South Florida college students finding more internship slots
Internships for current college students are more plentiful even though recent graduates are having a hard time finding jobs in their field.
Recent college graduates might be struggling to find full-time jobs in their field as the economy slowly rebounds from the Great Recession, but current college students are having an easier time finding valuable internships.
The University of Miami’s Toppel Career Center saw a significant increase in internship postings on its Hire A Cane website, which lists potential internships for students. From 2008 to 2011, the number of postings went from 750 to 1,668. “Internships since the recession have almost doubled,” said Frits Bigham, assistant director of internships and assessment at Toppel.
Potential interns also have a wider variety of choices now than they did several years ago. “I’ve seen more smaller to mid-size companies reaching out to interns,” said Jairo Ledesma, one of the assistant directors of Career Services at Florida International University.
Though finding an internship might be easier, students will discover that their internships go far beyond making coffee and copies. “I’ve noticed the job descriptions are a lot heavier,” said Diane Klein, the assistant director of internships at Nova Southeastern University. “It’s very competitive, and they are looking for students who are really involved. They’re relying more on interns than ever.”
Starboard Cruise Services, a cruise retail company headquartered in Miami, engages interns in semester-long projects. At the end of the internship, students are required to present their project results in front of company executives. “We really focus on quality of candidates and quality of experience,” said Ronni Morrison, senior vice president of human resources at Starboard Cruise Services. “We audit to make sure they’re doing meaningful projects to augment their experience.”
Other internship programs give students a feel for a variety of different areas. Citrix, a technology company headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, puts its operations interns in a rotational program. Interns work in four different areas within the department. “The goal is once they graduate from school, they’ll be prepared to work professionally and hopefully at our company, “ said Ken Taylor, a recruiting business partner at Citrix. “They’ll be multidimensional.”
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