WASHINGTON, PA (February 18, 2022)—After spending the summer of 2021 interning at a chocolate empire, W&J December graduate Keith Knowell is set on making his future sweet.
A business administration major at W&J, he spent last summer gaining leadership experience as a security intern at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, and now hopes to use the knowledge and connections he forged there to jumpstart a career.
“Whenever I was looking for an internship, I really wanted some leadership aspect,” Knowell said. “I wanted to show on my resume that I had some leadership experience and that I’m capable of leading.”
As a first responder to problems on Hershey properties, forced to think critically and quickly, he said the internship enabled him to do that, but mentioned that his role had another impressive benefit—the ability to connect with other professionals.
“I got to meet a lot of people at the internship gatherings and network,” Knowell said, adding that his connections on LinkedIn grew exponentially in his time at Hershey.
Even his smaller interactions seemed to serve him well.
“I really learned how to empathize with customer’s problems,” Knowell said, “and I really took pride in just being a genuine officer.”
Yet, it was something he almost missed out on.
Looking for opportunities in the middle of a pandemic, he doubted the availability of rewarding professional experiences, until staff at the Center for Professional Pathways helped him refine his resume and attend a virtual job fair on Handshake.
“They did a really good job,” Knowell said, “and I was really encouraged to go get an internship. Professor [Max] Miller [an assistant professor of business and entrepreneurship] really encouraged me, and so did my football coach, Michael Sirianni. They really motivated me to go out and try new experiences and see what I like and what I don’t like, so that I could plan for the future.”
And planning he is.
“My goal is to find a job with a good environment and that’s transparent,” Knowell said. “And with my internship at Hershey and my time at W&J, I have a lot of experiences to share in an interview.”
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pa., is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu or call 888-W-AND-J.