A new partnership with an intensive summer immersion program will place Oberlin students in professional internships in Greater Cleveland beginning in 2019.
The college recently became the latest institution to participate in Summer on the Cuyahoga (SOTC), a program that recruits students for a range of challenging paid internships that reflect the diversity of the Northeast Ohio economy. SOTC is designed to help interns explore the professional, civic, and social offerings of the Cleveland area while providing free housing and alumni connections within a community of peers.
“One of the best ways for students to engage with Cleveland is through work and also by living in the city,” says Oberlin Career Development Center Director Lori Young, who helped advocate for the college’s inclusion in the program. In July, SOTC organized its first collegiate spelling bee as a fundraising event for the Literacy Cooperative, a Cleveland nonprofit. Young says she thought the event would be a good way to create awareness on campus about SOTC by having Oberlin students participate.
“Thankfully, some of our senior staff also thought it was a good idea, and we were able to sponsor a team for Oberlin,” Young says. The team of Claudia Baker ’19, Kyndelle Johnson ’20, and Eddy Tumbokon ’21 placed second in the competition.
“We were the only college to participate as a team that was not a current member of Summer on the Cuyahoga,” Young says.
Oberlin was confirmed as a partner institution in late August, and now joins Case Western Reserve University, Colgate University, Cornell University, Denison University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Smith College, and University of Chicago as a SOTC member.
Beginning next summer, Oberlin will be able to place five students in SOTC internships. The program is open to rising juniors and seniors, as well as recent graduates. Young explains that if demand is high and the college can support a higher membership level, there will be the potential for more placements in the future.
As part of Oberlin’s membership, two alumni have agreed to serve on SOTC Board of Directors. Heidi Geiger Milosovic ’88 and Katherine Readey ’96 will serve as liaisons between Oberlin alumni in Cleveland and SOTC to encourage local alumni to get involved with the program as mentors and sponsors.
“By connecting students with the Cleveland community through this summer immersion program, we hope to open opportunities for students after graduation. We want to make this an easy choice for Oberlin College graduates to begin their career here, put down roots, and choose to make Northeast Ohio home,” says Milosovic, managing director and principal of Waverly Partners, LLC, an executive search firm. “As a retained executive search consultant in the Cleveland market for almost 30 years, I know a lot of people in the for-profit and nonprofit communities. This is an opportunity to raise the profile of the program and increase participation.”
Readey, the director of new product development for software company OnShift, says that as a non-native Clevelander, she has found that the city embraces people who have good ideas and the passion to execute them. “There is a relatively low barrier to entry when it comes to getting involved in the civic and cultural life of Cleveland, and given Oberlin students’ interest in making their community a better place, there are a lot of opportunities to make an impact here.”
Students who are interested in applying for an internship with Summer on the Cuyahoga should inquire with the Career Development Center.