Meet the Internship Director & Ambassadors

Internship Director

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.

Student Ambassadors

Photo of Grace McMeekin

Grace McMeekin

Student Assistant, Communications Internship Office

Major: Strategic Communications

Graduation Year: 2020

Previous Internships:
• RLF Communications
• SIGMA Marketing Insights

On Campus Involvement:
• Intramural Chairman, Former Parent Events Chairman, Zeta Tau Alpha
• Staff Writer, Spoon University
• Social Media Intern, English Department

Advice: My advice for students is to start looking for internships early. A lot of positions are posted earlier than you might think, so it’s never too late to start looking.

Reason to visit the Communications Internship Office: The Internship Office is a fantastic resource for students. Visiting the Internship Office helps you hone in on the types of internships you should be applying for based on your major, interests and experience. It helps point you in the right direction when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Photo of Kirsten Chase

Kirsten Chase

Major: Strategic Communications

Graduation Year: 2020

Previous Internships:
• Accenture
• Common Vision
• Fairfax County Government

On Campus Involvement:
• Communications Fellows Program
• Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society
• Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Society
• Elon Global Ambassador
• School of Communications Student Advisory Board Member
• Sweet Signatures A Cappella President
• Elon 101 Teaching Assistant

Advice: Be proactive and take charge of your future. There are so many internships out there looking for students of all backgrounds and level of experience. All you have to do is apply.

Reason to visit the Communications Internship Office: The Internship Office has so many great resources, including contacts for alumni that are working all over the world. It's never too soon to begin building your professional network.

Photo of Jacqueline Hickey

Jacqueline Hickey

Major: Media Analytics

Graduation Year: 2020

Previous Internships:
• Donovan Public Relations

On Campus Involvement:
• Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority
• Colleges Against Cancer
• Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society

Advice: My advice for students looking for an internship would be to start searching as early as possible. Even if there aren't any interesting internships posted for your start date, I would encourage them to start researching and see what interests them. Students should take notes of the key words in the job descriptions to use for searching. Another big thing that I thought was helpful was making a spreadsheet of all the internships I applied to and information about the internships to keep everything organized in one place.

Reason to visit the Communications Internship Office: Students should visit the Communications Internship Office because it makes the search for internships easier. The Internship Office provides resources for students looking for internships based on their communication major and where they are interested in applying.

Photo of Sami King

Sami King

Major: Strategic Communications

Graduation Year: 2020

Previous Internships:
• Milk PEP
• Weber Shandwick (Powell Tate)

On Campus Involvement:
• Cross Country and Track & Field athlete
• Lambda Pi Eta

Advice: Research a company and position as much as you can and be proactive. Internships are not only an opportunity to learn, but also where you are offering your services and skills to enhance that company and be an asset for them.

Reason to visit the Communications Internship Office: Visit the Internship Office to research all available internship opportunities, connect with alumni that want to connect students with employers and companies, and to learn professional etiquette and behavior.

Photo of Gabriella Lynch

Gabriella Lynch

Major: Communication Design

Graduation Year: 2020

Previous Internships:
• Nanette Lepore - New York City
• Sevda London - London

On Campus Involvement:
• Apparel Assistant, Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity
• Director of Communications, Real Estate Club
• Creative Resolutions

Advice: Keep an open mind. You don't necessarily need to get an internship in your major's wheelhouse in order to be successful. Employers like to see that you are taking chances and are expanding your expertise.

Reason to visit the Communications Internship Office: They have such helpful resources. They take time to know you personally and help you gear your assets to find a job that you want in a location you desire. The director of internships provides professional insight into students' professional growth. The director offers a variety of resources to get students on track to find an internship that fits their major. Working with the Internship Office will allow for more information on current internship openings and provide connections.

Photo of Meagan Pruitt

Meagan Pruitt

Major: Communication Design

Graduation Year: 2020

Previous Internship:
• Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

On Campus Involvement:
• Member, American Advertising Federation
• Social Media Manager, Club Hockey

Advice: Pay attention to the COM Internship Hot List emails. These emails provide top internships for each major in the COM school. It's like a cheat sheet for finding an internship. If you don't know where to start, come to the Internship Office to see where alumni are working or where students have interned in the past. You can find companies to apply to by location and communication category. Also, look for internships through LinkedIn or Indeed. In addition to sending in your resume in your applications, include something from your portfolio or the link to your e-Portfolio. Employers want a visual of what you can do.

Reason to visit the Communications Internship Office: It's so easy and a great resource. When I was looking for an internship last year, the Internship Office gave me great advice on how to improve my resume and portfolio. They also gave me access to their database where I could find internship opportunities all over the country based on where Elon students have interned in the past.

Photo of Daria Sprague

Daria Sprague

Major: Strategic Communications

Graduation Year: 2020

Past Internships:
• Stanford Health Care
• My New Red Shoes

On Campus Involvement:
• Sigma Kappa Chapter Wellness
• Panhellenic Delegate
• Assistant PRSSA

Advice: Never be embarrassed about reaching out to your contacts. People are so willing to help you and you will never know until you try. Use the resources that you have because it can be really helpful.

Reason to Visit the Communications Internship Office: We are a great resource connecting students with an internship that fits best for them. Whether it is being contacted with alumni or providing an opportunity, the Internship Office is a great resource to use.

Photo of Sophia Theriault

Sophia Theriault

Major: Strategic Communications

Graduation Year: 2020

Previous Internships:
• Writing & Marketing Intern, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York
• Summer Intern, The Lady Project - Providence Chapter

On Campus Involvement:
• Records Assistant, Elon Admissions
• Member, PRSSA
• Member, Alpha Omicron Pi

Advice: Be patient with the process and don't compare your internship journey to other students. Never be afraid to put yourself out there and explore all types of internship opportunities.

Reason to Visit the Communications Internship Office: The resources available are incredibly helpful and it allows you to explore different career goals and develop vital professional skills.

Photo of Ennis Warlick

Ennis Warlick

Major: Cinema and Television Arts

Graduation Year: 2020

Past Internships:
• Content/Development Intern, XYZ Films
• Production Intern, Hanover TV99

On Campus Involvement:
• Producer, "One On One"
• Intramural Sports Referee, Campus Recreation and Wellness

Advice: I recommend applying early and using the resources in the Internship Office to create your resume and draft cover letters. Definitely take advantage of the resources that are available to you.

Reason to Visit the Communications Internship Office: The Internship Office gives you the necessary resources and steps to help you go about finding the right internship opportunities for you, connecting you with contacts and making sure you know how to receive internship credit.