intern Josh FordyceJosh Fordyce came to Longwood University to play soccer. As an intern at the Longwood SBDC, he joined another team, one with a winning strategy designed to help small business owners.

Josh, a senior from McLean, is majoring in business management with a minor in communications.

“I wanted to do something specific to my field for my internship,” Josh explains.

After graduation Josh hopes to combine his love of sports with the business management skills he’s added to his resume at Longwood.

“It’s been a good internship at SBDC,” he says. “I’ve had a chance to talk to entrepreneurs as well as help them with their business plans.”

While classroom instruction is good, he notes, real-life experience is better.

Josh works primarily with SBDC Business Analyst Brandon Hennessey.

“I’ve been involved in several projects, including one that can create jobs and opportunities for a lot of people,” Josh notes. “I really like to work with numbers, so it’s been especially interesting to listen in on a big project like this one.”

Josh has also worked with individual clients.

“I listen in as Brandon talks with the client, and then Brandon asks me to offer my advice,” Josh adds.

During his internship, Josh has become a fan of SBDC programs like RISE (Regional Initiative Supporting Entrepreneurship), created in 2021 to drive the development of a more inclusive and vibrant regional economy. An Innovation Hub slated for Farmville, already in the planning stage, will provide space for community members of all ages to work, learn, innovate, create and connect to entrepreneurship resources.

“The Innovation Hub coming to Farmville will be great,” Josh notes. “I’ve already been on a lot of calls for the RISE program outreaching to students involved in entrepreneurship and business development.”

Recently Josh had a “real-life” opportunity to apply what he’s learned at SBDC.

“Being able to help people I know is great,” Josh says.

“One of my friends wants to start a business scouting for talent in youth soccer across the country,” Josh explains. “I was able to offer SBDC services to give him some help.”

Real-life experience, as Josh has learned during this internship, has its rewards.

“Being able to help a friend with what I’ve learned at SBDC was really rewarding,” he concludes. “So many good things can come out of that.”