Most people learn best by doing. Over the past 25 years, Houghton College's business and accounting internship program has developed this educational principle to a high art. Experience is the best teacher!
Houghton interns are engaged in meaningful professional activities under the supervision and guidance of an on-site mentor.
The internship program provides an opportunity to gain an understanding of business principles discussed in the classroom as applied in real life situations. Most employers look for job experience when hiring, so a business internship is a valuable asset on a resume and may be the edge you need in securing that first job or gaining entrance into a top graduate school.
Hard work on the part of previous interns and careful supervision by the faculty have earned the Houghton internship program the respect of the business community. The program certainly is building a bridge between the business community and the campus.
All students who are majoring in business are required to participate in an internship. Students may receive up to six credit hours of credit but no less than two. The internship can take a variety of shapes and forms. Students can choose to work for a corporation, small business, or not-for-profit organization and this experience can take place during the fall or spring semester, while taking regular courses, during Mayterm, or the summer.
If you hope to do an internship as part of your Houghton curriculum, here are some tips to keep in mind as you approach your senior year.
Tip #1: Begin thinking now and as you take each course about what kind of internship experience would most interest you. This is, perhaps, the only time in your life when someone will ask you what might be your dream job and then will go out and get that job for you. Talk to your adviser if you need help thinking about this.
Tip #2: Lay out a semester-by-semester plan for all of your courses between now and graduation. You will probably make some changes along the way but you will want to be sure you can get in all of your course requirements and still do your internship.
Tip #3: Plan to complete a total of 125 hours between now and the semesters you have left.
Tip #4: Keep your grades up. To be eligible for the internship you will need a 2.5 GPA.
Tip #5: Attend the Internship Information Meeting held each February. This is a time to hear reports from students who recently completed their internships and to get the latest advice on deciding and planning for your own internship.
Tip #6: Take as wide a variety of courses as you can before your internship. This will give you a broader understanding of more areas for choosing the kind of internship you’d like and to make your internship experience more meaningful. Courses to take before an internship might include management, accounting, economics, marketing, business law, business communication, and human resources management. Depending on the type of internship you hope to do, your adviser may recommend other courses.
Tip #7: One more time…talk with your adviser, and other professors, about what kinds of opportunities they might suggest for you, given your interests. You also might seek the assistance of the Career Services Office staff. They can help you with an assessment of for what kind of work you might be suited. They might suggest something you’ve never even thought of or heard about.