Marcello Rossi ’16 launched an online platform to connect students with Andover Alumni for mentorship and internship opportunities this week.
After witnessing widespread stress over post-graduation internship opportunities, Rossi created Andover Mentorship Internship Network (AMIN) during his co-president campaign last year, to better connect current students with Andover alumni.
“In Upper year, when I was running for the co-presidency, I saw that a lot of my classmates were going through this [internship opportunity] anxiety, and I thought to myself, what’s a practical avenue that can help alleviate stress and help students gain a broader perspective?” said Rossi.
“I thought this anxiety was due to being enclosed in the Andover bubble and not being able to see beyond where our academics led to,” Rossi continued.
Rossi found that increasing the availability of alumni connections would allow students more internship opportunities.
“I wanted to be able to offer a resource that connected students with internships and mentorship opportunities outside of Andover, so students can gain a broader perspective on where to apply the knowledge that we are learning here,” said Rossi.
Employing a first-come, first-serve method via an email to all Uppers, AMIN welcomed 33 students into the network.
“You acquire internships through connections, and so therefore I thought creating a resource, or being able to give equal access to the Andover Alumni Network to promote internships, would be more fair and equitable for students to get mentors and internships,” Rossi continued.
Reflecting on his own experience with internships, Rossi recognized the value in having the opportunity to use his knowledge from Andover in scenarios off-campus.
“I had worked on a couple of internships during the summer before my Upper year, and I knew, I just realized how valuable they were to me in helping me see where my knowledge can be applied from Andover. So, I thought, ‘Why not create a resource that helps all Andover students gain access to internships?’” Rossi continued.
Rossi hopes that AMIN will provide equal access to internships and alumni mentors for all Andover students.
“I think that alumni are also willing to volunteer [at Andover] in ways other than monetarily – just donating. I think this is a very hands-on way for alumni to make an impact on the student life,” said Rossi.
One alum connected on AMIN, Nathaniel Fowler ’99, offers internship opportunities at real estate private equity company, Lauderhill Partners.
“[I’m] always looking to help Andover alumni trying to figure out their career plans. I would have really enjoyed connecting with our alumni throughout the world [when I was a student at Andover],” wrote Fowler in an email to The Phillipian.
While AMIN helps connect students to alumni, Rossi hopes students can be proactive in taking advantage of these connections.
“I think the biggest challenge will be for students to really take the bull by the horns and contact alumni. Because while they are in contact, I think students need to be proactive in reaching out to these alumni and seeking out the mentorship from [themselves],” said Rossi.
Rossi believes connecting alumni to AMIN will prove easier if students are eager.
“Another challenge is also definitely getting alumni on board, but I think it’s easier to get alumni on board when the students are enthusiastic. The main thing I’m looking for is hopefully that the students take on the initiative and are enthusiastic about it, and it’s shown we could get more alumni on the network and make it a lot more valuable,” said Rossi.
Although he came up with the idea of AMIN on his own, Rossi received help from an outside computer contractor in London to build the website after obtaining funds from an Abbot Grant. Rossi also received help from Jacques Hugon, Senior Technology Partner for the Tang Institute, and from the Alumni Relations Office.
Through the help of his own contacts, Rossi was able to expand AMIN’s list of alumni connections.
“I started off with a list that I acquired from my own personal connections. And from there, I asked [the Alumni Engagement Office] to spread the work of the internship website. Basically it was kind of just like a blow-out effect, where the first ring would reach out to their connections in their grade. It grew [in] that way,” said Rossi.
Rossi will be on the lookout for younger students to take over AMIN once he graduates if the site proves successful this year.
“I’ll be looking for people to maintain it… But yeah it depends, if it’s successful, it will continue over to next year. Hopefully, as long as it grows, the more it grows, the more potential we’ll have to keep it going in the future,” said Rossi.