|Kelsey Crabtree gained valuable practical experience during her internship.|
By Student Public Relations Writer Leah Sternberger
Equipping students with the job training and preparation they need to enter the workforce is a top priority for the area of career services at Ohio University-Chillicothe. For many, these skills are best learned through on-the-job experience during an internship.
In that spirit, by partnering with businesses throughout the region, Student Support Coordinator Martha Tanedo helps students find internships. It is all about making connections.
“Businesses who are seeking interns or who have an open employment opportunity frequently contact OU-C Career Services,” Tanedo said. “I promote these opportunities to faculty and students, and occasionally we invite individuals from the businesses to guest speak in classes so students can learn more about the positions they have available. Students also reach out to me directly for internships. We work on their resume and determine their areas of interest. Afterwards, I will either share contact information with students, or contact a business on their behalf.”
The relationship between local businesses and their student interns offers extensive benefits to both parties.
“Internships provide students with an opportunity to learn things that cannot be duplicated in the classroom such as culture, colleague interaction, application of education in a work setting and business etiquette,” said Tanedo. “Businesses can also create internships based on the curriculum and desired educational outcome; they are not necessarily jobs that will be filled by other means. It affords a business an opportunity to shape and mentor the future workforce.”
Kelsey Crabtree, a senior studying applied management, is one OU-C student completing a business internship this spring at the Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce.
“I first heard about the opportunity through Martha Tanedo,” Crabtree said. “She knew I was looking for an internship, and recommended I apply for the intern position at the Chamber of Commerce. I ended up interviewing for the position, and they hired me the next day. Martha was very helpful in helping me obtain the position by revising my resume and helping me create a cover letter.”
By assisting the office manager and member relations managers at the Chamber of Commerce with their day-to-day activities, Crabtree has acquired a variety of new skills.
“I’ve learned how to provide assistance with customer retention, to organize and manage membership dues along with mailing invoices, to create business networks through a variety of local events and to use computer programs including QuickBooks, WordPress and BWC Log,” said Crabtree.
Senior applied management major Jesson Hill has also picked up technical skills this semester through working as a business operations intern at Telecom Horizon.
“My computer software and communication skills have developed tremendously,” said Hill. “I’ve been working on creating and updating Excel, Visio, and Word documents to help differentiate contracts. Currently, I'm working on creating a user guide for Salesforce, software that is used by Horizon. I’ve also benefitted from being in a formal business setting because I have not worked in one before,” Hill said.
As seniors approaching graduation, Crabtree and Hill have gained a competitive edge in the job market.
“I believe I will be ahead of other students that have not had the opportunity to complete an internship,” said Crabtree.
“I have met so many people through working at the Chamber. Networking at Chamber events has given me the chance to get my name out there as a young professional. I’m very thankful that I’ve had this opportunity to work with such great people, and at the same time learn so much valuable information. I hope this experience will allow me to obtain a job that I will enjoy and where I will be challenged,” Crabtree said.