Developing Connections


For more information regarding Developing Connections, contact: Stephanie Blessing | 419-372-8908

Register for Developing Connections

“Developing Connections played a pivotal role in assisting me with exploring opportunities as an emerging HDFS professional. As a veteran student, I can say that the event is very advantageous for all students within the HDFS major. As an intern, I was able to share insight with HDFS students who were preparing to undertake their own internship experience. Furthermore, I can positively say that the event is well organized and extremely successful at putting HDFS students on the right path for their first job post-graduation. Not only does the event help students secure an internship, it also gives them the opportunity to network with various organizations, peers, faculty and alumni throughout the event. As an emerging HDFS professional, Developing Connections lead me to an amazing internship experience that helped prepare me immensely for my future career.”

Taylor Hertzfeld ’18 HDFS major
Developing Connections allowed me to see so many of the different avenues that HDFS majors can take when choosing their future careers. It is a low-stress environment where internship sites and other peers are there to help us learn and grow as young professionals. I took advantage of the mock interviews and I am so glad I did because I learned so much about professionalism and key phrases to use while interviewing. After Developing Connections, I felt more excited and prepared than I ever had before."

Margo Burkholder '19 HDFS major
“We have participated in Developing Connections the past two years, and look forward to this year’s event. The event is a great venue for us to help HDFS students become aware of our programs and services, and to recruit and interview potential interns. Because of this event, we have provided internships to 15 HDFS students over the past year and a half, and have been very pleased with the quality of students.”

Brenda Oyer, Ed.D, Associate Director of Research and Data, The RIDGE Project, Inc.

HDFS Professional Day
Spring 2023

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 9:00 a.m. - Noon
Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Lenhart Grand Ballroom



9:00 – 9:15 a.m. Registration and fair set-up
9:15 – 9:20 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks
Dr. Dawn Shinew, Dean, College of Education and Human Development
9:20 – 9:45 a.m. Keynote Speaker, Sam Adams, MHA, CCHW
Social Determinants of Health
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Poster Session
10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. On-Site Interviews (HDFS 3900 Students Only)
12:15 – 1:45 p.m. Optional Apprentice Lunch and Workshop

Developing Connections provides a ‘real-life’ experience to ‘see’ CFLE content areas in action with participating agencies. Held each fall and spring semester, this professional-networking event fosters connections between HDFS students, alumni, and professionals through poster presentations and on-site internship interviews. All HDFS majors are encouraged to attend each semester.

As an interactive professional development opportunity, students hear a keynote address by an experienced professional, view poster presentations by local family-serving agencies, meet one-on-one with professionals and current HDFS interns, interview on-site for internships, and network with peers, faculty, alumni and professionals.

To foster networking among peers, current HDFS interns present a poster at the Developing Connections event. The poster includes information about their internship placement site – the organization’s mission, provision of services, location, contact information, and specific duties or activities performed by the intern. Interns look forward to the opportunity to highlight their experiences in the field and to share insight with HDFS students who are about to embark on their internship experience.

Developing Connections is integrated with the HDFS curriculum. Students enrolled in HDFS 3900: Professional Development in HDFS are required to attend and participate in on-site interviews. Taken the semester immediately before the internship, HDFS 3900 includes self-assessment activities to match goals with the activities and mission of potential internship sites. Students create and polish a resume in order to take advantage of opportunities to meet and interview with potential internship sites. Other experiences in the course prepare students to attain an internship placement and to work in an internship setting.

Students consistently indicate the significance of Developing Connections. The event allows them to explore opportunities as emerging HDFS professionals. Students are more confident after an on-site interview and networking with professionals.


Updated: 02/03/2023 03:46PM