Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Record Update First

New Web site boosts intern opportunities

Internship-seeking college students now will have access to a broader pool of Michigan employers, thanks to the Intern In Michigan Web site created by sponsoring organizations including The Presidents Council of State Universities of Michigan.

The new Web site,, was officially launched April 23. It seeks to better serve the 293,000 students attending Michigan’s public universities, as well as employers from around the state, by creating a one-stop site to post and seek internships.

But these aren’t the only parties benefiting from the Web site launch.

“Research shows the most prosperous states do the best jobs preparing, retaining and attracting talent,” says Michael Boulus, President’s Council executive director. “We have a high unemployment rate in this state and we’re losing a lot of our talent young and old. The question was, how might we partner to retain young talent and provide opportunities to work and stay in Michigan.”

The Detroit Regional Chamber began work more than a year ago to create the Web site and database. “We want to grow this aggressively,” says Greg Handel, the organization’s senior director for workforce development. He says his organization plans a campaign of presentations to other chambers throughout Michigan, to encourage these groups to get the word out to businesses seeking intern candidates.

“We really encourage the students to go there and create a profile,” Handel says.
“The ultimate goal is to connect students and employers at an earlier stage in the students’ college experience in the hopes of retaining Michigan-educated students in the state,” says Kerin Borland, senior associate director of the U-M Career Center, which was consulted in creating the Web site.

Internships increasingly are becoming an important tool for students to build their skills and begin developing their networks, Borland says. According to a recent survey, 59 percent of employers who plan to hire interns said they are likely to hire those interns as full-time, permanent employees.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers found in a recent survey that employers reported more than one-third of college hires came from their internship programs.

An internship search usually is a student’s first exposure to professional job seeking, Borland says. “Students determine what makes them marketable in a competitive process, identifying — and many for the first time — their skills, what they value, their interests, and how they may make a meaningful contribution in a work setting. Being new to the process, students feel supported by campus career staffs, and by the variety of tools through which they can explore their options in the hopes of landing a position.”

U-M’s Career Center will publicize Intern In Michigan through the job search database Career Connector, as will other units on campus, Borland says. “We will also Twitter its launch and use it in our conversations with students,” she adds.