Kaitlyn Bonneville '10 Looks Back at Her MCLA Education


Kaitlyn Bonneville '10, of Chicopee, Mass., spent her senior year in a wide variety of internships and experiences as she prepares to graduate this spring and enter the world of work. The recipient of the 2009-10 James A. Hardman Jr. Scholarship in journalism and communications, Bonneville aspires to work for a magazine.

An English/communications major with concentrations in journalism, public relations and creative writing, Bonneville interned with The Washington Center and in MCLA's communications office, doing public relations work for the College. And, after serving as the managing editor last spring for MCLA's student-run newspaper, The Beacon, she served as the publication's editor-in-chief during the fall semester.

Through The Washington Center in Washington, D.C., last summer, Bonneville served an internship with a non-profit organization, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA). In addition to her internship, she took classes and completed a community service project. The Washington Center serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, the organization has more than 40,000 alumni, many of whom are in leadership positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors in the U.S. and around the world.

As part of the Center's media communications program as a PHA intern, Bonneville wrote articles for print and for the Web, and learned a variety of computer skills, such as HTML and the Adobe Suite of programs. She also wrote biweekly newsletters and updated the organization's Web site daily.

"It was a hands-on experience. The organization was very small, so I had the opportunity to do a lot of different things for them," Bonneville says. "It was a really phenomenal experience."

Upon her return to MCLA in the fall, Bonneville served as the editor-in-chief of the college newspaper, the Beacon, while also serving as a public relations intern at the College's communications office.

As part of her public relations experience, she wrote two press releases each week and worked with members of the local media about stories they could write about MCLA. She also attended and photographed special events happening on campus.

"I really got to see what a person in a public relations position would do," she says. "Ideally, I want to write for a magazine. But these experiences gave me more of an understanding of what I could do with my degree. I learned that, with my journalism major, I don't have to do only journalism."

Looking back at her MCLA education, Bonneville says she cannot imagine attending college anywhere else.

"Because of MCLA's small size, I've really had a chance to jump into a ton of different opportunities. I got involved with the Center for Service right away and I've done peer advising. For my final semester, I just recently became involved with the Student Government Association," she says. "I've just really branched out in lots of different ways and have taken advantage of all the opportunities I could. I think if I went to a larger school or a school that wasn't as nurturing to the students, I don't think I would have been able to do that, and I don't think I would have been as successful as I have been."