At the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business, career readiness is a top priority. All undergraduate students are required to complete at least one internship as a part of their program. Michael McCaffrey ’16, a business management major from East Brunswick, N.J., took advantage of this opportunity and learned about networking and fundraising as a marketing intern for the Capital Region Development Authority, which aims to stimulate economic development and new investment in the Hartford community.
During his internship, Michael raised money for the beautification and maintenance of the Mayor Mike Peters Bridge in downtown Hartford. The bridge connects various districts and therefore serves as an important factor in the development of the city. Starting from scratch, Michael identified potential sponsors and wrote personal letters to each organization. With hard work and persistence, he raised $34,000 for the bridge. Some of the sponsors included The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, The Hartford, and Travelers Insurance Company.
The experience taught Michael about networking, communication strategies, and teamwork. It also opened his eyes to new career opportunities.
“I found a new interest in policy and government from this internship,” he says. When he graduates this December, he plans on finding a job similar to what he did at his internship. Several organizations that he worked with on the project have already offered him informational interviews.
“I think that it all comes down to separating yourself from others on paper. Taking on as many internships that you possible can will only further develop employer’s interest in you,” Michael says.