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SIBC unveils new internship program

Lesley Stevenson | Wednesday, February 6, 2013

As Notre Dame’s largest student-run organization, the Student International Business Council (SIBC) will institute a program to give students a new kind of on-campus job as early as this semester, senior Brett Hummel said.

Hummel, who is the vice president of domestic internships for SIBC, said the Council will pair students with Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and small businesses for internships during the academic year. Depending on the companies’ employment needs, engineering, science and Arts and Letters students could team with business students to do real work for major corporations for the duration of at least a semester, he said.

“While you’re on campus, during your academic year, instead of working at the Huddle or dining hall, you’d get the opportunity to work for companies like [General Electric] for 10 to 20 hours per week,” Hummel said. “And you’d be paid for that, and they’d be the highest-paid jobs on campus.”

The internships will be open from students of classes ranging from second-semester sophomores to graduate students. Hummel said SIBC will broaden its reach and help students in all fields find valuable work experience with a new program for facilitating domestic internship opportunities.

“[SIBC] members are always drawn more from the Mendoza students, and so the whole goal now is to try to broaden that,” Hummel said. “Students who are not necessarily business majors who want experience have the opportunity now to actually get that on their resumes.”

Hummel said the domestic internship idea came from the “disconnect” he saw between the demands of employers for veteran workers and the struggle for undergraduates to gain meaningful work experience in the South Bend area. He worked with faculty advisors and associate vice president for career and professional development Lee Svete.

“There is a degree of responsibility because it is actual, real work,” Hummel said. “The company’s going to take your work and give it to clients.”

After completing an application and interview process modeled on that of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Hummel said students will then be assigned individual and team projects for a specific company. Team meetings and Skype calls with the company will ensure each student is making progress, he said.

The new program will complement the SIBC’s existing international program, which currently consists of five positions in locations as far-reaching as Thailand and Ecuador.

Sophomore Pedro Suarez, SIBC vice president of international internships, said the domestic program could eventually begin to incorporate international elements.

“Hopefully, one day for the people who are looking for a global career, … it could suddenly become something where a company in Brazil could outsource their work to us,” Suarez said.

Suarez said past internship experience does not necessarily make an applicant competitive.

“I think more than experience, it’s someone who’s passionate about something, someone who can really learn and grow,” Suarez said.

The new internship program will build invaluable skills for the future careers of students involved, Hummel said.

“[The companies] can teach you all the stuff you need to learn, but they want to make sure that you are able to be taught and that you have those kinds of qualities to be a leader going forward,” Hummel said.

An information session discussing both domestic and international internships will be held today at 7 p.m. in 155 DeBartolo Hall.

Contact Lesley Stevenson at lsteven1@nd.edu