Skidmore News Interview with Penny Loretto, Career Development Office
1) Some background/important information to know about the summer funded internships
Summer 2017 will be our 9th year of provided funding to very deserving and talented Skidmore students. The Skidmore Summer Funded Internship Awards Program (SSFIAP) was created to provide full-time Skidmore students an opportunity to participate in unpaid internships, volunteer, research, or community service projects over the course of the summer. The awards are designed to offer students an opportunity to gain the relevant knowledge, skills, and experience employers require of entry-level candidates. Since previous work experience is often listed as a requirement for job applicants, the Career Development Center wanted to be able to provide students with an opportunity to gain the relevant experience and skills needed to become a competitive candidate in today's job market.
2) Why should students seek these opportunities?
This program allows students to gain experience in a field of study where normally they would not receive any monetary compensation. Funding allows students more freedom to truly concentrate in an area that truly interest them and where previous relevant experience is required by employers. In the past many students sought summer jobs to help pay for living and college expenses; but these jobs did not provide the relevant experience employers require of college graduates. Most awards are in the amount of $4,000 which can really help students to participate in a summer internship without having to work at a job that doesn’t relate to their area(s) of interest.
3) What have been some students' successful summer funded internship experiences?
This past summer students interned in some far-away places in organizations, such as: Ernst & Young, India; Taronga Conservation Society, Sydney, Australia; Uganda Village Project, Uganda; and Japan Convention Services, Tokyo, Japan. In addition to some of these exotic locations, students also interned domestically in organizations like: Child Psychiatric Epidemiology Group, Columbia University, New York; Pennsylvania State General Assembly, Yardley, PA; Sampsonia Way Magazine, Pittsburgh, PA; Atlantic Council South Asia, Washington DC; the New Ohio Theater, New York, NY; and the International Rescue Committee in New York, NY, plus many, many more.
4) How do you apply/what makes someone qualified to apply?
All full-time students are eligible to apply for many of the awards available while some awards are specific to the student's interests and area(s) of study. Students applying for unpaid internships, research, volunteer or community service projects are eligible to apply for various awards offered through the CDC in addition to several other funding sources on campus; such as SEE-Beyond and SGA's Responsible Citizenship Internship Award. One common misconception is that students have to already have secured their internship prior to applying for funding, which only applies to the Responsible Citizenship Internship Award. Students have to only have applied for internships prior to applying for all other funding and they have until the beginning of May to be accepted by an organization. Students that have won awards in the past have submitted professional resumes and have written compelling essays that tell their individual stories and how this internship links to their academics and future career goals.
5) What are some other things that students should go to the CDC for (resources, resume help, etc.)
The Career Development Center offers a wide variety of services for Skidmore students, from 1st year at Skidmore until graduation. Skidmore also offers career counseling for life to Skidmore graduates which is a very nice benefit for alumni seeking a new job or interested in furthering their education after Skidmore you are able to get this very nice benefit. In addition to individualized career counseling, special programs and events are planned each year based on a student's class year and/or fields of interest. The Center has five career counselors that work directly with students on the career development process and in helping them to find the resources for finding specific internships and jobs based on their interests and field(s) of study. The CDC provides assistance for students looking to network with career advisors and other professionals who are currently working in a job in their area of study. The CDC also provides mock interviews to help candidates prepare for upcoming interviews and to help them feel more confident with the interview process. In addition, the CDC also has para-professional career coaches that are available each day for drop-in hours to review resumes, cover letters, and answer questions about the CDC and the resources available to students.
Oftentimes the hardest part of the career development process is getting started. It's never too early to make an appointment to meet with a career counselor. By meeting with a career counselor and attending the many events and programs available each year, students will be more prepared and qualified to apply for jobs and/or graduate school in their junior and senior year at Skidmore.