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News: Roane State Internship Fair connects students to valuable opportunities

Deb St. Onge, left, director of contract services for SAIC, talks with Roane State student Krystal Anderson, who drove from Roane State’s Cumberland County campus on Sept. 27 to attend the college’s first Internship Fair, conducted on the Oak Ridge campus.

Oct. 4, 2017

By Bob Fowler
Roane State staff writer

There are numerous job internship opportunities available in the area, Roane State students learned during the college’s first Internship Fair.

Representatives of 15 employers answered students’ questions, took down contact information and even conducted some interviews during the event, held last month in the atrium of the Coffey-McNally Building on the Oak Ridge campus.

“We want to match students with part-time, skill-building opportunities,” said Kim Harris, Roane State’s workforce training and placement director.

Too many graduates in the college’s non-healthcare fields come out of Roane State with a degree but no job experience, she said. Internships offer employers a chance to “test drive them (potential employees) before you hire them.”

An internship also looks “awesome” on a resume, Harris added.

Employers on the hunt for interns ranged from the City of Knoxville to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and opportunities included virtually all city programs as well as hundreds of summer jobs at the lab.

Knoxville’s “Summer in the City” is a six-week program where interns do various administrative and support tasks and are paid $8.75 an hour for 30 hours a week. “I thought it (Roane State’s Internship Fair) would be a great chance to get some great candidates,” said Kent Anderson, the city’s training coordinator.

Weekly stipends for internships at the national lab range from $400 to $650, based on academic status.

“We love our interns,” said Lindsey Reigelsperger, recruiting coordinator for Strata-G, LLC, a Knoxville environmental consulting firm seeking five interns for the summer season at entry-level pay of $10 to $12 an hour.

Representatives of 15 area employers participated in Roane State Community College’s first Internship Fair, held Sept. 27 in the Coffey-McNally Building on the Oak Ridge campus.

Reigelsperger said there was an “excellent turnout” for the internship fair, “and we connected with many bright students.”

Smaller businesses also were looking for interns, including Viren Lalka, managing partner of Lalka Tax Services LLC of Knoxville. He’s looking for two students studying business or communications to help with tax research, tax preparation and payrolls.

Roane State student Krystal Anderson drove from the college’s Cumberland County campus to check out the internship offerings. With academic interests in horticulture, agriculture and forestry, Anderson said she was “curious to see what they (employers) have available.”

Another student, Mike Chambers, talked with Professor George Meghabghab about the college’s new cyber defense curriculum in between visiting with the internship recruiters. By meeting with potential employers, “I’m hoping to get my name out there,” Chambers said.​

For more information, contact Kim Harris at (865) 882-4695 or harriskb@roanestate.edu.

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