Public Relations Student Gains Non-Profit Experience at Guiding Lights Mission

Ferris State University students gain valuable work experience through internships. Internships also can confirm or redirect career decision-making, provide marketability, develop people skills and enhance classroom learning. Many academic programs require one, but the experience is encouraged regardless to provide students with a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the workplace.

Many students are participating in myriad internships this summer. Meet: Emma Thibault

Emma ThibaultShe is: A sophomore from Downers Grove, Ill., studying Public Relations.

Internship: Thibault spent her summer as a special events intern at Guiding Lights Mission, a Christian-based nonprofit organization in Grand Rapids that focuses on addiction recovery programs. The Mission helps to rescue, recover, and re-engage the lives of hundreds of men by getting them off the streets and back into the Grand Rapids community.

Thibault completed a 12-week unpaid internship over the summer. Recently, Thibault was promoted to an Administrative Assistant.

What she is learning: Thibault learned the importance of staying organized and what it is really like to work for a non-profit organization.

“Working for a non-profit has opened my eyes to being able to work for a worthy cause. It’s an amazing feeling being able to come home after a long, stressful work day, knowing that you directly benefited and touched numerous lives,” Thibault said. “This experience has opened my eyes to venturing out into different fields within the PR industry and to keep my options open.”

What she is involved in: Thibault is heavily involved with Ferris State Public Relations Student Society of America, where she is on the executive board as a secretary and treasurer. Thibault also holds a member services position at the University Recreation Center at Ferris. As well as her job with UREC, she will be continuing her internship with Guiding Light Mission during the Fall semester.

Her future plans: Thibault has a lot of plans for the rest of her time at Ferris, including studying abroad in the summer of 2013, maintaining E-board positions through PRSSA and attending the PRSSA National Conference this fall in Washington, D.C. Thibault’s main goal for her college career is to graduate from Ferris State University early.