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, October 20, 2014

Adam Piccin '16 - Columbus State Community College

Name: Adam Piccin
Class Year: 2016
Major: Public Relations
Hometown: Lewis Center, Ohio
Internship: Student Marketing Assistant
Internship Site: Columbus State Community College

Internship Responsibilities:
As a Student Marketing Assistant at Columbus State Community College for the summer, I completed a variety of exciting tasks that have helped me grow as a student and professional. I devised, launched, and then updated an Instagram account for the university of more than 30,000 students. Additionally, I planned events, advertising, and promotional items for CSCC's 50th anniversary, wrote copy for website blurbs and scholarship emails, took photos for Facebook and Instagram accounts, contacted students by phone and email for office needs, assisted with RSVPs for events, completed research on transient students, college contact forms, and promoting events, attended multiple CSCC video shoots as an "extra," and more. I truly enjoyed my experience working for the university in the Marketing and Communications Department.

What I Learned:
From interning at Columbus State, I learned a lot about marketing and public relations in the real world. I gained experience in writing, editing, creating and developing social media presence, communicating strategically to target audiences, planning for events and ceremonies, and executing conceptual plans from start to finish. This internship built a solid infrastructure for me to continue to grow and build upon, and I am very thankful to have had this opportunity.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Jonathan Cross - Northwestern Mutual

I sat down and talked to Jon Cross recently, and he told me all about his role at Northwestern Mutual. He said that his role is a hybrid role. About 70% of his time is spent as a financial adviser. In that capacity, he said he meets with clients, helps them set their long range, personal, professional, and financial goals, and then helps them work on ways to achieve those goals. The other time is spent as a managing director at Polaris. He is responsible for recruiting their financial advisers and developing new financial advisers.

When asked why he likes to hire interns, he said, “Simply put, it is our single most important recruiting strategy.” What he has found is that most industries put their interns behind the scenes. What Northwestern Mutual does is they put their interns in front of the client, help them develop their communication and interpersonal skills, and this helps the interns because then we know how they work, and they are more confident in their job. Over 50% of the field directors, managing partners, etc. were all interns, so their internships tend to lead to leadership development.

Primarily, interns will take the role of a financial adviser. They call on prospective clients, and ask them to sit down and meet with them so they can learn about their financial status. They then work with a veteran adviser and they figure out a plan for that client, and then talk to the client about that plan. It’s basically walking the client through the financial planning cycle from basic goal setting to implementation.

We take students from Otterbein, Ohio Wesleyan, and OSU. However, Mr. Cross likes to work with Otterbein students because he says that he can relate to the liberal arts background, and appreciates Otterbein's commitment to developing well-rounded students. Mr. Cross believes that the general engagement level, socially and otherwise, is very high at Otterbein. He looks for students who are involved in many different activities, and it’s easier to find someone like that at Otterbein than at a larger campus.

Mr. Cross’s advice to students during the application process and interview is to not be over polished. Most of his hiring decisions are based on a combination of the notes he takes in the interview, and the gut feeling that he walks away with. Mr. Cross said, “If you were able to carry the conversation and be engaging, in my world, that goes a long way. I instantly connect with someone who is open and vulnerable, because I know they are being real with me.”

Once you obtain the internship, Mr. Cross advises finding a mentor in the company. Also, you should try to set meaningful goals and hit them. If you’re an intern, there’s usually a supervisor who will help you set those goals. And make sure to hit them, because then you know you’re getting something out of it.

If you are interested in applying for an internship with Northwestern Mutual, contact Jon Cross at (614) 222-6017.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Michelle Axe '15 - Nationwide Children's Hospital

Name: Michelle Axe
Class Year: 2015
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry minor
Hometown: Marysville, Ohio
Internship: Intern at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the Emergency Department
Location: Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Internship Responsibilities: 
As an intern in the Emergency Department, I enroll eligible patients in research studies being conducted by the hospital. This requires knowledge about the various studies, as well as data entry for the studies.

What I learned: 
This internship has really advanced my medical knowledge. I have access to patient charts to aid in determining eligibility for studies, and a great amount can be learned from these charts. I’ve also learned how to effectively communicate with patients, families, and health care providers in busy, high stress situations. My internship at Nationwide Children’s has been a wonderful experience, and has further solidified my desire to pursue a career as a physician.

Advice about searching for an internship: 
Talk to your professors! I found out about this internship through Dr. John Tansey. It was not posted anywhere, and previously the program has only had interns from OSU. Talking to your professors can provide opportunities you might not find on your own.

Advice on how to make the most of an internship experience: 
Make an effort to learn something new each and every time you’re working. Each time I go to Children’s, I learn something new from reading through the charts and I also get the chance to participate in research and better my communication with both patients and families.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sarah Uhlenbrock - Children's Hunger Alliance

Name: Sarah Uhlenbrock
Class Year: 2015
Major: Allied Health
Hometown: Cinncinati, OH
Internship: Children’s Hunger Alliance
Location: Columbus, OH

Internship Responsibilities:
Twice a week, I went to an inner city elementary school, where I held a class on nutrition, and I showed them how to eat healthy with a low budget, and I brought a snack with me to show them healthier options. Once a week, I would go to the office and do paperwork in regard to their performance, pre- and post-tests from nutrition, and their attendance.

What have you learned: 
I have learned that I do not want to work in a non-profit sector, which is just as important as figuring out what you want to do. Since it was an inner city school, with most students being of a minority, I also learned a lot about their culture, particularly Somali.

Advice about searching for an internship: 
Take advantage of the resources we have on campus. Ashley and Ryan are really helpful with the programs they hold around campus, and use the CardinalCareers website. Also, just asking professionals in the field you are in, especially professors, is a huge help.

Advice on how to make the most of an internship experience: 
Going above and beyond what they’ve asked of you. If it’s a true internship, they should be letting you experience different parts of the job, like working with the other employees, and not just the person who hired you. Try to keep the connection afterward, and mostly just try and keep up a positive attitude. Just because it’s unpaid doesn’t mean it can't be a valuable learning experience.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Kathy Kelly Long - Broad Street Food Pantry

Kathy Kelly Long is the pantry manager at Broad Street Food Pantry. She oversees all of their operations, coordinates volunteers, and works on fundraising. Much of her time is spent ensuring that the pantry is stocked and communicating with the volunteers.

She likes to hire interns because students bring a different perspective, and they have different skills that workers at the Pantry don’t necessarily have, such as marketing or web design.

Interns assist in a variety of capacities. They work on special projects that are business, communications or nutrition related. Kathy said, “I usually have a broad area of need, and I work with students to apply their interests to our needs so that they can help us out.”

The Food Pantry takes students from other schools as well as Otterbein. Primarily, they have students from OSU, and sometimes they get students from Columbus State.
For Kathy, Otterbein is close to her heart. Her daughter is an Otterbein alum, and so that is what initially got her interested in Otterbein interns. Kathy said, “With our current Otterbein intern, her photography skills are much different than at other schools. There’s also more of an emphasis at Otterbein on service, and so students tend to understand the nonprofit world a little more.”

Kathy’s advice for students going through the interview and application process is that they should have a good sense of what they could contribute to the nonprofit world. They should be able to communicate their values, what they find important, and what they could bring to the organization.

During the actual internship, Kathy thinks it’s very important for the intern to communicate regularly with his/her supervisor. She also encourages interns to share their ideas if they have them.

If you are interested in doing an internship with the Broad Street Food Pantry, contact Kathy Kelly Long at

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ben Graber '15 - Willbros Engineering

Name: Ben Graber
Class Year: 2015
Major: Physics, Mathematics Minor
Hometown: Plain City, OH
Internship: Intern with Willbros Engineering
Internship Site: Willbros Westerville Branch

What your responsibilities were:
Assist with daily office operations, help out with any projects being planned. I researched the field of oil pipleine integrity and created a presentation on a common corrosion protection method, cathodic protection. I investigated fields that Willbros could expand into, organized a tour of Ashland labs to set up a testing agreement with them and interviewed Willbros staff from all aspects of their company to gain a better understanding of the company and a career at Willbros.

What you learned:
I learned a lot about the ideas and techniques used in the field to protect oil pipeline as well as many of the economic and political realities that wither restrict or are the driving force behind this field.

Advice on looking for an internship:
Investigate and ask everyone in your network if they have any connections or know of any opportunities. You might be very surprised on who actually comes back to you with a good lead!

Advice on how to make the most of an internship:
Be bold and step up when it comes to being a part of opportunities that will allow you to learn and gain the most experience from your internship! Don't let them forget you are there or underestimate what you can do for them as well

Monday, August 25, 2014

Cathryn Clark '14 - Red Sun Media

Name: Cathryn Clark
Class Year: 2014
Major: Broadcasting
Hometown: Mt. Vernon, Ohio
Internship Site: Red Sun Media: Out N About Columbus as seen on ABC 6
Internship Location: Worthington, Ohio

Internship Responsibilities:
Unlike most interns in this field, I interviewed clients on camera, controlled all of the company's social media, updated the company website, took DSLR pictures, worked the camera, helped out with editing and even helped sell the show. It was really rewarding to hear my voice overs on public television and to see video/pictures I had shot on television every week.

What I learned:
As an intern at Red Sun Media, I learned what it's like to be a real-life employee in the broadcasting industry. I spent all summer traveling with Out N About Columbus around Ohio and even out of state to produce the show every week that airs on Sundays at 11:30 AM on ABC 6. My boss taught me so much about the industry that school did not. Not only has this internship been a blast, but it has helped me figure out what I really want to do when I graduate.