Why It’s Important for Businesses to Support Students

Student internships offer opportunities for real world experience

“I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way…”
Lyrics from The Greatest Love of All sung by Whitney Houston

Does your business have an internship program? Or work with area students? You should. Universities do a great job of teaching our students much of what they need to know, but real world experience is critical. Internships are an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of what a career in their field of interest might be like, and often make contacts that will benefit them into the future.

For the business offering the internship, there are also a number of benefits. HBCUgrow and vitalink recently worked with two Shaw University students, Bryann Guyton and Troy Thomas, on our fall conference in Raleigh. Here’s what we learned:

  • There are some very bright, motivated students out there!
  • The input we received on the conference brought a new perspective and really made us think outside the box. One of Bryann’s first suggestions was to have President Dubroy do a video invitation for the conference (Shaw hosted the fall conference). Why didn’t we think of that?! Bryann was also instrumental in securing our keynote speaker from the White House Initiative on HBCUs.
  • We were impressed with Troy’s videography we hired him to film an Innovation Lab seminar and recommended him to a client for a promotional clip to pitch a new TV show concept. This led to Troy’s work being seen by a national level, award winning producer at Discovery Channel.
  • These students are ready to take what they’re learning and make their dreams come true. As a matter of fact, Troy officially started his business last week when he filed as an LLC with the state of North Carolina!

We’re now looking for our next marketing/event planning intern to help with our spring 2016 HBCUgrow conference. If you don’t have an internship program or don’t give back to students in some other fashion, you might want to start. It’s a great opportunity for both parties.