A staff member at California Baptist University held open office hours in the lobby of the Robert K. Jabs School of Business Jan. 27 to inform and educate students on potential internship opportunities accredited by the university.
Dawn Carter, client relations and internship specialist, said her role is to connect students with practical learning experiences within the community.
Carter decided to bring her office into the Jabs lobby and connect with students more directly in order to be more accessible.
“My office is kind of hidden, so a lot of the time students don’t come and visit me,” Carter said. “I’m (doing) office hours out here to increase my visibility.”
CBU requires many students in specific majors or concentrations to complete an internship. This accreditation, which counts as three class units, is overseen by a professor and requires a final reflection paper. Carter is instrumental in the process by helping students connect to suitable internships.
“I don’t find the internship for them,” Carter said. “It’s up to the student to look in Handshake, but there are students who don’t even know what Handshake is.”
Handshake is an online job platform used by colleges and universities across the nation, employers use it to fill their open positions with college students and recent graduates.
John Michael Coleman, senior Christian Studies major, participated in a CBU-accredited internship at his local church as a middle school youth intern. Coleman was required to meet with his internship class once a week, discussing church doctrine and service methods. He also reported the hours he worked every week.
“I felt like it was beneficial,” Coleman said. “I felt encouraged to do a better job and to think through what that position meant and what a blessing it was to have it, rather than just going through the motions. (And it was) because of my internship class.”
Internships such as Coleman’s do not only provide job experience, but they also add validity to a student’s resume. The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that employment rates from students who experienced internships are much higher than those who did not.
Luke Noon, freshman undeclared major, was surprised to hear that some majors require an internship, and said he wanted to know more about what CBU has to offer.
“I hope to find or be connected with a solid internship in line with my major and potential career that has room to grow and hopefully turn into a job,” Noon said.
Students interested in internships are encouraged to reach out to the Career Center, located in the School of Business. Students particularly interested in meeting with Carter can find her next open office hours in the Jabs lobby March 23 from 9:30-11:30 a.m. or reach out personally through LancerMail.