Rogers State University student Sage Elzo recently began an internship at the Phillips 66 Operations and Innovation Center in Bartlesville.
Elzo, a junior from Skiatook, attends RSU in Bartlesville, where she is a business administration major whose course of study includes a special focus on accounting.
“I was attending a scholarship breakfast several months ago when I was stopped by a recruiter who told me about the internship with Phillips 66,” Elzo said. “She explained the advantages of the internship and helped me to apply, as did RSU Bartlesville campus director Ronda Riden. She helped me through the whole process. I’m so thankful for all the help and support.”
Riden said that Elzo’s exceptional work ethic, both as a student and an employee, helped get her noticed and in turn, selected for the internship with Phillips.
“Sage is an exceptional student and employee who is always willing to put in the extra effort,” Riden said. “She is always willing to volunteer within our community as she did while employed as a student worker (at RSU Bartlesville). I can assure you that they were impressed by her positive outlook regarding her future, the dedication to her coursework and to our community.
“I tend to tell our students that their career really begins in college, not necessarily after graduation,” she continued. “The connections you make and the opportunities you take advantage of while in college can set you apart from those that start after graduation. I have seen student lives completely transformed by these types of internship opportunities.”
Elzo had already been a student worker at RSU Bartlesville when she began her six-month internship Jan. 16 at the Phillips 66 Operations and Innovation Center.
“So far, I’m working in the volumetric accounting department, which is a kind of accounting (financing) used in the oil and gas industry that involves the inventory side of things. I haven’t gotten too much into the work yet, but I’ve really been enjoying it and learning a lot.”
Dr. Todd Jackson, RSU professor and business department head, expounded on the origins of the internship.
“The internship partnership between RSU and Phillips 66 started in fall 2021 when Ronda Riden and I met with Phillips 66 representatives on RSU’s Bartlesville Campus,” Jackson said. “We discussed ways of promoting their accounting/finance co-op program to RSU accounting and finance students, and I recommended that we utilize Zoom to allow them to promote the internship directly and simultaneously to students on RSU’s three campuses.
“Phillips 66 developed and delivered presentations to our students in the fall semesters of 2021 and 2022,” he continued. “The presentations featured RSU graduates who have established successful careers with Phillips 66 and discussed the structure of the Phillips 66 accounting/finance co-op program.”
Through the internship, Phillips 66 interns are given meaningful work assignments in various areas of the corporation’s accounting and financial operations, including tax, treasury, internal audit, controllership, and financial planning and analysis.
The program allows students to gain real-world experience in midstream and downstream oil and gas operations.
“Interns contribute to important and challenging projects and receive constructive feedback from their assigned supervisors and mentors,” Jackson said. “The program potentially provides a door to a lifelong, rewarding career in the petroleum industry.”
Elzo said she’s looking forward to the experience and education she’s going to gain from the internship and believes it will benefit her continued education at RSU and beyond.
“This (internship) is giving me ‘real world’ experience in accounting, which gives me a better understanding of what my future career will be like. I’m hoping to graduate in 2024 and then become a professional accountant,” she said. “I’m so thankful for this opportunity – to RSU, to Phillips 66 – that will help me and my future career.”
Rogers State University’s business administration program offers students real-world perspectives, the flexibility to pursue their goals and preparation to work in specialized industries, with options in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources management, management, marketing and supply chain management.
At RSU’s Bartlesville campus, students can complete all requirements for a Bachelor of Science in business administration (with accounting and management options).
“We are very blessed in Bartlesville as we have an overwhelming supportive business community that knows the value of the college student and graduate,” Riden added. “Students must develop the skills required for success not only in the classroom, but also the real world, and these internship opportunities allow our students to be empowered while they develop the required skills to be successful in college and fully prepared for employment after graduation.”
RSU Bartlesville offers upper and lower-division classes taught by qualified faculty members, financial aid and scholarship opportunities combined with personalized assistance for financial aid seekers, in-state tuition for Kansas residents, and opportunities for concurrently enrolled high school students, including free tuition and advising on degree selection and transition to college.
For more information about RSU Bartlesville, visit www.rsu.edu/bartlesville.
For more information about RSU’s Business Administration program, visit www.rsu.edu/BSBA
For more information about Phillips 66 accounting/finance internships, visit https://p66oncampus.jobs/university-interns/accounting-finance/