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Student Connects with Alumni for PR Internship

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Alana Gaither
Department: Communication
Major: Public Relations
Class: 2015

Photo of people in an operating roomTo secure an internship or job in the professional world, is it “who you know?” or “what you know?” Health communication majors, who are required to complete an internship, are finding it’s both.

Through the help of professors, the Otterbein Center for Career & Professional Development (CCPD), and Otterbein alumni, students are finding key internships throughout the nation to gain tremendous practical experience. Sometimes it’s a combination of all resources that benefits students.

Otterbein alumni Pam Barber ’78 and Gina Bericchia ’10 are the respective Media Relations Director and Media Relations Specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Also in the department is Media Relations Senior Strategist Mary Ellen Peacock, a former student of public relations and health communication instructor Dan Steinberg when he taught at The Ohio State University. In fact, Peacock hired Bericchia as an intern when she majored in PR at Otterbein.

So when Steinberg was looking to help facilitate a health communication internship for junior Alana Gaither, he turned to Otterbein alumni, the CCPD and his former student at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“We have had a lot of success with Otterbein students interning in our department, and with both my supervisor Pam and co-worker Gina as Otterbein grads, it seemed like a perfect fit,” says Peacock. “Dan Steinberg was a mentor—still is—and professor of mine and if he was recommending Alana for an internship I knew she would be excellent. Alana worked out very well and has some excellent learning experiences under her belt.”

Students in all majors are realizing the importance of internships. At Otterbein, the Five Cardinal Experiences strongly encourage students to complete an internship no matter what their major. The Center for Career & Professional Development is expanding its reach across the nation and helping secure great internship experiences for students.

“There’s no question that internships and professional experiences are key to the success of our students, both during their time at Otterbein and after graduation,” says Ryan Brechbill, CCPD Director. “These experiences allow them to test-drive career options, develop their professional skill set and expand their network. We recommend a multifaceted approach as students seek-out these opportunities—Cardinal Careers, our online internship and job board, alumni contacts and faculty; we encourage students to take advantage of all available resources.”

If you have an internship opportunity for a current student, please contact Ashley Strausser, CCPD Associate Director and Internship Coordinator.


Kathryn Plank
Interim Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of University Programs

Tabatha Piper
Five Cards Graduate Assistant

Patricia Wilson
Five Cards Faculty Liaison

p/ 614.823.1501
e/ 5cards@otterbein.edu