Culver City, California
Political Science Major
Philip Bennett is an economic development intern at the Galesburg
Sustainable Business Center (SBC) through the City of Galesburg. He and another intern, fellow Knox student Deveon Rose ‘15, gather information and data related to economic development in Knox County. The SBC also occasionally hosts youth entrepreneurship camps. Philip is a rising senior from Culver City, California, majoring in political science.
Describe your day-to-day experiences so far.
My days start at 8:30 every morning at the Sustainable Business Center. We have not spent a lot of time at City Hall but will in the coming weeks, to find out more details about future projects. Deveon Rose, the other intern, and I are usually provided some more details about the projects we are working on that day. Our supervisor and Entrepreneurship Center Manager, Ryan Lilly, simply gives us the details of our projects and allows us to be independent and self-guided achievers here. Ryan Lilly has given us a lot of space and freedom to explore and learn. Our jobs require us to figure things out on our own and find out more about Galesburg and surrounding areas.
Occasionally the Sustainable Business Center will host events or programs, such as the Youth Entrepreneurship Day Camp (in conjunction with the University of Illinois Extension Office), open to kids in 7th through 12th grade with an interest in starting their own business one day. By the end of the program, the young entrepreneurs had learned all about startups, written business plans, and presented their plans in a presentation to family, friends, and local media.
How did you learn about this opportunity?
I saw an e-mail about this opportunity from Terrie Saline, director of the Bastian Center for Career & Pre-Professional Development, while I was in the midst of finding a summer job. This happened to be the perfect opportunity for me. I definitely would like to give a shoutout to the Center for Career & Pre-Professional Development. They are incredible! Terrie Saline communicated with me throughout the process, and it was a huge help.
Can you cite an example of how your in-classroom and/or out-of-the-classroom experiences at Knox have benefited you in the internship?
This last spring term (2013) I took a class with Professor Duane Oldfield called Urban Politics, and we had a section of the class devoted to Galesburg. I have always been interested in finding out more about Galesburg and the surrounding areas because it is drastically different from where I am from. This section further piqued my interest in urban planning and development. Throughout my internship, I have definitely drawn on a lot of what we talked about in the class from how globalization has affected Galesburg, regional governance, city management, and community development.
How do you think this internship experience will benefit you in terms of your education, future career plans, personal development?
I am essentially applying what I have learned in the classroom to meaningful places outside of the classroom. This is experiential learning and one of the many elements of the multidimensional education one can receive at Knox. This is real, and I could not be happier doing what I am doing and learning what I am learning.