—or exceed—the needs and expectations of each internship. Alumni and parents that share information on internships become SLU-connected employers, gaining greater visibility from students seeking experiential opportunities. These individuals and companies can draw on the specialized instruction and skills of St. Lawrence students within specific academic departments.
Now Is the Best Time to Get in Touch
For more information about giving in support of student internships and research positions, please contact the St. Lawrence Executive Director of Major and Planned Giving, Terri Selby, at(315) 229-5542 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To let us know about internship opportunities, please contact the Assistant Director of the St. Lawrence Center for Career Excellence, Anne Clements at (315) 229-5906 or email email@example.com.