Kent State Marks Ohio Internship and Co-op Appreciation Day
Earlier this year, the state of Ohio designated the second Tuesday of April as “Ohio Internship and Co-op Appreciation Day.” The purpose of the day, which falls on April 14 this year, is to raise awareness of the value of internship and co-op opportunities in this state and promote the establishment of internship and co-op programs at businesses and nonprofit agencies in Ohio.
Through the Ohio Means Internships and Co-ops program, Kent State University receives state grant funds for expanded internship and co-op programs. The grants are part of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s goal to align Ohio’s higher education curriculum with skills that are in demand by Ohio’s companies so that students are better positioned for jobs in Ohio after graduation.
“The potential benefits from vibrant co-op and internship programs include much more than paying students for putting their studies into action and giving businesses a few weeks to ‘interview’ a student to see what a good employee she or he can become,” said Austin Melton, grant project director and professor of computer science and mathematical sciences. “When faculty members become involved in finding and creating internship and co-op opportunities, then new opportunities also open up for the business connections and the faculty members. The businesses can develop closer ties to our students, and the faculty members can gain a richer appreciation and respect for their own material.”
GAINING WORKPLACE EXPERIENCE
Three Kent State students share their internship and co-op experiences.
College of Public Health
Co-op at GOJO Industries
Kent State graduate student Nilufar Nurinova from Nashville, Tennessee, has been a co-op student in the microbiology research and development area at GOJO Industries in Akron, Ohio, since September 2014. GOJO Industries is the inventor of PURELL® Instant Hand Sanitizer, and the leading global producer and marketer of skin health and hygiene solutions for away-from-home settings.
During her time at GOJO Industries, Nurinova has worked on a range of projects, including performing background literature review to preparing written and oral presentations to helping compose initial manuscript drafts for publication consideration to performing tests in a microbiology lab.
Prior to pursuing a Master of Public Health at Kent State, Nurinova had worked in labs. However, her co-op position afforded her the opportunity to combine laboratory results with statistical data analysis.
“My public health concentration is in epidemiology, and prior to my co-op experience with GOJO, my knowledge was from an academic perspective,” Nurinova said. “Now, I have workplace experience from performing a variety of tasks that involve data, statistical analysis and outcomes.
“Being involved in this work at GOJO was very necessary and beneficial to my career as an epidemiologist,” she continued. “I appreciate all of the opportunities provided by GOJO Industries and Kent State’s College of Public Health so I can advance my experience in modern public health sciences.”
Business Management Major
College of Business Administration
Internship at PGA Tour (WGC-Bridgestone Invitational)
Kent State senior Vincent Shannon of Tallmadge, Ohio, is completing his third internship with the PGA Tour’s World Golf Championship in Akron, Ohio. During his time with the PGA Tour, he has been exposed to and gained experience in event management, hospitality sales and social media execution.
In his sales role, Shannon assists in generating more than $4.7 million in sales to help grow charitable dollars through business development. He also supports a 90 percent renewal rate among corporate supporters and initiated the video presentations of the hospitality suites from the event to provide a virtual tour for prospective clients.
As the social media intern, Shannon facilitated and created the content for the social media strategy that resulted in an increase in Facebook “likes” by 10 percent and Twitter followers by 30 percent. During the tournament, Shannon implemented the digital media strategy that reached more than 7 million people. He also created the Instagram page that had more than 2,000 followers in the first two months.
He also received experience on the event and hospitality side, assisting in the planning and implementation of tournament-related events such as Media Day, Executive Women’s Day, #FanPerks, Music After Play and The First Tee Cup. Shannon served as a point person to clients for hospitality needs, including tent setup, equipment, signage and event books.
“This has been the most amazing experience of my life, and I am extremely motivated to continue my career with the PGA Tour,” Shannon said. “This internship experience has further developed my networking abilities, knowledge of how a business operates, and the positions that I am best suited for in my future position. Without this internship, I would not have found the company that best suits my passion for golf and desire to work for a company that I once thought was a dream.”
Applied Engineering Major
College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology
Internships at Federal-Mogul and National Heat Exchange Cleaning Corp.
Kent State senior Kyle Snyder of Stow, Ohio, participated in two internships. At Federal-Mogul, Snyder worked on the Champion® brand spark plugs in Cambridge, Ohio, as a manufacturing engineer intern. He helped conduct studies, collect data, make presentations and write reports for his superiors. At National Heath Exchange, located in Youngstown, Ohio, Snyder was an AutoCAD intern. He participated in the tear-down process of heat exchange units and made mechanical drawings for replacement parts.
He described his internship experiences as being very positive. The people he worked with valued his opinion even though he was a student intern. He said he was given responsibilities just like the salaried engineers at the companies and was expected to complete his work.
“My internships were the most valuable work I have ever done in my life,” Snyder said. “It gave me the opportunity to experience what it is like to operate as an engineer in a professional environment. Having the internship experience also allowed me to better compete for entry-level engineering positions with several companies.”
Snyder said he wanted to have internship experience so he could better set himself apart from the thousands of other engineering students who will be graduating this spring. Having internship experience gave him an advantage over all the students who do not have the extra engineering experience.
“I have accepted a job with Honda Manufacturing of America,” he continued. “My internship experience paired with my Kent State education allowed me to go into my interview with the knowledge and confidence it took to land a job with a top-rated company.”
SUPPORTING EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
Seeing the value of these experiences for its students, Kent State has developed a new co-op course.
“Because we understand the tremendous benefit of a co-op experience for student learning and entry into the professional world, the university has developed a co-op course that will allow any student from any major to retain their full-time student status while participating in a full-time co-op experience,” said Ann Gosky, interim director of Kent State’s Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement. “The course will be available beginning fall 2015, and students interested in enrolling should discuss this option with their academic advisor.”
For more information about Ohio Means Internships and Co-ops, visit www.ohiomeansinternships.com.
For more information about Kent State’s Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement, visit www.kent.edu/oeece.
For information about Kent State’s Career Services Center, visit www.kent.edu/career.
Watch a video of a student from Kent State’s College of Business Administration talking about her internships and working with the college’s Career Services Office. For more success stories about the Career Services Office at the College of Business Administration, visit www.kent.edu/business/careers.
For more information about internships and co-op positions for students in the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, visit www.kent.edu/cae/internship-advantage.