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SAPC business interns gain experience

Business Interns

Spring business interns, from left, Dana Parry, Bryce Parker, Marissa Romaniello, Marbin Escobar, Kate Hollingsworth, Brad Kochel and Jesse Elliot.

Laurinburg, N.C. – "There are certainly common themes of time management, learning personality types, the importance of organization and communication in all the internships. It doesn't matter where the students work, attention to detail is key. We are so grateful that all of our interns represent St. Andrews so well."

This praise by St. Andrews Professor of Business and Internship Program Coordinator Corinne Nicholson was given during presentations by a group of seven business majors sharing their spring semester internship experience.

Both Jesse Elliot and Brad Kochel reported on their second consecutive semester internship with community organizations, resulting in higher levels of responsibility.

"I took on a more administrative roles this semester," Elliot said of her internship at Scotia Village. "I had more interaction with the residents and was gaining knowledge of the Administrator in Training Program.

"The internship really impacted my life as it is what I want to do," she said. "I like being involved with the patients and the families as the administrator to be able to get things done. I enjoy having the power of helping people."

Kochel has a longer history with Scotland Feed and Garden Center of Laurinburg.

"I've worked there for three years and this was my second semester internship with them," he shared. "My project was to work on the propane refill station. There are lots of laws and regulations that go into everything from the construction to the processes. There are also differences in North Carolina and South Carolina laws that create some pricing differentials."

Kochel's involvement with the project included research to determine pricing, service options and the certification process.

"We priced based on research," he said. "Everyone is certified at Scotland Feed to do the refills so that makes a difference, preventing delays and scheduling issues.

"We did a survey about a rapid exchange program," he continued. "The responses we received were that 98 percent would use the program and the majority would buy it if we sold it."

Conducting research was also a part of the learning experience for Marbin Escobar, who spent the semester as an intern with Service Thread.

"I worked with the CFO, managers and customer service," he said. "They all had a lot of experience with what they do and were all very humble.

"I created an analysis about an expansion by the company into Latin America," Escobar said. "I had lots of fun using my Spanish in helping communicate with people where I'm from."

From the experience, Escobar took away a couple key pieces of information for moving forward.

"Two things I learned were that I'm not positive I'm ready for the real world and I should have tried to get more out of certain classes," he said. "I had to deal with lots of the information that had been covered in classes but I wasn't as prepared because I had learned things for the test and then forgotten them."

Dana Parry also realized how important her St. Andrews education was during her semester working with Good Wrappers in Baltimore, Md.

"I did invoicing, posting cash and posting bills," Parry said. " I learned instantly how important my St. Andrews education was. I was changed with finding more efficient ways to get things done."

After sharing the specific efficiency changes such as cleaning up the vendor list and getting a deposit scanning system implemented for the company, Parry discussed some of the other items she learned in the semester long experience.

"I learned that when you work closely with others personalities can be a huge issue," she said. "I also learned that keeping the space organized helps with time management. Communication is a key to efficiency."

The importance of communication was a focus for interns Kate Hollingsworth, Bryce Parker and Marissa Romaniello as they worked primarily in sales and public relations.

Hollingsworth traveled to Vass for her internship with Sherborne, Inc., producers of Banixx, an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal topical ointment created in 2006.

"There are two people full time to do it all," she said. "They do all of their own bottling, labeling and packaging. In this industry, people do judge a book by the cover."

Hollingsworth created an informational brochure, went to trade shows, made sales calls and designed ads to help the company increase sales. She was also a leader in the creation of one of the company's newest sales outlets.

"Online sales is the newest thing," she said. "Sales increased within two months. One of the downfalls is the time to do it all. We made the orders to mail at certain times and there is pressure to make sure the product arrives safely and on times."

Hollingsworth's opportunity to learn so much hands on created, "a wonderful opportunity."

Parker and Romaniello had a wonderful learning opportunity closer to the college through their marketing internships with Hospice of Scotland County. The annual internships allow for the St. Andrews students to assist with fundraisers for the local non-profit.

"Our first fundraiser was at The Pizza Inn," Parker said. "I worked with the volunteers, helped market the event, and did networking to help make it a success."

Romaniello added, "Ten percent of the dinner checks and 100 percent of the tips went to the fundraising. There was a lot of buzz marketing and we did a Facebook page. We have never seen so many from St. Andrews participate in this event."

This first event raised around $800 to supplement the fundraising through the annual golf tournament.

"For the golf tournament, I would go to local businesses for donations," Parker said. "Again, there was a lot of networking. I also helped with the planning of the event. I did a lot of spreadsheets and a mail merge, which were skills I learned in the business technology class."

The event raised $148,000 for Hospice and the experience helped both Parker and Romaniello hone their office skills.

"I worked on my organizational skills and how to multitask in an office," Romaniello said. "I learned a lot about non-profits and realized how well networked Hospice is."

About St. Andrews

An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.

On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to info@sapc.edu.


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