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Internship Helps to Prepare Aspiring Business Leader

Penn State DuBois student Bill Patterson
11/10/2009 —

DuBois – Luthersburg native Bill Patterson says he has learned almost all he needs to know about business at the Red Cross.  He's completing an internship with the DuBois Chapter of the American Red Cross as part of his curriculum as a Business Administration Major at Penn State DuBois. Patterson plans to enter the world of business management after his graduation. 


"It's a non-profit, but it's run exactly like a small business," Patterson said. "It's a small chapter with one full-time employee.  He's the manager, the marketer, he does everything, and that's what it would be like to be a small business owner."


By earning his degree in Business Administration, Patterson hopes to reenter an industry that he was forced to leave four years ago.  He worked as a machinist in the manufacturing industry, but nerve damage in his arm kept him from performing the manual tasks the job required.  Upon his graduation in December, Patterson hopes to return to the manufacturing industry in a new role, and maybe start his own business one day.


"I loved working in tool and dye shops, I loved making something from nothing, but I had to make a career change.  Now, I'm looking to get back into manufacturing by working in management." 


Armed with his degree, and his Red Cross experience, Patterson said he's ready for anything the business world may throw at him.  "I've learned to establish budgets, stay within those budgets, recruit and manage volunteers, and I've worked with marketing," Patterson said.


In fact, he helped to design an entire marketing plan for the local Red Cross chapter.  "The chapter had no way to put itself out there.  We created a pamphlet explaining the strengths of the chapter and what it does, and how people can help," Patterson explained. 


The Executive Director of the DuBois chapter of the Red Cross, Bob Newell, worked with Patterson to make sure he got the most out of his internship. 


"In Bill's case, we were able to look at what Bill needed to complete his internship as well as what interests he had and create an internship plan that met his needs and the chapter's," Newell said.  "Bill has been able to work with the staff, volunteers, and board leadership to complete the projects in his intern plan.  Those Bill has worked with are quick to offer their praise and high impressions of Bill and the work that he has done.  We are extremely pleased that Bill has enjoyed and valued his experience.  We are also extremely pleased that the work that he has done during the internship program will continue to have a positive effect on this chapter long after he has graduated." 


The work will also have a long lasting effect on Patterson.  "I plan to continue to volunteer with the Red Cross after I graduate," he said.  "It has really impacted me so much.  They do so much for the community that I never even knew about before this internship."

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