YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Preparing students for the workplace is the mission of the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University. Partnerships with companies help to prepare WCBA students for success in their careers. With a strong focus on professional development and career readiness, WCBA students are actively pursuing opportunities in the Mahoning Valley.
A professional development summit, which brings industry representatives to the college, is one of the many career events that WCBA hosts. It provides a “safe place” for students to practice their networking skills and start building professional relationships, says Kelly L. Wilkinson, dean of the college. It also provides industry leaders with an opportunity to visit with potential employees.
In 2022, 115 businesses engaged with WCBA students, discussing internships, part-time jobs and career opportunities during two career days, Wilkinson says. Twice a year, industry representatives visit campus. Students are given the opportunity to work on their interviewing and networking skills, as well as provide businesses with their resume.
Internships provide WCBA students with a focused work experience with academic assessment. In 2022, 110 students participated in internship opportunities across the nation, with this number increasing to more than 200 in 2023, Wilkinson says.
Through a national internship assessment, WCBA is recognized as a top-five business school whose students received the highest evaluator ratings from over 60,000 supervisors and 20,000 employers following an internship, co-op or work-related experience. Compared with 39,000 students nationally from 170 universities, WCBA had the highest percentage of students whose supervisor ratings fell at or above the 90th percentile, according to Wilkinson.
The success of the internship experience is a win/win for both students and businesses of the Mahoning Valley, Wilkinson says.