K. Galen Kroeck
Though the College of Business Administration has an established record of placing graduate students in internships successfully, area businesses have expressed a desire to have access to talented juniors as well.
“Companies perceive that when they get an intern from the college, they are getting someone great, especially as our programs continue to move up in important rankings and capture more media attention,” said K. Galen Kroeck, chair of the Department of Management and International Business, which is refining its program to meet the demand. “Employers also appreciate the chance to evaluate a person’s performance before they make a hiring decision.”
Students, too, will enjoy a number of benefits from the new internship option the department has initiated.
“They will get valuable work experience in their first semester in the college, and some companies even offer to underwrite the costs of their senior year,” Kroeck said. “In addition, they get credit for working, and they get good experience to add to their resumes. And, in some cases, having an internship early in their degree work will help them decide on which courses they should take in the future.”
Web site makes the process easy . . . and the expectations clear.
The department is proceeding with diligence, fully aware of some of the challenges inherent with internships, especially for undergraduates.
“We see participating employers as teachers of a three-credit, college-level course,” he said. “We have to ensure that students get the necessary supervision and experience to make the internship the equivalent of such a course.”
To make sure that everyone involved in the relationship understands the requirements, the department has created a web site (http://management.fiu.edu) where prospective employees register and commit to the department’s “Code of Responsibility.” Among the points: companies must pledge that students “will gain valuable work experience from their responsibilities and challenges,” and that their supervisors will provide “proper guidance and learning opportunities that challenge interns and allow them to apply their classroom knowledge.”
Students also register at the site, where they record specific information about their backgrounds so the department can make a good match between candidates and companies.
“We will assess opportunities on a case-by-case basis,” Kroeck said. “However, to ensure quality, one thing that is not flexible is the requisite GPA our students must have for us to consider allowing them to apply for an internship.”
Department works with internal resources and looks across borders.
The department will work closely with Career Management Services, which has a long history of placing and managing graduate interns. Also, many companies contact that office to start the process of finding an intern.
Kroeck also is researching the establishment of international internships for International Business Honors (IB Honors) students.
“There are companies that, for a modest fee, find internships abroad for universities,” Kroeck said. “Offering an international internship will expand the services we offer to our IB Honors students as we prepare them for their role as global business leaders.”
Challenges exist here as well.
“If students were to go abroad for an internship, it’s not a sufficient return for them to have spent a semester abroad and earn just three credits,” he said. “We are trying to find ways to get six credits for them by enabling them to enroll in a local university as part of a study-abroad, through which they can take an additional course.”
Kroeck and members of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management are discussing internships related to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
“China is very interested in having American students there to help with communication challenges, among others,” he said.
Employers interested in having an undergraduate intern can start the process simply by visiting the web site and registering. Kroeck welcomes all inquiries.