October 6, 2015

Internship expo for students

By Carissa Woytach

The second annual Business Internship and Co-Op Expo will be hosted by the Monte Ahuja College of Business on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 2 to 6 p.m. The event will host a variety of area businesses that are offering positions to Cleveland State students.

Anne Nelson, assistant dean of undergraduate programs and student services, organized the event, which only a year prior had been a lofty dream for her. As internships are a key component to any major, the expo was created by Nelson to bridge the gap between a student’s classes and looking for a job — with no practical experience — after graduation.

Sponsored by Keybank, the expo is free for companies as well as students to attend. This was done by Nelson to make the Cleveland State expo accessible to anyone interested in attending.

“The reason I wanted to find some kind of corporate sponsorships is I didn’t want other employers to have to pay to attend — most career fairs, employers have to pay for their table — anywhere up from $150 to $200,” Nelson said. “[Because] this was the first time we had tried something like this I didn’t know if it would actually work.”

Luckily for Nelson, the event last year was a success, with more than 25 companies and more than 500 students attending. This year’s event was prompted almost immediately after the closing of last years, with vendors asking when the next expo would be.

The expo is intentionally organized in the beginning of October to allow larger companies like Keybank and PNC to scout for summer interns who, according to Nelson, accept resumes in the fall, conduct interviews in late December and early January and notify prospective interns in March of the next year. This does not mean that companies only accept summer interns though, most — especially smaller companies — will hire students year-round.

While the event is listed as the Business Internship expo, it is open to all university students. Nelson stressed that while Monte Ahuja organizes the event, many of the companies in attendance are looking for students majoring in math, psychology and English.

“We have tried to put out the word that yes, it does have the title business internship, but if you’re interested, come over — it’s free and you can go from table to table and network,” she said. “Any student can come in, and actually we have graduate students who are [registering.]”

Nelson suggests that students bring multiple copies of their resumes, a way to take notes and dress in business casual attire. On top of this, Nelson suggests that students do research on prospective employers and be prepared with specific questions. Registration is not required but may allow Nelson to market certain students to specific employers, or vice versa.

If students are interested but cannot attend the event, contact information is available in the online version of the expo’s booklet, or contact the Business Advising office directly via email at businessadvising@csuohio.edu.

In preparing for the event, Nelson has worked to create an event that will allow students to network with area companies and find potential part-time work, internships or co-ops. What was once a simple concept is now in its second year, with larger business excited to attend.

“I’m really busy [but] I’m proud,” she said. “I’m very happy for our students and happy for greater Cleveland businesses that they get a chance to see that we have some strong students here at CSU from variable majors.”

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