Tags: Blackboard, Educause, internships.com, LULAC, SHRM
At the recent EDUCAUSE 2011 Annual Conference, a higher education information technology event, a new partnership opportunity was unveiled. Blackboard Inc. and Internships.com announced plans to integrate job search and career building tools and resources directly in the Blackboard Learn(TM) online teaching and learning platform. Here’s how this new partnership and other Internships.com partnerships benefit students:
- Internships.com CEO: “With unemployment remaining so high in the United States, the key for student job seekers is not only to find and apply to available work opportunities, but also to prepare themselves to be hired through career content and tools,” said Mr. Robin D. Richards, Chairman and CEO of Internships.com. “We are honored to enter this partnership with a leader in the higher education industry and further distribute our world class social recruiting tools, features, and content to the next generation of America’s great employees.”
- Blackboard CEO: “As a company, Blackboard is committed to providing the best tools to help students succeed both inside and outside of the classroom and we know career development is an important part of the education experience,” said Michael Chasen, CEO and President of Blackboard. “This partnership with Internships.com gives us the opportunity to provide resources within the learning management platform that help students succeed beyond just the academic setting.”
- Integration benefits: According to a PR Newswire press release, the planned integration will enable students to search for and apply for internships, student jobs and entry-level positions within the course platform. Students will also be able to take advantage of the full suite of career tools from Internships.com, including a social media integration that will enable student job seekers to leverage their Facebook network to find jobs and get introduced to hiring companies. With the multi-year, exclusive distribution deal for Blackboard’s North America Higher Education clients, Internships.com becomes a Blackboard Premier Partner (TM) in the Blackboard Partnerships Program(TM). Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions.
- The LULAC Internship Alliance Program: The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, and Internships.com have partnered to build a bridge between students and businesses to ensure that Latino students receive the benefits of the internships.com platform and access to the experiential learning opportunities they need. Through this partnership LULAC is making it possible for students to receive the LULAC Intern Certification Program, ensuring that students have had an elite level of preparation to aid them in entering the workforce. On completion of this Program students receive a LULAC certified designation that employers can rely on to know that these students are prepared and motivated to become great interns.
- Other Partnerships: SHRM – Society for Human Resource Management offers professional development opportunities in a variety of ways including conferences, workshops, webinars and social media. BASIC – Business and Students in Careers is an alliance between college and university students in Luzerne County and the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber business community to help prepare them to be career ready. Click on About Us under Educators and go to Partners on the Internships.com Web site for a complete listing of organizations that coordinate services with Internships.com and may help you maximize career opportunities for your students.
As a career services professional, you may be overwhelmed by the increasing volume of student interns who want your help. Since more and more students want internships, consider lining up resource partners to support your mission of a quality internship for every student. Here are a few tips to build alliances and share responsibility:
- Professional alliances: Joyce Lain Kennedy in a recent blog on the Chicago Tribune Web site recommended “finding internship opportunities on a new website, internships.com/group/shrm. The site is an alliance between Internships.com, a large internship marketplace, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the dominant human resource management association.” The alliance works well, too for SHRM, which believes that students embarking on HR careers will want access to SHRM resources to help build a HR knowledge base for success in the first job and throughout their careers. Maximize such partnerships with professional organizations to offer your students assistance and to share responsibility for student success.
- University alliances: Universities world-wide are developing alliances with local entities to build stronger internship and career connections. A recent example is Zayed University and Dubai Airport Freezone, which have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote cooperation in employment, internships and training and research. According to the terms of the MoU, Zayed University students will gain priority access to temporary and permanent positions within Dubai Airport Freezone, provided they meet specific job requirements of the free zone. Available roles will range from internship and summer work opportunities to full time employment. Zayed University students will also be able to participate in recruitment events like job shadowing and mentor programs.
- Intern-Supervisor alliances: Supervisors are your main support during student internship. By now, you should be getting first reports from both your summer interns and their supervisors. If the intern supervisor contacts you or you see something disquieting in your intern’s reports, then you have to sort out the problems. It may be easier to keep track of your intern through the intern supervisor who will appreciate your active interest in your intern’s success. A written document, defining the roles and responsibility in an internship, could clarify the issues. This document should be created during the first week of the internship and signed by the supervisor and the intern. Your role is to make sure each party understands his/her responsibilities and follows through appropriately.
- Student-Parent-Career Center alliances: Your summer interns are busy learning how to adapt to the world of work, which includes taking responsibility for those own actions, too. An insecure student will want your help while a self-confident student may resent your advice. Unless you see a reason to change a student’s behavior, you may want to give your interns space to grow as individuals. Parents also come into the equation, especially if students are living at home while doing summer internships. Parents’ expectations may be unrealistic or they may be concerned that their child is not treated fairly at his/her internship. If your college interns complain to parents—who then complain to you—you’ll be responsible for explaining the situation and resolving it.
- Please keep in mind that there is not a right or wrong way to measure how much responsibility you should take for your college interns. But keep in mind that the more alliances you build, the more support you’ll have for a successful experience for everyone involved.