SUNY Potsdam Students Embark on Internship Journey with 5x5x5 Program


From left, “Living the Map” interns Anthony Horton, Chelsea Rourke, Kateryna Szewczyk and Kareem Attia pose with SUNY Potsdam Experiential Education Director Toby White.

A group of SUNY Potsdam students will embark on a whirlwind summer internship journey as part of the "Living the Map" national pilot program. Four accomplished undergraduates will take on five jobs in five weeks in five different locations in one summer.

Developed by Daniel Seddiqui, the author of "Fifty Jobs in Fifty States: One Man's Journey of Discovery Across America," the program will allow four lucky SUNY Potsdam students to test the waters in five different work places based on their career interests. Along with several students from SUNY Oswego, the Potsdam interns will be among the first in the country to test out the new "Living the Map" program.

"Four SUNY Potsdam students will be part of a new pilot program and will lead the way for future students wanting to explore their career fields in this new program. I am proud of these accomplished students, and I know they will represent SUNY Potsdam well," said Director of Experiential Education Toby White. "I am looking forward to learning about their journeys!"

Seddiqui, who traveled to speak at SUNY Potsdam in November 2013, was inspired to offer college students a meaningful internship experience based on his own cross-country journey. As described in his book, the recent college graduate decided to take a different job in every state, to find out where his passion and strengths lay.

"I had a mission to get out of my comfort zone, learn about my country and prove that we still live in the land of opportunity. I took a big risk that took me on a wild journey of discovery," Seddiqui said.

Each intern will earn six credits upon successful completion of the program. During their travels, they will stay with host families. Mentors at each job site will guide them through their internship experiences.

The interns include Kateryna Szewczyk of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., who is majoring in both speech communication and dance. She will intern at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the Newport Tourist Bureau, both in Newport, R.I.; then for the Wilmington Blue Rocks Minor League Baseball Team in Wilmington, Del.; followed by the 12th Street Gym in Philadelphia, Penn.; then for the New York City Department of Transportation, and finally for the "Hour with Bob Venturini" television show in Providence, R.I.

"I am thrilled for this opportunity, because it is the first step on my path to the 'real world.' I am excited to be out on my own and truly find a job that I love to do. I hope to make many connections," Szewczyk said.

Brooklyn native Kareem Attia, a geology major, will travel west for his internships. Starting at the Geological Survey of Wyoming offices in Laramie, Wyo., he will then continue to Liberty Oilfield Services in Denver, Colo., followed by work with Souder, Miller & Associates in Albuquerque, N.M. Attia will wrap up his internships at Four Corners Environmental in Flagstaff, Ariz., ending at Unit Corp. in Tulsa, Okla.

"This will be the second part of my overall summer adventure! I will attend a six-week field camp beforehand, and starting my five-week internship one day afterward. Traveling through the West has always been something I have wanted to do, ever since I became a geology major," Attia said.

Criminal justice major Anthony Horton of Colonie, N.Y., said he hopes to build his marketing skills and build his resume as a job candidate during the experience. He will intern for a district attorney's office in New Mexico, followed by work with the Office of Homeland Security in Texas. Horton will spend time with State Park Law Enforcement and with U.S. National Guard training at Camp Guernsey, both in Wyoming, followed by work with either a forensic lab in Denver, Colo., or with an Arizona district attorney's office.

Chelsea Rourke, a communications major from Raymondville, N.Y., will spend her entire internship experience in Chicago, working for a number of companies there. Her work sites will include Evanston NOW, an online news site; Adams Press, a publishing firm; PCI Public Relations; Creative Logic Inc., and the Chicago Google office.

"I'm thrilled to be given this opportunity. I'm at a time in my life when I need to start getting an idea of what I'd like to do when I leave Potsdam, and this internship gives me an incredible chance to explore different career options and make connections in the fields I am most interested in," Rourke said. "I can't wait to spend time in a new city, and create experiences and relationships with the people I encounter this summer."

The SUNY Potsdam Experiential Education Office expands students' horizons with internship opportunities and service learning. For more information, visit

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.