All posts tagged interns

First-Hand Experience: Encouraging Students to Explore Local Businesses

How do businesses attract and retain the incoming workforce? It’s a question that is asked across the region, state, and country. With the current situation of more job openings than candidates to fill them, it is critical that we expose today’s students to the jobs that exist.

Many local students are required to spend time in businesses as part of their career exploration. The benefit to local business is that this is a time to make a great impression on a student about your business.

While students become familiar with the skills and knowledge required in various employment opportunities, many businesses benefit from an introduction that may lead to a future employee.

High school and college students are looking for those opportunities right now. In many cases, shadowing a business or interning is a requirement for graduation. Several college students have already sent their resumes to the Chamber for consideration. We are happy to share them with those businesses that are interested in having a college student join their summer workforce.

See some examples below of students gaining experience at local businesses.

Are you looking for an intern or willing to host a job shadow?
Contact the Venango Chamber at or (814) 676-8521.

Halyne Riley, senior at Oil City High School, job shadows at UPMC Northwest. Justine McClaine, student at Clarion University, shows her the X-Ray machine. Halyne has recently committed to also attend Clarion University next year and wants to pursue a career in the medical field.

Students in eAcademy meet with Cindy Elder at Clarion County Community Bank. There are four students in the program this year from Cranberry, Oil City, Rocky Grove, and Titusville High School, and the group takes frequent tours of local businesses.

SaVahna Scott, junior at Cranberry High School and student in the Culinary Arts class at Venango Technology Center (Vo-Tech), job shadowed at Core Goods in Oil City a year ago and is now working part-time at the store through Vo-Tech’s co-op program.

Anna Moore, senior at Cranberry High School, completed her job shadow at Nicole’s Bridal in Seneca and continues to volunteer at the store. Anna plans to pursue business after graduating high school.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s March 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Connecting Businesses and Interns

Has your business ever employed an intern? Have you considered the possibility? When done right, having an intern join your staff for a few weeks or months benefits both you and the student.

Knowing where to look for an intern is often difficult, but can be just as hard for students to find internships. Connecting with the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce is a great way to get businesses connected with students who are qualified and interested in working for your business.

Nicole Alden is a Human Resources Intern at Specialty Fabrication and Power Coating (SFPC) in Franklin and a sophomore studying Human Resources at Kent State University. Nicole was not sure how to find an internship when she was coming home last summer, but before her spring term ended, she reached out to Susan Williams, President & CEO of the Venango Chamber.

“The Chamber was integral in helping me find an internship that I love.”

– Nicole Alden

The Chamber was ready to pair businesses with interns, to help both our members and students. Many students are required to have an internship in order to graduate.  For others, they are seeking income, experience, or both. In Nicole’s case, she not only fulfilled her college credit requirements, but she now has a position she hopes to continue in upcoming summers.

Among those the Chamber reached out to was the Venango County HR Group. The secretary of the HR group shared the resumes of intern candidates, provided by the Chamber, with members of the group.  The HR & Safety Manager at SFPC received the resumes and then reached out to Nicole.

Nicole was able to work with a company that not only helped her grow professionally, but also valued her ability to do work. “I was not expecting to get as much hands-on work, but I was happy to learn and work 40 hours a week over the summer, getting a meaningful experience in my field,” she said.

In a perfect internship, a business should benefit from the additional help to relieve regular staff or may accomplish special projects that are otherwise difficult to tackle. Students can bring a fresh perspective and often augment skills of other staff.

Nicole’s internship experience is an example of success that has also been realized at other businesses around Venango County. Susan Williams remarks: “The Chamber has employed interns for the last couple of decades and while reaping the benefits of increased staff, has developed great relationships with these young professionals. By providing them with a meaningful work experience, we have influenced many to see our community from a much more positive perspective.

If your business is interested in finding a summer intern or you know a student looking for an internship, contact the Chamber. Susan said: “We’d love to make an introduction between your business and a future employee.”

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s February 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Creating a Positive Experience For You and Your Intern

Jessica, left, and Heather, right, are the Chamber’s amazing interns!

Summer is finally here and for many of us, we are fortunate to have a college intern (or two) joining us for the next few months. It may be tempting to think of extra staff as the opportunity to boost your office with some affordable help and, let’s be honest, many interns will spend a good bit of time doing busy work, fielding phone calls, filing stacks from our desks, and running errands.

But if that’s all they’re doing, we’re wasting a wonderful chance to infuse our offices with new ideas and energy, while short changing their experience. So how can you and your intern make the most of your time together?

Start with a Plan

Before your intern’s first day, you should have a good idea of what their daily tasks will include. Discuss what goals you have for your time together and invite your intern to share what they hope to take away from this work experience.

Invite Input

We all talk about engaging young people, so once you are together, take the time to meet regularly and ask for feedback on your business.  Take advantage of what your intern is currently learning in school and find ways to incorporate this newfound knowledge in what you’re doing, even if it may be a little uncomfortable.

Be a Great Example

Make sure you are always modeling good behavior. Having the extra help in the office is not a good excuse for you to slack.  Be on time, dress as you would expect them to dress, and remember how you talk about others will reflect on the character of you and your business.

Let Them Know You Care

Ask your intern to share their career goals and be willing to share your journey.  By letting them know what has worked for you AND what hasn’t, you can help them envision the many possible paths (even bumpy) to success. Genuinely attempt to learn what’s most important to them, personally and professionally, and invest time into supporting their priorities.

Have Fun!

Most interns will have some anxiety, at least initially, as they try to fit into your office culture.  Make sure to take some time in your day, or at least week, to invite a little down time.  A quick walk for coffee or ice cream or a few minutes laughing about something funny can help lighten stress they may be experiencing, allowing them to be far more productive.  It will make your day more fun too, if you are doing it right.

Introduce Us

We’d love to meet your intern!  Please give us the chance, by stopping by our office, bringing your intern to our next Chamber event, or sending us a message so we can reach out directly. We want all those spending time in the region to have the best summer ever, with the possibility of staying in or returning to Venango County sometime after graduation.

FLEX will host an Intern Appreciation Luncheon on August 2nd at Komatsu in Franklin. Any students, interns, or young professionals are invited to attend. Find more information at or on their Facebook page at

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s July 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.