Blog posts tagged in internship

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In orientation seminar for first-year high school students, my high school principal Mr. Krol had a mantra that he made my entire class repeat again and again. There we were, in the auditorium slumped down in our seats repeating, “First impressions count! First impressions count!”

Assuming the thoughts of my other classmates sitting around me, I thought the phrase was quite silly to say over and over and over again, especially when we knew already that first impressions were important. After all, high school kids know everything, right?

Thinking back on Mr. Krol's words now as a senior in college, I see a lot more value in them.

Walking into my first day interning with Mary Kay Inc. in Dallas, Texas, I wanted to make a stellar first impression on my supervisor and my peers. I wanted to make sure I was attentive and proactive, personable but not overdoing it. Above all else, though, I wanted to show my supervisor that I was able to learn and adapt quickly and complete tasks above expectation.

Within the first two days of my internship, I could see that my daily tasks leaned toward a technical knowledge of web design, rather than aesthetic, which required me to learn a lot more than I'd initially thought. Mary Kay IT employees are in the finishing stages of launching a new web site application in Kazakhstan in mid-June which require a lot of tests to ensure all web elements function the way they are intended. I am on the team of people who run those tests and report if each test passed or failed.

Because my tasks are heavily technical, my first week involved a lot of learning. I had to familiarize myself with new terms and acronyms, learn how use new computer programs I've never seen before and learn how to pace my 40-hour work week. Before starting, I had thought I would mostly apply to my internship tasks what I had already learned in school, but I now know that I need to simultaneously learn and apply what I've learned.

At the end of my first week interning with Mary Kay, I learned that great first impressions can include a willingness to learn something new. Stepping out of my comfort zone was scary, and I felt a little helpless at times asking so questions each day. Thankfully, with perseverance and a lot of help from my supervisor and co-workers, I finished my first week feeling accomplished in what I had learned.

As far as great first impressions go, I can only assume I made a good first impression on my supervisor and peers at work. After all, they kept me around for a second week, and the third week is looking promising as well…

Kimber Blair, senior Interactive Design and Public Relations major.

Above photo features my cubicle at Global eBusiness at Mary Kay Inc.

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Junior public relations major Kyle Oland is taking his Waynesburg University education to the big leagues, literally. This summer, Oland will work with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park as a media relations intern.


Throughout his internship, Oland will compile media and press kits, write for and the Pirates website and interview players and coaches.


“The opportunities I have been offered in my classes have helped me develop professionally,” Oland said. “My classes at Waynesburg gave me the skills to stand out as a young professional.”


As a freshman, Oland took advantage of Waynesburg's opportunities to grow academically and professionally by writing for The Yellow Jacket, the campus newspaper, as a freshman, where he now serves as Sports Editor and joining the campus public relations Chapter. It was this commitment and dedication to professional development that made him stand out from among the 133 other students who applied for the internship with the Pirates.


In addition to his active participation within the Department of Communication at the University, Oland also serves as a student assistant within the Waynesburg Sports Information Office; an experience he knows will aid him as he works with the MLB this summer. He continues to build his resume through networking– a strategy he calls invaluable.


“Networking is so important,” Oland said. “It's critical to keep in contact with everyone you meet, because they may be able help you in your career and offer opportunities for you to grow professionally and build your resume.”


During his time with the Pirates, Oland hopes to gain more experience in sports journalism and public relations, while also continuing to network within the field. During his internship, Oland says he will emulate the professionalism he has learned from his professors at Waynesburg.


“I feel that through my involvement within the Department of Communication at Waynesburg, and my outside experiences, I am setting myself up to stand out in life,” said Oland.

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One of Waynesburg University's academic trailblazers will spend the summer honing his research skills alongside seven other students selected from across the nation.


To say that Friday, Feb. 22, was a good day for Waynesburg University sophomore men's tennis player Isaiah Cochran may be an understatement. The Akron, Ohio, native opened the 2013 spring season by going 2-0 in the Yellow Jackets' 7-2 win at Pitt-Greensburg. However, he had even better news waiting for him in his e-mail inbox.


The day after his wins against UPG, Cochran was finally able to make his usual check of his electronic messages, but what he found was far from usual. The standout student-athlete, who is a pre-med major at Waynesburg, learned that he was offered a place in the Sackler/NSF REU: Integrated Research at the Frontiers of the Biological, Physical, and Engineering Sciences at Yale University's Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for the summer of 2013.


The Waynesburg sophomore will spend 10 weeks in New Haven, Conn., taking part in a program that will help prepare him for his desired career as a neurologist. Cochran's once-in-a-lifetime experience begins May 26.


The Sackler/NSF REU program provides research training for eight students for 10 weeks at Yale's Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute where students have the opportunity to train under the mentorship of faculty members through research. In accordance with the program leadership team, students selected for the program choose a research project from three areas: mechanics of cellular processes, protein function and misfolding, or technology and method development for integrated research.


During the Sackler/NSF REU program, Cochran will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and seminars ranging from laboratory methods to applying to graduate school. He will also present his work at a research symposium, which will be held in conjunction with Yale's SURF program and the CEMRI CRISP REU program at Yale.


“Medicine is not about self-glory; it is about doctoring, whether you have ‘Dr.' in front of your name or not,” said Cochran. “There is a revolution coming in medicine and it is geared towards patient equality.”


Devoted to making a difference in the medical world, Cochran traveled to Washington, D.C., this spring to attend the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) convention, where he had the chance to meet a number of pre-medical, medical, physical-therapy and pre-physician assistant students from across the country.


On the first night of the convention, Cochran gave a speech in front of 1,500 people for the pre-medical region one director position for AMSA, a student-governed, national organization committed to representing the concerns of physicians-in-training. Cochran spoke of his drive for change and the steps he would take to help others reach their goals in the field. Two days later, he was informed of his victory in the election. He is now one of only five students in the country holding a regional director position.


Now, Cochran has the ability to assist and inform students in 12 states from Pennsylvania to Maine, including approximately 105 universities possessing AMSA chapters in the region.


As he continues his journey at Waynesburg, Cochran hopes to see more pre-professional students from the University reach their aspirations in the health care field. Starting the AMSA chapter at Waynesburg and participating in the Sackler/NSF REU program are only the beginning steps towards his determination to make a difference for future students.


“I am a trailblazer and don't care about my own glory,” said Cochran. “I want to see students come to Waynesburg because of what we have to offer in science. I want students with drive and a passion for our mission statement to come here and I want them to have the chance to reach their ultimate potential in healthcare.”

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Students from a variety of different departments and academic disciplines apply their coursework to individualized research projects, yielding outstanding results and notable opportunities for professional development.


Research opportunities abound at Waynesburg University, where students partner with faculty mentors to perform and present intensive research projects at local, regional and national conferences and workshops.


Waynesburg University encourages students to present their work by hosting its own Undergraduate Research Symposium each spring, in which Waynesburg undergraduates actively involved with research projects are eligible to showcase their work by displaying a poster or by giving an oral presentation.


“Research is a valuable aspect of scholarship, and communication of research is fundamental to the advancement of knowledge,” said Dr. Chad Sethman, the University's coordinator of undergraduate research and an assistant professor of biology.


At each stage of their academic careers, Waynesburg students engage in research opportunities that not only develop their expanding portfolios, but also allow them to identify and hone specific research interests. Along the way, many students take an active role in the University's nationally recognized American Chemical Society (ACS) “Outstanding” Chapter and manage monthly labs for homeschooled students and the Cosmetic Chemistry Program offered to local Girl Scout members, among many others community science initiatives.


Many students, such as Adam Roberge, a junior chemical engineering major from Elizabethtown, Pa., dive deeper into their academic passions through prestigious internship placements at companies such as Bayer Corporation, the Mayo Clinic, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and most recently, Roberge's work with the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN).


In the summer 0f 2012, Roberge became one of 80 chosen out of a pool of 800 undergraduate student applicants to conduct research with NNIN, which, in conjunction with the National Science Foundation (NSF), organizes one of the largest and most successful Research for Undergraduate Programs (REU) in nanotechnology. The NNIN REU program affords the opportunity for undergraduate student applicants to perform and gain research experience at one of fourteen nanotechnology facilities across the country each year.


With the help of Dr. Evonne Baldauff, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Robert LaCount, professor of chemistry, Roberge claims he was well prepared for the work he conducted in the REU program.


“A lot of the chemistry I performed was based on basic principles that Waynesburg's chemistry classes had,” Roberge said.


Each student in the program interacted daily with faculty members, graduate assistants and facility staff about his or her individual research project. Roberge's assigned project was to explore the formation of Quantum Dots, or “nanometer sized semiconductors that absorb and emit very specific wavelengths of light,” during a process called aerosol formation.


During aerosol formation, a solution is mixed into an atomizer which then sprays the solution into a tube furnace where the quantum dots grow.


“My job was twofold: to try and create Quantum Dots of various sizes by altering the temperature of the furnace, and to try and see what would happen to the quantum dots if the ratio of the reactants was altered,” Roberge said.


During his time in the REU program, Roberge spent nine weeks at his research site in St. Louis and one week in Washington D.C. for the end of program Research Convocation, where all of the research conducted by interns from the various sites is presented.


After graduating from Waynesburg, Roberge plans to attend Washington University of St. Louis to finish his engineering degree. The invaluable opportunity he received in working alongside scientists in their respective fields, he believes, will help him to excel in the completion of his undergraduate degree as well as his future endeavors in graduate school. Ultimately, he hopes to pursue a job where he will have the opportunity to perform corporate research.

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