RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
I am on the faculty at Portland State University in the School of Business and supervise many internships each year. We see our jobs as protecting students in these situations by doing the following:
1) Carefully monitoring the activities of the internship. We do this through weekly contact with the student. I ask them repeatedly for example, "What new things are you learning?"
2) If students are not regularly exposed to learning opportunities, we pull the internship and put that internship provider on a list of organizations we won't use again. Our internship coordinator is very serious about this and manages it beautifully.
3) We require an "informational interview" as a part of the internship. We tell students very specifically that this is intended to get them in the door of the highest person in the company they'd like to get to know. We do this very intentionally to insure students get out of the mail room and into the executive suite.
These are only the pieces of quality control that are built into the infrastructure of our internship-for-credit process. Most faculty do a great deal of hands-on advising during the internship as well.
We take our roles as faculty advisors very seriously and protect students throughout the process. I think these internships are so critical for students when they graduate and are able to confidently say they have some work experience in the field to which they aspire. Sometimes they only way to get this is through unpaid internships.
A final note - international students very much appreciate internships as it is the ONLY way they are allowed to get work experience in this country while they are in school.
I'd caution against throwing the baby out with the bath water. Some internships are unethical and wrong; others are inspirational and very useful. I think the key is vigilance and proper supervision.
GREAT idea for a show!
posted 3 years ago
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