Cornerstone Graduates Honored by the Michigan Career Educator & Employer Alliance
by Jordan Grooters (B.A. ’17)
On Thursday, June 15, the Michigan Career Educator & Employer Alliance recognized the accomplishments of two recent Cornerstone graduates. Both Taylor Rabineau (B.S. ’17) and India Tellkamp (B.S. ’17) accepted essay contest awards at the organization's annual conference in Metro Detroit.
Carol Quandt Student Essay Contest Honoree
Taylor Rabineau (B.S. ’17) a recent alumna of Cornerstone's traditional undergraduate psychology program, was selected as the winner of the Carol Quandt Student Essay Contest. She is the first student from Cornerstone to win the award.
Anne Gaertner, director of employer relations and internships, said, "Each of Taylor's intentional experiences built upon one another and broadened her perspective ultimately shaping future plans. Her experience reflects the power and influence of internships in vocation discernment."
Taylor's essay highlighted three of her unique internship experiences. She served as an intern at Northern Hills Middle School in a cognitively impaired (CI) classroom. Taylor also completed an internship at Cornerstone University's Art and Play Therapy Studio. Finally, she worked as an intern for the MOKA Foundation, an organization that was developed to enhance the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities into the Muskegon County, Ottawa County, Kent County and Allegan County communities.
During her time at Cornerstone, Taylor worked as a LifePath peer adviser for the Social Science Division, working to advise college students about professional development. She also worked as an application assistant in the Traditional Undergraduate Admissions Office.
In her essay, Taylor wrote,
Now that I'm nearing the end of my final year at Cornerstone and am able to reflect on my three internship experiences, I've come to the conclusion that my heart was made for the helping profession. Even if my career doesn't end up directly working with individuals with special needs, I will certainly be working in an environment that advocates for people and helps them succeed. My experiences have allowed me to grow exponentially, and I feel confident in my professional ability as well as who I am as an individual. My professional composure has become sharpened, my networking and social connections have been broadened, and my ability to effectively communicate with others has dramatically improved. If it weren't for my internship experiences, my academic journey would have most likely ended at the undergraduate level. However, I've been inspired to pursue a graduate degree in counseling in order to better reach my career goals. I was able to apply personal applications to my academic courses and apply learned material to my internship experiences. The psychological process I've learned about for years came to life right in front of my eyes as I began to work with clients, and I was able to actually practice some techniques I had been researching.
She concluded by writing, "While three credits of internship may be a requirement for my graduation, I'm grateful to have achieved five credits of meaningful life experience and personal development."
New Graduate Essay Contest Honoree
India Tellkamp (B.S. ’17) a recent Cornerstone University strategic communication alumna, was selected as the winner of the New Graduate Essay Contest. She is the first student from Cornerstone to win the award.
"India's journey represents the entire reason Cornerstone provides purpose-guided career and academic planning," Anne Gaertner, director of employer relations and internships, said. "By intentionally stewarding her time at Cornerstone University, India has grown and developed into the young professional she is today. The award from MCEEA is sure to be the first of many accolades coming her way."
India's essay highlighted her journey from freshman year until the present. India began as a broadcast communication major, and with guidance from her professors she chose to change her major to strategic communication with a minor in marketing.
During her time at Cornerstone, India was involved in Cornerstone University Enactus as a project leader and a three-year member of the presentation team, served as a LifePath peer adviser and completed an internship with the Center for Career and Life Calling on Cornerstone's campus. In addition, she also interned with Grand Occasions, an event planning business in Grand Rapids.
These experiences led her to an internship opportunity with ITS Partners, an IT consulting firm located in Grand Rapids, Mich.
India's essay explains that the support from Center for Career and Life Calling was clear throughout her internship, and she was able to gain mentorship from Anne Gaertner and from Rachel Hammond, assistant professor of business and Enactus faculty adviser.
In her essay, India wrote,
While it's tempting to become proud of my efforts leading up to this first salaried position, it's clear to me that without people like Anne and Rachel being so involved in my life, the transition out of my senior year could easily have looked a lot different. There were countless times I would show up in one of their offices to ask for advice, and they would always stop what they were doing to help me. These two women truly encapsulate how most of the faculty on Cornerstone's campus treat their students, and I'm grateful for their contributions to my growth.
India is currently employed at ITS Partners as a full-time sales and marketing associate.