Free course will help more students experience internships
As part of a renewed commitment to ensuring every St. Ambrose student learns through an internship or another experiential activity, SAU now offers Experiential Learning 202, a free, one-credit elective course for students who can't otherwise afford to pay for summer academic internship credit.
The course is part of a pilot program that the SAU Career Center hopes to continue beyond this year. It is one of several new opportunities and programs being introduced by Director Kim Matteson and her staff.
"We know when a student has relevant work experience on their résumé, it helps them obtain full-time employment. The university cares so much about this, it is offering students this free, one-credit elective," Matteson said.
Students can earn the credit while working closely with the Career Center to make sure the internship is successful.
"We will make sure the student is creating learning objectives, reflecting on the experience, and being evaluated by a supervisor/mentor in their field."
Internships, as well as full-time, part-time, and work-study jobs, are posted on BEE Careers, a website all students can access. As of late April, more than 600 jobs were posted on the site.
The Career Center makes sure students know about these opportunities. Last fall, staff began emailing students a weekly list of open positions that match their major. Lists are also created and emailed to faculty, who often encourage their advisees to follow up or learn more.
Also this spring, the Career Center launched a new Health Sciences Career Boot Camp, featuring the same opportunities as the biannual Career Boot Camp – mock interviews, résumé critiques, LinkedIn critiques and networking with local employers and alumni. The focus is designed for students pursuing a health-related major or graduate program. Health care experts from the two local health care systems, Genesis and UnityPoint, conducted mock interviews and participated in all boot camp activities.
The Career Center also launched two new programs, Bee Internship Ready and Bee Career Ready. These programs match students with volunteers who will coach, guide and encourage them through a job or internship search. The advisors are alumni and university friends who already volunteer to answer career-related questions from students through BEE Connections. There are more than 200 people ready to help. These programs were built in collaboration with the offices of Alumni Engagement and Advancement.
Matteson said BEE Internship Ready is making an impact. The number of contacts between students and alumni or university supporters has increased 125 percent this academic year. "The alumni connection can be really beneficial to our students," she said.
Due to recent moves and retirements by longtime Career Center staff, Matteson and administrative assistant Theresa Panich are joined by new staff members Stephanie Gronowski '14 MOL, coordinator of internships and career advisor; Emily Rollins, career advisor and coordinator of events and marketing; and Kiley Schmidt, student employment coordinator.