Co-Curricular Reflection (CBS) – Charlie KNox

The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism has a specific requirement for all potential graduates to fulfill. They require that a minimum of one internship must be completed if you plan on graduating. Each student must individually apply to the business and work with a company for a minimum of 200 hours to fulfill this credit. This requirement was put in place on journalism students’ DARS to give them real-world experience in their respective job fields that Ohio University cannot provide in a classroom setting.

When I began my hunt for my internship, I wanted to utilize my resources and connections to see if any family members or friends had any openings for a bright-eyed journalism student from Pittsburgh. I used every possible connection and applied to every internship that showed up on my LinkedIn page, and still, after months, I had nothing. I almost gave up hope when a chance phone call to my grandparents gave me my opportunity.

My grandfather used to work for a facilities management company in Washington, DC called Complete Building Services (or CBS). After a quick call to the company boss, who enthusiastically replied “when can he start,” it seemed I had struck gold at last. CBS is a company that chooses to hire family members and other references from current employees. These may seem like hand-outs but they made it explicitly clear to me on my first day: “Your grandfather got you this job. Now you have to keep it.”

Unlike other potential internships I might’ve taken on, CBS wanted me to get the most amount of experience from this position possible. I was inserted directly into their marketing department, which is relatively new considering the company was founded in 1963. Here I had the chance to work with professionals in my field to formulate marketing strategies and devise plans to bring in more business.

I was shocked to hear that the founders of Complete Building Services “didn’t believe in marketing” as they saw no monetary return from their investments. However, this marketing team at CBS has proven time and time again that there is value to be found in marketing. It is the lifeblood of the company and without it, there would be no one to work these jobs and keep the reputation of the company firm after 50 years in the facilities management business.

I ended up working in their Business Development department as a Marketing Intern. I went into the office every day and worked 40 hours a week. My manager ended up working to make sure I always have something to do. As a result, I have been able to work on a lot of different and unique projects to improve my writing, editing, and graphic design skills.

I was also able to author case studies to highlight CBS’ work on various projects. These case studies will go on to be published not only on the website but also in pitches to potential clients to showcase the work CBS is doing to not only benefit the client but the environment as well.

Overall, I feel like my time at CBS was well spent. I was able to connect with a lot of interesting people to do work in an area I wasn’t 100% knowledgable about but all of the things I did, good and bad, helped to formulate my perception of what I will want and expect in future positions and help me to become a better person along the way.

Charlie Knox is a senior studying strategic communications with a media specialization and a minor in marketing at Ohio University. He is an active member of PRSSA, participates in SMO, is a tour guide, and is President of BobcaThon. Connect with Charlie on LinkedIn here and Twitter here!

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