Alumnus Walker Jacobs spearheads new internship opportunity

April 25th, 2013

John Carroll University students have a new opportunity this year, as Turner Digital is offering a 10-week, paid summer internship through the company’s Manhattan offices for a current JCU sophomore or junior.

The winning candidate of the Turner Digital internship, junior Lisa Perry, was notified of her acceptance on April 22.

“I opened the email right before my 11 a.m. class [on Monday] and I could hardly believe what I was reading. My first instinct was to run out of the classroom and into the hallway where I could scream a little — so I did,” Perry said

She explained that she initially applied for the internship because it was an opportunity to intern at the corporate level.

Perry said, “I had to at least give it a shot. I never thought I would actually be selected, but here I am.”

Perry also expressed her excitement about spending the 10-week internship in New York City.

“Living in the Big Apple will be a dream come true for me in more ways than one,” she said. “I am most excited to be enveloped in a completely new and stimulating environment. My quad will be Central Park.”

Perry is also excited to learn about new things and gather as much information as she can from the opportunity.

She said, “My goal is to soak in everything I possibly can. Whether it is formulating a sales plan for a client or navigating the New York City subway, I am ready to learn.”

The internship was created through a collaboration between JCU alumnus Walker Jacobs ‘97, Turner Digital’s executive vice president, and Jeanne M. Colleran, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The internship will focus on helping the selected student gain professional skills in conducting research, connecting products with marketing messages and platforms as well as creating and presenting a sales plan by utilizing the variety of websites that Turner Digital manages. These websites include,,,, and

A committee, organized by the College of Arts and Sciences, selected the finalists for the program. Jacobs visited JCU on April 18 to meet with and interview the finalists in order to select the student who would get the internship.

The Carroll News sat down with Jacobs to discuss the internship during his visit to JCU.

“We created the program because we see tremendous value in the students here and we think that they have an opportunity to help our company,” he said. “This is a way, as a graduate of John Carroll, to give back. And it is much more than that; it is about bringing really high-caliber students into our offices so they can help us.”

Jacobs explained that not only did he want to give back to JCU by offering an internship to its students, but he also thinks the students here are exactly what the company needs.

“I have tremendous respect for the way John Carroll educates its students and I think that, largely speaking, John Carroll graduates have a curiosity and a discipline, and I think it is that combination of curiosity, ambition and hard work that is increasingly difficult to find,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs said the caliber and make-up of the student body fits in well with the culture of Turner Digital and that it is getting increasingly harder to find curious, hard-working individuals. According to Jacobs, JCU students are exactly the type of people they want working for their company.

Students who applied for the program had to be a student of the College of Arts and Sciences, have a GPA of at least 3.5 in their major or intended major, have exceptional writing skills, familiarity with social media platforms and other forms of digital media and have “a creative and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Jacobs said, “We wanted to cast the widest possible net, hoping to get as many applicants as we could, so that we could get people who were the best fit for us.”

Even though the internship focuses on digital sales and marketing, Jacobs said that there was no need to limit the opportunity to just one major, and because the world of the Internet and sales is constantly changing, the company spends a lot of time and effort putting their employees through an extensive training program.

“We would never expect somebody to be able to read in a book or get trained in what is going to happen in the future,” Jacobs said. “So we need people who are thoughtful and well-trained so they can help us respond and help us win in a constantly changing market place.”

The intern will be expected to do projects and work from at least 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the office every day during the internship. The program will focus on almost every aspect of the company, from strategic planning and inventory management to advertising sales and presentation skills.

Jacobs said that, as a graduate of JCU, he felt that he had all of the necessary skills to be successful in the business world. He also mentioned JCU taught him how to respond to being in the right place at the right time and to not let opportunities pass him by.

“If I could give any advice to students today, it is that nobody is going to come give you something. You have to go and take what you want and you have to go get it,” Jacobs said.