Working on audits and meeting with partners at a Big Four accounting firm. Writing grant proposals to help Manhattan’s only 18th-century farmhouse museum provide community resources and events. Organizing volunteers for a food distribution event that helps bring fresh produce to those without easy access to it. These are just some of the projects Fordham students worked on this summer at paid internships throughout New York City.

On the eve of the fall semester, Fordham Magazine spoke with several students about their summer internships, the many ways they find them, and how New York City is an integral part of their college experience.

A Seat at the Table

Gabelli School of Business senior Colleen Farrell spent the summer at PwC working in the major accounting firm’s assurance department, doing audit work for insurance companies.

“They give you a lot of responsibility right off the bat,” Farrell said. “They treat me as if I am a starting associate.”

Farrell said she got the internship in part due to connections she made through Fordham’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, a financial and accounting honor society. Farrell, who is now the president of the society, said that the Gabelli Personal and Professional Development Center recommended she join after she declared her major, because Fordham’s chapter brings in recruiters from major companies, hosts networking events, and helps students land internships.

“They do such a great job of making sure students have connections with the Big Four recruiters—not even just the Big Four: any interest you have, somebody, somehow has a connection. People want to help each other, and it’s so evident,” she said.

Farrell, who is an accounting information systems major, said she received multiple internship offers but chose PwC due in part to its culture. For example, she said the company really puts a lot of effort into getting to know the interns.

“The partners are really interested in the interns—the lead engagement partner on my team did a lunch for all of the interns, and it was just the interns and the partners, who just wanted to get to know us and pique our interest in the company,” she said, adding that the partner on her team invited her to join “two calls with people in the C-suite at our client.”

“It was really important people at PwC, really important people at my client, and then me there,” Farrell said.

The Dyckman Farmhouse
The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, located in Manhattan, is a Serving the City partner.

Writing Grant Applications, Running Events at the Dyckman Farmhouse

Cole Mullins, a Fordham College at Rose Hill senior majoring in international political economy and American studies, worked as a development and administration intern at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, located on Broadway at 204th Street. The museum aims to maintain the historic site, which features the oldest remaining farmhouse in Manhattan, a Dutch Colonial structure built circa 1785, and host creative programming for community members and tourists alike.

A student smiles
Cole Mullins at the Dyckman Farmhouse (Courtesy of Cole Mullins)

At the museum, he helped draft grant applications and organized fundraising events where he also connected with donors that support the museum’s work.

Mullins got the position through Fordham’s Serving the City program, which provides paid internships at New York City nonprofits and other organizations. The program is supported by donations from Fordham alumni, and the internship opportunities are exclusively for students at Fordham College at Lincoln Center and Fordham College at Rose Hill.

The Dyckman Farmhouse team is small, said the nonprofit’s executive director, Melissa Kiewiet, so partnering with Fordham made a lot of sense.

“It was a way to help us grow, and we really want it to be educational for the interns, for them to leave with some deliverables that they can take into a new job,” she said.

For Mullins, the experience helped him understand the need for community resources.

“Grant writing is very important, and just interacting with people in our community, there’s a lot of Spanish speakers,” he said, “so finding ways to improve accessibility and fit the needs of the community … was really important.”

The exterior of the Brooklyn Museum
The Brooklyn Museum is a Serving the City partner.

Enhancing Visitor Experiences at the Brooklyn Museum

Lilliana Resnik has long been a fan of the Brooklyn Museum.

“I remember, it was a little treat after my first finals season to go and explore there,” said Resnik, a Fordham College at Lincoln Center senior majoring in English, minoring in communications, and pursuing a concentration in American Catholic studies.

So, when she saw a Serving the City internship position at the museum posted on Handshake, Fordham’s database for careers and internships, she jumped at the opportunity. At the museum, Resnik was a visitor experience intern.

a girl smiles in NYC
Lilliana Resnik (Courtesy of Lilliana Resnik)

“My main responsibility was to do research on current and upcoming exhibitions and then create documents to be given to the front of house team and … gallery guides” who lead group tours at the museum, so “they have a good background in … the historical context and [the] pieces they might want to highlight,” she said.

In her role, she also helped organize logistics for a “2023 Intern Convening,” which brought more than 100 interns from different museums and cultural institutions to the Brooklyn Museum for professional development.

Providing Access to Fresh Food

Caroline Lyons, a Fordham College at Rose Hill senior majoring in psychology and sociology, spent the summer working at Grassroots Grocery. The New York City-based nonprofit works primarily with residents in the Bronx and Harlem to address food insecurity. They rescue fresh produce and other food from places like Hunts Point Market and deliver it to residents in need.

“We have a lot of volunteer events, whether it be our weekly produce parties where we distribute produce or our corporate events, which is how we get funding, so a lot of what we’ve done is help streamline processes like that and help run them,” Lyons said. “And then other things—social media, logistical tasks like inventory, finding vendors. I’m starting to look into funding grants, so that will be something I continue to do in the fall, because I’m staying on.”

Lyons said that working for Grassroots Grocery opened her up to the possibility of making a career in the nonprofit space.

“This showed me that there’s a lot of fulfillment that can be found through hard work like this,” she said. “And it just showed me that there’s a lot of help needed.”

From Internships to Full-Time Opportunities

In addition to gaining work experience, some students have been able to turn their internships into careers and other opportunities.

Angela Torricella, FCRH ’23, interned with the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum through the Serving the City program in her senior year at Fordham, and the nonprofit created a summer fellowship for her to stay on.

“It’s basically a continuation of what I did as a communications intern, plus some more community engagement oriented tasks—I do the museum’s social media, I do marketing collateral, I do a lot of graphic design for the museum,” said Torricella, who earned a bachelor’s degree in new media and digital design from Fordham last May.

Another recent Fordham graduate, Licha Gonzalez, FCRH ’23, interned with the City Schools Sports Association during her senior year and was hired by the nonprofit to run its internship program.

“We were having some gaps with our social media presence, and we know Fordham has a great digital media communications program, so we looked into potential partnerships with Fordham,” said Brendan Kitson, secretary of the nonprofit’s board. “Ever since then it’s been an amazing experience for us.”