b2ap3_thumbnail_Myers_Juliana_3.JPGAt the beginning of her summer 2013 internship with the New Life Worship Center in Weirton, W.Va., Juliana Myers could barely approach the pulpit without her knees knocking together and her breath catching in her chest. The senior biblical ministries studies major at Waynesburg University felt prepared to share the message of God, but nervous to speak it to a congregation of more than 300. 

“The most challenging part I faced was getting in front of the entire congregation; I had to get over my fear of having everyone stare at me,” Myers said. “Eventually I had to just say a prayer, take a deep breath and get up there.” 

As she grew into the role and became familiar with the many faces she saw staring back at her each Sunday, Myers became more confident conducting children’s sermons, opening the service in prayer and counseling at Bible camps.

Myers, a campus ministry assistant (CMA) at Waynesburg University, said that her role of ministering to college students and hosting bible studies in the residence halls helped her to identify her beliefs and communicate them. She named her various theology classes at the University in giving her the confidence and biblical knowledge to develop spiritual curriculum for youth camps. 

Rev. Dr. Jeffery Kisner, professor of biblical ministry studies at Waynesburg University and the teacher of Myers’ theology courses, said that the young woman’s “amazing amount of experience in youth ministry” speaks for itself. 

“Juliana is kind and compassionate, possessing the heart of a servant and a quiet but infectious enthusiasm,” Kisner said. “I am excited for the way in which I have seen God working in her life and through her gifts to witness to God's shalom-making mission in the world.”

For youth camps, Myers’ favorite part of her summer internship, she began a series on creation and developed a sermon with visuals to harness the children’s creativity. She also chaperoned three young girls during an overnight camp at the church and taught a cooking club to interested young adults. 

“I’ve been the leader of children at a few different churches before, including my home church,” Myers said. “This summer I really wanted to work in an Assemblies of God Church.”

Myers, who said she was saved at the New Life Worship Center and who has attended a few mission service trips with a group from that church, didn’t mind the 45 minute drive from her home in Wheeling, W.Va. to the church. She spent the drive mentally preparing for children’s sermons and activities, an activity she took very seriously. 

“I think that working with youth is very different than the adult congregation,” Myers said. “It’s a very important age – when they learn who they are and when they develop their relationship with God. I wanted to help them have confidence in their faith.” 

By helping young people to develop confidence in their relationships with Christ, Myers said that she herself grew as a Christian and as an aspiring youth pastor. 

“I had to lean on God more and really listen to what He wanted me to preach to kids,” Myers said. “The internship was more than I could have ever expected. It has prepared me in so many ways to go out into my field when I graduate.”

 

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Knowing that his work would be seen by hundreds of spectators and educators, Jonathan Zeleny took his 2013 internship with the Pittsburgh Opera very seriously. From mid-summer to late fall, the senior arts administration (music) major spent 16 to 20 hours each week assisting the Opera’s Education Department. 

“I did anything and everything to help the opera company,” Zeleny said. “Most of my work included updating and reformatting the Opera Trunk Program, which sends trunks filled with information and props pertaining to certain operas such as ‘Madam Butterfly’ or ‘Carmen.’  I also created opera synopsis PowerPoints and historical/cultural PowerPoints that were presented in opera workshops and shown in the Benedum Center.”    

Zeleny, who said he couldn’t name just one favorite part because the entire experience was “wonderful,” obtained the internship after networking with the Opera’s education director via email. A strong recommendation from Melanie Catana, instructor of vocal music at Waynesburg University, sealed the deal. 

“I have seen a great deal of growth in Jonathan in the time I have known him, both academically and personally,” Catana said. “I strongly believe that he has the definite potential for great success in his career as he couples his knowledge and professionalism in business with his talent and expertise in music.”

Outside of the classroom, he’s involved in symphonic band, bagpipe and drum band, and private clarinet and bagpipe lessons. He has served as a student senate representative for Chamber Works, woodwind quartet, clarinet ensemble and the Waynesburg University Pep Band. He hopes to continue growing as a musician as he finishes his final year at Waynesburg and reflects on the success of his internship. 

“I have become much more self-sufficient in my work and more confident in my abilities as a young professional,” Zeleny said. “I have been able to grow as a musician because of the great environment at Pittsburgh Opera.” 

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Oland_Kyle_5.JPGWhen he accepted a prestigious media relations internship with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kyle Oland thought he had put the finishing touch on his summer plans. The senior public relations major from Westminster, Md., planned to commute from Waynesburg to the city for every home game and looked forward to spending the summer doing what he loved, while also supplementing his income with a job in fast food. 

But in the spring 2013 semester, when Oland opened an email from a professor at Waynesburg University and found a link to an application for a part-time internship at the Smith Brothers Agency, Oland figured that applying to the agency position couldn't hurt. The Agency, an acclaimed full service integrated advertising and digital agency in Pittsburgh, Pa., focuses on consumer packaged goods. 

“I talked to the Pirates’ vice president of communication and he said that having both sports and agency background makes you more marketable,” Oland said. “I always like a challenge, but I didn’t think I would actually get it.”

Two weeks later, God revealed a more exciting summer plan for Oland than he could have hoped. He notified his food-industry job that he wouldn’t be able to work that summer, because he now had two big-name internships competing for his time. 

“I am glad I opted to do two internships in two very different spectrums of public relations,” Oland said. “I discovered what I excel at and what I dislike, which has made me realize what I want to do upon graduation.”

Throughout his Pirates’ internship, Oland compiled media and press kits, wrote for MLB.com and the Pirates website and interviewed players and coaches. He distributed news publications to members of the media, broadcasters, TV crews, camera crews, the executive offices, players and coaches before each game. 

“During the game, I sat in the press box and communicated via Google Chat with the Pirates' announcers,” Oland said. “Following the game, I compiled box scores and stat packs and then distributed these packets to the visiting clubhouse and the media.”

During games in which he worked for Major League Baseball, Oland served as a real-time correspondent. In this role, he provided in-game coverage of the night's game by finding unique stories via pictures or video interviews. He worked hand-in-hand with the Pirates' social media manager and the visiting public relations manager and even had the opportunity to eat dinner with the president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Frank Coonely, and other team executives. 

Across the street as a digital strategies intern for Smith Brothers, he monitored clients’ and competitors’ social media accounts, compiled weekly reports and researched trends in the field. Oland’s research was used by the firm’s public relations team to better plan and execute social media strategies. Additionally, he assisted in the planning and writing of various posts for the social media platforms of brands including Nestle Drumstick, Skinny Cow, Frosty Paws and Dolce Gusto. 

“Kyle worked on a Twitter strategy for one of our clients. He provided a very thorough analysis with great recommendations,” said Kaitlyn Kline, social media coordinator/acting analytics coordinator at Smith Brothers Agency. “He always handled his workload very well and was eager to learn all the nuances of agency life – even if they weren't strictly related to social media and public relations. His drive is really something to note.”

With major brands and one of the season’s best baseball teams to represent, Oland faced a full schedule of events each day. Each morning, he drove into the city to work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Smith Brothers, and then walked across the street to PNC Park. From there, depending on the game, he might not get home until around midnight or later. 

“Working two internships was definitely a challenge,” Oland said. “While the days were long, it didn’t bother me because I understood that many would love to be in the position I was. I counted myself lucky.”

Approaching the summer, Oland’s biggest concern was balancing the two internships, but said that his days were quite comparable to his fast-paced, comprehensive days as a student in the Department of Communication at Waynesburg University. 

“The Department of Communication teaches you to get involved and to manage your time well. It was no different than a day at Waynesburg where I could go from working in the Sports Information Office, to writing a Yellow Jacket article, to attending a PRSSA networking event, to covering an athletic game and of course classwork,” Oland said. “In so many ways, Waynesburg University prepared me for both internships. Waynesburg helped me gain the ability to juggle a variety of tasks and perform those tasks at a high level.” 

After a strenuous but rewarding summer immersed in the world of public relations, Oland felt more motivated than ever to pursue his ultimate goal. Since freshman year, he has dreamed of returning to beloved Maryland to work for the Baltimore Ravens. 

“The summer of 2013 has not only been a reward for the hard work I have put in the last three years, but also as a reassurance that I am on the right path to achieve my goal.”

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Bombalski_Riverhounds-web.jpgWith her ponytail tightened, bright athletic clothes donned and an infectious smile displayed, Taylor Bombalski entered class to pursue the only thing she loves as much as soccer: her major at Waynesburg University. In class, the junior public relations student learned about internship requirements for the Department of Communication at Waynesburg University. She listened intently, taking notes and racking her brain for a way to unite her two passions. 

Later that evening, she saw a television commercial for The Pittsburgh Riverhounds, the city’s premier United Soccer League’s Pro Division team, and its inaugural season at Highmark Stadium in downtown Pittsburgh. Something clicked. She logged on to the team’s website and inquired about a public relations internship for the summer of 2013. 

“I love soccer. I have been playing since I was four. I just looked up the Riverhounds and saw they had interns for the summer and felt this was the perfect opportunity to learn the ropes,” Bombalski said. 

Bombalski, who feels at home on the field, with the turf gliding under her cleats and the crowd roaring above her, said she experienced complete comfort at her internship location. After securing the job and learning about her public relations, sports marketing, sales, media relations and event management responsibilities, she decided she wouldn’t be intimidated by those either. 

“My public relations writing and production class helped me with writing tips, and advanced PR strategies helped me to plan and implement an event,” said Bombalski. “As a member of the Waynesburg women’s soccer team, I understand the lingo and tactics of the semi-professional soccer team.”

With a combination of athletic experience and public relations knowledge, Bombalski created overviews for game day programs, tracked statistics, wrote articles and planned a special “Latino Heritage Night” event for the team.

“The internship was a little bit of everything so that I could figure out exactly what I love to do,” Bombalski said. “My favorite part was planning my event.  I got to meet with key spokespeople and network; it was a challenge but I learned so much.”

Her internship supervisor, John Rotz, assistant coach and member of team operations for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, wholeheartedly agreed that Bombalski grew as a young public relations professional during the summer. 

“Taylor was a quick learner, which enabled her to be trusted with many new facets of the day-to-day operations of the club, which in turn accelerated her exposure and enhanced her experience,” Rotz said. “If I knew that Taylor was handling a responsibility, I was at ease due to her professionalism on all fronts.”

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Steven-Snow-resized.jpgIf you ask Steven Snow, a senior criminal justice administration major and Waynesburg University Bonner Scholar, about his summer 2013 internship, he can dazzle you with incredible experiences with the Los Angeles County Probation Department. But first, you’ll need him to pause and explain the acronyms. Between C2C, CBT, PO’s, SOWs, RFPs and more, Snow learned to talk the talk of criminal justice during his summer in sunny California. 

The “duly sworn” intern had to pass multiple exams and background checks to work under a senior director of the largest probation department in the nation. He proved the old “who you know” adage by contacting a family friend for potential openings in the department, but employed the “what you know” gained at Waynesburg University to truly excel once there. 

“Mr. McIlwain, Mr. Jack, Dr. Baer and many others at Waynesburg University greatly influenced my preparedness for the internship,” Snow said. “More specifically, my Juvenile Justice class that I took in the fall of 2012 really helped me to be creative in working with the Crossroads Program.”

Snow spent most of his internship working with the Department’s youth module, Crossroads. The six-week program helps to coach and mentor delinquent or misguided youth on probation, a perfect fit for Snow’s service heart. 

“My heart for service and leadership went a long way in the internship,” Snow said. “The Crossroads Program is very similar to The Open Door, a young adult ministry I serve at through Waynesburg University. By being a mentor and implementing the tools and techniques I learned at Waynesburg and through service, delinquent behavior can be minimized.”

In fact, Snow directly applied many concepts from his Juvenile Justice class at Waynesburg to the Crossroads Program. His class watched a video about developing creativity in youth who are recovering from substance abuse issues. In the video, the youth visited a glass making studio and created art based on emotions they might otherwise suppress.

“I thought back to that video and decided it would be great to incorporate the same idea into the Crossroads Program,” Snow said. “The youth were very creative and highly skilled in design. By affirming and developing the skills these young men hold, I thought we could encourage them to use their skills for art and design rather than graffiti or tagging.” 

Snow instituted “graffiti art,” in which the young men would pick a word discussed in the Crossroads workbook and draw what that word meant to them. They chose words like family, loyalty and value. Then he displayed their artwork in the halls for people to view and appreciate. 

“Engaging with them was so rewarding,” Snow said. “My expectation was that the youth were going to be rude, disrespectful and act like they didn't care about anyone or anything. That was certainly not the end result; I got to help them push for a change.” 

Hoping to learn all aspects of a parole department, Snow interned at the right place. In addition to working with the Crossroads Program, he attended board meetings with his supervisors and assisted in writing a Statement of Work (SOW) for a Request for Proposal (RFP) to provide housing and employment for ex-parolees. With so much responsibility, Snow said that his faith grounded him. 

“Because of the nature of law enforcement, my faith was certainly tested during the internship,” Snow said. “But I know now that this is what I want to do with my life and I think this is where God wants me. Without Waynesburg University or the Bonner Scholarship, both of which focus so much on faith and service, I would still be searching for my calling.” 

 

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