In-state employment goal of USD business school program

In-state employment goal of USD business school program by Erin Oliver The University of South Dakota's business school hopes more graduates will find jobs in South Dakota upon graduation.

To ensure this, the school is developing its internship coordination program thanks to a $64,000 grant from the Great Plains Education Foundation of Aberdeen.

"A quality internship is an experience for the student to find out what employment in the area would feel like and for the employer to test the student's ability to work in that setting," said Dr. Rhonda Holken, who wrote the grant application for USD. "The goal of this grant is really to study whether the state of South Dakota's businesses are in need of interns and if we could work out better ways to facilitate the intern connection."

The grant will fund the salary of an intern development specialist for one year, as well as benefits, travel costs, a laptop and various supplies needed for the job, said Holken, adding that 19 applications were reviewed for the position.

USD alumnae Jean Fuller was chosen as the intern development specialist.

Fuller, who started on Aug. 23, has a background in education and had experience in research and employability programs.

"I have a lot of discretion in deciding how to go about implementation," Fuller said, "but the main goal is to develop more internships within South Dakota for the ? business students.

"Lots of times young people don't realize the variety of businesses we have within our borders," she said. "They look other places but we really do have amazing things going on right within our state."

Fuller is currently coordinating with the chamber of commerce to get information about the state's programs and internships. She then plans to visit South Dakota businesses and network on behalf of the students once she is settled in, Holken said.

Those involved with the program will evaluate the internship opportunities in South Dakota after one year, and present their report to USD's Board of Regents.

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