Corporate Champions Celebrated for Support to Student Success

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AIKEN, SC (10/02/2018) The University of South Carolina Aiken toasted local corporate partners who work closely students, setting them up for success in the real world.

The USC Aiken Office of Career Services hosted its inaugural Breakfast of Champions to recognize the support of area businesses, particularly those who provide enriching internship opportunities.

"[Internships] provide valuable learning experiences," said Corey Feraldi, director of the Office of Career Services.

"There is plenty of support showing that internships help students develop transferable skills, clarify career direction, and help them get jobs faster after they graduate.

"Many thanks to all of you for helping to prepare our students"

Several companies and organizations attended the breakfast, which included 21 representatives. Feraldi explained to the group that internships are mutually beneficial. Specifically, internships may affect companies' retention rates.

In a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, at the one-year mark, the retention rate of employees who had internships or co-ops with the employers who hired them for full-time positions was 65.5 percent. The retention rate for employees who had internships outside their hiring company was 52 percent. The rate was only 46.2 percent for employees who had no internship or co-op experience.

At the five-year mark, the rates were more pronounced. At that time, the retention rates were: 51.8 percent for full-time, entry-level hires who had internal internships or co-ops; 38.8 percent for these hires who had external internships or co-ops; and 35.8 percent for those employees who had no internship or co-op experience.

"We know the benefits on both sides and have been working to increase opportunities for students and employers," Feraldi said.

As part of the breakfast discussion, employers shared best practices.

"It's always helpful to hear how different organizations develop their internship programs," said Kathryn McGlynn, assistant director of USC Aiken's Career Services.

"We wanted to take some time now to talk about best practices."

Representatives from ADP Augusta, Brandon Reece, who is a USC Aiken alumnus, and Max Morgan, described their experiences with USC Aiken interns, specifically how the students contribute to the company's mission from day one.

"I love USC Aiken interns. I want more," said Morgan, Campus Talent Acquisition Business Partner at ADP.