Alumni Association intern finds 'Nittany Lion family'

Christine Kilbride
February 10, 2016

Editor's Note: This story originally appeared in AlumnInsider, the Penn State Alumni Association's monthly member e-newsletter. You can click here for information on becoming a member, and you can follow the Alumni Association on Facebook and Twitter for more stories and updates on events.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — There are approximately 40,000 students at Penn State, University Park. I am a figurative needle in the haystack of Nittany Lions. Yet there are a few ways my world gets a little bit smaller. I am a senior advertising/PR major in the College of Communications, in a class of nearly 700. I am a piccolo player in the Blue Band, joining a mere 322 other people. When it comes to my on-campus internship, I am one of only two.

My fellow intern, Megan Krause, and I, are “the interns” at the Penn State Alumni Association.

So how did we get here?

The internships were actually funded through the vision of a generous alumni family, Dan and Cyndi Woods, a mutually beneficial gift to students and the Alumni Association alike. This gift led to a job listing being filtered through the College of Communications listserv. I felt compelled to apply, not only to write and develop my portfolio, but also for the unique opportunity to join the alumni family as an undergraduate. I do not come from a Penn State family — as a kid, I never dressed up as a Penn State cheerleader, took a picture at the Lion Shrine, or enjoyed a cone at the Berkey Creamery.

To me, the Penn State Alumni Association is the Nittany Lion family I never had.

Let me guess your next question — what do we do?

Well, Megan and I reside in the world of Strategic Communications at the Alumni Association. Everyone on the team is a piece of the puzzle, carefully crafting content and messages to be sent out to the Penn State community and beyond. Megan is the resident whiz of all the things tech and social media-related. John Patishnock is a feature writing pro. Jen Whittaker is a graphic design expert — the list goes on. That’s the best part about this small workplace world we live in. I don’t just write stories. Every day I learn something new, courtesy of my talented coworkers.

Christine Kilbride (Capital Day)

Among the events that Kilbride has attended is Capital Day, held last year at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg. She provided on-site assistance for the Alumni Association's Grassroots Network, which organizes and sponsors the daylong event that provides an opportunity for students and alumni to meet with state legislators. 

IMAGE: Christine Kilbride

Then there’s me. I am a writing intern, mainly producing articles for the Alumni Association’s monthly e-newsletter, the AlumnInsider, and Penn State News. A typical week includes storyboard discussions, research, interviews and editing (then editing some more).

But as every modern writer knows, the position isn’t complete without social media.

Our team meets several times a week to decide on the content that will be posted to our Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram accounts. There is never a dull moment, posting about our first pumpkin-carving contest one day to advertising for the latest City Lights presentation the next.

Speaking of events, I would be remiss if I did not mention some of the amazing experiences I have had outside of the office. I have assisted fellow students and alumni at Capital Day in Harrisburg, attended Penn State's hoops-hockey doubleheader in New York City, and explored at the Old Main Open House with the Lion Ambassadors — just to name a few.

I think the common thread to these experiences is evident. It’s the people at the Penn State Alumni Association that have made this internship truly influential. As a current student, it can be hard to grasp the scope of all the amazing alumni that have come before me, and the strong connections that can be forged over a common Penn State experience. But I am beginning to understand. So thank you to all members of the Penn State Alumni Association for your contributions and support.

We Are!

  • Christine Kilbride photo

    A typical week for Alumni Association intern Christine Kilbride includes storyboard discussions, research, interviews and editing (then editing some more, she jokes). Kilbride has one of two Alumni Association internships that are funded through the vision of a generous alumni family, Dan and Cyndi Woods, a mutually beneficial gift to students and the Alumni Association alike. 

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    IMAGE: Christine Kilbride

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Last Updated June 09, 2016