Written by Ricardo Perez, PROMISE Intern

 

Ricardo Perez
Ricardo Perez, OSU Open Campus 2016 PROMISE intern

I am Ricardo Perez and I am the 2016 PROMISE intern for Outreach and Engagement, Open Campus. I am entering my junior year here at Oregon State University studying Business Management with an option in International Business. After hearing about the large professional development growth the previous PROMISE interns had, I decided to apply to the program in hopes of obtaining the same skills.

Having the opportunity to be mentored by Jeff Sherman, the program leader for Open Campus, has been far from boring. Jeff gave me the tools necessary to evolve into a more competent individual in the business world. Through my experience, Jeff instructed me on programming logistics, how to use project management software, how to communicate with community partners and he gave me the freedom to create new projects.

I would also like to mention Hollie Conger. Hollie is in charge of marketing and communications for Open Campus. Hollie greatly influenced my experience and positively impacted my marketing skills. Through our work, Hollie showed me how to manage social media accounts, edit video, maintain the website and use Adobe Illustrator.

My experience as an intern would not have been the same if it were not for these individuals. Being able to intern for people who create an engaging and energizing environment made my time as an intern the best it could be. The support they gave me and the skills I acquired have truly impacted my professional development.

Ricardo Perez PROMISE workshop
Ricardo Perez with OSU Open Campus mentors Jeff Sherman and Hollie Conger

My main project was to organize the 2016 Roads Scholar Engagement Tour. The main goal for The Roads Scholar Tour is to invite newer faculty and employees who are new to engagement, to gain a sense for community engagement and to form relationships with colleagues who do similar work. This year’s tour is located in Central Oregon, with stops in Warm Springs, Redmond, and Bend. Having the opportunity to construct The Roads Scholar Tour and collaborate with so many members has enhanced my communication skills and prepared me for a career in business.

Along with planning The Roads Scholar Engagement Tour, I was involved in small projects for the Juntos program. Through this experience, I had the opportunity to work with Ana Gomez, the main coordinator for Juntos. Working with Ana made this experience so fun and exciting! Seeing someone who is so passionate in helping others really sparked my fascination with the program. Through my experience, I learned how Juntos works to empower families around education, is constructed to prevent youth from dropping out of high school and encourages families to work together to gain access to college. My main project for Juntos was planning the 2017 Family Day, an event where families have an opportunity to visit the OSU campus and learn more about the different resources available.

It is hard to believe that my journey as an intern is more than half way complete. My experience here at Outreach and Engagement, Open Campus has been one I will never forget. The amount of professional, as well as personal growth I developed is something I never thought would happen in a short 10 weeks.

I am honored to interact with people who truly enjoy positively impacting the Oregon community. I would like to give thanks to my mentors who have shown me the immense impact Outreach and Engagement has, as well as preparing me for the professional world. Jeff, Hollie, Ana, and Pam, thank you for all your hard work and for providing me the best experience possible at Outreach and Engagement.

Written by Emalee Rabinovitch, PROMISE Intern
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PROMISE intern Emalee Rabinovitch (left) at the 2016 Clatsop County Fair with Benny the Beaver and a friend.

How do you touch the lives of the people that you meet?

This is a question I find myself asking pretty frequently. My whole life I have known that I wanted to enter a career field where I could continually touch the lives of those around me. So when I found an internship that did just that, I knew it would be a perfect fit for me.

My name is Emalee Rabinovitch and I am about to graduate from Oregon State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Public Health and Education. One of my final tasks here at OSU was to find an internship that aligned with the same values and outcomes as my degree. After doing a bit of searching, I came across the PROMISE Program.

The PROMISE Program is a 10-week internship experience that provides opportunities in state and local government agencies, as well as university programs for Oregon State University undergraduate students. These internships are intended to provide students a pathway to a professional career with an emphasis on helping underrepresented students.

After acceptance into the program, PROMISE coordinators set up a number of interviews for students to find an internship site that best understands their career aspirations and needs. On April 26, 2016, I received an email from one of the coordinators saying I received a joint offer from the Division of University Outreach and Engagement and OSU Extension Service Coast Region.

Before I knew it I was set up and ready to go in Ballard Extension Hall on campus.

My first week consisted of getting to know the new faces around me while diving head-first into what Extension was all about. My main project is to create a one-page, double-sided marketing tool template to inform readers about how Extension is influencing the lives of community members in Oregon’s counties.

The goal is to create a customizable marketing tool for each county and region to inform more people about the resources provided through their local Extension offices. Starting with Clatsop County, I visited the office in Astoria and met their very welcoming staff members saw the work they were doing. By visiting the county, I was able to see the impact these programs have on the members of the community and the positive changes being made.

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Emalee Rabinovitch (right), PROMISE intern, and Ann Marie Murphy (left), mentor, get to know one another during a PROMISE workshop.

The best way I can describe this overall journey is that it is an internship within an internship. I not only was provided with one learning experience through sessions with my PROMISE team, but I also was provided with an experience here at University Outreach and Engagement that allows me to grow as a professional and individual, as well as creating lasting workplace relationships.

This program is unique because it allowed me to gain not one, but several excellent mentors who helped me reach my goals and provided me with excellent resources for my future. One of the mentors I found myself looking to was Ann Murphy, communication and marketing manager for University Outreach and Engagement. I met Ann for the first time during my interview for the position back in April and could tell immediately she had a great sense of creativity and dedication.

Eric Dunker, Regional Administrator for the Coast Region, has been an outstanding mentor in this process as well. I admire Eric’s passion to get out there and be hands-on in order to give the communities what they need. I saw this in both Eric and Ann while getting to know them professionally and personally in these past 10 weeks. Both are extremely driven individuals who want to make a difference and educate people about what Extension Service has to offer. I feel very fortunate to have met these two and to have had the chance to be mentored by them. They taught me much more than they signed up for and provided me with excellent resources as I graduate and enter the “real world.”

After learning so much about the Division, it brought me back to asking: “How do you touch the lives of the people that you meet?” University Outreach and Engagement and Extension Service do this every day.

I never knew 10 weeks could go by so fast, but in my time being here I was able to see incredible staff members make positive changes in the communities and people they cared for. The programs offered are directly touching the lives of neighbors, friends, local business owners and many more, as well as letting local stakeholders be involved in the decision making process.

Each faculty member touches the lives of those they interact with and had a significant influence in making my time here great.  As I go on in my future endeavors, I hope to educate more people about Extension resources and how they can benefit everyone involved.

I may be just an intern, but after this experience I feel like I have the necessary tools in my toolbox to go out into society and touch the lives of those around me because of what I have learned from my time here at University Outreach and Engagement.

To learn more about the PROMISE program, click this link.