My son, Kyle Rutledge, had an opportunity this past summer to serve as the communication intern for Phi Tau in Oxford, Ohio. Being the loving, supportive mother I am, I encouraged him to accept. I was also thinking one less kid to share the remote with. 

RutledgeKyle finished his spring semester at Oklahoma State and was home for only 48 hours to prepare for his summer in Oxford. In a whirlwind of activity, we got the car ready for the 12-hour drive, bought out the clothing store for business casual wear, got him loaded up and on his way. He was so excited about the experience he was to have.

He arrived in Oxford and literally hit the ground running with the other two interns whom he was going to share this experience with. Every time I spoke or texted with him, I knew he was having the time of his life and learning what it meant to work in the real world. He gave up a summer of lazy days, staying up late, sleeping in and hanging out with his friends and family. To Kyle, it was so worth it.

From a mom’s perspective, I recognized this internship as a great opportunity. Not only could it enhance his resume, but it would be a time for personal growth and for him to reflect on what type of career he would want. I knew this was a time for him to learn and that no college classroom could duplicate what he would see and hear over the summer.

This internship provided a structured environment, learning opportunities, use of existing skills and abilities, and allowed him to both teach and lead during Leadership Academy. It allowed him the opportunity to travel the country, forge new friendships and learn about himself. It strengthened his commitment and loyalty to the Fraternity he cares deeply about.

When Kyle returned home in August and shared his experiences, I saw a son who had grown up a little bit more, a son who is that much more ready to take on the world, a son who will take all that he learned and apply those skills to other areas of his life, a son who will continue to cultivate and treasure the friendships he made, and a also son who will remain committed to Phi Tau and its principals.

I am so proud of that son and grateful he had this experience. Thank you Phi Tau for selecting my son as the 2014 communication intern.

Susan Rutledge is the mother of Kyle Rutledge, Oklahoma State ’12. Kyle has served Beta Kappa chapter as vice president of alumni relations and membership orientation officer. He spent the summer in Oxford as communication intern at the Executive Offices.