Cheyney Internship Story: Yasheaka Oakley
November 19, 2010
Yasheaka Oakley(standing on the far right with 3 Chester County Commissioners, Dept. Director, Deputy Director and Planning Supervisor) planned and organized Community Financial Ownership Matters event for the City of Coatesville during the 2010 summer.
- Cheyney University of PA 2011
- Keystone Honors Academy
- Alpha Kappa Mu Honors Society, Mu Eta
- VOICES, President
- National Fine Arts Honors Society 2010 Communication Arts
- Public Relations Major Fine Arts
- Graphic Design Minor
Q. What is your current status and major at Cheyney?
Expecting to graduate in May 2011, I am a Senior Communication Arts major with an emphasis in Public Relations, pursuing a minor in Graphic Design.
Q. Where did you complete your internship?
My internship was with the County of Chester in West Chester.
Q. How many other college students participated in the internship?
I was the only college intern working in the department.
Q. In which department did you intern? Was it related to your future interests?
I worked for the Department of Community Development (DCD) under the American Reinvestment and Revitalization Act’s Neighborhood Stabilization Grant (NSP). My position as the NSP Intern provided me with a lot of marketing and public relations experience that I can easily transfer to any of my future interests in the public relations field.
Q. What workplace skills did you learn during your internship?
At DCD I learned the benefit of being organized. Event planning can get a bit hectic when you’re dealing with 13 organizations and 9 different hosts for a series, but you have to work through the road blocks and produce the desired result. It’s the ability to handle them swiftly and concisely that will get you noticed by the upper management and get you more input value or flexibility.
Q. What did you fear most before going on your internship?
I didn’t know much about government regulation and even though I’m a public relations major, it is primarily a marketing position. To counter both handicaps, the semester I started my internship, I enrolled in a government and a marketing course at Cheyney.
Q. How did faculty or Cheyney staff support you during your internship?
I could easily go up to my Marketing I professor and ask him questions and get feedback or suggestions about what to do to better utilize target audiences and produce better results. It was very reassuring to be able to ask questions without the worry of looking unprofessional. Thanks a lot to Professor Martin Lawrence.
Q. What would you tell other students about the value of internships?
You have to do it! My internship was initially contracted for a year. DCD liked how well I worked and how productive my program and events were, that they extended my internship position until I graduate and it may even turn into an ongoing position. This is the BEST example of how internships work. You need to get out and do one or even two if you haven’t already.