Douglas Belkin tells us that “Internship Numbers (are) Stuck in Neutral (Wall Street Journal, Nov. 13, 2014). He notes that “underemployment among recent graduates has been stuck above 40% since the recession”.
What a disappointment. That’s why Mentor Our Kids was formed – and why we need your support now!
In a Gallup-Purdue survey of 30,000 graduates last winter, 35% of students who finished school between 2010 and 2014 reported having an internship or a job related to their field of study. That represents an increase of just 4 percentage points from the class of 1990. This is despite the fact that employers are putting increasing value on real-world experience.
Mr. Belkin notes that the value of a college diploma and traditional measures such as grade-point average have fallen among employers looking for other ways to discern if a hire is a good bet. “Employers now give nearly twice as much weight to graduates’ work experience as to their academic credentials, according to a 2012 survey for the Chronicle of Higher Education.”
The article places the locus of control on schools. As Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education stated: “We still have a lot of work to do. There are a lot of folks in the academic community who aren’t moving hard enough or fast enough around this issue.”
Undoubtedly, school can do more. But the real focus needs to be on people who can do something immediately: Employers and the workers within the companies, especially parents who experience this challenge with their high school and college children.
Building on personal experiences of supervisor-mentors (like our founder, Dr. Jerry Cahn) and experts like Dr, Peter Cappelli of Wharton, the real solution is in the hands of employers who have the opportunity to increase the availability of valuable internships – and aren’t doing so.
Most companies often a very small fraction of the possible internships they could offer because they don’t realize how easy it is to offer a long-term, sustainable cost-effective high ROI mentoring internship program that can serve larger numbers of interns. They don’t realize that while such a program benefits clearly benefits students (of course), it also benefits the:
• Company in terms of reputation in the community and ability to help the community
• Human resources who can determine whether skilled students “fit” their culture
• Supervisors/mentors who have a chance to help young people learn about careers and jobs while they do projects for them/
The article notes that some schools are taking steps forward. “Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., has created a $1.25 million endowment to support its internship program. Last year, the school hired a director of business engagement to reach out to alumni and the business community for internship opportunities. Three years ago, 30 students held summer internships, and last year that number grew to 130, said Noah Leavitt, associate dean of students.” Imagine how many thousands of local students could be helped by helping employers create high ROI mentoring programs!
Mentor Our Kids’ founder, Jerry Cahn, Ph.D., J.D., personally has created internship opportunities for over 500 students – high school, college, graduate school from domestic and international school. No special budget – Just the will to make a difference by giving students an opportunity to explore career options in a work-setting and enable them to learn about workplace culture and a need for communication and teamwork skills.
Mentor Our Kids helps companies increase the quantity & quality of mentoring internships through consulting system design, tools and consulting services. The focus is to create opportunities for millions of students, especially high school and college students who are “career disadvantaged” – lacking parents who have the connections to find the few internships that are available.
You can help. We’re currently entered into a branding profit for non-profits. We’re a start-up and a few interns created their own video as an entry. Help us win the professional branding guidance from PM+CO, the sponsoring marketing agency. We’re not a member organization or association, not have a large constituency (yet) who can vote daily. We’re relying on people like you – who care about our kids and our economy – to vote and take this issue viral – through whichever social media you prefer – Facebook, Google Plus, Linked In, etc.
Vote for us at: http://www.designpm.com/contest/vote-now/ Contest ends November 30. Thanks!