By Nichola Nease
I loved my opportunity to work at NOPEC (Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council). I loved this internship because it gave me a wide variety of experiences and allowed me to use some of the skills I learned in school in a real-world environment.
One of my main duties was assisting running the Facebook and Twitter accounts, posting daily content about energy facts, community outreach, and circulating NOPEC videos. I also worked on the NOPEC website quite often, both writing articles for the company blog and editing existing ones.
I enjoyed the number of unique experiences I had at my internship where I learned things outside the realm of public relations. I was able to be in several videos shot with the other interns, which was a really fun experience. It taught me a lot about video production and how creating videos helps boost brand awareness. Writing the blog posts, which were mostly about energy aggregation, STEM, energy efficiency, and other science-related topics gave me a greater understanding and appreciation of those subjects that I had almost no knowledge about before starting my internship.
I assisted with two large sponsorship events, the Rockin’ On the River concert series in Lorain and The Energy Bike Project event. For Rockin’ On the River, I worked on a ticket giveaway contest, and created a Facebook advertisement and promotional items. After attending the event, I also helped mail prizes from a raffle we held at the concert out to the winning participants. The Energy Bike Project, which is a 3-day event that teaches local middle school girls STEM skills while they build a bike that conducts electricity, was a very rewarding experience. I wrote a press release about the event, which was featured in some of the newsletters of the participating schools.
Another thing I greatly appreciated was how I never felt like just an intern at NOPEC. I felt like I was treated respectfully just like any full-time employee. The interns were invited to meetings and encouraged to participate often. I felt like a true member of the team, and will miss the wonderful people and experiences I had while interning at NOPEC.
By Rachel Stevenson
While working as an intern with Summit County Children Services (SCCS), I have been responsible for a variety of tasks including social media management, media relations, event planning and fundraising. My internship has challenged me to use skills I have obtained through various JMC classes to represent our agency’s mission of ensuring the safety, wellbeing and permanency of children-- especially those impacted by the opioid crisis. Some of the most rewarding experiences from my internship include writing press releases that were picked up by media sources such as Cleveland.com, creating a social media plan for the agency, assisting in planning our 2018 levy campaign and being appointed to the Fifth Annual Akron 5k and Recovery Walk planning committee. I also have been asked to present our comprehensive levy campaign to the entire executive board and all agency managers and supervisors during a meeting on Aug. 15, and I will be remaining with the agency during the fall and spring.
Throughout my internship, I have strengthened my leadership skills while learning to apply my education from Kent State to real-life problems and situations. At SCCS, the community relations department is constantly faced with new challenges in communicating key messages and framing problems such as the negative impact the opioid epidemic has had on our agency and the need for foster parents. My internship experience has shown me that each JMC class contributes to my personal and professional development, and I encourage all students to use exercises in the classroom to shape their future success in the workplace.
For students seeking internship opportunities, I encourage them to keep an open mind. I did not fully understand the impact or purpose of SCCS before accepting my internship, and I have become extremely passionate about the agency during these few months. Therefore, my greatest advice is to remain open to new experiences during internships and to use intuition and analysis to understand your client’s needs and create content to strengthen community relations wherever you may be.