SA seeks full-time internship coordinator

Seth Harris

SDSU has never had a full-time internship coordinator despite being highly sought after and despite students’ troubles in finding internships in their prospective field.

As part of SA’s vision statement, a new full-time internship coordinator and support staff would be a new feature of the 2013 Union expansion. SA Vice President Anthony Sutton said with the expansion in the design stage, this offers as good a time as any to step in and put the idea on the table.

“It’s important to make people view this as an investment instead of an expense,” he said.

While some departments on campus send occasional e-mails to students about internships, most students either do not know or have no interest in the narrow range of internship opportunities that are sent out.

Dan Schodjt, senior microbiology major from Hot Springs S.D., said that internships are “definitely a good thing and show you put in some effort.” As a future scientist, experience is crucial in obtaining a career or getting into graduate school. However, Schodjt has yet to acquire an internship, not for lack of trying. He expressed frustration with the current status quo on campus with regards to internship guidance.

“We need someone to help students get a foot in the door,” Schodjt said.

Union Director Jennifer Novotny agrees with Sutton that The Union would be a good location for an internship coordinator as part of a new Office of Student Engagement that will help with career development.

“It makes sense to be housed in The Student Union for easy and quick access for students,” Novotny said.

As part of the vision for the internship coordinator, Sutton said this person would be communicating with departments on campus in order to compile internship opportunities, contacts and information for student access and advice. It would essentially create “one central location where all students can go to get information on internships,” Sutton said.

Resources for creating the position and staff may come from several locations. SDSU might not have the resources to cover the expense, so an increase in the general activity fee would be an option, Sutton said, but SA would need to make sure this is something students want.

“What we’re looking at doing is creating a structure that uses our resources as efficiently as we can to provide services to students,” said Marysz Rames, vice president of Student Affairs. Rames said that she has been talking with SA about an internship coordinator position, but that there is no plan yet. She said that making an internship coordinator is part of the overall plan for the Career Center overhaul, but added that its just one part of the whole mix.

A major proponent for developing a full-time internship coordinator on campus is Senator At-Large Ben Sesso, a sophomore biology major from Long Grove, Ill. Sesso said, “I wanted to become a senator to bring about change to enhance the students’ experience.” The internship coordinator was one of his goals when running for senator.

Sesso said he feels that there are many opportunities that students just do not know exist and he hopes an internship coordinator would help students find what is available and take risks for a better future.

“Experiences define who we are as a person,” Sesso said.