“I just had to jump in and have faith that everything I learned in school would work out,” said Waldron.
The two expressed their appreciation, too, for Donna Morris, PAR ‘19, who took it upon herself to share with Fordham’s Career Services that her employer, Adobe, had a robust internship program. Morris is an executive vice president at Adobe, a member of Fordham’s Parents’ Leadership Council (PLC), and the mother of rising sophomore Kyle Morris.
“It shows that someone can value the school beyond their own child, and it really opened up the doors for other students,” said Waldron.
PLC is a group of parent volunteers who help with outreach, development, and who facilitate career networking and internship opportunities for Fordham students. While the PLC’s internship efforts are not yet part of an official program, the success of a handful of placements this past summer bodes well for future efforts, said Carroll Keating, associate director of Parent, Leadership and Loyalty Giving.
In addition to Makarov and Waldron, two other students were hired at Adobe’s headquarters in San Jose, California. And some other parents from the council worked with Fordham’s Career Services to help students secure internships in a variety of industries, including at the nonprofit New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund.
Krista Reynolds, a rising junior, heard about the fund from her roommate Mary Munshower, whose father Ed Munshower sits on the fund’s board.
“It’s always intimidating when you apply for a job, but when parents are involved it’s a little more comfortable—I was able to get a better feeling for what the job was before applying,” said Reynolds. “Just the word ‘parent’ makes it feel comfortable and accessible.”
Both Morris and Munshower worked with Fordham’s Career Services to get the positions posted on Career Links. Fordham students had to apply just like other candidates.
“The Fordham students rose to the challenge,” said Morris.
Kathleen Mullaney, associate director of employer relations at Career Services, said that, going forward, the department would track parental internship referrals to refine the process.
“We want to tap into any kind of resource out there, so if parents have any information, we’d love to hear from them,” she said.
“Parents have a role to play,” said Morris. “They can find out if their employer has an internship program that our career services should know about.”
Still, while posting to Career Links remains the protocol for being hired, the personal connection a parent may make with a student doesn’t hurt either. Morris said she met Makarov when he took her and her son Kyle on an informal tour of the Rose Hill campus.
“He left such an impression that I gave him my business card,” she said.
Now, the Adobe internship has left an indelible impression on him.
“The tech culture is free-form and fluid, and they’re open to suggestions no matter what,” he said.
“I think the culture of these organizations is imperative to their success,” added Waldron. “The departments are not divisional. They want you to take a holistic view of the company, to interact, and to meet new people.”
For Morris, helping other students helps her son, she says.
“A college education shouldn’t be just about your son or daughter,” she said. “We need to make sure it benefits all the students, and future students.”