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Top internships help Olivet students build for future

Posted: Jun 05, 2014

Adapting to big city life. Being plucked out of large talent pools. Meeting and working with leaders in their chosen fields. Olivet students continue to make their mark with exciting and impressive internship placements.

Making a difference in the nation’s capital

Emily Davisson was not accustomed to city life, but seeking justice is no foreign task. The senior political science major and nonprofit management minor put her passions to work in an internship with the Center for Public Justice (CPJ) in Washington, D.C.

CPJ is a non-partisan organization focused on leadership development, civic education and public policy research. Emily’s interest in faith-based nonprofits, as well as her leadership experience and academic background, made this placement a benefit for all involved.

Although Washington D.C. is different in many ways from her hometown of New Castle, Indiana, Emily found this experience exciting. “Interning with CPJ was a great opportunity to work in a Christian environment that aims to make a difference in our country,” Emily said. “I’ve met new people and made connections.”

As a result of her internship during spring 2014, she is working as an assistant editor with CPJ this summer — and supervising two interns as part of her job.

Standing out from the crowd

Each year, home services company Defender Direct attracts more than 100 applicants to its internship program. Defender is a leading dealer of ADT Home Security Systems and operates branches of heating, cooling and plumbing services in Central Indiana, Louisville and Cincinnati. In summer 2014, Defender’s internship class is being bolstered with the skills and expertise of two Olivet students.

Robin Gerboth (senior, Crawfordsville, Indiana) and Hannah Reister (junior, Mason, Michigan) landed paid, full-time internships with Defender after weathering an extensive and competitive hiring process. Both heard about the openings through their business classes. Dr. Jeff Williamson '84, Olivet’s director of corporate and community engagement, helped them make the connections and led them through the process.

After sending in their résumés, Hannah and Robin went through a phone interview. This was followed by a personal interview on campus during Defender’s campus interview day at Olivet in November 2013.

“It was a little nerve-wracking,” Hannah says. “We were competing with other students from schools like Indiana University, Butler and Purdue for the few positions offered in each area.”

Finally, in late November, they were invited to Defender’s main office in Indianapolis for a day of interviews. The pool for the final interview day included more than 30 students.

“Defender’s values and location are extremely attractive to me,” Robin says. “I am excited to learn and gain valuable business experience from such a successful company. As a business major, I want to add an internship to my resume and gain necessary experience. Defender has a wonderful program to do just that.”

“I think this internship will not only be great for personal growth, but also for connections for future jobs,” Hannah adds. “I'm excited to be on my own for the summer to start pursuing a career in marketing.”

“It has been really exciting to see our corporate engagement efforts bearing fruit and opening doors for excellent ONU students,” Dr. Williamson says. “My belief is that this kind of opportunity will become the norm for our students as companies learn more and more that our students can compete with anyone.”


U.S. states represented among Olivet's student body, as well as 17 countries