Landing a coveted internship with a globally-branded company is almost as crucial for college kids and recent grads as getting a job. According to the National Association of College Employers, 70 per cent of employers say they hire their interns for full-time positions after they graduate before looking elsewhere for potential employees. As a result, corporate recruiters from blue-chip companies are flooded yearly with resumés from university students and recent graduates seeking internships.
So, with that kind of competition, what’s a university student to do?
Just ask Richard Wilson, a recent engineering graduate from the University of Louisville in Kentucky who landed an internship in global operations at Facebook. Undoubtedly, Richard had the academic record and workforce-relevant skill set for eligibility. But getting his foot in the door and a chance to prove himself was a challenge. He credits a part-time, remote, experiential learning practicum with Facebook that he did while he was in school, with giving him both the confidence and corporate visibility he needed to clinch this opportunity.
“My practicum helped me gain a better understanding of what it might be like to work at Facebook,” said Wilson, “and to see if there was interest in me on the Facebook side, as well.”
Whereas internships are stepping stones to employment, new forms of remote experiential learning are emerging which can serve as a jumping-off point to internships. They’re designed to introduce students with no prior experience to the working world while mentoring them at scale in a way one-on-one internship programs cannot. They open up access to in-person internships, because companies are able to assess hundreds of previously untested candidates, irrespective of where they live or study, and then elevate the top performers to their recruiting pipelines.
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