A sweet partnership between Shippensburg University and Hersheypark led to a summer “Learn and LinkedIn” panel for more than 130 college students from across the country.

The Hersheypark Leadership Development Internship, a collaboration between Ship and Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company, is a program that offers leadership classes, experiential learning, and assessment to college students who live and work in Hershey for the summer. The LinkedIn panel featured Ship alumni and included a working lunch with Hershey leadership.

One of the four panelists, Alejandro Morales ’20, a consulting analyst at Accenture, shared how he used the resources through Ship’s career center and LinkedIn to network and land a job. “Representing Ship meant a lot to me because I got to show that hard work pays off, and it does not matter what school you come from. Even though Ship is small, the impact you get to make afterward is huge.”

Liz Kemmery ’04, director of communications at the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, talked about the importance of building a personal and professional brand on LinkedIn. The panel also included recruiters who discussed what catches their attention when searching for job candidates.

Kaitlyn Murray, a Ship student who completed the leadership internship, said the event stressed to her the importance of networking. “You never know if someone can help you down the road, so get to know new people and build your network,” she said. “I been having such a fun time at the HE&R internship. I came in knowing no one and leaving with a whole new group of friends that I will have with me for the rest of my life.”

Organized by Shippensburg’s Alix Rouby, director of Internships, and Victoria Kerr, senior director for the Center of Internships, Career, and Professional Development, the afternoon provided opportunities for discussion and professional headshots. The internship, in its second year, included students from 75 colleges and universities nationwide.