SAU Rankin College of Business Offers Valuable Internship Experience | News

College students have had to face many challenges over the years. Challenges range from staying up late to being on time for class the next day, balancing rigorous courses and a hectic social calendar, and making sure their backpack never runs out of college snacks.

But perhaps the question college students are most concerned about is also the most important one: how do I get a job after graduation? More specifically, the question boils down to this: it seems like every potential employer wants to hire someone with experience, but how does a student get that experience without a job?

However, there are opportunities for students to gain this valuable work experience. One such opportunity is the Rankin College of Business Internship Program at the University of Southern Arkansas. The internship program works with students each semester, placing them in a professional working environment in their degree area. This experience gives students a head start in their careers.

Six students from the College of Business completed internships in the spring semester, and nine more completed internships this summer. In addition, four graduate students from the College of Business also took part in internships this summer.

One of these students is Naya White, who participated in Tuanna Byrd’s internship program during the summers of 2021 and 2022. Tuanna Byrd’s program is for women of color who are pursuing a degree in STEM. White, a 2019 Lafayette County High School graduate, interned at Windstream in North Little Rock in 2021. During her time there, she attended company meetings, completed coding assignments, and fixed bugs on the Windstream website.

After completing her degree in information systems in May 2022, White re-entered the program. Her most recent internship was at Stone Bank in Little Rock as an IT Help Desk Representative. White said she would recommend the SAU internship program to other business college students. “This is a great program. It opened a lot of different doors for me,” White said. “It really helps you connect with other interns and professionals. It gives you knowledge in the field you want to do.”

Faith Lonigro used her experience in an internship program to get her first job after graduation. Faith worked in the logistics department of JB Hunt in northwest Arkansas, where she spent half her time monitoring other employees and the rest of her time working with brokers and customer representatives. “I really enjoyed my time at JB Hunt,” said Faith. “They were really helpful and nice and I got experience from the supply chain side.”

Feith graduated from SAU in December 2021 with a degree in supply chain management. After earning her class degree and work experience, she took a job at Lanxess in Eldorado, where she works with the company’s production schedule. “My internship helped me with my job search and my first job,” Faith said. “If I didn’t have an internship, I probably wouldn’t be here.”

Desia Williams, a student at Rankin College of Business, took part in the internship program for the first time this summer. Like White, she also received a place in Tuanna Byrd’s summer internship program. Desia, a 2019 Burden High School graduate, completed an internship at Arvest Bank in Rogers, Arkansas in the Information Technology and Security Department.

Dr. Robin Srons, dean of the Rankin College of Business, says the internship program is a great program to help students advance in the careers they want. “We are very proud of our internship program,” said Sronse. “This allows Rankin College of Business to work with both businesses and our students. And this is an opportunity for our students to gain invaluable work experience.”

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