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 25, 2016

Brandon Strausser '16 - SPIRE Performance

Name: Brandon Strausser
Class Year: 2016
Major: Health Promotion & Fitness
Organization Name: SPIRE Performance at SPIRE Institute
Location: Geneva, Ohio

Internship Responsibilities:  During the spring semester, I had the wonderful opportunity to intern as a performance coach with SPIRE Performance at SPIRE Institute, which is an Olympic Training Site located right here in Northeast Ohio!  As an intern, I was responsible for leading our academy athletes from all over the world, local high schools, colleges, and youth athletes through movement and performance tests, warm-ups, speed and power teirs, strength training regimens, and recovery sessions.  I am also very humbled to have worked with Olympic caliber athletes, Wounded Warriors, and professional dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy from "Dancing with the Stars."  Along with this internship, I was given the opportunity to volunteer with Nike as a performance coach at their high school football combine in Massillon, Ohio.

What I Learned:  I have learned a great deal from working alongside the coaches, athletic trainer, and physical therapist here at my internship.  In fact, I could probably write 10 pages worth of information, however, I will not be doing that for the sake of the readers.  Some of the things that I have learned are how to analyze an individual’s biomechanics and approach their weaknesses through corrective exercises, understanding that some exercises are not meant for everyone, and to not be afraid to make mistakes, which has helped me to become a better coach and leader.  Probably the most important and biggest take-away from this internship is that I have entered into a field that I absolutely love.  The saying is true: "If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life," and this internship has proven that to be true!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Adam Piccin '15 - Lewis Center Business Association

Name:  Adam Piccin
Class Year:  December 2015
Majors:  Public Relations and Health Communication
Internship Organization:  Lewis Center Business Association
Internship Location:  Lewis Center, Ohio

Photo: This is a screenshot of a news segment I was featured on for Good Day Columbus the morning of the LC Summer Bash & Fireworks. I was interviewed by CW Star and ABC 6/Fox News reporter Alissa Henry.

Intern Responsibilities:
I reached out to the Lewis Center Business Association (LCBA) to assist with the association’s premier July 4 event, the LC Summer Bash & Fireworks.  I met with LCBA executives and proposed a five-part business plan to increase event ticket sales by leading public relations and marketing efforts for the festival, fireworks and concert featuring bands New Hollow, Liberty Deep Down, and headliner, multi-platinum recording artist Gavin DeGraw. Once hired on, I recruited, hired and supervised a team of more than 10 interns to promote the event and executed set strategies and tactics. I delegated tasks to interns, monitored social media content and responses, worked band meet  greets, gained experience working with the media via interviews for news pieces and also on television live with Good Day Columbus. At the actual event, I assisted bands individually, utilized crisis communication techniques and oversaw interns.

What I Learned:
I learned more about management in general and my own personal managerial style. I also realized that entertainment public relations is definitely a field I am interested in pursuing after graduation. I had an absolute blast working for the LCBA.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ashley Junglas '16 - Ohio National Financial Services

Ashley Jungclas
Class of 2016
Major: Computer Science
Internship Site: Ohio National Financial Services
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Intern Responsibilities: As an intern, I worked with test automation to create programs that automatically ran testing of jobs for their Automated Work Distribution (AWD) Team. I also worked on a project for test automation so that regression testing would be a lot faster. Testing was taking weeks to months to accomplish because it was done by human testing, but test automation reduced the time down to 20 minutes. 

What I Learned: I learned a lot from this experience which included creating programs myself so that I could use them in my everyday life and help me with getting my work done faster. I plan on creating and executing more programs that will help my school work go faster as well as helping other people to get their work done faster. I want to make the programs accessible for everyone so that they can get through their work faster and more efficiently than they are now. I could see test automation being my first job as well as a giant step into the working world.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ciara Atkinson '17 - Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities

Name: Ciara Atkinson
Class Year: 2017
Major: Psychology
Internship Organization: Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities
Location: Columbus, OH
Photo Description
We are photographed in front of the vision and mission statement of the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities. I am on the left and my supervisor, Alaina Herrel '12, is on the right.

Internship Responsibilities:
I had a multitude of job responsibilities during my time at the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities. Every week I was responsible for writing a newsletter that is emailed to over 5,000 people within the mental health and addiction world that includes state leaders, policy makers, and the Ohio General Assembly. The newsletter highlights current news, events, and research that are relevant to mental health and addiction. I also had the privilege of attending a mental health and addiction recovery conference, updating orientation manuals for new executive council members, assisting office staff in preparation for upcoming conferences, writing several blog posts for as well as running multiple quality checks to verify that the information and addiction and mental health resources were up to date. In addition, I got to take part in a planning committee for the 2015 Judicial Symposium on Addiction and Child Welfare. In planning for the Judicial Symposium I learned a lot about collaboration and working in teams. The planning committee brought together the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. These organizations do many different things so it was really awesome to see them come together and use their different strengths and knowledge to accomplish a goal.

What I Learned: 
Overall, my experience with OACBHA taught me so many things about the professional world that I would not have gotten from the classroom. I learned an immense amount about team work and its relation to the productivity and functionality of an office. This internship was totally worthwhile and has made me more confident in myself and my ability to succeed! I am incredibly thankful for the time I spent here and the skills I learned. Not only have I been changed for the better, but I also have a clearer idea of what I aspire to do post college.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Elizabeth Isaac '18 - University of Central Florida, Chemistry Department

Name: Elizabeth Isaac 
Class Year: 2018
Major: Chemistry
Internship Site: University of Central Florida-Chemistry Department

In the photo I am working with a small laser setup. I am practicing aligning and focusing the laser before using the larger laser in lab.

Internship Responsibilities: This summer I was excited to be a part of the Preparing Future Researchers program at the University of Central Florida. I was assigned to intern with the Kuebler group in the chemistry department. Alongside a graduate mentor, I assisted with the fabrication of micro scale devices called waveguides. These waveguides were created with a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser, and it was super fun to work with. The purpose of the waveguides we created is to transfer data via light rather than electronically, thus making chip to chip interactions in computers much faster. 

What I Learned: It was very exciting to join a group doing such ground breaking work. Through this experience I learned what it truly meant to be a scientist. There is a lot of failure involved in research before a successful outcome is achieved. For the first couple of weeks our waveguides weren't fabricating properly. Instead of being disheartened by the lack of results, my graduate mentor and I tried different methods until we finally found one that worked. It took nearly a month before we had any waveguides, but it was an extremely satisfying feeling to look in a microscope and see them on the slide. Through research I've learned that one must persevere instead of giving up when things don't go exactly as planned. There is often another route or direction to take to get your desired outcome rather than the one you originally undertook.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Braeden Sparks '17 - Portsmouth Ohio Police Department

Name: Braeden Sparks 
Class Year: 2017
Major: Computer Science
Internship Site: Portsmouth Ohio Police Department
Location: Portsmouth, Ohio

Internship Responsibilities: During my internship, I was able to assist detectives in various investigations in the Portsmouth, Ohio area. I visited homes of victims to collect statements, served a search warrant for DNA at the Scioto County jail and got approval from a suspect for collection of cellular data. I also called various locations for surveillance footage, responded to crime scenes and completed online searches for individuals pawning a firearm under disability. Other duties included assisting an individual for Sign Language interpretation, completed ride-alongs with officers and various office.

What I Learned: From this experience, I gained a great deal knowledge within the law enforcement field.  I gained in-depth insight from investigations including possible kidnapping, burglary, domestic violence, robbery, drug abuse, suicide, filing false police reports and sexual assault. This experience gave me the opportunity to understand and collect the proper knowledge needed for pursuing my career in law enforcement.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Kim Roseler '16 - The Ohio State University Athletics Department

Name: Kim Roseler
Class Year: 2016
Major: Sport Management
Internship Site: The Ohio State University Athletics Department of Event Management.
Location: Columbus, OH

Internship Responsibilities: I coordinate men's and women's tennis matches and provide on site management for the same. I also serve as a liaison for visiting teams and work to coordinate red coats, security staff and officials. I am currently doing research and will produce an action plan on risk management for all OSU event management interns. I work in conjunction with Assistant AD Mike Penner and all event management staff.

What I Learned: My Ohio State Athletics internship has been invaluable to me. Being able to work with the close-knit Event Management team while also having opportunities to interact with all of the other departments/offices within OSU Athletics has enabled me to hone my communications and networking skills, in addition to the most important lesson, time management.

Spending the last four years with Otterbein's Men Soccer team as their manager more than prepared me to move to Division I and be the student event manager for Men's and Women's Tennis. One of the biggest lessons I've learned is that regardless of the size of the athletic program or department, whether it be Otterbein or Ohio State, every single person who walks through the facilities has a hand in creating the environment for the athletes and fans. It quite literally is a team effort to run Ohio State Athletics events. It's fun to be able to sit beside the trainers, communications staff, coaches, etc. and listen and learn why they are where they are, and what motivates them every day. Running two Division 1 tennis programs (Men's and Women's), is a lot of responsibility. I've learned so much from the veterans around me, and I can't wait to see where my future takes me.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Kris Crews '17 - 1girl

Name: Kris Crews
Class Year: 2017
Major: Journalism and Media Communications
Internship Organization: 1girl
Location: Columbus, OH (near OSU)

Intern Responsibilities: I was a research and writing intern, as well as a facilitator/mentor for young girls at the Salvation Army. For the research and writing part of my internship, I wrote new articles for 1girl’s blog, researched potential organizations and individuals that might be interested in supporting 1girl, wrote grants and posted on 1girl’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to keep readers and subscribers up to date about events and news.

At the Salvation Army I was a facilitator/mentor for young girls at an after school program. We coordinated different activities with the girls that taught them the importance of leadership and education. We worked on social skills, talked about leadership and entrepreneurship, goal setting, establishing confidence, addressing conflicts, developing critical thinking skills, and identifying action items.

What I Learned: It was so incredible working with the young girls at the after school program. It became clearer to me how important education is and how vital it is for girls in the younger generation to understand that they can be leaders and do amazing things. A lot of the girls didn’t have much confidence coming into the program and were very shy, but after working with them their personalities began to blossom and they began to believe in themselves. Overall, my experience as a 1girl intern was incredible. I learned so much not only about writing and researching, but also about what it means to be a leader.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Darrien Kinsman '18 - Malabar Farm State Park

Darrien Kinsman
Class Year: 2018 
Major: Biology
Hometown: Mount Vernon, OH
Internship Site: Malabar Farm State Park
Location: Lucas, OH

Internship Responsibilities: Our task was to implement educational programs based on what the park has to offer. The number one priority was the Farm Fun Day in August. The goal was to educate incoming children about what goes on at the farm. The other intern and I worked together to create "The Cheeseburger Activity," where we set up four stations representing the meat, the dairy, the grains, and the vegetables. Each station had its own activity, which we also created, to demonstrate where each part of the cheeseburger comes from. After the children completed each station, they received a cut out of that portion of the cheeseburger to glue to their piece of paper, which would result in a finished (paper) cheeseburger after all four stations. The Cheeseburger Activity was a tremendous hit, and I was very proud of our success. Watching the groups of children come in and be excited to learn was exactly what we were hoping for.

My second goal was to create a program related to the herb garden. The first step I took was constructing a new pamphlet providing information about all of the herbs being grown, including what they are commonly used for and why they are important. The program will consist of providing a weekly or bi-weekly that will be taught by park volunteers, demonstrating how to cook/utilize the herbs. Each class will focus on a different herb, and the finished product (which would typically be food) could be sampled by those who attend. 

What I Learned: My internship at Malabar Farm was such an amazing experience. I worked with inspiring people, learned so many new things, and was able to accomplish my goals. I am very honored to have been selected for this internship opportunity. The experience is sure to help me in my future. I feel as though I have grown into a stronger student as well. I plan to revisit Malabar in the future, and I hope there will be additional opportunities in store there for me.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Adam Sullivan '17 - State Auto Insurance Companies

Name: Adam Sullivan (front row, left)
Class Year: 2017
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Louisville, Ohio
Internship: State Auto Insurance Companies 
Location: Columbus, Ohio

Photo Description: This photo was taken toward the end of my internship after I had spent time in each of my rotations. All of these individuals are Otterbein alumni that I met during my experience with State Auto, and I spent time working side by side with and reporting to many of them. 

Internship Responsibilities: The position that I held with State Auto was the role of a Rotational Intern. This was a very unique internship because, rather than being assigned to one role for a specific department last summer, I was able to learn about the entire insurance industry and experience first hand five of the departments that make up State Auto Insurance Companies. These included working with the Actuarial group for Personal Lines Home Insurance, Personal Lines Product Management, Personal Lines Underwriting, Business Insurance Underwriting, and State Auto University, which is a group that helps continue the education of State Auto employees and allows them to obtain designations both professionally and within the company. While working with these different groups I received multiple projects that involved big data gathering, organizing, and representing using Microsoft Excel and other data analytics software that would serve as the foundation of future projects. I attended multiple team and inter-departmental meetings throughout my ten weeks with State Auto, allowing me to grow my understanding of how corporate meetings are run and the ability of different groups to join together to create a product, along with their ability to adjust on little time notice as State Auto made a transition to a new CEO throughout the summer.

What I Learned: Obtaining this style of internship that allowed me to experience these different environments vastly increased my abilities to communicate with others on both a social and professional level. The last, and possibly most effective, part of my internship was being able to develop mentor relationships that I will certainly continue throughout this school year, and the other individuals that I met all made me feel very welcome and useful for the company. For these two reasons specifically, I firmly believe that State Auto Insurance Companies has a great future and I would love to have the opportunity to work with them again.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Morgan Poczekaj '17 - Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Major: Marketing
Hometown: Toledo, Ohio
Internship Site: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

Morgan is pictured above with Otterbein alumna, Robin Campbell, who worked personally for Dave Thomas at Wendy's and now works at the Foundation.

Internship Responsibilities:  As an intern at DTFA I worked on the Adoption-Friendly Workplace Survey. The survey is published every year and lists the top 100 adoption-friendly workplaces. The companies are ranked on the amount of financial aid and weeks of paid leave for adoptive parents. It was an exciting time to work on the survey when Netflix announced unlimited paid leave during the first year for their new parent employees. “Unadoptable is unacceptable” is the motto the employees at the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption live and work by every day. Created by Dave Thomas in 1992, his vision was to find every child a permanent and loving home. The Foundation is a nonprofit that is supported by Wendy’s. Every time you buy a frosty key tag or drop money into the canisters at their restaurants, that money goes to DTFA. The 18 employees, led fearlessly by CEO Rita Soronen, work every day to find homes for 100,000 kids who are still waiting to be adopted. When you walk into the foundation your attention is instantly grasped by the murals of kids who are the faces of adoption and foster kids. Sayings like “You have to be brave with your life so others can be brave with theirs” and “We exist for one reason: to find children forever families” are brightly printed on the walls.

What I Learned: No matter what projects the staff at the Foundation are working on, they do it with all of their heart because they love their job and genuinely want to help kids in need. Working at the Dave Thomas Foundation has been an incredible opportunity and an even better learning experience.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Nicholas Grisso '17 - Safex, Inc.

Name: Nicholas Grisso '17
Major: Environmental Science and Sustainability
Hometown: Kirtland, Ohio
Internship Organization: Safex, Inc.
Location: Westerville, Ohio

In this picture, I am dressed in a full hazmat suit with a full face respirator by Safex's sign. Full hazmat suits are usually used to protect people when entering a very hazardous environment.

Internship Responsibilities: Over the summer I completed an internship working full time as an industrial hygiene technician at Safex, Inc. based in Westerville, Ohio. Industrial hygiene was a field I really enjoyed working in. Every day was something new and different from the day before. One day I would be conducting noise monitoring in a factory or construction site, then the next day I would be sampling for hazardous chemicals at a processing plant. As an industrial hygiene technician I was able to shadow other industrial hygienists in the field of work, as well as complete jobs individually. Through Safex I received several OSHA certification including: DOT HAZ material shipping, ventilation, and confined space entry and exit. The majority of my time was spent completing tasks that included: conducting indoor air quality assessments, sampling and monitoring for lead, silica, noise, and volatile organic compounds in the field, and conducting qualitative and quantitative respirator fit tests. The other part of my time was spent learning the OSHA regulations for different occupational safety situations, and writing reports based on the results of the field work.

What I Learned: Overall, I received amazing real world experience and learned a lot about the industrial hygiene field. I felt that I grew as a person; in industrial hygiene the main emphasis is on protecting other people and caring about other people’s health. This internship was a massive stepping stone in finding the career that I want to work in.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Jami Aufderbeck '16 - New U Program, Nationwide Children's Hospital

Jami Aufderbeck 
Class of 2016
Major: Allied Health 
Minor: Nutrition 
Internship Organization: New U Program, Nationwide Children's Hospital
Location: Columbus, OH

Internship Responsibilities: New U is a 12-week weight loss program for overweight and obese children age 11-18. Each week the patient and a parent attends a nutrition lecture and two 60 minute sessions of physical activity. As an intern I was responsible for leading the exercises, conducting patient interviews, and performing goal setting with individual patients. I also helped with research, data collection, and program design. 

What I Learned: This was an amazing opportunity, and I am so thankful I was able to be a part of the New U program. I learned so much about future careers, leadership, and communication. I learned how to get a group of 11-18 year olds under control, and how to keep them focused and motivated throughout the exercises. This experience is truly something I will treasure. I loved working with all the kids and seeing them improve throughout their time in the program. It was a great feeling knowing that I was making a difference in their lives.