Students’ internship opportunities may be in jeopardy

College students will have to get in line behind older and more experienced workers when applying for internships.

According to a careerbuilder.com survey conducted between May and June, employers have reported seeing more mature, experienced and older internship applicants.

Internships, which are usually targeted at students to provide learning experiences and working-world training, have now become a means of surviving the slow but steady recovery of the country’s economic system.

Diane Klein, assistant director for internships in the Office of Career Development at NSU said she has noticed the change in internship applicants.

“It is amazing to me the amount of graduate students [who] try to find internships when those students should be working professionals,” she said.

Some have no choice. “What’s happening is that many people [who] are unemployed are trying to find a way to get in the door,” said Klein.

However, Klein said that an internship is an academic experience intended for undergraduate students to gain experience and insight into their college majors.

“Every student should be doing an internship if they can. Students need to have ‘meat’ on their resumes,” she said. “They need to expand their horizons and have work experience. Paid or not, it is a valuable experience that students should use to create ‘meat’ on their resume,” she said.

With the internship pool being widened by older, more experienced applicants, the numbers of persons seeking internships continue to rise.

“Out of every ten students I meet with, an average of three is looking for internships. Last winter I received over one hundred students just for internships,” said Klein.

Klein said that not only has the failed economy forced people to seek these kinds of options, but many are also turning to education.

“Today people need to plan and research instead of just jumping into a program,” she said.

Klein suggests informational interviewing, which allows the student to meet with a career adviser to gain information about their profession, leaving the student with increased insight into their degree and with either the assurance that it’s what they want or with the realization that it’s not.

Klein and the Office of Career Development provide additional assistance such as giving students strategies that may make them more marketable than their new-found competition. For more information on NSU’S Office of Career Development visit www.nova.edu/career.

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