The Internship: Economic Crisis Victim?

Not to be a total downer just as the semester wraps up and the winter break begins, but this topic is too important not to address. Will internships be next to fall victim to our failing economy? According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, maybe. In an article from December 1, 2008, “In bad economy, students worried about internships,” the paper examined the effect the economic crisis is having or will potentially have on students seeking internships.

The importance of internships remains the same – they provide college students with important career-related work experience which makes them more marketable in the search for a full-time, post graduation job. But for some employers, internships are an added expense for their organization, which means they need to be dropped. For other employers, hiring an intern might be more economical than hiring a full-time employee. Additionally, much of the impact on internships and jobs will be based largely on industry. The financial industry is likely one area to see a scaling back of opportunities.  However, there is still growth in healthcare and the federal government. There are so many variables, it’s important to do your homework.

So, what does this mean for you, a UW-Whitewater student? Take your internship search very, very seriously. Do not wait until the last minute. If you want an internship for this upcoming summer, you had better begin your search process NOW! Ideally, you’ve already started. It’s also crucial to be proactive. Do whatever you can to stand out to employers in a positive way. Perfect your resume, practice your interviewing skills, research employers thoroughly, and network (quite possibly the most effective strategy to employ in a time of reduced opportunities). You can get help with all of this from the Career Counselors in Career & Leadership Development. That is what we’re here for!

I’m going to be “attending” a webinar later this week on the recruiting trends for 2009. If I learn anything I think might be of particular interest to you, I’ll be sure to blog about it!


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