Standouts In A Crowd

Internships play critical role in student success, career placement

Although many college undergraduates continue to spend their summers at home soaking up the sun or working minimum wage, seasonal jobs, those who complete internships in their field of study are far more likely to find success after earning their degree.

SMEF Job Fair

The School of Management Employers Forum (SMEF), a student organization that hosts career fairs each fall and spring, is a key source of talent for recruiters seeking interns and potential employees. (Photo provided)

And for several new Krannert alumni, hard work during a summer internship resulted in full-time employment with the same employer.

Take it from Nicolette Crouch, who completed her BS degree in economics in May and now works at Procter & Gamble. Her summer internship with the company in 2013 was one of the biggest challenges she’s faced, but more than worth the effort.

“The projects I was given were extremely difficult, but I completed them successfully and accepted a job offer from the company in the fall,” Crouch says.

Another May graduate, Stacy Hauersperger, who earned a BS in management, is now reaping the rewards of a 2013 internship at General Mills.

After her performance review and final presentation at the end of her summer with the company, Hauersperger received a full-time offer before returning to campus for her final two semesters at Krannert. “It was nice to come back and be ready for my senior year with a job in hand,” she says.

Hauersperger’s work experience wasn’t gained solely at General Mills, however. A previous summer took her across the pond to the United Kingdom, where she worked for Engage Research in London as a market research intern. “It was a company of about 10 people, so it was completely different from anything I had ever experienced,” she says.

Hauersperger credits her successful navigation from internships to a promising career to “countless hours” spent with mentors like Erik Props, associate director of undergraduate programs for the Krannert Professional Development Center (KPDC). Props’ responsibilities include supervising the School of Management Employers Forum (SMEF), a student organization that hosts career fairs each fall and spring.

Props says many of the companies that participate in such events use internships year-round to evaluate potential candidates for full-time employment.

“Whether it’s in the summer, fall, winter or spring, an internship becomes an extended job interview that lets a company see what a student is capable of doing,” Props says. “And students have the opportunity to apply what they learned in class, explore different fields and get a feel for corporate culture.”

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