UCS expands domestic internships

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This summer, while many students will set off to work in cities all over the world, others will look toward opportunities closer to home as Undergraduate Career Services increases the number of domestic internships offered.

UCS plans to boost the number of domestic internships available in summer 2013 in several geographic areas less popular among most Yale students, such as Louisville, Ky., and St. Louis, Mo., in which students have demonstrated interest and alumni bases are particularly strong, said Jeanine Dames, director of UCS and associate dean of Yale College. UCS is currently working to increase its number of offered domestic internships from 320 last summer to 350 this summer — amounting to a 10 percent increase.

“We wanted to branch into new locations based on student interest,” Dames said. “Also, students sometimes gravitate toward larger cities because they are unaware of opportunities that exist in other cities, and that’s what we want to remedy.”

Two cities in particular, Atlanta, Ga., and San Antonio, Texas, will offer new opportunities to work in areas that include public policy and art museums — new employment options created largely through alumni. Programs in locations that are less frequented by Yale undergraduates are being expanded because many students who grew up in the areas expressed interest in taking summer jobs closer to their homes and families, Dames said. She added that programs in larger geographic areas such as Los Angeles and New York still remain popular.

New internship opportunities will exist in multiple categories of UCS’s seven domestic internship programs, which include Yale in Hollywood, Bulldogs Across America and the Yale Alumni Community Service Fellowship program. As of this month, UCS has set up 215 summer internships but is on track to offer 350 before the end of the academic year. Out of the 215 that have been set up, 190 are compensated positions.

Public service and nonprofit opportunities are among the UCS internships expanding at the fastest rates, with larger nonprofit organizations taking on proportionally higher numbers of students, Dames said. This year, UCS also began offering funding for public transportation to students who need to travel to Washington, D.C., for in-person interviews for government positions because interest in public service internships has increased and UCS aims to ensure all students can take advantage of these opportunities, Dames said.

Despite concern among students nationwide that internships may not actually help students secure a full-time job after graduation, Dames said she still thinks the internship “experience is invaluable.”

“I think, for an undergraduate student, the most important thing about an internship is the skills you are gaining for your next step, be it the next step at that organization or at the next organization,” she said.

Jane Edwards, dean of international and professional experience and Yale College senior associate dean, said in an email to the News that she thinks Yale students have always been interested in government and nonprofit sectors. Edwards added that the recent rise in student interest in these fields can be attributed to the fact that UCS has worked to emphasize opportunities in the two areas.

Students who seek summer internships usually make their final decisions based on geographic location and the type of opportunity, Dames said. Though it “completely depends on the student,” most students seem to weigh the internship opporunity over the location, she said.

Andrea Januta ’14, who lives in California and participated in UCS’s Bulldogs Across America program in New Orleans, said she enjoyed being in a city that she was “familiar with, but not overly familiar with.”

“You see Los Angeles and New York in movies all the time — New Orleans has a unique culture, and it’s very much its own place,” Januta said. “I like new places, and that was one of my goals in taking the program.”

But other students still prefer to stay closer to home for convenience. Nick Smith ’16, who is looking for an internship through UCS this summer, said he would prefer an opportunity in his hometown, New York, because he would not have to pay for rent and living costs.

Last summer, the top five cities that Yale students held work positions in were New York, New Haven, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Boston.

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