Student Serves Internship in Ireland

News Story: July 8, 2016

Deana Kosmalski with WK Fitness owners Mark Evans, left, and Shane Finn.

A Sacred Heart University sophomore is the first student enrolled in SHU’s semester program in Dingle, Ireland, to obtain an internship while abroad. Deana Kosmalski, 19, is studying nursing and business management. She began working at WK Fitness gym in January when the semester program began. She spent four days a week, six hours a day at the gym, learning more about health as well as the ins and outs of managing a business.

“It was a great learning experience,” Kosmalski said during a Face Time interview. “I’ve received a lot of knowledge.” She said not only is the internship a great addition to her résumé, but she’s learning how to be more professional and how to market a company while developing a business mindset.

Her duties included encouraging people to sign up for a running festival, promoting the business through emails and social media, taking gym members’ blood pressure and weight and advocating overall good health habits.

This experience was a new one for Kosmalski and the gym; she’s never had an internship before and WK Fitness has never had an intern. The gym, in its second year of operation, has approximately 800 members and plans to expand into a franchise, Kosmalski said. The gym’s owner, 23-year-old Shane Finn, even offered her a summer job.

Kosmalski said the gym’s employees and members were very welcoming. She enjoyed being an intern and didn’t mind balancing her course work, internship and social life. In fact, while she has been in Ireland, she has taken weekend trips to see parts of Italy and France. She said she definitely made the right decision to apply to the Dingle semester program.

Jerry Reid, director of the SHU in Dingle program, said Kosmalski’s internship adds a new personal, social and intellectual dimension to the study-abroad experience. “In addition, as an internationalinternship experience, it is a valuable factor in career preparation and future employability,” said Reid, who also is a professor of anthropology and sociology. “Students are well aware of the benefits offered by internships and an internationalinternship will set them apart from their competitors in the job market. Dingle is a popular study-abroad location for our students. To complete required course work and have a high-quality international internship in such a beautiful and interesting part of the world is a great opportunity.”