Live Stream of Lessons and Carols

Chatfield College presented Lessons and Carols on Friday, December 7, 2018 at 7 p.m. in the Sacred Heart Chapel, with a reception following in the Welcome Center on the St. Martin Campus in Brown County.
Lessons and Carols remind us of the meaning of the Advent Season through music and selected readings by the students and members of the Chatfield College community. The story of the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus are told in 5 short readings taken from the Book of Isaiah and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols.
The biblical excerpts were read by Chatfield’s speech class. Student readers included Hunter Ellis, Jade West, Cole Brown, Gracie Rhodes, and Lillyan West.
The newly formed drama club showcased a special presentation entitled “T’was the Fight Before Christmas”. Members of the club are Courtney Sedgwick, Miranda Seward, Rae Luti, Londyn Howlett, and Hunter Ellis.
Musicians were John Penrose (guitar), Stephen Culp (drums), Bryan Groomms (bass), and Beth Myers (vocalist).

Alumni Profile- Beth Myers

Who says you can’t go home? Coming back to Chatfield as a staff member after graduating a few years prior felt like coming home to Beth Myers. Working as an admissions counselor at the Brown County campus, Beth has a unique perspective to share with students—because she’s been in their shoes.

Beth first attended Chatfield College as a College Credit Plus (CCP) student when she was a junior at Lynchburg High School. While given many choices to attend college for free while in high school courtesy of the CCP program, Beth knew she would choose Chatfield. She had also heard from a friend that Chatfield credits transferred easily to four-year colleges, and since Beth planned to continue her education, this was important to her. Aside from this, Beth had another reason for picking Chatfield.

“I had aunts, cousins, even sisters who had gone to Chatfield and loved it,” Beth said. “It’s kind of our family college.”

As a student at Chatfield, Beth excelled in her classes. She was inducted in both the Julia Chatfield Honor Society, an honors organization exclusive to Chatfield, and the national Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She even credits an English course at Chatfield that helped shape her future career plans of becoming a professor in the Communications field. In fact, one of her instructors also encouraged her to investigate Berea College for her four-year degree, because of its unique, tuition-free appeal and superb academics. Having already earned free college credit, and because financing college was important to Beth, she decided she would attend Berea after graduation. Just a week before graduating from her high school, Beth walked across the stage of Chatfield College’s graduation.

Looking forward to earning her bachelor’s degree, Beth said that the rigorous academic work at Chatfield prepared her to move on, and her writing alone was a step above her peers when she arrived at Berea. Unlike most students who had just graduated from high school, Beth already knew how life in college worked. She had mastered time management skills, the drive to complete her tasks on time, and knew how to make her own schedule.  At Berea, Beth worked as a residential advisor and helped plan events at her dorm. Performing as a top student once again, she was also inducted into the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society for Communication majors.

Graduating from Berea in 2018 with her Bachelor of Arts degree, Beth moved back home and worked a summer internship at American Modern Insurance. She knew she wanted to do something in education but wasn’t quite sure what that might be. Soon after, Beth stumbled upon a job opening in the admissions department at Chatfield College and immediately knew that was the position for her.

“I always knew I wanted to come back to Chatfield. I planned to come back to teach but starting in this position seemed like the perfect place to begin,” Beth said.

Beth was hired just three years after being a student herself.  Beth says that Chatfield still has the community feel she loved as a student, but she’s just on the other side of the coin. As a student, she always felt supported and encouraged, but she never realized everything that goes on behind the scenes in order to provide that support. Aside from her admissions job, Beth has also helped start a drama club for the students, because she knows how important it is to have other extra-curricular activities on campus to really help enrich the experience.

“I love walking out of my office and seeing students hanging out in the Welcome Center, because I can still see myself there. I feel like having been a student just like them, I have a unique position to really help guide the students and understand their needs, “Beth shares.

Looking back on her experience now, Beth is thankful for her experience as a CCP student at Chatfield.  This start eventually led her to Berea, and ultimately brought her back to Chatfield.

“I value the impact Chatfield made on my life and education, and it makes me excited to be in a position to help other students pursue their dreams, too.”

Retirement Plans Provide Both Risk and Opportunity

According to the American Benefits Council, nearly 100 million Americans participate in “qualified”, pre-tax retirement plans, such as IRAs, 401(k)s, SEPs, SIMPLEs, or if you have worked in a non-profit environment, 403(b)s.  If you are one of them, and are age 70 ½ or older, or know someone who is both, you will want to keep reading.  Your retirement plan comes with a serious tax risk for you, but also presents a wonderful opportunity.

You may have heard about the “required minimum distribution” or “RMD”.  That is the amount you are required to withdraw from your qualified retirement account each year beginning with the year you reach the age of 70½.   You can take this amount in a lump sum, or in distributions at least annually based upon your life expectancy.  My mom takes hers monthly to help her with her budgeting.   But some people, hoping to keep their retirement money invested as long as possible, forget to take this distribution.  The consequences can be severe – a possible tax penalty of up to 50% of the amount of the distribution you should have taken.  Ouch!

If you are someone who is 70½ with a retirement account, you can avoid paying any taxes on your RMD by donating the RMD to a worthy charity – like Chatfield College.   You will need to arrange to have your RMD transferred directly from your IRA (or inactive SEP or inactive SIMPLE) to Chatfield.  (Although you cannot make these distributions from your 401(k) plan or other qualified plans, you can roll over your plan balance to an IRA, and then make the transfer of your RMD from your IRA).

This way, none of the RMD is taxable income.  Your donation will not affect your Social Security taxes or Medicare premiums.   This is an especially attractive tool for people who have regularly given to charity in past years, but now with 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in effect, will no longer be able to receive a tax deduction for those December donations.  The new tax law has increased the standard deduction, so many more taxpayers this year will not be itemizing deductions, like charitable contributions.

If you think you might be in this situation, and would like to learn more about your options, you should contact your accountant, attorney or tax advisor. (Chatfield College does not offer tax or legal advice or counsel, and this blog is not intended to do so.)

And if you would like to make a direct donation from your IRA to Chatfield College, please know your gift is very much appreciated, and will be used judiciously in the best interest of our students.

As always, thank you for your loyal support of Chatfield College.

-John P. Tafaro, president

Why Online?

Good question! Colleges and universities all over the country are working to create better and more meaningful online learning opportunities for their students. Chatfield began offering online classes this past January and they have become very popular! The rationale behind offering Chatfield classes online is simple: online courses empower students by eliminating the problems associated with rigid class times and transportation to and from school. Colleges across the country recognize that students are choosing their school for many reasons, including the support they receive given their other responsibilities. Life profiles of today’s students everywhere, including Chatfield, show that many have jobs, families and other circumstances that make attending face-to-face classes on a campus difficult. Students desire more flexibility and accessibility to reach their educational goals. At Chatfield, we want to meet the needs of our students. Online course offerings will allow us to be sensitive to those needs and allow students to receive personalized access to learning at any time and from anywhere.

Caitlin Tucker, an expert and advocate of blended and online learning, identifies that future employers want to hire students who can communicate effectively, think critically, work collaboratively and leverage technology successfully. At Chatfield, we are committed to putting students at the center of their learning and helping them develop these 21st-century skills that are critical to future success. By creating online learning opportunities at Chatfield, we give our students flexible solutions to help them meet their goals and achieve a better future.

Done well, online education can provide a personalized learning culture that encourages student choice in the learning process. Students can expect that the online courses offered at Chatfield will be intentionally designed with the same support and interaction with instructors that they experience in their traditional face-to-face classes at either campus. Students will be challenged online to work in collaboration with other students and the instructor to deepen their understanding and application of course concepts and to meet learning objectives.

If interested in taking an online course this spring, check out what’s being offered. To register, contact your academic advisor or your site director.

The Value of an Internship

Why should you consider hiring an intern? Interns can be beneficial to the employer because it is an extra set of hands for the summer, which can be an extremely busy time for a lot of businesses. Maybe you have been looking for an employee to fill in for someone while they are gone, but do not want to hire a full-time employee? An intern is a great way to fill any open positions that need filled for a short period of time – it not only helps you, but it is also giving them the chance to gain some real working experience. Interns are great to have around because they can also add a lot of spark to your business – they have young, fresh minds and that might just be what you have been looking for!

Why are internships important for college students? Internships are great for college students to get a glimpse into what their future might look like and it provides them with the experience that they need for future employment opportunities. Having an internship during your time as a college student can help you decide if it’s the right career path for you, all while gaining work experience for your resume. Internships can also open doors for you – you meet a lot of people during your time spent at your internship and can provide opportunities for networking with other employers and businesses. The company who hired you on as an intern might even ask you to come back after you graduate if they think you are a good fit!

Whether you are a student thinking about finding an internship, or an employer who is debating hiring an intern for the summer, I think it is important that you know why internships are valuable experiences. As a current intern at Chatfield College, I have learned so much in the four months that I have been here, and I think sharing my experience could be helpful for those who are considering internships.

I have always had some sort of job while in high school and in college. It has always been a priority for me to uphold a job while I am in school so I can start saving money for my college loans. I have always worked part-time throughout the school year and sometimes as a full-time employee during the summer. Although this was good experience for me and could be added to my resume, I wanted to gain more experience in my chosen field. Working as a sales associate was not going to help my graphic design career as much as I had hoped. I decided to look for internships during my junior year of college in hopes to gain more graphic design and marketing experience.

I began an internship at Chatfield College where I essentially took over for a well-experienced employee who had been working there for years. I was hired on to take her place while she was on maternity leave to cover the marketing and digital operations for the school. Chatfield hired me on as a Marketing and Social Media Intern, where I took on the challenge of handling the entire marketing department. I had enough experience in marketing and social media that I was able to meet the needs that they were looking for as their new intern for the summer. After three weeks of training, I was on my own.

I was able to navigate my way through the job fairly well with the help of a few coworkers. Everyone I worked with was super nice and helpful in my first few weeks alone on the job. They all knew I needed a little extra help and were able to push me in the right direction whenever I needed something. After a few weeks on my own, I had already learned so much. I now knew how to write press releases, keep up with weekly social media posts, update the website, and so much more. I was also able to have a lot of freedom when designing flyers and other marketing materials for the college – this was a great way for me to gain graphic design experience because I designed so many different things.

During my time at Chatfield, I have gained so much experience in a lot of different fields like marketing, graphic design, public relations, communications, and digital operations.  I was so worried when I first started because I did not think a college student would be able to keep up with a full-time job that required a lot of experience. It ended up being a great opportunity for me in so many different ways. I was able to gain work experience which will be great to add to my resume and I was able to learn a lot of different skills. I have also been able to connect with other companies and businesses along the way, which will serve as a great way to network in the future.

I think that Chatfield has also benefitted from hiring an intern. I was able to fill a position for a few months while an important employee was at home with her new baby and take care of the marketing department. I met the needs of my employer and provided fresh, new designs and marketing materials. My employer had an immediate need to fill this position for the summer and provide a smooth and effortless transition between the Marketing Director and me. Now, when the Marketing Director returns from maternity leave, it will be like she never left – all of the daily and weekly tasks have been taken care of and are up-to-date. Without an intern, these tasks could have been easily overlooked. Chatfield was able to provide me with great experience and I feel very confident in my ability to find a job after I graduate from college after this internship. In the long run, this internship was able to help not only me, but my employer as well.

Although my internship was not the average experience of an intern, I still think internships are very important. Not every internship requires taking on so many responsibilities and tasks, but they still give you a lot of work experience. Even if the internship is to shadow someone, it is still providing an opportunity to learn about the business or field of work that you are pursuing. My experience helped me decide that my career path is on the right track and that I do want to continue a career in graphic design and marketing. This internship provided me with an opportunity to test it out before making a commitment to my future career, which can be difficult as a college student to decide what to do with the rest of your life!

Internships provide great opportunities for both college students and employers because it helps both of them out in different ways. For the employer, it is a way to fill an immediate position or lend an extra set of hands without the hassle of finding an employee who is only needed for a short period of time. It can also be a way to introduce fresh ideas to the company and get a new perspective in your marketing efforts. For a student, it provides great opportunities to learn and succeed in a real work environment, all while helping them see if this is the right career path for them. Internships are a great way to lend an extra hand and learn so much along the way!

-Taylor Wilson, Social Media and Marketing Intern for Chatfield College

Finding Balance During Your First Few Weeks Back at School

As a current college student, I know firsthand how difficult it can be transitioning back to school. As I now enter my senior year of college, I have learned over the last three years how to successfully get back into the swing of things. During the first few weeks of the semester, it is very important to find the balance between school, personal time, and work.

Whether it is your first semester in college or your last, every semester should start out with having a plan on how to conquer your classes easily and sufficiently. Starting classes can be difficult at first, but after a few sessions it starts becoming second nature. It is important to attend every class so that you do not miss out on any important information or assignments.

When I first started classes my freshman year, I was unprepared because I was not keeping track of my homework assignments and I was having problems with time management. Within the first few weeks, I decided to purchase a planner so that I could keep track of everything, and I think that it was the best decision that I could have made. For me, the most important thing to have in college is a planner or an agenda. It is extremely important to keep track of your assignments and daily tasks. I now write just about everything in my planner – I make reminders to do my laundry, go to the grocery store, and email my professors, while I also write down all of the things I need to accomplish that day like homework assignments, meetings, or what I should start studying for. I think it’s critical to keep track of stuff, even if it is just little reminders. Planners are also a good way of keeping track of birthdays, your work schedule, and important deadlines. In my personal experience, your planner should be your lifeline to keep you up to date on all of your assignments and after school activities.

Going back to school can be difficult at first, especially if you’re juggling a job as well. Most students hold part-time or even sometimes full-time jobs during their time at college. Although sometimes it feels impossible to juggle both school and work, it can be done. Before you start back at school, notify your employer and let them know your schedule so that they can accommodate you. Make sure that you keep track of your work schedule, and try to plan ahead when to study and do your homework before or after you go to work. As someone who has held multiple jobs while juggling college classes, I have found it to be challenging, but it also feels really rewarding in the end when you are able to accomplish so many things at one time.

Another thing that I think can help your semester go smoothly, is trying to make friends in your classes during the first few weeks. Having a friend in class can make things a little easier when you have a class project or when you have questions outside of class. It is always nice to have someone to fall back on if you did not understand an assignment or update you on things you missed if you could not make it to class that day. Having friends can potentially be a great way to become more involved on campus as well. It encourages you to join more activities and clubs on campus if you have a friend that is willing to join in, especially if you are shy. Chatfield has great ways to become more involved like chess club, the student service club, walking club and more. Do not be afraid to join in on activities – they could be great things to put on your resume in the future!

If it’s your first semester in a college setting, I think one of the most important things to remember is that you are here to better your future. It is common to feel overwhelmed, but don’t let that scare you! After your first semester, you will feel like a pro when classes start back up again the next semester. The next few years will fly by before you know it! Although it seems like it will take forever to finish your degree, I promise it goes by a lot quicker than you would expect and by the time you are done, you will look back and think, “Now that wasn’t so bad!”

As the first week of class looms nearer, start preparing for your classes soon. I suggest buying your planner before classes start and outlining your work and class schedules along with important events that you know of. This gives you an opportunity to get ahead and feel more prepared and organized before you start class. Make sure you have talked to your employer and figure out how you are going to fit work and school into your busy schedule. Do not forget to block out times in the day to study and catch up on homework as well.

As I prepare myself to move back to Dayton for my senior year, I am also trying to find balance. I have started organizing my weekly schedule, made arrangements with my two employers, and am making sure that I have everything I need for the semester like pens, notebooks, and index cards. You can never be too prepared! Although it can feel really overwhelming, it gets easier as the semester carries on. Try not to stress too much and remember – finding balance is the most important thing you can do!

-Taylor Wilson, student at the University of Dayton


Alumni Profile – Fatimah “Betty” Southall

Some people complete their college degree on their first try, straight out of high school – but for Betty Southall, this was not the case. After two failed attempts in higher education, she finally found her best fit at Chatfield College. Overcoming many obstacles along the way, Betty is a success after completing her associate degree at Chatfield in just less than four years.

Betty first heard about Chatfield through her mother who had been a part of the non-profit organization ACT. Chatfield had previously been in collaboration with this program, offering classes at its Cincinnati location. Since her mother had worked there, she was able to learn more about Chatfield while growing up.

When Betty graduated from high school, she made her first attempt at college. At the age of 17, she began her education at University of Cincinnati, but had to drop out after the heartbreaking death of her father. She then attempted college again at Cincinnati State, but once again, it did not go as planned. She decided to give college a try one more time and enrolled at Chatfield College, where she was determined to finish school this time around.  Her first semester at Chatfield was also delayed, when she experienced issues with her financial aid application, after filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”). She now believes that taking that semester off was a blessing because she ultimately needed thyroid surgery shortly after her classes would have begun. So in 2013, she enrolled at Chatfield once again, and this time it was for the long-haul.

During her time at Chatfield, Betty took on any opportunity that was available that would help her pay her tuition and fees. She started out working in the financial aid office, eventually leading to a fellowship within that department. She was also involved in a work study program where she cleaned bathrooms at the Chatfield Over-the-Rhine campus. Although it was a tough job, she now refers to the experience as a character building exercise for which she is grateful.

It took Betty a little longer than most to get through her degree requirements at Chatfield. During one school year, she struggled to complete her schoolwork after the passing of her grandmother. Heartbroken and unable to focus, she did not pass a couple of the required classes that semester. But she was relentless, and determined to continue her education. Betty eventually earned her degree in 2017.

Just prior to her last semester at Chatfield, Betty inquired at Senator Sherrod Brown’s Cincinnati office about volunteering. She was soon contacted about an available internship, and shortly after, landed the job. After a few months at her internship, she found out about an open position in Senator Brown’s office as a staff assistant. With her previous experience working in a political government office under Councilman Wendell Young and her recent internship with Senator Brown, she had a leg up on other applicants and got the job. At her new position, Betty oversees approximately thirty people per year and is also the intern coordinator, after only nine months on the job!

“Build a strong relationship with God and listen to what God wants to use you for. You will eventually end up in a great position if you follow His path. I have had the best luck in order to get where I am today, and everyone else can have that too if they have faith,” said Betty.

After multiple attempts at college, Betty was finally able to finish school at Chatfield and for that, she is forever grateful. She mentioned that if it were not for the compassionate faculty and the financial opportunities that Chatfield had provided her, she might not have ever finished college.

Betty wants to eventually earn her Bachelor’s degree in economics from Cincinnati Christian University and continue her career in politics.  We will most certainly be hearing again from Betty Southall.

Alumni Profile – Martin Smith

Of the many college graduates living in Brown County, there are very few who have attended an Ivy League school. Chatfield College graduate Martin Smith however, is one of those few.

At the age of 19, Martin first enrolled at Chatfield College. With his first child on the way, he was only able to finish one year before he made the decision to drop out and focus more on being a father. As he was taking on the new role of being a father and having a full-time job, there was not enough time to fit college responsibilities into his busy schedule.

At 30 years old, Martin was divorced, had two children, and had worked several jobs along the way to support his family. Despite his last attempt, he decided to enroll at Chatfield for a second time – and this time he wanted to make it count. He began taking classes during the summer, some of which included enrichment courses and tennis lessons. He was a member of Chatfield’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for two-year colleges, and became an alumni fellow in the development department, and was a part of the student leadership club.

“I decided to come back, I fell in love with Chatfield and the rest is history,” Martin said.

With his rigorous studies, Martin was able to finish his Associate’s degree from Chatfield in 2015.  Deciding to further his education, he wanted to aim high in the choice of his next school. A close friend and classmate, Jade, was applying to Columbia University in New York City, so he decided to apply there as well. In total, he applied to 58 different schools and was accepted into 41 of them. He was accepted into three different Ivy League Schools – the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, and Brown.

Although Columbia had been his dream, he decided to attend Penn, where he received a better financial aid package. Martin paved his way to success and graduated with his Master’s degree in English Literature in 2017. He credits Chatfield in helping him succeed in an Ivy League setting. Because Chatfield had small classes, he was able to get the attention that he needed in order to thrive academically.

He is currently working on getting his second Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Boston. He ultimately wants to earn his PhD somewhere along the line to continue his academic career. Since he has left Chatfield, Martin has been successful in other ways as well. His children Nicholas and Leah are now attending school at Western Brown, where he believes they are full of potential. He has published a total of eight books – five local history books, two children’s books, and a novel. Martin is currently pursuing the idea of a book that involves the history of Chatfield College in Brown County.

He recently visited the St. Martin campus as a pit-stop along the way during his current book tour. This was a great opportunity to catch up with past professors, advisors, and other people he met along the way during his time at Chatfield. He began reflecting on his time spent at this campus and how much Chatfield meant to him. Being able to come back to the place that shaped him as a student has made him become even more appreciative of the beauty of Chatfield.

“Don’t sell yourself short. Do what you believe is right for you, because you are capable of doing anything you want. Chatfield can provide you with a great opportunity to succeed – just like it did for me.”

Brown County Bicentennial Chautauqua Honors Julia Chatfield

Named for Chautauqua, New York, where the first one was ever held, the Chautauqua movement was a popular adult education movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920’s. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and learning to the entire community; they featured speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists.

The Brown County Chautauqua’s were held at the Brown County Fairgrounds in the old wooden grandstand. Now we will relive the Chautauqua experience once more at the Brown County fairgrounds, in honor of our county’s two-hundredth anniversary!

In 1845, a group of Ursuline Sisters dedicated to education came to Ohio from France. Their leader, Sister Julia Chatfield, founded the Ursuline convent in St. Martin, Ohio and the community immediately began construction of a four-story brick school building in the Brown County wilderness. From that foundation, the educational mission of the Ursulines of Brown County has reached children and adults through the public school system, a boarding school, a summer camp, counseling, high school, and college.

Support Chatfield College by coming out on Thursday, June 21 at 8:30 PM where Julia Chatfield will describe the history of the Ursulines of Brown County and their long tradition of offering a quality education at St. Martin!

Event Details:
June 21-23 (Thursday-Saturday) 2018
Program Begins 7:00 PM
National Anthem by Rep. Doug Green

June 21
7:30 PM Music by Deann Kelley Kropf
8:30  PM “Mother Superior Julia Chatfield” by Margaret Clark

June 22
7:30 PM Music by Harriet Jackson Groh & Sandy Eversole
8:30 PM “John Parker” by Anthony Gibbs

June 23
7:30 PM Music by the “Civil War Revue Band”
8:30 PM “U.S. Grant” by Dr. Curt Fields

The Importance of a Summer Internship

As a college student, it can be difficult to manage school, friends, and work. It is easy to forget how important it is to gain experience in your desired career, so most tend to overlook available opportunities to help them gain real-world experience in the work environment. It can be difficult to find a job after graduating from college, so employers want to see that you took the time to gain as much experience as possible before graduation. Internships are great opportunities to learn more about your desired career path, and can help you adapt to a work environment that may be unfamiliar to you. Although finding an internship can be difficult, most employers like to see that you have experience working for a credited company and can help you get the leg up on other competition.

I am currently attending the University of Dayton and I will be entering my senior year this fall, where I will graduate with my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design with a minor in photography. My teachers have always encouraged their students to seek out internships either before our junior or senior years so that we have some experience in our field before we graduate.

I have a lot of work experience compared to most of my classmates. Previously, I worked for Bath and Body Works and Taco Bell, and I am currently working at Marshall’s part-time. In addition to that, I do a lot of freelance work for friends and family—working on invitation designs and selling some of my designs on Redbubble. I also worked alongside Jay + Bee Photography, where I worked as their second shooter for wedding photography, as well as maintaining my own photography business on the side. Although I have a lot of work experience, I know that would not be enough to impress interviewers when I start to apply for jobs in the graphic design field. Most employers want two to three years of experience in your field before you even graduate, and I had only worked mostly retail jobs and was selling my designs to family friends. I knew that I had to step up and find better opportunities that could benefit my future career in the long-run.

During the end of my sophomore year, I began to apply for graphic design jobs on campus but had no luck. I decided to wait until the next summer to find an internship, and spend time building my portfolio. Looking back, I wish I had sought out an internship sooner because it would help me grow as a designer, writer, student, and worker. During my junior year, I decided to get more involved with school and look for graphic design opportunities on campus. I landed a job as the graphic designer for ArtStreet Café on campus, which is a subdivision of Flyer Enterprises—the third largest student-run business in the country. I was also inducted into Kappa Pi, an honorary art fraternity, where I was elected as the Recruitment Chair, and became very involved with our philanthropy. I was even featured as the Artist of the Month in the newspaper on campus, as well as getting a photograph published in the art and literary magazine on campus. All of these different activities helped me grow as an individual, and helped me add many lines to my resume.

Becoming more involved in activities and jobs on and off campus, it had pushed me to become better and strive for success. In searching for internships over the summer, it was difficult to find somewhere local that related to my future career. During this search, a friend of mine mentioned that she was looking for a marketing and social media intern to take over for her while she was on maternity leave at Chatfield College. Although it was not exactly what I was looking for, I figured that I could get a lot of experience from it, considering graphic design is in very close ties with marketing. I decided to apply for the internship and see where it led me.

After applying for the internship, I was called for an interview. While I did not have a lot of marketing experience, I had a lot of sales experience alongside my designing skills, and they saw a lot of potential in me. I went on to have a second interview with John Tafaro, the President of Chatfield. Although there were a lot of other applicants, I landed the job! My fellow classmates had internships with varying titles and job descriptions, proving that any internship can be great experiences, even if it is not particular to your degree.

In the short few weeks that I have been training at Chatfield, I have already learned so much. I have developed better communication skills, learned how to maintain a website, designed countless different flyers and advertisements, and have made a lot of connections along the way. Although this internship is not exactly what I was looking for in the beginning, I think that it is one of the best decisions that I have ever made. It has definitely pushed me beyond my comfort zone, allowing me to develop skills that I never knew I even needed. Having experience in marketing will make me more qualified for job opportunities in the future and give me an advantage among other competition.

Having an internship is an important step in a successful career path. Having experience in a real environment helps in gaining more knowledge than you could ever learn in a classroom. Even if your grades are not the best, having experience in your desired field is far more valuable. You are able to show that you are dedicated, because you spent an entire summer working, while most are off with their friends. If you want to gain more real-world experience, develop your communication skills, and gain connections, I highly suggest looking into finding an internship for the summer or during the school year. You can never have enough experience, even if it is different than your intended career path, and you might just end up falling in love with a different career than what you thought.

– Taylor Wilson