Going global this summer

April 17, 2012 at 8:00 am | Posted in Advising interns | 1 Comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

The world is your oyster, according to the old saying, and it’s never been truer in the world of internships then now. Companies are expanding in China, India, South America, and Europe, for starters, and they want interns and employees with global experience. Many colleges are offering  international field trips to give their students a head start. For example, students at Lynchburg College in Virginia went on spring break in Paris, not because they were French majors but because they wanted the global experience. This could be the right summer for your students to go global.  You might want to quote to them the following excerpts on costs and options from the recent New York Times article on global internships in the Business section:

  • Costs:  Such internships can be pricey, because air fare is generally not included, a paycheck is unlikely and it can be hard to arrange them without outside help. But they can offer a window into a different business culture, along with a chance to practice language skills and perhaps earn college credit. Stephen Keil, a sophomore majoring in international relations and minoring in French at Syracuse University, worked full time last summer to save for his fall internship with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. The university arranged the internship. Mr. Keil did research for the council’s Pompidou Group, which combats drug abuse and drug trafficking. He is considering a career in the State Department, so the experience was very useful, he said, “and my French improved greatly.”
  • Options:  During the school year, Syracuse students who study abroad have the option of pursuing internships in addition to taking classes, but their tuition is the same regardless. Beyond tuition, program fees (including housing) range from $5,735 to $7,500, and substantial financial aid is available, said Suzanne Shane, program director at SU Abroad. In summer, students may pursue a full-time internship for credit without taking other courses. For this option, they pay about $1,000 a credit, as well as fees ranging from $2,000 to $3,840 when lodging is part of the package.
  • Location:  Many students select an internship based on location, which is where Internships.com can help since it now has nearly 65,000 internships listed. Advise your students to go to the Web site and click on Summer Internships Abroad.  The following excerpts may stimulate your students to explore global internships:  “Summer internships abroad can give you a great adventure and potentially lead to an extremely lucrative career path. Traditional internships offer the opportunity of learning about a career, making professional contacts, and adding experience to your resume, and international internships offer all these benefits plus the chance to study a new culture and language abroad! Is there a place you’ve always wanted to see or a location abroad that you’ve already fallen in love with and want to spend a few months in? Have you been studying a language for years in school and need the chance to practice it in real-world situations? An internship abroad might be the perfect opportunity for you.”

Tracking national trends in internships

April 12, 2012 at 8:00 am | Posted in Advising interns | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

Internships are a hot topic. Articles about internships appear daily around the world in newspapers, online publications, and blogs. Campus chat and dinner table talk often revolve around internships—where they are, who has them, how to get one, etc. Whether a person is an undergraduate, graduate student, or unemployed, internships are the lifeline to full-time employment. As a busy career professional, you have little time to keep updated, but it might be helpful to evaluate the following trends for your program:

  • Post-internship positionsCompanies are developing new programs to stay in touch with their interns. NASA has selected 100 of their “high-performing interns” to be inducted into the 2012 NASA Student Ambassadors Virtual Community. The Student Ambassadors program is part of NASA’s effort to encourage learning and education in their related fields. Referring to these fields of study as STEM (or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), NASA also provides research, teaching, and training tools for educators on their website. The agency also provides internship opportunities and scholarships for interested students. Each group of selected interns to participate in this virtual community is called a “CPohort”. As this most recent group to be selected will be the fourth in the program’s history, they will be known as “Cohort IV” and will be comprised of students from 34 states and 73 universities in the United States.
  • Internship competitionThe competition is getting tougher, says an article in the Kansas City Star. According to recent news reports, some employers have gotten rid of unpaid internships this year or have converted them to paid programs and are hiring fewer summer employees because they fear lawsuits regarding compensation. You can interpret that as good news because you’re more likely to be paid this summer if you land an internship. It’s also good news that employers have been put on notice that they can’t take advantage of free labor. But it puts the summertime squeeze on many students who will find fewer training positions available. As a result, they’ll lose out on entry-level workplace experience that could lead to full-time advancement. The controversy stems in part from a handful of lawsuits that have been filed over the past year by unpaid interns who alleged they were taken advantage of and should have been paid for their work. Unpaid internships became much more prevalent during the recession as companies sought to control salary and benefit costs by hiring a ready, willing and able pool of unpaid students seeking to build resumes. There are about 1.5 million interns hired every year, and more than half are unpaid positions, according to a USA Today story.
  • Internship CoalitionsAn adjunct professor at Northeastern University notes how Boston groups are helping students find internships, co-ops, and jobs. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are hosting a gathering of business and academic leaders to discuss the benefits and best practices of student internships. The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce also is offering Chamber Intern Connect to connect area employers with college students throughout the region. No matter the specific internship, industry, or paid vs. unpaid opportunity, Chamber members post summer internships to a high-traffic database as well as the Commonwealth’s statewide Mass Stay Here internship site. The Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX), led by BWP Connector Debi Kleiman, offers student opportunities throughout the year. With a similar mission the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC)’s Education Foundation has launched the MassTLC Internship Network as the go-to source for tech sector internships in Massachusetts.
  • Internship-Partnership InnovationsBusiness Wire reports on a new trend of two companies joining together to offer one super-charged internship experience. Bayer MaterialScience LLC and the Pittsburgh Penguins today announced the first dual-internship program associated with the two iconic Pittsburgh names. Both Bayer and the Penguins currently have independent internship programs; however, the two Pittsburgh-based organizations have decided to team up and offer a dynamic internship experience to college students in the region. The six-month internship, focused on new media, will have the student assisting the Penguins’ Director of New Media, from June to August and then working with the social media team lead at Bayer MaterialScience LLC, from September to November. This type of internship is appropriate for college students pursuing a degree in Multimedia, Communications, Marketing, Interactive Design or a related discipline. Through innovative thinking, Bayer MaterialScience LLC and the Penguins have created a collaborative model for other organizations to give college students an opportunity to expand their experiences as they begin their careers.


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