CU Students Complete Internships with Area Businesses
Athens, W.Va. – Students pursuing a degree in business earned academic credit for their work at area businesses this past spring and fall. The hands-on experience, according to Mr. John Fazio—coordinator for the internship program—could lead to long-term employment.
Students who completed internships in the spring included: Rachel Gohil from Richwood who interned with U-Save Food Stores in Summersville; Samantha Simmons from Clay County who interned with CVS Pharmacy in various southern W.Va. locations; Megan Tilley from Pineville who interned with First Community Bank in various southern W.Va. locations; Stephanie Tabor from Wayside who interned with Summers Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hinton; Kristen Braxton from Athens who interned with J&S Contracting in Princeton; Kristen Adams from Princeton who interned with The Lewis Agency in Princeton; Yvonne McKenzie from Martinsburg who interned with Gino’s Pizza in Athens; and Edmond Amoye from Lagos, Nigeria, who interned with H&R Block.
Samantha Simons, who started her internship with CVS in February of 2008, says she received her internship from Fazio. During her internship, Simons says she began by setting up the new CVS in Beckley.
“When I got there, I had to be prepared for long hours,” Simons said. “The old store was closing down and we had to continually box up items and move it to the new store because we couldn’t just shut down the other store.”
During her internship, she set up the shelving units, finished the signs and labels, and also attended district and manager meetings.
“During one meeting, I was asked what college students wanted in the CVS pharmacy in Athens and I provided ideas,” she said. “I then had to set up the college display and eventually present my findings at a district meeting.”
Rachel Gohil, meanwhile completed 128 hours at the U-Save Food Store which was started by her father. During her internship, she completed payroll, payroll taxes, accounts receivable, internal controls, consumer sales tax and journal entry assignments.
“This internship was long but it helped me,” Gohill said. “It helped me in every course and it has given me real-world experience. I also know that I’m not going to have the stereotypical job. I’m going to have a lot of fun.”
Students who completed internships in the fall included: Niya Apostolova from Bulgaria, who interned with TMG Statistics in Arlington, Va.; Whitney Boles from Pineville, who interned with the Wyoming County Commission in Pineville; Derek Bonnett from Crab Orchard, who interned with Bluestone Industries in Beckley; Melissa Caldwell from Lyburn, who interned with Wal-Mart in Princeton; Samantha Campbell from Union, who interned with the Chuck Mathena Center in Princeton; Stela Chileva from Bulgaria, who interned with the Concord University Foundation in Athens; Rachel Creighton from Nimitz, who interned with The Computer Man in Nimitz; Autumn Dillon from Princeton, who interned with The Insurance Store in Princeton; Leta Gullette from Union, who interned with Creekside Chiropractic in Union; Kristen Handley from Mount Hope, who interned with the W.Va. State Treasurer’s Office in Charleston; Julie Poston from Sevierville, Tenn., who interned with Maurice’s in Bluefield; Brianna Smith from Clear Fork, who interned with Custom Manufacturing Service in Princeton; Melissa Thomas, from Peterstown, who interned with Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Princeton; and Jessica Williams from Hinton, who interned at Practice Link, LTD in Hinton.
“Wal-Mart was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton as a ‘five and dime’ store,” stated Melissa Caldwell from Lyburn (Logan County), in her presentation to a group of students and business faculty this fall. “They are currently the largest private employer in the world. Wal-Mart is the largest grocery retailer in the U.S., with about 20 percent of the retail grocery industry and consumables business.
“I was one of seven interns, and we worked on a wide variety of projects … from making shopping in Wal-Mart a more pleasurable experience for the customer …to a ‘going green’ project that involved a filtration system on a roof to filter rain water that was used in a car wash … to improving recruitment efforts for college students.
“They encouraged us to utilize teams and to ask questions. During the internship, each store could pursue a “PSP” … or, a Personal Sustainability Project. This was a strictly voluntary project where we found an organization within the community that needed help. South Charleston and Barboursville teamed up with a local elementary school and refurbished a memorial garden that was initially built to memorialize a little girl with cancer who passed away.
‘Things don’t always happen the way we read about it in the book,” she pointed out. “We learned that we have to do our best and work as efficiently as possible in the time allotted.
“There were 24 interns in the beginning for a 10-week process. Some of us went through an interview process for assistant manager and three students—two from Concord and one from West Virginia Tech—were chosen to stay with the company on a part-time basis. We are now in the Princeton, Fayetteville and MacAurther stores and we are now implementing the things we learned,” she concluded.
The students earned three hours of academic credit for their internships.
PHOTO: Samantha Simons from Clay County explains the moving process at a CVS drug store.
PHOTO: Melissa Caldwell from Lyburn (Logan Co.), interned with Wal-Mart.
CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Andrea Meador, a sophomore majoring in public relations wrote this news release. Her hometown is Ghent.