Internship opportunities can be difficult for students to find, especially in today’s competitive job market.
To help, BYU gives students an opportunity to participate in an internship while still taking classes through the Students for Social Entrepreneurship organization.
“The internship is on campus, so students can still go to school,” said Natalie Banta, a co-director for SSE. “When summer rolls around students already have an internship under their belt and it gives them a better chance against competition.”
Students can start networking while still on campus and the internship helps our students become more marketable overall, according to TJ Thomander, a co-director for SSE.
“You’re on a team with four or five people,working about 40 hours a week as a team with your organization on a project,” said Natalie Dance, a junior from Eden Prairie, Minn. majoring in marketing.
Dance participated in the internship this semester. Her group included five students who worked with Ashoka U, an organization that funds social entrepreneurs.
Dance’s group project involved working with a division of Ashoka. The project focused on getting social entrepreneurship information onto college campuses.
Two of the students said one of their favorite parts of this project has been working with their team lead at Ashoka.
“We had a conference call with our team lead at Ashoka, and out of the blue she said, ‘Oh, and we started using the material you put together in Mexico, and it’s going great!’ That was cool,” said Ben Gong, a junior studying economics.
Dance said the contact at Ashoka the group worked with was really nice and always so excited about everything that the group produced.
Besides networking, students have the opportunity to learn a variety of skills through these internships. The directors try to pair students up with projects that will help in their majors.
“What I learned the most came from being exposed to social entrepreneurship throughout the United States, getting a first-hand look at what the difficulties are for a growing sector,” Gong said.
The completed project allowed students to learn more about how the administration at BYU and at other colleges work. Basic skills of working as a team and writing skills are also important.
“I learned a lot more about what’s going on at BYU with the social entrepreneurship space,” Dance said. “It’s really good for anybody, that’s why it’s so awesome. It teaches you how you can help people and make money at the same time with the skills that you’re learning in your program.”
Sometimes students get stuck in the “BYU bubble,” and one of the byproducts of this class is broadening your perspective outside of BYU, Gong said.
Students interested in applying for an internship must go online and fill out an application by midnight tonight.