Colby ’20: Internship inequities – Rhode Island News

Colby ’20: Internship inequities – Rhode Island News

The conclusion of spring semester is, for many, a joyous moment. For others it signals an impending deadline to find a summer internship. Even with this deadline mere weeks away, for many Brown students, summer internship prospects remain uncertain. The emphasis that recruiters place upon experience gained through internships means that the hunt for such opportunities begins as early as freshman year. After all, students who begin looking for jobs as seniors will have a tougher time than students who have significant experience under their belts by the time they graduate. But, as it turns out, there are substantial inequities at all stages of the internship placement process, which have long-term consequences for students’ future employment and educational prospects.

The benefits of internships are clear; they provide needed experience and connections and help a student’s career trajectory. Sadly, many of the most worthwhile internship opportunities are also the most prestigious and competitive, and only seek experienced applicants, such as rising juniors and seniors. The experience these internships demand can often only be acquired through earlier internships and as a result, many underclassmen face a high-stakes internship search. Even with the increased importance of such internships, college career services admit that placement of these underclassmen is comparatively difficult. Diana Seder, Associate Dean and Director of Career Services at Claremont McKenna College admits, “(Freshman) are the young ones, the low men on the totem pole.”  As such, internship placement for younger students is…

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