College of Business should listen to its students

By James Huber
Senior marketing major

I want to start this letter by saying I believe Butler has one of the top business schools in the country. I believe the fact that Butler requires its COB students to complete two internships is key.
The staff dedicated to helping students find internships is incredible. I believe Butler’s COB and internship program deserve every bit of their high recognition plus some, but not for the reasons the leaders of the internship program tell us.
We are told the internship program is considered to be one of the best in the country due to the academic papers we compose. How does this make sense?
The last time I checked, working in the real world is not all about writing papers. I know those in charge will counter with, “But employers tell us professors that recent grads need to improve their writing skills.”
Great. Teach us how to write in our first two years at Butler. These internships are supposed to help us prepare for the real world.
I understand writing these papers is supposed to bring our classroom learning to the outside world. But writing an entire organizational analysis about a company I’ve never heard of before where I’ve been employed for only four weeks is ridiculous.
I would be far better served by writing a one-page report relating what I’ve done at work to what I’ve learned in the classroom every other week.
I now address Dr. Templeton directly.
Dr. Templeton, you have, without a doubt, put your heart and soul into the internship program as well as helped me personally through it. I greatly appreciate and thank you for that.
However, your comment from the recent Collegian article, “Students express concern with internship program”—“Just because some students aren’t happy does not mean most students feel the same. Their views do not reflect the majority,”—concerns me.
It suggests you aren’t listening to the students at all. I took a poll of the group of students in my current internship class, and the overwhelming majority are disgruntled with how the current internship program is structured.
I have talked to many people outside my particular class who feel the same way. We are asked to write some very demanding papers, get 300 hours of work time in, go to other classes, be involved on campus and prepare for finding a permanent job.
Please, listen to what the students are saying.
The majority of students are, in fact, unhappy. Most students could get a far more powerful experience from their internships if they weren’t worried about whether or not their career goals have changed enough to get an acceptable grade on a paper.
For the sake of the students and the future of the COB, please listen.