Internships provide students with real-world experience

Internships provide students with real-world experience.

In her role as Kent State University at Stark’s assistant director for employer relations and internships, Shaanette Fowler works with employers to identify internships, as well as part-time and full-time jobs for students. Fowler, the campus’ 2018 Staff Excellence Award winner, says she takes pride in discovering new opportunities.

“It is extremely important for students to have the chance to garner real-world experience with the safety net and support of the university behind them,” said Fowler. “An internship or part-time job can reconfirm the choice of a major or spur consideration of ‘Plan B’, and that’s OK.”

Identifying opportunities that fit programs unique to Kent State Stark, Fowler has placed music technology students at recording studios in Nashville, criminology and justice studies students at the courthouse, and a marketing major at the White House.

Anthony PizzinoAnthony Pizzino is no stranger to politics. For as long as he can remember, his father, John, has been a Jackson Township trustee. Last fall, the Kent State Stark senior had an opportunity to experience lawmaking firsthand from a seat in the Statehouse.

“We met with think tanks, law firms, even the commander of the Ohio National Guard,” said Pizzino, who served as an intern to State Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green). “They talked to us about what they felt was best for the state. We attended briefings and special events. Basically, we learned what it is like to be a state lawmaker.”

Pizzino, who will graduate from Kent State Stark in December with a bachelor’s degree in business management, said he has discovered a passion for making a positive difference in people’s lives through enacting policy changes that have an impact. “Kent State has helped me make connections and network in ways I never thought possible,” said the 22-year-old. “And, who knows, maybe I’ll run for office one day.”

Dylanni SmithDylanni Smith has been fascinated by the White House since she was a child. A history buff, she wrote a paper about the nation’s capital when she was in the eighth grade. Naturally, the North Canton resident jumped at the chance to complete an internship in Washington, D.C., this past spring.

She credits Fowler and Lisa Waite, communication studies senior lecturer, with getting her there. “I was so grateful they took the time to help me incorporate my classes with an internship at the White House,” said Smith, a marketing major.

As an intern in the Office of Presidential Correspondence, Smith responded to emails, phone calls and mail on behalf of President Donald J. Trump and the First Family. The office also reviews requests for presidential proclamations and more. “The office does its best to understand constituents’ views and concerns,” Smith said. “It was an honor to have the position and to hear the American people’s views directly. Regardless of political party, everyone is very committed to public service and put their own interests aside to focus on the public good.”

The 20-year-old said the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has transformed her interest in politics into a true calling.

Jacob HuffmanJacob Huffman, a Tuslaw High School graduate, said he dreamed he would work at a Fortune 500 company. Little did he know, he would land an internship at one within five years time.

The 23-year-old began his work this past spring at internationally known Diebold Nixdorf, a financial self-service, security and services corporation headquartered in North Canton.

Huffman, who is working on bachelor’s degrees in applied communication and business management, assists salespeople in the field. “It has been great working at Diebold,” he said. “It has helped improve my confidence, and it is invaluable to have real-life experience to share with my classmates.”

A soon-to-be graduating senior, Huffman said he’ll enter the workforce in 2019 with corporate experience and newfound purpose. “I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

POSTED: Monday, September 17, 2018 - 11:45am
UPDATED: Monday, September 17, 2018 - 1:39pm
Melissa Griffy Seeton