Boise State’s College of Business and Economics (COBE) recently launched Bronco Corps, a program designed to help Idaho nonprofits and small businesses by providing internships to Boise State students.
Bronco Corps was developed in response to COVID-19 to help students who may have lost internships due to the coronavirus pandemic by connecting them with Idaho small businesses and nonprofits.
According to Perrine Blakley, director of gift planning for Bronco Corps, “The idea for Bronco Corps was started by the College of Business and Advisory Council (COBEAC) member Dave Wali. Wali helped to secure seed funding from the Gardner Company and Laird Norton Properties, and the program has been funded through 2021 by individual donors who were impressed by its early success.”
Laura Chiuppi, director of COBE Career Services, manages the Bronco Corps program.
“We were actively creating opportunities for our students who are looking for opportunities, especially since many of their [internships] were rescinded at the start of COVID-19. In addition, this is also helping those small businesses and nonprofits by connecting Boise State talent to those organizations,” Chiuppi said.
Bronco Corps connects students to Idaho nonprofits and small businesses through an application on Handshake where selected businesses can choose who they want to hire. Bronco Corps is available to all full-time students at the university and all positions are paid, allowing students to earn up to $2,000 or until the student completes 160 hours.
Bronco Corps has enough funding to connect 47 students with small businesses and nonprofits, according to Chiuppi.
“What’s cool about this program is that it’s allowed Boise State University to build relationships that otherwise didn’t exist with our nonprofits and small business community and teach them about internships and show them the value that interns have,” Chiuppi said.
Through this program, some students have been offered permanent positions at these selected businesses and nonprofits, according to Chiuppi.
Blakey talked about how the program is beneficial to the community, businesses and students at Boise State.
“[Bronco Corps] is a benefit to the students who were looking to receive really good career preparation, experience, to do something good in the community and to earn money,” Blakley said. “It helps the businesses and nonprofits who get an intern to accomplish things they otherwise couldn’t do. It also helps the community so that those businesses and nonprofits, when the end of the pandemic comes, will still exist.”
Blakley encourages all students to explore the opportunities Bronco Corps has to offer.
“Students should definitely go online and see what’s available. There’s a varied number of small businesses and nonprofits so there’s something for everyone’s interest,” Blakely said. “Students should really take advantage of this program especially if they’re needing work experience and a little extra money right now.”
For more information or help applying visit the Bronco Corps website.