Entrepreneurial Internship Program Connects Businesses to UNH Students
By Lori Wright, Media Relations
June 25, 2008
In today’s competitive job market, companies are increasingly tapping
into state educational institutions to secure quality high-tech workers. At
UNH, businesses and students benefit from an entrepreneurial internship program
that has successfully matched students with businesses for nearly a decade.
In its ninth year, the Entrepreneurial Internship course places seniors at
the Whittemore School of Business and Economics with entrepreneurial ventures
in various stages of business development and firms that service the entrepreneurial
sector. These mentoring relationships allow companies to utilize the student
resources available to them while the students gain valuable work experience.
“The students look forward to the exposure and experience from working
with interesting and exciting companies and the close contact with business
professionals at these organizations. While the students don’t necessarily
have the technical experience needed in many high tech start-ups, they do provide
the business education that helps such companies thrive,” said Jeffrey
Sohl, director of the UNH Center for Venture Research, who teaches the class.
“Many of the graduates have gone on to continue working with the company
that they interned with, making this a great opportunity for companies to get
a first-hand look at the up-and-coming future workforce,” Sohl said.
Companies that have participated in the past include PC Connection, Portsmouth
Tea Company, CCA Global Partners, eCoast Sales Solutions, Good Leads, VKernel
“Our company has participated in and benefited from UNH’s entrepreneurship
course since the program’s inception in 2000,” said Roger Brock,
vice president of employee relations and staffing at PC Connection, Inc. “Our
ongoing association with the program has allowed us to increase our exposure
to the Whittemore School student population. This exposure has had a direct
positive impact on our corporate sales recruiting efforts, resulting in new
hires from former class participants.”
Students work 8 to 10 hours a week for 13 weeks, as well as attend weekly
in-class meetings where they learn about topics such as venture capital, private
angel investors, due diligence, and the new economy in New Hampshire. In addition
to the internship and class time, the students team up to work with nonprofit
“PelletSales.com was fortunate to have had the help of Kiryl Harris,
who came to us as an intern through UNH, and who then came aboard on a full-time
basis after graduation. Kir brought an innovative perspective to our business,
particularly with regard to how to become more ‘green’ ourselves,” said
Jon Strimling, president of PelletSales.com.
The cost for companies to participate in the internship program ranges from
$500 to $750 per student interning at the company. Companies within a one-hour
commute from UNH’s Durham campus are preferred. Companies interested
in participating or learning more about the fall 2008 internship program should
contact Laura Hill at 603-862-3341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I was impressed with the quality of students and their willingness to
roll up their sleeves and get the work done" said Alex Bakman, founder
and CEO of VKernel.