Business Internships

The Division of Business, Mathematics and Sciences believe that real-world experience in business and industry is an integral part of a complete education.

Each year, all senior Business Administration majors are required to complete an internship in a business or government agency. Students may work part-time or full-time. Most choose to do their internships during the spring semester.

Overview 

The Business Program at Columbia College believes that internships are a great way for students to extend their education, gain meaningful career contacts, and create a significant differentiating advantage for themselves in the job placement market. Each year all of the business administration majors are required to perform a 200-hour internship. The students can work in a part-time or full-time capacity. Students can complete their internships during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

The primary purpose of an internship is to provide you with practical perspectives on the academic concepts and theories studied in the classroom. It is not designed simply to give you work experience. Although work experience and an in-depth look at an organization and at a particular industry are desirable results of an internship, they are not the principal objectives. Therefore, emphasis throughout the internship will be on providing you with the opportunity to make significant contributions to the employer’s operations through insights and applications of material learned at Columbia College. The employer should gain the optimal benefit from you and your work effort, and you should obtain benefit from the experience and the opportunity to discover more about theory and practice.

Goals of the Program

There are many reasons why our program requires an internship of all Business Administration majors. Among the goals of the program are:

  • To provide practical perspectives on the academic concepts and theories students have studies. 
  • To encourage students to interact, network, and collaborate. 
  • To provide students with an in-depth look at an organization and at a particular industry. 
  • To create opportunities for the exchange of ideas, research, and expertise between students, faculty, and employers.

Finding an Internship

Begin by contacting the Internship Coordinator, Travis Dalton, whose office is located in Bush Science Center (Room 140) for information beyond that supplied here on our web site.

You are encouraged to look for internships independent of the Internship Coordinator. If you are able to find an internship position independently, you must contact the Internship Coordinator, who will evaluate your chosen assignment to ensure the job qualifies for an internship.

Students can use the database available through the Center for Career Coaching and Professional Development at Columbia College to search for possible internship positions. Students may also contact companies independently. They must establish who their supervisor will be and provide a description of the job duties to be performed. The supervisor must agree to fill out an evaluation form and to provide a written evaluation letter for the intern. The Internship Coordinator will review the information and decide whether the job meets the requirements for internship credit.

Since the objective of the program is to assist students in exploring new real-life career opportunities, students are discouraged from using their regular jobs as credit for the internship placement.

Approval Process

The student must receive approval for the internship from the Internship Coordinator before beginning work for academic credit.

When applying for internship credit, students must meet the following prerequisites for enrollment:

  • Formal declaration of a Business Administration major 
  • Completion of all major requirements 
  • Senior status (90 hours of course credit) 
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA in Business Administration major requirements

After completing the above prerequisites, students will then need to set up an appointment to meet with the Internship Coordinator.

Internship Requirements

Final acceptance for BUS 470I credit is determined by the Internship Coordinator, Travis Dalton, and is based upon the nature and duration of the work. Internship placements can be salaried or non-paid employment positions. The work should be consistent with that done in entry-level positions by college graduates. For example, while typing, filing, and telephone answering are important office functions, they would not qualify for an internship. Also, it is expected that the intern will have responsibility for a variety of business, accounting, management, or marketing related tasks and that the intern will be supervised by someone who is knowledgeable about those tasks.

Examples of Internship Placements

  • AgFirst Bank 
  • Better Business Bureau 
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of SC 
  • C. C. McGregor & Co.
  • Chick-Fil-A
  • Columbia Chamber of Commerce 
  • Columbia College 
  • First Citizens Bank 
  • Richland County School District One 
  • North Columbia Business Association
  • South Carolina Department of Revenue

Student Benefits

There are many good reasons to complete an internship. Here are just a few:

  • Gain practical work experience in your chosen major field 
  • Earn academic credit for qualifying experience 
  • Acquire additional professional experience to include on your resume 
  • Apply classroom skills and knowledge to on-the-job experiences 
  • Acquire future job contacts through networking 
  • Develop confidence and learn to interact professionally with peers 
  • Learn additional professional skills, such as business writing and public speaking 
  • Help in deciding if your chosen career is really right for you

Employer Benefits

There are many reasons for organizations to partner with our department in providing internships for our students. Here are just a few:

  • Opportunity to observe the performance and potential of future employees without obligation to hire 
  • Excellent strategy to meet staffing needs for short-term projects 
  • Availability of continuous flow of motivated students for selection 
  • Introduction of fresh ideas and attitudes to the organization