The importance of a summer internship program cannot be understated. It is now often the ticket to gaining employment for the college graduate.
Make no mistake, colleges and universities are businesses. The ultimate aim of all businesses is to make a profit. In order to make profits, businesses must produce marketable products in volume. College and Universities are spitting out graduates three times a year. Students can graduate at the end of spring, fall, or summer semesters. With the currently precarious job market, what is happening to all of these tens of thousands of recent graduates?
Some college graduates are finding employment in their chosen fields. Some are finding employment in fields that are unrelated to their degrees. Some continue with graduate studies hoping to improve their chances in finding employment in their chosen fields. Some cannot find employment in any field. Some college graduates go back to college to earn a different degree in what they hope will be a more marketable degree.
Today’s college graduates who are finding employment in their fields have employed strategies that make them highly marketable. One of the best strategies college students are using is working in a summer internship program. Summer Internship Programs are usually offered by colleges in conjunction with their academic studies. Various businesses, corporations, hospitals, schools and industries offer summer internships. These internships offer a limited number of spaces to students. They act as a type of “apprenticeship.” The student studies and works with that particular participant of the internship program. These internships are often competitive. Students must have faculty recommendations and complete an application. Companies offering a Summer Intership Program have handbooks, which explain the application process. Then an interview is scheduled with the student and representatives of the program offering the internship. This is usually an unpaid position, but sometimes a small stipend will be given. The interview for the internship is not unlike an employment interview. The student should do homework to know about the company offering the internship as well as provide a portfolio with examples of completed course work and grade transcripts.
Internships are a way for the student and the prospective employer to evaluate what each has to offer. Students in Internship Programs are trained to work as employees. Internships are a way for students to show their college skills, and it is a way for prospective employees to see how the student measures up to their standards for hiring employees. Most interns are hired for permanent employment upon graduation.
It makes good business sense for the employer to sponsor a student internship. Replacing someone who leaves, with a new college graduate who completed a summer interim program with that company, significantly lowers the cost to the company. “Replacing someone who leaves generally costs four times that person’s salary when recruitment and training costs are factored in.” Cora Daniels, Source: Fortune May 3, 2004.
In conclusion, Summer Internship Programs are a win-win situation for the student and for the company who sponsored the internship program.