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Initiatives to increase internship availability

Writing resumes, finding internships and interviewing for jobs can be additional burdens to an already stressful academic workload. But initiatives planned by the Career Development Center to improve the career advising and internship search experience will increase the number of internships available and help give students a competitive edge in the job market.

One program that is garnering increasing attention is the Brown to Brown internship program, which will match students with paid internships at companies where alums work, said Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron. Unlike listings in the internship database, these programs will be available exclusively to Brown students.

"Internships are a key priority of the Office (of the Dean of the College) this year and in the coming years. What we really want to do is expand what we make available to Brown students," Bergeron said.

The pilot program, coordinated under the leadership of Tiffany Burke, the internships manager, is expected to begin this summer in Boston. The CDC has started reaching out to alums in the Boston area and is waiting to hear back from them before proceeding further with the program, said Andrew Simmons, director of the CDC.

"Brown alumni are a great resource, and we're trying to tap into that resource … in creating opportunities, specifically for Brown students," Simmons said.

There will hopefully be a "very robust number of Brown to Brown internships" in the near future, when the program expands to other cities where there is a strong concentration of alums, he added.

The CDC also plans to offer the January Career Lab, an intensive career advising workshop that will bring more alums and students together, Bergeron said. Participants will work on their resumes while networking and receiving first-hand advice from alums. The lab will most likely take place the week before the start of the spring semester when students are usually anxious to return to school, Bergeron said. The idea for the lab came from Lauren Kolodny '08, the Corporation's first young alum trustee, who presented the idea late last fall. The lab is still in its early stages, and coordinators have much logistical planning ahead of them, Simmons said.

"There have been many different versions of alumni-centered career events on this campus over the decades," Bergeron said, "but I think the January Career Lab could put a new spin on it."

Both projects will involve a strong collaboration between the CDC, the Office of the Dean of the College and the Office of Alumni Relations, Simmons said. Other departments will probably become involved as the projects come to fruition.

"The Brown to Brown internship program and the January Career Lab are great ideas and each a giant step in the right direction for career advising at Brown," Diane Mokoro '11, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students, wrote in an email to The Herald. "I hope and expect that these are only the first of many major initiatives from the CDC and the Office of the Dean of the College that move toward improving this aspect of the Brown student experience that has traditionally been somewhat weak."

"I am thrilled that there has been so much activity and so much new energy in the career center," Bergeron said. "I think Brown students are going to see a big change in the coming year."

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