Internships look different all-around Harding’s campus from nursing clinicals to a summer with Southwest Airlines as a business major. Some majors require internships in order for their students to graduate, some have internships built-in and some do not have any internship program or requirement at all. Luckily, Harding has many resources available to students who may have a hard time finding an internship on their own.
The Career Center located above the Student Center has an online program called Bison Career Search which connects students with potential employers. There is also The Center for Professional Excellence (CPE) located in the business building which is open to all majors in order to help them search for internships and improve their resumes. Handshake is a new program that was originally intended for business students but is now available to anyone on campus. Alumni and other employers are able to find students on Handshake and view profiles of potential employees.
“I feel confident in Harding’s ability to connect students with future employers,” said junior marketing major Meagan Hoard. “I even got an internship offer from a contact I met at a Harding CPE event.”
According to Dr. Kevin Kehl, dean of the Center for Student Success, the most important resource that a student has on campus is their professors. He said that faculty should not leave students on their own in finding internships, and they should be willing to help students who come to them. Brian Harrington, director of the Center for Professional Excellence, said professors’ connections can help students get jobs.
“We got a phone call today from an alumna at Disney that said someone had dropped out,” Harrington said. “They called and left a message for the dean and said they needed somebody. Professors get emails and phone calls like that a lot throughout the semester.”
Kehl also said that students who have to find their own internships learn how to find the internship, apply for it and possibly handle a rejection.
“It can be a positive experience to find your own internships,” Kehl said. “Failing can be a positive. Persistence is important. You can’t be discouraged.”
Harrington also said that he sees the importance of students taking initiative to find their own internships. He says that he would rather a student who has worked hard to find an internship get one rather than a poorer student receive an internship just because the school gave it to them. He also says that internships have a practical need for students learning if they are going to be happy in their careers.
“You can start to find out what part of your major you like or don’t like,” Harrington said. “The sooner you can do an internship, the better.”