SOURCE: CTI Career Search

CTI Career Search

February 25, 2010 12:42 ET

Internships and Volunteering Are Major Factors in College Graduate Job Searches, Says New Research from CTI Career Search

MARLBOROUGH, MA--(Marketwire - February 25, 2010) -  Experience gained through internships and volunteering are invaluable in helping post-college job seekers, according to new research from CTI Career Search, a division of CityTownInfo.com. This research is based on a series of in-depth interviews of college career directors throughout the US and was conducted over the past nine months. The entire set of interviews can be accessed here: http://www.citytowninfo.com/career-and-education-news/category/career-director-interview-series

Some sample insights into internships and volunteering provided by career directors include:

"We... recommend that [students] start interning when they are freshmen or sophomores, even if they have to start out with an internship that doesn't give them a lot of responsibility at the beginning. Gaining an idea of what an average workday is like is very valuable because there is a lot that students can learn just being in the working environment that they cannot get from the classroom. Finding out early whether the things you like about your major translate into a job you can live with can save valuable time and money down the road."

- Tonya Britton, Program Manager, Workforce, Lone Star College, Montgomery

"Certain employers, particularly in the media, strongly favor or even require credit-bearing internships. They enhance the commitment on the part of students, who tend to work harder. A paid internship can achieve the same thing. If students are depending on some income, they are going to take the internship pretty seriously. In the financial and engineering industries, almost all internships are paid. Students may often be able to get credit as well as pay from some opportunities."

- Dr. Richard White, Director of Career Services, Rutgers University

"In the past, internships in the business sector tended to be paid, but now a lot of companies, including large ones, are not able to pay students, so they are offering unpaid internships. That's a problem because employers still want to be able to offer those opportunities to students and we still want students to get that experience, but it puts some students in a bind financially."

- Christian Garcia, Director, Toppel Career Center, University of Miami

"For some individuals, a co-op or an internship will be just right. Other individuals may volunteer with a faculty member to do research. Others will write articles for their student newspaper. Any of those things would be appropriate for a student depending on his or her career goals. Again, they'll have to first decide what their career goals are, and then work to gain relevant work experience. However, any work experience is better than none, and that's the key."

- Thomas Halasz, Director, Career Center, University of South Carolina

"We tell [students] that volunteering is always good, taking any position that they can get in the kind of company you want to work for is probably a good idea, even if it's under-employment. It helps them meet people within the company and network and get experience in the industry or the field in which they are interested. Students are never very happy to hear that advice, but we do give it to them anyway."

- Mollie Starbuck Faut, Director of Career Services, Ball State University

Other important factors frequently mentioned in the interviews with college career directors include networking, the development of a career plan, and the importance of utilizing resources at career centers.

The Career Director Interview Series, an on-going effort by CTI Career Search, provides insights into how students can best approach their careers, prepare for the working world and land a job. Participating colleges and universities include Rutgers, Purdue, Clemson, University of Texas El Paso, plus a number of regional colleges, universities, and community colleges. The series helps career seekers by offering useful tips and techniques as well as current information on what employers are looking for in perspective employees.

About CTI Career Search

CTI Career Search on CityTownInfo.com helps students, career changers, and adult learners make informed decisions about careers and colleges. Launched in 2005, the CityTownInfo.com site offers more than 50,000 pages of information on careers, colleges and communities and serves about 10 million visitors annually.

CTI Career Search is a resource provided by Moving Traffic, Inc, a Massachusetts-based company.

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