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, January 26, 2015

Cordray in Colorado, Post 2: First Week of Internship

I survived my first week of internship! Hooray! And even though it was only a four-day week, it seemed like the longest week of my life! Along with meeting about a thousand people, many of whom have names I can't remember, I was also overwhelmed with just how long a full-time internship is! Eight hours is a long time! A few things I learned from my first week are:

1. Always repeat peoples name when you are introduced to them, which is easier said than done. On my first day, I was too nervous about myself and how I was being perceived that I didn't even pay attention to who I was meeting. It took the rest of the week to really pick up on everyones names (and I still only know about 7 for sure). The trick was to repeat their name over and over in my head after I heard it mentioned. I also tried to say their name aloud after meeting them. It mostly worked, although I did call someone in my office Alex before finding out her name was actually Kim. I'm still not sure how I screwed that up, but it was bound to happen!

2. Constantly say yes to any task that you are asked. Throughout the week, I got to do some really cool things, like shoot a video for the Member of the Month story and take selfies of myself on "Museum Selfie Day" (who knew that was a thing?) to post on social media; but I also did some things that weren't that cool, like creating Excel sheets and running errands all over town. The thing is, since I said yes to any task that was thrown my way and showed enthusiasm about it, I could tell my superiors loved it. Not only did I complete the tasks, but I completed them efficiently with a smile on my face. By the end of the week, the people around me seemed to be very impressed with my positive attitude and willingness to work.

3. Be ready to go outside of your comfort zone. There were many times this week when I felt I was in way over my head. In those moments, I had to just go for it and put myself out there. Even though I was somewhat uncomfortable, I survived and grew from the experience - and in those moments, that's all you can do!

Overall, it was a very interesting first week. I really enjoy the people I work with, they're very nice and incredibly supportive. The organization also seems like a really cool place to spend the next few months! I hope that I will continue to be challenged every day and learn new things. And hopefully I will get used to working 9 to 5 every day, although I highly doubt that!

Thanks so much for reading! Until next time!

Dillon Cordray
Music and Business '15

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cordray in Colorado, Post 1: Off Campus Internships

Hello fellow Otterbein students! My name is Dillon Cordray and I am a senior Music and Business major interning in Colorado Springs, Colorado, this semester! Throughout this internship I will be documenting my experiences somewhat weekly on this blog to hopefully offer some insight into what it's like to not only be on a full-time internship, but to do it a thousand miles away from home, where I barely know anyone and have to adjust to living outside of a school environment. So without further ado, off we go!

The first thing I want to stress to everyone, especially those of you who are underclassmen and are required to find an internship for your degree, is to heavily consider interning outside of Central Ohio! I know it may seem really scary to some of you, but it's also an incredible opportunity to spread your wings and explore a new city! Knowing that I wouldn't find many music and business related internships around Columbus, I immediately started brainstorming about cities that I might like to end up some day. Obviously the big ones stuck out - New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles - but, like most of us, I am not made of money, and had to think how I could swing it financially. So I decided to look into areas where I had close family, which included Tampa, FL, Buffalo, NY, and Colorado Springs, CO. After narrowing my internship search down to a few cities, it was incredibly easy to find places to apply! 

After using sites like,, and other data-base type websites, I decided to just broadly search for music related businesses in the areas I was interested in looking. After googling "Music and Arts in Colorado Springs," I found a link to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, where I saw that they had a posting for a New Media/Internet Marketing Intern. I looked at the requirements and saw that I seemed to fit them nicely, and wrote my cover page and sent them my resume! Within a few days I heard back from the Communication Director who asked if I was able to interview, and after my phone interview I got the job!

Now, that might sound incredibly easy, but it took a lot of work! I applied to at least 20 different organizations throughout the month of October and November before I got the one that I wanted, but it was so worth the time! I also visited the Center for Career and Professional Development, where I met with both Ashley Strausser and Ryan Brechbill multiple times throughout the process. I highly recommend using the resources available to you (like the CCPD and relatives living far away) in order to get a really unique internship experience in a place that excites you!

The picture at the bottom of the post is one of the first pictures I took after arriving in Colorado Springs. It was incredibly scary to leave the comfortable little village of Westerville and travel over a thousand miles to this new place, but so far it has been worth it! My first day at the Fine Arts Center is tomorrow, and yes, I'm incredibly nervous. But I'm also really excited and proud of myself for making the most of my last semester in college and moving out west to explore what the working world is like! To those of you looking into internships, please think about exploring new places! It doesn't have to be as far as Colorado, it can be as close as Cincinnati! Just don't hold yourself down to one place, and use the resources that are readily available to you!

That's all I have for the first post. Thanks for reading, I hope it was somewhat helpful! 

Until next time!

Dillon Cordray
Music and Business '15

Monday, January 12, 2015

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

Name: Rebecca Carter
Class Year: 2015
Majors: 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 Site: Columbus, OH

Internship Responsibilities:
The Eco section is in charge of evaluating each project site to determine the environmental impacts and then coordinating 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 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. 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.  

Internship Benefits: 
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. This internship has provided me with a hands-on experience working with experts in the field I am studying.