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UAlbany student interns gain valuable experience growing jobs and capital for regional businesses

Bill Brigham and Miho Tabaru
  Bill Brigham and Miho Tabaru

In today’s competitive job market internships can give students a “leg up” when it comes time to job hunt, but there’s also the other side of the coin – how do businesses who hire interns fare? At UAlbany, there’s good news in that regard. UAlbany’s Small Business Development Center reports that student interns bring both capital and jobs to the region. UAlbany students collaborated on SBDC client cases that have yielded $3,018,220 in capital access, while 66 jobs were created and 88 jobs were saved. It’s a program that can boast success in its efforts to link students to the small business community, while also give students unparalleled “real world” experience.

“Most of the students are studying in the School of Business and find immediate applications for class curriculum,” said Bill Brigham, director of the UAlbany SBDC. “In one instance I asked a student if she could create a cash flow statement for a client. Her accounting course had covered it and she proceeded to complete the financial statements from start to finish. Another student helped a small business with marketing advice because his family owns the same type of business in New York City.”

UAlbany students have teamed with Center business advisors to co-counsel 307 small businesses in developing business plans, marketing plans, and financial projections. The business sectors represented in the client base include software developers, clothing manufacturers, a business incubator, landscapers, and restaurants.

"The SBDC program truly prepares aspiring business students to become instrumental parts of today’s business world."UAlbany sophomore Erica Nehrbass said, “While interning at the Small Business Development Center, I began to formulate ideas for myself as a future business entrepreneur. Participating in client meetings taught me what it takes to be a successful business woman. The SBDC program truly prepares aspiring business students to become instrumental parts of today’s business world.”

Miho Tabaru, a senior business administration major from Saga, Japan, agrees. “I have been face to face with business owners who have real life issues and concerns. Being part of the solution gives me great satisfaction. Through this internship with SBDC I’m taking a forward step toward achieving my dreams and building my future as an entrepreneur.”

The Small Business Development Center was established at UAlbany in 1984 and it works one-on-one, in a confidential setting with small business owners to help them expand an existing business by exploring avenues for funding, marketing, and management. With emerging companies, the counselors work with new entrepreneurs to help them successfully start a business. The service is provided at no cost to clients. For the last twenty years UAlbany SBDC has worked with more than 13,000 Capital District entrepreneurs, helping them invest $126 million in the local economy.

Related links:
Small Business Development Center
School of Business
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