Internships open opportunities

By Marya Jones Barlow

From left to right: Connor Collins, Kimia Moini and Lindsay Thomson.When Connor Collins graduates from CI in the spring, he has a full-time, salaried job waiting for him as an executive team leader at Target. He landed the position as a result of his participation in Target’s Executive Internship Program, where he spent last summer learning to analyze sales trends, oversee product replenishment, and manage a team of about 75 employees at Target’s Woodland Hills store.

“This level of leadership responsibility is rare to find in an internship program and truly pushed me to rise to the occasion and become a leader,” he said. “I got a crash course in what it means to be an effective manager, allowing me to connect what I learned in my business classes to the real-world workplace.”

Collins found his employer and applied using CI’s Dolphin CareerLink portal and sought help preparing his resume and polishing his interview skills from the Career Development Services (CDS) staff.

According to a 2015 student survey of CI graduating students, 24 percent reported completing an internship during their education at CI. The CDS team connects employers with students who are eager and prepared for an internship experience—posting over 500 paid and academic-credit internship and job opportunities each month. The team also provides career counseling, workshops and recruitment fairs for hundreds of students each year.

“We receive requests for student interns on a daily basis,” said Amanda Carpenter, Ed.D., Assistant Director of Career Development Services and the Henry L. “Hank” Lacayo Institute (HLI) Internship Program. “I feel proud to have the opportunity to impact the lives of students and support our community to thrive through mutually beneficial partnerships. The most rewarding part of my job is hearing success stories of interns converting to full-time employees.”

Carpenter cites a recent survey of HLI interns showing that 72 percent became employees as a result of the internship. Many students have benefited from longstanding partnerships with area employers, such as SAGE Publications, Stellar Biotechnologies and OmniUpdate, Inc.

“CI is providing a quality education in so many different areas and it shows when we take on interns or full-time employees from their programs,” said Gabrielle Walker, director of human resources at OmniUpdate, Inc. “These students have a strong work ethic with the skills needed to be successful, productive employees.”

Kimia Moini, a 2015 business grad, landed her job as a project manager at Vonazon after attending the CI Career & Internship Fair last spring. An earlier internship with SOHO Prospecting that she obtained as a result of the CI Connection Luncheon also helped her build her skills.

“I’m so thankful for the CI Career & Internship Fair and CI Connection Luncheon because that’s how I got my internship and dream job,” she said. “I highly recommend that students take on multiple internships in their desired field of work.”

Lindsay Thomson, a 2014 graduate now working at LinkedIn as an email and content marketing specialist, says her experience as a digital marketing intern at CPI Solutions and CDS were both instrumental to her success.

“My internship provided me with the hands-on experience that I needed to prove my skills in the software industry, specifically in marketing,” she said. “It connected me with professionals in the local community and helped me expand my professional network.”

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© Fall 2015 / Volume 19 / Number 02 / Bi-annual

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