Internship fair preps students
Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 00:02
The 2014 UConn Internship and Co-op fair was held on Wednesday in the Student Union with companies such as PepsiCo, Northwestern Mutual and United Health Group in attendance.
Eager, well-dressed UConn students hoping to find out more information about potential placements flocked to the event. Ashley Pedersen, an internship resources consultant for the UConn Center for Career Development, oversees the fair, and she explained just how useful these types of events are for students.
Pointing out the “hands on experience” a student will gain from an internship, Pederson said they are a “great way to explore career options and apply the transferable skills students learn in class.”
While an internship is — for the most part — a part-time, unpaid placement, a co-op functions as a step further into the working world. The positions are typically paid and require participants to carry out more “day to day tasks,” as Pedersen put it.
Vincent Delisle, a UConn student attending the event, said, “I’ve never done anything like this before, but so far it’s really been interesting.” Attending the event with no prior idea of what to expect, Vincent was one of many students at the fair hoping to find out what was available and discover new opportunities.
When asked why it was important for companies to attend events such as this fair, Jodi A. Culbertson — the director of internship development at Northwestern Mutual — said it is “a great way to see the local talent, whilst also acting as a good way to give back to the university.”
Pedersen explained the importance of following up with the employer and “making face time” after students first introduce themselves at the fair. She illustrated how incredibly helpful events such as the fair are.
“This is a great way for any student interested in gaining an internship or co-op to find out more information, but it’s not just this event. There are workshops that run all throughout the year,” Pederson said.
She said the Center for Career Development has been a great support system by offering numerous workshops to students who wish to gain more experience with interviews, and student who hope to work out the amount of credits required for a placement in an internship.
There is a also a career expedition running on Feb. 28 where UConn students will be able to visit some of the companies that were present at the internship and co-op fair. The center has three options for students who wish to record their internship on their transcript: a One-Credit Internship Course, a Documented Internship Experience or a Co-op CEWP. These course-credit options allow students to show off their experience to future employers.
For more information about the UConn Center for Career Development, log on to their website at www.career.uconn.edu. The Internship and Co-op Career Fair takes place every spring semester.