Making It Work is a live, interactive online series that brings together business leaders who are finding new ways to retain and generate revenue.

Internships provide a vital way for students to get hands-on experience in a career field; for many businesses, they provide a pipeline for new hires. How can your business participate? How do you set up an intern program? Do you have to offer pay?

Two programs are expanding to help businesses recruit and host interns. Maine Career Compass has matched 2,000 students with 80 employers and continues to grow, despite pandemic restrictions, and the University of Southern Maine is expanding internship opportunities under its Career and Employment Hub.

Join moderator Carol Coultas, business projects editor, for a discussion on March 18 at 1 p.m. Joining her are Jeanne Paquette, USM’s vice president of Corporate and Workforce Engagement and former Maine labor commissioner, and Lillian Lema, a USM graduate who interned with Hannaford’s communication department and now works as a news editor at WGME and Kaylyn O’Brien, strategic talent programs and partnerships manager at WEX.



On the panel:

Jeanne Paquette, Vice President, USM Corporate and Workforce Engagement

Jeanne Paquette joined the University of Southern Maine (USM) in July of 2017. She is the VP of Corporate and Workforce Engagement and the Lewiston/Auburn Campus Administrator. Prior to joining the USM, Jeanne served as the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Labor.  Along with many years as a Human Resources Professional in the public and private sectors, Jeanne founded a media company that included The Employment Times, My Job Wave and HR Times which was merged with the Sun Media Group in 2009.

In her role, Jeanne focuses much of her time working with our Career & Employment Hub, connecting students with employers throughout the community in support of student success. Jeanne holds a BA in Education from Kean University and has served on numerous boards including the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Maine Community College system and multiple non -profits.

Lillian Lema, News Editor, WGME

Lillian is a first-generation American who received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine in Communications and Media Studies. Last summer, she interned for Hannaford Supermarkets in their internal communications department focusing on diversity and inclusion projects. She used her skills in writing, editing, interviewing, and storytelling to publish profile pieces on employees who have been awarded Department Manager of the Year and on those who are of Hispanic heritage throughout her internship. Although she graduated in the middle of a pandemic, she finds herself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to intern for Hannaford Supermarkets and to apply the skills learned to her current role as a news editor for WGME CBS 13/ WPFO FOX 23. As a news editor she’s been able to gain knowledge into the structure and operations of a news station and is excited to continue her career in broadcast journalism.

Kaylyn O’Brien, Strategic Talent Programs and Partnerships Manager, WEX Inc.

Kaylyn O’Brien joined WEX Inc. in 2018 and is currently the Strategic Talent Programs and Partnerships Manager on the Talent Management team. In her role Kaylyn is able to contribute to an array of projects and programs across the HR ecosystem. She also oversees key external partnerships positioned to support both the talent pipeline and long term employee development.

Prior to joining WEX, Kaylyn worked in higher education as a leadership educator at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) in upstate New York. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree through Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development and for her research she has partnered with Live + Work in Maine to examine the transition experiences of individuals who have chosen to relocate to Maine. She has a masters degree in Philosophy and Public Affairs from University College Dublin in Ireland and attended HWS for her BA.



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