Skip to content

Jeff Rea - 4/29/2014
Source: http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/business/welcome-home-college-students/article_cdd09530-cf8c-11e3-a70f-0017a43b2370.html

College campuses across the country will bring their school year to a close over the next several weeks. Students are busy preparing for final exams and completing their plans for summer. For many, the decision to come home for the summer may be driven largely by what internships and other job opportunities exist in our area.

Internships are important to students because they help students determine if they have an interest in a particular career. My internship in the city manager's office in Dunn, N.C., many years ago prepared me for future career opportunities in city planning, economic development and government.

Others have similar stories.

The good news for students is that employers are offering more internships than they have in the past in an attempt to attract top talent to their organizations. Many students already have secured summer employment opportunities, but others are still looking for options in our community. Today, more than 400 students are seeking a summer opportunity, while only 50 opportunities are currently posted for our area.

Some companies see internships as a way to complete projects that nobody has been able to get to. Others see an internship as an extended job interview, an opportunity to really get to know the students and look at the skills and talents they could bring to the organization. Internships often are a gateway to employment with a company.

Internships are an important part of our area's effort to bring top talent back to our communities. Too many times, local students go away to school and don't come back. Our local employers want to change that and have seen a need for a mechanism to help local students who went away to college connect with employers when they return home.

In addition, internships also are a critical component to keeping top talent that is already here. Our students at Bethel College, Indiana University South Bend, Purdue University College of Technology at South Bend, IU School of Medicine, Holy Cross College, Saint Mary's College, University of Notre Dame, Grace College, Ancilla College, Ivy Tech Community College, Indiana Tech, ITT Technical Institute, Trine University, National College and Brown Mackie College are all seeking similar internships. In addition, a number of high school students and postgraduate adults are also seeking opportunities.

Last year we launched our Intern SJC program. It was designed to better coordinate efforts to recruit bright, new talent to our region.By combining the Chamber of Commerce's business connections, the universities' student relationships and the existing online resource IndianaIntern.net, we believe our area can attract more young professionals to the area and better fulfill the needs of local employers.

At IndianaIntern.net, students can post their profile for employers to review. Also, employers can post their opportunity for students to review.

I would encourage you to consider an intern at your business. It could be a great benefit to your business and it will most certainly help a local student that we would like to consider calling this area home. I've had more than 20 interns in recent years and have been pleased with them all, any of whom I would consider hiring if I had an opportunity.