BSM EPIC Program Prepares Students for Future Professions

BSM EPIC Program Prepares Students for Future Professions

New to Benilde St. Margaret’s, the school's "EPIC" professional partnership program, which stands for Explore, Partner, Inspire, and Connect, is helping students discover their passions, add to their portfolios, and prepare for the professional world.

The program began in the fall of the 2019-2020 school year and is providing students with real-world experiences through internships, job shadows, and authentic learning opportunities. As part of this initiative, students also see, engage, and positively impact the world both inside and outside the four walls of the classroom.

EPIC was created under the direction of BSM's Dr. Steve Pohlen who has been working with faculty, staff, and outside organizations to design and create meaningful experiences to which Red Knights contribute valuable work.

Two internship opportunities have been developed at BSM that focus on Marketing and Communications and Information Technology (IT). BSM students participating in the program are able to hone their own skills, receive professional mentoring, and be active members of the department or organization.

Four Benilde St. Margaret’s seniors have been given the opportunity to gain impressive experience working alongside BSM’s Megan Peterson, Director of Marketing and Communications, and Eden Garman, Marketing and Communications Specialist, throughout the semester.

The interns applied during their junior year, and started their internship this fall as part of a half credit class. The interns and leaders meet weekly, and are engaging in hands-on, impactful work for the BSM website and social media sites. They are also learning about specific elements of the Marketing and Communications field like digital advertising, web development, crisis communications, videography, and photography.

Recently, students were able to meet and train with Mr. Cory Ryan, a professional photographer, to learn how to take engaging photos in any environment. 

The students have also met local TV reporters and received hands-on experience in media relations, another important aspect of Marketing and Communications. You can learn more about the Marketing and Communications interns in a recent Knight Errant (BSM Student Newspaper) article. 

In the IT department, six EPIC interns are developing an aptitude for help desk work under the supervision of BSM’s Bill Cheney, Help Desk Manager, and Dr. Pohlen. Their curriculum focuses on learning the hardware and software used by BSM students, faculty, and staff including laptops, interactive displays, copiers, printers, 3D printers, as well as enhancing customer service skills. 

In addition to the BSM internal internships, EPIC also includes professional experience working with outside organizations. The Twin Cities Film Festival is one of the first organizations to participate in the program, where students are gaining first-hand experience working in Videography, Business Management, Marketing, and Photography. 

BSM is also partnering with REM5. Students are engaging in hands-on lessons in Virtual Reality (VR) and gaining experience as interns in both technical and business sides of the organization.

Other EPIC experiences allow students to participate in events that last one to three days, allowing them to explore a variety of fields and interests. Examples have included NCAA Press Day, the University of St. Thomas Entrepreneurship Day, Minnesota Cyber Security Conference, and the Timberwolves/Lynx Business Day.

As a result of these opportunities with the EPIC partnership program, students walk away with professional experience, an enhanced portfolio, and a professional network that will serve them in the future. These proficiencies gained through EPIC will give BSM students an edge upon graduation and beyond.

As this program continues to develop, Dr. Pohlen plans to broaden EPIC to include multiple departments at BSM and other organizations in the years to come.

Interested in learning more? Do you want to help create EPIC experiences for students? E-mail Dr. Pohlen at SPohlen@BSMSchool.org