CBEC Interns Create Impact

Published: September 12, 2014
By: Trudy Biehn

The 2013-14 academic year marked the fifth consecutive year for the College of Business, Economics, and Computing (CBEC) Internship program at UW-Parkside.

It was also an outstanding year for personal and professional growth for four social media and outreach interns (pictured from left to right above): Eric DuCharme (management information systems, and business management with concentration in general business), Nathan Whittaker (business management with concentrations general business and marketing, and a certificate in sales), Joshua Frazier business management with concentrations general business and marketing, and certificates in sales, entrepreneurship, and project management), and Anh Nguyen (accounting, and business management, with concentrations in general business and marketing, and certificates in sales and community-based learning).

As in previous years, the students marketed and promoted the CBEC in a variety of effective ways including outreach and social media. One of these activities included participating in new incoming freshman and transfer orientation sessions.

Since May 2013 the four CBEC interns participated in advising and enrollment orientation sessions targeted at freshmen who have expressed interest in pursuing CBEC programs. The interns reported on the many diverse career-building opportunities and activities they have experienced. These included winning a National Team Sales Competition at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, involvement in the American Marketing Association Parkside chapter (PAMA), judging at the DECA Wisconsin statewide competition, the Ralph Jaeschke Solutions for Economic Growth Center (SEG) service learning community projects, study abroad programs, Executive in Residence, and much more.

They also aided students in understanding major, minor and certificate programs as well as other university degree completion requirements. CBEC interns did the same for Transfer Transition days where they presented stories of their own college experiences and helped students register for the upcoming semester. The interns accomplished their goal of representing Parkside in a most effective, positive, and professional manner. This led to a substantial increase in formal program declarations where students signed up to study CBEC majors, minors and certificates. 

The social media and outreach interns also had a great impact on CBEC community activities coordinated with Senior Academic Advisor Trudy Biehn. These outreach events resulted in meeting more than 800 students, teaching professionals, and community partners within the Kenosha and Racine post-secondary and secondary school systems that included Case High School, Wilmot High School, Tremper High School, West Bend West and East high schools, Gateway Technical College, and the College of Lake County in Lake County Ill.

Under the guidance of Biehn and Dr. Peter Knight, chair of the Business Department and associate professor marketing, the interns prepared a presentation to interact with, motivate and prepare students for admission to an affordable quality education at Parkside. To support their efforts, UW-Parkside admissions counselors Lindsay Barbeau and Mirella Rivera also attended to answer questions. No doubt, the CBEC interns increased brand awareness of the excellence in education and opportunities for acquiring an outstanding career through Parkside.

Updating, improving and maintaining all of the CBEC's social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn were other tasks the students successfully accomplished. CBEC experienced significant increases of followers by more than 300 percent, helping to contribute to more brand awareness of the unique, affordable programs offered at Parkside. Overall, CBEC interns indicated that their work and involvement played an important role in professional development and subsequent career opportunities.

Whittaker noted, "Trudy, has given us a platform to develop our professional skills, and has taken great interest in our success." The internship challenged the students to step outside of comfort zones to improve levels in oral and written communication skills, time management, team building and collaboration, and interpersonal skills. 

The final success story for the interns is that they have many of the necessary skills and qualifications employers are seeking in today's business world. An added benefit to this story ... the southeast Wisconsin northeast Illinois areas are much more aware of the exceptional educational and career-building opportunities of getting a degree from the College of Business, Economics, and Computing at Parkside. For more information regarding the CBEC internship program, or if you would like a visit to your class or organization by the CBEC interns, please contact Trudy.Biehn@uwp.edu.

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