Business internships prove successful for Concordia-Chicago students


The newly revamped College of Business internship program at Concordia University Chicago is succeeding at preparing students for jobs right out of college – with some students receiving employment before they graduate.

Understanding that internships are absolutely essential in the current economy, CUC’s College of Business became proactive and created a solid, professional internship program ensuring its students receive credible, hands-on work experience during their junior or senior years. The program also provides students with invaluable networking opportunities and builds strong partnerships with businesses in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.

“There has been more serious interest from our students, and their experiences that have been greatly enhanced by this new internship format,” assistant professor of management Wanda Foster, who helped redesign the program, said. “This past year, after graduation, several of our interns have accepted full time positions with their firms.”

One of those students, Emily Fjerstad, was hired by Bobby’s Bike Hike Chicago Tours once her internship was completed last summer.

“I was able to actually create and implement my marketing ideas during my internship,” Fjerstad said. "This summer I’ll be taking over group sales as well as being in charge of marketing. I couldn’t be more excited.”

Because of the program’s redesign, the College of Business can now offer even more internships to students. Elisabeth Dellegrazie, assistant professor of marketing, said each student is carefully screened before admission to the program, ensuring all proper academic credits are earned and that the students are serious about their internship.

“We also make sure they’re ready to offer an employer solid business skills,” Dellegrazie said. “Before sending them out, we make sure they have a good understanding of what will be happening during their internship.”

Both Foster and Dellegrazie agree that reflection is extremely important during the program, especially in a group setting among fellow interning students. Accounting, management and marketing students go through the course as a cohort so they are able to share their experiences and seek advice from each other and their supervising professors.

“Since starting this new program, there has been more serious interest from our students,” Foster said. “Their experiences have been greatly enhanced by this new format.”