Metro Tech Graduate Mentors Students Through Internship Program
Nickole Clark, TFCU lobby supervisor, helps interns Gabby Moreno, left, and Elsa Vidales, right, prepare for hire at TFCU.
Nickole Clark's passion for students is evident when asked to discuss the Tinker Federal Credit Union Internship Program she designed and implemented at Metro Technology Centers four years ago.
Internship coordinator has become an addition to her job duties as lobby supervisor for two TFCU locations – including the embedded location at Metro Tech's Information Technology Campus - but it's also her way of giving back in the neighborhood she grew up in.
"I was a student at Douglass High School and attended Metro Tech myself. I also lost my mom when I was 14 years old and raised my two younger brothers, so I understand many of the struggles young people face," Nickole said.
The program started with education about financial literacy within Oklahoma City and Crooked Oak Public Schools, as TFCU wanted to educate students about the importance of their financial affairs before they graduated and faced temptation with credit cards. While giving presentations as a guest speaker, Nickole discovered a commonality between classroom curriculum at Metro Tech and job skills needed at TFCU.
With input from teachers, staff and students, the program quickly took shape.
"The internship works just like a job. Interested students observe our tellers for two days to decide if they are interested, and then they fill out an application, which is sent to human resources for a background and credit check. The internships start in March and the goal is preparing them for summer hire through TFCU," Nickole said, adding that interview skills, professional dress and communication are all components of the program.
The two most recent interns at Metro Tech TFCU - Gabby Moreno and Elsa Vidales from the Administrative Assistant Program at ITC – started their internships in January 2014 and were hired as part-time TFCU employees in March.