JACKSON — Knowledge gained through experience is a wonderful thing to have, and that is exactly what the Mississippi Economic Council is affording three MBA students this summer through an internship program.
“These folks have done a great job doing analysis and long-range projects,” said Blake Wilson, president of the MEC. “They’ve analyzed our Web site and worked on analyzing some of our membership and where we need to be going with that as well as helping us plan and work on the annual meeting.”
The internships through the MEC are paid internships, and Wilson believes all internships should be paid.
“I think having paid interns is the way to go because you value what they’re providing,” he said. “If you want something of value, you need to pay for it.”
Wilson added that when one offers a paid internship, the best talent is attracted.
This year, the interns at the MEC include Julia A. Yermolovich of Mississippi State University, Joshua W. Bridges, of Millsaps College and Willie C. Anderson, of Jackson State University. Wilson said if the program is offered again next year, three different academic institutions will be selected for the internships.
“I hope to try to expand it,” he said.
Wilson said this program was a sort of test and he has been very satisfied with how the program went.
“With internships you have an obligation to pay these people but you’re also agreeing to let them ask lots of questions,” he said. “It’s a chance for them to learn from us and us to learn from them.”
Wilson has worked with interns before and he said he has always gotten a lot out of working with them.
“And I think these three have done an excellent job for us,” he said. “We’re very pleased with the experience and we’re pleased that Mississippi State, Jackson State and Millsaps helped us put this together.”
Sandra Martin Maxwell, vice president of marketing at the MEC, is in charge of the internship program. She said each of the interns is very distinctive in their capabilities, yet they are able to work well together.
“I can be confident in the fact that whatever task I set before them, it will be accomplished to the best of their ability,” she said. “My relationship with the interns evolves on a constant basis. They learn from my experience and I, in turn, learn from them.
“To treat them as ignorant or na