Building collaborationand pathways is a Coleman Foundation priority. One way of achieving these goals is by creating internship opportunities for graduate students in community colleges. As a recipient of three Coleman Foundation Elevator Grants, Bunker Hill Community College has collaborated with Simmons College to develop and implement a very successful model whereby Simmons College places MBA Certificate in Entrepreneurship students as interns (fellows) at Bunker Hill’s Community Center for Entrepreneurship. The fellows, one per semester, work 100-125 hours, for which they receive funds to cover their tuition and some incidentals associated with the fellowship.
The Entrepreneurship Expert Assist program provides Simmons students with an opportunity to transfer their knowledge and skills to Bunker Hill Community College. The fellows provide direct counseling to entrepreneurs in areas such as opportunity analysis, development of business plan, and use of technology in business. They also develop and deliver training programs for small business owners on topics such as opportunity identification and marketing.
The students are supervised by Simmons Entrepreneurship Director Dr. Teresa Nelson in collaboration with the Dean of Professional Studies at Bunker Hill Community College, Dr. Bogusia Wojciechowska. Dr. Nelson writes: "This is a win-win proposition not just because the Certificate students are compensated for their work, but because giving back is often the best way of learning; becoming the teacher solidifies and strengthens the lessons.”
Dr. Wojciechowska adds: "Collaboration between Simmons and Bunker Hill is mutually beneficial. Simmons students have the opportunity to mentor our students and work as advisors in the Center. Our students not only benefit greatly from their experience, but are encouraged to explore higher degrees.”