SALISBURY, N.C. – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College student Trent Phillips has been named the 2021 William D. Weston Outstanding Student of the Year by the North Carolina Work-Based Learning Association, marking the second time in three years that a Rowan-Cabarrus student has received the honor.

Phillips, who is studying business administration with a concentration in marketing and retailing, interned with Urbane Environments Community Engagement Consultants, a consulting agency that helps shape public, private and municipal development plans. There, he worked on projects that included a community engagement concept for the City of Charlotte Comprehensive Plan.

“I was interested in the internship to enhance my leadership skills and reinforce my resume with authentic work experience that potential employers can respect,” Phillips said. “It helped me develop a greater understanding of day-to-day business operations, the challenges of meeting high-end goals, and the importance of teamwork, networking and self-discipline. If you truly want to reach your personal best as a successful business professional, this is where you start. The Work-Based Learning program is a pioneering force to help you become an employer’s first and only choice.”

The Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Work-Based Learning program integrates classroom learning with real-world work experience to give students a chance to perform relevant duties in fields of interest while also earning academic credits.

“These internships allow students to explore careers and increase their marketability after graduation,” said Tena Pair, Rowan-Cabarrus Work-Based Learning internship developer. “Students can increase their self-confidence, develop skills to build their resume, and even sometimes land permanent jobs with the companies where they intern.”

As the state winner of the Weston Award, Phillips will receive a plaque and cash award.

“Trent Phillips is a great example of the success students can achieve when they enter into internships with the mindset to learn, develop and grow,” said Dr. Carol S. Spalding, president of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. “Our Work-Based Learning program offers a unique opportunity for students to get real-world experience and begin to map out a successful future. We want to encourage our current and future students to engage in the program as part of their academic preparation.”

For more information about the Work-Based Learning program, visit