Otterbein Environmental Health and Safety Senior Turns Internship into Full-Time Offer
Posted Dec 07, 2021
By Payton Kaufman ’24
This fall, senior Regina Severance has kept busy finishing her degree in sustainability studies while also gaining hands-on learning in a year-long internship with Worthington Industries —in addition to captaining the women’s soccer team. Severance also earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental health and safety (EHS) in the spring of this year.
After the pandemic robbed her of different internship opportunities, Severance felt the possibility to spend a year learning about the industry was too good of an opportunity to pass up. She wasn’t the only one; Professor of Biology and Earth Sciences Kevin Svitana and one of Severance’s friends encouraged her to consider the position.
“I only knew EHS from the university point of view because I volunteered for the EHS officer at Otterbein and I shadowed at The Ohio State University’s EHS department,” Severance said. “When I found out Worthington Industries also had an EHS-focused department, I was attracted to the internship.”
Severance specifically works with Columbus Steel at Worthington Industries. As the EHS intern, Severance wears many different hats, from training to tracking environmental impact.
“The biggest part of my job is training,” Severance said. “We have to distribute various training materials monthly, from the corporate office. This month I am working on cold stress and fall protection.”
Though this is her first internship, Severance had been learning outside of the classroom through various courses at Otterbein.
“In my hydrology class with Dr. Svitana we were able to use water-pumps near The Point rather than staying in a classroom and working through a packet,” Severance said. “It was a hands-on class which I liked because we did fieldwork in potential future careers.”
Severance also appreciated the “attentiveness” of her EHS professors at Otterbein, as well as their “personable nature.”
“The class size was less than 10, and I liked being able to have that one-on-one connection with my professors,” Severance said. “I got to pick my professors’ brains on what they did in their field.”
As a result of her internship at Worthington Industries, Severance has been offered a full-time position to continue with the company.
“I think that every student who has a job waiting for them has a lot less stress when they have the cap and gown on,” Svitana said. “I think having an offer in-hand takes away some of that stress.”
“All of your life you want to get a good education and find a job in the field that you love,” Severance said. “To know I have done that is very comforting.”