Cal Poly Humboldt Business Internship Program

In 2012, Cal Poly Humboldt launched the School of Business Internship Program with a $400,000 gift from The Smullin Foundation. That gift funded 195 paid student internships over the following five years. Through subsequent gifts, and additional support from the Mel and Grace McLean Foundation, the program continues to support approximately 40 internships annually (approximately 25 consulting and 15 VITA interns).

The Internship Program provides supervised hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate business students in for-profit and non-profit businesses and government in the community. Students earn college credit and receive an honorarium for their work.

The Internship Program is a win-win-win by providing:

  • Students with the experience working in teams and solving real business problems. This better prepares them for their careers and enables them to earn income for school expenses;
  • Businesses with analytic, logistic and marketing support that increases the success of individual businesses and the local economy;
  • The Cal Poly Humboldt School of Business with the opportunity to strengthen its role in the regional economy and local work force development while enhancing the relevance and rigor of the program.

VITA Interns (Volunteers in Tax Assistance)

Approximately 15 student interns provide tax preparation assistance to members of the community making $54,000 or less each Spring. This assistance generally includes interviewing the clients and preparing State and Federal tax returns. This requires a working knowledge of tax law and the ability to research technical issues. The program has returned over $250,000 to the community in Earned Income Tax Credits.

Meet the Interns


“The work experience that the internship program provided helped me expand on the skills and tools I learned at Cal Poly Humboldt. It also helped me discover what I want my career path to be moving forward after graduation. This internship was the most valuable experience of my college education.”

Luis Bressoud
Smullin Business Student Intern
O & M Industries


“When I interned with the marketing department at Sun Valley Floral Farms, I was entrusted to run my first ever digital advertising campaign. Later on, I was able to connect with my current place of employment. What truly helped me stand out as an applicant was my experience gained from my internship. As a first-generation college student, I am so appreciative of the amazing opportunity I had as an intern.”

Jessica Larson Smullin
Business Student Intern
Sun Valley Floral Farms


“My experience working at Cal Poly Humboldt helped me cultivate relationships with faculty members and administrators who connected me to the Smullin foundation. I am so grateful for the skills I have gained from this internship and I hope to go on to embody my values while actively working towards making the world a better place.”

Serena Fisher
Political Science Major
Website Development Intern Smullin Foundation*


*Patricia D. & William B. Smullin Foundation funded this internship directly.

A Word from Participating Businesses

“This is a great program for students and businesses alike. I love being able to provide real world business experiences for interns and their help is invaluable. I like that the students pick the internships because it helps tailor the perfect fit.”

DBS Analytics

“I was happy with the experience and we hired our intern. Win-Win”

Kim McReynoldsDeMello, McAuley, McReynolds and Holland

“I think what was done, was superb, so much so that we hired our intern full time.”

Jonathan Speaker

Learn more about internships at Humboldt State University’s School of Business.