Behind the Scenes of Colgate Community Service: The COVE’s Interns


A special way for Colgate University students to get involved in the Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE) is through paid internships, where students take on more responsibility in running the Center and putting on events.

Sophomore Georgette Manos, who has worked as COVE’s Civic Engagement Intern for two semesters, aims to inform and educate Colgate students about political issues. 

“My job is to help increase current event awareness on campus as well as understanding what’s going on politically in the country, whether that’s locally or nationally,” Manos said. “I also have specifically been working a lot on voter participation and outreach to make sure that students on campus have voter education. I work a lot specifically with Democracy Matters and the Colgate Vote Project.”

Senior Nicole VanNiekerk, COVE’s Media and Marketing Intern, explained that her job requires a combination of advertising and creative skills, which she appreciates because both align with her interests. 

“Every week I write the newsletter email that goes out to the students, staff, faculty and community members, which includes graphics for upcoming events, and little blurbs about them,” VanNiekerk said. “I also create graphics for different COVE teams who are looking for members or leaders or to advertise their upcoming events and post them on social media, mostly on Instagram. My favorite part of my position is probably that I get to use my creativity in it with making the graphics and things like that.”

Manos describes a similar enthusiasm about her position, as it directly relates to her interests as a political science concentrator. 

“I’m very passionate about what I do,” Manos said. “I’m really fascinated with voting and getting people involved in politics and comfortable talking about politics. So I really enjoy my job, and sometimes it doesn’t really feel like work.”

Senior Stephanie Skura, the Project Coordination Intern, who helps organize COVE events such as brown bags and alternative break trips, initially got involved because of her lifelong interest in volunteer work. 

“I came into Colgate really interested in service,” Skura explained. “In high school, I had been the Officer of Service for National Honor Society and had also done the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is a big 80-hour community service project. So, community service was always something that was a big part of my life and something that I knew I’d want to continue in college. Coming to Colgate, I knew that the COVE has a lot of opportunities to do community engagement work.”

Following her initial involvement with the COVE, Skura soon saw another enticement aside from the opportunity to volunteer: the friendships among staff members.

“I think the COVE has a really good atmosphere in general,” said Skura. “Everyone who works there is super nice and really friendly. The other interns and I got pretty close over this semester, which is really nice. It’s kind of a social thing while also getting a lot of work done in a supportive work environment. I’m always excited to go to work.”

Despite the pressures that come with juggling an on-campus job and a full academic course load, VanNiekerk has managed to find a balance. 

“It was a little bit challenging at first when I was adjusting to the role,” VanNiekerk said. “But it’s definitely manageable. Once you get used to it and figure out how to organize your schedule, it’s pretty easy. The [non-student] staff is also pretty flexible. For example, if you have to go to a required lecture or something during your work hours, you can shift your hours around that. They’re pretty accommodating in that way.”

For Skura, interning at COVE has also provided her with valuable work experience for whatever her future career might be.

“It’s kind of a first real job in a sense,” said Skura. “I go to COVE advisory council meetings which are meetings that [the staff] likes student representation at and I’m kind of the only student there. There’s some faculty so I get a taste of what a real work meeting is like. I think that’s been a really big benefit, especially as a senior going into the workforce.”