uafortsmith.edu/careerservices A Link Between Area Businesses and the University
Inside Student Testimonials Page 2 ________________ Students Benefit from Rheem Partnership Page 3 ________________
| Spring 2011
Internships Play Important Role in Strategic Plan
Criminal Justice Department Connecting Students with Regional Agencies Page 3 ________________ Calendar of Events Page 4 ________________ Forehand Joins Career Services Page 4
Chancellor Paul B. Beran, Ph.D. meets with Ichiro Fukue, Senior Executive Vice President of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd regarding the new Mitsubishi plant in Fort Smith.
Just before the start of the fall semester, Dr. Paul Beran, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith, introduced an extensive strategic plan, outlining the university’s vision and initiatives for the next five years. One of the plan’s “pillar” points is the university’s desire to “Maximize citizenship and real-world work application experiences,” a goal supported by the Career Services office in providing relevant and challenging internship opportunities for our students. When you examine the educational experience at UA Fort Smith, you find that many of our students’ successes come from an ability to make a smooth transition from the classroom to the workforce, with internships often playing an important role in the process. There will be an even greater emphasis at UA Fort Smith in developing and promoting new internship opportunities. With that knowledge in hand, the university is moving towards an increase in programs that encourage or require “real-world experiences” such as internships for college credit or paid positions with companies in the local marketplace. Developing and promoting these new internship opportunities is an exciting endeavor. “The student internship process is invaluable for success, which is one reason we place such emphasis on that experience,” Dr. Beran explains. “Connecting education with careers is our vision statement for a reason. There’s no substitute for making professional connections and shaping an education with the tools you learn in an internship environment.”
Ideally, as much as 50% of the student body graduating from the university will have had some sort of outside work experience in their field of choice. Historically for students in education or health science programs, the internship is a calculated part of the degree program. However, as the benefits of students’ field experiences become more evident, we see majors that haven’t traditionally required internships exploring how to utilize them. Currently at UA Fort Smith new internship opportunities are being explored in the areas of media communications, organizational leadership, and biology. Even with many of these areas being new to the concept of student internships, it has not been difficult to find interest both within the community and within the student population. Monique Forehand, the university’s Career Services Coordinator, is very enthusiastic about the number of internships that are currently being utilized and about the support that this important process is being given by the Chancellor and the new strategic plan. “The support from the university’s faculty and from the community is phenomenal. It deepens the educational experience and gives so much back to the local workforce in terms of exceptional employees, both before and after graduation.” For more information on the university’s internship and student work programs, please contact Career Services at 479-788-7017 or uafortsmith.edu/careerservices.
Early Childhood Education, 3rd grade Bonneville Elementary “By getting the opportunity to create and teach my own lessons plans, I gained a better understanding of what the students need to be more engaged in a lesson. I was able to apply all of my education into a real world setting. All of the students, faculty, and staff have welcomed me with open arms and have made this a very rewarding experience.”
Dental Hygiene Dental Hygiene Clinic “I gained confidence in my skills and abilities to carry out my job duties from start to finish. I found it very beneficial to move from the classroom setting into seeing patients because it has given me the opportunity to treat the patients individually and adapt to each patient’s set of needs.”
gained from your internship?
What have you
Marketing UAFS College of Business
“My internship has helped me grow as a person and as a business professional. My business knowledge and communication skills have both been strengthened by the experience. As a student, I feel that an internship is imperative to college students. It allows you to learn about your field in the most hands-on way possible. My internship with the UA-Fort Smith College of Business has given strength to my resume and my future. After graduation, I will be confident with my degree in hand and first- hand marketing experience!”
English Education Ramsey Jr. High School
“My internship made teaching real to me. The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith has done an excellent job giving me the knowledge I need for my career and allows me to apply that knowledge and gain experience. I was placed at Ramsey Jr. High School, which has an excellent faculty that took the time to encourage, teach, and assist me during this transitional phase from college to career. ”
Paralegal Sebastian County Prosecutor “I really appreciate my instructors at UAFS. Their diligence in providing an excellent learning environment has aided me immensely while I’ve adjusted to being in different work situations at my internship. The staff there is wonderful and it has been a joy to have been given the opportunity to learn under their tutelage.”
Information Technology Kirkham Systems
“My web development internship has been very beneficial in giving me the opportunity to learn new development technologies and increase my skills and efficiency in other areas like graphic design, programming for the web, database maintenance, communication, and knowledge of the web development business.”
Historical Interpretation Fort Smith National Historic Site “I gained valuable experience in the field and have had the opportunity to use the tools and knowledge I received through pursuing my degree. I have had the honor of being a representative for Fort Smith and sharing the historical importance of the city with people from around the world. Working for the National Park Service has been an amazing experience and representing them has been a privilege. I look forward to continuing my experience with them and to gain more knowledge from my co-workers and others in the field of interpretation.”
Students Benefit from Rheem Partnership Anyone who travels on Zero Street in Fort Smith is familiar with the recognizable red letters topping the bustling Rheem manufacturing plant. Rheem, known globally for engineering and manufacturing heating and cooling systems, water heaters, and pool and spa heaters, employs well over 1,200 workers in Fort Smith. Many don’t realize that Fort Smith is the home for the corporation’s headquarters for its Air Conditioning Division, meaning there’s a lot more going on under those red letters than meets the eye! That’s especially true when you take a closer look at Rheem’s partnership with Career Services at UA Fort Smith. Through a mutually beneficial partnership, the university provides well-matched interns to positions at Rheem in many departments, bringing student workers with talent and training to the company and giving our students a valuable opportunity to experience the daily operations of a major employer in Fort Smith. Students chosen to intern at Rheem come from a variety of majors. “We take mostly accounting students for both our division accounting office and our plant accounting office, but we also have interns in research and development, plant engineering and information technology,” says Rick Lolley, Director of Human Resources. Student internships at Rheem are paid positions; students are given project work alongside day-to-day duties, creating a well-rounded learning experience. The partnership also makes permanent employee recruitment easier. Some students transition into full time employment after their internship is complete, and some choose to continue in part-time or co-op positions. The company strives to balance a mixture of seasoned employees with those just out of college, creating an environment that promotes sharing wisdom and new ideas. HR Coordinator Sherry Sims feels that student interns have an additional benefit to the company: the ability to ‘hit the ground running.’
From left: Kyle Senia, Staci Schlaf, Cindy Wood, Tammy Edwards, Dana Broad.
“Students come in with a great skill set, so it makes training and implementing student workers seamless and allows them to begin their jobs ahead of the game.” UAFS interns agree with the value of their experiences at Rheem. Senior accounting intern Dana Broad summed up her internship like this, “It has been a wonderful experience! I work with great people who give me a lot of freedom in my job, so I’ve taken on more responsibility as I become more comfortable with my duties. They understand we are interns and work with our schedules, but treat us as contributing members to the department and company as a whole. I would definitely recommend the internship program to other juniors and seniors who are interested in hands-on experience before graduating.”
Criminal Justice Department Connecting Students with Regional Agencies On February 28, 2011, the Department of Behavioral Sciences and College of Humanities and Social Sciences will host their second annual Criminal Justice Symposium. This event encourages those interested in a career in criminal justice to learn more about the field and meet with local agencies. According to Dr. Rita Barrett, Department Chair of Behavioral Sciences, the event was created last spring when the department wanted to introduce the newly established major (20062007) to students. Many students think of Criminal Justice as an introduction to the police systems, but there is much more to it than that. This event shows the depth of the field and what it entails. Last year this event included 20 regional agencies from 10 different fields, including law enforcement, armed services, correctional systems, and the prosecutor’s office with agencies such as the Transportation Security
Administration, Drug Enforcement Agency, US Marshal’s Office, and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement attending. Dr. Barrett feels the past event was a “tremendous success” and looks forward to the upcoming symposium. She indicated that the headline of this year’s event will be a debate concerning a controversial issue in criminal justice today. Other items on the agenda include a student research session and an afternoon networking event with regional agencies. The event will begin at 8:00 a.m. and last until 3:30 p.m. Criminal Justice majors or those interested in the field are encouraged to attend. An invitation has also been extended to students at regional community colleges with Criminal Justice programs to encourage them to further their education and knowledge in the field.
Forehand Joins Career Services
Ron Orick Director
Monique Forehand Coordinator
Last fall, Monique Forehand combined her love for assisting students with her educational background in business by taking the position of Career Service Coordinator for the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. Having previously worked for Student Advisement, Forehand has a great understanding of the university’s student population, making her a uniquely qualified candidate for the position. Working with Career Services, Forehand serves as a liaison between students seeking internships and local businesses seeking to enhance their workforce. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and a master’s degree in College Student Personnel, she is able to help students interact more actively with businesses in the community. She also assists students in the development of interviewing, presentation, and networking skills, as well as helps them with job search techniques. These skills not only serve the students, but employers as well, making sure they’re able to connect with qualified potential employees who are able to present themselves effectively. Forehand’s goals in her new role are to increase the visibility of career services to both the student body and businesses through increased coordination and events in the community. When asked about what she finds most rewarding in her job, she replies that she loves interacting with the various businesses she’s in close contact with, and how much she loves helping UAFS students put their hard earned educations to work!
Calendar of Events Wednesday, February 23 Practice Interview Day
Wednesday, March 9 Education Job Fair
Monday, February 28 Spring Health Science Fair
Wednesday, March 16 Criminal Justice Symposium
Thursday, March 3 Spring Career Fair
Saturday, April 16 Backpacks to Briefcases
Career Services provides UA Fort Smith students and graduates with a full range of academic and employment assistance.
uafortsmith.edu/careerservices To Sponsor a UA Fort Smith Internship, Call Career Services at (479) 788-7017.