While many students work campus jobs to help pay for their college education, few get the kind of work experience as students selected to participate in Bucknell University's Undergraduate Executive Internship Program (UEIP). This year, 10 students were selected to fill these positions, which allow them to work on special projects and collaborate with staff members in the University's executive offices.
The program annually attracts highly motivated students seeking leadership employment roles across campus. Its goal is to gather students who are not only driven in terms of academics but are also dedicated to bettering campus life and the Bucknell community.
This year, executive interns are performing various roles in the Office of the President, Office of the Dean of Students, Office of the Provost, Division of Marketing & Communications, Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences, Office of the Dean of Engineering, University Advancement, Office of Athletics & Recreation, and Division of Library & Information Technology.
"Through participation in the program, interns are able to utilize their talents and knowledge to excel in a collaborative and rewarding work environment," says Carol Kennedy, executive director, Office of the President and University secretary, who directs the program. "The interns also sharpen their professional and interpersonal skills, work with the senior staff and stakeholders of the University, and build strong relationships with Bucknell administration and the student body. The program provides unique opportunities that are not open to the general population of students."
Ben Portman '07 was the University's first executive intern in 2007 and became responsible for building the program as part of his first intern duties. He worked in the Office of the President during that first year.
"It certainly prepared me for my first job, but also my third and fourth jobs too," says Portman, who now is first vice president and financial advisor with Vantage Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley. "There were a lot of opportunities that I think give you a leg up when you’re in your first job.
"I learned a lot from each person involved in and outside the office and how they led in the context of this complicated space," he adds.
It ended up being a transformative experience for Portman, as well as the interns who have followed.
"My favorite part about UEIP has been collaborating with the other interns from week to week," says Libby Hoffman '24, the current intern in the Office of the President. "Each intern has different schedules and responsibilities depending on the specific office they work in, but we all come together once a week to learn from one another and to collaborate on group projects. It is really empowering to be working with a team of such kind and dedicated students who are so passionate about making a difference here at Bucknell!"
The program is highly selective and to be hired, students must fill out a detailed application and undergo multiple rounds of interviews. As part of the process, they are required to provide a cover letter and résumé, as well as professor recommendations and writing samples.
This year, 10 executive interns are participating in the program. Below are their names, class years, areas of study, offices where they are working, and hometowns.
- Cesar Spadea '24, mechanical engineering and Spanish majors; Office of the Dean of Engineering; Schwenksville, Pa.
- Eliza Ray '24, education major and physics and race & ethnicity studies minors; Office of the Provost; Indiana, Pa.
- Gracyn Shaw '24, international relations and Russian studies majors; Office of University Advancement; Alton, N.H.
- Juliya Harnood '24, computer science and French majors; Division of Library & Information Technology; Boyds, Md.
- Libby Hoffman '24, anthropology major and Italian studies minor; Office of the President/Student Coordinator; Bell Buckle, Tenn.
- Megan Collins '24, psychology major and English — film/media studies minor; Division of Marketing & Communications; Chatham, N.J.
- Sarah Downey '25, political science and Italian studies majors; Division of Marketing & Communications; Allentown, Pa.
- Sarah Hanlon '24, accounting major and art history minor; Office of the Dean of Students; Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Spencer Howell '24, international relations major and Arabic & Arab world studies minor; Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences; York Springs, Pa.
- Yosief Tewelde '26, management and organizations major; Office of Athletics and Recreation; Arlington, Va.