By Lauren Lewis
A poster displayed around campus features a large diamond ring and the words “Get Engaged.” But this is not an advertisement for a local jeweler. It”s a message about today”s School of Family Life Internship Fair.
“The idea is to get engaged in something that will affect your professional career,” said Hannah Crabb, the head office manager for the School of Family Life Internship Office. “The internship fair is a great way to network with professional employers.”
Crabb said students of all majors should strongly consider pursuing an internship. National data indicates a strong link between college internships and full-time employment.
According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, major employers last year said 38 percent of their interns went on to full-time positions, a number which is up from 25 percent in 2001.
BYU students can pursue internships through their college internship coordinator. These coordinators provide information for students on internships both nationally and internationally.
Michelle Gourley, a junior majoring in special education, recently completed an internship in Romania. The program was hosted by the School of Family Life and included service at Romanian hospitals and orphanages. Gourley said the experience was invaluable. Prior to the internship, she had not decided upon a major. The unique opportunities afforded her in Romania convinced her to pursue special education.
“My internship gave me things I never would have had in the classroom, such as learning how to deal with another culture,” Gourley said. “I learned a lot of people skills, as well as a greater compassion that will help in my future profession.”
Crabb also completed an internship through the School of Family Life. She said she has benefited from her work with the Relate Institute, where she performed Web updates and learned new Internet programs. She is able to apply her organizational skills to her current job in the internship office.
“I think they hired me because of the skills I gained through my internship,” Crabb said. “It made me a more marketable hire.”