TCU has a solution for unpaid internships
Fort Worth, TX | July 31, 2013 10:59 AM | Print this story
TCU has long encouraged students to obtain internships to gain valuable experience in the field in which they are studying, but in a difficult economy, many are not able to take an unpaid position. To resolve that issue, TCU has established an Internship Scholarship Program this year through the advancement office to provide a stipend for students who found unpaid internships. The initial program provided 153 scholarships with an average award of $1,957.52.
Scholarship recipients attended a workshop covering their role in the pilot program, managing success factors, and building a professional portfolio of work. In addition, they will supply learning objectives and have a final performance appraisal conducted by their internship supervisor. Considering this to be more than just an opportunity for college students to collect a paycheck over the summer, TCU hopes to help the student turn that internship into a job offer after graduation.
Susan Sledge, employer development manager and leader of the internship program, suggests students demonstrate their strong work ethic and positive attitude throughout the internship; the student should be clear that he/she would want to work for the company in the future.
Sledge also provided the following tips for students:
• Tie up loose ends before leaving the internship, and ensure that projects are complete.
• Participate in a performance evaluation, even if you must initiate it.
• Prior to completing the internship, make an appointment with Human Resources to express interest in future employment. Articulate your areas of interest, both short-term and long-term.
• Update your resume with the intern experience; ask your supervisor and/or Human Resources for their professional opinion on how you captured the information.
• Connect the dots for the employer so they can see where you fit in and the nature of your potential contributions.
• Personally thank those who mentored you through the summer; be specific about the contributions they made to your development.
• Positively highlight your employer on LinkedIn in your personal profile. If you have work samples to highlight, ask their permission to include them. It will demonstrate your excitement for the experience and specifically, the work being done by the organization.
• Connect with employer contacts on LinkedIn and endorse skills that you personally experienced.
• Join professional organizations that are meaningful to the company and become an active participant.
• Take time after the assignment to network with professionals outside your intern department that have careers similar to your interests. Ask them to coffee or lunch and learn about their career path and current job. This will demonstrate an interest in the company beyond your internship.
• Watch the company’s website for open positions and apply; then follow-up using your connections.