Working Warriors: Geena Levine ‘21 Selected for Competitive Externship with NESN Grand Slam Training Series

Geena Levine ’21 lost her summer internship due to COVID-19. Like many others, she had to adapt to the current career environment. Pressing onward, Geena applied and was selected for the New England Sports Network (NESN)’s prestigious Grand Slam Training Series externship. As she works toward earning her bachelor’s degree in communications and media, Geena finds new ways daily to apply her production background in her current role. Today, she joins us to discuss her internship search, her Merrimack experience and her advice for fellow students.

Hey Geena!  Thanks so much for (virtually) sitting down with us. Can you talk us through the process of finding and applying for your internship? 

GEENA LEVINE: Thanks for reaching out! Finding an internship for the fall was an interesting process, due to the limitations of the pandemic. I found this job on LinkedIn, from someone who had previously done this internship. Once I saw the post, I knew immediately that it was an opportunity I wanted to apply for. Working at NESN has been a dream of mine since my freshman year of college. The process of the application was all online, and very simple! Ultimately, I heard back within a few days after submitting my application and was able to start soon after! 

It sounds like COVID-19 made the internship search a little harder for you, like many other students have experienced. Can you go into more detail on that?

My initial plans for Summer 2020 were to intern for the Boston Cannons in the “Game Day” operations department. During the summer, the team’s front office kept the incoming interns very informed, and let us know that Major League Lacrosse would make the final decision. There was a lot of waiting — and a lot of unknowns. We eventually heard back that we were not going to be interning for the summer, but we could possibly intern next summer.

With your internship cancelled, how did you stay motivated to find a position?

After I heard the news that I no longer had the internship, it was too late to find a new one for the summer. So, I began my search for a fall internship instead. This was also difficult; there were still so many unknowns on how the year was going to go, and if Merrimack was going to be in-person or remote. But this opportunity at NESN has allowed me to continue my growth, regardless of on-campus or remote learning. 

Your hustle is inspiring! It certainly paid off. Can you explain what you’re doing in your role at NESN?

The externship program differs from an internship because it focuses mostly on industry knowledge and networking, rather than hands-on experience like an internship.  Each week, we learn a different aspect of the sports industry through NESN’s staff. Some of these assignments we have include resume workshops, elevator pitch workshops and more. We are also able to meet and network with people who work at NESN. 

That seems like a really valuable experience, and like you’re learning a ton. What skills is NESN helping you cultivate? What skills did you come into your externship with?

This externship program is an opportunity that I am very excited for! It gives me the opportunity to enhance so many of the skills that I already possess, while gaining further insight into my chosen industry. Throughout college, I’ve definitely become very organized. I’m an expert in time management. That has helped me get assignments done in a timely manner, and allowed me to make sure that I am prepared for the next session. Another skill that I have is practiced experience in digital platforms, such as Adobe Premiere and Canva. This gives me the ability to complete tasks, and build my portfolio for future jobs. 

You mentioned becoming more organized throughout college; how else was Merrimack able to prepare you?  

Both Merrimack and the O’Brien Center prepared me extremely well for serving as an intern. Before coming to Merrimack, I didn’t have a resume — and I didn’t even know what a cover letter was. My professors and the staff at Merrimack have helped me tremendously to improve my media skills, making me feel prepared enough to hold internships and a job after college. The O’Brien Center has also been amazing; they have been there to look over my resume and cover letter, as well as help me prepare for interviews!  

We’re always here to help! Geena, is there any advice you have for your fellow Merrimack students?

Put yourself out there no matter how hard it may seem! The COVID-19 pandemic has caused so much stress and anxiety for people, which can make seeking job and internship opportunities more difficult than usual. It’s the last thing on people’s minds. Just make sure that you take some time to figure out what you want to do with your time, and if you think taking internships at this point is right for you! Also, don’t be afraid to apply for internships that you don’t think you have enough experience for! You never know what a job will be looking for; you may be surprised at what you can get!

That’s awesome advice! And you’re living proof that it’s true; if you keep trying in the face of adversity, you’ll never regret it. Thanks again, Geena, and enjoy the rest of your externship!

Are you ready to secure an internship or employment for the fall and beyond? The O’Brien Center for Career Development is here to help you! Visit Handshake today to search for open opportunities, meet with your career advisor, and more.

By Dan Roussel
Dan Roussel Communications and Copywriting Intern Dan Roussel