BEVERLY, Mass. — Opportunities… Learn-by-doing… Prepared… Employable… To outsiders, the previously mentioned list of words might seem like clichés or marketing buzzwords. However, at Endicott College, those four words represent a linear path to success. Just ask 2016 field hockey graduates Morgan Bresnahan (South Burlington, Vt.) and Kristen O'Brien (New Boston, N.H.).
By the way, we did, so here are their answers below.
ECGULLS: Is what you are doing today exactly as you imagined you would be doing as a first job out of college?
BRESNAHAN: No. But I mean that in the best way possible. I went into college freshman year as an international studies major with every intention of going to law school after Endicott, but I graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and Biotechnology and I can truthfully say that was the best decision I ever made.
My experiential learning is the reason I am where I am today. Had I not been given the opportunity for my first internship I would have continued along the path for law school and inevitably would have realized that being a lawyer was not what I want to do for the rest of my life. My other two internships and my research independent study with Dr. Bram Lutton shaped me for my career. They prepared me, they challenged me, and they gave me a direction for what I want to continue to work toward as my career grows.
There are those buzzwords again - prepared, challenged, direction (yes, those last two are additions to the list if you're paying attention). Although, maybe you are starting to predict the pattern here. Let's continue with O'Brien's answer to the first question.
O'BRIEN: It is exactly what I imagined I would be doing. I was fortunate enough to get a job at Boston Medical Center the summer before my senior year as a CNA. This helped me to secure my senior internship in the Medical ICU as well as my full-time position in the Intermediate Care Unit after college! As a nursing major at Endicott, it is pretty straightforward, when you graduate you will be a registered nurse (RN) so it is just a matter of figuring out what specialty you want to practice in.
ECGULLS: Can you describe how you navigated through your undergraduate experience to get to where you are today? Who helped guide you through your undergraduate career and ultimately into the working world?
BRESNAHAN: There are two people that I give huge credit for helping me navigate my undergraduate career and the transition into working in the real world.
As mentioned previously, I started off freshman year as an international studies major. My first internship showed me that I had no interest in becoming a lawyer as I had previously planned out for my life. I missed science and math; those two subjects have always provided a challenge to me that I love to navigate. It took a year of not having that constant challenge in my life to realize that that was where I was always meant to be. When I came back to Endicott after that winter intercession (January 2013), I emailed my intro bio professor, Dr. Bram Lutton about changing my major to biotechnology. He immediately took me under his wing as an advisee. I attribute much of my success during my college career and even currently in my real life career to Dr. Lutton. As a sophomore, he took me on in his research lab; from there, I completed a research independent study every semester with his guidance until graduation in 2016. There's no way to measure the value of that experience or the skills and knowledge I gained. Along with the hands-on tactical work, I was given the opportunity to present my work at multiple research symposiums in the North Shore from 2013-2016. This helped me to develop my presentation delivery skills and interpersonal skills. Eventually, this work became the topic of my senior thesis and earned me a nomination into the Sigma Xi Research Honor Society (2016).
The second person I tribute my success to is the guidance of my internship supervisor, and now current supervisor in my full-time position, Elisabeth Antanavich. I completed my semester-long internship at Cell Signaling Technology in the spring of my junior year so that my fall in-season field hockey schedule would not interfere with my internship. Elisabeth was an amazing mentor and helped tremendously with my transition from undergrad to the real world. She gave me the perfect balance of guidance and independence and opened the doors to my career. We stayed in contact after my internship was completed and eventually in the spring of 2016, as I was finishing up my coursework for graduation that May, she reached out to me regarding an open full-time position available in the department I had interned for. I interviewed for the position and was eventually hired full-time (starting in June after graduation) by April of my senior year of college. Now that I have been with the company for almost two years, my career has exploded. I took advantage of my company's tuition reimbursement program and now am currently working toward a Masters of Science in Biotechnology with a concentration in Biotech Enterprise at Northeastern University. Since I am only pursuing my master's part-time, I hope to complete this degree by 2021.
ECGULLS: What about your Endicott experience either academically, with internships, career preparation, etc would you change, if at all? Are there things that Endicott could have done better or differently in your opinion?
BRESNAHAN: Absolutely nothing. I couldn't have asked for a better post-grad outcome than the one I am living now.
O'BRIEN: I don't think there is anything I would change about my experience at Endicott. I'm sure there are things I wanted to change in the moment but looking back I am right where I want to be at this point in my career.
We hope, by now, that dots have been connected in terms of how Endicott sets up its students for success during their time at the College and post-graduation. If you need a little more convincing dive into the data below. Go Gulls!
BY THE NUMBERS
- 90% of students who graduated in 2016 found employment related to their major
- 75% of students who graduated in 2016 were employed full-time
- 27% of students who graduated in 2016 were continuing their education
- 99% of students who graduated in 2016 were either employed, volunteering, participating in the armed forces or continuing education
- 53% of students who graduated in 2016 and were employed full-time found their career through internship site or contact
THE ENDICOTT INTERNSHIP MODEL
Endicott College is a pioneer in requiring comprehensive internship experiences in every program of study for undergraduate students. A philosophy of "learning by doing" permeates the college curriculum in which students are encouraged to integrate theory and practice in all of their studies.
Through their experiences in internships students will be prepared to:
- Apply, integrate, and evaluate knowledge within a particular academic discipline
- Develop competencies for careers and community service
- Explore career options and gain field experience
- Foster personal growth through increased self-confidence, interpersonal skills, an understanding of self and others, and a heightened awareness of ethical standards
- Improve the ability to learn in a self-directed manner
"The Endicott internship model allows students to have multiple opportunities throughout their college experience to discover their passions, bolster career confidence, and develop a marketable skill set while creating a professional network that will serve them well after graduation," said Endicott's Dean of the Internship and Career Center Eric Hall. "Endicott students leave with the career-readiness competencies and passion needed to excel in today's workforce."
(Photo Credit - Terry Slater)