Whenever Carl Hubbard ’21 boards a plane and sets off for the Bay Area to begin his job with Cisco Systems, it will be the start of a chapter he’s been eagerly anticipating for more than a year.
It will also be take-two.
Hubbard had secured an internship with Cisco last summer and by mid-February had also secured the plane ticket to take him there. But the COVID-19 pandemic forced the internship to become remote, leaving Hubbard with the potential sunk cost of travel and a lack of a suitable home office set-up.
Enter the Paul College Internship Opportunity Fund (IOF). Thanks to the IOF, Hubbard was able to offset the cost of his plane ticket and construct a work-from-home environment that made the program comfortable and productive. So productive, in fact, that it led to a full-time job offer he happily accepted.
“The IOF allowed me to navigate my internship with a lot less stress, specifically less financial stress,” Hubbard says. “That help was really invaluable to me.”
That help has been making internships possible for Paul College students since 2015, when a gift from John Turner ’82 that established the fund assisted the first cohort of two students. The IOF was created to offset expenses connected with internships — such as travel, rent and supplies — and quickly blossomed, assisting 17 students by the following year.
The fund has now benefited 117 students, many of whom have landed full-time positions as a result of their internships.
“The fund allows students to take internships with higher-level organizations that don’t always pay much, but it’s an opportunity that will really build their resume,” says Kimberly Clark, director of Career and Professional Success (CaPS) at Paul College and leader of the program. “It’s always so fulfilling to hear the joy and excitement that all of their hard work has paid off. It’s so gratifying.”
Last year looked unlike any before it because of the pandemic, and the fund was as important as ever. Like Hubbard, Nicole Marzulli ’21 had to adapt to remote work for her internship with Big Four accounting firm Ernst & Young. With both of her parents and her sister also working remotely, staying at home wasn’t conducive to a productive environment.
So the fund helped Marzulli pay for an apartment near UNH and purchase a desk. And like Hubbard, her summer experience led directly to a job offer.
“It was a huge relief,” Marzulli says. “I was so grateful that I got the experience. I never would have thought in a million years that one application after my sophomore year would turn into a full-time job going into senior year.”
The IOF’s growth has been possible in part because donor support has expanded significantly since Turner’s gift, including a major boost during The (603) Challenge each year.
“I’m very grateful for the donors that create this opportunity,” Marzulli says. “We’re all trying really hard to make a name for ourselves and get jobs, and they give us that chance by supporting us. It really shows how great the UNH community is.”