MSU Billings students explore the working world through internships
February 11, 2015
Michelle Schraudner, MSUB Career Services, 657-2168
University Relations & Communications, 657-2266
By Cassie Winter, University Relations & Communications Intern
MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — As employers put an increasing value on real-world experience, Montana State University offers students a number of opportunities helping to pave the way to future careers.
Last year 196 internships were completed for course credit at Montana State University. Of those, 69 internship positions were paid with an average hourly wage of $13.48.
“Internships give opportunities for students to test-drive their careers and what specific positions they like or dislike,” said Michelle Schraudner, Career Services cooperative education specialist. “It allows for networking with not only their employer but also with others in the field of work they are interested in.”
Senior accounting major Ashley Chouinard started an internship last fall with MSUB’s Information Technology department as its purchasing/administrative support member and has since been hired as a part-time staff member.
She said the work experience helped her land a full-time job at a public accounting firm once she graduates.
And she is not alone. In the past academic year, 60 students were offered a job as a result of their internship, according to Career Services.
“Getting the experience in the field you’re going into, or even in another field, it just gives you that hands-on experience,” she said. “It’s been great for learning how an office functions.”
To earn internship credit, students must first register for internship credit. With guidance from Career Services and advisors, students are matched with internships that pertain to their fields of study.
Students and employers mutually benefit from an internship experience, Schraudner said. Employers who offer internships are able to train students so that when they graduate they are ready for a full- time position within their business.
MSUB’s Career Services helps students set up internships from an ongoing partnership with about 70 businesses and organizations in Yellowstone County.
Representatives from more than 50 area businesses from various industries will be on hand to recruit students and community members at the 2015 Montana State University Billings Career Fair on Feb. 12.
“Students and community members will have the opportunity to explore a variety of careers and internships,” Schraudner said. “They’ll get to network with potential employers while gaining valuable job-seeking tips and experience."
The fair will be held on MSUB’s university campus, 1500 University Drive, from noon to 3 p.m., in the Student Union Building.
Attendees will have the chance to speak with representatives from numerous employers including St. Vincent Healthcare, Computers Unlimited, GE Capital Americas, Energy Laboratories and Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co.
“This career fair is great for employers because MSU Billings, City College and Rocky Mountain College offer so many quality certificates and degrees to prepare students for entering the workforce,” Schraudner said.
For more information about internships and the career fair, visit msubillings.edu/careers or call Career Services at 657-2168.
Senior accounting major Ashley Chouinard worked as an intern with MSUB’s Information Technology Department before transitioning into a part-time staff member. She said the work experience helped land her a full-time job at a public accounting firm once she graduates in the spring.