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Seeking Successful Partnerships

Sales Internship Center Expands Internship Program

September 15, 2009

By Pamela McLaren

The Sales Leadership Center in the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics is expanding their new internship program and looking for companies interested in tapping into the talents of soon-to-be Cal State Fullerton business graduate.

Following an initial summer internship program that resulted in nine student placements, the center is now looking to offer even more opportunities to bring students and businesses together.

The summer program, finalized just as the spring semester ended, was established through a collaboration between the university center and the Orange County Summer Youth Employment Program with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“The opportunity came together so quickly that we weren’t sure what the end result would be, but we were very happy to make the matches and the feedback has been tremendous,” said Chris Kondo, center director. “The students did a great job for the host companies and represented the school well.”

Jeremy Rafanan, a business administration major who graduated in May, started the summer as one of three interns with Zerox Copier Products Group and has become a full-time sale trainee since then.

Other students were placed with Nestle USA, business broker Plethora, biotech company PacifiCord and high-tech software enterprise Safenet.

“This program is a win-win-win for the intern, the host company and the government in their effort to create jobs,” said Corey Hutchison, Safenet’s western area enterprise sales director. “It is an inexpensive way to add very talented employees to the team with predictable results, while exposing the intern to a potential career path and the reality of holding this kind of job permanently.”

Gina Urquizu of PacifiCord, agreed. “The two interns that we’ve had so far have really impressed me. Their ability to immediately jump right in and be productive members of our team really says a lot about the level of education and hands-on experience they are getting as part of their education at Cal State Fullerton and through intern programs such as this.

“Our first intern got a job in San Diego right away. In this economy, that says a lot,” added Urquizu. “I have a feeling Maureen (Beckman, the second intern who created a social media strategy for the company) will have no problem finding a job either — she’s fantastic.”

One of the new companies seeking an intern is enterprise technology solutions and IP services provider r@eTECH in Yorba Linda.

“The Sales Leadership Center and its internship program dovetails with our interests,” said Jim Baril of r@eTECH. “I’d heard about the program and was interested in learning more. When you hire someone the old way, there’s a 40-50 percent probability of keeping them on, but internships offer an opportunity to see what the person is made up of and I think increases the chances that we’ll get someone who can work well with our company.”

Businesses interested in learning more about the internship program are encouraged to contact Kondo at 657-278-2527, or go to the center's website.

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