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Blue Jackets’ internships for Otterbein students prove invaluable for career

Blue Jackets’ internships for Otterbein students prove invaluable for career

By Laina Kannenwischer ’20

Many students question the value of unpaid internships. In the case of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ (CBJ) public relations internships, however, the value of an unpaid internship can be priceless.

Three recent Otterbein public relations graduates who completed CBJ public relations internships are now succeeding professionally. Robb Stretch ’12 with the Philadelphia Phillies organization, Allie Colon ’14 with OhioHealth, and Maria Slovikovski ’16 with Miami University athletics, are all working in their chosen fields and attribute their success to the Blue Jackets’ internship.

CBJ Vice President of Communications and Team Services Todd Sharrock and Communications Director Karen Davis work closely with the interns and feel working for the hockey team is a great challenge for college students.

“What we try to do is provide students with a valuable learning experience so they can see what it’s like in a real-life work environment,” said Sharrock.

Stretch is the public relations and media relations assistant with a Phillies minor league affiliate, the Clearwater, Florida Threshers. He used his time with the Blue Jackets as a building block to reach his current position. He felt it was very important to immerse himself in the sports world and see how it operates.

“The Blue Jackets internship is why I have my job today,” said Stretch. “I was getting interviews because I had the Blue Jackets on my resume. I don't think I would have had my interviews without a major league team being mentioned.”

Colon is an OhioHealth events and sponsorship specialist. She partners with sports teams and events to represent OhioHealth in the community.

“The internship taught me a lot about public relations, media relations, news and professional sports,” Colon said. “I received experience in the sponsorship world and now I work with the Columbus Blue Jackets on a daily basis.”

Slovikovski is a communications intern with Miami University athletics. Her time with the Blue Jackets gave her experience and longevity that other internships could not.

“Otterbein did a good job of preparing me for an internship, but I didn’t know what it was going to be like on the job,” said Slovikovski. “With the Blue Jackets, I could directly apply what I was being taught.”

While these students were not paid for their work, they gained experience and professional connections. Those can be far more valuable than any paycheck amount.