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December 5, 2013

Students compete in Cleveland Clinic Solutions

By Hannah Corcoran

On Nov. 14 and 15, five Cleveland State LINK Program students competed in the Cleveland Clinic Solutions event.

The event is a competition hosted by the Cleveland Clinic’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

These students were selected among applicants across the county, according to Charlene Jones, LINK program coordinator.

The experience gives students the opportunity to apply strategies and management skills to a real Cleveland Clinic case and compete for scholarships, according to the event’s website.

The event is open to undergraduate and graduate students who are in good academic standing majoring in: accounting, business administration/management, communications, finance, healthcare administration, information technology, marketing, MBA, public health and other business-related fields.

The five students who competed in the event are Diane Lawong, Paula Oliver, David Pendleton, Michael Chukwuonye and Jibreel Gould.

Diane Lawong, Paula Oliver and David Pendleton all won scholarships and came in first place with their teams, according to Leona Johnson, graduate assistant for the Career Services Center.

This was Lawong’s second time participating in the event. As a graduate student, she received a $1,200 scholarship. Oliver and Pendleton, both undergraduates, received scholarships for $750, said Johnson.

Oliver, a junior and non-profit administration major in the College of Urban Affairs, applied to participate in the Mini Case Competition for the Clinic Solutions event and was chosen to be a consultant to develop an Operational and Marketing Plan for Cleveland Clinic Autism Development Solutions.

Her team’s goal was to work with other organizations to create autism services in their communities by modeling the services offered in Cleveland, Oliver said.

In one day, her team had to create a solution for their given task.

“Students gained active listening and leadership skills, networking opportunities and connections, research skills, presentation and team building skills, and the ability to interact with professionals from the Cleveland Clinic,” said Jones.

The task involved time management, people skills and creating a real life solution, according to Oliver.

“I was part of a great organization, the Cleveland Clinic, a world class leader in healthcare,” Oliver said. “It was great to be a part of something that could potentially make a difference in healthcare.”

Oliver credits the LINK program to her exposure to many events similar to this.

“I have attended career fairs, panel discussions, and career workshops,” she said. “I have also attended the Black Professionals Association’s Charitable Foundation, a book talk at Playhouse Theater and the Women of Color seminar.”

Cleveland State LINK students have participated in a variety of events such as, Cleveland Clinic’s Aspiring Physicians, the Ohio Cooperative Education Conference, the Black Professionals Association Gala, New Pathways/Medical Mutual Scholarships and McNair Scholars, according to Jones.

The LINK program was created in 1988 by Career Services to “fulfill the corporate demand for minority students to participate in co-ops, internships and to promote academic enrichment and career success,” Jones said.

The program has helped Oliver update her resume and sharpen her interviewing skills, she said.

“Through LINK, I have gained the skills necessary to obtain my degree and the insight needed to take my career to another level,” she said.

LINK offers professional mentoring and scholarships as well.