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TRSA Interns: A Win-Win For Industry, Students

TRSA interns Kelly Glatthorn, Muneeba Ahmed and Graham Smith met with U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) during a recent session with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.  

TRSA recently concluded its 2017 Summer Internship program with three college students gaining valuable knowledge of the linen, uniform and facility services industry and how the association serves that industry. For its part, TRSA has for the past six weeks received hands-on assistance in a variety of areas from a bright and enthusiastic trio of young people, each of whom will enter their senior year in college this fall.

“We are very glad to see that our internship program gets stronger every year,” TRSA President and CEO Joseph Ricci said of this revised training initiative that’s now in its third year. “Summer is a busy time in the association world. We’ve had significant action on Capitol Hill, worked hard at finalizing the details of our fall meetings, completed various financial-reporting requirements and more. These three students have distinguished themselves as outstanding contributors in each of these areas and others. We salute them and wish them success as they resume their studies this fall.”

Students in TRSA’s internship programs rotate through various departments, from assisting with Textile Services magazine production to analyzing financial data; helping out with lobbying and fundraising efforts through the association’s political action committee, TRSAPAC; tracking trends in social media; and more. For the students, highlights included a tour of an area Alsco plant, visits with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and contributing to various projects, such as upcoming webinars, and helping to prepare promotional materials for meetings such as the Healthcare Conference & Exchange slated for Nov. 15-16 in Salt Lake City.

“Working as a TRSA intern has been an extraordinary opportunity and experience for me,” said Kelly Glatthorn, a Collegeville, PA, native and political science major at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA. “The most valuable experience was when the interns had the opportunity to participate in the TRSAPAC Fly-In on Capitol Hill. At this event, I was able to meet with TRSA members and congressmen to discuss issues affecting the industry and possible solutions. I benefited directly from this hands-on exposure to the political field. I am so thankful to have been included.”

A second intern, also a student at Virginia Tech, described her experience as filled with an array of diverse topics and tasks. “As an intern, I was asked to take on challenging projects, and my opinion and suggestions were taken into consideration, which made me feel like I was a part of the team,” said Muneeba Ahmed, of Alexandria, VA. “Early on, the interns had the opportunity to visit Alsco's plant in Lanham, MD, which has been one of my favorite parts of this internship because it gave me a better understanding of what the member companies do and how a plant operates. As a business major, I know how important it is for professionals to really understand the purpose of what they do and who they work for - I am glad TRSA values that as well.”

TRSA’s third intern, Graham Smith, is a student at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL. He’s majoring in telecommunication and film. Smith, also of Alexandria, said he enjoyed compiling reports on TRSA’s social media contacts, editing video content and related communications-media assignments. However, he too welcomed the broad exposure to a variety of association activities. “I appreciated that, while I was working on projects concerning analytics and media, I got experience in different sectors of the business like the government and advocacy side of the association by taking a trip to Capitol Hill and meeting with members of Congress for our member Fly-In,” Smith said. “Being able to be a part of, and learn about this ‘hidden industry’ was extremely valuable.”  

Tom Newell, TRSA’s vice president of operations, oversees the internship program. Newell said he is very pleased with the way this summer’s interns have meshed with TRSA staff and the valuable contributions the students made to each of the projects assigned to them. “Taken as a whole, this year’s internship program proved to be a win-win for both the students and TRSA,” he said. Readers who’d like to know more about TRSA’s internship program may contact Newell at tnewell@trsa.org.