Learning through Engagement

OLS students benefit from volunteer opportunities

Six Organizational Leadership and Supervision – Environmental Hazard Safety (OLS – EHS) students found more than a few advantages as they volunteered at the recent, “Beyond Safety Conference Expo” at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville.

Instructor was catalyst for mutual benefit

Purdue Calumet OLS professor Shoji Nakayama facilitated the volunteer opportunity. He is a member of the Northwest Indiana Business Round Table Safety Subcommittee and works closely with local industries to bridge the gap between an academic institutions and industry.

“Whenever there is an opportunity to engage/include my OLS-EHS students with industry, I volunteer to create an environment where they both benefit,” he said. “By volunteering myself to become one of the event planning committee members, I have been able to include my students into these conferences as much as I can for free or with less registration fees.”

Knowledge gained in many areas

The volunteering OLS students learned about new issues and new ideas to solve problems relevant to environmental hazard safety discipline. They also became aware of new methods and practices that industries are using to protect people, their companies and their environment.

On a personal level, they were able to network with safety professionals from the Midwest region, establish a communication between companies for possible internship opportunities, and determine if their chosen OLS-EHS career path was a good fit.

“Students were able to observe and learn the demands of their education,” Professor Nakayama said. ”And, two out of the seven students who attended/volunteered were able to obtain internship positions immediately after the event.”