Great Lakes Internship Grants: UF Students Diving In and Resurfacing with Invaluable Experiences
When she’s not editing The Pulse student newspaper, juggling a full course load or spending spring break serving others in a different country, University of Findlay senior Sarah Stubbs is helping a local nonprofit improve its online messaging.
“I’m revamping their social media presence,” said Stubbs, who is serving as the communication and marketing intern for the Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS).
Stubbs’ internship is the direct result of a grant UF received last fall.
During the past two academic years, the University of Findlay has actually received two grants from the same organization that totaled more than half a million dollars. The money is being used to offer more than just paid student internships.
Provided by the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, the generous funding is enabling students to learn from and assist businesses, government agencies, schools and nonprofits through the Spring 2018 semester.
While students appreciate earning additional money to help pay for necessities during their college careers, they also value paid internships are also valued for the hands-on job experience that has become necessary for graduates to succeed in their respective careers. The impact on them and the community is, of course, immeasurable.
“I’ll be giving a presentation to the board on social media literacy based off of the revamp I’m doing now. I’m also helping to rebrand their medication collection program by assisting with the creation of a new logo and marketing plan,” Stubbs said. “I’m learning so much it’s hard to even summarize it all quickly.
Clay Parlette, a senior marketing major, is interning in Blanchard Valley Health System’s Corporate Public Relations and Marketing Department this semester. He’s responsible for writing many articles and features for the organization’s internal news letter, and creating fliers, brochures and other material.
“These types of projects allow me to combine my writing with my creative side in designing a document that looks aesthetically pleasing and aligns with appropriate BVHS branding,” he said. “It’s been a fantastic experience because there is always something buzzing in the corporate PR office that I get to be a part of.”
Parlette said his internship has been an eye-opener and a good fit for him many ways. “This is my first real-world experience in a job besides fast food,” he explained. “I’ve definitely picked up a lot on how to conduct myself in a professional working environment. I absolutely love my new internship. In fact, I turned down a bigger offer in Dallas, Texas so I could remain with BVHS,” he noted.
Stubbs said she’s not simply learning marketable skills, but is also becoming more knowledgeable about and taking stances on the social issues that ADAMHS addresses.
“The realities of opioid addiction are heartbreaking,” she noted. “I learn something new about addiction and/or mental health every day.”
“Lately, I’ve found myself getting really passionate about these issues, which I didn’t anticipate happening. The statistics and harsh realities are so shocking that it’s hard not to feel compelled that change needs to happen,” Stubbs continued. “It feels good knowing that the work I’m doing has an immediate impact on the community and I hope that with increased social media presence and marketing more people will learn about the services that are available here in Hancock County.”