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This Sense of Community report was produced by Mike Smith and originally aired 21 Sept. 2010. It features an interview with Jack Hunter, Director of The Career Center at Missouri State University.
Jack Hunter: “The students at MSU actively participate in part time work related to their academic major in greater numbers than any other public or private institution in the state. And it’s our estimation that about 85% of MSU students have practical work experience in their career field when they graduate. We’re talking 12 to 15 thousand students per year involved in some way while they’re going to school, working part time or working full time in the summer, working in an area related to their academic major.”
Jack Hunter: “Many of MSU’s internships are faculty required, built into the curriculum. The first one that comes to mind is student teachers. But there is also Diatetics, professional organizations, PT, HPER, Computer Science, business curriculum and Construction Management. They’re mandatory and the students understand that. They understand the value of participating.”
Career Center services cover 3 main areas. Jack Hunter says, think of an Oreo cookie. “Two wafers and a center. One wafer represents students who have not selected an academic major being assisted by Career Center career counselors. “The other wafer is how we help those who are about to graduate. We help them prepare credentials for graduate school or employment. At the same time we work with employers, bringing them on campus to meet with students for interviews or career fairs. And the center of the Oreo that holds everything together, the part we all like best, is what occurs after a person selects a major before they’re ready to graduate, and that’s internships. Putting into practice what one has learned in the classroom. We believe, and nationally it’s been proven, that internships help a person find clarity in making a career decision and being able to graduate.”
Jack Hunter: “Nation wide, those students who participate in an internship program get 50% more interviews and 50% more job offers, and their starting salaries are $7,500 higher than their peers who don’t have such internship experience. Nationally and locally, statistics say that those who have internship experience are not out in the job market after they take their first job until the 11 year mark. Those who have no internship relevant work experience are back out in the job market in about 3 years.From an employers view, it’s much more economically sound to have a vibrant internship program from which you can create or develop potential full time employees.”
For more information: http://careercenter.missouristate.edu/