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Co-op Success Stories

Associate of Science Degree
Matthew Willman

Matthew Willman knew that his career path would involve doing something in the field of science, but he couldn’t imagine working inside a lab all day.  He wanted to find a way to combine his interests in science, food, and farming.  His internship at Cincinnati’s Civic Garden Center during the fall of 2012 proved to be just the opportunity to get his hands dirty, and learn more about community gardening and sustainability.

Along with his regular garden work, Matthew was given three additional projects:

  • A field study on “green manure”
  • A program connecting with individuals and groups seeking garden plots,
  • An assignment to help with an annual survey of neighborhood gardens.

He worked with Civic Garden Center employees and volunteers to take soil samples, plant green manure crops and monitor growth and change in the soil.

Matthew believes that his internship reinforced his interest in agricultural science and motivated him to pursue future educational goals at Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Science, where he will be enrolled in the fall of 2013.  He also said his career plans were brought into focus by the many networking opportunities he received at CGC and the opportunities he was given to develop relationships with educators, researchers, gardeners, farmers and staff members at the Ohio State University Extension Service.



Associate of Applied Business/Accounting Technologies Major
Venae Edwards

Venae Edwards completed her first co-op assignment by working as a clerical assistant for the Business Technologies Division at Cincinnati State. There she gained valuable office experience by answering phones, scheduling appointments, typing letters and the like.

Venae then now moved into the private sector, completing another co-op assignment with Somerville & Co., a local CPA office.  She performed bookkeeping functions (including data entry of transactions into Quickbooks) and bank reconciliations.

“I’m excited to be working in the accounting field – and it’s nice to make a little money to help pay for college,” she said.

Prior to coming to Cincinnati State Venae worked as a cashier.  She graduated in 2013 with an Associate of Applied Business degree, and with valuable accounting experience.



Bioscience Program
Tracy Jenkins

Tracy Jenkins completed Cincinnati State’s certificate program in Biotechnology during the summer of 2012. Now he’s working on an associate degree in the same field.

Like most students at Cincinnati State, Tracy is holding down a job while taking classes. He is employed by Advanced Testing Laboratories in Blue Ash, and has been contracted to a Fortune 500 Company located in the Winton Hills Business Center.

Tracy discovered that he could use his existing job as a lab analyst to satisfy the co-op requirement for his associate degree in biotechnology. That efficiency will help him graduate from Cincinnati State this summer.

“Overall, everything I do working in this laboratory is somewhat related to my major, and the career I will pursue with my degree," Tracy said. “There are many examples of how my current job relates to my Biotechnology major. “



Public Safety Technology Program
Charles “Chaz” Carpenter

Charles "Chaz" Carpenter graduated from the Public Safety Technology program in 2012. Even though he had prior job experience in the construction safety field, Chaz came to Cincinnati State because he was convinced that a degree would help advance his career.

In the spring of 2012 Chaz landed a co-op position with the Cincinnati-based Dugan & Meyers Construction Co. He was assigned to the new Children's Hospital Medical Center construction site on Harrison Avenue in Dent, where he helped conduct safety inspections and ensure that documentation was completed correctly.

"Chaz’s persistence paid off,” said Mickey Weber, an intern/co-op coordinator for Cincinnati State’s Health and Public Safety Division.  “Chaz worked around his job and family, and spent 20 hours a week in a non-paid co-op position.”

Jennifer Scheuering, Corporate Safety Director for Dugan and Meyers Construction, stated, "Chaz Carpenter was a pleasure to work with; his excellent organizational and research skills relating to safety enabled him to provide positive and accurate guidance to the work force.” That helps explain why Chaz received a letter of recommendation that he will doubtless be able to use in future job searches.



Associate of Arts
Rebecca Barrett

Rebecca Barrett began her post-secondary education in autumn of 2010 at Cincinnati State, after returning from the Ohio Army National Guard with a medical separation. She chose an Associate of Arts major, with plans to transfer to a four-year college soon after graduating from Cincinnati State.

When it came time to think about fulfilling her co-op requirements, Rebecca attended an orientation session in the fall of 2011. She paid close attention to the Procter & Gamble presentation, which outlined the company’s SuccessWay Co-op Program. She applied that evening for a co-op position, and three weeks later found herself assigned to the Talent Supply unit within P&G’s Human Resources area.

Rebecca says her experience through SuccessWay introduced her to an environment full of thriving people, eager learners and incredible workplace challenges. During her co-op assignment she worked as a Recruiting Specialist, which sharpened her communication skills and nurtured a love for report analytics. In subsequent assignments Rebecca has been responsible for running and analyzing sales reports, as well as helping manage an office. All told, she spent a year and a half as a co-op at P&G.

“Before I began my co-op I had never thought of beginning a career at age 21, but now I have the opportunity to do just that,” Rebecca said. In February 2013 she will relocate to Nashville, Tenn., to start a full-time job as a Business Unit Analyst for a P&G sales team working with North America’s Dollar General.



Audio/Video Production
Demisha Woodson

Demisha Woodson is a U.S. Navy veteran. After she left the military she enrolled at Cincinnati State, where she is majoring in Audio/Video Production and expects to graduate in the summer of 2013.

A rap artist, Demisha has been recording her own music for the past decade. At Cincinnati State, she served as a production assistant on a team that competed in the 2012 College Movie Festival.

All that helps explain why she was able to land a co-op position with the Midland Film Institute. While there, Demisha worked on a student team to produce a documentary about women veterans – and made an appearance in the film. These days she is helping with audio/video production duties at a community church, and will soon be shooting games for the Cincinnati Kings professional soccer team.



Associate of Arts
Laura Sallis

Laura Sallis, an Associate of Arts student at Cincinnati State, has converted a horrific life situation into a positive growth experience – and, in the process, has touched the community beyond her campus.

Two years ago, Laura’s father suffered from terminal cancer. At the same time, her brother was struggling with heroin addiction.  Laura cared for her father and supported him through his illness and death. Weeks later her brother, who had attempted rehabilitation, died of an accidental overdose. He was only 28 years old.

Laura has always had a passion for helping others, but after her father and brother’s deaths it ignited a flame in her to educate others about the dangers of heroin addiction and to aggressively pursue a career in Social Work with an emphasis in Addiction Counseling.

As part of her co-op requirements in the Humanities and Sciences Division at Cincinnati State, she began an internship with Droege House-Transitions in Dayton, Ky., helping case workers with small group counseling and other daily activities involving men recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.  At the same time she initiated, developed and implemented a “S.T.O.P Heroin Addiction” community event where family and friends of heroin addicts came together on Sept. 15, 2012 to educate themselves on the dangers of heroin addiction and ways to support their loved ones.  This event drew more than 200 people. She plans to continue this tradition annually.

After finishing her internship with Droege House-Transitions, Laura was offered a paid position there. Within one month was she was promoted to a full-time position with benefits and vacation.  She is currently supporting the director of the facility, and is learning skills she will need when she fulfills her career goals of owning her own rehabilitation facility.

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