By Delaney Swift, CLDC Social Media Intern
There is no doubt that anyone would be impressed with Jeffrey Billingslea, senior at Ohio University (OHIO). His experiences and innate leadership style have made this Bobcat a great influence on our campus. Billingslea has held multiple large name internships and plans to take his talents to Edelman after his graduation in the spring. OHIO is lucky to have students like Billingslea to carry on the leadership legacy. It’s no surprise that his hope is to one day be in a position of leadership.
Year in school: Senior
Area of study at OHIO: Political Science
Involvement on campus: Ohio University Recruiting Society (OURS), Student Senate, Social Connect Society (SCS), ImPRessions, Black Student Union, NAACP OU Chapter
Leadership role(s): Previous: Black Student Cultural Programming Board (President), Singing Men of Ohio (Librarian), Student Senate (Director of Social Media)
From: Clinton, MD
Favorite thing about being a Bobcat: My favorite about being a Bobcat is being apart of the Bobcat family. Each member of the bobcat family is multidimensional. Nowhere else will you find students that are 100% ALL IN. Whether it is socially, academically, professionally, or in extracurriculars, each member of the Bobcat family brings a considerable amount of value, fun, and infectious zeal for knowledge.
Hobbies: Cooking, singing, reading, and relaxing with family and friends
Plans after graduation: Will be joining Edelman Communications Marketing Firm’s Public Affairs team
How did you get the position at Edelman?
I actually got my Edelman position from an OHIO Alum. To underline the benefits of student involvement, a close friend I have made through my student organization was hired at Edelman in fall of 2016, she then referred me (gave resume and served as reference) to their hiring manager for their internship program. And the rest is history. I know there are a lot of Bobcats in Edelman. I would encourage students to network via LinkedIn and make those connections!
Why did you decide to come to Ohio University?
The beautiful secluded campus and outgoing members of the community ultimately fostered my decision. Coming from a city like Washington, D.C., it was it was a smaller more centralized community that I was looking for at the time.
Can you talk briefly about your previous internship(s) experience?
After being accepted into the INROARDS Inc. program, I was provided two experiential internships over the course of three summers. The first was with Volkswagen Group of America as Government and industry Relations Intern (2014) and the second, Audi of America as Field and Sales Operations Intern (2015-2016). Working in both organizations North American Headquarters in Herndon, VA. In these positions, I was given ample experience in project management and quantitative/qualitative analysis. More specifically, these experiences afforded me the opportunity to work with managers, auto-dealers, customers, and field personal at the national level across the organizations. To continue, with my two summers with Audi, I was able to be a key contributor to operational initiatives, through my work in various projects analyzing the overall consumer experience with the brand.
What has been the best leadership experience you have encountered in your years at OHIO?
I have been afforded incredible leadership opportunities at OHIO. The one I would identify as best would be my position as president of the Black Student Cultural Programming Board (BSCPB). A Tier I student organization, BSCPB gives me the opportunity to serve my community by empowering the university through cultural awareness. Additionally, this leadership experience has helped me to develop an incredible set of business skills and professional qualities that have yielded me remarkable opportunities through internships and extracurricular programs.
What has been the most interesting or challenging experience you have encountered in your years at OHIO?
While attending OHIO, the most interesting thing I have experienced was traveling to Israel. During my final Winter Wreak as a Bobcat, I was given the opportunity to join the Jewish National Fund’s Caravan for Democracy Program. This initiative selected nearly 60 student leaders from around the United States. We participated in an excursion that explored Israel’s distinctive democracy through meetings with political, cultural and community leaders from all backgrounds and faiths.
How have your experiences shaped you as a person?
My experiences have really helped me define my purpose. Not only have they helped sculpt my future career goals, they have helped me shape my overall personality and work ethic.
Have you used any of the CLDC’s resources? If so, which?
I have used CLDC resources throughout my time at OHIO. Specifically, I have worked with my personal assigned career coach for career coaching, counseling, and resume support. I have all used the CLDC’s interview rooms to conduct Skype and phone interviews.
What field do you see a career in and why?
I am still working towards identifying the exact career field I would like to pursue in the future. However, I am confident that this position will be a position of leadership. I have a close affinity in managing and developing a team to mobilize around a common goal. And these job characteristics are synonymous with numerous career fields I believe I am qualified for.
What advice can you give to incoming freshmen and underclassmen?
GET INVOLVED! Never underestimate the power of getting involved in multiple organizations. Moreover, once involved on a general level, it is imperative to seek leadership roles and responsibilities. These experiences are incredibly influential in helping you not only identify what your purpose is, they offer you the opportunity to get tangible experience for your resume to help you stand apart from others. GET INVOLVED!