YSU Career Services Programs Propel Students’ Success

By Hannah Werle
YSU Communication and Journalism Major

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Beyond textbooks and lectures, Youngstown State University distinguishes itself with career services programs that integrate internships with academics, shaping students into industry-ready professionals.

The students who use these resources are finding career paths, internships and job opportunities. Students can visit the Office of Career Exploration and Development, Exploratory Student Resources, the Williamson College of Business Administration’s Center for Career Management or the STEM college’s Professional Services.

LeeAnn Harsha, a junior marketing major, used WCBA’s Center for Career Management when applying and preparing for an internship with the Disney College Program.

LeeAnn Harsha, a junior marketing major at YSU.

Harsha began working with the center after coming to YSU as an exploratory major with an interest in business.

“I knew I wanted to be in business – I just didn’t know what. The center really helped me to branch out and figure out what I wanted to do,” Harsha said. “After meeting with them, I felt more prepared because they didn’t pressure me into picking something. They gave me the opportunity to explore.”

Harsha said she took an exploratory class through the center, which helped her assess her personality type, her fields of interest and her job values.

When Harsha decided to apply for the Disney College Program, she visited the center to build her resume, practice for interviews and more.

“When I was getting ready for the internship, I relied heavily on the Office of Career Exploration and Development and WCBA’s career management center. I can’t tell you how many times I went to them to proof and review things with me,” Harsha said. “They helped me with building my resume, going over what I’d say during the interview and gave me a ton of tips.”

Harsha started the yearlong internship in August 2023, working as a character attendant at Disney World. In this role, Harsha follows costumed characters as a guide to protect them, to help maintain their storyline and to advocate for them with guests.

“My role is hands-on with the guests, which is a really valuable experience,” Harsha said. “I am getting to put into practice, in real life, what I learned in the classroom by maintaining characters’ storylines and bridging the magic of these characters within an interaction.”

Lydia Noble, a sophomore industrial and systems engineering major and member of the Sokolov Honors College, has used YSU’s resources several times throughout her college career to this point, including STEM Professional Services.

Lydia Noble, a sophomore industrial and systems engineering major at YSU. (Photo by Olivia Rivera, a graphic and interactive design major at YSU)

“A big priority for me is becoming employed right out of college. I went to STEM Professional Services to get advice for the best steps for me to take to make that happen,” Noble said. “Academically, the projects we’re given have allowed me to practice my interpersonal communication and collaboration skills. Also, the projects give me something practical to talk about with employers during interviews.”

Noble learned about STEM Professional Services in her engineering orientation class. The course is required for all engineering majors and is meant to prepare students for their program and provide them with helpful resources.

“This past summer, I worked with STEM services to make myself more marketable for internships. The advisor helped me build my resume – to create a professional and competent resume,” Noble said.“She then helped me research YSU’s STEM Expo so I could decide who I wanted to spend the most time talking to and what I should prioritize at the event.”

Noble now has her “dream” internship arranged for this summer with RoviSys Building Technologies.

Rocco DeLucia, a senior finance major, will graduate this spring with a job waiting for him after taking advantage of YSU’s career services resources.

Through working with the Center for Career Management, DeLucia received his first internship his sophomore year, working for JFS Wealth Advisors. DeLucia was introduced to the center through his business professionalism course. In the course, DeLucia was encouraged to visit the center for assistance finding and applying for internships.

“The staff at the center welcomed any questions with open arms and urged us to come to them about resumes, about potential internships and about setting up an internship,” DeLucia said.

Rocco DeLucia, a senior finance major at YSU. (Photo by Olivia Rivera, a graphic and interactive design major at YSU)

While attending a YSU sponsored career fair, DeLucia connected with PNC Bank in Cleveland for an internship during summer 2023. After his internship, DeLucia was offered a full-time position with PNC in North Carolina.

“It has come full circle for me. From starting college, meeting new people and professionals, putting that experience to the test in the industry and then actually coming out of it all with a job,” DeLucia said. “It has been excellent – everything YSU does to help accelerate students on their career path.”

DeLucia said both the center’s staff and his professors encouraged him to attend career fairs and make as many connections as possible during his college experience.

“You really never know who you’ll talk to, who you’ll connect with or with whom you might form a relationship. This industry is 90% relationships and networking with other professionals,” DeLucia said. “The classes I’ve taken, the presentations I’ve had to make, the teachers I’ve had, they all shaped me and taught me about making connections and increasing my confidence.”

Students at YSU are taking charge of their own success and building on what they have learned in the classroom by using the multiple resources and opportunities available on campus through the career services programs. From assisting with procuring internships to preparation for job interviews and job placement, these centers provide students with the stepping stone to their future.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.