A central goal of W&L's Entrepreneurship Program is to complement classroom learning with real world experience. Our Entrepreneurship Internship Program (EIP), launched in summer 2012, bridges the gap between the classroom and real world by providing opportunities for students to apply the knowledge, skills, and abilities learned in the classroom in the context of an entrepreneurial organization. The EIP matches students with host entrepreneurial organizations for 6-8 week internships during the spring term or summer break.
Host organizations, most of which have a direct or indirect connection to alumni, include startups, high growth potential companies, private equity and venture capital firms, and corporations engaged in entrepreneurial endeavors. The organizations typically assign student interns to specific projects including:
- developing business plans and strategic plans;
- assessing appropriate means of financing a new venture;
- assessing value and application of new technologies;
- market analysis and marketing plans; and
- financial model development.
All proposed internships are evaluated by the Program Director. The key characteristic the EIP looks for is the ability of the host organization to provide students with a rich opportunity to gain valuable insights into the world of entrepreneurship through working on real world projects. Student interns are paid by the host organization in order to defray student costs of living and working in an area outside of his or her home city.
W&L student interns are selected through a competitive application process and based on specific criteria developed for the program. The students selected are highly motivated, high-energy individuals, with a strong desire to learn. Host organizations that develop challenging projects and work closely with students during the internship will be amazed at the contributions these students can make in a short period of time. It is important to develop a project(s) that will continue to challenge and stretch students over the entire internship experience.
The matching process is quite simple. Host organizations are provided with application materials for the students selected through our competitive process. Host organizations review the materials and contact students for either phone or on campus interviews. Selected students will have the opportunity to review host organization materials through our online system. Due to the size of W&L, it is not guarantee that all selected host organizations will have an intern assigned, but we do our best to match qualified interns with selected host companies. Once all selected student interns have had the opportunity to connect with host organizations, internships are opened to all students who may be interested and may have missed the application deadline.
The Bennett Family Student Intern Fund and other gifts from alumni provide the ability to offer stipends to students to help cover travel, housing, and living costs. These stipends are competitive and based on student and organization need.