Internships provide valuable experience

By Ryan Kirby
March 13, 2008

Megan Pellegrino

According to Princeton Review’s “Internship Bible” there are roughly 100,000 internship positions per year. Of those 100,000 how many actually land a position with the same company?

“Well, at Comcast-Spectacor (76ers, Flyers, Phantoms, etc.) we tend to hire about 20 percent of our interns,” John Mansor, Human Resources Hiring Director for Comcast-Spectacor, said. “Our program started 10 years ago and since then we have had about 2000, interns, many of whom still work for the company, some at the senior management level,” Mansor said.

Mansor is the hiring director for the most pursued marketing and public relations company in the region. Five years ago he was an unpaid intern.

“If I hadn’t started out here, I doubt I would have had any chance to get this job. Company’s everywhere are promoting from within, it is the safest way to hire new employees,” Mansor said. reported that 94 percent of employers offer full time positions to interns.

“It’s a simple fact that when you intern for a company you get affiliated with the ins and outs. Whoever leaves a strong impression has a great chance of getting hired. Why would we go through that entire process again for an external candidate?” Erin Reich, communications specialist and former intern for Vanguard, said.

Reich interviews and hires the interns for her department for the past three years and understands what it’s like to go through the process.

“I started here as an intern during my senior year. After I graduated they liked me but had no full time positions so I was hired as a temp, getting paid hourly and not receiving the benefits of full time employment. But I put up with it because I knew this is where I wanted to work and eventually when they expanded I was able to obtain the exact job that I had originally wanted,” Reich said. “I just treated my internship like a 12 week interview.”

Harvey Pollack, who has been with the 76ers statistics department for over 60 years and is a Philadelphia legend, has handled over 100 interns in his department.

“It’s simple, to get somewhere you just have to take the initiative. I’ve had 12 interns at once, some who come in for 10 hours a week and others who come in for 50. They only get out of it what they put in,” Pollack said.

Internships are often found using career services companies, which seem to be everywhere these days. Kevin Brennan, a 1990 graduate of West Chester University, has worked in several college career services departments and is now trying to start his own resume builder website.

“There are certain internships that you can do just for experience, push paper and file so that you can understand the professional environment. But what is important is getting an internship with a valuable company where you are actually utilized. This will increase your interview volume almost automatically, because even if you don’t get a position with that company you have some experience and that puts you far ahead of many other candidates,” Brennan said.

“Internships are the ideal interview tool,” Jillian Donnelly, president of said. “Employers have the opportunity to evaluate potential new hires and determine if the candidate is a good fit for the organization. At the same time, interns can use the experience to make great contacts, challenge their thinking outside of the classroom and evaluate a company. The survey results point to internships as a ‘must do’ for employers and job candidates.”

Ryan Kirby

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