By Chris Day
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Roberta Douglas is a matchmaker.
Not in the traditional sense of the word. She doesn’t find mates for millionaires like The Millionaire Matchmaker’s Patti Stanger. Douglas pairs Stillwater employers with Oklahoma State University students who are seeking internships and part-time jobs.
The Stillwater High and Oklahoma State University graduate is the employer outreach and student employment coordinator for OSU Career Services. Douglas scouts Stillwater to find businesses willing to offer internships or part-time jobs to OSU students.
“It’s working with Stillwater employers and the Stillwater community to help students here at OSU to develop themselves, develop their careers and help them become success, productive members of society,” she said.
Douglas realized she wanted to help people while pursuing her degree at OSU. She didn’t know what career path would let her fulfill her goal.
“I didn’t know exactly what that meant. I didn’t know if I would be working with families or working with youth. I didn’t really know what it would look like,” she said.
Douglas graduated from OSU in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in family relations and child development. She worked with at-risk and disadvantaged students when she ran Workforce Investment Act program at Payne County Youth Services. She started her career at the Stillwater Workforce office helping adults go back to school or re-enter the job market.
“I feel like I’ve worked with every population of job seeker out there. It’s really exciting to be here on campus working with students,” she said.
Douglas has worked closely with Stillwater industries and businesses. Those connections led her to an even larger one — the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. She got involved in networking and learning opportunities. She took Leadership Stillwater classes, joined Young Professionals of Stillwater and became a chamber Ambassador.
“Getting involved in the Chamber was a real easy fit for me,” Douglas said. “Work obviously encouraged it, promoted it and was really excited when I became an Ambassador.”
Ambassadors attend ribbon cuttings, meet new businesses and chamber members and promote the chamber.
“The more I learned (about the chamber) the more I was able to talk about,” she said. “Going into businesses and sharing what I knew. Sharing the benefits of membership ... became more about growing the community at a certain point. Promoting the Chamber was easy way to get out there and meet people and help grow Stillwater.”
She was recently honored as the 2012 Chamber Ambassador of the Year.
It’s exciting to work with the Chamber, Douglas said. It helps businesses grow. It brings new business and industry to Stillwater.
“It’s really exciting the way Stillwater has stamped itself out on the map the last couple of years,” she said. “The excitement of the Chamber for me is the networking events and the opportunity to meet other business leaders. ... I’m learning a lot and I am really enjoying what I am able to do with the connections through the chamber and through work.”