Our GP Works partners at Midstate College hosted their first intern in the Spring of 2018! Eric Black, a senior at Richwoods High School, had the opportunity to spend his afternoons with the Midstate administrative and IT staff. Eric gained experience in a variety of roles at Midstate, from helping at the front desk, to working on long-term IT projects.
“It was a very different experience from being in a classroom,” says Eric. “There are a lot of things that I learned here that can’t be taught in a classroom setting.” One of Eric’s many roles at Midstate was helping at the front desk, answering the phone and directing visitors. “It was good to have that experience, working with customer service. Even if he never does it again, I think doing [that kind of work] gives people an appreciation for what administrative professionals do,” reported Kaitlin Seaman, eLearning Coordinator at Midstate.
Eric also had the opportunity to work on several projects with Kaitlin’s eLearning team. Midstate’s eLearning team is working to expand the college’s online offerings and Eric got to help the team as they designed and implemented new software. “I enjoyed working with the eLearning team. There was a lot more freedom and it was great to apply some of the skills I learned in school to what we were working on.” Eric especially enjoyed working with the coding, where he learned about how bugs are created and how to fix them. “He’s a self-starter, and working with IT let him show that,” reported Kaitlin.
The team at Midstate had nothing but great things to say about Eric. One of the biggest benefits for them was the added perspective that Eric provided. “It was very useful to have another perspective from an outsider, especially a young person’s perspective. He sees things differently than I do, with 10 years on the job, and that’s a real benefit,” said Kaitlin. Angela Kepler, Registrar at Midstate, said that having Eric on the team provided new opportunities for staff. “I was able to give some of my employees leadership roles with Eric, which was great because they don’t have opportunities for leadership otherwise.” Kaitlin shared her advice for those who might be hosting their first intern. “Keep an open mind to the possibilities of the intern. [They want] to learn as much from you as you want to learn from them.”
Eric’s time at Midstate changed his perspective a great deal. “There’s a difference of culture from going to school,” he said, “You’re never going to be able to understand it without experiencing.” He says that the biggest take-away from his internship is the rigorousness of his work. “It’s important to learn to do things even though you don’t want to.” Overall, the internship provided irreplaceable benefits for both Eric and the Midstate team and everyone agreed that this was a great experience.