Networking to build relationships with potential intern sites

September 26, 2011 at 8:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

Both President Obama’s recent speech on job creation and new private programs to generate jobs could have positive results for career centers.  If there are new jobs created by the federal government and by businesses that receive tax incentives to hire more people, career counselors may discover fresh internship opportunities that could lead to jobs for student interns.

Here are a few tips on how to maximize future job growth:

  • Government Internships:  Some internship sites are worth the visit. Washington, DC is one of those, where you want to network with government officials to ensure that your students get the plum internships with federal agencies. Your representative or senator in DC might guide you to the right office. The University of the District of Columbia just announced the inaugural class of the Congressional Internship Program, a new program designed to give students experience working on Capitol Hill with the nation’s elected officials. The Congressional Internship Program (CIP) is the product of a joint effort between the University’s Office of Government Relations, faculty of the School of Urban Affairs, Social Sciences, Social Work, and the Members of Congress who have agreed to employ University students for one or two semester internships.
  • International internships:  Build connections abroad to help fill the increasing student demand. Western Washington University in Bellingham has established an internship program for education students not only state-side but also in Kenya. Kris Slentz, part of WWU’s special education department, is taking student interns to Kenya this winter to work in rural schools in an area known as Kasigau, in the southern part of the country near Tanzania. “It’s really great for anyone who ends up teaching in a school with a lot of diversity – language diversity or culture diversity – or low-income schools where you don’t’ have a lot of instructional materials,” said Slentz, who will be traveling to Kenya for the fourth time. If your school has a satellite university, you might start with the faculty and career center people in the overseas program for promising leads.
  • Networking boards:  Maximize your boards. Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School will graduate its first class of full-time MBAs at the end of this school year, according to a recent Bloomberg Businessweek report.  So when it came to lining up potential employers for the soon-to-grads, the school took no chances — it leveraged the university’s prestigious medical reputation to stack Carey’s corporate advisory board with representatives from companies like Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck, Quest Diagnostics, and GE Healthcare. “(The Hopkins) name was enough to get us conversations and meetings with employers until our business school is wider known,” says Patrick Madsen, Carey’s director of programs, education and career services. Many companies represented on the board offered Carey students summer internships and are considering candidates for full-time spots this fall, the school reports.

Internship opportunities: a college to career GPS

May 5, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Posted in America's education system, Current events | 1 Comment
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by Dr. Rudy Crew USC, Advisor to internships.com

For the last decade, this country has been trying to “Leave No Child Behind.”  One premise was that the institutions charged with the care of children and young adults would operate seamlessly, and collaboratively in building skills, attitudes and values that enable successful careers.

I got the point, however subliminal.  As a former Chancellor of New York City Schools and later, Miami Dade County, I think the notion of leaving no child behind, had tremendous strategic potential.  But then there’s life and tyranny of the day to day.

The K-12 system is only loosely connected to that of junior colleges and other post-secondary institutions.  And from there, the way from college into the career or job of one’s choice is a function of luck, circumstance and as one young man once told me, a “hook up.” In truth, by contrast to other developed nations, we do a poor job of teaching the needed skills of occupational and civic literacy.  Worse yet, the path from college to a career requires a “GPS,” which very few students actually have.  Were it not for college career centers, savvy parents and big business, few students would make it into the job market at all, and even fewer from poor communities.

It was once taken as an article of faith, that college exit meant job entry.  The numbers tell a different tale.  First, 7 million jobs have left this country since 2006. Employment numbers are slow going north, and for the age group of the average college student (18-24) unemployment is still double the national average.   All this makes the case for a more explicit means by which students in this country get from college into a job—a National Internship program.  This is an investment in college age youth by small and big businesses alike.  It argues from the place where vision meets strategy– like that of other eras in our history when the marketplace was in turmoil.  The GI bill after WWII, the Civil Rights Bill both came after decades of deferred dreams for education and access to jobs–good jobs.

So now education is going to “Race to the Top.”  President Obama is right to suggest that we need to double time our pace if we intend to be competitive, globally.  But again, is it a slogan for the campaign or is there a strategy behind it?  Is there a real set of stairs from a community college in rural or urban America to a good job in the US economy?  I’ll know it’s for real when the “race” is being run with incentives for small and medium businesses to take on interns in the workplace.  It’ll be true when colleges and universities enlist their alumni associations to give an internship to the entire junior and senior class.  It will be true when career center budgets swell because of volume of demand and America’s Mayors campaign for the youth vote by harnessing themselves to youth employment. And when the skills taught in American public schools are ratcheted up to bear some relationship to skills needed to join a college, or vocation—for all students.

So much to do; so little time to win this race.  Your thoughts please; just no slogans.

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