The President’s Corner

Don’t ignore valuable internships

The Annual Spring Career Fair, held last week in Plumley Armory, presented 57 employers to 330 students who attended to explore opportunities to enhance their academic learning with real world experiences. One of those employers was represented by a 2002 NU graduate named Robert Kipp, who took the opportunity a step further, meeting with a group of students following the Career Fair to give them advice.

Kipp was a criminal justice major who now has a successful career in construction management. As the Director of Field Operations/General Superintendent of the construction management team on a project at LaGuardia Airport, Kipp advised students that essential characteristics of Norwich students in any major serve to enhance success in the construction management business: common sense, grit and the ability to follow instructions. That’s great advice. It is those kinds of opportunities to network with and learn from future employers that our Career and Internship Center (CIC) provide to every interested Norwich student. And our alumni are an excellent resource, who want to help you advance following graduation and in your career.

An internship is a professional learning experience that offers meaningful skill development and practical work experience that is related to a student’s career interest or area of study. Internships provide the opportunity for career exploration and should incorporate structured, deliberate reflection related to learning objectives, providing educational experiences that students cannot obtain on campus.

Internships are to be approached and structured as deliberate engaged learning opportunity, designed to provide the skills and background experiences which will help to prepare for your future career. In applying for an internship, you should consider the goals and activities that will enable you to apply your plan of study to a particular field or discipline. For example, depending upon the internship, specific goals may include observing a marketing plan develop from beginning to end; or observing a trial in Family Court; or to seeing the responsibilities of a financial analyst first-hand; or working with adults with special needs; orl earning how the board of a nonprofit organization works.

Internships help you explore a career before you have to commit to it.

Students interested in pursuing an internship should consider what they most want to explore, understand or learn during an internship; how they would like to be changed or transformed by the end of the experience; and what will make them more marketable to an employer or graduate school.

Internships can happen in any major, and 18 of Norwich’s 30-plus majors offer credit for internships; within those majors it varies how many credits a student can get, from 3 up to 12 credits. During a semester, students usually work about 10 hours per week.

We know that Norwich’s rural location can present obstacles to participating in an internship. One solution to that challenge is the Department of Labor grant that reimburses students for mileage. This year, Norwich received a mileage reimbursement grant of $15,000 which is designed to support about 50 students to pay for their commute to their internship site. Students get reimbursed at the federal rate of $.58/mile, up to either $500 or $800 depending upon the length of the commute.

Last year our Career and Internship Center helped facilitate 212 internships, about 50 percent of which were paid, which is about the national average. Sixty-three percent of all students are offered a job where they did their internship, and two out of three students who are employed right out of college have had one or two internships, according to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE).

In addition to helping you find the right match, the CIC can help you polish and customize your resume to your target internship.

If you are interested in pursuing a fall internship for credit, now is the time to work with the CIC – located on the top floor of Wise Campus Center – to find the right fit with your April course selection.

Also, please look out during the last week of April for a survey coming from either the Dean of Students or the Commandant of Cadets that asks about your summer plans. Please take the brief survey so our CIC can understand how students are spending the summer.

New for next year is an opportunity to participate in a semester-long internship off campus. The new Washington, D.C. Expedition is organized by Special Assistant to the Provost Andy Hird, Colonel, USAF (Ret) in collaboration with your academic advisor and Dr. Emily Gray, curriculum coordinator for study-away programs. These internship opportunities match employers to students from various disciplines to include architecture, construction management, cybersecurity/information assurance, business, political science, nursing, and criminal justice, among others.

At Norwich, we believe a student’s education is not complete until you are ready to lead in the world. The Norwich academic and co-curricular experience that has prepared and developed leaders for 200 years has included opportunity for remote learning and was part of Partridge’s personal life. Those opportunities have been available but not always enabled by the Corps and campus experience. In keeping with our Norwich After Next strategic plan, we have taken steps to encourage and facilitate students to engage with a new and personalized educational experience off campus. The time is right when you are a student to take flight to new challenges. In the finest of Captain Partridge tradition, I expect students to be “expeditionary.” This can be accomplished with a term abroad, as I wrote about in the last issue, or with a Norwich Expedition internship.

There will be no additional costs to students for the D.C. Expedition. If admitted, students should expect to pay what they would normally pay to study and live at Norwich University. All Norwich University aid will apply.

Any students interested in the D.C. internship opportunities should contact Andy Hird at ahird@norwich.edu or in Jackman, room 421.

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