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Copeland Hall houses the College of Business.

#ProjectIntern: Interns from the College of Business paid handsomely

OU’s business students are far more likely to land a paid internship than counterparts in other sub-colleges

Ohio University’s College of Business takes a hard line on unpaid internships.

“We don’t do them,” Hugh Sherman, dean of OU’s College of Business, said. “Business students are in demand, so they’re all paid.”

The college requires all of its students to complete degree-related work experience before graduation, which means completing a paid internship or participating in a consulting program where students work closely with faculty to earn class credit.

“In 99 percent of the cases, what businesses are asking students to do as interns is pay worthy,” Tracy Corrigan, director of the college’s office of career management, said. “The word ‘intern’ has really become convoluted.”

It is only legal for companies to not pay interns when they aren’t displacing another worker, Corrigan said, citing federal guidelines. She added there must be an educational component to the work interns are doing — something she said is not found in internship programs at most businesses.

She added business students can expect to make anywhere from $10 to $18 an hour during their internships.

Megan Baird, a junior studying accounting and management information systems, spent 10 weeks at the J.M. Smucker Company — or “Smucker’s” — during the summer of 2014, where she earned $18 per hour working on a business process development team.

She said the experience felt more like a temporary job than an internship and being paid was a substantial motivator.

Landing an internship as a business student is “so much easier” than many people think, Baird said, adding the college is “throwing” opportunities at its students.

For students who are either unable or unwilling to land a paid internship — or simply want to work overseas — the college offers an exclusive “Global Consulting Program,” which fulfills the internship requirement, but does not pay its participants. The program runs between two and six weeks, depending on where the intern is placed, and is conducted at one of 10 international locations.

Sherman said he recognizes business students are in luck when it comes to being paid for their internships. However, he added there can be benefits to participating in unpaid internships, especially in hyper-competitive markets where companies don’t need to pay interns to fill those roles.


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