The Career Development and Advising Center cited upward of 60 percent of GGC students will find themselves employed after participating in the internship program. A virtual conference was hosted Aug. 31 through Handshake to discuss how students can secure internships for the coming year.
“It’s really important to have your goals,” Ms. Sherrie Goodman, Assistant Director of the Career Development and Advising Center, said about internships.
Getting a job offer after the internship is one of the primary goals students may seek from internships. “An excess of 60% of students who intern are offered positions with the company,” said Ms. Everett.
Ms. Kay Everett, the Internship Program Manager, told the story of a finance student that had been employed with Home Depot for six years in the garden center. She helped him to secure an internship with the corporate office.
“And he actually worked for a summer for Home Depot Corporate. So, he was still at the same company, but in a completely different capacity,” Ms. Everett said.
“You don’t have to give up your current job,” said Ms. Everett. “If you’re working at a company, been there a long time, and you really like them I could work with you to try to get you an internship with them in your major.”
The event encouraged students to plan ahead for internships they are interested in. The most common advice for students was to look early and often.
“They are already interviewing now so you need to plan ahead, think about it, it’s never too early,” Ms. Everett said. “I’ve had students who’ve secured their internships two or three semesters in advance.”
The event also emphasized how students’ ultimate goal of internships are to find relevant experience within the workforce.
“Employers are looking for that [experience], and it’s going to help you be more competitive once you graduate,” Ms. Goodman said.
Of the many obstacles while securing an internship, both Ms. Everett and Ms. Goodman noted that timing and transportation were some of the major contributors.
“So I know one obstacle here is transportation, that’s one of the biggest challenges that students face at GGC,” Ms. Goodman said. “They may not be able to leave campus, and go off to an internship. [This is] Something we are working on.”
There are many internship opportunities for students to take advantage of on campus. Ms. Everett partners with many local companies directly rather than Indeed or Monster. “You’re only competing against 2 or 3 GGC students for those positions so that works out really well.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a shift in what students are looking for in internships. Some students still hold concerns
“Some are looking for more remote opportunities, because they want to intern but they may be more hesitant about going into the workplace,” said Ms. Goodman.
“I’ll see them more eager to secure internships right now than to secure part-time employment,” Ms. Goodman noted, “Cause they’re feeling… that the benefits of an internship help them out in their future versus just a part-time job.”
“We put on several events every semester that’ll prepare you to network with employers,” said Ms. Goodman. “Oct. 7 we have our Fall Job and Graduate School Fair where we already have about 25 employers registered for that, and graduate schools.”
The Fall Job and Graduate School Fair will be held in person October 7th from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Students are encouraged to view the CDAC website and Handshake page for more information on virtual events, workshops, and webinars.