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Internships Provide Experiential Learning Opportunities for Ferris Students Toward Completing Degrees

PhotoNursing students in Ferris State University’s Bachelor of Science and Master of Science programs are among those continuing their experiential learning this summer, through clinical practicums and rotations at Michigan healthcare systems. Hundreds of Ferris students are on internships during the summer months.

Hundreds of Ferris State University students are settling in at businesses, medical care facilities and resorts this summer in learning-focused internship opportunities across the country.

Ferris’ Dean of Enrollment Services Kristen Salomonson pointed to National Association of Colleges and Employers data following trends in the university’s graduate surveys. The data shows that students completing an internship before earning their degree receive more job offers. Salomonson added that the data further emphasizes these students are more readily employed after college and have higher starting salaries at that first job.

“An internship certainly supercharges the value of a college education, Salomonson said. “Internships are the perfect complement to the career-focused education Ferris students experience here. Interns from our nearly 200 degree programs showcase to employers the high level of knowledge and skills they obtained through their studies while strengthening the university’s reputation.”

Professional Tennis Management Assistant Director Mike Janz, an alumnus of Ferris’ PTM program, said the program has had a “tremendous response,” for summer internship placements this year. He further noted significant interest in program graduates for entry-level opportunities.

“Tennis was a sport that became more popular during the pandemic, as the court was seen as a spacious place to exercise and socialize,” Janz said. “Once early levels of restrictions were lifted, there was a great response from the industry, both at local clubs and resorts, in terms of wanting to be connected with our students.”
Janz added that as the first four-year degree program receiving accreditation from the United States Professional Tennis Association, they want to help students gain experience while supporting an industry facing demographic challenges.

“There has been significant turnover, as the average age of a teaching tennis professional is 55 years old,” Janz said. “With a great number of pros coming toward their retirement, our program is dedicated to helping meet the industry need, with internship placements being an important component of that process.”

Arranging clinical practicums in Ferris’ Master of Science in Nursing program is also a summer activity, according to Nursing Professor Sharon Colley, a program alumna and the MSN program coordinator.

“The practicums are essential for students’ growth in their specialty role,” Colley said. “It allows them to use all the knowledge gained throughout the program. It isn’t until they have an opportunity to lead a quality improvement project or to engage in the day-to-day role of the nurse educator, informaticist or administrator that they can put all the pieces together. Students frequently recognize this and speak to the two culminating practicum courses as their favorites in the program.”

Colley further noted that internship experience can be added to their resumes and CVs to strengthen their ability to get sought-after positions.

Colley added that MSN students often shift to a new area of their current healthcare employer to complete their practicum. Sometimes, she further noted, those placements find them with Michigan systems or out-of-state operations.

“Completing practicums at their place of employment is often necessary due to the challenges of leading projects in an unknown healthcare organization,” Colley said. “It also allows students from across the nation to easily find a preceptor and site that is open and welcoming. We also have sites that ask if we have students interested in completing their practicum with them. This tells us that our students contribute to essential work supporting these healthcare or educational systems. We have affiliation agreements with a number of sites and continue to add to these as needed.”

Like their MSN peers, Bachelor of Science in Nursing students are also active serving as interns through the completion of clinical rotations.

Features on student internships, Meet the Interns, from several Ferris colleges and programs will be featured throughout the summer in News Services videos and stories.