Work with the COCAL director to create a program tailored to your specific career goals, combining classroom study with on-the-job training and close mentoring by practicing professionals in a workplace environment. You’ll make valuable career contacts and bolster your resume with the hands-on training employers seek in today’s competitive job market.
Read the student testimonials below to see how COCAL or an internship can jump start your career.
Accounting Intern at Townsend Leather
On the Job
“Townsend Leather is a high-end decorative leather manufacturing company that does business all over the world. It produces and markets superior quality products and services to ensure the success and fulfillment of all partners. I provided support for numerous duties including but not limited to analyzing reports, filing information, data entry and organizing data. I used software programs such as Riata CRM, Sage Pro, Excel spreadsheet, Microsoft Word and Outlook.”
“I believe this opportunity was a great hands-on experience. I was able to work in the Accounting office and directly assist CPA’s who were very welcoming. They helped me expand my knowledge in departments such as Accounts Receivable and Payable. It required diligent attention to detail for optimal end results, which I was able to maintain and accomplish.”
Automotive Technology Intern at Amsterdam Auto Parts
On the Job
“Amsterdam Auto Parts is a well-established company where you can purchase your car care products, maintenance supplies, and auto parts. When I entered the internship site, I entered as an intern with basic automotive knowledge. My supervisor immediately picked up on that and was determined to teach me everything he knew.
“I learned product pricing and how to use a computer system to look up and bill out auto parts for customers. I mixed paint for the first time and learned the trick of perfect balance within a mix. My supervisor took the time to bring in a CV and universal joint, a drive and propel shaft, and a front and rear wheel drive. He took them all apart, explained what they each do, and the advantages and disadvantages of having them.”
“This internship was a great opportunity. I was able to work in a friendly environment where I was welcomed and accepted. Each coworker took their time answering any questions that I had and were all eager to expand my knowledge. This experience greatly influenced and helped me determine how I will take my next step towards my career.”
COCAL Intern at St. Mary’s Healthcare, Medical Records
On the Job
“I was a Health Information Specialist at St. Mary’s Healthcare. The mission statement of the hospital is “to care compassionately for those we serve with dedication to excellence and Christian ideals.” I was fortunate to be under the supervision of a clerical supervisor with a vivid memory of his college internship. He was determined to provide me with a true flavor of a well-rounded internship of assisting in each department of the Health Information Management office. My internship created challenges that my academic experience had prepared me for.
“The most interesting aspect of my internship has been my final assignment in the Correspondence Department where all requests for information are filled, from one page reports to subpoena directives thousands of pages long within 24 hours. It was exhilarating to be able to meet the challenge.
“I received both an educational and professional experience as a COCAL student which cannot compare to any other program I researched prior to locating it as an option at FMCC. And I can assure you that I searched far and wide in my locale. In one short year, I have achieved far more than I ever anticipated I would. I was hired full-time as a correspondence technician at St. Mary’s Healthcare!’
“Never in my wildest dream at this stage in my life would I have been able to predict how much I enjoyed and relished my educational experience at FMCC. Each professor renewed my joy in education and encouraged me in my pursuit of a position in the health information field. I also never believed that I could be capable to fulfilling a 360 hour internship while completing a full time student schedule and maintaining excellent grades. The experience renewed my confidence in myself as it relates to my academic life and reinforced my professional resume.”
COCAL Intern at Nathan Littauer Hospital, Phlebotomy
On the Job
“Nathan Littauer Hospital is a full-service, acute care hospital with a skilled nursing home. The hospital provides state-of-the-art technology, various healthcare professionals, and also expanded its services to offer healthcare that is comprehensive, accessible, and relevant to the residents of Fulton. Nathan Littauer hospital provides medical laboratory services to the county and the surrounding community. I supported the lab with collection of blood specimen from patients through venipuncture, prepared and organized patients’ specimen for testing, collected urine and screen specimens, delivered blood samples to various departments, and answered phone calls from patients and requests for blood draws. I also used the hospital’s medical software to accession specimens, processed patients’ data, printed test labels, and scanned requisition forms.”
“The COCAL program was well coordinated and arranged in such a way that I could spend three days each week at the clinical site and two days at the college attending classes to complete my required nursing prerequisites. With my new experience of working in a hospital, I believe that the internship has given me an edge and a better chance of getting into the nursing program in the fall.”
Early Childhood Education Intern at CloverPatch Preschool
On the Job
“The CloverPatch Preschool serves children from ages 2-4. This program focuses on enriching a child’s learning experiences and prepares them for kindergarten and continued success in school. CloverPatch also focuses on the child’s educational, social and emotional needs. I was on the job with a preschool teacher that had children ages 3-4 years old. These children were all at different learning stages in their curriculum. I got to help them do work in all subjects areas. I experienced the everyday morning routine of a teacher. You get the chance to improve your skills and learn hands on that everyone is different so you need to make sure the lessons can accommodate each individual’s skill level. During a practicum experience, you will see quickly how the work that you do at FMCC in your Early Childhood classes will pay off and how much more prepared you are in the field. The classes are set up to help you achieve your full potential in education. I created lessons that I was able to teach the students plus I was also able to create a lesson that the teacher taught. I also got to experience teaching one of a teacher’s lesson plans that followed the preschool governmental guide lines. At CloverPatch they utilize the Scott Foresman curriculum and the lesson from the teacher was made up from the Scott Foresman curriculum. On the job you also learn more about professionalism. You have to follow the site dress code and all the jobs rules and regulations. Your practicum becomes your full time job!”
“It’s a learning experience that can change a life time. You are very likely to get a job offer from your practicum site. All the hard work that you have done at FMCC is finally paying off. As you go to your class and talk to other college teachers they see the achievements that you have done and are doing in your college work. At first it seems like 180 hours per practicum is too much, But once things start going, it’s challenging and rewarding! When I thought of my future I didn’t think it was that close to becoming true until I was doing my practicum though FMCC and getting the experience so quickly in the field.”
Electrical Technology Intern at Albany Nanotech at the University of Albany
On the Job
“I am interning at Albany Nanotech at the University of Albany, a research and development center for advancement in semiconductor technology and nanotechnology. I am a tool operator working on multiple machines designed to fabricate, test and develop new ways of making microchips and new forms of nanotechnology. While working on these tools I am required to don clean room attire as the environment that the process takes place in has to be kept clean not only from outside sources of contamination, but also from contamination that comes from the human body. Protective gloves, shoes, and a full body suit are required to maintain strict standards of the clean room environment. I have been working side by side with seasoned tool operators and tool owners who are responsible for keeping tools running 24 hours a day and maintaining the strict standards at which are necessary for successful creation of products that are built at the scale of one billionth of a meter . My responsibilities include keeping tools loaded with product when needed and continuously conducting tests on the machines to maintain them. Most of these tools are the size of the average living room costing millions of dollars.”
“Working at Albany Nanotech has helped me grasp a fuller understanding of how advanced we have become in the field of electrical technology. Almost since the first week of my internship, I have been able to apply most of the concepts I have learned while progressing through my degree in Electrical Technology at Fulton Montgomery Community College. My experience during my internship will no doubt, result directly into a full time career at the facility itself, or give me the experience necessary to begin a career at other facilities. It has given me great confidence in my decision to gain a degree in a field that has fascinated me for decades. I am looking toward the future with more hope than I ever thought possible.”
Human Services Intern at St. Mary’s Healthcare
On the Job
“I had the opportunity to do two internships through St. Mary’s Healthcare. I did my first one at Club North in Gloversville, which at the time was a Psycho-Social Club that is a day program which fosters the development of self through involvement in a “club-like” setting. Its mission was to empower persons recovering from mental illness to be as independent as possible. I knew nothing about mental health and wasn’t sure if it was the right fit. While there I learned the steps needed to help someone with mental disabilities’ to regain the confidence to enter back into society. I also learned how to do intakes, how to run group sessions, some of the paperwork aspects, and the lack of awareness about mental health and the services offered among the community. Because of the lack of awareness I wanted to learn more thus, did another internship at Memorial Campus in the PROS (Personalized Recovery Oriented Services) Program which helps people develop the skills and abilities necessary to overcome barriers and effectively negotiate the challenges in their lives. While there, I learned additional steps involved to help those in need, from both a clinical aspect to the paperwork aspect. I was offered the opportunity to create and run more group activities, as well as sit in on specialized groups for consumers, and attend staff meetings and training.”
“When taking my very first Human Service class, we were asked to reflect on our own personal experiences and answer the question ‘What attracted me to the helping profession.’ My first thought was that I come from a family of ‘helpers’ and always wanted to work at the Department of Social Services. At the time an internship was not available at DSS. When first offered the opportunity to do an internship in the Mental Health field, I was scared I knew nothing about mental illness. How was I going to help someone with this type of illness? Dr. Guiffre said do something you’re not familiar with and it could help rule out what you don’t want to do. Well I am so thankful for that advice, because after my second internship I was more determined than ever to finish pursuing my degree. If not for the opportunity to do an Internship at FM, I would not be following my dreams to help those with mental illness. I am currently pursuing my BA in Human Services from SUNY Empire State. Once finished I plan on getting my Masters in Social Work.”