Internships at MU

Anne Shaffer
Assistant Features Editor

In a follow-up to last week’s job hunting article, this edition expands upon the topic of securing a job in a recession economy by emphasizing an aspect of employment that has not gotten much attention previously.  Internships have, over the past few years, become a necessary addition to a prospective employee’s résumé. Internships can be valuable experiences for any student.  When looking for new employees, many companies want to see internships on a résumé so that they know you have experience in the field.
The Chronicle of Higher Education states that internships “have an irreplaceable role in the liberal arts by providing hands-on learning opportunities.”
Furthermore, Brigham Young University says on its internship website that an average of about 30 percent of graduating students have job offers before graduating. However, by adding an internship to the résumé, the figure increases to 58 percent.

Internships are a great way to try out a potential job.

Millersville has an office dedicated to helping students find internships, which is located on the third floor of Lyle Hall and housed next door to Career Services. There is a database that students can access from their own computers through Career Connection. This website lists all the available internships in numerous different fields.
By narrowing the search down by major, students can find internships that will apply specifically to their field of study and perhaps even similar to their career of choice. Students can do up to four internships with Millersville through the Internship Office.  These internships can count for credit, with a minimum of three possible credits per internship and can be done during the summer, spring, or fall semesters.
The database contains jobs from Lancaster area companies, as well as some in the Harrisburg area and many with the state government.  That, however, should not limit students’ imaginations. There are international internship possibilities, as well as the ability to do an internship in any company which interests the student, regardless of entry into the database, with the support of the internship staff.
Employers also like to see their name on résumés.  According to Sue Hess, the secretary for the Internship Office, many students who do internships are offered full time employment after graduation because the company already knows how that person works and if they will be a satisfactory addition to the company.
Because of the economy in recent years, the job market has become more competitive.  Having an internship gives students an edge.  It also helps students learn if they want to continue in their chosen field so that they are an asset to the team when they do find employment.
Applying for an internship is a relatively simple process.  On the website for the Internship Office, students are directed to the online orientation, a brief slideshow that lists the benefits of interning and listing the steps to apply for and choose an internship.  Once the orientation is complete, the student fills out the form and takes it into the Internship Office to begin the process.
After students have found internships they are interested in via Career Connection, the next step is to submit their résumés.  For many students, this step might be one of the most difficult.  However, as a part of Career Services, the internship office provides mock interviews and résumé critiques so that when a student submits his or her résumé to potential employers, the student is confident in his or her ability to receive the job.
Fortunately, this semester, 120 students are taking advantage of the Internship Office.  According to Hess, this number is on the high end; on average, between 110 and 120 students are usually out on internships each semester.
“With the economy it is, it’s a great opportunity [for students],” says Hess.