Feature Story

Extern to Learn

February 20, 2015 – by Katie Nunner '15

Columbus ExternsCFO Brek Peterson with Katie Nunner ’16 and Brody Horner ’18Hailey Stroup and Jessica Brewer ’15 at The Columbus FoundationVinay Raj ’16 and Jason Downey ’02Erica Shah ’16 at the Ohio StatehouseChloe Dyer ’18

OWU Career Services Provides Short-Term Internship Opportunities

What is the real world really like? What does it look like to be a chief financial officer, Ohio legislator, or marketing professional?

Ohio Wesleyan’s Office of Career Services helps students to find the answers.

Every semester, the office connects students with externships—one- to five-day practical experiences allowing students to explore a potential career path, gain valuable job knowledge, and shadow OWU alumni in diverse industries.

Jill Walters-Cameron, internship coordinator, says, “Central to this program’s goals are exploring potential careers, gaining exposure to professional environments and geographic locations, developing networking skills, and discovering where your best fit may, or may not, be in the world of work.”

So far this academic year, students have completed Bishop Externships at locations in Boston and Columbus. Zain Khan ’15 worked with Rachel Decker ’09 at HubSpot, an inbound marketing software platform helping companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.

“HubSpot’s culture was inspirational!” says Khan, a management economics major and accounting minor. “The startup had grown out of its infancy but had held on to its roots by offering a collaborative space with smart, young individuals, led by one of the best within the marketing industry. These people weren’t concerned with physical appearances or formalities but were driven by performance. After visiting HubSpot, I knew it was the sort of company I could see myself working for in the future.”

Jessica Brewer ’15, a double major in international studies and women’s and gender studies, spent time at The Columbus Foundation with OWU alumnus Dan Sharpe ’06.

“I gained real-world, first-hand experience in how The Columbus Foundation, a nonprofit, philanthropic organization, functions,” Brewer says. “Specifically I focused on the grant proposal process for applicable nonprofits, as well as meeting with leaders in partnering nonprofits in my areas of interest to discuss their organization, mission, and programs.”

The Bishop Externship program also provides a beneficial way for OWU alumni to reconnect with undergraduates.

Sharpe says, “We’ve been quite pleased with the personality, ambition, and skill sets of the externs we have hosted, and look forward to hosting more in the future.”

Erica Shah ’16, an international student from Mumbai, India, participated in an externship at the Ohio Statehouse with Rep. William Batchelder ’64. Shah says she found the experience to be very eye-opening.

“It was an excellent opportunity for me to lean about the political system of another country,” says Shah, a double major in economics and politics and government. “I attended an advocacy group talk on legalizing marijuana in Ohio. I learned a lot of facts about it and could relate the role of state government.”

Brody Horner ’18 and Katie Nunner ’16 worked with Brek Peterson, CFO of Greencore USA, in Boston. (Peterson is not an OWU graduate, but his daughter, Jordan, works in OWU’s admission office.)

“The OWU externship was a great experience for our Greencore USA finance team,” Peterson says. “Our students asked very insightful questions and learned a great deal about finance and accounting.

“They also completed a couple of analytical projects that will help Greencore USA improve our results. All in all, participating in the OWU Externship program was a great experience.”

Horner says, “Boston was a great learning experience, which shows all of the amazing opportunities here at OWU.”

Chloe Dyer ’18, a Spanish major and politics and government minor, was able to explore an opportunity leading to a potential career path. She worked with Megan Ellis ’05 at Court-Apointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Franklin County. Ellis was recently named administrative director of The Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship.

Dyer says, “My externship with CASA of Franklin County was an incredible experience. Most importantly, CASA was the perfect place for me to experience a potential career setting; I want to become a lawyer and work in human rights law.

“I got to observe courtroom proceedings, talk to CASA’s staff lawyers, and sit in on one lawyer’s trial prep. It really gave me an insider’s look at what my chosen career path might be like.”

Vinay Raj ’16 also was able to explore his career goals through the externship program while working with Jason Downey ’02 at Diamond Hill Capital Management.

Raj says, “Through the externship I got insight about how an equity research firm operates and what is it like to be an analyst or portfolio manager. I am planning to work as an analyst after I graduate, and so the externship helped me align the skills required with what I seek to learn in college.”

Learn more about OWU’s Office of Career Services and the Bishop Externship program at https://www.owu.edu/about/offices-services/office-of-career-services/.