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.