FAIRMONT - With 20 college-age interns working in Martin County this summer, there are many success stories to share. Some were hired on the spot, while other businesses participating expressed hopes in using or hiring these students in the future.
"We had 20 students participate," said Vicki Paskey, family resource coordinator for the internship program. "We saw several that were hired by their work sites. One was hired after completing the internship since he had attained his degree as a software engineer."
The Martin County Internship Program is a joint venture of South Central Work Force Center, Minnesota Valley Action Council and Martin County commissioners. One of the main goals for the program is for youth to see that career opportunities are available in Fairmont and Martin County.
Vicki Paskey, left, chats with Kevin Hartke, one of 20 college-aged students from Martin County who interned at area businesses through the Martin County Internship Program this summer. The students were honored during a recognition event marking the end of this summer’s program on Tuesday.
"We want to see these young people coming back to Martin County, because we all know what the demographics are," Paskey said. "So we need to show them what's available in Fairmont and Martin County."
From businesses such as Avery-Weightronix and Easy Automation Inc., to insurance agencies, churches and the Workforce center itself, interns were helping out this summer and gaining experience in the process.
"I feel that I have learned a great deal about the business I plan on working in," Lauren Friese stated in her summary on her internship with Fairmont Raceway. "I gained more experience with promoting a business ... My supervisor was a great benefit to me. She always had a positive attitude, which made it easier for me to approach her with questions or to give my input about different projects. She also gave me constructive criticism, which I believe is important for improvement and growth. In addition, she gave me insight on her schooling and the different jobs she has had with her communications degree. She also reminded me of the importance of networking and having passion for what you do."
During a recognition event Tuesday to commemorate the end of this year's summer internship program, the summaries and evaluations from several interns and businesses were presented, along with a DVD that showcased each intern and their business.
"I believe this internship was the best choice for me because I learned a lot, was faced with many new and exciting challenges, got to apply a lot of what I learned in school and gained real world experience of being a personal trainer," stated Kevin Hartke, who interned at Cutting Edge Fitness in Fairmont. "Working with CJ Johnson and training clients this summer has given me the tools, knowledge and skills to enter the real world after school and continue to help other reach their fitness goals."
Some interns learned that their summer study area might not have been the best fit, but enjoyed the experience anyway.
"I thought I was certain that I wanted to be a disc jockey for a career after college," stated Kate Murphy, who interned at KSUM/KFMC. "After this experience, I believe that I am more suited toward writing. I did thoroughly enjoy being a DJ, but I feel as though writing is more of who I am ... This internship allowed me the chance to explore this."