Internships Should Be Mandatory to Graduate at CSUEB

David Boyle

Kenneth Robinson
Staff Writer
March 15, 2012

Students fulfilling intern duties.


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With the school year coming to an end in less than four months, many students are going to enter a workforce with high unemployment rates and go into competition with other recent college graduates.

Not only are these students going to have to compete with other recent college graduates, but they are also going to have to compete with other unemployed Americans, since the national unemployment rate is currently at 8.3 percent, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Something that’s going to make many students stand out from the competition during these difficult times is completing internships before they graduate.

“National research makes it quite clear that employers prefer to hire new employees who have had the kind of experience that internships provide,” said Lawrence Bliss, director of Academic Advising and Career Education at CSU East Bay.

This is one of the very reasons that CSUEB should make internships a requirement for all students in order to graduate.

As of now, internships are not a requirement for all students, although some departments do require them.

Since students are required by the university to take general education classes, they should also have them do internships to make sure that they have the experience necessary to be fully prepared to enter the workforce to get a job once they graduate.

This can be done if the university requires students to get credit for the internships and by making sure that the internships are completed before students graduate.

CSUEB student Ashley Montoa is one of the few students at CSUEB who has already done an internship, since it was a requirement in order to graduate from her high school.

“It’s important because it gives you experience and if you’re interested in a specific career it helps you figure out if it’s something that you want to pursue, on top of looking good on your résumé,” said Montoa.

“Internships are definitely something that we look at when hiring, because it shows that you have experience, so we don’t have to teach people things that we feel they should already know,” said Erica Patterson, Human Resources Specialist at the United States Department of Defense.

Despite this many students still don’t complete internships before they graduate.

“I don’t have time, I need to make money and internships don’t pay,” said CSUEB student Jemila Eckert.

However, this is not always the case.

“It’s actually untrue that most internships are unpaid. Most employers understand that students these days must earn some money in order to meet their expenses,” said Bliss.

One of the major issues that many students who don’t complete internships before graduating might encounter is going off into a workforce without the necessary experience required for many corporate positions.

This is going to be a major issue for some students at CSUEB when they leave college. The outlook won’t be as good for students without experience competing against those with corportate experience.

It’s one thing to have students complete major courses to get knowledge on the field that interests them, but having students actually get the experience in that field before they graduate should be mandatory.

The university’s name depends on its students, and therefore making students complete internships before graduating is a great way for the university to get the best out of its students.

Not only this, but students will also be able to have the opportunity to have a leg up on the competition once they graduate.

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