After graduating with a Liberal Arts Associate’s Degree with an English concentration from CCRI, Bunmi Lewis decided to continue her education at the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media. She applied for and was accepted into the Communication Studies program, which would provide her with a versatile set of skills that would prepare her for work in the real world.
As a newlywed and mother pursuing her Bachelor’s degree, Bunmi was taking evening classes on a part-time basis at the Feinstein CCE Providence campus before travelling to the Kingston campus to take the upper level classes she would need to graduate. “All of the teachers that I had were knowledgeable and understanding of my work/family balance as I pursued my higher education goals,” said Bunmi.
During her time at the Harrington School, Bunmi held two internships, both of which hired her upon completion of her intern hours. Bunmi landed her first internship at NBC10 during the fall of 2013. In this role she learned how to edit video and audio, worked in front of the camera, and wrote scripts. During her last semester in the spring of 2014, Bunmi was hired at NBC10 as a part-time Associate Producer working overnight shifts for the Sunrise show that aired from 4:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Her second internship was in the Communications Office for the Governor’s Office at the State House. She mentioned an interest in working there to her internship supervisor at the time who put her in contact with the internship office at the State House. During this internship, Bunmi worked on press releases and events for the Governor’s Office and supported the Director of Communications. After graduating in the spring of 2014, she was hired full-time as a Policy/Communications Associate. In this role, she played a key part in supporting the Governor’s Office of Policy and Legislation as the 2014 legislative session came to a close.
“My classes prepared me to be a better writer, communicator, and critical thinker,” Bunmi said. “I had to present information on camera as well as to the Honorable Governor Lincoln Chafee during meetings giving my recommendations on policy and legislation. Classes like Public Speaking and Advanced Public Speaking seasoned me to be able to do so effectively.” Additionally, Bunmi attributes many communication studies classes—such as Communication and Conflict Resolution, Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication and Communication Theory and Rhetoric—to helping her shape her understanding of communication and enhancing her effectiveness in both her professional and personal life.
Bunmi’s internships prepared her for real life work experiences by showing her what working in media and communications entails. They gave her hands on experience in the day-to-day functions of working in a newsroom and working in a press office. Bunmi reflects on the importance of attaining an internship and gaining this valuable experience, noting, “It was extremely valuable for me in terms of building the skills and relationships that landed me the first jobs in my career. There was no way that I could have been in the position to be hired at either job if it weren’t for interning at both places first.”
Currently, Bunmi has the distinct honor and pleasure of working in the Governor’s Administration in the Executive Branch, which has been extremely important in laying the foundation for her career. Though her next steps are unclear, she knows that her time at the State House along with her internships and education from URI have made her a well-rounded candidate for whatever she pursues next. “I didn’t know that I would end up working in state government, but my internship experience opened up doors and unlocked passions that I never knew that I had.”