Each fall and spring since 2005, I have taught an undergraduate internship course for student majoring in any program within the NC State College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Students in the course are required to spend 120 hours at an internship relevant to their career interests, attend the class that I teach, and complete assignments pertaining to job search and application processes and strategies. The students must be either juniors or seniors when they take the class, and this past spring most of the students were seniors.
After the semester ended, I asked them to write and tell me what they’re doing next—either for the summer or after graduation. I only heard from 10 of the 23 students—but they’re responses were pretty impressive, and they emphasized the value of internships.
- Six graduating seniors had secured full-time jobs, two of which were with the organization where they interned this spring, and three of which were directly related to the internship.
- One graduating senior will be working free-lance for the newspaper where she interned (and also waitressing to pay off some debt) and is planning on applying to graduate school for fall 2016.
- One graduating senior had been hired full time for the summer at the law firm where he interned, and in the fall he’ll be going to law school.
- Two juniors were also hired for the summer at the organizations where they interned.
In the past, I’ve been thrilled when even one or two students were taken on, part time or full time, by their internship hosts, so this past semester was a real success! I subsequently learned that two other students who graduated in May, and who did internships last fall, have found full-time employment, either with their internship host or because of their internship experience.
In addition to reinforcing the fact that internships can provide valuable experience as well as entry into established workplaces, this information gives me hope that the economy is improving and that students in all majors will be finding jobs more easily. Another confirming piece of data: We had 100% placement for the students who completed the MS in Technical Communication at NC State this spring!