Have you ever considered a student internship at your business?

When I was a sophomore in college, I came home from spring break and told my parents that I didn’t want to work in fast food over the summer; I didn’t want to work at the grocery store, and I sure as heck didn’t want to mow lawns.

There was a free-distribution magazine in the FM 1960 area at the time called, Playsure Magazine…its publisher/owner was a gentleman by the name of Bob Malloy and their advertising director was Mr. Lou Jones. On a whim, I picked up the phone and called Mr. Jones, introduced myself and told him that I was a sophomore communications major with an emphasis on advertising at Stephen F. Austin State University, and I was wondering if I could talk with him about an internship at the magazine.

I recall going to see him on a Saturday morning – dressed in my only three-piece suit – and we proceeded to talk for almost two hours. It was a turning point moment in my life. As a result of that effort, I was hired for the summer by the magazine. I met people all over the FM 1960 area. I went on sales calls. I even made my own cold calls…all under the tutelage of Lou and Bob.  They don’t know what an impact it made in my life! When it came time to leave for my junior year at SFA, they gave me a beautiful Cross pen…which back in the day was an instrument of success.

The following summer, I applied for and was hired as an intern at the Houston Chronicle. From working with ad directors Mike Hayes to Dwight Brown, I got bit by the newspaper bug. An intern at the Chronicle meant handling accounts for sales reps going on vacation. Imagine that! A 20-year old kid following up on double truck ads, half page ads with furniture stores, appliance stores, car dealerships…working with the art department, the composing room. Wow! What an education! It was the kind of education that led to my first job out of college…with the Houston Chronicle.

When you bring an intern into your business, it’s more than just a high school or college student occupying space. They are absorbing your knowledge, gaining your perspective, focusing on career paths…and YOU have the opportunity of teaching them something they won’t get in the classroom or dusty old textbooks. So, the next time Education for Tomorrow Alliance or Lone Star College or Sam Houston State University puts the call out for businesses willing to host student interns, be bold! Take one or two…you could change their lives forever!

By: Brian Bondy, President, Conroe Chamber