IU Southeast business graduate Hien Nguyen is one of many students at IU regional campuses to benefit from gaining on-the-job experience before graduation.
During Innovate Indiana’s recent Education-to-Employment (E2E) Convergence event, educators and employers alike extolled the virtues of gaining real-time job experience while in school and the role that such programs play in securing employment upon graduation.
One such pathway involves externships, which allow students to shadow experienced workers on the job and at times offer limited support services.
For Sean McMahan, a junior marketing major at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne who took part in such a program with Federated Media this spring, the experience led to a summer internship with Federated.
“I loved it. It was great,” McMahan said. “I got to do a couple days with them and learn about what they do. I got to sit in at the K105 morning show—the Dan and Dude show—for a little while, so that was awesome. And now I have the internship this summer with them.”
In turn, the experience of securing an internship and handling everyday duties turns into full-time jobs for students upon graduation.
Such was the case with IPFW’s Julian Velazquez and Hien Nguyen of IU Southeast.
Velazquez received his job offer during the last week of his internship with Zimmer Biomet and now works as a quality development program engineer.
“I’m sure I wouldn’t have this position without the internship opportunity through IPFW,” said, Velazquez said. “I’d urge all IPFW students to take advantage of networking and hands-on experience because you never know where it will lead.”
Nguyen, a business major with a concentration in accounting, was hired as an intercompany controller at GE Appliances just hours before her graduation. Beforehand, the native of Saigon, Vietnam, interned at GE through the help of IU Southeast’s Career Development Center.
“Students who intern with GE Appliances are given real challenges to solve and are considered part of the team from day one,” said Danielle Leffler, director of IU Southeast CDC. “It’s a wonderful partnership for our campus and our students.”
Yet another path to prompt employment upon graduation can be found in programs such as Enactus, a club that meets as a class and focuses on using entrepreneurial skills to create projects that fill needs on campus and the surrounding community.
During Enactus’ during national exposition held in St. Louis, IU Kokomo senior Jacob Cook received a job offer to work as a project manager for an undisclosed company based in Orlando, Fla.
“Without Enactus, none of this would be possible,” Cook said. “I would not have made this connection