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Potomac Applied Business Company formed to develop on-campus student internships

Pictured at the announcement of the new Potomac Applied Business Company at Shepherd are (l. to r.) Frank Genco, CEO of the Potomac Applied Business Company, Shepherd President Mary J.C. Hendrix, and Dr. Ben Martz, dean of Shepherd’s College of Business.

Students will have more opportunity to work in paid internships on campus, thanks to a new initiative by Shepherd’s College of Business that was announced during an event November 4. A new company—Potomac Applied Business Company—has been formed to promote the internships.

Frank Genco, chief growth officer of Crisis1, LLC, formed the Potomac Applied Business Company, facilitated by Senator Shelley Moore Capito’s staff, to help match Shepherd students seeking internships with companies in the greater Washington, D.C., region.

“We are deeply grateful to visionary leaders like Frank Genco and his colleagues who have chosen to invest in Shepherd students and help prepare the workforce of the future,” said President Mary J.C. Hendrix. “I predict this is the first of many companies on our campus utilizing this innovative model that will ultimately benefit our community at large.”

The students will do the work in Shepherd’s new 2,000 square-foot Applied Business Lab located in the lower level of the Dining Hall.

“There are a lot of companies in the D.C. area that perform contract work for the federal government,” said Dr. Ben Martz, dean of the College of Business. “Potomac Applied Business Company is being formed to talk to those companies and to find subcontract work that interns can perform working here on campus in the new Applied Business Lab.”

The lab has space where students can participate in internships by telecommuting, which Martz said will make it easier for them to also attend class.

“Companies are always looking for students with relevant work experience,” Martz said. “If this works as we expect, we would have students starting in their sophomore or junior year on an internship that continues for two years and could eventually lead to a higher paying job when they graduate.”

Aside from offering an area where interns can work, the Applied Business Lab has a video-conference room and a collaborative workspace. All three spaces will be available for use by other university departments and for companies to rent. The internship program will start with business students in the spring semester, but Martz expects it to quickly expand to other departments.

“It can expand to communications majors because companies like to have students doing social media,” Martz said. “Students from computer science and engineering can do software quality assurance. Companies that are doing code or quality assurance and testing for systems might be interested in this type of internship. Companies are also looking for English majors who understand business and who can write technical or training manuals as well.”

Martz expects the Applied Business Lab will help Shepherd students fulfill internship and academic requirements, while also meeting the needs of companies in the Eastern Panhandle and beyond.

The Applied Business Lab has a video-conference room that is available for rent by businesses needing a meeting space.