Jacquelyne Abe ’24 joined fellow local undergraduate students as well as senior leaders from industry, local universities and community colleges, and economic development groups at a roundtable sponsored by the Virginia Business Higher Education Council (VBHEC).
The event took place October 17 at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute in Roanoke.
Facilitated by VBHEC President Kirk Cox, former Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, the meeting focused on internships and work-based learning as tools to help businesses and students succeed.
“Leaders in the region have a genuine interest in what works already, but also want to hear how we can improve how internships work for students and employers,” said Quina Weber-Shirk, program manager for GO Virginia Region 2 and the Region 2 Internship Collaborative at the Virginia Tech Center for Economic and Community Engagement.
Julia Boas, director of talent strategies for the Roanoke Regional Partnership, recommended Abe as the intern representative at the roundtable based on her participation this summer in Onboard ROA. The eight-week program integrates undergraduates and young professionals (YPs) with area employers as a way to increase the number of YPs living and working in the region post-graduation. Attendees meet new YP colleagues, explore the outdoors and local entertainment, and gain leadership and career skills.
“Jacquelyne presented an authentic and enlightening student intern perspective to the group of economic and talent development professionals who wanted to learn more about the student experience. She has a lot to be proud of through her experiential learning journey here at Hollins,” said Jeffrey White, director of Career and Life Design at Hollins.
The Roanoke roundtable is part of the VBHEC’s Growth4VA campaign, which is supported by all 16 public colleges and universities in Virginia, the Virginia Community College System, and Virginia’s non-profit private institutions. Public events and roundtables are being held statewide to advocate for greater investments in internships and talent pathways.