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The Job Interview: New internship website seeks to better connect N.H. students, companies

Adrienne Rupp, of the Business and Industry Association, poses for a portrait at the organization's Concord office. The BIA is offering a website that will help connect local businesses with potential interns. 
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

Adrienne Rupp, of the Business and Industry Association, poses for a portrait at the organization's Concord office. The BIA is offering a website that will help connect local businesses with potential interns. (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

College students in the Granite State now have a new outlet to search for those all-important internships.

The Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire in conjunction with internships.com has launched a website aimed at highlighting internships available at New Hampshire companies. The site – internships.com/group/BIAofNH – went live a few weeks ago and allows companies to post internship opportunities for free.

The goal of the site is to better connect New Hampshire companies with students, said Adrienne Rupp, vice president of communications at the Business and Industry Association, a business advocacy group that represents about 400 businesses across the state.

“This is essentially a portal that the BIA is able to use and market to its members and the greater business community,” Rupp said. “It’s another vehicle that they can use to try to recruit and advertise for interns.”

Rupp took a few minutes last week to talk about the new venture.

What types of internships are offered on the website? Are there ones available for students majoring in all different fields?

It can span the gamut. It’s essentially for any business that would be looking to offer any type of internship. There’s no requirement in terms of size or industry. Even smaller business sometimes will want to hire interns. It doesn’t necessarily have to be large employers, although I’m sure that those are the ones that do so most commonly.

But it could really be any business that’s interested in offering internships. There is also a resources section in the site that does offer some tools and advice, and resources that companies can use if they’re looking to start internship programs.

So there’s really something, I think, that all businesses could use.

Is it geared just toward undergraduate students? Or will there be internships for graduate students featured as well?

It’s geared toward all students.

Does the site just feature the businesses that are members of the BIA?

No. Certainly we’ll be communicating heavily with our membership, and a lot of our communication tools go directly to our members. But our hope is to get the word out to the greater business community.

So pretty much any business in New Hampshire – whether or not they’re a BIA member – can use the site. There’s no cost, so they would just go on and register and set up their employer profile, and then they can feel free to use the site however they wish.

What kind of interest have you seen so far?

I think it’s kind of early at this point; the site really just went live a couple of weeks ago, and we really just announced it. So there are some internships up there and we’ve gotten some positive feedback from businesses that have heard about it. We’ve been contacted by UNH, so we’re going to be talking with them about ways to get the word out and look for ways to partner.

So we’re optimistic. And again, it’s really just meant to be another tool that businesses and students can use. We were looking for a way to encourage businesses and students to be able to find each other better, and hopefully encourage students to stay in New Hampshire and make it easier for businesses to find employees in New Hampshire.

Are there a lot of internships out there in the state?

I don’t actually have exact numbers, so I’m not sure how many there are. But certainly the more that you have available, the better the chances are that you’re going to be able to retain students and encourage them to stay in the state after they’ve graduated.

Are both paid and unpaid internships featured?

Yes, the site could feature both.

(William Perkins can be reached at wperkins@cmonitor.com.)

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