In today’s tight employment market, internship experience can be the key factor as new graduates look for a leg up over their peers. Unfortunately, many internships that offer valuable workplace experience don’t offer something else that’s valuable: a salary. That lack of compensation creates a real barrier for students who want to bolster their resume, but whose finances don’t allow them to abandon paying jobs while developing critical skills at an internship.
Entrepreneur Walter Van Benthuysen, ’61, has a five-decade career of working with novice employees; he sees the value of internships not just to the student, but also to the company and industry. His gift to the College of Business Administration will provide awards to students who pursue unpaid internships during the next five years. With this contribution, he intends to be a spark for Kent State students’ careers—and also to inspire other donors, who he hopes will continue the program so future interns have the same opportunities.