Internships are a powerful tool for building students’ professional skills and developing a talent pipeline for employers.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business’s new internship coordinator Amanda Russell is committed to utilizing that tool and adding value for all parties involved by connecting motivated students with organizations and employers.
Russell assumed the role of internship coordinator in August, bringing with her more than a decade of experience in human resource development, career counseling and advising in higher education.
“I have focused my career on student development and engaging students in professional experiences,” Russell said. “I am proud to have the opportunity to promote our talented, hardworking students and highly-regarded AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International) accredited professional school to the employment community.”
“One of our School’s key goals is to produce graduates that are workforce ready,” said School of Business Dean Tim Schoenecker. “To help reach that goal, we need to strengthen our commitment to experiential learning and expand the number of students that participate in internships. To do this, I was convinced we had to establish the position of internship coordinator to serve as a liaison between our corporate partners and our business students.”
“Amanda’s background, which combines academic advising and career development, makes her a perfect fit for this position,” he added. “I’m confident in her ability to advance our internship program.”
The School of Business’s goal is to establish credit-bearing internship experiences for all School of Business students, an important endeavor Russell stands fervently behind as she says the positive implications of such opportunities are infinite.
“Ultimately, internships build skills,” Russell said. “For students, internships offer a valuable opportunity to learn about a given industry or career path; discover what fits their personality, interests and abilities; and develop not only job-specific skills, but also personal skills.”
“Benefits abound for employers as well,” she continued. “Interns are a low-cost way to test-drive candidates before committing to full-time benefits. Also, companies can utilize interns for short-term projects to increase productivity. Interns are the most highly-motivated in the workforce and can provide fresh perspective or specialized skill to an organization.”
Russell was previously an academic advisor in the School of Business, working directly with students to identify academic and career goals and develop plans for graduation and beyond. She has also served in personnel management for the State of Missouri Department of Economic Development.
She holds both a bachelor’s in business administration with a major in human resource management and a master’s in counseling from Southeast Missouri State University.