Year in Review: Chaos in Internship-Land

I cannot believe that the semester and year is already over. Talk about time flying! Now we start saying goodbye – to students who will return in the fall and to students leaving UW-Whitewater for the next chapter in their lives.

This has been a busy year in the world of internships. Here’s a little recap of 2009-2010:

Unpaid Internships

The topic of unpaid internships caught on fire this spring. Everyone from the New York Times to presidents of major U.S. universities had their say. I don’t think we’ve heard the last on this issue, and it’s a topic that I will be keeping close tabs on along with my internship colleagues.

Why Are You Interested?

My post, Why Are You Interested In This Position?, one of my first posts on the UW-W Internships Blog, continues to draw a lot of people here. Thank you, Google. Interest might be an area I will explore more next year.

Intern Spotlight

I was so excited to begin profiling UW-Whitewater interns this year! Thank you to Michael, Danielle C., Abigail, Mitch, and Danielle K. for sharing your stories with me and this blog. You gave excellent advice for all future and current interns. The Intern Spotlight will continue next year with a few exciting tweaks. I can’t wait to hear more about UW-Whitewater students’ internship experiences!

Importance of Internships

The importance of an internship experience only continues to grow. With this growth, however, comes challenges:

  • Students are seeking out and engaging in internships much earlier. Waiting until the last moment to begin looking into opportunities, something that was always risky, is now potentially disasterous.
  • There is increasing competition for internships. Competition has always existed for summer internships (no class = everyone wants an internship), but it’s getting extremely tight out there. Considering fall and spring internships is a good plan.
  • Being proactive, while always an ingredient for success, is more important than ever. It’s important to be prepared in advance of the actual search for internship opportunities. While I know it’s hard, try to stay motivated. Keep working at it and something, even a Plan B, will happen.

While I am saying goodbye, it doesn’t mean I’m going anywhere. Next week’s post will announce an exciting feature for this summer – I hope you tune in to check it out and keep up with us throughout the summer.

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