As a Career Development Center, we want each sophomore to have the opportunity to gain meaningful experience outside the classroom that compliments what they are learning inside the classroom – and at the very least, an experience that helps prepare them for work as an emerging professional. For this purpose, the Sophomore Year Internship Program was created.
Through this program, we help sophomores secure such an opportunity in the form of an internship and then to make the most of that internship by participating in a curriculum based program that promotes their career readiness and exploration.
The Sophomore Year Internship Program is completed in two phases: First Semester and Second Semester. During the First Semester, which occurs in the fall, career coaches work with participating students to help them secure an internship. During the Second Semester, which takes place either in the spring or summer, depending on the dates of your internship, students enroll in SPST-A497. This online course is designed to supplement the internship experience through critical reflection and assignments promoting career readiness and exploration.
To participate in the program, interested sophomores need simply apply. Students will then be contacted by the career center with details on how to schedule their first appointment for the program's First Semester. The deadline to apply is September 6, 2019.
The following is an outline of each semester of the program:
First Semester (Fall of Sophomore Year)
- First Appointment: Meet with a career coach to assess career goals and establish a plan
- Follow-up appointments with the career coach:
- Complete building and reviewing resume
- Complete building and reviewing a cover letter
- Complete a mock interview
- Final Appointment: Meet with the Assistant Director for Experiential Learning for review of First Semester
Following the successful completion of the First Semester, students are enrolled into the online course SPST-A497 to begin the Second Semester concurrently with their internship experience.
Second Semester (Spring OR Summer of Sophomore Year, depending on internship)
To participate in the Second Semester, students must have either been placed in an internship with a participating community partner or secured an internship through a search. Since the Second Semester must coincide with the internship, it can take place in either the spring or summer of sophomore year. The number of hours required to complete the internship is a minimum of 80.
Through the online course SPST-A497, the Second Semester is designed to give participating sophomores the opportunity to:
- recognize and articulate transferable and career-related skills being developed and applied in the internship;
- understand and demonstrate an emerging professional identity;
- and analyze and explain career goals through critical reflection.
Following the successful completion of the requirements of the Second Semester, students receive academic credit in the form of a P/F grade on their official transcript.
Why Future Employers Care
To better determine what employers find to be experiences and areas of competency that contribute to the success of employees who are new college graduates, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Career Readiness Committee surveyed representatives from organizations that hire through a university relations and recruiting effort. There were over 600 representatives from nearly 20 different industries represented in the respondent pool. From these results, three important employer insights emerged.
Respondents cited the need for students to gain hands-on, real-world experience during college to prepare for work after college, pointed to internships as the best way to gain this experience, and recommended that colleges and universities build internships into their curriculum or make participation in an internship a requirement.
While respondents recognize that new college graduates continue to develop their skills and abilities as they become seasoned professionals, they noted that those candidates who can demonstrate and articulate their career readiness enjoy a competitive advantage over their less-ready counterparts in landing an initial job after graduation. Once on board, they will also move up in the organization more quickly than those who don't have the same level of competency.
Respondents reported that candidates who had a clear sense of their career aspirations, direction, and goals have a distinct advantage over other candidates. This combination—competency and direction—are key for new college graduates.
In brief, the Sophomore Year Internship Program provides participating students the opportunity to be this type of student, candidate, and employee. Future employers will value that participating students took the opportunity through the program to begin preparing for work after college and establishing their career direction and goals early. Additionally, the program's curriculum is designed to promote career readiness. The internship and curriculum thus work together to create a competitive advantage for the participating students when they begin seeking employment and later promtion within the organization.
You can learn more about career readiness and competencies as defined by NACE here. To apply to participate in the Sophomore Year Internship Program, see below under How to Apply. The deadline is September 6, 2019.
After successfully completing the program's First Semester, sophomores then apply to participate in the Second Semester. This allows the career center to assess how best to help the student secure an internship for this final phase of the program.
If approved for Federal Work Study, students have the potential to be placed with a local non-profit or community partner for their required internship for the program's Second Semester.
Sophomores who are not approved for Federal Work Study will be aided in their search for an internship through individualized coaching and utilization of existing resources and services.
Regardless of Federal Work Study approval, students participating in the program are allowed to seek internship opportunities fitting their field of interests and are not required to be placed with a local site.
Upon successful completion of the Second Semester of the program, participants receive academic credit in the form of a P/F grade on their official transcript for SPST-A497.
How to Apply
If you are interested in participating in the Sophomore Year Internship Program, please click below to complete the application form. The deadline to apply is September 6, 2019.