Reagan Brittain ’22 and Nick Curcio ’22 have been selected as recipients of the 2021 Furman Metropolitan Fellowship (FMF), a prestigious alumni-led grant program that provides two rising fourth-year Furman students with the connections, means and support needed to obtain summer internships in New York City.
Brittain is a politics and international affairs major with a concentration in economics from Estes Park, Colorado, while Curcio, a native of Long Island, New York, whose family currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina, is a Spanish and communication studies double major. Every third-year Furman student was eligible for consideration.
Both will receive a financial stipend to help cover their living expenses in addition to professional resume and interview skills, coaching and access to a network of mentors and connections in the city.
“I put a lot of effort into this,” Curcio said. “This is something I really felt was going to be critical in determining my career path going forward.”
Curcio, who plans to attend law school, has his eye on an internship with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office but intends to “cast a wide net.” The opportunity to return to his hometown was appealing for several reasons.
“I was fortunate enough to be able to get an internship there on my own as a freshman and really loved it and had a great time, but I realized there were a lot of limitations to living with your grandparents on Long Island and commuting to the city every day,” Curcio said. “So I saw this as a chance to not only work again in a city that I really could see myself in for an extended period of time but also to be able to leverage the resources available to make it a more impactful experience … where I could actually be embracing the culture 24/7.”
Brittain also has a connection to the city. She attended The King’s College there for two years before transferring to Furman. Her goal is to land an internship with the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think tank and publisher.
“It’s kind of an unexpected turn of events. I’ve been wanting to end back up back in New York at some point, but I didn’t really think it would be feasible during my undergrad,” Brittain said. “I want to get into foreign affairs or international relations, maybe intelligence, in that kind of realm. Working at a think tank is a great opportunity to gain exposure to different areas of foreign policy.”
Brittain, a Bell Tower Scholarship recipient, works as a research assistant for Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs Brittany Arsiniega and is on the leadership team of the Furman chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“One of the biggest things that the Metropolitan Fellowship offers is that they help plug you into the network of Furman alumni in New York … so that you’re not just walking into kind of a blank slate not knowing anyone. Coming from someone who did move to New York literally knowing no one, that’s really, really special,” Brittain said. “Another element of what the FMF does in helping support students secure internships in NYC revolves around professional development and support. The board members proof resumes, conduct mock interviews, connect students with relevant networks, and help prepare Furman students to succeed in getting great internships … I felt very humbled that I was selected, because there were really so many incredible people that applied.”
Curcio, a recipient of the Hollingsworth Scholarship, is a production executive for the Furman University News Channel, president of the Furman Creative Collaborative and philanthropy chair of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
“Even if I didn’t get selected, (the application process) was a great experience,” he said. “I learned how to more aptly prepare for the interview process and to present myself in professional situations.”
The Furman Metropolitan Fellowship was founded in February of 2015 by Max Dutcher ’12, Jeff Broad ’12, Peter Griffin ’11, Roe Morris ’11, Philip Mabry ’11 and Zach Rosen ’11 to create a bridge between Furman University students and New York City internship connections and community.
“We are thrilled to select Reagan and Nick as our fellows after what has been our most competitive year of applications to date,” Dutcher said. “They both epitomize the excellence, strength of character and passion we regard so highly as a part of The Furman Advantage. We are very excited to aid them in their journey and to have them both in New York next summer.”