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Bronco Corps offers help for small businesses and nonprofits, puts student skills and talents to work

City of Boise
Downtown Boise, Allison Corona photo

Boise State’s College of Business and Economics (COBE) is actively helping the Idaho business community solve challenges and disruptions due to COVID. Last fall, the college launched Bronco Corps, a program that provides Idaho small businesses and nonprofit organizations with student interns at no cost, and helps students gain valuable work experience. Following a successful pilot phase, a generous donor recently made it possible for the program to continue through 2021.

Organizations that took part in Bronco Corps last year include the Gardner Company, Boise Bicycle Project, American Red Cross, Girl Scouts of Silver Sage, Girls on the Run, and Boise Cakery, to name a few. Based on an end-of-year survey, 67 percent of the companies will offer additional opportunities to interns. Each of the participating companies reported that the main goals of the internships were met.

“Bronco Corps is a way for our students to apply their business skills to help small businesses and nonprofits,” said Mark Bannister, dean of the College of Business and Economics. “Our college is responding to the needs of the community that we love, and is helping students learn and develop valuable experiences at the same time.”

A total of 48 internship opportunities will be offered to the community over the next three semesters (16 each semester). While businesses incur zero costs for these internships, the college allows for the students to earn $12.50 per hour. Over $30,000 in donated funds have been distributed to Bronco Corps student interns.

“Boise State has a large population of non-traditional students who need income as well as experience,” said Laura Chiuppi, director of the college’s career services. “Paid internships offer students the opportunity to prepare for the future without having to sacrifice financial security. This is why it’s so important to us.”

Employers can work with Chiuppi to create job descriptions for positions and to recruit students. Organizations can receive support for duties like creating online or mobile business websites, finding solutions to supply chain issues, creating marketing campaigns, assisting with business operations, and human resource or accounting challenges.

Contact cobecareers@boisestate.edu to participate or recommend a small business or nonprofit organization.