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Survey Says: Internship Programs are Pipelines for Recruitment
Results from a 2007 Experience, Inc. survey of over fifty employers indicate that 65% have formal internship programs, with 22% currently in the process of creating them.
Why are internships so popular? Students find that
internships are an invaluable way to give them real world
experience and to utilize the knowledge they've gained in the
classroom. But it is not only the students who find these
internships beneficial; employers feel the same way for
Employers hire students to fill internship positions in a variety of areas--ranging from Sales and Marketing to Engineering and Design. Their responsibilities vary depending on the employer and the industry, but one thing is universal: they are gaining valuable real-world experience.
But it's not just students who benefit from
internships--employers are gaining something as well. Our
survey respondents indicated that they hire interns for two
main reasons. Fifty-four percent of employers view their
internship program as a pipeline for full-time hires, while
31% view their program as extra resources to help complete
Erin Green of The Center for American Progress explains, "We
are committed to fostering the next generation of progressive
leaders. The Center for American Progress provides talented
young interns with exposure to leading progressive thought
and opportunities for skills development in hopes of
increasing their future commitment and contribution to the
Katie Simpson of MSI Systems Integrators, Inc. (Omaha, NE)
added, "At MSI, we truly see internships as just the
beginning of a great career, and so we only hire the best
interns that apply."
Interns are valuable assets for employers, who asserted that
interns are not there to get coffee or make copies; they are
treated like every other employee in the company.
"Our interns are immediately part of the team. Anyone who
visits our office can't tell the difference between interns
and full-time employees," said Valerie McBrady of ImageTrend,
Inc. (Lakeville, MN).
Some of these interns even become part of the team
indefinitely. Jason Reicks of Novellus Systems Inc. (San
Jose, CA) claims that most of his company's interns are
considered and even hired for full-time employment. Nicola
Jones of Respironics (Murraysville, PA) also asserts that
interns have been brought back for full-time
"A number of our previous trainees have gone on to transition
to full-time professionals, starting at entry-level, and then
some have gone on towards Management and Senior Management
over the years, and are still growing with us," said Afzaal
Hassan of American Mortgage & Investment Services, Inc.
(Silver Springs, MD).
With students gaining experience in a working environment and employers finding extra help and potential full-time employees, internships are a win-win situation.
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