While Michigan Business Connection is known for its business financing efforts with credit unions, the CUSO is also connecting with college students who want experience outside of the classroom.
Through an internship partnership with Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MBC said it is proving there is a return on investment for fresh, intellectual capital.
“We’ve been delighted to provide EMU students direct hands on experiences in community finance. It’s particularly gratifying to see how these students have gone on to great positions within the industry, including within MBC,” said MBC CEO Bill Beardsley. “Investing in young professionals has been one of the most important things we’ve ever done.”
Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., MBC underwrites and originates commercial loans and manages more than $250 million in credit union business loans.
With more than 70% of EMU graduates staying in Michigan, internship opportunities directly support the local economy by helping to produce experienced, employable candidates right out of college, Beardsley said.
Katie Krzyckowski, a recent MBC intern who was hired as a portfolio manager after graduating from college, said she was thrilled with the “incredible opportunity” her internship provided by allowing her to gain experience and knowledge, “not by sitting in a classroom but by working on real deals.”
Jacqueline Craig, a senior at EMU, who is MBC’s tenth intern, said she is looking forward to building her career in finance with the support of Beardsley’s leadership and the knowledge of the MBC team.
Beardsley said that although every internship doesn’t lead to a fulltime position, each of MBC’s former interns felt it was essential to their college experience, future employability and acceptance to graduate school.
Michael Tidwell, dean of EMU’s College of Business, said he values the partnership with MBC because it is a co-curricular program that helps students build a professional skill set that isn’t taught in a classroom environment.
“In many cases, the internship helps feed the need of local industry and keeps the students local,” Tidwell said.
In addition to exposing the students to professional opportunities, Tidwell emphasized the importance of gaining interview experience and observing and practicing workplace etiquette.