By Dom Fonce
Youngstown State University business students Jerry Dugan, Jessica Marando, Alex McFarland, Fadi El Chammas and Corey Patrick were named Beeghly Fellows by the Ohio Small Business Development Center for the 2015 fall semester.
Betty Jo Licata, dean of the Williamson College of Business Administration, said that the Beeghly Fellowship Program was established many years ago as a means to provide students with paid, career-related experience.
“We found that a model that works very well for us is to have our Beeghly Fellows placed with our Small Business Development Center and International Trade Assistance Center,” Licata said.
Licata said that Fellows work to assist small business clients on a face-to-face level.
“The clients love working with our students,” Licata said. “Because they bring a very different perspective, they bring a great set of knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to the projects.”
Dugan, a senior accounting major, has already completed a tax and audit internship with Novogradac & Company in Dover, Ohio.
“A typical day includes preparing a cash flow forecast and meeting with a client. I work mainly with finance and consulting,” Dugan said. “My favorite project thus far was helping a location open up in Niles. The client purchased the building and has a great market share.”
Dugan said he is thankful for this job and would definitely recommend younger business students to apply when they’re seniors.
“I would definitely recommend this job to future students. I learned during this internship that I want to go into consulting or sales to have one on one meeting with clients,” Dugan said. “Had I not done this, I would have never known.”
Marando, a senior marketing major and accounting minor, completed her internship at Vapor Stockroom, where she worked on brand development and social media. She’s also the public relations chair for YSU’s Enactus chapter, which focuses on entrepreneurship and action.
She said this area is filled with creative and innovative people, but sometimes they need an extra push to get their businesses running successfully.
“I love working in this office and getting the amazing first hand experiences and problems of expanding businesses,” Marando said. “Don’t be fooled by the name of the center — not all of our clients are small.”
Marando said she’s learned many things through her fellowship that will help her in her professional life.
“I’ve learned things working here that I never would have thought of, but upon learning them, make total sense, and I apply the things I learn here to everyday life,” Marando said.
McFarland, a senior business economics major, recently completed her internship at Future Systems, Inc. She also works as a tutor of economics in the Center for Student Progress.
“An average day for me consists of working on my client projects and with the other interns and consultants,” McFarland said. “I usually check up on how things are going with each of the projects on the client’s end and add my own work to the process. The whole thing is very rewarding, especially the client meetings.”
McFarland said she was nervous when talking to clients for the first time but quickly got over it.
“My favorite project so far has been working with a client to build a map of where their current customers are coming from and then using demographic data to map where they might pull new customers from. We teamed up with the Center for Urban and Regional Studies here at YSU for help with the mapping part of the project,” McFarland said.
El Chammas, a senior business management major, has worked in the food industry for five years, gaining knowledge in professional selling. He also works for the International Trade Center at YSU.
“On a day-to-day basis we deal with local companies looking to export and expand globally, and we try to help them get the information and research that they need,” El Chammas said.
He said the International Trade Center is working on a survey that is branching out to 10 nearby counties.
“It’s a 10 county initiative between four counties of Ohio and six of Pennsylvania called the Ohio-PA Stateline Exporting Initiative,” El Chammas said. “These local companies answer the survey, and based on those answers we analyze the data and try to figure out a marketing plan for them to expand export sales in the future.”
Patrick, a senior finance and marketing double major, has interned with Edward Jones Investments and is the current president of YSU’s Enactus chapter.
“I really like the work that we do because it’s always different,” Patrick said. “Every client is different. One day I could be doing marketing for someone and the next day I could be doing a cash load projection.”
He said his favorite project was watching a yoga studio in Boardman being built from the ground up.
“I got brought into that project halfway through, right when they were about to start building the studio. So, I was there to help with cash flow projections, making brochures and I was even there for its open house,” Patrick said.
Patrick said he could see himself working in a position like this in the future, and that the position tends to go unnoticed by most business students.
“A lot of students overlook it because it’s sent out through email, but I tell everyone about it as a business student because I really love it,” Patrick said.