Internships give business students a head start in the job market

Cal Hartley internship

For the Hesston College business department, hands-on experiences are at the forefront of students’ education.

With the transfer process in mind, business professor Vickie Andres always has an eye out for internship opportunities for her students. And for the Hesston College business students who take advantage of those opportunities, they begin to set themselves apart from their peers as freshmen and sophomores.

“Internships enhance and provide for application of what they [students] learn in the classroom, and enhance their personal resumes as many employers prefer hiring applicants with experience in their field of study,” Andres said.

Students can choose to take advantage of internships during their time at Hesston for one to three hours of credit. These internships take place during fall and spring semesters, or during the summer.

Hesston College business students “have many opportunities ahead of them,” Andres said. “And they have the advantage of completing internships earlier than most.”

Freshman accounting major Cal Hartley from Benton, Kan., is interning with the Hesston College Business Office during the current spring semester.

“It has been great to have a student of Cal’s ability, interest and personality work with us in this intern project this year,” business manager Karl Brubaker said. “This opportunity provides a ‘behind the scenes’ look at operations that most students have no idea occur. Finances for any small private college are ever more challenging in today’s online, competitive world.”

“I am learning how accounting works for a small college,” Hartley said. “I am also working on many skills that I have learned in my classes, such as working with Excel documents and putting the whole process together.”

For sophomore Kylie Brenneman, Hesston, Kan., a summer internship worked best. As a business major with a focus in human resources, Brenneman spent the summer of 2017 learning from the human resource coordinators at Excel Industries, a leading manufacturer of outdoor turf equipment, participating in interviews, completing paperwork for state programs and more.

“The whole internship was a huge benefit for me as I learned so much from the people I worked with, listening in on many different conversations with employees dealing with human resource questions,” Brenneman said.

With experiences like these under her belt, Brenneman plans to transfer to Kansas State University (Manhattan) in the fall to obtain her bachelor’s degree in human resource management.

Internships for 2017 graduate Wyatt Baer, Marshallville, Ohio, mean he can now graduate from Bluffton (Ohio) University one year early, finishing his bachelor’s degree in three years of college rather than four. Baer is an accounting major, hoping to eventually earn a master’s in accounting and become a CPA. During his time at Hesston College, Baer had internships at Excel Industries as a credit manager and accountant.

Just as Andres hopes internships provide for application, Baer noted that his experiences on the job implemented the coursework in a real-world setting.

“Having internships has helped me to apply my job experiences to the coursework I am presented with in my classes,” Baer said. “I have even been able to secure two more internships since Hesston. Having these internships has helped me in the interview process and stand out on my resume.”


by Mackenzie Miller ’18