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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Internships: What You Need to Know

Story by Tyler Jimenez, Photo by Jonathan Helvoigt

Internships: What You Need to Know

Internships can provide students with invaluable experience in their respective fields, which proves especially useful in today’s economic and educational market.


“Internships are supposed to be, by definition, an extension of the classroom,” said Pat Dommer, the career services coordinator of the School of Business Administration at Fort Lewis College.


According to Dommer, relevant coursework in the field of study is an extremely important part of an undergraduate career.


One major benefit of internship positions is that they can act as trial-runs for specific fields and companies, without the commitment of a career, said Jill Kolodzne, career services coordinator of the School of Arts and Sciences at FLC.


Kolodzne said, that some majors, such as Native American and Indigenous Studies, Sociology as well as Environmental Studies, require internships.


“They would take place of an upper-level course,” Kolodzne said.

In Durango’s competitive job market, it may seem like finding an internship is impossible, but Dommer suggests a valuable resource.


“One of the first places we direct students to is the Skyhawks Job Source, because thats also the place where we encourage employers to post their positions,” Kolodzne said.


This invaluable tool, along with the Career Services Center, is geared towards the advancement of students above and beyond the classroom.


“The beginning of sophomore year, we really encourage students to start looking and investigating,” Dommer said.


Even though internships are very helpful to a student’s long term career, they can seem intimidating. Worries about GPA and required qualifications can scare away potential applicants.

This fear is misplaced, Dommer said.


“In general, employers want someone with a good work ethic, strong communication skills, both verbal and written, and attention to detail,” Dommer said.


“I’ve seen many postings where GPA is not mentioned,” she said.


When asked for advice she would give to students looking for internships, Dommer said “Visit Career Services early. We strongly recommend students meet with their Career Services Coordinator their freshmen year.”


“Come early. We don’t bite,” she said.



The Independent | Fort Lewis College | 1000 Rim Drive | Durango, CO 81301 | 970-247-7405 |