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Emporia State, Local Chamber Collaborate on Student Internships

A relaunched program with increased support will benefit both Emporia State students and local businesses. The Community Internship Consortium pairs the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce with Emporia State’s School of Business.

The Chamber solicits and helps screens local businesses who would like an ESU student intern for a semester. The School of Business accepts applications from interested students. Ultimately, the individual businesses interviews candidates and selects their interns.

The program supports 14 students across the three semesters of the academic year — fall, spring and summer.

The selected students are paid through a generous donation from alumni Nick and Jan Laurent of Emporia.

“The reason Jan and I created this fund,” said Nick Laurent, “is to expose more students to what working in Emporia would be like. We want students involved in the community, and by providing local internships close to ESU, they can see what opportunities are available right here after they graduate.”

Interns’ starting pay will be a minimum of $10 per hour. The Laurent fund at the ESU Foundation contributed $5 per hour and the employer pays $5 or more per hour, with any wages above $10 an hour the responsibility of the participating business.

Employers are asked to select one to three projects for the students to complete that use the skill sets they are learning through classes at ESU School of Business. The students will be expected to complete the projects to the employers’ expectations before their internship is completed and they are awarded a grade.

Dr. Ed Bashaw, ESU School of Business dean, appreciates the innovation of the consortium program.

“We are unique with this partnership,” Bashaw said. “Our internship programs are high quality. They’ve been vetted, and each one has faculty oversight.”

Employers who are Chamber members can reach out to Jeanine McKenna, President and CEO. Screening interviews will be handled through the Chamber or Dr. Carol Lucy, ESU School of Business Internship Coordinator. Students selected will then be connected to potential employers for follow-up interviews.

Business owners or managers interested in the internship program should contact Jeanine McKenna, Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce, ±, (620) 342-1600.