As a career oriented liberal arts institution, McPherson College is committed to partnering with the McPherson Community to provide students with quality experiences. Last year, McPherson College students spent over 17,608 hours serving the community by participating in internships and field experiences. We are fortunate to have a community that offers so many diverse opportunities for our students.
Tabetha Surveyor Sociology
The Chicago Center, Dori Wilson Public Relations
Man, I loved Chicago! I came to Chicago as the type of person who never went anywhere by herself and absolutely refused to ride public transportation. I had never been in a taxi, bus or train. I came to Chicago as a pretty shy person. I left Chicago as the type of person who wanted to be the first to do everything and public transportation no longer scares me!
While in Chicago, I interned with Dori Wilson Public Relations. Ms. Wilson was a wealth of information and contacts. I assisted her with America’s Beauty Show that 60,000 beauty and spa professionals attended. I also had the chance to attend The Oprah Winfrey Show and meet Jerry Springer.
I believe that I not only gained experience that will be helpful in my future career but I also learned a lot of life lessons. It was really nice to have all of the “hands-on” experience.
Abby Schlesinger Elementary Education
McPherson Public Library
Although I have worked at the McPherson Public Library for almost four years, I thought I would like to take my experience a little further this past summer by participating in an internship while working in the children’s department.
My supervisor, Jenni Hall, and I agreed that I would be a substitute for one of the children’s librarians while she was on leave the first two weeks of June and then sporadically throughout the summer after she returned. Those first two weeks proved to be a good learning experience for me. Even after working at the library for four years, this internship has shown me new aspects to teaching elementary students.
Throughout my internship I had the chance to work “hands-on” with the children of McPherson by aiding Elizabeth Wilson with activities for each age group. Everyday each age group listened to a story and then participated in a craft project that was related to the book. My job was to assist the kids with their crafts and setting/cleaning up. Ms. Wilson was very fun to work with and gave me many helpful insights to further my knowledge about elementary students.
Ron Lambert Auto Restoration Management
The Petersen Automotive Museum
The Petersen Automotive Museum internship grabbed my attention from the moment I heard of its existence. The opportunity to be involved with a wide variety of high end automobiles in the heart of US Car Culture headquarters (Los Angeles) was very enticing to me, so I pursued the internship vigorously. To top it off, the promise of a trip to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance was part of the package.
My time at The Petersen was very fulfilling, as I daily learned new things about the 300 vehicles in the collection. I worked with Ryan Landers, a McPherson graduate (and former Petersen intern), maintaining the collection and preparing the cars as they went on display in the museum or at the many regional car shows frequented by the museum. I had the opportunity to drive many of the vehicles, which I enjoyed very much, and even was a chauffer in a five−car wedding party. I also had fun on the weekends as there were car-related event to attend all the time around LA.
My direct exposure to the fabulous, high quality cars in the collection helped me cement in my mind what I want to do upon graduation. I took away from this experience so much direct context and familiarity with a wide variety of automobiles, and that experience will pay dividends as I venture into my new career. The relationships and industry contacts that I have made in LA both inside and outside the museum are invaluable.
Sean McCrae Biology
The Veterinary Clinic
I have been working for The Veterinary Clinic since high school, but I learn more and more every summer that I come back because the medical field is constantly changing and improving.
I am currently trained as a case manager (veterinary technician) and in animal care. Animal care is just that, caring for animals that are at the clinic for boarding. Case managers play a major role in the practice. We are responsible for prepping the animal (and their owners) for surgery and for setting up patient care rooms for the doctor. We are responsible for logging the doctor’s notes and assisting the patients with “go home” plans.
This year one of my goals was to learn more about surgeries. I witnessed several surgeries this past summer and even assisted with a C-Section performed on a Shih Tzu. I also learned more about client communication and improved my accuracy in transcribing patient files.
Even though I know that being a veterinarian can be very stressful, I am now determined to pursue this career.
Angelina Fiorenzi Communications
McPherson Main Street Inc.
This past spring I had the opportunity to intern for McPherson Main Street, Inc., a downtown economic development organization. At first, I was a little concerned about how this internship would fit into my career path of public relations, but I soon learned that public relations is a big part of successful community and economic development.
Ann Engel, the organization’s executive director, had been trying to figure out why the downtown merchants were having trouble attracting the younger generation’s interest. Ann asked me to help her do some research on this topic. I gathered input from my friends and conducted a student survey in the cafeteria as well as surveying students at Central College in McPherson. I created a fact sheet of my findings and presented it to the Main Street Board of Directors. I also presented them with suggestions for attracting more young people.
In addition to my survey work, I also attended meetings with Ann in regard to city issues, worked on a historic building inventory and helped with McPherson’s largest festival, All Schools Day.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with McPherson Main Street. Although I do not plan on working for a non-profit in the near future, I learned a great deal about another aspect of public relations.
Megan Gutsch Graphic Design/Marketing
I interned at the National Cooperative Refinery Association (NCRA) in the Communications Department. I learned a great deal about corporate communications and the role a designer plays in this field. I worked with my manager, Dan Kliewer on the employee website or “Employee Dashboard” as well as the company’s public site. I learned how to incorporate video and animation to websites. I also worked on design layout and production through the company’s monthly newsletter.
Through this internship I not only gained job-related skills and built my portfolio, I also gained confidence, knowledge and created relationships. I gained confidence by standing by my work. Before when I would create something, I would let someone look at it and tell what they thought of it, but I wouldn’t say much personally. Now I’ve learned that sometimes you have to speak up about your work so people know why you did something. Also, if you have more confidence, you can sell your work to clients. I’ve also gained knowledge about business and business ethics. Through the employee site and newsletter, I’ve learned that it is key to make all employees feel important and appreciated. It’s also important to stay on task and communicate well with others.
I really enjoyed working with Dan and he helped me get some freelance jobs by introducing me to people. It is great to have someone that I can ask for their help anytime, and to brainstorm with. Overall, the whole experience was just great. I learned a lot about myself and designed a lot of great things to go in my portfolio.
Nicole Sampson Biology
Natural Resources Conservation Service
I worked as an apprentice/Earth Team volunteer at the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service in McPherson. I had three goals in mind: learn more about job duties associated with being a soil conservationist and soil scientist, learning vocabulary used by those working for NRCS and about the different projects governed by NRCS.
I learned that soil scientists are either soil survey or resource scientists. Both work by themselves out in the field a majority of the time. A soil scientist must be confident in their knowledge to accurately describe and recognize a wide range of soil types. I also found that soil scientists tend to have introvert personalities. It is important for them to be OK with working by themselves the majority of the time, and being able to make decisions without being able to consult with others. While talking with some soil scientists, I learned that this career is in high demand. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I learned what a soil conservationist does and that they tend to have extrovert personalities. The reason for this is because they work first hand with landowners. Despite their differences, scientists and conservationists work together to develop the best management and conservation plans for the land. Some of the projects that I learned about were stream bank stabilization, terrace building, subsurface drip irrigation systems and wetland determinations and reconstruction. I even had the opportunity to visit with two farmers regarding no-till farming.
I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work for NCRS. I went into this apprenticeship wanting to investigate career options in soil science and agriculture. I discovered a new respect for farmers in the process. However, I came to the conclusion that I don’t think soil science is a career path for me. I am an extrovert and want to be able to make connections with people on a regular basis. I think the most important aspect of this apprenticeship was for me to learn more about what I do and do not want in a career.
Tyler Miller, Amanda Gray, Dana Morse Graphic Design
United Way of McPherson County
We worked as a group for the United Way of McPherson County to update their media campaign. We divided our work into three areas: website design, video production and redesigning the newsletter. Brenda Sales was our site sponsor and she was great to work with because she provided information on the organization, pictures, and introduced us to her clients. She even drove us to the places that we needed to film for our video. Tyler was the driving force behind the video; he did the editing, adding text, sound and music. Amanda created the website and she had never taken on such a large project before. The points of interest in both the video and the website were volunteering, giving, “how to live united” and advocate. Dana resigned the newsletter and created a format that would be easy for Brenda to use in the future.
We learned that communication is a must, working as a team only makes the project stronger, and that an internship is a great way to learn how to work with people in everyday situations.
John Brown Business Administration
Baldwin City Economic Development Corp., and Hy-Vee Food and Drug
This past summer I completed two internships in my hometown of Baldwin City, Kan. For my emphasis in finance, I worked for the Baldwin City Economic Development Corporation. The EDC works to create employment, increase the tax base, increase tourism, improve the quality of life, and assist new and existing businesses. They do this by pooling their money, expertise, time and resources into a unified effort. My primary responsibilities were to scout property for sale, open lots and businesses for sale or lease, and contact their owners. I contacted owners to see if we could list their available property on our website and to collect sale/lease information. If the owners were agreeable, then I worked with the web designer to get the property on our site. I struggled with this at first because property owners thought I was trying to sell them something, but once they let me explain that it was free, I was able to get them to list their property.
For my management emphasis, I worked at Hy-Vee Food and Drug in customer service and cash accountability. Despite it being a tough summer for Hy-Vee, costs up and sales down, I always kept busy in customer service. I had the opportunity to practice my problem solving skills with customers. When I worked in cash accountability, it was pretty stressful. I was responsible for counting 25 registers, so time management was key. I also had to use my ability to do math in my head to count coins, bills, subtracting voids, coupons and the cash pull. After doing all of this, I could tell if the registers were even. If they weren’t, I had to document and report the activity to the manager.
Because of tough times and limited hours, I also filled in for many departments around the store. It seemed like I did something different every day.
Auto Restoration Communications
The Glenmoor Gathering
I have always loved working in the garage and anything to do with public speaking. So when I learned that McPherson College offered the only four-year degree in automotive restoration, as well as the opportunity to specialize in communications, I knew it was the right place for my educational studies.
Before beginning my senior year, I wanted to take part in an internship to gain more career knowledge and skills. After searching for the right internship, I found my answer when I accepted an eight-week opportunity with The Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles – a car show that perfectly complimented my love affair between automotive restoration and communications. The Glenmoor Gathering of Significant Automobiles, held at the Glenmoor Country Club in Canton, Ohio, is not just a car show. It is a concours d’elegance show that features some of the world’s finest and most unique automobiles.
For eight weeks, I worked under the supervision of the Glenmoor Gathering’s director David Schultz, who became not just a boss, but a mentor, role model and friend. I also worked closely with the marketing director, Jocelyn Piper and administrative assistant, Sue Kirby, who offered a different perspective on coordinating a large event. I not only learned how to coordinate a nationally-recognized concours, but became a part of the Glenmoor crew and found my place in the antique/classic automotive industry. I was introduced to and taught how to handle the ups and downs of public relations and gained a broader knowledge about the restoration industry.
Thanks to the Collectors Foundation, a public charitable organization that supports youth interests in collector vehicles or classic boats, and the Glenmoor Gathering, I was awarded a grant that helped cover the expenses of my internship and housing arrangements. Not having to worry about finances allowed me to focus a lot more on my duties as an intern and enhance my skills for my future career.
I went into this internship hoping to learn how to run a concours d’elegance, but came out with a lot more knowledge and skill than I ever imagined. I was the first student to intern with the Glenmoor Gathering, so my boss and I were a little unclear of what my exact job description would entail.
David and I agreed on one thing from the beginning – being able to do anything that helps keep the show going is the most important characteristic of a show director – whether it is making coffee or making a speech.
I quickly found that not having a specific job all the time was beneficial because it gave me the opportunity to take on new challenges and be assertive in my work. I was able to take on new tasks, not because they were assigned to me, but because I asked if I could do them. My biggest task before the show was to write a large portion of the car description cards – brief descriptions highlighting the significance of each exhibiting automobile. While daunting, time consuming and sometimes aggravating, this task helped me learn more about antique and classic automobiles and enhance my writing skills. During the show, I was in charge of coordinating judging tabulations and ensuring the judging process went smoothly – which was another task of high importance because the timing of the show and awards ceremony depended on it.
To add to my internship experience and learn more about the collector automobile industry, I began my educational experience when I left my home in Pueblo, Colo. As I drove east to Canton, I made stops along the way at automotive museums, collections and shops, not only to tour them, but to visit with each director or owner. Taking the opportunity to visit with the people who operate these businesses and collections each day was a great way to learn about the ups and downs of their work. This experience gave me a much deeper appreciation for this industry. Once I arrived in Ohio, David encouraged me to continue to visit shops, collections, museums and shows in the area.
The show, held on the second Sunday of September was a fabulous and perfect ending to my perfect internship. As a result of this internship, I have accepted an opportunity to work full-time for the Glenmoor Gathering upon graduation.
of the graduating class of 2012 had at least one internship prior to graduation.
of graduating seniors had a job secured prior to graduation. The national average was 25% according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers