Belfast student reaches for rocky mountains

BANGOR, ME (03/28/2013)(readMedia)--  A Belfast college student has traded in the frigid Maine coast for the cold, rocky mountains of Denver, Colorado. That's where Kim Merrifield, a student studying marketing communications from the New England School of Communications, or NESCom, is currently spending her last semester of school completing an internship at Cohn Marketing.

"I'm getting so much experience here," Merrifield explained. "In school you make your mistakes and the teacher corrects you. Here, I'm tested every day and I'm learning so much."

Merrifield works as a full time account service intern. She spends time with clients, helping them to create everything from a new event logo to an updated flyer or brochure. But most of her day is admittedly spent ensuring clients are increasing their social media presence.

"I develop all the posts for Facebook and Twitter. We have a gluten free client and I'll put up a recipe on their Facebook and Twitter handle each week," she said. "I've actually been able to do marketing and public relations work in one internship. I'm never bored."

NESCom's director of career services, Bill Devine, assists students like Merrifield land internships in their field of study. Over the years, students have enjoyed the hands-on experience at various television stations, newspapers and Carnival Cruise Lines. And many of those internships have successfully led to full time employment.

"I was going to play it safe and do an internship in Portland but I was discussing it with family and friends who said, 'Why stay in Maine when you can go wherever you want?' " Merrifield explained. She even decided to blog about her entire experience at

"One of the requirements [of my internship] is to log your hours so I thought keeping a blog would be a way to remind me how I used my time and something I could show my future employer," she said.

And when Merrifield is not on the job at Cohn Marketing or blogging about it, she can be found snowboarding in the Colorado mountains.

"We go every weekend. Last weekend it was negative one degree," she said.

Which is quite a temperature change from both her Denver apartment and her hometown.

"It's t-shirt weather here [in Denver]. It's actually hot," Merrifield explained. "[But overall] living in the city has been a big adjustment from Belfast, Maine. I haven't lived so close to so many people. My work is only eight or ten miles away but it takes me 30-40 minutes to get there."

City living, interning and experiencing life on her own for the first time is giving this small town girl just a glimpse of what her future holds after graduation.

"This is the peak of my college career, this is what I've been working toward," explains Merrifield. "It's awesome."