Area business owners have the opportunity to participate this fall in a new internship program that will match University of Houston-Victoria business students with employers in their chosen major.
“An employer who uses the UHV School of Business Administration Internship Program will get a dedicated, hard-working and cost-effective employee to assist in accomplishing the business’s goals,” said Ron Salazar, a UHV associate professor of business. “In addition, the internship will give the student an opportunity to gain practical and valuable work experience, apply skills and knowledge learned in school, and gain exposure to jobs and industries.”
UHV junior and senior business majors, as well as graduate business students, will be eligible for the program. The School of Business Administration is partnering with the university’s Career Services Office to administer the venture. Career Services has placed hundreds of UHV students in local jobs, but this is the university’s first paid internship program.
The employee’s salary will be the only cost to the business, Salazar said. UHV still is researching pay rates for similar internship programs and will work with employers to determine internship salaries. Pay factors include student experience and the size of the company. Stipends paid to student interns can be made all at once or in equal installments throughout the work period.
By partnering with UHV, an employer will have a low-risk recruiting source and a low-cost method of training potential employees, Salazar said.
“Hiring a UHV School of Business undergraduate or graduate student can provide high-quality labor, help meet seasonal employment demands and provide fresh ideas from emerging professionals,” he said. “Most of these students are graduate-level, so they could be ready to go to work as a credit analyst, for example. These are not all entry-level students.”
Salazar said businesses he hopes will take advantage of the program include accounting firms, banks, manufacturers, health care administration companies, consulting firms, construction businesses and engineering firms, to name a few.
These types of businesses will benefit from the skills students have acquired in the UHV School of Business Administration degree offerings, which include a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in accounting, finance, general business, health care administration, management and marketing, as well as three graduate business programs: a Master of Business Administration, a Global MBA and a Master of Science in Economic Development & Entrepreneurship.
Internships may take place throughout the year, but most are expected to last for one semester. There will be both full-time and part-time internships available.
“These internships are opportunities for students to test-drive a career field, giving them a chance to see what professionals do in that industry,” Salazar said. “Since interns are often looking for a way to showcase their talents in order to jumpstart their careers, they can prove to be valuable assets to an organization.”
Eunice Mesa, UHV Career Services coordinator, said the pool of School of Business Administration interns will help meet employer demands for quality employees.
“We want there to be close relationship between students’ majors and what they will be doing in the workplace,” Mesa said. “But employers will decide other criteria. An employer who needs an accountant may want at least a 3.5 grade-point average, while others may look for different attributes from the students.”
UHV students will have to apply for the internships through the UHV School of Business Administration internship website at www.uhv.edu/SBAinterns. Employers will review students’ submitted profiles and select potential candidates for interviews.
“We want it to be a competitive pool,” Mesa said. “Employers will know they are getting the best student for the job, and the students will put their best foot forward since there will be a sense of competition.”
For now, students will not receive course credit for the internships, although Mesa said one of the program’s future goals is to offer credit.
Farhang Niroomand, dean of the UHV School of Business Administration, said internships through business schools at other universities are popular.
“Other universities that have offered a program like this have been flooded with demand from employers because they know they will get quality employees,” he said. “We’re excited to be creating a learning opportunity for our students with such potential to benefit local employers and the regional economy.”
UHV is accredited by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a premium accreditation held by fewer than 5 percent of business schools worldwide.
“Our accreditation demonstrates that employers can expect UHV interns to be exceptionally well prepared for success,” Niroomand said.
Interested employers may become involved or get more information about the internship program by visiting www.uhv.edu/SBAinterns or calling 361-570-4369.