Alisha Walker is marketing her employer and her community at Richland Source. Graduating in December with her associate degree in marketing from North Central State College, Walker is serving an internship with the online news outlet.
A 2009 Madison Comprehensive High School graduate, Walker didn’t begin her college career at NC State. “I started at Kent State. I got homesick and decided to come home. I don’t regret it one bit,” she said. “It’s more personable at NC State. Here, I’m in a class with 20 or 30 students, compared to 100 or 300 at Kent.”
Nearing the completion of her associate degree, Walker said she has been pleased with the attention she has received from faculty. “I’ve been very satisfied here,” she said. “The professors are very willing to work with students one-on-one. They will take the time to help students learn.”
After working part time at two area retail outlets, Walker heard about a chance to land a paid internship position in her field this fall.
“I got an e-mail from Tracy Bond, the internship coordinator, about the possibility of doing an internship. I met with her and she gave me several options. She told me about the Richland Source opportunity, I followed up and was hired.
“It has been a great experience. I help with e-mail marketing – we’re developing a system to e-mail businesses and subscribers. I help with social events – I attend many community events to promote the business. And I attend some of the area school and sports events where I pass out flyers and tell people about the Source.”
The daughter of Shane and Lora Walker of Mansfield said she has enjoyed seeing the growth of the 6-month-old online publication.
“We’re an online news source that likes to engage the community and present an optimistic view of the news and community events,” Walker said. “Richland County is a great community and we have many positive things happening here. We try to inform and engage the community in the news.”
With her internship, Walker works weekday afternoons at Richland Source and works some evenings and weekends attending community events. While she will graduate in December, the internship will continue into January and there is the possibility she may continue to work for the company after the internship ends.
“I’m looking to complete my bachelor’s degree in marketing. I’m planning to take online courses through Indiana Wesleyan, so that would allow me to stay here and work,” she said.
Walker encourages other students to pursue internship opportunities. “I have learned so much,” she said. “The things you learn in the classroom are great, but when you actually apply them in the workplace, it helps you see why you study some things. It’s great to have that hands-on experience. It definitely helps you see where your degree fits in the working world. And if you’re not sure about a career area, the internship can let you know you’re not in the right field.”
Students and area employers may attend the Summer Career and Internship Hiring Fair from 3-6 p.m. on April 30 at the Ralph Phillips Conference Center in the Kehoe Center for Advanced Learning. Those wishing more information may contact Tracy Bond at 419-755-4325.