Today, students across the nation strive to gain real, professional experience in the workforce before they graduate college. Sometimes these positions are very difficult, but give students the necessary qualifications to graduate as well as real-world experience within their major.
Brett Robinson, a junior finance major with an international business minor at Ashland University, has received an opportunity to work for the Bionix Development Corporation headquarters in the marketing department.
This opportunity came at large through Robinson’s efforts and the help of professors. Robinson was in Khushwant Pittenger’s, professor of Business Management and Internship, Life Calling class.
This class is a “one-credit class and it is aimed to help students find internships and other experiential experiences related to their majors,” Pittenger said. Robinson was able to take advantage of this class to jumpstart his career while in college.
The internship opportunity did not come easy as the Ohio Export Internship Program is one of the most competitive ways to get involved in future job positions and is quite a process. “The application process involved a written document, a recorded interview, and an in-person interview,” Robinson said. “This was a huge opportunity as international work is very hard to find while still in school.”
After receiving the internship in June of 2020, Robinson was able to work on projects in South America and Europe in international sales. Robinson says he learned key information that is tough to grasp without being in his position. “I learned about market development and selection as well as working with foreign partners and setting up foreign selling platforms.”
In addition to Professor Pittenger, Karen Hagens, director of the Center for Life Calling, helped guide Robinson along the way. When asked about what it means to have students participating in opportunities like this one, Karen gave advice to future students who might be interested in the program. “Experiential opportunities often contribute to career or life calling clarification through self-knowledge, skill development and work and life experiences. Typically, experiential opportunities enhance the marketability of candidates.”
For students interested in international internships in the future, the application process should start in September for the upcoming summer months. In addition, students must take BUS 152 if they want to receive funding for the internship.
“Students who have taken BUS 152 can apply for funding if they need assistance in funding immersion and applied learning experiences outside of the classroom,” Karen said.
Opportunities like this do not just come around to anyone. “Brett is motivated, hard-working, professional, and collaborative. He also responds well to coaching,” Pittenger said. “All these characteristics are essential for a student to get the best of any experience in college life including the Ohio Export Internship program.”