Starting 2012 on a bright note for interns and graduating seniors

January 23, 2012 at 8:25 am | Posted in Job market | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

The labor market continues to improve. The U.S. added 200,000 jobs in December, while the unemployment rate fell to 8.5%, the lowest rate since February 2009. The picture improves for internships, too, as new trends emerge in 2012. More and more internships are being paid, more internships are leading to jobs, and new innovative strategies generate more internships.

Here’s how:

  • Paid internships:  The Chicago Transit Authority offers a full-time, paid internship in Technology & Resource Management. It provides seniors or graduate students with hands-on, real-world experience, enabling interns to integrate and utilize knowledge and skills from the classroom and to discover where further competencies are needed. Major: Technology, Management, Tele-Communication (Communication Engineering), Business, Finance, Planning, Policy. Here’s a promising internship found on Internships.com for Commodity Trader at Norman International in Houston, TX. There are 5 full-time, paid positions at Norman, a privately held energy company with a portfolio of competitive and regulated energy subsidiaries.  Interns will market a portfolio of petroleum and natural gas derivatives to maximize sales revenues, work with a range of clients, develop service and maintain a book of clients in the energy industry. Suggest that your students browse through the thousands of listings to find other paid internships.
  • Internships into jobs:  President Obama on Dec. 31 signed a bill that seeks to encourage federal agencies to hire more interns into full-time jobs. The Federal Internship Improvement Act, which was attached to the National Defense Authorization Act, requires the Office of Personnel Management to create and maintain a centralized database of people who have finished, or are just about to finish, internships with federal agencies and are looking for full-time federal jobs. That database will contain job seekers’ names, contact information and relevant skills. The amendment also requires agencies to appoint an internship coordinator, and to conduct exit interviews and surveys with outgoing interns. Agencies will be required to send a report on how many interns took part in an internship program over the last year along with demographic and educational material. Those reports also must describe the work interns did, how the internship programs used mentors, and how agencies are recruiting new interns and taking steps to offer more interns permanent federal jobs.
  • Innovative Strategy: A pro-active professor at Ivy Tech in Indiana utilizes the local media to help his students find internships. He recently wrote an article promoting Ivy Tech students as excellent internship material and asking businesses to contact him to arrange internships consisting of 144 flexible hours of accounting or similar work. He also listed the students’ education and skills. “Any type of business with some in-house accounting is ideal for our interns and can be a great asset to your business. We have had students work in local CPA firms, banks, multiple for profit business, hospitals and municipal government centers.” He ended the piece with a clear call for action. “Please help our students obtain this important piece of their education by offering internships. If you’d like more information or would be willing to interview students for potential internships anywhere in East Central Indiana, contact Kevin Veneskey, CPA, accounting.

Finding paid internships for your students

December 20, 2011 at 8:07 am | Posted in Finding internships, Job market | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

As the recession drags on, more and more financially strapped students want and need to have paid internships. Fortunately, more and more organizations are finding funds to pay interns. Although the compensation might be small, a paid internship boosts student morale as well as income.

The following tips offer new directions for paid internships:

  • Sponsorships at nonprofits:  Traditionally, nonprofit organizations have not offered many paid internships. But that’s changing. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, has received support from the Tucker Foundation since 1997, funding between 3 and 5 interns each year. Summerfield Johnston, whose family operates the Tucker Foundation, believes the fund supports work that benefits both the institution and the intern. Through their research, programming, writing, and other activities, the interns’ work benefits not only the museum, but each student’s life work as well. When exploring paid internships in nonprofit organizations, look for sponsorships that fund internships.
  • Paid internships with low number of applicants:  If students haven’t selected a major, you might guide them into fields where internships are paid, and they can sample potential concentrations based on their qualifications. Cal State Fullerton’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and concentrations in the College of Business and Economics have a large number of paid internships that are available and a low number of applicants. These  areas of study have a low number of applicants because they do not require students to complete an internship to graduate. There are currently 22 interns in engineering, three in accounting and four in finance. Engineering, accounting and finance seem to have the highest paying internships.
  • International internship sites:  With a shortage of experienced IT workers in New Zealand and the competition to recruit them increasing, Sky City Entertainment Group is hoping its new internship program will help it secure young IT talent while providing interns with much needed real world experience. The internship will involve a year-long, paid position in the Sky City IT team, with candidates being provided internal and external training in system management, system support and delivery, and systems integration. Sky City has 5 locations across Australia and New Zealand. Employment by Sky City at the end of the internship is not guaranteed, but the work experience will benefit the interns in securing IT jobs in the future.

Internships.com search:  There are now over 56,000 internships in nearly 30,000 companies in 7,500 cities listed on the site. Instruct your students to enter Paid under Compensation when searching for an internship and see what comes up. For example, InfoScroll in New Jersey offers 18 part-time, paid entry level Account Manager Internships with Residual Income. This virtual internship requires fewer than 10 hours per week. Interns assist in setting up local restaurants and other businesses with Free Advertising on InfoScroll. In Redmond, Washington, a paid Journalism Intern will perform multiple tasks for a condominium association, including writing a monthly newsletter that goes out to 770 homeowners.  Tell your students that the word is out:  Paid is in.

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