When you say, “I’m going to school in NYC”, everyone automatically assumes Manhattan. Then you have to explain to them that Staten Island is one of the boroughs, but that Manhattan is just a ferry ride away. Manhattan being so accessible means that there’s an endless supply of internships. Wagner has a 100% internship rate. To me, when I was deciding what school to pick, this was huge. I was undecided, most interested in English, and I could still get an internship?! Deal.
I was unaware of how amazing the opportunities could be until I met sophomore transfer, Briana Bettencourt. Briana, originally from Rhode Island and now a Biology and Business major at Wagner, quietly sat down next to my roommate and I at the first football game because she saw my Red Sox hat (yes, they exist in NYC) and thought we would be friendly people. Eventually we got to talking and now we are best friends. What is so cool about Briana’s transfer to Wagner is that the day she walked onto campus, she had an internship at The Lions Modeling Agency already set up. Not only was she interning in SoHo with top models, it was also a paid position!
When I asked Bri what her thoughts going into the internship while entering a new school were, she said that she was extremely nervous. She was more nervous because of the internship than academics because she had completed a year of college already, but would be entering a new setting, a new city, with esteemed people. She wanted to make friends on campus, but she also wanted to do her job as best as she could. Later, she realized that both of these were possible.
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bri would catch the 8:10AM shuttle to the ferry. She would then work until 6:00PM, arriving back at campus around 7:30-8:00PM. She had five classes on Tuesday and Thursday, creating really long days. To her, the busy schedule was well worth it.
One of the surreal perks of her internship was meeting Victoria’s Secret models. “It was insane and so so cool,” Bri said relatively speechless. She told me that everyone thinks these models are different from us, but in fact, they are normal, real, and goofy people. “It was eye opening, just normal people doing extraordinary jobs!” Bri stated.
Even though the internship was tiring, she said she learned a lot from the experience. She developed time management skills, utilizing her free time to get things done as well as relax and be a normal college girl. She got too meet new people at the internship, making new connections in the city and having experience at fashion week, even as a Bio major.
When her internship was coming to a close, she was offered to extend her stay but due to academics and scheduling conflicts, she unfortunately had to decline the position and become just a normal college girl.
Working in the fashion world was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Briana that had its benefits. However, she has enjoyed not having to be at the 8:10 shuttle three days a week, having more time to breath and enjoy time with friends on campus. This amazing internship shows the many opportunities available on and off campus at Wagner College. Anyone, in any major, can become an intern that could, by chance, change their lives.