August 14, 2012
12-206

Malynda Dorsey
Communications Specialist

Co-op Helps Students Jumpstart Careers

VALDOSTA -- According to AllAboutCareers.com, college graduates with good work experience are more likely to secure employment in their fields than those without experience. Because of this, Valdosta State University's Office of Cooperative Education provides students with opportunities to work in positions that prepare them for their careers while they are in school.

Co-op helps students build their resumes while in college by identifying positions that mirror their majors and career preferences. The office works with several employers in the public and private sectors to secure opportunities for students.

While Co-op helps students find jobs in their fields while in college, the office also assists students with local and out-of-town internship opportunities.

Through Co-op, junior James Tillman, Jr. recently completed a summer internship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Xenia, Ohio. Tillman had applied for the internship during fall semester in 2011.

During his internship, the biology major assisted the NRCS agent in working with members of the USDA's Farm Service Agency. He learned about grass waterways and how they are planned, designed, constructed, maintained and re-enrolled.

“We also looked at different croplands, grazing lands and livestock operations,” said Tillman.

Tillman expressed satisfaction with the experience he acquired while interning with the agency.

“If this is what I have to look forward to after college, I can't wait until graduation,” he said.

Meanwhile, mass media major Ebone Dennis interned with CBS Radio in Atlanta, assisting producers of the Frank and Wanda Morning Show on V-103. Her workdays included arriving at the station at 4 a.m., setting up all audio equipment, organizing notebooks and compiling stories, topics and interesting breaking news. She also got the opportunity to meet and work with several celebrities during her internship.

“Overall, it was an amazing experience and I learned so much about the ins and outs of this industry,” said Dennis.

Tillman and Dennis are two of several students who completed summer internships through Co-op. According to Co-op Assistant Director Carla Jordan, students should start looking for summer internship opportunities as soon as possible.

“Some of the bigger opportunities take three to six months to locate and secure,” said Jordan. In addition, a wider variety of opportunities are available to those who are willing to travel and those who are open to unpaid internships. We ask that the students be mindful of the skills they already have as well as those they wish to strengthen or acquire during these opportunities.”

Students who wish to participate in Co-op must be in good academic standing and have completed 30 credit hours at VSU.

For more information, visit the Office of Cooperative Education, located on the first floor of Powell Hall West in room 1100, call (229) 333-7172 or e-mail coop@valdosta.edu.