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Getting an EDGE: Joelle Gross ’14
Getting an EDGE: Joelle Gross ’14
Joelle Gross '14 interned at Mailing Services, Inc.
The Randolph-Macon College experience gives students
through an exceptional education, faculty mentorship,
connections and career preparation for a competitive advantage in the marketplace and lifelong success.
Yellow Jackets learn how to be leaders, thinkers, and communicators, and they can put it all into practice with a tailor-made internship—essential experience in today’s competitive job market. R-MC’s
Bassett Internship Program
has placed more than 3,000 students in internships in the U.S. and abroad since 1982. The program provides students the resources to identify and pursue academic, paid, or volunteer internships in any career field.
A January Term (
Joelle Gross ’14
the opportunity to put into practice the skills she’s learned in the classroom.
minor from Christiansburg, Virginia, interned at Mailing Services, Inc. (MSI), a direct-marketing firm in Richmond, Virginia. Under the guidance of Vice President Daniel Hutton, Gross wrote computer code for a program that will help streamline the ordering process for MSI customers.
“Before my internship, an MSI employee would have to manually organize, drag and drop the order information into computer files, and then send that data to the printer,” she explains. “The programs I wrote allow for all of this to be done automatically.” Before beginning her internship, Gross wasn’t sure if she wanted a career as a computer programmer.
“This opportunity helped me test the waters—and to realize that I do enjoy writing code, but I don’t want to spend my entire day doing it,” she says. “I would much rather collaborate on projects and work with computer programmers and others involved in tech projects.”
“Joelle was a pleasure to work with and is a testament to the quality of education that Randolph-Macon provides,” says Hutton. “It’s great to work with students like Joelle who are eager and self-motivated. We look forward to working with more great students in the future.”
Professor John Rabung helped arrange Gross’ internship and served as her mentor.
“Professor Rabung commented on my daily journal—one of the requirements of my internship was to keep a daily log of my work— and offered advice when I became stuck on a problem,” says Gross. “He also visited MSI to see how things were going and to see the code I was writing. His mentorship is just one of the great connections I have at R-MC.”
“Joelle used this computer-science internship nicely to make a transition from academic programming assignments to practical, somebody’s-actually-going-to-use-this projects,” says Rabung. “She is rightly proud of what she has produced in this position. An internship often has the effect of helping a student realize that he or she has a much grander set of useful skills than previously suspected.”
A Lifelong Community
Gross chose R-MC because of the college’s emphasis on community.
“I knew I wanted to have real relationships with my professors and feel like they actually cared about my success,” she says. “I was also recruited to play
and fell in love with the campus and the volleyball team on my recruiting visit. The connections I’ve made—with peers, professors, and fellow athletes—will always be with me. I know there will always be a Yellow Jacket that I can count on.” One example she cites is
Professor Eve Torrence, whose Higher Geometry course fueled Gross’ passion for geometry. “I loved the class so much I based my senior seminar presentation, The Mathematics of Kaleidoscopes, on what I learned in her class. Professor Torrence’s passion for mathematics is contagious and I will always be grateful what she has taught me throughout the years.”
In addition to playing on the volleyball team for four years, Gross is a member of the Tau Delta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and she volunteers in the athletic-training department. Ultimately, she hopes to have a career that combines her mathematics and computer skills and her outgoing personality. “I would love to have a job that is a nice balance between computer programming and managing and working with people,” she says.
is an intensive four-year program that prepares students for life after college. Located within the
Career for Personal and Professional Development
gives students a competitive advantage in the job market or graduate-school admissions process. Workshops, internships, one-on one advising and a host of other resources ensure that students who graduate from R-MC are lifelong learners who can think critically and adapt to new situations.
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