Internship program helps graduate secure career

Jeff Corns credits the internship program in the College of Business Administration with helping him find a full-time accounting position with Shapiro Metals.

Jeff Corns walked across the stage during his commencement ceremony at the University of Missouri–St. Louis knowing what his next step would be. In an uncertain economy with record-high unemployment rates, college graduates aren’t always guaranteed jobs once they earn their degrees. Corns, however, thanks to the UMSL College of Business Administration’s internship program, knows he’ll be starting a full-time position this week.

“I feel lucky to have a job in the field I want so soon,” Corns said. “I credit the internship program, without which I would not have this opportunity.”

Corns, who just earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from UMSL Saturday, didn’t start out knowing his next move. As a graduate of Winfield High School in Lincoln County, Mo., he first dabbled with the idea of studying criminal justice. After deciding business was more his speed, he enrolled in St. Charles (Mo.) Community College.

“It was there I heard about UMSL from a recruiter visiting the school,” Corns said. “The fact that UMSL was the only accredited business school in the area with an accredited accounting program was enough to convince me it was the right school.”

After enrolling at UMSL, Corns heard about the college’s internship program. He met with Peggy Gilbertson, who oversees the internship program in the College of Business Administration at UMSL. He said Gilbertson explained to him the program, told him what positions were available with area companies and helped him find the right fit for him.

He landed an internship in the accounting department of Shapiro Metals, a scrap metal trading company in Olivette, Mo. Shapiro Metals has been in business for over 100 years and has locations across the United States.

“I was so thankful for the program,” he said. “Without it I wouldn’t have known where to look. And because the program was established and had a set structure, I was about to find a job, know what was required of me and really find a place that I could transition into as a full time employee.”

In 2013 he plans to sit for the certified public accountant exam and will return to UMSL to earn a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Accounting.

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