Rise to the Top: Internships and Co-Op Basics

On September 6, 2013, for my Track 3 Backpack-to-Briefcase requirement, I decided to check out Christine DellaPenna and Beth Cahill’s seminar titled: “Rise to the Top.” It opened up by addressing what experiential education is. Experiential education basically boils down to learning through doing. In the business school, this translates to the internships and Co-Ops.

These two experiences are worthwhile because they offer the chance to practice business skills in real world situations, open the gates to take risks and explore, as well as to focus one’s goals. From a logistics standpoint though, Internships and Co-Ops look great on a resume and allow numerous networking opportunities.

Internships for academic credit are offered to full time VSB students or Business minor with sophomore standing, and at least a 2.5 GPA. The internship is equivalent to 3 elective credits and is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory scale. The internship requires that the student put in at least 150 work hours. Internships can be completed in either an 8-10 week summer program or throughout a semester. Students are able to complete internships outside of VSB, but they will not receive academic credit for them.

Co-Ops are 6 month, full-time paid position offered through VSB to students with junior standing. They offer 6 elective credits and are graded the same as an internship.

In addition to internships and co-ops, the speakers highlighted programs such as externships/ leadership experiences, which are typically week or weekend long experiences offered to freshman or sophomores in order to immerse them in business related roles.

Overall, I thought the seminar was very informative and allowed me to start preparing for the next few years so I can be in a position to attend high level internships and/or co-ops.

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