Kerstin Hutchens

I am a student at the University of South looking to earn a degree in Mass Communications.
Kerstin Hutchens has written 4 posts for The Digital Bullpen

A Trend in College Students with Internships

TAMPA, Fla.- Internships have become a necessity for undergraduate students interested in entering the fiercely competitive job market.

            The career field continues to become more competitive so college students are forced to have more than a degree to even be considered for anything higher than an entry level position.  The percentage of people being hired for jobs beyond entry level with only a Bachelor’s degree are slim and decreasing.

            Internships have been around since the Victorian era in the late 1800s when the way to enter a career was by being an apprentice to someone who already occupied a position in that career.  The reason internships are a trend today is that employers are able to be picky when choosing who they want to hire and can require prior experience in the field along with a college degree.

            When discussing how she obtained her position as a consultant for Computer Sciences Corporation, Alison Barlow said, “After graduating from Florida State University in the 90’s it was the norm to not have relevant career field experience. The main distinguishing factors were GPA and extra-curricular involvement.” 

            With the current declining economy in the U.S. a great deal of layoffs have occurred with a number of 1,286 mass layoffs just in the month of March according to statistics found on the website of the United States Department of Labor.  These layoffs are another factor adding to the trend of college students competing for positions in their career choices today.

            The University of South Florida is aware of the importance of internships for students to be successful in getting a job in the career of their choice as graduating Mass Communications senior, Cori Campbell, said her advisor and professor encouraged her to start applying for internships her sophomore year of college.  Campbell will be starting her fourth internship this summer at the St. Pete Times Forum and said she hopes it will lead to a job as it usually does. 

            According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers expect to hire 19.3 percent more college graduates this year than last year.  NACE also reports that employers expect to hire an additional 7 percent of college graduates who are also interns.  These statistics prove that internships give college graduates seeking career positions an advantage to competitors without the prior experience.

            The Public Affairs and Emerge Tampa Bay Manager at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, Camille Cacioppo, said in an email interview, “I hold my current position solely due to the two internships I had while in college at the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and with Jim Walter Homes.”  Her supervisor at her first internship was one of the founding members of Emerge Tampa Bay and was the one who informed and encouraged her to apply for the position she currently holds.

            While some jobs are available without having done an internship, both Disney and the St. Pete Times Forum are more willing to hire someone who has interned for them said Campbell.  She said that their reasoning is because an intern will already be familiar with the company and their policies and they know the quality of work to expect from someone they have worked with before.

            Aside from the experience obtained through an internship, connections to people already working in a career can help when applying and finding out about job openings.  Universities are conscious to these advantages students receive with internships and majors like Mass Communications at the University of South Florida require students to take part in an internship program before attaining their degrees.

            The trend of college students participating in internships is easily explained by the fact that, “while a high GPA is important to have, the real world experience individuals receive during an internship is priceless,” said Cacioppo. Until the job market becomes less competitive, the internship trend will continue to grow or at least stabilize.

ADPI Cheer, Toss and Tumble

TAMPA- Alpha Delta Pi hosted the Cheer, Toss and Tumble fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House March 29.

The Corral of the Sun Dome was packed with people who came to watch the Greek cheerleading competition.  Admission to the event was $5 per person and all of the money was given to the Ronald McDonald charity.

The Master of Ceremonies was Samantha Davis, a senior in ADPI, and in charge of the music for the event was DJ Knex, Jonathan Welty, a senior in Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  There were 11 routines, five of which were sororities and the other six were fraternities.

This wasn’t just a charity event, this was a chance for the sororities and fraternities to compete with each other while raising money for a good cause.

The competition was judged by two coaches of a Pop Warner cheerleading team and a member of the University of South Florida All-Girl cheerleading team.  The judges were given a score sheet divided into categories including pyramids, stunts, jumps, cheer and dance, transitions, overall appearance, timing and how well they incorporated ADPI.

The performance category was based solely on the routine and was won by Zeta Tau Alpha and Sigma Phi Epsilon.  Delta Gamma and Sigma Chi were awarded first place overall meaning they averaged the highest between all of the categories; pocket change, performance, attendance and t-shirt sales.  Torrey Taylor, sophomore in Sigma Delta Tau, said, “I think that the competition was judged fairly and I agree with who won best performance for both sororities and fraternities.”

ADPI’s Cheer, Toss and Tumble was successful in raising a total of $16,000 all of which was donated to the Ronald McDonald house.

Greek Week

TAMPA- The sorority competition began Monday, April 12, at the start of this year’s Greek Week.

Sororities and fraternities were paired to make up eight teams who participated in the Greek Week festivities.  Monday through Friday last week, every member had to visit the Greek Life Office and sign in.  Cori Campbell, a senior in ADPI, said that, “When we sign in everyday we have to be wearing our letters to show our Greek support.”

The first activity was a dodgeball tournament that was held in the upper gym of the USF Recreation Center.  Alpha Delta Pi won this tournament so they received took the lead in the event competition with a total of 50 points.

Seek and Snap, a campus scavenger hunt, was the activity for Tuesday and was meant for members to become more familiar with campus and the history.  Points were awarded to teams based on the accuracy of the photos they took and if they were turned in on time.

On Wednesday, a luncheon was held for various faculty members in order for the Greek society to show its appreciation.  Each team had to come up with a list of 5-10 faculty members by March 27 in order to earn points for this day.

A Greek god and goddess competition took place on Thursday whose participants were selected by a panel of judges.  There were three parts of the competition including a skit, Toga design and a quiz type part in which contestant’s knowledge of Greek Life if questioned.  The winners were from Alpha Delta Pi and Theta Chi.

Friday a variety show took place where teams could show off their talents in a skit that was 7-10 minutes long.  This was judged on categories including costume and props, performance, entertainment value and regulations.

The last day of competition began at 8 am and held five different Greek games that each team participated in.  The winner was determined by which team had the highest total amount of points in the categories of event, attendance, spirit and pocket change.  Greek Week concluded with an awards ceremony when the Team 8, made up of Alpha Delta Pi, Sigma Nu, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Phi Beta Sigma and Sigma Beta Rho, was announced as the winner.

All of the proceeds from Greek Week were donated to Children’s Miracle Network.

$20,000 raised by ZTA for Breast Cancer Awareness

Zeta Tau Alpha hosted its first Stepping for a Cure March 6.  The event was held in the ballroom of the Marshall Center.

USF fraternities and sororities raised $20,000 for Stepping for a Cure, which was donated to Breast Cancer Education and Awareness.

Besides ZTA, 10 greek organizations attended the event, as well as “many of the ZTA parents since they were all in town for ZTA’s parents weekend,” said senior ZTA member Jessica Hernandez.  Breast cancer survivors highlighted the event.

A silent auction was held for homemade bras made by the fraternities and sororities.  Sigma Alpha Epsilon received the highest bid for its bra, which sold for $1,600. The silent auction was accompanied with a step competition 10 greek organizations participated in.

10 Greek organizations participated in a step competition that accompanied the auction. An award for performance was given to the best fraternity and sorority. The fraternity Delta Chi and the sorority Delta Delta Delta won the award for performance.

The overall winners for the entire event were the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the sororities Delta Delta Delta and Chi Omega. Jonathan Welty, senior member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said, “It was great that we won overall I think we deserved it after all of the hard work our brothers put in.”

Hernandez and fellow ZTA member Kait Reynolds mastered the ceremonies and senior ZTA member Bianca Bowan was in charge of Stepping for a Cure.

Editor’s note: This is the corrected piece that initially incorrectly listed the winners. Delta Delta Delta tied with Chi Omega overall.

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