Benefitting from Connections
Back in the Fall 2015, Palmetto College student Adam Fenno decided to take a few minutes
out of his tremendously busy work and academic schedule to make a connection with
a representative from BD at USC Sumter’s Pre-Professional Day event held on campus.
The connection paid off in a big way for him this summer.
Fenno started a conversation with Christopher Floyd, Lead Business Unit Coordinator at BD in Sumter and USC Sumter alumnus.
“I saw a little of myself in Adam on that day,” Floyd said.
After discussing a possible internship program, Floyd came back to BD to pitch the
idea of providing students in a bachelor’s program experience at the plant.
BD Plant Manager Kevin Johnson was on board with the program.
“The BD Sumter plant is excited about establishing this new internship partnership. This pipeline will provide career-shaping opportunities for talented, local students and will provide BD with the ability to find future leaders.
"BD is committed to working with local institutions of higher education to foster the development of soon-to-be graduates, helping them move forward while gaining high-level exposure and opportunity,” Floyd said.
“BD sees an internship program as a win-win for both our company and the intern.”
According to Floyd, the goal at BD is to ensure that the information the student is learning academically matches the practice with real-life applications and exposure. BD wants the interns to not only gain experience from the program but be in a position in their academic career to give back to the company as well.
“As a Palmetto College Student, I wanted to find an internship program that provided upward mobility and leadership potential, BD will do that for me,” Fenno said.
Fenno will graduate in December 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership. He is the non-traditional student who took a little longer path to graduation, but appreciates the ending more than most.
“I struggled my first year of college and took some time off to really figure out what I wanted to do and who I was,” Fenno said. His grades went from extremely poor to now making the Dean’s and President’s Lists while also working and taking 19 hours a semester.
“BD is giving me the opportunity to learn new tasks, use the degree I am paying for and mentor from one of the best in the business,” Fenno said.
Christopher Floyd is also a Palmetto College graduate.
“USC Sumter is proud to work with the administration at BD to help create a pipeline for students into the new internship program,” Palmetto College Campus Dean Dr. Michael Sonntag said. “We hope that the program grows and interns turn into employees for BD.”
BD plans to identify the top-tier students early on through networking events on the USC Sumter campus. Students will need to be able to devote time to the program to learn the proper skills and be able to give in return. BD has played a key role in ensuring the students are compensated for their time and feel like a member of the team while they are in the internship program.
“We look forward to helping educate students who want something bigger and better,” Floyd said.
The opportunities I received at USC Sumter and in the Palmetto College program provided a strong foundation for the position I hold today.