The College of Business at Eastern Michigan University offers experience to business students through the Entrepreneur Internship Program.
Paul A. Nucci, EMU’s College of Business (COB) communications coordinator, said, “Students are placed alongside Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (MI-SBTDC) counselors. There, they work with clients on entrepreneurial-based projects such as assessing current customer satisfaction, identifying current customer additional needs, ascertaining feasibility of new product extensions, assessing internal technology resources needed to support growth as well as participating in new market launch preparation.”
Anthony Harbin, a student at EMU, is working in a business internship. Harbin said: “I am interning with the Michigan Small Business Technology Development Center. It is located in the Key Bank building across from the COB. I look over business plans and review financial sheets of current businesses and suggest ways to improve. I also do market research for start-up businesses.”
Nucci said: “These students will complete multiple consulting projects with entrepreneurial companies under the supervision of senior Michigan Small Business &Technology Development Center staff at one of several offices during the semester. They will complete a core duties project in the areas of market development cash flow analysis, business plan analysis, competitive analysis and attendance in the entrepreneurial series business basics. The students must be undergraduate juniors or seniors that have a major or minor in Entrepreneurship or Graduate students in entrepreneurship and they must have completed basic entrepreneurship coursework.”
“This is funded by a grant from the Michigan Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the program is in its third semester of offering real-world business experience to EMU students who are presently studying entrepreneurship,” said Nucci. “Ten students have will have completed their internship by the end of the fall semester. Like a business counselor, students are paid for their time with some working 20 hours and some working 40 hours per week.”
One hope that EMU has is that the internships will keep business students in Michigan when they graduate. “The end goal of the program is to make graduates more attractive for local businesses to hire, and to allow students to connect with current entrepreneurs for possible employment,” Nucci said.
The program is funded for two more semesters and then other sources will be sought to maintain the program after that time.
Harbin said: “I think the business program is great. We have plenty of great teachers with great backgrounds. The Center of Entrepreneurship is a great place for students to learn and connect with local entrepreneurs.”
“I plan to take my degree and the knowledge that I have gained through the classes I have taken and start my own online fair trade coffee business. I will then go back to graduate school after I have established the business,” Harbin said.
The Princeton Review has named EMU’s COB one of America’s best business schools for the sixth consecutive year. The COB is one of 301 business schools, out of more than 1,000 business schools nationally, to be featured in the just-released 2010 guidebook, “Best 301 Business Schools.”