By Nicholas Sauma, Reporter
Internships are a great way for students to get real-world experience in a field and make connections outside of the university. Students might even be able to pick up class credit in the process.
Recently, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development created a website to provide internships for students statewide. The site, InternNE.com, focuses on placing Nebraska students into jobs and internships.
The site is a modern resource for finding those sought-after and necessary internships, but many UNO students prefer the more traditional route of going through professors, advisers and professional connections.
For students in the School of Communication, internships are required.
“Before the internship, everyone is required to take an internship prep class,” said Hugh Reilly, a professor in the department. “Afterwards they have the option to do either an internship or applied journalism, where they help with UNO’s own media outlets.”
Even though the internships are required, Reilly said most students don’t just stop at one, making them far more competitive in the job market when they graduate. Reilly welcomes his students to research and apply for internships by whatever means they feel comfortable.
Some students find internships on their own using personal connections. Alexandra Gilbert, who graduated last semester, has continued her internship at Peter Kiewit even after finishing her degree in environmental studies.
“I probably wouldn’t use the site because they don’t have much for an environmental studies major,” Gilbert said. “Plus, it’s really convenient that my dad already worked for the company, and I knew that the internship existed.”
Gilbert spent nearly a year talking to the human relations department and managers at the company before landing her internship.
Another UNO student, David Kirk, recently finished a history degree, but continues to go to school to fulfill pre-med requirements. Kirk heard about an internship at the Durham Museum from a friend, applied, and was accepted.
“I wish I had tried to get an internship before I had the degree, but I suppose it is never too late to get some career experience,” Kirk said.
Internship hunting takes time and patience no matter what route students take to find it. It requires research, resume writing and interviewing. But all the effort tends to result in learning experiences and continued connections in the field. Kirk and Gilbert have both had positive experiences in completing post-graduate internships. Students in the School of Communication answer back to Reilly with an interview about their experiences.