Career Exploration and Development

Marcus Haase is a senior Honors College student majoring in psychology. Throughout his course work at Kent State, Marcus has found that he has a special interest in clinical psychology. When he told Dr. Shannon Ciesla, one of his psychology professors, about his interest in clinical psychology, she recommended that Marcus consider interning with Townhall II to gain experience and insight into the field. Townhall II is a community organization located in downtown Kent, dedicated to supporting community members through a number of mental health and crisis resources. The resources offered by Townhall II fall into four main categories: emergency services, addiction prevention and treatment, health and wellness, and the rape crisis center. Marcus was nervous to apply to the organization in the spring of 2020 because he was worried about how different the internship experience might be in the midst of the pandemic. Nonetheless, Marcus applied, and in the fall of 2020, he was accepted to intern with Townhall II.

Marcus’s internship was through Townhall II’s emergency services, specifically the 24 Hour Crisis Helpline, where operators support callers through crises such as substance abuse, domestic violence, suicidal thoughts, and other important subjects. In order to work on the Helpline, Marcus first had to complete extensive training, and during these first few months of his internship, Marcus attended eight hours of training each week. Half of each training session consisted of a lecture about relevant topics, such as substance abuse, sexual assault, and suicide, while the other half involved role-plays designed to help volunteers practice answering hypothetical calls and receive feedback from trainers. After the training portion, Marcus began answering calls on the Helpline. “Since I’m still a New Trainee,” Marcus notes, “I still get tons of feedback from my supervisors, for which I am more than grateful!” This semester, Marcus is still volunteering with Townhall II’s Helpline, an experience he describes as “unforgettable.”

When asked what advice he could give, Marcus encourages his fellow Honors College students to seek out internships specific to their career interests, noting that a key to finding beneficial internships is the Kent State faculty. Marcus adds, “Don’t be afraid to talk to professors to help you find what’s available!” He notes how helpful Dr. Ciesla was in finding a relevant internship that would prepare Marcus for graduate programs, and he adds that each department at Kent State has faculty who “are familiar with what might be a good fit for you and [know] what you can expect.” Marcus received help from one of his professors, but another great resource for students in search of internship opportunities are the Honors College’s academic advisors, who can help connect students to campus resources. Relatedly, another helpful resource at Kent State is the Department of Career Exploration & Development, which offers many outlets for students to find internships and other career-related opportunities. Asking for support helped Marcus find his position at Townhall II, which Marcus says is a great opportunity for him to prepare for graduate programs in clinical psychology. His training with the organization has helped Marcus become “someone that people want to talk to[,]” which is an important trait for a prospective clinical psychologist. The internship also helped Marcus learn how to apply the skills he learned in his major courses, which, Marcus adds, “reinforced my desire to become a clinical psychologist . . . [and] motivated me to explore a future as a psychologist working for a non-profit organization.”

Not only will his internship prepare Marcus for graduate programs in clinical psychology, but he also says that his experience at Townhall II has equipped Marcus with life skills. “I cannot understate,” Marcus says, “how important I’ve felt my time at Townhall II has been . . . in helping me grow as a person.” He explains that the supportive feedback from his supervisors has helped him learn, and his experience working on the Helpline has expanded his comfort zone. Marcus is grateful for his ongoing experience with Townhall II and is excited to pursue his studies in clinical psychology.


PHOTO CAPTION 1: Outside view of the Townhall II building, where Marcus interned.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Marcus Haase, wearing a mask while working in the 24 Hour Crisis Helpline at Townhall II

Media Contact: Stephanie Moskal,, 330-672-2312

Jayden Stearns is a third-year Kent State Honors College student whose internship position at Shared Moravian Ministry Ohio was created when the organization decided to use technology to make their programs socially distanced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A computer science major, Jayden heard that the “churches of the Shared Ministry needed someone experienced with technology” to help them transition their traditionally in-person events to virtual platforms. Jayden applied to help the churches in the organization with their technological needs and was offered the position based on his computer science training at Kent State. In addition to helping the churches organize online services and events, Jayden assisted with “budgeting and setup of video conferencing hardware and software,” and he was able to apply his knowledge from computer science classes to multiple projects within his internship.

While his major courses enabled Jayden to perform the technical aspects of his internship, Jayden credits his other experiences at Kent State for the professionalism that helped him make a positive impression throughout the internship. Jayden highlights the Peer Leader Training course he completed at Kent State, noting that the class increased his confidence and independence. During his freshman year, Jayden was also a part of the Honors Leadership Academy, which allowed him to apply the leadership skills he learned in Peer Leader Training. Jayden adds, “the Honors Leadership Academy further expanded my independence, self-confidence, and communication skills.” Working as a tutor and supplemental instruction leader at the Academic Success Center also strengthened his interpersonal communication skills, Jayden says. Whenever he was assigned self-paced, independent projects in his internship, the self-reliance and communication skills from his leadership experiences at Kent State allowed Jayden to succeed.

Though Jayden’s job as an intern was to help the organization, his time at Shared Moravian Ministry also benefited Jayden. He comments that his internship experience allowed him to clarify his career goals—in fact, the internship was so influential to his future plans that Jayden encourages all his fellow honors students to complete an internship that relates to their career interests. Jayden explains, “understanding what you do not enjoy from a position is just as important [to developing career goals] as knowing what you do enjoy.” Throughout his internship, Jayden completed many assignments, and learning which types of tasks he did and did not enjoy helped him discover his interest in the information technology branch of computer science. Just as he found his passion for a specific field through his internship responsibilities, Jayden says other students can also discover their distinct interests through an internship.

Not only did his internship allow Jayden to develop more specialized career goals, but his time at Shared Moravian Ministry Ohio also gave him a sense of personal accomplishment. Jayden notes that, “Thanks to this internship opportunity, I feel more prepared and confident than ever before in my ability to coordinate and communicate with other people.” He cites his renewed confidence in his computer science skills and his ability to adapt well to changes in the workplace as two key skills that his internship provided him. Ultimately, Jayden says he is most grateful for the positive impact he made in his community through this internship. He says that “helping [the churches] to spread their positive message in a safe way” allowed him to feel more involved in his community. Jayden is thankful for the professional and personal opportunities that his internship experience afforded him, and he is excited to continue pursuing his education in computer science.

To learn more about internship opportunities, please visit the Department of Career Exploration & Development.


PHOTO CAPTION 1: Outside view of Fry's Valley Moravian Church, one of the churches where Jayden interned.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Jayden Stearns, wearing a mask in one of the churches where he interned.

PHOTO CAPTION 3: Outside view of Uhrichsville First Moravian Church, one of the churches where Jayden interned.

Media Contact: Stephanie Moskal,, 330-672-2312

Paige Gamin is a junior Kent State Honors College student from Medina, Ohio, majoring in finance, with minors in accounting and economics. Paige first began her internship search when she heard that her Fall Semester 2020 classes would be remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though she has since adapted well to the remote learning atmosphere, Paige notes that, initially, it was more challenging for her to retain information from online lectures. As such, Paige decided an internship would be a great way to learn important finance principles outside of a class setting. After using Handshake, an online job board, to find several internship opportunities, Paige applied to a remote internship position with FirstEnergy, the electricity corporation with companies servicing the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Within a few days, Paige had heard back from FirstEnergy, completed a virtual interview, and was offered the position.

When asked what past experience prepared her for the internship at FirstEnergy, Paige credited her finance and accounting courses at Kent State. Throughout her internship, Paige was asked to use several software programs which she had not previously encountered. One such program was SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing), an accounting software program that FirstEnergy planned to train Paige in. Before she began working with the new system at FirstEnergy, however, Paige’s Intro to Accounting Systems class had introduced SAP, so that when she started using the software at FirstEnergy, Paige was already familiar with the system. “It was nice to be familiar with one of the softwares,” Paige says, recalling that her knowledge of SAP gave her more confidence in her abilities.

Aside from her courses, Paige says her extracurriculars also prepared her for the internship at FirstEnergy. A member of Delta Sigma Pi, Paige recognizes the business fraternity for strengthening her interviewing skills. She also notes that the fraternity equipped her with professionalism, which helped her make a good impression at FirstEnergy and gave her the self-assurance to ask clarifying questions on the job.

If she could offer any advice to other students interested in internships, Paige recommends utilizing all available resources. If you have a connection in the company to which you are applying, email the person, letting them know that you are applying and asking if they have any advice. Even if you do not know anyone at the organization, Paige notes that many companies list the names of their employees on LinkedIn, as well as the schools from which they graduated. You can set the page to only display Kent State alumni working at the company. From there, write a brief email explaining that you are a Kent State student hoping to intern with the company, and ask if they could offer you any advice as a former student. Paige comments that “people in today’s work force want to help college students” in the workplace. Experienced workers know that students who ask questions are eager to learn, and Paige says that established employees are eager to help and teach the next generation of workers.

Reflecting on her time at FirstEnergy, Paige is the most grateful for the connections her internship afforded her. She is pleased that she reached out to many employees at FirstEnergy during her internship and asked to connect with them during breaks throughout the workday. Those connections not only helped Paige excel as an intern, but they also could be beneficial to Paige in her professional future. Interning at FirstEnergy was an important experience for Paige, and she hopes to use the skills from her time at FirstEnergy to apply for an internship with a large bank in the summer of 2021.

If you would like more information about internship opportunities, please contact the Department of Career Exploration & Development.


PHOTO CAPTION 1: Outside view of Johnson residence hall.

PHOTO CAPTION 2: Paige Gamin, Honors College junior, wearing a mask at home.

Media Contact: Stephanie Moskal,, 330-672-2312

For college students in many areas of study, an internship experience may be a requirement for graduation from their program or an otherwise necessary step to reach the next stage in their education and their eventual careers. Regardless of whether or not it is required, students in all majors can benefit from having a quality internship experience with a company or organization relevant to their field of study and desired career. Many Honors College students at Kent State take the opportunity to complete unique internships to supplement their academic work and prepare them for the future.

An internship can be a great way for students to gain exposure to different career possibilities. Evan Harms, an Honors College senior environmental studies major with minors in park management and digital media production, completed an internship in 2019 as a naturalist with Cleveland Metroparks through CanalWay Center, a special nature center located along the Cuyahoga River in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio. Evan learned of this opportunity when he was searching for similar internships throughout the region, and in addition to the relevance to his studies, he says he was also drawn to the environmental justice component of CanalWay Center: many of the school groups that visit the center are composed of urban children who generally have less access to natural areas and the benefits they provide, and Evan says that to be able to inspire these kids through nature “can have huge impacts for communities down the road.”

Evan was also very pleased to know that the Honors College would accept his internship for honors credit. He had a vision of what he wanted to do and how his internship experience would coincide with his major, and he says that Brittany Thomas, his honors advisor, provided him with “all the logistical support and information” that he needed to accomplish his goals. Mathew Blasio, an Honors College junior musical theatre major with a dance minor from Cleveland, Ohio, also says that the additional educational opportunities provided by the Honors College helped prepare him for rigorous internship work, such as the Honors College’s partnership with the School of Theatre and Dance that allows for more intensive training and coursework for honors students.

During the summer of 2019, Mathew was a cast member at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock, New York, where he acted in four productions: “Mamma Mia!,” “Newsies,” “Hair,” and a version of “Alice in Wonderland.” This kind of production schedule throughout the summer is referred to as “summer stock” in the theatre community, and it is commonly sought after by college students. According to Mathew, the most valuable skill he learned from his internship was how to prepare for a show in a limited amount of time. He says that if he were casted in a currently touring Broadway show, he would have five to seven days to learn an entire track, and he would need to be able to perform it perfectly on stage the next week. This timeline may have scared him in the past, but now he has experience learning at a similar pace and he knows he is capable. Mathew is also grateful for the numerous professional connections he made in New York City in addition to his contacts in other areas of the United States.

One major advantage of completing an internship is that it can help students clarify their career path, something Honors College junior Elise Rickert knows well. Elise, who is majoring in speech pathology and audiology, interned at Akron Children’s Hospital during the summer of 2019 as a pediatric research scholar. She began her internship thinking that she wanted to be a speech pathologist working in some area of the medical field. Through her internship, she was able to shadow multiple different specializations, and that helped her realize that she did not want to pursue a career in speech pathology after all, and her current plan is now to attend graduate school to study audiology. Elise says that her internship helped her discover her passion for audiology, and it solidified that she definitely wants to continue doing research.

Elise also knows firsthand the multiple ways in which Kent State and the Honors College supports and encourages students who are completing internships. In addition to allowing her to receive honors credit for her experience, the university also has money allotted to assist students such as Elise who plan to travel to present their research, so they do not have to worry about the cost of doing so, which Elise says “is a really big help.” She submitted an abstract to the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at Kent State, and she also recently submitted an abstract to be considered for the American Epilepsy Society conference next year.

While an internship can be a great way for students to discover new career interests, it can also help students reaffirm their interest and gain hands-on experience in their desired career field. Matthew Fowler, an Honors College junior majoring in public health and sociology from Brewster, Ohio, is currently completing an internship with the Kent State LGBTQ+ Center. His responsibilities include contributing to annual events and furthering the center’s health advocacy initiatives, both of which help connect the internship to his academic studies. Matthew says that he has gained numerous invaluable skills through his internship, such as being okay with needing to ask questions and not knowing everything, which he says is a “monumental step” in his professional development. The internship has also helped him learn how to come up with creative solutions to complex issues that affect the student population that the LGBTQ+ Center serves. Lastly, Matthew says that the internship has helped him greatly improve his networking skills, and that he feels more confident talking on the phone or meeting with administrators of different departments. All of these skills will benefit Matthew in his future career as a researcher and public health official.

Rachel Karas, a junior journalism major with a minor in photojournalism, anticipates that her internship during the summer of 2020 with the Columbus Dispatch will help her gain a better idea of what aspect of the journalism field she should pursue after she graduates. As a “metro” intern, she will be assigned to cover anything that happens in the downtown area or that is related to the community, and she is excited to gain experience in the field conducting interviews and reporting stories. While Rachel has worked in a variety of positions in student media at Kent State, she hopes to gain from her internship “a better idea of what it takes to be a real journalist.” Her peers’ endorsements of the Columbus Dispatch based on their own internship experiences encouraged her to seek an internship with the newspaper. Some of the details of Rachel’s upcoming internship have changed due to the coronavirus pandemic: the start date for the internship has been delayed, but she still expects to work at the internship site for twelve weeks. Her supervisors have also been very transparent and communicative and have expressed that they are willing to be flexible given the circumstances. Rachel says that the newspaper has treated its incoming interns like “fellow journalists” while being mindful of the struggles that students may be facing during this time, and she adds that the manner in which the Dispatch has handled the changes has reinforced “all the good things [she] heard about them that made [her] want to apply in the first place.”

For students who are considering an internship or are seeking internship opportunities, Mathew advises students to remember that “the person on the other of the side of the table is rooting for you and wants you to be amazing.” Other pieces of great advice include pursuing as many opportunities as possible, reaching out to organizations that students are interested in working for directly in addition to using job search sites such as Indeed and Handshake, and not being intimidated by the number of applicants a position receives. As Elise says, “If you’re passionate about something, it’s worth it,” she says.

Kent State’s Career Exploration and Development provides students with multiple resources to aid in internship and job searches, including help crafting and revising resumes and mock interviews. Students who are interested in pursuing an internship opportunity through the Honors College should talk to their advisor and visit the internships page on the Honors College website.

It is February when music students’ thoughts turn to…summer internships?

If you have not yet begun a search for a summer music career expanding experience – whether it is internships, part-time or full-time work, volunteering, research, freelancing – now is the time.

Where do you start?

This may seem counterintuitive, but start with defining your longer-term career goal. What would you love to do with your music degree? What skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities are needed for that career (hint: if you are unsure, talk with your faculty, professionals doing that work, or search for those careers using the search engines below to see what is required and needed for that career).

You just defined your end goal. Now, being honest with yourself, what skills, knowledge, experience and abilities do you need to further develop and grow in order to be well-qualified for that career goal? You just identified the type of summer experience that could help you grow your music career.

Update your Resume

Review and update your resume. Have at least one other person familiar with performance or music resumes look it over to give you some suggestions for improvement.

Search for Internships, Jobs, and Volunteer Opportunities

Here are six resources for your summer search:

  • Handshake, through Flashline: There are currently 98 music-related internships posted across the U.S.A. (as of 2/4/20), in a wide-variety of music-related roles and organizations.
  • Has 1,360 internship postings with “music” somewhere in the job title or job description, throughout the United States.
  • Has a listing of summer music camps, who are hiring now.
  • Has 318 internships with the word music somewhere in the job title or job description, all across the United States.
  • GoingGlobal, through Flashline: You can explore internships in other countries by clicking “internships,” then search “music” in your country of choice.
  • Your Kent email: Your faculty and the Music Department often receive internship, job, and volunteer opportunities. If you are not checking your email, you are missing opportunities.

Strategic Connections

You have applied, but how do you know what it is like to intern or work at that organization? Handshake and LinkedIn can help you identify your Kent connections who have worked at that organization. Contact those individuals, ask for their advice for interviewing, learn what it is like to intern there, and anything else you want to know

Prepare for the Interview and Do Your Research

Take some time to really learn about the organization by digging into their website, Google search them, and following them on social media. This will give you good information to use for your interview. Practice interviewing through InterviewStream online ( and/or setting up a mock interview with me through KSU Advising.


Written by: 
LuAnn Coldwell
Career Advisor, Visual & Performing Arts
Make an Appointment 

“I have a LinkedIn account, but I don’t get how it is useful for someone in music.”

If that sounds like you, here are five ways that LinkedIn can be a useful social media tool for your personal and professional life as a musician.

  1. A virtual resume.  Your LinkedIn profile is, simply, a virtual resume.  But did you know you can add links to your profile showcasing your work, reviews or your other social media?  Or that your LinkedIn connections can enhance your profile by writing short (paragraph sized) recommendations about your work and/or giving you a “thumbs up” on key skills that you possess?  Those endorsements and recommendations are gifts of networking, as networking is a mutually beneficial relationship (so, if you are on LinkedIn, give some of those endorsements to your connections).  Are those endorsements important?  Yes, as they give potential employers a sense of what others think of your skills.  Creating, updating, and giving your LinkedIn profile some love now may also save you time when applying for positions, as more employers (and graduate programs) are giving applicants the option to apply using LinkedIn profile information.
  2. A virtual business cardholder. When you receive a business card now, what do you do with it?  Maybe you have a drawer of business cards that may no longer be up-to-date with where that person works?  Whenever you get a business card or meet someone professionally, connect with them on LinkedIn.  Not only does that connection expand your network, but most folks will update their LinkedIn profile when they change jobs or are promoted.  That makes your list of connections on LinkedIn a constantly updated virtual business cardholder.  You will see updates about your connections on your LinkedIn home page.  When your connections get those new jobs or promotions, send them a short “Well done you!” message through LinkedIn.  That nurtures your network.
  3. An internship and job search engine that connects the dots.  Can you guess how many U.S. jobs are posted in LinkedIn that have “music” in the job title or job description?  47,416 (on 11/7/19).  Try that search and explore the careers section.  When you look at an internship/job posting in LinkedIn, LinkedIn connects the dots by also showing you how you know someone, through your connections, who works (or worked) at that organization.  This gives you someone to contact to learn about that organization, the position that is posted, and maybe even to see if they could put in a good word for you as an applicant.  Flashes help out flashes; use your KSU network.
  4. Company, organization, and interests news updates. LinkedIn is not just for individuals.  It is also for companies, universities, professional associations, organizations, and groups.  What is your guess of how many groups have the word “music” in their name within LinkedIn? 7,877 (on 11/7/19).  That does not include music organizations or companies you could follow; search for your favorite music organization, click “follow,” and you will see news and updates (often including internship and job postings) on your LinkedIn home page.  This is an easy way to keep up on news in your field; however, if you are in the hunt for an internship or job, following your potential employers on LinkedIn gives you information that you can use in your application and interview, which can show that you have done your homework.  While you are adding organizations to follow, don’t forget to follow the Kent State University Hugh A. Glauser School of Music.
  5. Super cool networking tool.  If you have read this far, I am going to reward you by sharing one of the coolest features of LinkedIn.  In the search box within LinkedIn, search “Kent State University.”  Then click on the school page for KSU.  Then click on “alumni” in the left-hand box of KSU’s LinkedIn page.  You just turned LinkedIn into a database that will let you search KSU alumni.  Moving to a new city?  Search “where” to see KSU alums who live there.  Applying to a specific organization?  Search that organization and see KSU alums who work/worked there.  Wondering what other music alumni are doing?  Search by field of study.  Not sure what the “1,” “2,” or “3” means next to a LinkedIn profile?  Those are the degrees of separation between you and that person.  1 degree of separation means that person is on your list of contacts.  2 degrees of separation means someone you know, knows that person (and LinkedIn will show you who, so you can work your network).  3 degrees is, well, you get the idea.  LinkedIn does not give you the full “6 degrees of separation” (but don’t let that stop you from searching for Kevin Bacon).

If you would like to meet and go over LinkedIn questions, or other career issues, simply make an appointment with LuAnn Coldwell, Career Adviser, Visual & Performing Arts through KSU Advising or by calling 330-672-8388 or emailing


Written by: LuAnn Coldwell

Throughout the fall 2019 semester, the Kent State University Honors College is hosting the second annual Career Conversations, a series of question-and-answer sessions with Kent State alumni from a variety of professional fields. A total of thirteen sessions will take place in the Honors College library on the Kent campus starting in early October through late November. 


Theresa Yogi, coordinator of scholarships in the Honors College, says that the idea for this type of event series originated last academic year. Yogi says that she thought hearing a professional speak about their experience “would help our undecided students explore several career choices and help others to network with professionals.” Yogi emphasizes the benefits of this career advice coming from professionals who were once Kent State students themselves: “To hear from a professional currently working in the industry who is up on the current trends, let alone an alum who has been in their shoes, is powerful.”


Yogi says that, when she was planning the series for this year, she wanted to have multiple perspectives, and so this year’s “Career Conversations” series will feature panels of alumni volunteers who work in different positions in a certain career field. Rather than having the alumni simply present to the students, each speaker will give a short introduction and then open up the discussion for questions and answers, allowing students to drive the conversation based on their interests.


Yogi says that the Honors College partnered with the university’s Alumni Association to advertise the opportunity, and she is pleased to report that more than forty alumni will come to campus this fall to participate in the events. These professionals work in a variety of fields, including business, health, fashion, and many others, and will travel to Kent from in-state locations such as Columbus and Cincinnati, as well as other states including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Texas. The participants will be able to advise about all stages of the career process: they include recent graduates who can speak about their experiences searching for and applying to jobs and higher education institutions, as well as professionals with decades of experience in their career fields.


The Career Conversations series kicked off on Thursday, October 3, with a panel about marketing and communications. The first panelist, Peter Baker, graduated from Kent State in 2001 with a combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degree in visual communication design; Baker is the creative director for Audio-Technica in Stow, Ohio. The second panelist, Jennifer Trivelli, graduated from Kent State and the Honors College in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in public relations, and she also holds an MBA in finance from the university. She is the senior marketing and communications officer for the Cleveland Foundation. Trivelli said that the fact that she has an MBA makes her background different from most other marketers’ backgrounds, but that her unique experiences have served her well. When asked why she chose her career path, Trivelli expressed that her career has taken a path that she would not have predicted while she was in college, and she told students that “it’s okay to not know” where they might end up at first. 


Though Baker and Trivelli work in different positions for companies with different goals, they emphasized that some qualities and habits that students can begin cultivating throughout their time in college can be beneficial no matter what their intended career path may be. Trivelli recommended that students begin looking at jobs that interest them early in their college careers and pay attention to the requirements so that they have time to add skills they might otherwise be missing. She said the path that students want or need to pursue to end up with their desired career may not be perfectly laid out for them, but that they can build the path they need. Speaking in particular to VCD students, Baker stressed the importance of challenging oneself in that program and pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree if they want to be the most prepared for their careers as they can be. 


The second Career Conversations presentation was held on Tuesday, October 8, and focused on careers in early childhood education and speech pathology. This panel featured three presenters: Cathy Ahrens, preschool teacher and early intervention specialist at Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools, who graduated from the Kent State Honors College in 2007 and also a Master of Education degree in 2014; Jenny Boyden, early intervention specialist with the Portage County Board of Developmental Disabilities, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Kent State in 2011; and Molly Schenker, a speech language pathologist and current Ph.D. student at Kent State who also graduated from the university with a bachelor’s degree in 2011. Each of the professionals said that working with students and their families and seeing students make the connections that they had been working on are a large part of what makes their jobs worthwhile. 


Like Trivelli and Baker before them, Tuesday’s presenters stressed that activities that provide students with opportunities for hands-on professional development in their field are hugely important and beneficial to them in their job search. Ahrens suggested that students look for opportunities that allow them to volunteer or work in the community throughout the summer as well, advising students that “you’re not going to learn it all from the book.” Schenker talked about building up one’s social and professional connections while they are in college, as well as the importance of students being involved in activities that they are passionate about: “when you’re doing things you love, you’re going to shine.” Boyden agreed that melding one’s unique passions into their desired career path is a wise choice, as “it will show that you love it.” 


The entire schedule of events for the fall 2019 Career Conversations is available online at this link. Students who attend three sessions can be entered to win one of four $100 book scholarships; one appointment with Career Exploration and Development can be substituted to count as attendance at a session. All of the panels will be held at 4 PM on their respective dates in the Honors College Library on the Kent campus. 



Media Contact:

Stephanie Moskal,, (330) 672-2312


For the second year, the Honors College will be hosting Career Conversations - a series beneficial to all students who are exploring majors and also those who are looking to set themselves apart in their chosen industry!  

During each session, Kent State University alumni will share information and advice about their career field in a casual Question & Answer setting.  Career Conversations will allow Kent State students the opportunity to network with professionals, learn the tips and tricks of their chosen trade, and hear from those working in the current industry. 

The Honors College is excited to host 40 Kent State University alumni this fall, packed into 13 different sessions in a wide variety of fields - business, education, health, fashion and more!  Our panel this year is very diverse, ranging from recent grads and graduate school/medical students, to many individuals with decades of experience in their industry.  

No registration is required to attend any session in the series.  Light refreshments will be served.  All students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend (not just honors students).  

All students who attend 3 (or more) sessions will be entered to win one of FOUR total $100 BOOK SCHOLARSHIPS!  An appointment with Career Exploration and Development may substitute for one Career Conversations session.

Q&A Sessions with Top KSU Alumni

All sessions take place at 4:00 p.m. in the Honors College Library of Stopher Hall on the dates listed below, and in the Career Conversations Fall 2019 Schedule (PDF).  

Thursday, Oct. 3

Marketing and Communications

  • Peter Baker, Creative Director, Audio-Technica
  • Jennifer Trivelli, Senior Marketing & Communications Ofcer, Cleveland Foundation

Tuesday, Oct. 8

Early Childhood Education and Speech Pathology

  • Cathy Ahrens, Preschool Teacher/Early Intervention Specialist, Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools
  • Jenny Boyden, Early Intervention Specialist, Portage County DD
  • Molly Schenker, Speech Language Pathologist and PhD Student, Kent State University

Thursday, Oct. 17


  • Rae Burke, Art Therapist, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
  • Jennifer Finnerty, Vocational Rehabilitation Supervisor, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD)
  • Skyla McGee, Clinical Counselor, The Centers for Families and Children

Tuesday, Oct. 22

Business Management and Entrepreneurship

  • Dale Leppo, Chairman, Leppo, Inc.
  • Rodger Roeser, Owner/President, The Eisen Agency
  • Jayni Sech, CEO, Marketing Solutions Unlimited, Inc.

Wednesday, Oct. 23


  • Andy Baskin, Midday Host, 92.3 The Fan
  • Shane Hoover, Staff Writer, Canton Repository
  • Lindsay McCoy, Weekend Anchor, WFMJ

Thursday, Oct. 24

Visual Communication Design

  • Shawn Beatty, Digital Front End Developer, Progressive Insurance
  • Anthony Lindemann, Wealth and Investing UX Manager, PNC Bank
  • Susan Hazel Rich, Owner and Illustrator, Hazelmade

Wednesday, Oct. 30


  • Rabon Allen, Nurse Manager, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
  • Lisa Aurilio, Chief Operating Officer, Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Dr. Karen Bankston, Professor and Leadership Consultant, University of Cincinnati
  • Brian Rink, Director of Ambulatory Nursing, Cleveland Clinic

Tuesday, November 5

Public Health

  • Alexander Evans, Environmental Health Epidemiologist II, Franklin County Public Health
  • Laurie Ann Moennich, Project Manager and Research Coordinator III, Cleveland Clinic

Thursday, Nov. 7


  • Dr. Theresa Benyo, Analytical Physicist, NASA Glenn Research Center
  • Colleen Cosgrove, Biologist and PhD Student, Kent State University
  • Dr. Jessica Maisano, Paleontologist and Research Scientist, The University of Texas

Wednesday, Nov. 13


  • Maggie Evans, High School Chemistry Teacher, Lake Ridge Academy
  • Jennifer Fosnight, Middle School Teacher, Twinsburg City Schools
  • Brian McCombs, High School Math Teacher, Kent City Schools

Thursday, Nov. 14

Medical Doctor

  • Dr. Brad Gable, ER Physician, Riverside Methodist Hospital
  • Isaac Korb, Medical Student, Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine
  • Dr. James Whaley, Orthopedic Surgery Resident, Beaumont Health

Tuesday, Nov. 19


  • Laura Cruz, Designer, Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Dominique Todd, Assistant Buyer, Catherines Stores Corporation
  • Rachael Novak, Owner and Designer, Shore Society

Thursday, Nov. 21


  • Leanne Andrysco, Project Manager and Architect, GPD Group
  • John DiAntonio, Architectural Designer, DLR Group
  • Tim Hunsicker, Assistant Director and Missionary Architect, ABWE
  • Steven Olson, President, CESO, Inc.


Media Contact:

Stephanie Moskal,, (330) 672-2312

Junior year was a stressful time for Kent State University student Megan Wandel, because after changing her major twice, she was still unhappy about her career path.

Ms. Wandel began her journey at Kent State as a pre-fashion major, but after a year and a half, she realized that it was not right for her. Then she decided to change her major to business management, but the major just was not specific enough.

With the help of Natalie Harrington in Kent State's Career Services Office in the College of Business Administration, Ms. Wandel was able to find the perfect career that aligned with her personality traits.

“For starters, Natalie Harrington helped me figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” Ms. Wandel recalled. “I wasn’t happy with my major and she helped me explore options and find the best fit for me.”

Ms. Wandel said Ms. Harrington asked her had she considered human resources and advised her to set up a job shadow. And now the senior is happily on the road to a May graduation with new found confidence and conviction.  

Last May, Ms. Wandel did an internship at Fastenal’s distribution center in Akron. She had the opportunity to look at several aspects of human resources – recruiting, onboarding, training and employee management.

“Once I figured it out, she (Natalie) was with me every step of the way to help me find my internship,” Ms. Wandel said. “Natalie still checks up on me. I know she’ll be a great help when I’m trying to find a fulltime opportunity.”

Kent State's College of Business Administration is the only college within the university that has its own career center, and the staff solely serves College of Business Administration majors/minors and alumni.

Students go there to work on their resumes and interviewing skills and to find internships and other employment opportunities. Talented Kent State students and alumni also connect with employers at the Fall and Spring Internship, Co-Op and Career Fairs that are sponsored on campus by Career Exploration and Development in Kent State's University College.

A campus career fair is where Kent State senior Carlee Biscan got an offer for a 14-week internship at Key Bank. That internship has led to fulltime employment at Key that begins after Ms. Biscan’s May graduation.

“I will be rotating through the branches,” said Ms. Biscan, who will be a management associate at Key. “I’ll be getting exposed to different markets in the Cleveland area.”

Ms. Wandel connected with Fastenal at a Kent State Career Fair as well. The company asked her to stay on in a part-time capacity after the internship, while continuing to take her classes at Kent State, according to Molly Phelps, a Fastenal recruiter, who manages Ms. Wandel.

“Megan is able to bring what she is learning in the classroom to Fastenal,” Ms. Phelps said. “She has also shared with me that she was able to talk about her experience in her classes and give some real world insight. Megan was able to jump right in as a part of the team bringing new creative ideas to make positive changes.”

Kent State freshman Elena Neoh Ern Hui knew that she wanted to major in business, but it was not until she participated in the Flashternship program last spring that her career path became crystal clear.

The Career Exploration and Development department arranged a Flashternship for Ms. Neoh Ern Hui at FedEx Custom Critical, and that is what guided her to the field of human resource management.

“The Flashternship was enriching, as well as mind-opening,” Ms. Neoh Ern Hui wrote via email. “I believe that experience is the best teacher – thus the rotational position was one that I did not regret being a part of.”

Career Exploration and Development’s Flashternship program provides students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, the opportunity to job shadow for a day, or serve five, half-day micro-internships. In turn, participating companies are able to start the recruitment process early on.

Last year, the pilot partner organizations for the Flashternship program included FedEx Custom Critical, the city of Akron and the Conservancy of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Environmental Education Center, said Kristin Williams, executive director of Career Exploration and Development in Kent State's University College.

Flashternships help shift students’ knowledge about companies, Ms. Williams said. For instance, most students come into contact with FedEx as retail customers, unaware that the company has a myriad of behind-the-scenes operations.

But once students serve a Flashternship at FedEx, they see that the company employs professionals who have expertise in issues ranging from law to tariffs. Then, students pass on knowledge from the Flashternships to their peers.

“Peer to peer interaction is huge,” Ms. Williams said. “The students do the work of evangelizing what we as a staff of 13 can’t do.”

Last July, Kent State junior Anna Stanke had the opportunity to serve a Flashternship at Union Home Mortgage in Strongsville, Ohio.

The communications studies major, whose concentration is in organizational communications, has an interest in working in the human resources department of a corporation, but she’s not 100 percent sure this will be her chosen career path.

The one-day Flashternship gave Ms. Stanke a close-up view of a typical day in a human resources' department.

“I loved it,” recalled Ms. Stanke. “I really enjoyed meeting the employees there and they made me feel comfortable the entire time. It also helped a lot to learn more about human resources and the company as a whole.  Being able to be a part of a day in the workforce helped me learn more about what it is like and what I'll eventually be doing.”

Ms. Stanke said she would recommend the Flashternship program as a way for students to explore various careers and companies and to network with professionals.

“I received a business card from every person I met, and from there, I added them on LinkedIn,” Ms. Stanke said. “It is interesting to still be able to see posts from them and see what is currently going on in the organization. I also know I can reach out to any of them with questions at any time.”

Kent State's Career Exploration and Development makes a difference in the lives of students through Flashternships and many other programs.

For more information about programs to help students succeed in the business world and beyond, visit or call 330-672-2360.