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Dream Internship Series: Marceline Dyer

A great summer internship can launch a career, reinforce classroom skills, and inspire students to work hard in pursuit of their goals. The following feature series highlights five ONU students who secured their dream internships this summer.

Broadway Hopeful 'Fights' for a Shot at Stardom

Marceline Dyer has tapped into her violent side, and it's all in the name of career training. The senior communications arts (musical theatre) major from Andrews, Ind., spent two weeks this summer testing her stage combat skills in Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Dyer is no stage rookie, with ONU performance credits in "The Magic Flute," "Holiday Spectacular," various dance shows, and this fall's "About Face." However, it was her work in "Little Women" last April that caught the attention of renowned fight coordinator Gregory Hoffman.

"He thought I showed promise during the 'Little Women' combat scenes, so he invited me to his workshop in July," explains Dyer, who went into the class with little formal training.

For two intense weeks, Dyer tested her strength - physically and mentally - with four types of swords, as well as knives, daggers, guns and all manner of armed combat techniques.

"People don't realize the amount of violence in theatre and movies, or the level of difficulty," she says. "It may be something as simple as a shove or a slap, but it takes skill to execute these moves without actually hurting someone."

Before heading to California, Dyer hit the gym with ONU alumnus Glenn Stanton, BA '08, who showed her the muscle groups she'd need for combat training.

"Thanks to Glenn, I wasn't too sore," Dyer says, listing the double-handed broadsword as her favorite because it requires big, whole-body movements. "It's not as precise, which is good for a beginner like me."

At the end of each workshop day, the participants - who ranged from novices to seasoned professionals - performed a combat scene. The workshop culminated in a 15-minute group fight sequence involving 10 people.

While the entire experience was challenging, Dyer knew she would gain more than muscle tone from the workshop.

"I hope to make it to Broadway, either after leaving Northern or after graduate school, and having fight credentials will give me a competitive edge," Dyer explains. "At the workshop, we learned a scene each day, which is how it works in the real world. It was intense, but I'm proud of how well I handled the pressure."

Dyer can also be proud of the connections she's made over the years. Last summer, she interned for the Broadway Dance Center in New York City, where she met important figures like choreographer Wade Robson. Additionally, Dyer has spent three years as hospitality coordinator at ONU's Freed Center for the Performing Arts. Through her job, she has interacted with a range of entertainment professionals.

"In show business, you can never know too many people. At the workshop, there were several directors participating. They have their own studios and agents. The same for the actors in the class. They know what the business is like and how tough it is to break into."

Continuing, Dyer says, "I'm still nervous to try my hand at Broadway, but having connections puts me one step closer."

  ONU Engineer Hopes NASA Internship will ‘Launch’ her Career

Ever since her father gave her a poster of Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon, Sharon Snyder has dreamed of becoming an astronaut. The senior mechanical engineering major may not be in the space shuttle, but Snyder’s summer internship brought her one step closer to her dream job.

Snyder, who hails from Lancaster, Ohio, worked in the Turbo Machinery and Heat Transfer branch of NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

“For 10 weeks, I was paid to be a science nerd,” Snyder remarks. “Glenn is involved with aero propulsion, jet engines and engine cooling, so my job was very hands-on: experiments, testing, wind tunnels, liquid crystals and the latest software programs. I loved it.”

Snyder was one of 120 interns chosen through the NASA and Ohio Aerospace Institute. “I actually applied to the program in my freshman year, but didn’t get in. In a way, that inspired me to try even harder,” she says.

To bolster her résumé, she spent last summer working for the University of Minneapolis-Minnesota. However, the NASA opportunity was always in the back of her mind.

“When I got in, I was thrilled and very nervous,” she says. “I frantically tried to remember everything I’d learned in class.”

Her summer felt like an engineering class come to life. “I took Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics last year, so I had a basic understanding of these concepts, but to actually apply them was great. Plus, I worked with one of the software programs that I’ll use this year in class.”

To ease her into the job, Snyder was assigned two mentors who she says were great about showing her the ropes and then giving her real responsibility.

Her mentors weren’t the only ones helping her succeed. Glenn is a hotbed of Northern graduates like Jennifer Jordan, BSEE ’05, Kathryn Shaw, BSME ’06, and David Chelmins, BSCPE ’08. Seeing others from the same background made Snyder feel confident about her job possibilities after graduation.

“Everyone dreams of going to space, but, realistically, only a handful of people can do that. Engineering is the next best option,” explains Snyder, who hopes to return to NASA next summer and, eventually, secure a job there following graduate school.

“I’ve always known this is where I want to work, and I put myself into this internship wholeheartedly,” she says. “I’m amazed by what NASA has accomplished – the missions to Mars, walking on the moon – all these things are powered by brainpower and creativity, and I got to work there. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

By Autumn Steiner
Senior, Professional Writing major
Bluffton, OH

On the Scene in Washington, D.C.

When ONU senior Ben Roselieb accepted an internship with Washington, D.C.'s Double R Productions, he knew his job would test his mettle as a cameraman, reporter, and intern on-the-spot. Add in the hubbub of the political election, and Roselieb was in for a whirlwind summer.

The broadcasting and electronic media major from Wauseon, Ohio, spent 10 weeks in the nation's capital learning the ins and outs of video productions.

"Double R is a small business that does big things," Roselieb explains. "We specialize in film, television and media productions, and we have high-profile clients like the National Partnership for Women and Families."

Roselieb secured his job through The Washington Center (TWC) at the prodding of friend and ONU alumnus Lance McGraw, BA '08, who interned with Double R last summer.

"After working with WTOL News 11 in Toledo, Ohio, last year, I was looking for that big internship to round out my college experience," he says. "Lance convinced me that TWC would be worthwhile."

Beginning in June, Roselieb worked full-time and also took a class at the Associated Press (AP) News Bureau called "The Nuts and Bolts of Being a Reporter".

Going into his job, he felt well-prepared to tackle any challenge: "There is no typical day at the office. I take skills I've learned at Northern and put them to use. I'm not just behind the camera; I plan, I interview, I write, and so much more."

Roselieb's main project for the summer was an intern-produced video segment for the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington. For only $600, organizations apply to have a 12-minute segment produced for D.C. television.

"It was our project from start to finish, and we were completely hands-on the entire time," Roselieb says of his video assignment for D.C. performing arts studio, Dance Place.

In addition to his production duties, Roselieb found himself in the middle of the action surrounding the presidential election.

"Double R is not in the political realm, but the momentum of election carries over into everything. You can't help but get swept up in it."

One of his most exciting challenges came when a Double R client called the office, urging the staff to check out the Fair Pay Rally happening the next day, just to "see what happens." Roselieb and two other interns set out with their cameras, nestling themselves between satellite trucks for national news channels.

"We didn't know who was going to be at the rally, but there was buzz about Senator Hillary Clinton and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attending," Roselieb remembers. "When we saw the big networks, we knew the rumors were true."

As ONU Cable 3 News Director, Roselieb has always been involved in television news, and his brush with the big leagues has intensified that interest. He's even considering a career in D.C. news.

"My internship was great preparation because it made me confident in my abilities and showed me the options I have after graduation. Now I know it's possible to work in a fast-paced, major media market as long as you're able to do it all."

Gone Country: ONU Student Interns with Grand Ole Opry

Kyle Edington's summer job blends red-hot country music and more than 80 years of tradition into an internship smash hit. The ONU junior is an interactive marketing intern for the Grand Ole Opry, where he's part of the team that brings the longest-running live radio show to the stage.

When he needed an internship for his marketing major, Edington searched the Nashville, Tenn., area where his family lives, uncovering an opportunity with the Opry. "After applying and attaching my resume, I went through a phone interview and was offered a second interview with the Opry marketing department," he explains.

As a full-time intern, the nuts and bolts of his job include updating the website to showcase the weeks' performances, embedding videos on forums like You Tube and MySpace, and working on long-term projects to enhance the website.

But it is not all work for Edington, whose internship includes several perks. "This is the show that made country music famous, so to stay after work and catch the Tuesday performance is a lot of fun," he says. "I can look at the audience enjoying the show and know the collective efforts of our department made it happen."

At events like the Country Music Association Festival, City of Hope Charity Softball Game, and the Opry Fan Club Brunch, Edington was surrounded by country's brightest stars, including Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill.

When Darius Rucker, formerly of Hootie and the Blowfish, made his Opry debut, he told the sold-out crowd how nervous he was to be standing where greats like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash once played. "Seeing someone like Rucker be so humbled shows the impact the Opry has made in the music world," Edington says.

For Edington, the Opry has affected his career goals, professional skills, and leadership ideals. "I think this internship is an example of what I might be doing in five years," he says. "I like being able to experience several areas under the marketing umbrella - promotional activities, press trips, and advertising possibilities - and I enjoy seeing my work come to fruition."

From an undergraduate standpoint, the management skills he's learning will enhance his leadership roles as Dean's Advisory Council president, Students in Free Enterprise officer, and a first-year resident assistant.

"I'm learning that proper preparation for meetings and having a plan are essential parts of being a good leader," he says, also noting the importance of group work. "ONU regularly incorporates team projects in its curriculum, so I felt prepared in that respect."

His internship has helped him sharpen his career focus and realize the breadth of opportunities available to him, especially in Nashville, where he would one day like to work in a music or auto industry setting.

"Now that I understand what it's like to be dedicated to a serious position, I'm excited to return to ONU and continue to improve my job possibilities. I want a job I'm passionate about; one where I truly enjoy going to work every day."

An Internship Home Run

Alyssa Ahlers hit a lead-off home run with her first internship, and her career is just gaining momentum. The ONU junior lived out a fantasy as a summer intern for the Cincinnati Reds. Ahlers helped with all in-game and outside-game promotions through the Reds’ Promotional Events and Gameday Operations department.

Raised a Reds fan, Ahlers chose to apply her love of sports to her required internship for her dual major in marketing, and professional and organizational communication. “I knew sports marketing was something I wanted to pursue because it’s an exciting field,” she says. “Working for the Reds is great because they have loyal fans and so much history behind them.”

When Ahlers was a freshman, she took an interviewing course with communication arts lecturer Bill Asman. She was assigned to interview someone with her ideal career, and the Reds seemed a natural choice for the project.

“I called the Reds’ front office, and the receptionist pointed me to Karen Forgus, the vice president of communications and marketing,” Ahlers explains. “She was nearly impossible to get in touch with, but I didn’t give up. We hit it off and our 15-minute interview turned into two hours.”

After her successful interview, Ahlers set her sights on interning for the Reds, eventually securing the job the following winter. She began working for the Reds at the start of the season.

“My internship gave me a sense of the opportunities in the marketing field. I worked with inspiring people, and I made important connections every day. Seeing these people pushed me to work hard and get ahead,” Ahlers says.

Her job description included a laundry list of autograph sessions, fan clubs events and community days. “I worked all home games, and I helped with prize drawings and mascot races, pre-game activities and basically everything dedicated to getting people excited about the Reds.”

Ahlers prefers a full schedule, both in the work place and during the school year. “I hate to be bored,” she says, listing memberships in the College of Business Administration’s Dean’s Advisory Council, the Dean’s Mentorship Program, President’s Club, the American Marketing Association and Delta Zeta social sorority.

Her work ethic caught the attention of her bosses, including Forgus, who recognized her at the annual interns’ luncheon. “She pointed me out of the crowd and applauded my persistence in getting the job. I was embarrassed, but also flattered, especially since I was the second-youngest intern.”

Ahlers hopes to return for a second season with the Reds, perhaps in another department. As her career progresses, she’ll always remember the highlights of her first internship.

“It’s nice to be able to say I did this on my own. It’s only an internship, but I went into it without knowing anyone and made it work. I’m proud of what I accomplished.”