Students engage in wide variety of summer internships

Charles Beers, Assistant News Editor

This summer, many University students engaged in unique internship experiences around the country. While some explored the experiences that the University’s own programs had to offer, others ventured on their own and found their niche.

The two internship programs that the University sponsors are the Bucknell Public Interest Program (BPIP) and the Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP). 26 students, spanning all class years, received 2016 BPIP Internship Funds, granting them $3,000 to gain valuable insights regarding the nonprofit and public interest sector, as well as work toward creating a positive social change.

According to the BPIP website, “The Fund provides financial support for selected undergraduate students who have secured a full-time, summer internship position with a nonprofit organization when no compensation is provided.”

CHIP was also a success this summer, providing six students with the means to pursue political internships. The program was first created in 2005 to assist students interested in Congress and legislation in finding and securing an unpaid, non-credit internship in Washington, D.C. or a local Congressional district. After 11 years, the program continues to help students learn the inner workings of the political process and work closely with the legislative branch.

Many students held internships that they personally sought out. Sienna Mosher ’18, for instance, spent her summer working on an engineering team for Chatham Financial, creating a self-service web application.

“I liked it because it gave me real-world experience and opened new doors for possible careers and networking,” Mosher said. “It was really great to meet people with similar ambitions.”

The University’s Career Development Center (CDC) has played a significant role in the success of this summer, helping students connect with internships that matched their interests.

“We weave in industry-focused field trips throughout the semester to give students the opportunity to experience and learn more about organizations that may not necessarily come to campus or recruit with Bucknell,” Associate Director of the CDC Alison Ordonez said. “On the calendar so far this fall are Horizon Media, Accenture, JPMorgan Chase, and we are also in talks with Wyndham Worldwide and some pharmaceutical companies.”

Students will have the opportunity to learn about some companies, many of which are represented by University alumni, at the upcoming Employer Expo on Sept. 20 in Gerhard Fieldhouse from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Ordonez emphasized that students should be proactive and well-informed, using the CDC’s resources to the fullest.

“It is really important for students to understand the recruiting timelines for various industries, as companies will hire at different times and often in different ways,” Ordonez said. “Some will only post their opportunities on their company websites. Some may require phone or Skype screening interviews and some will come to campus to interview. It is important for students to meet with CDC counselors to identify the hiring processes, timelines, and geographic locations as well as tactics to search for jobs and internships based upon these students’ interest areas.”

The summer of 2016 was exceptional for the University’s student interns. In an annual CDC survey, over 900 students reported they gained invaluable experience in their internships, with many finding positions in well-known companies including Comcast, ESPN, Amazon Robotics, The Huffington Post, Johnson & Johnson, and NASA.

“Many of Bucknell’s alumni are a huge asset to students,” Ordonez said. “They often share opportunities with the CDC and recruit on behalf of their organizations.”

If the Class of 2020 continues this trend of utilizing the University’s extensive resources, there is no doubt that the number of positive summer experiences will not dwindle anytime soon.

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