Maura McNamara ’22 and Emma Nedeau ’22 are interning this semester at Finger Lakes Goods, a new Geneva-based business owned by HWS alum Jim Cecere ’91 that sells natural goods produced locally in the Finger Lakes region.
As marketing interns, McNamara and Nedeau are responsible for reaching out to venues and a variety of clients ranging from colleges, event planners, students and every-day customers. They also assist with the design of care packages to ensure that customers receive a package best suited to their needs.
“Maura and I have been able to edit descriptions and put together the HWS boxes on the website in terms of taking photos and uploading the descriptions to shopify (which manages the inventory and posts to the website) as well as put together marketing posts for the Finger Lakes Goods Instagram (@flxgoods),” Nedeau says. “We have really been able to take leadership roles in terms of getting our ideas out to the public and promoting the products in our own ways.”
McNamara believes that what she has learned in the classroom assists her in the position. “I feel I have a solid foundation from my entrepreneurship courses here at HWS in areas like customer discovery with my comfort level with Excel,” she says. “I’m hoping to enhance my marketing skills. I would like to be involved in business once I graduate from HWS. I’m hoping that doing this internship will help me to find what aspect of business is best suited for me.”
Nedeau is also focused on using the internship as an opportunity to expand her coursework. “A challenge of interning at Finger Lakes Goods is taking what I have learned from entrepreneurial classes and applying it to the outside world,” Nedeau says. “My goals are to develop profit and loss statements and really think about margin when developing the customer boxes. Another goal is to take what I have learned in my entrepreneurial Excel class when calculating P&L statements for Finger Lakes Goods.”
Both students credit Brandi Ferarra, the director of the Salisbury Center for Career Services, as an invaluable resource during their internship search and application process. “Brandi helped tremendously in securing this internship for me. She reached out to the owner of Finger Lakes Goods and put us in touch. Without Career Services I would not have found this internship,” McNamara says.
Cecere, a member of President Joyce P. Jacobsen’s Leadership Council, created the internship opportunities after receiving a call to action from past Chair of the HWS Board of Trustees Thomas S. Bozzuto ’68, L.H.D. ’18 and current Chair Craig R. Stine ’81, P’17, who enjoined the HWS Alum Network to identify and share career and experiential learning opportunities with HWS students and recent alums during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cecere is one of more than 75 alums who responded to their call.
McNamara is a political science major with a double minor in entrepreneurial studies and media & society. She is a member of the William Smith cross country team, the William Smith Athletics Leadership Program, the HWS Leads Certificate Program and the Centennial Leadership Program. McNamara is also a Centennial Leadership Mentor.
Nedeau is a psychology major with a minor in entrepreneurial studies. On campus, she is a participant in the Leadership Certificate Program, as well as a member of the William Smith golf team, an Athletic Study Mentor and an Athletic Student Worker.