INROADS partnership earns high praise

Aug 20, 2013

INROADS—a  program that selects and places student interns representing underserved groups—has honored North Central College with a University Partner Award for the Great Lakes Region. There are 72 colleges and universities in the region, including most Big 10 universities, the University of Chicago, DePaul University and others.

Accepting on behalf of the College were Lisa Pettaway, director of the North Central College Fund and coordinator of the program for North Central, and Dorothy Pleas, director of multicultural affairs.

The organization recognized North Central for its long-term partnership in recruiting top students for the INROADS program, which provides them with assistance and training prior to sending them on interviews to area companies. At North Central, Pettaway organizes recruiting events for qualified students, including support from the Offices of Multicultural Affairs and Career Development. Staff from those areas encourage and help students prepare résumés and go through the application process.

“We’ve been told we have the ‘gold standard’ program for recruiting participants,” says Pettaway. “Our students do very well competing for internships at area corporations with the very best students from some very prestigious schools.”

In addition, INROADS intern Melissa Zambrano ’14 was also recognized with a Campus Champion award for taking a leadership role with student recruiting efforts on campus.

Zambrano is completing her second summer as an intern with Harley-Davidson. Last summer, she was assigned to Harley-Davidson Financial Services in Chicago. For summer 2013, she earned a highly competitive assignment as an HR Ignite intern in Milwaukee. “The goal is to prepare interns for the Ignite Rotational Program, a full-time position offered after graduation where participants are exposed to a variety of areas, which in my case would be in human resources,” says Zambrano, who is majoring in psychology and human resource management. “This summer, I am primarily focusing on new employee orientation processes.  In addition, I am participating in various networking and development opportunities.”

In past years, North Central INROADS interns have gained experience at the Chicago Blackhawks, Aldi, General Electric and the Mayo Clinic. Alexandra Martos ’14, a marketing and psychology major, is working for the second time at Coty, a major perfume and cosmetics company.  “Last summer I was a Coty beauty intern in the Walgreens sales office and I was given a lot of freedom,” she says. “I worked specifically in relation to the company’s sales through Walgreens, which included business proposals, sales analyses and creating courses for Walgreens beauty advisors in relation to fragrance and nail polish. My experiences with both INROADS and Coty have been very good.”

Pettaway is always looking for first-year and sophomore students who fit the criteria for the internships, which usually provide top compensation and job opportunities after graduation. “We communicate to our students that this is an unbelievable opportunity if they’re chosen.”