Senior Spotlight: Jake Rousseau

by Juliana Dellamarggio

Jake Rousseau, a double major in journalism and communication studies, fueled his passion for journalism through his internship with Rhode Island Sea Grant. In the fall, he will further develop his journalist skills and knowledge when he heads to the University of Maryland to pursue a Master’s degree in journalism.

I sat down with him to discuss the work he has done, as well as his time in the Harrington School.

Q: What internships have you completed your senior year?

 Jake – In the fall semester of my senior year I did a writing and reporting internship with Rhode Island Sea Grant.

Q: What was your experience like in that internship?

J – My experience with Sea Grant was extremely rewarding and reassured me that journalism is something the I am passionate about. Sea Grant is part of larger, national program that is designed to “foster the resiliency of local and regional communities and marine environments.”

Q: Why did you choose this internship? How did you discover it?

J – I chose to work with Sea Grant because I believed that the work they do is important. I am a local Rhode Islander and grew up going to the beach. I hate to see our beaches become littered and the loss of marine habitats. Furthermore, Sea Grant is a smaller operation and it offered me the opportunity to be extremely hands on and develop my writing and research skills. I discovered the internship from Professor Pantalone.  He encouraged me to pursue the internship. Thankfully, I took his advice because my internship helped me gain experiences that I otherwise would not have received in the classroom.

Q: What has been your favorite memory from your internship?

J – My favorite memory from my internship was writing a profile piece on a young man from Warwick, Rhode Island, who entered the commercial fishing industry through an apprentice program that was created by the Commercial Fisheries Center of Rhode Island and the University of Rhode Island. He is very a hard-working, young man that hopes to one day become a captain of his own fishing boat.

Q: What are some important lessons you learned during your internship?

J – The most important lesson that I learned during my internship is to be thorough in everything that I do, because accountability in the workplace is valuable. The more trust that people have in you, the more willing they become to work with you.  

Q: How did the Harrington School prepare you for this internship and your future career?

J – The Harrington School helped prepare me for my future career by working with faculty that are professionals in the field. Their in-depth knowledge of the profession gave me a better idea of what to expect in the future.

Q: What is the most important lesson you’ll take away from your time at the Harrington School?

J – The important lesson that I will take away from my time in the Harrington School is that four years goes really fast and you have to be active in making connections with people. Connections are everything because you can be the smartest person in the room, but if people do not know who you are they will not put in the effort to work with you.    

Q: What advice do you have for incoming freshman in the Harrington School?

J – My advice for incoming freshman into the Harrington School is to not be afraid to challenge yourself. Your professors and classmates can only go so far to help prepare you for your future. Therefore, you must take it upon yourself to do extracurricular activities such as The Good Five Cents Cigar or internships. By taking on more activities it increases your chances of making connections and developing a network.    

Q: Any plans for after graduation?

J – After graduation I will be attending the University of Maryland to pursue my Master’s degree in journalism. I wouldn’t be able to get where I am today without my family, friends and the amazing people from the Harrington School. I am very excited to see what the future holds!