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Student Profile: Stephen Varley ’16, School of Liberal Arts

From the Mercy Newsroom:

Mercy College student Stephen Varley ’16 remembers being in the car with his dad the first time he heard SiriusXM satellite radio. The now 23 year-old remembers hearing Howard Stern and non-top 40 music. He remembers it sounding so unique and inspiring. He remembers that as the exact day he fell in love with radio.

After briefly studying film at the School of Visual Arts, Varley decided to go back to his roots and enroll in Mercy College. “My parents both attended Mercy,” he said. “They loved their time here and always talked about it to me [Dolores Varley ’04 and Stephen Varley 1986-1988]. I thought about all the wonderful memories they have of the College and so I decided it was my time to attend Mercy.”

Varley enrolled at Mercy College in the fall of 2011. Shortly after he began he got an email from Career Services about a trip to SiriusXM. Varley said he jumped at it and was the first one on the bus. “I was so impressed that Mercy had this kind of connection. I had chills being there! I met Robin Quivers from the Howard Stern Show,” he said. “I told the tour guide, who I later found out ran the intern program, that is was my dream to work at SiriusXM. A few weeks later I was officially an intern working on the music stations.”

More focused on his career, Varley said Mercy was a natural fit for him. “I wanted to go to a college where I was going to learn a lot, work really hard and then get working. Mercy College has given me all of these fantastic practical skills – I’m not just sitting listening to someone talk – I’m doing it! In class we always talk about what is going on in radio NOW – and for a final you had to run a show – great way to get your feet wet and get REAL experience!”

Varley who interned for SiriusXM for two summers in a row was elated when this past November he was offered a part-time job as a sports board op. “Internships are a huge part of how you get into an organization – I see that now. They are invaluable. You need to know people, you need to make connections. Assistant Professor Lou Grasso really helped me along the way and guided me. He has really encouraged my personal growth and to take the opportunities presented to me at SiriusXM.”

Since first being hired, in November 2014, Varley has been promoted to Comedy Associate Producer for the comedy stations. “I am helping produce and edit content Comedy Central, Jeff and Larry's Comedy Roundup, Raw Dog and Comedy Greats. It is amazing – I love it! And it all started with an internship!”

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Career Maverick: Why use it to search for internships?
How do I earn academic credit for an internship?

Mercy College encourages all students to participate in experiential learning during their college years. Mercy College offers course credit for experiential learning if the Workplace Experience 380-381 registration criteria are met . This Workplace Experience is designed to link college coursework with the professional world, enabling students to obtain meaningful, academically relevant work experiences that will support their career goals.

It is the best of both worlds, getting relevant work experience while earning college credit!

The following are available 380 and 381 courses offered in Term A and C for any semester:



















Student Requirements:

1. Completed 30 credits

2. Complete a minimum of 135 workplace hours to receive 3 credits
Registration Process:

a. A copy of the resume

b. A description of the internship

c. Contact information for your internship supervisor

1. As soon as a student is offered an internship that they would like to receive 380/381 credit, they should send Workplace Coordinator – Lyn Leis,, the following. Workplace Coordinator will verify with the course criteria with the internship supervisor.

2. Workplace Coordinator confirms internship supervisor approval with Student. If approval is not granted, Student will have to secure another internship or register for a different course.

3. Student will also need to meet with their PACT mentor to fill out the registration form – it must be filled out completely before the student returns it to Workplace Coordinator. PACT should determine if the student meets the following qualifications:

a. required 30 college credits at Mercy College

b. no holds on account

c. not on academic probation

d. room on transcript for credits in either Open or Major Elective

‒ If Open Electives are not filled, the Workplace Experience course will apply toward degree audit

‒ If Open Electives are filled, student can register but the course will not apply toward degree audit

‒ If registering for Major Elective, departmental approval is required

4. The student will need a Faculty Advisor from the 380/381 department they wish to receive credit from.

5. Once the completed form is returned to Workplace Coordinator and has spoken with the internship supervisor, the completed form is sent to the Registrar cc'ing student, PACT and Faculty Advisor.

6. Please keep registration deadlines in mind. Workplace Coordinator will provide PACT the deadline date early in Term A registration period.

7. Please notify Workplace Coordinator if a student drops a 380/381 Workplace Experience course during the semester.

How do I develop a plan to secure an internship?

The first thing to do before you start your internship search is to develop a plan.

  • Identify your priorities - What are you hoping to gain from your internship experience? In what city/location do you want to work? In what industry are you thinking of interning?
  • Identify your skills - What unique skills do you possess? Are there specific areas in which you are proficient?  Do you have any previous work experience?
  • Set your timeline - Internships can fill up rapidly, so plan ahead as much as you can. Depending on the industry you are targeting, you may need to start applying months or even as much as a full year in advance. Some highly competitive industries, such as consulting or investment banking, may require specific GPAs, and only accept students who have finished their sophomore year or beyond in school. Government agencies,  such as the State Department will perform background checks on prospective interns, which alone could take months.
What's the best time to do an internship?

Any time. It is never too early nor too late to do an internship and you are encouraged to complete as many internships as you would like. The more real-world experience you have, the better prepared you will be and the more valuable you will appear to prospective employers. Interning at a number of different employers will also give you a good feel for the career path or paths you are considering. 

Internships are offered year round, not just during the summer months, so check Career Maverick regularly.

Please note: when seeking academic credit for an internship, students must follow deadlines set by the academic calendar.  Academic credit cannot be applied retroactively.

Where do I look for an internship?

Career Maverick is Mercy College's online career resource which has internship and job postings, resume templates, action verb lists, and other resources.  Career Maverick is an excellent place to start your internship search because the postings are from employers who specifically want to find talent from Mercy College. You will also find resources you need right here in the Career Services section of Mercy College’s website. Please visit Internship Search tab for Online Listings. Our resources will help you develop a plan, search for available internships, and prepare yourself for real-world experience.

Why should I apply for an internship?

Nothing can replace hands-on experience. That is exactly what an internship can offer. Consider an internship as an opportunity to determine if the specific job or career choice you are considering is right for you. You will see, hear, and learn things in a regular work environment that you cannot duplicate in a text book. It is an invaluable way to learn the inner workings of an organization and see if the industry is right for you. 

Employers are more likely to hire candidates with actual work-related experience. They also use internships as a talent pipeline, often hiring their successful interns after graduation.