Networking and internships can be the direct lines to job offers. That’s how it worked for Michaela Vallonio ’20 when she went to FischTank PR in New York. Vallonio was recruited as an intern by FischTank Founder and CEO, Eric Fishchgrund ’06 who then hired her after her internship.

Vallonio made the networking connection at the Ship Career Fair. Now Fischgrund and Vallonio are looking for repeat success networking with students through the Career Center and Career and Internship Fair.

FischTank PR is a marketing and public relations firm with clients from technology to sports and entertainment. Fischgrund attributes his company’s success to their commitment to finding people who can tell stories, people like Vallonio.

In 2019 he was recognized and awarded Outstanding Young Alumnus.

Lori Smith, director of Office of Alumni Relations, works to cultivate these connections. “When we have alumni hiring students, and alumni hiring alumni, it puts value on the quality education and skill sets taught at Shippensburg. It further strengthens the Ship connection that we all share.” The Ship Community branches far beyond Shippensburg University.”

For more insight from Fischgrund about the value of being part of the Ship community for career advancement and connection check out his Q&A.

Why do you keep coming back to Ship to fill your job openings? 

Shippensburg students work hard. We receive job candidates from students at universities all over the world, including Ivy League schools in the US and internationally recognized ones in London, India, etc. As we enter our eighth year, we know that no student – regardless of their alma mater – is fully ready to produce at FischTank on day one. They have to work hard, listen and pay attention, be collaborative and apply themselves to succeed at our firm. This is exactly why we like Ship students – they work hard and care about their careers at FischTank. The same can’t be said for students everywhere else, especially those from some of the most prominent schools who believe their degree gives them a leg up.

What’s so cool about being an involved Ship alumnus?

For me, everything. I was not a good student at Shippensburg and didn’t utilize the many available opportunities to intern, volunteer and participate in anything outside of classwork. I view my professional career as a chance to do that over again, in a way. It’s exciting to work with professors from the College of Business and communication, journalism and media departments, students with an interest in journalism and PR, and the alumni and professional development professionals – like Lori – who have given me the opportunity to contribute and participate so many years later. It’s fulfilling.

What internship positions are you currently hiring for, and why would a Ship graduate be a great hire? 

We are currently hiring interns, who we compensate in addition to any credits they get with the university, for our general intern role. That role focuses on learning media monitoring, copywriting and editing, media list building, social media content development and eventually – pitching media and generating coverage for our clients. We are also hiring for account executives – so any Shippensburg student with PR experience, including internships, is also a candidate for an immediate full-time role.

A Ship graduate would be a great hire if they are good writers/communicators, are confident in their ability to work with others and be proactive, and want to join a company who will be on the right side of history, advancing cleantech/sustainability technologies, health care, emerging B2B technologies and more. We are also fast growing, having just been named to the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies List!

From Michaela Vallonio, account executive

What’s so cool about being an involved Ship alum?

I love Shippensburg University and I look forward to coming back every time I get the chance. Ship offers a variety of great opportunities to alumni that make it easy to stay involved. I really liked the faculty, students, and organizations I worked with during my time at Ship, and love to stay in touch. Being an alumnus, I’ve been through the program before and know you can expect great things when you talk and work with a Ship student. Shippensburg has an amazing alumni relationship and does a great job bridging connections between students and career professionals.