February 4, 2010 To me at least, one of the foremost reasons to enroll with a school in a city is the access to internships and employment opportunities.
That said, I want to outline a few reasons why that ought not necessarily be a major reason when deciding whether or not to enroll at Hamilton. Though Hamilton is not close enough to a city to make a formal internship possible all year round for most students, it ultimately is not a significant inhibitor of student opportunities.
I've held five internships and two jobs -- all in my fields of interest -- during my time at Hamilton.
So -- here's how Hamiltonians get around the non-city problem.
1) Campus opportunities -- for those interested, there are many research opportunities available for students seeking to learn more in their field, seek out publishing opportunities, or simply experience what it's like to have a campus job. For those interested in improving their public speaking, office positions and/or interviewing positions do exist. Earlier this year, I was a Senior Admission Intern with the admissions office, a position I regrettably had to give up in order to stay on top of my studies. Still though, plenty of opportunity exists.
2) Research grant opportunities -- for both the physical sciences and social sciences, Hamilton has an ample number of research grants available. For example, friends of mine have utilized the Emerson Grant to support their research projects at either Hamilton or abroad.
3) Study abroad opportunities -- half of my class was abroad their senior years, and many of them procured internship opportunities through Hamilton alum networks or of their own impetus while living in New York, Washington, D.C., or outside of the U.S. I completed the Hamilton program in Washington, D.C. in the fall of my junior year, and during that time I held internships with the Brookings Institution and the New America Foundation. While studying abroad in India, I held an internship (that still continues as a non-resident research position) with the Observer Research Foundation.
4) Digital opportunities -- this is a bit non-traditional, but increasingly relevant. Telecommuting internships are more frequently available these days for students the most interested in seeking them out. Personally, I've been interning with the Web site Realclearworld.com for about seven months now, and I've never had a formal office visit. Another friend of mine interns with the Hudson Institute, a think-tank in D.C., while regularly attending class here at Hamilton.
5) Alumni opportunities -- the alumni network at Hamilton is quite strong. My job opportunity of great interest, a consulting firm that will remain nameless, is filled with potential Hamilton contacts. The Career Center certainly helps students make use of this opportunity.
6) Hamilton opportunities -- I might as well close on what is most likely the most important and/or obvious advantage of attending Hamilton -- the education and the degree. It's foolhardy to believe that a city school is essential for acquiring a job, especially given the ample job fairs that exist and are looking for soon-to-be Hamilton graduates. A solid education with a solid degree is plenty of ammunition while entering the job market.
I hope that was informative, and please e-mail me with any related questions.
Take care, Josh