CDC provides externship opportunities

By Allie Mongan


This year the University’s Career Development Center (CDC)  matched 220 sophomores with externship opportunities  and still had 120 remaining, so the program was opened up to the junior class.

Every spring the CDC sends out electronic surveys to second-semester first-years to determine preferences for externships. The CDC uses the answers to these surveys, as well as geographic and industry preferences, to help with externship selections, said Melissa Gutkowski, program director of externships.

The externships, which can provide an edge for applying for competitive internships later on in a student’s college career, are short-term, one- to two-day job shadows for sophomore students.

Five years ago the CDC started the externship program for University sophomores. Each year about 200 to 280 students apply for externships. Only about 20 students are unmatched because some popular externships cannot provide space for all applicants.

Externship opportunities are posted on the CDC online database, the BRIDGE. On the BRIDGE students can see which externships are available and choose ones that they are interested in. Externships are held over winter break and the student and sponsor work to find days that best fit both schedules.

The CDC finds externship opportunities for University students by promoting “the program to alumni and parents in various ways and asking them to sign up to host an externship,” Gutkowski said.

Students are also able to work personally with Gutkowski if they have a more specific preference of industry or location.

“I have worked with students to setup a law externship in Hawaii, an engineering externship in Kentucky and a computer science externship in Vancouver,” Gutkowski said.
Gutkowski said 90 percent of externship sponsors are alumni, six percent are parents and another four percent are employers or friends of the University.

Many students believe they have benefited from the experience.

“I did an externship last fall in New Jersey and it was really cool. I enjoyed being able to see what the working world was like and I think that it was a great experience and would recommend it to any sophomore considering the program,” Clare Brogan ’12 said.

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