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Eastown Community Association Prepares Austin with Real World Experience

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: Shelby Austin

Shelby Austin

She is: A junior from Coopersville, Mich., majoring in Public Relations

Internship: Austin is an event planning intern at the Eastown Community Association. Eastown Community Association is a nonprofit organization that focuses on creating a diverse and safe neighborhood. They do this by creating opportunities for those who live in the community to engage and connect.

Austin is completing this 12-week unpaid internship over the summer. In addition to interning for the Eastown Community Association, she is also interning for Ferris State University’s College of Business.

What she is learning: Austin is spending the summer learning about her time management and organizational skills.

“Since this is one of two internships I’m doing this summer, I need to stay on top of my stuff,” she said. “I also am working on two big events and a lot of smaller things, so it is key to keep everything in order.”

As well as learning how to manage her time and organize herself, Austin is learning what it is like to work for a nonprofit organization.

What she is looking forward to: Austin is looking forward to seeing all of her work come together for their biggest event of the summer, Bizarre Bazaar. Currently, she is spending a lot of her time looking for volunteers and communicating with different vendors that will be attending.

“It’s really exciting to be a part of that and to be able to voice my opinion,” Austin said.

Core Value: Ferris’ core value that Austin’s internship most emulates is “opportunity.”

“Every day is different,” Austin said. “There is always a new opportunity for me to take advantage of and to learn something new. I am bettering myself each day by interning here. My boss is wonderful and makes sure I am getting a well-rounded experience.”

What she is involved in: Austin’s College of Business internship allows her to get involved with many different aspects of the university. She also is involved in Public Relations Student Society of America, where she holds the position of vice president of internal relations.

Her Plan: Austin plans on studying abroad in the Summer 2015, and graduating in December 2015. Her goal is to move to a big city and work for a nonprofit organization or an agency, where she wants to focus on event planning or corporate communications.