Many students are looking for summer internships, and a workshop was held last week on the Queens campus with the goal of making students more knowledgeable about finding them.
Student Pauline Banzon said that she thought the workshop was very helpful.
“It gave me an idea on how to prepare and apply for an internship and it also gave me information on where to look for internships,” she said. Banzon added, “I think the Career Center should bring in more companies so that we’ll [students will] be more informed on what the other companies offer, especially for students of color.”
Mekaelia Davis, program assistant for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), was on hand to speak to students. SEO is a mentoring program for that was founded in New York City in 1963 for students of color.
Since its start, it has expanded, and now has offices in other cities as well, including Shanghai and London. According to givewell.net, SEO has programs that help more than 1,000 students, parents, and alumni every year.
One of these programs is SEO’s Career Program. Davis explained that this program helps students of color obtain paid internships by placing them in several different industries including investment banking, corporate law, philanthropy, information technology, global corporate financial leadership, asset management and accounting.
One possible opportunity is the Investment Banking Program, where SEO interns will have the chance to work with top-notch companies, like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
This program also includes placement in companies that specialize in corporate finance and institutional management.
Another program is the Global Corporate Financial Leadership program, where students can intern with Fortune500 companies who have a global infrastructure. Xerox and Bank of America, are a few of these corporations, Davis said.
SEO’s Corporate Law Program differs from the others because it consists of the Corporate Law Institute (CLI). Davis explains that CLI is a type of “boot camp” for students consisting of a two-week lecture series and networking forum “led by top corporate lawyers and distinguished law school professors from Harvard, Yale and Columbia.”
Along with providing information on her organization, Davis also offered additional advice to students on obtaining an internship in general.
She cautioned students to be aware of what is happening in their field and to prepare themselves for interview questions. She explained that during job interviews, it is “the little things that count” and that it is important to be able to talk about what makes you, as a potential intern, unique from everyone else.
“Companies use the small things to relate to who you are,” Davis said.
She also emphasized to make use of resources like the Career Center.
“A lot of students do not take the initiative of their Career Center until they’re out of school,” she added.
As a non-profit organization, Davis said that SEO specifically does the recruitment and placement of all interns.
“We want to make sure you excel,” Davis said. Davis mentioned that with the experiences interns obtain due to SEO’s placement program, “85 percent of our students get offered jobs after their internships”.
The SEO program assistant said that all of their paid internship programs are only offered in the summer and that students need at least a 3.0 GPA in order to apply.
She added that, although not required, SEO also looks for students with community service because “we believe in giving back.”
The event was apart of the Career Center’s “Let’s Talk about Internship” series, whose goal is to inform students about various internship opportunities.
Jessica Bickley, a Career Center counselor, said this workshop was one of many in the Career Center’s “Let’s Talk About Internship” series.
“We’ve separated [the workshops] so students can pick which one they want to come to based on their interest or major,” she said.Random House Inc., NBC Universal, and the Environmental Protection Agency were some of the employers who participated in the series.