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Feature Story

December 2010

Getting Ahead through Internships

Internships allow students to gain practical, hands–on experience in their fields of interest and afford them opportunities to build their resumes, learn to network and to truly discover if they enjoy the careers they′ve been seeking.

Trine University′s Ketner School of Business requires that each student complete at least one internship. Most engineering, education and arts and humanities students also are expected to participate in some sort of experiential learning.

"You′d hope internships lead to jobs. You′d also hope that the internship will help a student decide if this is what she does or does not want to do," said Bill Maddock, chair of the sport management and exercise science in the business school.

One of Maddock′s students, Trine senior and honor student Katie Hurst, is pursuing a bachelor′s degree in business with a focus in hospitality and tourism management. She interned at the Boulevard Inn and Bistro in St. Joseph, Mich., in the sales and catering departments. Managers were so impressed with her performance that they offered her a job upon graduation.

"I was able to develop marketing materials, write menus, plan meetings and weddings, network with other professionals and see how a hotel operates," Hurst said. "I learned much more from working there than I could have learned in the classroom alone."

Bill San Giacomo, Trine′s chair of the golf management program, said internships play a vital role in the 100 percent job–placement rate his department has experienced for six years. They also help to further engage students in the classroom.

"Students come back after an internship, and they participate more. They realize that they′ll use what I′m teaching them," San Giacomo said. "The better the participation, the better the grades, and it just gets better from there."

One of his students, senior golf management major Matt Luce, recently accepted a job with Glendarin Hills Golf Club after turning down multiple other job offers from around the country.

Marketing major Jim Tuma interned with Parker Hannifin this year. He said his experience made him want to return to Trine to learn more this fall.

"I learned effective ways to conduct market research and developed my computer and presentation skills while getting a view of the entire industry," Tuma said.

Maddock is committed to his job. He makes a point to travel to internship sites throughout the year, to check on his students and build relationships with employers.

"It′s competitive in the job market, especially with sport management jobs," Maddock said. "We want to be meeting employers and making sure our students are doing good jobs in their internships so it′s beneficial for all."

Employers that are interested in offering internships should contact Linda Bateman, director of career services, at 260.665.4124.

"We are always looking for partnerships with employers to develop experiential learning opportunities for students," Bateman said. "My office is the first point of contact for employers. We collaborate closely with faculty, involving them in recruiting candidates and academic oversight."

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