Alum Offers Advice to Students and Fellow Alums about Internships
Vincent Ragucci III ’86, who calls himself a “proud alum” of the Girard School of Business, created a business internship at his company because he wants to help build the resumes of business students.
“I have found that most young professionals lack real situational business experience when they start out in the workplace,” said Ragucci, who in June was named executive vice president of Energy New England, responsible for state and local government projects and establishing ENE in sectors beyond municipal utilities. He had previously served five years as an outside board member at ENE.
He happily recalls his own experience with internships while a Merrimack student majoring in business administration:
“I took full advantage of Merrimack College’s Cooperative Education Program when I attended Merrimack. I had the opportunity to work for Honeywell, General Electric, and the Winchester Cooperative Bank while on Co-Op. At the same time, I was elected freshman class president at Merrimack, then during my sophomore year I ran for and was elected to the Everett City Council. I also played varsity baseball at Merrimack. It certainly kept me busy.”
He served five consecutive terms in Everett and was elected by his council peers as City Council president in 1991.
Ragucci recently hired two interns from Merrimack’s Girard School of Business, the first-ever internship partnership between Merrimack and Energy New England. When interviewing students for internships, he’s attuned to several qualities:
“First, without a doubt is appearance. In a business setting, I want a student to dress like a businessperson. As my dad always told me, you never get a second chance at making a first impression. There is no such thing as being “overdressed” – it’s your opportunity to make a first impression as a potential candidate.
“Second, is interest in my company and project. I am not looking to make a sale, I am looking to make a hire. An interested internship candidate takes the job description and jumps into what they feel they can offer. They should have checked out the company – what we do – and take an early stab at why they think they are the right candidate to help.
“Finally, I look for enthusiasm in what we are looking at doing. If I am the only thing between a candidate and watching a Merrimack hockey game with friends, it shows. I look for someone who is passionate and wants to help. When you care in business, it shows.”
He urges other alumni to get involved with the school’s business career specialists to develop internship opportunities:
“I can’t say enough about the quality and value of a Girard School of Business internship partnership with Merrimack College. Dean Mark Cordano has created an incredible resource in hiring Jessica Crowley and Joe Jenkins in roles as business career specialists. It has given Merrimack students a significant advantage as they prepare to enter the workforce. I strongly encourage other alumni and businesses to consider creating similar opportunities and for students to take advantage of this great career-assisting resource.”