The Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies stresses hands-on, real-world experiences. Whether through emphasis on internships or immersive class experiences, the faculty want students to be prepared to enter the workforce with an understanding of their desired field.
One way the public relations discipline fosters this growth is through the Intern Spotlight feature on Facebook. Highlighted students discuss what their internships detail and how it impacted their lives.
Emma Honn, a senior public relations major, is one of the students highlighted in this program. Honn spent her summer in Overland Park, Kansas, at Sprint as an external communications intern for their corporate communications department. She wrote executive emails, newsroom blogs, news releases, social media copy and pitches to reporters.
“I got to write an email on behalf of the CEO,” Honn said. “So, I wrote it and his name went on it. It was really cool. It went out across the entire company, retail and everyone.”
Honn learned about the internship through the Public Relations Facebook group.
“Things I did in my internship, I did in the classroom,” Honn said. “So I already had that first-hand experience. It made everything so much easier rather than just tackling something without knowing what I was doing.”
The public relations discipline requires all students to have an internship in order to graduate.
“I think that is extremely beneficial and needs to be a part of the curriculum because it does add that valuable experience that makes you look more hirable whenever you go out into the real world,” Honn said. “It gives you the real-world experience that you’re not really getting in the classroom.”
Another way students are gaining real-world experience is through the college’s academic organizations such as Beta Alpha Psi, an honors organization for financial and professional students that aims to inspire and give recognition to exceptional students in the business field.
The BAP chapter came in second place at this year’s regional meeting and competition and qualified for the national conference in Chicago. The focus of this conference was to learn how to gain more members for each university’s chapter and maintain retention rates.
Graduate students Megan Bradley and Gloria Guier helped with the International Day of Literacy drive at this year’s conference by going into inner-city Chicago and giving books to children at a church daycare program.
Attendees of the conference also learned résumé writing and interviewing tips. However, Bradley and Guier said they were already prepared when it came to learning those tips, thanks to mock interviews and résumé help hosted by the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies.
“The business college gave me a lot of communication skills so that I could network with others in a professional way,” Guier said.
Bradley and Guier said they will be confident after graduation.
“A lot of our professors have worked in the field for a lot of years, so they have a lot of real-world experience and give us real-world cases to work on ourselves,” Bradley said.