By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Two Goshen High School seniors have been selected as the business students of the month.
Jackie Rodriguez and Amber Millan-Melton were recently named as Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education Students of the Month through the school’s long-running Cooperative Education program. There were no internship students nominated for the month.
Headed by Cooperative Education Coordinator Brian Bechtel, the Student of the Month program was created as a way to honor both the top student per month in each class, as well as the many local businesses and organizations that have agreed to partner with the school staff through the Cooperative Education program.
Jackie Rodriguez received her nomination for ICE Student of the Month through her work with the Horace Mann Insurance Agency in Goshen.
“With my job I do a lot of filing. I answer calls from clients, make copies and I fax things when asked,” Rodriguez said. “I also do a lot of side projects for my boss. So it’s a lot of different things.”
Rodriguez began her work at Horace Mann in mid-July 2012, working from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday under the watchful eye of Andrea Thalheimer.
“In just three months, Jackie has developed good communication skills and has become a real asset to our business,” Thalheimer said. “I believe that she is beginning to have a real grasp about what we do as a business and why what we do is important for our clients.”
Rodriguez said she initially became interested in the ICE program because she had never worked before and was interested in getting some real-world experience before graduating.
“I really wanted to get some experience since I’d never worked before,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve always wanted to see what it’s like to have a job, and this type of program worked out really well with my schedule.”
Through the program, Rodriguez said she has gained a much greater understanding of the business world and what it means to be a professional.
“This experience has really helped with my communication skills and has taught me how to deal with many different types of people,” Rodriguez said. “I actually think I’ve changed a lot since I started working, and for the better, so its been very helpful in preparing me for what I’ll have to deal with in the future. I would definitely recommend it.”
Amber Millan-Melton received her nomination for ICE Student of the Month through her work with the Goshen Community Schools administration staff.
“It was my senior year and I didn’t need many classes,” Millan-Melton said of her decision to join ICE, “so I decided I wanted to do something that would help me when I graduate to get a job,”
Millan-Melton began her work at the GCS Administration Building last August, where her main duties include writing business letters and assisting with numerous other office tasks.
“I work every day from 7:30 to 11 a.m.,” Millan-Melton said. “Mainly I answer phones, I file a lot, I write business letters, make coffee, all kinds of things.”
Her supervisor, Dr. Marceil Royer, said she is continuously impressed by Millan-Melton’s exemplary work performance and professional demeanor.
“I have seen her grow so much during her time here,” Royer said. “She does such an outstanding job writing letters for me. She quietly does any job anyone asks of her. She dresses professionally and is on time. She keeps busy all the time. I have never seen her just sit and do homework.”
Like Rodriguez, Millan-Melton said her time in ICE has given her some significant real-world work experience that she feels will give her an edge as she ventures out into the workplace after high school.
“I’ve actually recommended it to a couple people already,” Millan-Melton said. “It’s a great program.”