Sure, the Academy Awards might have aired a couple of weeks ago, but nominations are just rolling in for our biggest awards of the year. The Career Development Center likes to recognize students who are outstanding representatives of their respective programs and Seminole State College as a whole. One way way to do this is through the Florida Association of Colleges & Employers (FloridaACE) Student of the Year Award. This annual award presents a cash prize to a deserving student who has demonstrated exceptional achievement in the field of experiential learning. Any student of a two or four-year Florida higher education institution may be nominated for this award by a college/university member or an employer member.
We nominated Alfred Jon Sparks (Jon) for the cooperative education/internship experience he completed with The Douglas Company in the summer of 2015. The Career Development Center first had the pleasure of meeting Jon in 2014 when he began as a Construction Management major at Seminole State College. Jon had some serious life changing milestones taking place, such as transitioning from military to civilian life, managing his own carpentry restoration company, and becoming the father of two children. Knowing this was a critical time for his future and the growth of his family, Jon became a frequent consumer of Career Development Center resources and services.
In working with our Assistant Director regarding his cooperative education/internship requirements, Jon was considering using his own company for his experience and was hesitant to explore the private sector. After working almost two years on his resume, Jon had a final draft and, with the encouragement of the Career Center, the confidence to move forward with applying to internships outside of his comfort zone. After several successful interviews with medium and large construction companies, Jon chose to accept an internship opportunity with The Douglas Company, an Ohio based firm. During this 13 week senior internship, Jon excelled by showing “eagerness to learn”, “high assertiveness”, and “iron clad integrity” to the firm’s culture and long-term goals. Jon was nominated for, and ultimately won, an educational scholarship for his work on an estimating project that resulted in a contract awarded to The Douglas Company. Finally, after the conclusion of his internship, Jon was extended a full-time position upon his graduation in May 2016.
It is with great honor and pride that the Seminole State College, Career Development Center team nominate Alfred Jon Sparks as the FloridaACE 2016 Student of the Year recipient.