Shaughnessy ’22 Builds Portfolio Through Global Virtual Internship Program

By Caitlin T. Burns | June 8, 2021

While Political Science major Jill Shaughnessy ’22 couldn’t study abroad in the spring semester because of COVID-19, she was still able to experience an international internship. 

Through The College of Global Studies Virtual Global Internship Program, Shaughnessy interned with the International Network of Street Papers (INSP), where she was able to publish three articles that were picked up across the United States.

INSP is a nonprofit headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland that coordinates the news published by their street paper partners in the network and provides news content for them to run, either written by staff or edited from partner sites like Reuters. Street papers are newspaper publications that are designed to be a form of income for marginalized people, such as those who are homeless or struggle to make ends meet. There are street paper organizations all around the world in cities like Amsterdam and Brussels but also in the United States in cities like Denver and Dallas.

In her most recent feature article, Shaughnessy explores the impact that the pandemic has had on college students and what assistance is available to them, including interviewing Arcadia student Tyanna Taylor ’21 about the Knights for Nutrition Food Pantry. 

In addition to her three articles, Shaughnessy also copyedited content, crafted article headlines, and researched topics for weekly roundups, where she selected her favorite articles from the INSP network to feature online. She also is editing an interview with Olivia Newton John and supplying a headline for it.

“It was pretty cool because I’m a political science major, so I’ve been learning a lot about domestic policy and how that affects homeless people,” said Shaughnessy. “Now I can kind of apply it on a global scale as a mix of both of the things that I like to do. If I sat around I’d be wasting what Arcadia had to offer, and I wanted to use my time wisely since I wouldn’t be able to do clubs and more in-person stuff. Even with being virtual, Arcadia has been doing such a great job, the class that I take that goes along with the internship is really great as well.”

Although Shaughnessy was U.S. bound in 2021, she has studied abroad twice in London: First, during the First-Year Student Abroad Program (FYSAE) program, and then with the internship program in the spring 2020 where she worked as a production assistant at CBS news in London before the pandemic forced her home. 

“I did a lot of stuff on the royals—Megan and Harry were leaving at that time, and then with the coronavirus I interviewed people on the street and traveled around England as a production assistant,” said Shaunessy. “That was a great internship and I never thought I’d be able to top it but INSP is definitely amazing. I’ve gotten to learn so much about the turnaround process of journalism and interviewing people.”

One benefit to completing a virtual global internship is that the program guarantees that you’ll be placed with an international internship. Shaughnessy said this makes the program valuable because of how competitive it is to find an internship in the virtual environment. Once you pick a country that you’re interested in, the University staff helps to place you at an organization that matches what you’re interested in. Once you’re matched, you go through an interview with the organization to make sure it’s a good fit and then you’re good to go. Shaughnessy selected to intern with an organization in Scotland because she had already been to London twice and wanted to get a different experience.

Even working from home, Shaughnessy feels like she has improved her skills and added another unique experience to her resume. 

“You make great connections and it gives you a global perspective—even if you’re in your bedroom you have this world ahead of you,” said Shaughnessy. “I’ve been learning about so many different countries and I’m just kind of getting my foot in the door. It’s more than just an internship, it’s like a whole different world on your computer.”

Her experiences studying abroad have been a major reason in making Shaughnessy’s plans to go back to the UK for graduate school to study political communication. Until then, she is interning at the office of U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) this summer.