Keeping current on internship developments around the globe

June 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Current events | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

We may think that the boom in internships is unique to the U.S., but countries worldwide are also dealing with similar growth. Since summer is a prime time for establishing internship goals for the Fall semester, it may be helpful to look farther afield to study how other countries are managing internships.  Understanding global development is important because more and more international students are choosing to come to American colleges. The following examples are representative of new international trends: 

  • China:  “College students should be banned from taking internships because they cannot focus on their studies while working for companies in positions of little significance,” said Huang Guitian, an assistant to the president of Peking University. Not all Chinese students agreed with him. A reader, Linyi, Shandong province, wrote, “I think it is necessary to do an internship while at university. As a college student, you cannot learn the business trends if you spend all your time in school. If you only learn from books you will not connect with reality. An internship can help a student learn more about the needs of employers. By combining theory with practice, young people can develop better.” 
  • Ireland:   The JobBridge programme is to be extended after a successful first ten months, with a number of internships currently available in Longford, Ireland. Last week, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton announced a further 1,000 places would be made available on the programme and widened the eligibility criteria for the scheme due to its success since its introduction on July first last year. According to the Department of Social Protection, the scheme has made significant progress to date. In the ten months since the scheme was launched 6,840 internships have started. The initial target provided for a maximum of 5,000 places at any point in time but this announcement will increase that to 6,000.
  • Canada:  Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal government in British Columbia will commit $5M toward scholarships and research internships as it unveils details of how it plans to attract 47,000 additional international students into the province over the next four years.  Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto said, “We want to increase the number of international students that come to British Columbia (B.C.) by 50 per cent.” That target means B.C. has to increase the number of students it attracts by 47,000 over four years. It says almost half of that increase will come from enrolments in private-language schools, 30 per cent from public post-secondary institutions, 12 per cent from private post-secondary and 13 per cent in K-12. In an effort to achieve those targets, the province will give a one-time $700,000 grant to a program that helps attract and support international students to do research internships at B.C. universities.
  • England:  As the graduate employment market becomes increasingly competitive, we need to make ourselves stand out from the crowd – good grades and experience are a must. But we also have to pay the rent, according to an article in the Guardian newspaper. So, when juggling student life, which do you prioritise: your degree, unpaid CV-boosting extras – or a part-time job? The answer may lie with your university’s guidelines. Oxbridge advises students not to take work during term-time, while the University of Nottingham recommends no more than 16 hours a week. There’s no national data to show how many students take part-time work, although the University of Warwick estimates that over 50% of students do so.
  • Japan:   Four leading Japanese corporations are offering summer internship opportunities for UAE national students in Japan, the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology announced. Five UAE national graduates from the Foundation program and First year M.Sc. have been selected to participate in this program that runs from 27 May – 9 August. The students have begun their internship with the Japanese International Cooperation Centre. Dr. Amy Wohlert, Executive Director of General Education and Student Affairs, Masdar Institute, said: “The internship program in Japan provides the students with an opportunity to gain access to some of the global leaders in technology, especially in the environment and engineering sectors. Such programs equip the students with special expertise and help them to become full-fledged professionals.”

Freshmen looking for career advice now

September 21, 2010 at 10:23 am | Posted in Educator Updates Newsletter, Views on the News | Leave a comment
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As college freshmen nationwide are exploring their campuses — finding dining halls, laundry rooms, bookstores and gyms — officials at many schools say the newbies are increasingly finding their way to career centers. Once considered the place for panicked seniors to look for jobs ahead of graduation, college career offices are reporting dramatic hikes in use by first-year students looking for the earliest possible jump on the employment market.

Career centers are starting to hold events specifically for first year students with creative attendance incentives such as food and raffles that are designed to get freshmen in the habit of using their career center as a resource. Businesses are also interested in establishing relationships with freshmen to help identify top job and internship candidates as early as possible. Reaching out to freshmen builds a company’s name recognition and familiarizes them with the variety of jobs available. Along with career centers’ and business’ increased focus on freshmen, freshmen are becoming more actively engaged in the process, perhaps concerned by the 9.6% unemployment rate and stories of recent graduates.

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

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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