As Stellar Blue surges forward, the company is more than happy to bring student interns from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Business Success Center (BSC) along for the ride.
“Everybody we’ve had from the BSC has been very professional, outgoing and dedicated, which is very important,” Jim Dobinski, a founding member and marketing director of Stellar Blue, said. “They’ve been very intelligent and aggressive.”
Stellar Blue, a web development and design company that also offers website hosting and search engine optimization services, has a rapidly expanding list of clients as well as employees. Since the company began its partnership with the UW Oshkosh’s BSC in summer 2009, Stellar Blue has hired five interns from the BSC’s roster. These interns — most of whom are part-time or project-based employees — primarily design and update websites for clients.
“So far, we’re five out of five,” Dobinski said. “We’ve never had a problem. The BSC has made it easy for Stellar Blue.”
Amanda Betts, a BSC-approved intern who graduated from UW Oshkosh in December 2009, became Stellar Blue’s first full-time hire since Dobinski, Dustin White and Cathy Wunrow formed the company in 2004.
Betts juggles a variety of roles, from performing market research and search engine optimization to teaching companies about social media to meeting with new and prospective clients.
“I do everything but the technical parts that Dustin does,” Betts said. “I’m basically the ‘face’ of the company.”
Dobinski says Betts has been a godsend.
”She’s intelligent, outgoing and friendly,” Dobinski said. “We couldn’t do without her. She has been an amazing attribute to Stellar Blue.”
But Betts wouldn’t have gotten the job without BSC Intern and Operations Manager Chad Kopitzke, who advocated on her behalf with Dobinski while urging Betts to consider working with a rising company.
“If Chad hadn’t pushed me along, I wouldn’t have talked to Jim and showed him that I was a good candidate,” Betts said.
And Betts has enjoyed watching her company grow, even during an economic recession; earlier this year, Stellar Blue bought a new company and added 70 clients in one day.
It’s a symbiotic relationship, as Stellar Blue’s management and employees like Betts learn and grow together.
“I’m running meetings with clients, and they’re looking to me,” Betts said. “And Jim is by my side helping me grow and deal with these situations.”
Stellar Blue continues to expand. On June 15, Dobinski hired a new intern from the BSC’s pool of UWO students to work primarily with website design.
“That’s the strength of the BSC,” Betts said. “They can connect small businesses with qualified people.”
The Business Success Center, formerly the Center for Community Partnerships, was founded in 1998 to give the public greater access to faculty, staff and students from UWO as well as community-based experts, offering customized training, applied research, survey services, business consulting and student internship programs to local businesses. Students interested in internships can contact Chad Kopitzke at (920) 424-2041 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Businesses and organizations can contact Doug Jarmusz at (920) 424-3266 or email@example.com.