Workforce development puts Shawnee students to work
by By Ryan Ottney
Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey returned to Shawnee State University on Monday for a luncheon to hear about the university’s career and workforce development program.
Originally from Wellston, Ohio, in Jackson County, Carey is a former state representative from the 87th House District and the Ohio Senate. He gave up his seat in the House on Dec. 31, 2011, to accept a job as the assistant to the president for government relations and strategic initiatives at Shawnee State University. He held that job until he was appointed by Gov. John Kasich in April as the new chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents. Carey returned to Shawnee State University on Monday to hear about their internship program.
“Career development is different for every student. It’s a process through which they are exploring what it means to look at their values, their ideals, what they are passionate about, what they really want to study. They do that through a variety of opportunities through our office for career assessment, while other really know what they want to do already,” said Nikki Karabinis, from the SSU Office of Career Development. “The important thing is, throughout their collegiate career they’re coming in and out of our office to get help with their job search, resume, cover letter development, finding and internship, and so on.”
Ideally a student should have two or three internships completed before they graduate, Karabinis said. In the spring of 2013, 22 percent of the student population had already participated in field experience. She said that 30 percent of Shawnee State University students have a job offer before they graduate, and that number jumps to 58 percent if they participate in an internship program; and 67 percent of SSU alumni said their field experience helped them connect what they learned in the classroom to the real world.
Four students spoke at the luncheon about their internship experiences.
Marlee Martin is a sophomore studying international relations at SSU, and she interned with the Center for International Programs and Activities (CIPA) at Shawnee State University. Through her internship, she assisted on a program to bring a delegation of Chinese students to Portsmouth to experience the United States. For their final trip they visited Washington, D.C.
“I feel like it gave me a better insight on the international side and the international office, and all that they do. I want to go work oversees. I’ve wanted to work in an embassy for a long time, but I’m not really sure what I want to do yet,” Martin said.
Senior Brandon Prince is also majoring in international relations, and accounting. He has interned for more than a year with the FBI.
“I’ve worked everything from FBI counter-intel, domestic terrorism, international terrorism, cyber terrorism, or white-collar crime, all across the board. It’s really opened the door for a lot of opportunities for me, coming back to school and talking to different professors how they can better develop me as a student so I’m better placed within the FBI,” Prince said.
Cameron Gulley is an engineering major at SSU, and he completed his internship with SRG Global.
“For me the internship was a very valuable experience. Working with the tools to see how the process and things were refined, and working with people to see how they accomplish their goals. Also the many contacts and friends I made while I was there, which I do hope to return next summer. It was a very valuable experience,” Gulley said.
Brittany Crall is a senior in the plastics engineering program, and she completed her internship at SunCoke in Franklin Furnace.
“I did a lot with the company I worked with, collecting data and measurements. I wrote a lot of job safety analysis and walk-out/drag-out procedures. I really got a well-rounded experience. It was really beneficial to me, I believe. It’s been a good starter experience in the industry,” Crall said.
After listening to the students share their workforce experiences, Carey stood to thank for them for their stories. He also told how his own experiences at Shawnee State University helped prepare him to be chancellor.
“I’m really thrilled to hear about the progress you’re making with internships,” Carey said. “I want to thank Shawnee State for hosting me here today. President (Rita Rice) Morris can tell you I never in my life thought I would ever be chancellor. The thought never even crossed my mind, and without the experience I had here at Shawnee State University with many of you, I wouldn’t have been as able to do the job. I tell many people on my tours, if I had not been at Shawnee State University, I wouldn’t have been able to jump straight from legislature to higher education.”
For more information about workforce and career development at SSU, contact the Office of Workforce Development at 740-351-3572.
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or email@example.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.
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