“Feedback from employers indicates that this spring will be a soft and volatile job market for both full-time employment and summer internships. … Our goals are to help students prepare and navigate this market as best possible, and also buttress them with whatever support we can provide,” said Sam Welch, associate vice president, career center.
With those observations in mind, the Career Center is expanding its student internship funding (SIF) to include graduating seniors to support them in pursuing unpaid or minimally paid internships. In addition, the center is expanding and modifying its overall SIF expectations of what an internship might include considering that the nature of all internships this summer may look very different from prior years. For example, internships may include expanded use of virtual experiences.
“Seniors may have to pursue non-traditional opportunities this summer until a more standard job market returns, hopefully in the fall,” Welch said. “As such, we want to help them bridge this gap, and provide the same financial support.”
In the past, internships were required to be a minimum of 240 hours in total. That requirement has also changed. Requests for funding will now be considered for as few as 80 hours and may be a combination of two or more internships and/or be comprised of fewer hours for a greater number of weeks or more hours for a shorter period. Each opportunity, however, must provide exposure to a career field of interest.
Other new and broadened initiatives include these:
- The Career Center has been emailing all students weekly information, customized by class year, to help them navigate this new market including tips on how to network virtually, how to look for non-traditional opportunities in a job market that is in flux, and how to maximize the use of tools such as MyHamilton and LinkedIn.
- Because many traditional employment opportunities may be on hold this spring, the Career Center has been connecting with Hamilton’s vast alumni and parent network to build a database of immediately-available opportunities for employment.
- The center is asking for volunteers for networking, informational interviews, mentoring, and practice interviews and is contacting all current employer partners to encourage virtual interviewing, micro-internships, virtual internships, and virtual informational sessions.
- Parents, too, are receiving weekly emails with small tips and supportive strategies for them and their students as they move toward a successful employment outcome.
The center is continuing to offer — albeit virtually — its standard career development workshops, peer and professional advisor counseling, and industry education workshops.