Sierra College, Tahoe-Truckee’s pathway to career success: internships

Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; As a criminal justice and journalism major, Michael Fox sat in the back of a police car, video camera in hand, and within minutes made the decision to become a police officer.

Fox admits he had his share of indiscretions as a rowdy teenager. In fact, he didnand#8217;t really like cops. Today Fox is a deputy sheriff with the Washoe County Sheriffand#8217;s Office and teaches Administration of Justice classes on Sierra Collegeand#8217;s Tahoe-Truckee campus. The ride-along, his first college internship, was a career-changing experience.

Internships are hands-on learning experiences that help students explore career paths and develop meaningful skills. In addition, internships are career evaluation and resume-building tools. On occasion these on the job training experiences even lead to full time jobs.

Liane Marie Farrant, a recent Sierra College business student, gained more than experience during her paid internship at Squaw Valley Development Company.

In January 2011 Farrant began looking for an internship to further her education in accounting. Specifically, she sought training focused on financial statements or payroll and knew she wanted to work in a and#8220;friendly, busy, fast-paced and educational environment.and#8221; After her internship Farrant was offered a full time job and became an Accounts Payable Clerk. She even had the opportunity to help train Matt Coombes, a current Sierra College intern.

When asked about her experience Liane said, and#8220;The best aspects were the people. They were all great, very hospitable and helpful. Above all I learned a lot at Squaw and it has definitely helped push me in the right direction in my career and#8230; To anyone considering an internship I would tell them to take the opportunity whenever and wherever. I was lucky to get an internship with a big company but at the same time getting your foot in the door anywhere and getting the experience however you can is very important.and#8221;

Matt Molinari, accounting manager, explains, and#8220;Getting the right intern was as easy as relying on the teacher to recommend a student they thought would best fill the position. The work they do in the classroom is really what we look to as an indicator of whether they will fit in the office.and#8221;

Student learning is the emphasis of any effective internship. Internship placement assistance and advisors are available for enrolled Sierra College students. Sierra Collegeand#8217;s Tahoe-Truckee campus offers a variety of career related classes including accounting, business, human development, Mechatronics and exploratory and advanced internships as well as CSU/UC transferable general education courses.

Spring semester begins Jan. 23, 2012. Community members can apply for admission today and begin adding classes Nov. 28. To inquire about training an intern at your business, contact Nicole Cheslock at or 530-548-5010.

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