Through this blog, we will spotlight Otterbein students who are engaging in internships and professional experiences in a variety of industries and geographic locations. We will also share tips and advice on searching for internships and making the most of internship experiences.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Adam Piccin '16 - Bricker & Eckler LLP

Adam Piccin
Class Year: 2016
Major: Public Relations, Health Communications
Hometown: Lewis Center, Ohio
Internship: Bricker & Eckler LLP
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Internship Responsibilities: I was a Public Relations and Marketing Intern at Bricker & Eckler LLP for eight months starting in the spring of 2014.  Bricker & Eckler is one of Ohio’s leading law firms and has more than 140 attorneys in four offices located in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati-Dayton and Marietta.  As an intern in the Practice Development Department, I executed PR and marketing strategies for the law firm, which included writing blogs, press releases, business letters, articles and internal communication copy. I performed extensive research, created marketing lists and regularly updated Bricker’s website.

What I Learned: I have gained experience in HTML coding, copyediting, fixing broken links, utilizing mass email marketing services, marketing database management and more. My favorite part of the internship was my supervisors treating me like an invaluable member of the team and trusted me with responsibilities that did not consist of typical administrative work. The assignments given to me from the other eight members of the department made for incredible learning experiences as well as portfolio samples. In addition, I found it very cool that I was featured on the company’s Intranet floor plan and that I had my own phone number.

I learned to take chances and try new things because you never know what you like until you try it. I am grateful for the incredible internship I had at Bricker & Eckler and would recommend the firm’s internship program without reservation to other students studying public relations, marketing or communications.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Jessica Moore '16, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, DEAMS Program

Jessica Moore
Class Year: 2016
Major: Sociology with concentrations in Criminology, Family & Fraud
Hometown: New Carlisle, Ohio
Internship: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, DEAMS Program
Location: Fairborn, Ohio

Internship Responsibilities: This summer I had the pleasure of working as a summer intern for the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the Defense Enterprise and Account Managing Systems (DEAMS) program. I joined the Junior Force Council where I was in charge of recruiting volunteers and ensuring everything ran smoothly for our big event, the Symposium, at the end of the summer.  This annual event is where high ranking individuals come and speak about the event theme, which for this year was Career and Connections. I was in also charge of making welcome packets, keeping supplies stocked and coordinating several fundraisers.

What I Learned: Here I learned about the financial aspects of business and how people with various backgrounds and skills can work together as a cohesive whole to accomplish anything. Through this opportunity, I learned more than I ever thought I would.
I was very lucky in that I was placed in an office where I could learn and have fun doing it. Overall I had a fantastic experience and I would love to work there again in the future.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Cordray in Colorado, Part 6: Finding Motivation

Three weeks left of my internship and I honestly can't believe it's almost over! It has been a pretty amazing 11 weeks here in Colorado Springs, but it has also been an incredibly long 11 weeks. At this point, I am absolutely ready to come home, graduate, and move on from the life of an unpaid intern! That being said, as I enter the home stretch, I can't help but feel a little unmotivated at times. This past week, I had a moment where I realized that although it is almost done, I still have almost a month of work left before I can hang up the towel on this internship. So the question is, how do I find the motivation I need to finish strong?

Here are a few things that will hopefully help me (and anyone else doing a semester-long internship) stay motivated:

1. Remember what it was like during week one. Week one of my internship was the time where I was bound and determined to prove myself. I accomplished all the tasks my supervisors set before me quickly and efficiently and talked with them in a very professional manner. Since then, things have changed dramatically. I've become comfortable in my work environment and don't constantly feel the need to prove myself. My superiors know that I am a hard worker and we've become friends - often talking to each other in a friendly and joking manner. Although this is inevitable, it also can lead to me being a bit lazy. In order to continue strong, I need to remember how I worked the first few weeks when I was still trying to prove myself and remember the motivation I had then!

2. Ask yourself how you want your co-workers and supervisors to remember you. This past week, after having a good laugh with my supervisor, I thought to myself "when this is over, do you want to be remembered as the good-natured, fun intern who made your supervisor laugh occasionally? Or do you want to be remembered as the intern who got stuff done quickly and tackled projects head-on while also maintaining a fun, positive attitude?" Sure, I will most-likely get a great recommendation out of the internship regardless of how I work these last few weeks, but I would rather the good recommendation be due to my consistent work ethic rather than my social skills.

3. Make weekly goals. This has helped me from the beginning of my internship, but it's important not to forget. When a task or project is assigned to me, it's important not to just let it sit by the wayside until I feel like doing it. Some projects I get done quickly because I like them, and others I avoid because they aren't fun (normally involving spreadsheets) - but if I set a goal to finish it by a certain date, then I feel more pressure to get it done! The best feeling on a Friday afternoon is to look at a weekly to-do list and see that everything on it is crossed off - even the boring tasks!

This blog post topic reminded me of a tip I read at the beginning of my internship. It said something along the lines of "pace yourself throughout - don't jump in too eagerly in the beginning only to be burnt out by the end." At the time, I was bound and determined to jump in eagerly and prove myself, but after eleven weeks, I do feel pretty burnt out! Following these tips and realizing that the internship is quickly coming to an end will hopefully enable me to finish strong and continue to prove to my superiors that I am a willing and hard-working individual.

As always, thanks for reading! Until next time!

Dillon Cordray
Music and Business '11

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Michael Mackessy '15, Diamond Hill Capital Management

Mike pictured with Otterbein alumna,
Tammi Gourley, Director - Employee Relations.
Michael Mackessy
Class Year: 2015
Major: Accounting
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Internship: Diamond Hill Capital Management
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Internship Responsibilities: My summer internship with Diamond Hill Capital Management was one of the most gratifying experiences of my life thus far. Over the course of my experience, I became familiar with all of the different occupational facets of a capital management company from the sales team to the portfolio managers and everything in between.  I worked closely with the accounting team during my time at Diamond Hill and assisted them in performing a few day to day tasks as well as a few projects of my own. 

While at Diamond Hill, I assisted in performing a fixed asset inventory review of all furniture and equipment at the Company’s two locations.  I documented all business processes that are performed by the accounting team on a daily, monthly, or quarterly basis.  I compiled data to assist with preliminary analysis of potential out of state tax exposure resulting from employees traveling out of state frequently.  I also participated in a social media analysis with the entire intern class which we presented to (20-25) employees including the entire Senior Management Team.

What I Learned: My internship at Diamond Hill was an exceptional experience. It not only gave me a sense of transparency into the mutual fund business and the financial services industry, but it also gave me a better perception of the appropriate career path for me to take after I graduate from Otterbein University. I gained a great deal of insight into the field of accounting as well as the asset management industry.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Cordray in Colorado, Part Five: Networking

Well its hard to believe, but my internship is more than halfway over! The time has flown by and I can't imagine that in six weeks, I'll be graduating from college! Although I am incredibly anxious about life after graduation, one thing I am grateful for is the amount of people I have networked with throughout my college experience - especially during this internship!

As everyone knows, getting a job often isn't just about what you know, it's also about who you know. Interning for a business or organization is an incredible way to expand your personal network and make connections that will hopefully be useful as you embark on a career path of your own. Throughout my internship, I have made a conscious effort to reach out to my supervisors and co-workers in order to broaden my network and create personal connections that will hopefully last a lifetime.

When I think of networking, I get a little intimidated at the idea. The word evokes a feeling of professionalism and makes me think of an interview involving intellectual questions and a business-like demeanor - but that's not always what it is. Networking can be as simple as a casual lunch with a colleague or supervisor where you learn about their professional background and they learn about your future goals and aspirations. Throughout my experience at the Fine Arts Center, I have had many moments where I went to lunch with a supervisor or even fellow intern and things turned into a networking opportunity. For instance, I told our Creative Director during lunch that I used to work at a summer camp and would love to find something in Colorado that was similar. Knowing that I'm a music major, she immediately said "Well, I actually know someone at the Conservatory who I could hook you up with to discuss their summer music programs if you're interested!" Who would have guessed that our graphic designer would have connections at the music conservatory and then offer to set up a lunch to introduce me?

Networking can also be as simple as becoming connected on LinkedIn or other social media websites! This past Friday, I noticed that I hadn't connected with any of my colleagues from the Fine Arts Center on LinkedIn and we had a fun time looking at each others profiles and laughing at each others pictures (they claimed that I look like a baby in my picture, which is fair since it was taken two years ago and displays my pre-bearded baby face... I'll have to change that before I start job hunting!)

Anyways, networking is hugely important, especially for us college folk who need all the help we can get to find jobs after graduation! Always be thinking of how important connections are whether you're in a class at Otterbein or an internship in Colorado, because the world is a small place and having good connections is essential!

Well, that's my spill on networking! Thanks so much for reading, and because I don't like a post without pictures, here is a picture of the view from the park today! Pretty great!

Until next time!

Dillon Cordray
Music and Business '15

Monday, March 16, 2015

Jonathan Hill '15 - Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Class Year: 2015
Major: Public Relations and Music & Business
Hometown: Wadsworth, Ohio
Internship organization: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Corporate Headquarters - 
Reagan National Airport (DCA)
Location: Washington, D.C. 

Internship Responsibilities: My duties consisted of writing internal communications content for 1,500 employees, facilitating media relations calls and overall media outreach, assisting with airline events such as the inaugural Air China and Frontier Airlines launches at Dulles International Airport, creating media advisories and press releases, photographing all airport events both internal and external, creating and posting social media content, creating a publicity plan for MWAA's Summer Jazz Series, presenting a summer-wide research project on social media dashboards and creating video content published on public and internal airport monitors.

What I Learned: The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority gave this aviation nerd the most professional and exhilarating experience of a lifetime. From experiencing runway checks and air traffic tours, to taking media calls with The Washington Post and NBC; I was completely engulfed in every communications function this quasi-government/corporate organization has to offer. This organization oversees over 1,500 employees, two airports that each occupies over 20 million passengers a year, the 14 mile Dulles Toll Road and Washington, D.C.'s Silver Line Metro project. I was placed in the main Communications Office that manages every aspect of the organization as previously stated. The overarching theme of this summer in regards to what I've learned is simply finding my passion to pursue aviation based communications opportunities post-graduation.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Cordray in Colorado, Part 4: Making Friends in a New City

Well I have completed five weeks out of my 15 week internship and can't believe that I'm already one-third of the way done! I'm getting very settled into my work environment and the internship is coming along really well! Since I've already talked about the actual internship in depth, I thought that for my next blog post I'd talk a bit about how I'm spending my time outside of my internship.
Garden of the Gods

In case you didn't know, I came out to Colorado Springs knowing only my 60 year-old aunt who I live with. She's awesome, but I have no one my own age to do things with. So, for the first few weeks I was kind of a loner. I would get home from work and go for a walk around the neighborhood. I found an awesome park right down the street and went to Garden of the Gods, a beautiful park that's really close and just had fun exploring by myself. But after a month I was dying to have some fun experiences with fellow human beings! So I decided to turn to the people I work with.

Now my co-workers are mostly 35-45 year olds with children who have no intention of hanging out with a 21-year-old intern on their nights and weekends. But two weekends ago, I was asked if I would walk in a parade to promote the Fine Arts Center's new musical, Reefer Madness. Of course, I said yes and on Valentines Day, I joined a few of my co-workers and walked in the parade. It was a Mardi Gras themed parade, so we all dressed in green for the show and threw beads at people and handed out fliers and it was a blast! I mean how many people get to do stuff like that on their internship?! 

My co-worker, Kim, and I at the parade
After the parade, my boss had said that we were all invited to a party back at his house (a beautiful house up in the mountains) but everyone who I worked with started to leave! They were saying things like " I have to get back to the kids" and "my husband is waiting for me" blah blah blah. So I started to think, "Well I'm not going to go to a party where I don't know anyone!" But then I thought "What else do I have to do today? I might as well stay out and have some fun!" So I ended up going to his house for the party and I'm so glad I did! I chatted with the CEO of the Fine Arts Center, who I rarely see in the office, but had a great conversation with. I met the mayor of Manitou Springs (the city where my boss lives) and I sang with some local musicians who were sitting around in the living room having a jam session! It was so much fun, and I was so incredibly happy that I had stayed, even though I knew probably three people to begin with!

Similarly, this past Friday, I decided to go out with a few co-workers to see my boss in a play that he was starring in. I got there super early and looked like a weirdo with no friends, but again I'm so glad I went because we had a great time! 

So the morale of the story is that although coming home from work every night, eating dinner and watching Netflix alone before bed sounds wonderful and easy, it's not really making the most of my time here. Going out and actually experiencing things with people is a much better way to spend my time! Even though it's not easy to find people to do things with, take a chance and really put yourself out there and get to know the people that you can, because that's what being in a new place is all about! You won't meet anyone new sitting at home alone watching Netflix!

And with that said, I'm going to watch an episode on Netflix before bed! Thanks so much for reading! Also, I said in my last post that the weather here was awesome, but I seemed to have jinxed myself because this weekend it snowed about a foot and is now in the negative temperatures - not fun! I feel like I'm back in Ohio! 

Until next time!

Dillon Cordray
Music and Business '15