Jefferson City Connects Students to Local Business
JEFFERSON CITY - Stephanie Bell is an attorney at Blitz, Bardgett, & Deutsch LC, but when she was still in the University of MIssouri Law School, she was a clerk at the same law firm. Bell credits this experience and her past internship at the Capitol to gaining experience that helped her get her current job.
However, living in Jefferson City, she knew that part of the problem businesses were facing was the city was lacking young people to help business. Bell then brought the idea of Jefferson City START, a program that connects student interns to Jefferson City and with each other, to the Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce.
Bell said, "It's only in the second year of the program but I already know of at least three people being hired out of their internship and we expect to see a great deal more as more of the younger students graduate."
There are plenty of internships to choose from; the fields range from communications to finances. Bell said part of what draws these students to the internships in a smaller city rather than going back home to intern in Chicago or St. Louis is that employers can offer greater responsibilities than at a larger company. "Our goal is to connect younger people with Jefferson City and even if they end up here we want them to be able to go and tell their friends 'I had a really good experience interning there, you would too.'"
One business owner who has had a great experience is the owner of The Bridal Solution, Nicole Imhoff. "I love everything that the chamber of commerce does so when they approached me to be involved I thought it was a great idea," said Imhoff.
All Imhoff had to do was fill out an information sheet for potential interns to match themselves to the desired internship. Bell pointed out that what sets this intern program apart is the information sheet because it asks employers to tell students what they will gain from the internship.
The next term will begin in the spring and if any other businesses want to get involved in the program they need to visit the START website and submit an information sheet. Students who are interested can begin looking in March 2013.