The Future is Bright for Students Thanks to UNK’s Successful Internship Program

Posted: February 13, 2024 12:00:00 AM CST

The Associate Director over Internships at UNKS CBT Career Center is grateful when she hears the same message year after year from the students she works with. Janice Woods, who has worked with more than 1000 college students doing internships during 13 years at UNK, knows that college degrees are still relevant for career placement.

Woods, as well as everyone at the College of Business and Technology Career Center, understands that students need rich classroom experiences as well as the real-world experiences offered by internships to be properly prepared for their future careers. And no one prepares students for the real world more than those who work to connect students and businesses through UNKs successful internship program. Janice Woods talking students at the Brewed Awakening

Both students and employers agree with this. In the 2022-23 annual internship report of the CBT Career Center, 104 interns that the staff worked with over three academic semesters overwhelmingly were in support of the internship experience. A staggering 100% of the supervisors of these students stated that their intern met or exceeded expectations at the internship. Woods shares that employers value the internship experience as much as students do. She explains how all (their) interns were paid an hourly wage, some at as high of a rate as they would make at their entry-level career. With a solid understanding of how businesses are improved thanks to UNKs internship process, Woods appreciates the way that employers recognize that (UNK) students are feeding into their talent pipeline which creates a competitive hiring process.

Woods recognizes the benefits to students continue after graduation as she describes how years of graduation placement data shows that UNK business and technology graduates who did an academic internship program through the program offered by the CBT Career Center, earn about $5000-$6000 higher starting salaries on average than students who did not participate in these internships.

Janice promoting internship opportunity at an eventBut, for the students, its ultimately about more than a paycheck. They can make decisions about their future career by trying it out for a shorter time while still in college. They can see and practice the concepts that they are learning in the classroom, says Woods. 

For the university, internships provide a way to keep programs relevant to the workplace. When discussing this successful program, Woods shares how students provide value back in their classrooms by describing technology that they are using at work and sharing ideas from their internships She goes on to say that, Its a great revolving door that keeps knowledge flowing in and out of our university.

Graduates from the University of Nebraska at Kearney are quick to point out how their college education made a difference in their professional lives. An impressive 92% of students in the internship report affirmed that their program of study provided the skills needed to be successful in the workplace. When asked if their internship was an important part of their degree program, 93% agreed, solidifying the work being done by Woods and the CBT Career Center staff.

Numbers like these cant be wrong. There simply isnt a substitute for what students receive through the experiential learning taking place in the classrooms at the University of Nebraska at Kearney coupled with the opportunity to enter the workforce as interns before graduation. These experiences go hand and hand, creating the perfect environment to prepare students for their professional lives before they sign their first contract.

Janice Woods, along with everyone at UNK, is grateful to be a part of this exciting time in history, a time when colleges do much more than expect students to open textbooks and repeat what theyve been taught. Through the efforts of the CBT Career Center, internships open a world of possibilities for UNK students, giving them a taste of professional success before they move on from their lives at college and step into their future.

By: Sandy Brannan

Category: General, Business and Technology

Power of the Herd. Top 10 University Best Midwest Public Universities | US News Rankings | Only in Nebraska a campaign for our future Power of the Herd. Be Bold. Top 10 University Best Midwest Public Universities | US News Rankings