According to two Keuka College juniors, the Field Period internships they conducted in the human resource divisions of different global corporations were the best of times.
While she went to a Boston bio-tech company of 5,000, he went to the U.S. headquarters (Pittsburgh) of a global chemical corporation that employs 17,500 people. Both are juniors, both worked May – August 2013, and both were paid – an uncommon occurrence in the arena of collegiate internships.
She is Sini Ngobese, a business and organizational communication major from Durban, South Africa. He is Devon Locher, a business major from Baden, Pa. Both students are pursuing human resources (HR) concentrations in their business majors, while Locher’s second concentration is in marketing. While Ngobese conducted her Field Period at Biogen Idec, Locher conducted his at Lanxess, a corporation focused on development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber and specialty chemicals. While she researched best-practice policies for redrafting an internal human resources (HR) manual, he worked on internal surveys covering employee and international intern integration into the city and company culture.
Locher said he was able to visit a production site in Ohio once which allowed him to see some of the manufacturing side of the company – with its setting and safety protocols – as well as the corporate side. The Pittsburgh workplace was positive and upbeat, he said, and while Locher already conducted two HR-related field periods, confirming that HR is the field he wants to work in, his two prior internships were at much smaller corporations.
At a prior Field Period, Locher learned he didn’t enjoy accounting work, but at Lanxess, no two days were ever the same,” he said. “There was always something different going on, even if some of the tasks were the same. That’s what I liked about it.”
In addition to developing what turned out to be a 30-page PowerPoint for managers to review, Locher also researched other company plans to ensure affirmative action laws and other HR standards comply with a wide variety of state and federal guidelines.
“I learned a lot through research,” Locher said. “I think that’s why Keuka does the Field Period, because you can only do so much in the classroom and then you have to get out out there and work and see how it applies.”
According to Ngobese, Biogen Idec is the second largest bio-tech company in the world, manufacturing drugs for those suffering from autoimmune diseases. Ngobese was stationed in its Weston branch office, although the company has locations “all over the globe,” she said.
Ngobese said her duties focused on the capture and synchronization of all U.S., European, and Canadian HR policies, to be shared on a new self-service portal for employees.
“It was, by far, the greatest career experience I’ve had thus far and truly fulfilled what the Field Period mission and vision strives to achieve,” said Ngobese. In addition to confirming her career aspirations and the type of company culture she hopes to find, Ngobese said her Field Period also helped her find a professional role model: Elizabeth Abbott, her supervisor.
“All of us were “wowed” by Sini’s professionalism, communication, work ethic and work product,” said Abbott. “Sini has many strengths, but her ability to communicate effectively, professionally, clearly, and persuasively in both written and oral communications is what really stands out to me. I was proud to have her represent my department and proud to call her a member of my team. She will be a strong contributor, I believe, wherever she goes.”
Thanks to Abbott, Ngobese said she now knows exactly what kind of female leader she wants to be, and has a clear sense what future purpose she can have within the HR field. She befriended other HR interns and was able to benchmark herself against those coming from bigger schools and gain confidence that she could still hold her own with them. The experience was so fulfilling, Ngobese may be invited to return to intern a second time, and if so, that would be in the company’s Cambridge, Mass., offices where the HR department will be moved.
“It was intrinsically rewarding in that it truly helped me see that this is what I want to do as a career for the rest of my life,” she said. “I woke up thrilled to go to work and that really was an amazing experience for me.”
Editor’s Note: Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the fifth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2013.
John Miller ’12 of Canandaigua, graduated magna cum laude in December with a degree in organizational communication. He spent most of his final semester as a senior searching for jobs and came close in some interviews before receiving two job offers in January of 2013. He accepted a position as marketing coordinator for O’Connell Electric Company in Victor and has since been applying many of the lessons he learned in his organizational communication classes.
Miller said he was able to leverage the experience and successes gained with his Field Period internships to demonstrate how he would be a good fit for the company, adding that the rigor of Keuka’s organizational communication program was good preparation. So were the numerous projects and group work he completed with fellow “Org Comm” classmates, he said.
Among several benefits Miller valued most at Keuka were the small class sizes, which enabled strong relationships, he said. In particular, Miller cited Dr. Anita Chirco, professor of communication, who “saw the potential in me from Day One and motivated me to apply myself.”
“I have much more perspective now on everything related to how we communicate,” Miller said.
If members of Keuka’s Class of 2013 are looking for inspiration as they enter the job market, they should check out Stephanie Lange, who was in their shoes just a year ago.
In her time at Keuka, Lange ’12 of Apalachin made quite a mark. While completing a double major in visual and verbal art and organizational communication, Lange helped found and lead an intellectual exploration group known as Tabula Rasa, worked as the graphic designer for the student newspaper, and completed a bronze sculpture installation of a red-tailed hawk as her senior art project.
Now she’s venturing into new ground in the arts, and landed what she calls her “dream job.”
In late January, Lange started work as the program coordinator for the Schweinfurth Arts Center in Auburn. She is now directing a two-week annual conference, “Quilting by the Lake,” for the non-profit in addition to helping promote the Arts Center’s five annual exhibits, communicating with corporate sponsors, and producing and designing the center’s newsletters and other marketing materials.
The annual quilt show convention, held each July on the campus of Onondaga Community College near Syracuse, features more than 30 quilting-related classes and lectures, a quilt show and specialty vendors. According to Lange, while traditional quilting styles and methods are featured, there is a focus on modern quilting techniques involving painting on the fabric and elements of geometry, all of which creates an artistic quality.
“It’s not like something my grandma does,” Lange said. “The precision required for quilting is difficult to master.”
Like others, Lange had been forewarned to expect great challenge finding a salaried, full-time position in the arts field and said that awareness had her raving to her family that this opportunity was amazing. Not only does she help stage exhibits – some in the same measurements she learned as a student assisting with shows in Keuka’s Lightner Gallery – but she can participate in art classes hosted by the Center, as well as meet artists and local residents through Schweinfurth’s special events. (more…)
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles of Student Employee of the Year nominees. The winner will be announced at a luncheon Thursday, April 18.
Michael Kelly ’14 of Black River, a junior organizational communication major, has been nominated for the Keuka College 2013 Student Employee of the Year award for his work as the marketing and advertising assistant in the student activities office.
In that role, Kelly has been bringing fresh ideas that support and grow campus programming, said Eva Moberg-Sarver, director of student activities. Kelly is responsible for the advertisements and promotions students see in the window of the office, as well as on digital signage, Campus Activities Board (CAB) bulletin board, and social media accounts, said Moberg-Sarver, who nominated him for the award along with Kevin Perry, resident director.
After taking the initiative to attend a regional training conference, Kelly collaborated with two offices, a campus club, and Student Senate to bring a new program to campus. As a result, motivational speaker Erin Davies, known for her FAGBUG vehicle, presented her documentary on her experiences touring the country with the car and speaking to the LGBTA community. Kelly also coordinated the Enactus “Green Bingo” event, held on St. Patrick’s Day, to raise awareness and encourage students to “go green” in a number of ways.
According to Moberg-Sarver, Kelly has gone “above and beyond” with his marketing ideas, even going so far as to investigate a texting program that would enable updates to be delivered directly to students’ cell phones, and researching promotional pieces for prospective students that could bring multiple campus offices together.
“Overall, we could not be more pleased with his work ethic and dedication, as well as the opportunity to work with him,” she said.
Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the seventh in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2012.
Allie Walker ’12 recently completed a final Field Period internship in the music industry department at the Burst Agency, an entertainment agency, in Atlanta, Ga. She graduated with a degree in organizational communication and in the fall, she will begin professional training in concierge work with special events and public relations with a hotel in Cancun, Mexico. After mastering greater fluency in Spanish, Walker plans to relocate to Miami, Fla.
“The thing that I value most from my Keuka education is the hands-on experience I was able to gain throughout my college career. I was able to travel around the country and world. Everything that I learned during my Field Periods I have been able to apply and will still be able to apply in the workplace,” Walker says. “I have made great connections on the way.”
To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka degree, request more information.
Where can a Keuka degree take you? This is the fourth in a series of snapshot profiles on members of Keuka’s Class of 2012.
Junelle King ’12 graduated cum laude with a degree in organizational communication and is currently amidst three months of full-time work with the Finger Lakes Museum project, a non-profit organization working to build a world-class cultural and natural history museum and aquarium on land at Keuka Lake State Park. During the spring semester of her senior year, King conducted a senior practicum at the museum, developing summer programs and promotions at community sites throughout the region. Her practicum went so well, she was asked to stay on to carry out the programs she designed, including community “coffee chats” and two community event nights at Keuka Lake State Park, one in July and one in August. During each park event, officials will bring in a State Parks wildlife biologist as well as a local music group to appeal to local residents, boaters and the campers visiting the park, to raise awareness and build support for the museum. Additional job duties involve monthly e-newsletters sent to supporters and managing the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the Museum.
King says Keuka’s Field Period internship program was a major factor in her decision to enroll, and now, after graduating, she believes it paid off for her.
“Having the work experience, building my resume and trial-and-error figuring out what you want to do and the experiential learning with the senior practicum is how I was able to get my job with the Museum. Not many other schools offered that.”
While temporary, her current job is a “great opportunity” to work on building a project from the ground floor up, she said.
“Even though I’m a communications assistant, I do get to have a lot of input because there are so few staff and it’s in the early stages. It’s great to see how an organization develops as it’s growing and to help other people to see it too. It’s very inspiring.”
To explore what might be in your future with a Keuka degree, request more information.
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of features on recipients of the Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award.
Mia Barnello is eager to follow in her mother’s footsteps. In January, that path will take the junior organizational communication major to the Florence University of the Arts in Italy.
During her spring semester of study, Barnello, a Syracuse resident, will also travel throughout the country to explore the culture in cities such as Sicily, Rome and Venice. She received a $2,200 Judith Oliver Brown Memorial Award to help with expenses. The scholarship assists students pursuing culturally oriented Field Periods and is named for the late Brown, a member of the Class of 1963 who spent her junior year as a Norton Scholar in Switzerland.
“I’m definitely interested in finding the little, not-so-touristy attractions, hidden treasures, the food, the boutiques, and so on,” Barnello said of the tucked-away spots she hopes to discover.
According to Barnello, her mother spent almost a full year in Italy as a college student herself “and almost didn’t come back.
“She studied art in a small town called Urbino. She’s talked about it for my entire life,” Barnello said. “I’m definitely hoping to bring back experiences and memories we can kind of bond over, things we both [experienced] while in Italy.”
The trip will be Barnello’s first trip overseas, indeed, her first time traveling outside the U.S. She is eager to see the work of different artists and architects that she studied in an online art history class taught by Assistant Professor of Art Melissa Newcomb last summer. After visiting museums and churches, seeing sculptures and other famous works, Barnello said she plans to e-mail Newcomb about the experience.
“I want to bring back pictures and things that are exciting to share and encourage more people to [study abroad],” she said.
While Barnello’s mother studied fine arts, Barnello is hoping to focus more on design and the fashion industry, which is a special interest of hers. Last year, Barnello and fellow Keuka communication major Ashley Larimore teamed up on a special class project to create a draft of a fashion magazine for Assistant Professor of Organizational Communication and English Bob Berkman’s media writing class. At Keuka, she is completing classes for a minor in art.
Barnello said she plans to spend at least one day of her overseas trip visiting the headquarters of the Italian edition of Vogue magazine. Ideally, she’d like to get in touch with photographers or writers to get a flavor for the working environment, and see what a “day in the life” is like there.
“In the future, I really want to be involved in fashion. Being in Italy and learning the background, I think will help me decide if I want to focus on fashion through design and publications [or another way],” Barnello said. “Since my hope was to do graphic design and that’s not really offered [in Florence], I’m kind of designing my own [course of study.]’
While in Florence, Barnello will take classes in jewelry design and Italian fashion, as well as a beginner’s course in the Italian language.
“As of right now, I don’t know anything of the language, which is terrifying, but hopefully, that [course] will help. My mom actually didn’t take any language courses when she was there – she just picked it up. I’m a little scared, but … We’ll see what happens. “
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of stories saluting members of the Class of 2011. We asked division chairs for story ideas and they in turn contacted faculty members for suggestions. We believe they came up with some terrific profiles.
Peering up from the pages of an art portfolio, the model sports a black T-shirt with a playful design bearing a New York City skyline logo with a new addition: Bristol Valley Theater (BVT) in Naples.
To the untrained eye, Grace Johnson must’ve gone to a lot of work getting the model photographed in the T-shirt Johnson designed, then reprinting the image in her professional portfolio. But the Keuka College senior doesn’t mind admitting no one has yet pulled that particular T-shirt over their shoulders.
“I just Photoshopped it in,” Johnson said, referring to the software that has become the industry standard for photo editing.
After graduation May 29, Johnson plans to take the graphic design work she started during her January Field Period at BVT to the next level. She’ll start an intense, one-year graduate program in graphic design and advertising at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in July. Johnson said she was excited to find a program she considers a “hybrid” of her double major in visual and verbal art and organizational communication.
The economy, not the killing of Osama bin Laden, will determine whether President Barack Obama is re-elected president, said Mark Halperin, senior political analyst for TIME magazine and MSNBC.
Halperin traveled to Keuka College to deliver the 23rd Annual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture Friday evening. Prior to his talk, he conducted a question and answer session with students and members of the media.
“In all likelihood, the killing of bin Laden will not affect the 2012 presidential election,” said Halperin. “Getting bin Laden was good politically, but it’s done.” (more…)
Editor’s Note: This is the ninth in a 10-part series on the 2011 Experiential Learner of the Year Award nominees. Nominees for the upperclass and freshman awards will be honored at a luncheon May 6; the winners will be revealed at Honors Convocation May 7.
The Keuka Field Period often confirms a student’s choice of major and future career. But sometimes, the opportunity to garner hands-on experience in a particular field can send a student in a different direction.
Four years ago, Chris Mazella was enrolled in the organizational communication program and hoped to try his hand at journalism. But a struggle to find an internship with a newspaper led him instead to his high school, where a former teacher suggested he observe how communication plays into teaching. After observing her 9th grade social studies classes for a couple weeks, Mazella asked if he could try teaching a lesson himself. Not only did Mazella enjoy it, but his supervising teacher told him he was a natural and could do well in the classroom.
Back on campus, Teri Spoor, who manages the IKON print shop at Keuka and supervised Mazella for four years as a work-study employee, remembers well the difference she noticed.
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