School of Communication

Meet the Internship Director & Ambassadors

Nagatha Tonkins has placed student interns on the path toward professional success for more than 20 years. It’s an attribute she developed and refined long before she arrived in the School of Communications’ Internship Office in 2008.

Tonkins’ supervision of interns began not on a college campus, but during her own broadcast career, mentoring newsroom interns while serving as a morning TV anchor/producer for WGHP-TV in High Point. After completing her master’s degree while continuing to work as a newscaster, she decided to leave the studio for the college classroom. Tonkins says the career change came after she realized the immense joy she experienced while working with students, particularly during their internships.

From 1986 to 2008, Tonkins served as internship director/assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at her alma mater, North Carolina A&T State University. While in Greensboro, her work gained considerable acclamation, earning the 2008 Journalism Educator of the Year award from the National Association of Black Journalists. That same year she decided to seek new challenges at Elon.

Since an internship experience is a requirement for all Elon Communications majors, Tonkins serves more than 1,200 students. Her work includes facilitating almost 300 internships during an academic year; overseeing placements at media, public relations agencies, film companies and corporate settings around the world; and assessing students’ academic progress.

Tonkins has participated in fellowships, internships and faculty seminars with the Advertising Education Foundation, Poynter Institute, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Black College Communication Association and American Press Institute.

How can Tonkins help place you on the right path? Students are invited to contact her to schedule an appointment.


Current Internship Ambassadors

Ask me! The students below have completed multiple successful internships in the School of Communications; and they welcome the opportunity to share their internship stories, advice and resources. To become a SOC internship ambassador, email cominternships@elon.edu for an application. Students are selected in the spring and summer for the upcoming academic year.


Janat Bashir

Student Assistant, Communications Internship Office

Major: Strategic Communications, French
Graduation Year: 2017
Email: jbashir@elon.edu

Previous Internships:

  • TRACE International
  • DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency

On Campus Involvement:

  • Elon News Network, copy chief
  • French Club, publicity chair

Advice:
Don’t be afraid to apply for and accept internships at niche-industry companies. You’ll learn more than you thought you would about more than just communications!

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
The resources we have at the office are all here to help and assist you in any way that you need. Our goal is to help you obtain the internship you want!


Bryan Anderson

Major: Journalism, Media Analytics
Graduation Year: 2018
Email: banderson8@elon.edu

Previous Internships:

  • Raleigh News & Observer
  • Greensboro Grasshoppers

On Campus Involvement:

  • Elon News Network enterprise manager

Advice:
Do your best to perform to the best of which you are capable and don’t let anybody outwork you. If you are the first to arrive, the last to leave and display enthusiasm for the work you are doing, you are much more likely to excel in your internship experience.

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
There is a database with internships previous students have had. The Internship Office can help you connect with potential employers looking for somebody like you.


Leena Dahal

Major: Strategic Communications and International Studies
Minor: Religious Studies
Graduation Year: 2017

Previous Internships:

  • Digital production intern at Women LEAD Nepal (Kathmandu, Nepal)
  • Digital Planning Intern at Bates CHI & Partners (Jakarta, Indonesia)

On Campus Involvement:

  • Elon News Network
  • Center for Leadership
  • Elon International Society

Advice:
Don’t limit yourself to an industry, city, state or country. Challenge yourself to seek an opportunity well beyond your comfort zone – you’ll be surprised how much you’ll grow from those decisions.

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
The Communications Internship Office genuinely cares about your success at Elon and beyond; even if you’re not sure what you want to do or where you want to go, they’re here to guide you toward a right internship for you.


Perry Elyaderani

Major: Journalism and Chemistry
Graduation Year: 2018
Email: pelyaderani@elon.edu

Previous Internships:

  • News Intern at Cleveland 19 (WOIO)
  • ABC7 Eyewitness News (Channel 7 in LA, KABC)
  • News and Production Intern at AwesomenessTV

On Campus Involvement:

  • Communications Fellow
  • Evening anchor and multimedia reporter for ENN
  • Assistant production manager at ESTV
  • Actor in Elon Tonight
  • Member of Elon’s SPJ chapter
  • Member of Elon’s Society for Public Health

Advice:
Find the closest contact to the recruiter you can, and be persistent; the earlier and more consistent, the better (without being annoying!)

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
Internships are the most important thing you can do in college to both secure a job and find out if the field is right for you, but it can be intimidating. The Communications Internship Office takes away that fear factor.


Kristina Lee

Major: Strategic Communications
Graduation Year: 2018

Previous Internships:

  • Girls’ Life Magazine
  • CollegeFashionista
  • Flamingo

On Campus Involvement:

  • Former assistant fashion editor and designer for The Edge Magazine

Advice:
Whatever you do, do not procrastinate when looking for internships. It’s better to start the search early on so that you are able to take your time doing thorough research of possible opportunities! Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to people who you know may be able to help you get your foot in the door.

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
Finding and applying for an internship can be a stressful process. Luckily, there are plenty of resources and tools in the Internship Office that can help you get on the right track. The internship database will assist you in your search of the “dream” internship.


Atoria Mills

Major: Journalism
Graduation Year: 2017

Previous Internships:

  • Newsource (CNN)
  • 60 Minutes (CBS)

On Campus Involvement:

  • ELN Morning, producer
  • ELN Radio, producer

Advice:
Use your resources! Really take time to explore all of the resources available to you on Elon’s campus. The Internship Office should be one of your first stops. Four years is a short time and you want to make the most of it - especially in terms of your professional development.

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
The Internship Office can help you strategically find your dream internship, but it can also be a great place to get networking advice and guidance. What’s also great about the office is that it never stops being a resource for you as a student or an alumni. Take advantage of these serious connections!


Alex Ofori

Major: Journalism
Graduation Year: 2017

Previous Internships:

  • Boston Herald

On Campus Involvement:

  • Elon News Network reporter
  • One on One Sports producer
  • Elon Phoenix Weekly Segment producer

Advice:
Start early and network as much as possible. The earlier you start, the more options you have; and you never know who you know that could help you get an internship.

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
It can be tough finding an internship and Nagatha Tonkins makes it much easier. There are great resources in the Internship Office waiting for you to take advantage of them.


Paige Pauroso

Major: Journalism
Graduation Year: 2017
Email: ppauroso@elon.edu

Previous Internships:

  • 8 News WRIC, Richmond, Virginia
  • Fox 5 WTTG, Washington, D.C.
  • WealthBriefing, London

On Campus Involvement:

  • Senior reporter for Elon News Network
  • Former assignment manager, co-executive producer of Weekly Online Exclusive, morning anchor for ELN

Advice:
Start earlier than you think is needed and network in any way possible. Those connections will get you incredible opportunities in internships and jobs! 

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
The Communications Internship Office has a wide range of amazing internships available to all Elon students.


Mariam Rosales

Major: Journalism
Graduation Year: 2017 
Email: mrosales@elon.edu

Previous Internships:

  • Telemundo Network
  • LA Models
  • e Marketing Concepts

On Campus Involvement:

  • ENN

Advice:
Apply, apply, apply! It’s important not to get discouraged even after your top choice says no. No matter where you intern, make the most of it because you can definitely take away something from each experience.

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
The Communications Internship Office is a great resource to reach out to alumni who are already in the field and to establish connections. In addition, they can help you take those first steps to find the perfect internship.


Alexis Williams

Major: Strategic Communications
Graduation Year: 2017
Email: awilliams48@elon.edu

Previous Internships:

  • AKA

On Campus Involvement:

  • ESTV engineer
  • Laugh Tracks creator/executive producer

Advice:
I think the best thing you can do is keep an open mind. I think it's really easy to get too excited over one particular company or position, but sometimes the best situations can arise from deviating from a plan.

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
A lot of my friends from high school do not even have an internship office or director at their school. It's a great opportunity to have a resource that is so helpful in finding an internship, and it should definitely be utilized.


Elizabeth Zimmerman

Major: Strategic Communications
Graduation Year: 2017
Email: ezimmerman7@elon.edu

Previous Internships:

  • PromoWest Productions
  • The Ohio Machine – Major League Lacrosse team
  • Elon’s Center for the Study of Religion, Culture and Society
  • Fahlgren Mortine

On Campus Involvement:

  • Lambda Pi Eta communications honor society
  • Phi Kappa Phi honor society
  • PRSSA
  • Young Life leader
  • Student Union Board
  • Alpha Xi Delta sorority

Advice:
If a company contacts you to do an interview, take it! Even if you aren’t necessarily interested in the position or company at first, you may end up really connecting with the interviewer or learn something about the company that could change your mind. Plus, doing as many interviews as possible is great practice for when your dream company contacts you to set one up.

Why Students Should Visit the Communications Internship Office:
Everyone should visit the Internship Office because there are so many amazing resources available there. Why struggle through the internship search alone when you can have the help of so many friendly and knowledgeable people?