Internship Leads to Exciting Times for Communications Grad

Tania MacWilliam
Profiles

April 21, 2011

*PDF of newspaper article and photographs here

Graduation marks the start of new beginnings for students. For some, it means job-hunting time. For others, it is time to start interning.

Internships are a requirement for many Sheridan programs and typically consist of five, 40-hour weeks.

Corporate Communications graduate Andrej Petkovic has started an internship at the SickKids Foundation that will be four months long.

The SickKids Foundation is one of the largest and most esteemed foundations in North America, says the 24-year-old.

“The foundation raises money for all the important work that goes on across the street at the hospital and for all the research facilities,” he says.

His positive prior experience with the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children was one of the reasons he applied for an internship at the foundation.

He was born with an arachnoid cyst, a mass of cells filled with cerebral-spinal fluid, and received treatment at the hospital.

“I’ve always had a strong connection with the non- profit sector, and always saw myself being involved in it. So what better place than SickKids?”

The internship will be challenging, he says. “When you are raising money at the $100 million level it’s quite a bit of work.”

He’s not intimidated by figures like that. “Being an integral part in raising this much money and support- ing the amazing work that they do, I’m more excited that anything else, honestly.”

Some of the tasks he will undertake include media relations and writing content for the website and internal newsletters.

“The bulk of my responsibility will be meeting with medical and research staff, donors and patients and using their stories to develop solicitation materials for fundraising teams.”

After earning an undergraduate degree in economics from York, he began looking into schools where he could earn a post-graduate certificate in Corporate Communications. Having researched schools that offered similar programs, like Humber and Seneca, he decided that Sheridan was the best choice for him.

“Sheridan’s program offered the greatest opportunities to do real client work,” he said. “I did a lot of really exciting stuff that kids at other schools would never have the opportunity to do.”

Some of the hands-on training he received at Sheridan included leading a major research project for Halton Healthcare Services and writing the Trillium grant application for Habitat for Humanity.

That real-life experience led to his four-month internship, which began April 14 and will continue until the end of August.

While many students start internships hoping that it will lead to full-time employment, internships are meant to be a way to gain experience and open doors to other amazing opportunities.

If the opportunity arose, Petkovic would consider staying on at the SickKids foundation after completing his internship. “If extended a full-time offer, I would most likely accept.”

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