The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Students snap up internships as semester ticks down

Katie Laird | Friday, March 18, 2005

As the semester begins to wind down and summer approaches, many students are searching for internship opportunities and using the various resources the Career Center has to offer.

Susanne Thorup, manager of internship development at the Career Center, works closely with students from all colleges to help them find internships that best suit them.

“[Internships] provide good exposure in a field to see is it’s really what you want to do,” she said.

In addition to resume writing tips, practice interviews and internship workshops, the Career Center has many online resources to make applying for internships accessible to students. Two popular resources are Go Irish and Nacelink Global, which provide listings of internships by city, major, company and various other factors.

Caitlin Leiva, a junior accounting major, is currently studying abroad with the London Program. Leiva learned in fall that she had received a summer internship with the accounting firm Ernst & Young in San Francisco.

“I think it will be a good chance for me to see if accounting really is the thing for me,” Leiva said. “I am excited about the chance to get some real world experience and hopefully make some good connections in the process.”

Leiva said she used resources at the Career Center to help her write a resume and searched Go Irish to help her find the Ernst & Young position.

“Overall, [the Career Center] is useful for fine tuning things and getting the ball rolling, but all of the logistics are still up to you,” she said.

The Career Center hosts several fairs throughout the year in order to help students meet potential employers. In January, the Winter Career Fair boasted 140 employers. Over 2,000 students attended.

Thorup said hundreds of phone and on-site interviews took place throughout the year, but roughly 150 students – a very high figure – were actually granted on-campus interviews for internship positions as a result of the fair.

“Typically employers don’t come to campus for internships,” she said.

Junior Katherine Exline found summer employment at the Winter Career Fair.

Exline, a psychology and pre-professional student, was granted a job as a counselor at Camp Sweeney, a stay-over summer camp for children with diabetes. She first heard about the camp in an e-mail, and attended the career fair, where camp representatives interviewed her on the spot.

“It’ll be a good opportunity for me because it brings together medicine and children which are two fields I am interested in,” Exline said.

Students are starting career exploration much earlier, Thorup said. Many sophomores attended the career fair and are hoping to obtain internship positions this summer.

For unpaid internships in Indiana, the Indiana Careers Consortium provides a $3,000 stipend to students.

“It’s opened a lot of possibilities for students,” Thorup said.

Some students have found employment and internship opportunities without using the Career Center’s databases.

Megan Hagerty, a junior biology major, said she acquired a summer internship through her experience on campus as a Teach for America (TFA) Representative. She will spend the summer in Texas as the Operation Coordinator for Houston Summer Institute, performing office jobs in schools where TFA teachers will be teaching kids. Hagerty hopes to get accepted into the two-year low-housing teaching program after graduation.

“I hope to gain experience through this internship,” she said. “It will provide me with a good insight into the training I will receive as a TFA teacher.”

As application deadlines draw near, Thorup said students still have time to apply for internships. More opportunities will be available to students in the upcoming weeks, including the Non-Profit Career Fair on March 22 and the Chicago Career Connection on April 4.

Thorup also said that whether students reply to a Career Center posting online, use network connections with alumni or relatives or contact an employer directly, the best advice she has for students is “don’t be afraid to be aggressive.”