Jessica Cote '02 interned during her junior year with St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine, where she worked under the marketing manager for women's services in the public relations department.
Cote learned a lot about marketing with the help of a supportive supervisor, who continues to be her mentor. At the hospital, she proofed and edited brochures and ads that were in development. She also learned how to use page design software. Cote says, "Over the course of those projects, my supervisor took time to explain design concepts, such as proper use of fonts and color within a piece and even brought me to a printing company to explain the print process."
Cote particularly enjoyed working on development of a program called Club W!, which was created to give women life-enriching experiences, including health education. She stays very involved in Club W! by sitting on the advisory board, where she helps to plan and develop programs.
Working with Club W! also showed Cote how the marketing lessons she had learned in her courses were enacted in the real world. She saw that a program such as Club W! gets women, who often make the health care decisions for their family, involved with the hospital in a positive way. The result is a relationship between the hospital and the women from which both the consumer and the provider benefit.
Did her internship open doors for her? Definitely! She found it to be a great way to build relationships with people in her field, and it provided her with the experience necessary to obtain a job she desired.
"Today I work as client and web services manager at Vreeland Marketing," she explains. Vreeland is an award-winning, full-service advertising and public relations agency in Yarmouth, Maine. The fast-paced job came about through one of her former Saint Joseph's professors, who owns the firm. Cote says, "I truly believe the fact that I had previous experience and was so focused on what I wanted for my career helped me get a job in the firm."
Cote, who lives in Auburn, Maine, strongly encourages students to do an internship. "The knowledge and experience I gained during my internship are probably the most valuable experiences I took away from college," she says. "It's such a rewarding and confidence-building experience."