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Internship program grants students opportunities

The Career Center has a new program that coordinates internships for students who are looking for work experience in their field.

There are 16 students currently enrolled in the internship program and 8 of those students have successfully gotten an internship with the help of Career Center staff. Another 5 students are in the process of interviewing, and the remaining 3 students are trying to decide which employers they would like to work for.

Students who are interested in the program are asked to fill out an enrollment form. There are basic requirements for the program, such as having a 2.8 GPA or higher, being able to work a minimum of 10 to 15 hours per week, and having reliable transportation.

As a starting point, the Career Center gives these motivated students the task of naming five different companies they are interested in working for. Staff will then find ways to contact each of these employers or find a company that is similar and more local.

Internship Coordinator Erick Briggs who currently has a consulting contract with Palomar, discussed how internships are crucial and valuable.

“No matter how much experience you have, it’s all about match-making. You have to know how to connect with companies. These days, it is way more about being able to shake someone’s hand than it is being able to send in the right keywords in your application,” Briggs said.

This internship program can also give students the confidence to achieve the career they want instead of settling for a job they dislike.

Briggs explained how a timid Palomar student walked into the Career Center saying how he wanted an internship, but was doubtful. The student didn’t have much experience other than two IT courses he previously took.

“I had him go walk into a company, introduce himself, and hand over his resume to the employer. That’s it. He didn’t have to do anything else, and he just got called in for an interview,” Briggs said.

Rosie Antonecchia, Palomar’s Career Center director, said that students should take advantage of the program because internships give them the opportunity to explore what suits them best.

She compares the process of finding the right career to dating.

“You’re gonna go on a date with your potential career by doing an internship. By ‘dating’ the job or interning somewhere, you’re not investing all this time, effort, and money only in the end to realize it’s not what you want,” she said.

Antonecchia said she believes that even if a student doesn’t get the internship they want, they can still benefit from it.

“Whenever you go for an internship or interview of any type, even if it’s a job that you don’t really want or if it’s something you’re hoping you get, try to always leave an impression because people remember people that stand out,” Antonecchia said.

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