Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Chillicothe Campus Office Technology students gain valuable experience through internship opportunities

By public relations student writer Madison Corbin
This spring semester, Ohio University Chillicothe’s Office Technology Program has seen great successes in the form of students completing major-related internships in surrounding areas.  Students have fulfilled various positions at versatile organizations with intent to develop professional networks, refine industry skills and prepare for competitive job markets. 

Through the diligent efforts of on-campus staff members Martha Tanedo and Joyce Atwood, the campus was able to receive funding from the Ohio Board of Regents and the Ohio Means Grant to contribute to the hourly rates of student interns and in some cases, tuition costs.  Additional funding ensures that students across campus have access to internship opportunities.  Both OU-C administrative and educational staff members demonstrate a thorough comprehension of the importance of financial factors and continually work to guarantee the best possible prospects for their students.       
  
Shelley Felts, a second-year OU-C student who recently completed an internship for the Ross County Health Department, said her motivation for engaging in internship work was “to show future employers the seriousness of my endeavors for the OTEC field.” 

Felts emphasized that the support of Ohio University-Chillicothe has allotted her an array of excellent ways in which to expand upon her aspirations and grow as a matured candidate for future employment.

Office Technology Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor Allison White acknowledges the immensely positive impact internships have on students’ progress toward fulfilling their goals.  She works hard to ensure individuals have the access and encouragement necessary to make their internship placements possible.  As Program Coordinator, White acts not only as an educator but also as the primary advisor for students, making her an active part of campus. 

“This makes me accessible to assist students as they prepare resumes, consider various placement opportunities, and apply for positions.  I work closely with Martha Tanedo . . . she regularly forwards job opportunities to me,” said White.  “Many times we will make the first call or send resumes to employers to open the door for a meeting with the student.”

By assisting students in the pursuits and processes of obtaining internships, White provides them opportunities to apply in-classroom material to functional, professional experiences.  In her work, she demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the dynamic benefits of internships for both students and employers.  She stresses that internships testify to an interviewee’s industry-relevant abilities as well as their less easily detectable “soft skills” such as customer service and ethical behavior.

“Each year at least one intern becomes a full-time employee at the place where they complete their internship,” said White.

Besides Felts, other OTEC students who have recently been involved with internships include: Michelle Franklin, Adena Regional Medical Center-Adena Foundation; Kristina Dempsey, Adena Chief Nursing Officer office; and Tonia Gilbert, Gerber Insurance and Telesis. Sheila O’Reilly is in the process of applying for an upcoming internship.

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