BIG RAPIDS, Mich. (April 21, 2009)—Undergraduates in the Ferris State University rubber program are having trouble finding internships, and the West Michigan Rubber Group is asking the rubber industry to help.
The rubber group's board of directors said the weakening of the economy in Michigan is behind the problem. “The lack of internship locations is particularly distressing to underclassmen in the rubber program, primarily first year internship students, who are required to have an internship to progress in the degree program,” the WMRG board said in a letter.
The group is asking for assistance from companies than can host an intern, or from people who might know of a company that can do so.
During the first internship the university expects exposure to the industry; ultimately they hope the student gains enough insight to confirm that they are in the correct major, the WMRG said. The ideal situation would have a student rotate through all aspects of a rubber company and gain an understanding of what each function does. However, operator and material handler are job functions that are deemed acceptable during the first internship.
The students are freshman or sophomores. They are required to work about 400 hours during the course of the internship, and minimum wage pay or a part-time schedule is fine.
The rubber group's board said if anyone knows of an internship possibility, contact Jill Gregory at [email protected], or call the Plastics and Rubber department office at 231-591-2640.