Undergraduate Career Services will offer five new International Bulldogs internship programs this summer in Montreal, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Budapest and Cape Town.
The office hopes to add 50 new internship positions across the five new programs and expand the nine existing programs in cities such as Athens, Brussels and Singapore, UCS Director Philip Jones said. In total, UCS aims to increase the number of internships from 172 to 250 for the summer of 2007. Many students said they are excited by the new offerings, but some criticized the quality and financial cost of their past Bulldogs experiences.
The programs will offer a number of non-profit and social justice positions. The Cape Town program, for example, will focus on development and education in South Africa, featuring opportunities to help single mothers find employment and to advise small businesses. Jones said he is still confirming internships in Madrid, which may include positions at international human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, international think tanks and management consulting firms.
“Talking to students, I can see [social justice] is a very strong area of interest,” Jones said.
The Budapest, Hungary, program will feature internship opportunities at organizations such as the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art and the Regional Environment Center, which explores environmental issues in Central and Eastern Europe.
Many students who participated in past Bulldogs programs said they were happy with the internships provided through UCS.
Blair Epstein ’09 said her work for an advertising agency in Monterrey, Mexico, last summer allowed her to gain experience rarely available to undergraduate interns.
“I was doing the real work, making presentations, talking to clients, and seeing my ads showing up in the city where I was living,” Epstein said.
But other students said the internship descriptions offered by UCS were misleading.
Liang Zhang ’08, who worked at an Beijing investment banking firm, said although his internship solidified his interest in business and taught him about the investment banking industry in general, the experience fell short of his expectations.
“I thought it would be like an investment banking internship in New York because it was advertised like that, but it really wasn’t,” Zhang said.
Some students said the fact that many Bulldogs internships are unpaid is a deterrent.
Linda Tong, who interned at Citigroup in Hong Kong, said that while she was fortunate to get paid, many others were not compensated and had to spend thousands of dollars to travel to and live in Hong Kong.
But some said the benefits of an international internship outweigh the possible financial burden.
“The experience of traveling and working abroad would in itself be a great enough experience for me that I would do it without financial compensation,” Tina Jeon ’08 said.
Student Financial Services offers the International Summer Award — which can be used for Bulldogs programs — so that students receiving financial aid may work abroad. The International Education and Fellowship Program also offers funding for summer activities, but gives out few scholarships to students for Bulldogs internships, IEFP Director Barbara Rowe said.
A number of students said they found the new internship locations enticing.
International Studies major Steven Miller ’08 said overseas travel is especially important for students in his academic concentration because of the valuable perspective they can gain from living abroad. He said that the new cities being offered could be very appropriate for his field of study.
“I think Cape Town in particular would be fascinating, as well as Budapest,” Miller said. “Obviously, I would need to look at the specific internships offered in each place, but I would be interested in spending time in every one of those cities.”
UCS will hold an informational session about the Summer 2007 International Bulldogs Program on Nov. 7.