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Jason Fish

Business major, mergers and acquisitions intern, Ernst and Young

jason Fish

For business students like Jason Fish, the decision to spend the summer working at a local restaurant or outdoor camp no longer seems like a viable option. Not if they intend to compete for coveted corporate jobs against the thousands of other business school students flooding the job market come graduation, most of whom will have already completed coveted summer internships. For his own stellar summer experience, Fish recently interned in the mergers and acquisitions group for Ernst and Young in Washington, D.C.

"I [was dealing] with mergers and acquisitions on both the buy and sell side," Fish says. "We worked with clients on finding a strategic partner to acquire or sell to, and I specifically was a part of the business valuations and deal structuring. I worked on deals ranging from $10 million to $200 million."

How a few UVM Business students have spent recent summers:

  • Ward Waesche: Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., summer analyst (high yield fixed income research)
  • Elizabeth Bernier: Vtrim Healthy Weight Management, sales and marketing intern
  • Victor Hartmann: Digitas, project manager

Fish is among 60% of the students in the UVM School of Business Administration who perform a business-related summer internships at companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ralph Lauren, Vtrim, Oppenheimer, Boeing, Jet Blue, General Electric, Ernst & Young, Dealer.com and others. The increased emphasis on internships has contributed to almost 70 percent of the Class of 2011 receiving full-time job offers within three months after graduation, according to an alumni survey.

Giving UVM students the career advantage

“Internships add tremendous value to the student experience because students acquire hands-on training in a professional environment, allowing them to integrate the theory learned in the classroom with the actual practice of business solutions,” said Sanjay Sharma, dean of the School of Business Administration, who hired a full-time career counselor dedicated to helping students land internships and launch successful job searches.

Revamped efforts by the faculty members like Associate Professor Susan Hughes and her colleagues in accounting; improved and newly formed recruiting relationships with firms in Boston and New York; and improved alumni connections with top business professionals like Sean Riley ’90, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston, have resulted in students landing high-quality internships.

Fish's Ernst and Young experience left him ready for the future: "I plan on either starting my own company or work for a strategic consulting firm, and/or would like to move into private equity in the long run."