The UMKC Black Studies Program launched a new internship course beginning this semester for undergraduate and graduate students. The program is partnered with the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce to connect students with local African-American businesses and entrepreneurs.
The Internship in Black Studies (BLKS 496/5596) provides students with an opportunity to work and grow with successful African-American business leaders in Kansas City while earning up to three credit hours.
“This is a learning opportunity for students,” said Dr. Adrienne Walker Hoard, director of the Black Studies Program. “Students will get to see these successful African-American business leaders as a source of motivation. They will have a chance to realize how they can utilize their degrees ten years from now.”
Students will be guided by Dr. Hoard and trained by Natalie Lewis and Manomay Malathip throughout the program. Lewis and Malathip bring extensive experience with training and job placement for students and interns. The two trainers will begin working with the students on the first day of school. They will assess each intern’s skill set to help place them with an appropriate businesses.
In addition to student training, businesses will also be advised to give the interns jobs that are applicable to their degrees and goals.
“Students are not just going to be ‘coffee getters,’” Hoard said. “They will learn about the actual processes and procedures acquainted with the business in which they intern. There will be an opportunity to work directly with the CEOs and presidents of the companies.”
The Internship in Black Studies can be repeated over multiple semesters. Interns can form long-term relationships with businesses which may lead to summer and even permanent jobs.
“This will give students inspiration and motivation. The Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce is connected with a wide range of local businesses—not just small businesses, but quite a few multimillion-dollar, black-owned businesses,” Hoard said. “Interns with our program will get to connect and realize, ‘Oh wow! That person did it!’”
Enrollment in the Internship in Black Studies requires students to meet with Dr. Hoard prior to enrollment in the program. The Black Studies program would like students to have at least 90 credit hours towards their bachelor’s degree with six hours of Black Studies courses and a minimum GPA of 3.0.
Students who are interested in the program should designate a Black Studies professor to act as an academic supervising instructor. This year, the Black Studies Program will be selecting the businesses and making the match so that the student does not have the stress of that responsibility.
Students who want to learn more about the Internship in Black Studies should contact the Black Studies Program by phone at 816-235-2636 or by e-mail at email@example.com.