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 5, 2015

Jill Keefer Internship Experience

Jill Keefer
Class: 2016
Major(s): Zoo & Conservation Science
Hometown: Chillicothe, OH
Internship: Aquatic Animal Husbandry intern through the WAVE Foundation at the Newport
Location: Newport, Kentucky

Internship Responsibilities: The creature that makes the Newport Aquarium so unique and special is the shark ray. Shark rays are incredibly rare in the wild, and my aquarium was the first one to successfully have them and start a breeding program. They're incredible creatures and I was lucky enough to feed them and help care for them!

What I Learned: My internship was the most incredible experience. I was able to pet penguins, hold a baby sea turtle, feed sharks and sharkrays, release albino alligators, and learn just what all it's like to work inside an aquarium. I learned so many things, and it only fueled my excitement more to join this career field one day! I definitely believe I had one of the coolest internships available. I did and learned so much, I can't wait to share my stories.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Shannon Back '15 - The Dawes Arboretum

Shannon Back
Class year: 2015
Major(s): History and Public Relations
Hometown: Centerville, Ohio
Internship: The Dawes Arboretum
Location: Newark, OH

Internship Responsibilities: During my internship in The Dawes Arboretum history department, I was able to complete multiple projects that helped further my knowledge on history, archiving, and The Dawes Arboretum and Dawes Family. I first started on my largest project, which was checking over and editing many scanned photographs from our archives. After I was finished with this project, I was able to research and begin a Burr Family tree (Mrs. Dawes's side of the family) and gather information on the Burr family and Burr ancestors. Throughout the whole summer I served as a tour guide at the House Museum and gave house tours to visitors, and manned the history center on the grounds. I was also fortunate enough to help with two events. The first event was the Dawes Family Reunion, and the second was the "Tea in Bertie’s Garden". Other projects I worked on included taking pictures of appraised artifacts, documenting shelves of 3D artifacts, and going through old documents on the old cemetery on the grounds. I also went through letters of the family in our archives and documented each one and its subject matter.

What I Learned: My experiences here have definitely taught me how to be a better historian and also a better speaker through my tour guiding! I definitely feel that this has helped prepare me for whatever is in store for my professional future.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Anthony Reinhard '15 - Progressive Insurance

Anthony Reinhard
Class Year: 2015
Major: Actuarial Science
Hometown: Canton, OH
Internship: Progressive Insurance
Location: Mayfield Village, OH

Internship Responsibilities: I had the opportunity to complete a 12-week paid internship at Progressive Insurance, a leading property & casualty insurance company, located 20 minutes from downtown Cleveland. My internship was in the Pricing department of Progressive's Special Lines business area. My department was responsible for maintaining adequate premium rates for all of Progressive's non-auto insurance products across the country. These products included motorcycles (Progressive is the nation's top insurer of motorcycles), boats, RVs, travel trailers, and snowmobiles.One of the major projects I completed during my internship was analyzing the rate adequacy of Progressive's snowmobile policies. Snowmobile is a small book of business that is often treated the same as motorcycle business. My final analysis showed that our overall rates for our snowmobile policies were likely higher than they needed to be. In the future, my department will look to lower our snowmobile rates in larger states in an attempt to undercut the rates of competitors.

What I Learned: I learned about the day-to-day work that is done in Special Lines Pricing and other departments that complete actuarially-justified work. Over the course of my internship, I connected with a variety of professionals and complete meaningful work. I was also very impressed with the unique culture at Progressive. Progressive has one of the world’s largest corporate art collections that decorate each campus. It creates an environment that fosters creativity and inclusion. I concluded my internship with a 10-minute presentation about my summer in front of several hiring managers during my final week. Two weeks after I left, I accepted a full-time position as an Actuarial Analyst that will begin after I graduate.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jim Waterwash '15 - Community Choice Financial

Jim Waterwash
Class Year: 2015
Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Powell, OH
Internship: Community Choice Financial
Location: Dublin, OH        

Internship Responsibilities: I interned at Community Choice Financial, also known as CheckSmart.  I was the marketing intern in the marketing division. My responsibilities varied and changed frequently due to all the moving parts that marketing for a multi-state, national brand entails. One of my responsibilities was to plan and coordinate grand openings, customer appreciation days, and marketing blitzes.  This included booking entertainment, joining locals Chambers, and communicating with my supervisor to ensure expectations of these events.

In addition, I was responsible for sorting and creating an Excel spreadsheet with names for email blasts to our opt-in customers. I created budgets for each quarter of media buying through Excel. The marketing director had me attend meetings with him, our public relations firm, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and others.  I was also been tasked to constantly update our contact information of our account executives in radio and TV advertising. Other responsibilities included invoicing, organizing, communicating with the store managers about events, learning how to negotiate and buy advertising on the radio and TV, and providing reports on the quarterly budget.

What I Learned: I learned so much through this internship. I learned about how to budget for advertising and how to decipher good radio and bad radio stations to advertise for our market.  I discovered that marketing relies heavily on knowing exactly who you are trying to target to send the right message.  I even learned many tricks about Excel that will benefit me in future projects and reports. In addition, I learned office etiquette, how to deal with vendors to plan events, and so much more.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Gina Heitkamp '15 - Mayo Clinic

Gina Heitkamp
Class Year: 2015
Major: Nursing
Hometown: Maria Stein, Ohio
Internship: Summer III Nursing Extern at Mayo Clinic
Location: Rochester, Minnesota

Internship Responsibilities: I worked as a Summer III Nursing Extern at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The ten week program is geared for nursing students entering their senior year of nursing school.  Each extern is assigned to a specific unit in the hospital for the summer and works with different clinical coaches.  I worked on an internal medicine floor and was partnered with four different clinical coaches who facilitated my learning by involving me in the patient care they provided.  As a Summer III Extern, I was able to work side by side with my coach to see what being a nurse really entailed.  I spent my shift with them, working to complete assessments, administer medications, and perform a variety of nursing skills under his or her guidance.  I was able to not only experience the nursing side of patient care, but also how Mayo Clinic really stresses the importance of interdisciplinary teamwork.  I collaborated with the medicine service, social services, dieticians, pharmacists, in addition to other teams to provide holistic patient care. 

What I Learned: I worked with some of the best nurses I have ever met.  They taught me more than just nursing skills, but also how to prioritize, critically think, and see the patient as more than just a diagnosis.  Most importantly, I gained confidence in myself as a nurse.  The patient interactions have been invaluable. It has been an honor to work at the #1 hospital in the nation.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Brooke Jones '16 - Westfield Group Fitness Center

Brooke Jones
Year: 2016
Major: Health Promotion and Fitness
Hometown: Ashland, OH
Internship: Westfield Group Fitness Center
Location: Westfield Center, OH

Internship Responsibilities: My internship was at the Fitness Center for the home office of Westfield Group. As an intern I helped with two programs for the employees called Get Fit and Get Moving. Get Fit was for employees that did not work for the home office in order to get part of their gym membership paid for since they did not have a “free” facility and Get Moving was a program for any employee to get half of their registration fee paid for if they signed up for a walking, running, or biking event. I also helped create two bulletin boards to help guide the employees in the fitness center. The first bulletin had tips to help their form on the different cardio machines and pictures that showed right from wrong. The second bulletin was a group fitness incentive that encouraged the employees to attend more group fitness classes by handing out tickets. The tickets were hung up on the bulletin board each week and the ticket number that was drawn would win the prize for that week.

There was not personal training for the employees but other aspects of being a trainer were involved to help them. I did fitness assessments for any employee that signed up to become a member of the fitness center and asked for one. The assessment covered height, weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure, resting heart rate, girth measurements, muscle endurance, muscle strength, and flexibility. On top of the assessment the employees had the opportunity to get a personalized workout made just for them on software called ExercisePro. It had a picture and detailed instructions of each workout that I gave them for what they wanted to get out of their program. I enjoyed this part because each employee was different and I got to learn more about them individually and what their goals were!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rebecca Carter '15- ODOT: Office of Environmental Science, Ecological Permits Section

Rebecca Carter
Class Year: 2015
Major(s): Environmental Science BS, Art w/Concentration in Communication Design
Hometown: Hilliard, Ohio
Internship: Ohio Department of Transportation: Office of Environmental Science, Ecological Permits Section

Internship Responsibilities:  As a part of the Office of Environmental Science for the Ohio Department of Transportation I was a member of a team of many experienced environmental specialists. The Department of Transportation is in charge of maintaining and expanding the State’s vast network of roads.  All ODOT projects undergo environmental evaluation to determine the impacts of their construction and operation with many laws and regulations. 

In the Eco section we are in charge of evaluating each project site to determining the environmental impacts and then coordinate with various state and federal agencies (such as the OEPA, ODNR, USFWS, and USACE) to ensure permit compliance or adequate mitigation.  All projects must submit an Ecological Survey Report (ESR) to the Office for review.   I was a part of this reviewing the ESRs that were submitted. Besides permit review I got to be involved in field reviews and surveys.  Sometimes projects have impacts that need mitigation and it is our job to find suitable sites. Some mitigation examples include: creation of new wetlands, improvements on existing wetlands, restoration of streams, and creation of bat habitats.  These sites require us to travel across the state and assess the sites in person. 

What I Learned: Most times we would be showing the USACE or OEPA how the site was preforming and meeting the permit standards. We would trek through the wetland/stream/forest in boots and waders looking at the quality of the site and how it was functioning.  Other times I was able to go into a stream and do a mussel recon to see if there would be a potential mussel community that would be affected by a project.  This internship has provided me with a hands-on experience working with experts in the field I am studying.