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.

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