On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Old Dominion University’s College of Sciences partnered with Career Development Services and held the third annual Opportunity Networking Event (O.N.E.). O.N.E. is an opportunity for ODU students to talk one-on-one with industry professionals about internship, volunteer, and research opportunities in the region. The event was held from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Chartway Arena at the Ted Constant Convocation Center, Big Blue Room. Like its previous years, the O.N.E. was open to all ODU science undergraduate students.

“The event was designed to bring together regional organizations, ODU students, and alumni to connect and engage in meaningful conversations while learning about research, internships, and volunteer opportunities in science related industries that showcase their skills and experiences,” said Mary Smith, Ph.D., CDS associate director of employer programs & development. “Over 120 students had the opportunity to engage with 30 employers to discover meaningful opportunities to enable them to explore their career interests.”

With the help of ODU’s Career Development Services (CDS), Monarchs were provided a checklist to prepare for a successful experience. The main theme for this checklist were preparation and follow-up and included:

  • Research the list of participating employers through Handshake
  • Have your resume reviewed by CDS
    •  Drop-In Resume Review Hours 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday
    • By appointment with your college team (schedule through Handshake)
  • Prepare a 30-second introduction
  • Don’t forget to ask for business cards so students can follow up with thank you notes via email or through LinkedIn

During the event, we spoke to Gail Dodge, dean of the College of Sciences. “We really appreciate all the organizations that came to the event to talk with our students about internships, volunteer opportunities, and undergraduate research.  There was a great energy at the event, and I think everyone enjoyed the experience.”

We also had the wonderful opportunity to speak with representatives from a few of the organizations who were in attendance including Norfolk Botanical Garden, Autism Society Tidewater Virginia, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Great Dismal Swamp NWR.

“It’s a great way to get exposure to nature. We have a lot of volunteer opportunities, so folks can come out and connect and be inspired by nature and it’s really great for your mental health.”

Theresa Augustin, vice president of education, at Norfolk Botanical Garden (NBG) said, “It’s a great way to get exposure to nature. We have a lot of volunteer opportunities, so folks can come out and connect and be inspired by nature and it’s really great for your mental health.”

The 175 acres of land at the Norfolk Botanical Garden can be considered an outdoor lab for a variety of disciplines. More importantly, NBG can support plenty of ODU students through research opportunities.

We caught up with Alfred Howard, LCSW, vice president & advocacy co-chair, and Nicole Miller, chapter operations manager, of Autism Society Tidewater Virginia (ASTV). They both gave us interesting information about their non-profit as well as the internship opportunities available.

“The ASTV internship program welcomes current college students and recent graduates who wish to broaden their education and professional experience by working and learning in a non-profit organization with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),” Miller said. “Our organization offers an education in a challenging, hands-on environment in exchange for a substantive contribution from talented and interested individuals.”

Lastly, Cynthia Morris, a biologist who works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Great Dismal Swamp NWR out in Suffolk, VA talked to us.

“As far as career development, we have just about everything under the sun, such as: administration, realty, archaeology, geographic information system analytics, even tech and database opportunities involving drones. And of course, it’s fish and wildlife after all, so there’s a lot of opportunities in biology, chemistry, hydrology, you name it,” said Morris. Volunteer work along with paid internship opportunities are available at the refuge at the Great Dismal Swamp.

This year’s O.N.E. would be no success without the tremendous support of faculty and staff within the College of Sciences; and of course, each of the organizations who participated in this year’s event, as well.

Thirty companies interacted with Monarchs throughout the day. The organizations that participated in this year’s O.N.E. included:

  • Autism Society Tidewater Virginia
  • City of Chesapeake - Public Works
  • City of Norfolk, Virginia
  • Eastern Healthcare Group
  • Green Pest Management
  • Lake Prince Woods, Every Age Senior Living
  • Liebherr
  • MAXX Potential
  • MI Technical Solutions
  • MITRE Corporation
  • MSA Healthcare
  • Nauticus
  • Norfolk Botanical Garden
  • Norfolk Public Library - Community Engagement Office
  • ODU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • ODU - College of Sciences - Science Tutoring Centers (STC)
  • ODU - Department of Biological Sciences
  • ODU - Department of Computer Science
  • ODU - Department of Psychology
  • Retirement Unlimited, Inc.
  • SECEP (Southeastern Educational Programs)
  • Select Medical - Critical Illness Recovery and Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospitals
  • Select Medical - Riverside Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Spectrum Psychological and Neurotherapy, PC
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service Great Dismal Swamp NWR
  • Virginia Department of Environmental Quality - Human Resources
  • Virginia Zoo
  • Western Tidewater Community Services Board
  • WillowTree Inc.