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UPDATED: 4/3/20 - 1:00 p.m.

Catawba Students Get a Glimpse into the Future through Experiential Learning

December 18, 2014

Category: Academics, Business & Economics, Students


Students in the Ketner School of Business Experiential Learning class recently presented their internships to the Catawba College campus community. The variety of internships and valuable lessons learned made it an interesting session for all.

The internships covered everything from organizing and managing mega running/swimming races in Sweden for 900 participants to developing a website for WSAT-Memories 1280 radio station; from working for Enterprise, Inc. in Boston to event planning for the Edward C. Smith Civic Center in Lexington, N.C.

Each student came away with unique experiences and enhancement of skills that will benefit them in their future. "I am extremely proud of these students for the great jobs they did both in the workplace and with their presentations," said Robin Perry, instructor.

The Ketner School of Business requires business majors to take Experiential Learning, which is a combination of an internship and class study, developing the soft skills employers and grad schools seek in new graduates. The fall 2014 class had 22 students doing internships locally, regionally and internationally. Four of these students were recipients of the KSOB Advisory Board Internship Fund.

experiential14b.jpgLocally, several students were able to experience working in the non-profit sector. Chloe Bully worked with Nazareth Children’s Home in marketing and assisting with their annual Fun Festival. She not only learned new social media, but also gained confidence in her sales ability, signing up several sponsors for the fundraising event. Justin Stoner, a December graduate, worked with the Community Care Clinic in Salisbury and was glad to have a good variety of duties, exposure to health care and the chance to create for them a new website Heitor Vinci worked in accounting at Rowan Helping Ministries. Averi Mauney was with United Way of Rowan County working in social media, marketing and developed 13 videos for the different participating agencies.

Additional internships presented included:  Jacob Breig and Marshall Ritchie both working with Fastenal, Inc. in sales, customer service and inventory management; Gavin Wike was at Shoe Show Inc. in Concord where he enhanced his communication and team work skills;  Ian Orr learned about operations, shipping and safety at PGI;TJ Olsen worked on the business side of United States Performance Center in Charlotte; Kristopher Furr loved the detail work it took to handle the networking and cable equipment needed for the Catawba College IT Department; Brian Donaldson worked in accounting for Case Farms LLC, a major chicken processing firm in Troutman.

Alex Bost showed his Path with RWBT, Inc. a family  transportation business where he started washing trucks, and now works in the accounting department; Robert Brooks learned a lot about customer service and sales as he traveled with the President of Giacomo Meats, meeting with customers and delivering quality meats on time and with a smile; Craig Brooks had a great experience at Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Co. and has already been offered a job after graduation; Chris Gratton interned with Stealz, a cutting edge marketing company in Raleigh. They sell mobile apps that allow customers to share their great dining experiences on social media with friends and family, to become a marketing arm for the restaurant or retailer. He gained valuable knowledge and experience in sales and marketing.

Ivan Jimenez did an amazing job creating a new website for local radio station WSAT-1280 (; Madison Kennedy was able to combine her passion for golf with her business major as she worked for the USGA at both the Men’s and Women’s US Open in Pinehurst this past summer. She was in the merchandising area where her problem solving skills, teamwork, and flexibility were all tested and strengthened; Zach LaFavre worked for Enterprise in Boston and learned a lot about the auto rental business, getting high marks for his sales and customer service skills; Ellery Carson did event planning for the Edward C. Smith Civic Center in Lexington, N.C. where she got to work with a variety of people putting on numerous events, including weddings, which turned out to be her favorite type of work.

International internships were presented by Theo Zatterstrom who along with two other founders, manage a firm - Angaloppet - that puts on mega race events in his native Sweden. They combine running and swimming and this year the race had over 900 participants.  Toomas Goutt, of France worked for Soframa, a supplier of defense equipment where he managed a production team checking the quality, packaging and shipment of military helmets and blankets to several countries. Janin Kassner also completed her internship in Germany with KPMG, one of the big four accounting firms.

The Experiential Learning class is taught by Robin Perry, Director of Career Services at Catawba and Dr. Renee Just. Dr. Pam Thompson, Dean of the Ketner School of Business promotes this class and believes it to be one of the most valuable experiences our students can have. "We want to have the best Experiential Learning course in the nation and I think we are on our way."

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