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In 2015, Indiana INTERNnet (IIN) began working with four regions in the state to enhance our statewide efforts. These regions were selected based on opportunity and previous interest in partnerships with IIN and educational institutions in the selected area. The selected regions include Northwest Indiana, North Central Indiana, Indianapolis and surrounding counties, and Southwest Indiana. enFocus, a non-profit organization focused on innovative ways prevent brain drain, is IIN’s North Central Indiana partner.

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I’ve come a long way since my first footsteps with enFocus. Back in 2013, I was finishing up my degree at the University of Notre Dame and scrambling to get real-world experience. Up to that point, I had spent my summers dipping a toe into the waters of education – both as a teacher’s aide and a substitute teacher. While I enjoyed being in front of students, I couldn’t help but wonder if I could use my talents to positively affect more than the 25 kids sitting in my classroom.

Me as an Intern – I promise I was of Working Age

Me as an Intern – I promise I was of Working Age

By chance, I stumbled upon enFocus and joined as the fledgling organization’s very first intern. The opportunity to work with the South Bend Community Schools enthralled me, and the experience opened my eyes to the power of internships. Not only did the internship give me a little professional seasoning, but it also gave me the opportunity to prove to enFocus that I had what it takes to be a competent Fellow. Now almost four years later, I’ve discovered that, as an employer, there is no better way to assess and retain talent than through an internship program.

This blog will be the first in a series dedicated to internships where we will explain the ins-and-outs of internship program development and execution. I would love to share with you some of the key reasons why internships are valuable – from both a student and employer perspective. The content below is from Indiana INTERNnet, a wonderful platform that provides students and employers in the State of Indiana the chance to connect over internship opportunities, as well as houses a ton of valuable resources for both stakeholder groups.

As a student, why should I seek an internship?

  • To earn college credit
  • To fulfill degree requirements
  • To learn how to apply academic coursework to the professional world
  • To examine and verify career interests
  • To explore different organizational departments
  • To uncover talents
  • To discover ideal job aspects
  • To develop responsibility and new, transferable skills
  • To experience living in a new area
  • To grow your professional network
  • Gain possible full-time employment at your internship site

As an employer, hiring an intern allows you to:

  • Remain competitive within your industry
  • Gain short term talent
  • Increase diversity within your organization
  • Offer management experience to employers working as intern supervisors
  • Provide full-time employees more time to focus on important tasks
  • Begin training potential full-time employees (more than 50% of interns accept and employment offer from their host company)
  • Mentor and cultivate our future workforce leaders
  • Provide a student with a rich learning experience
  • Influence school curriculum
  • Encourage students to stay in their local community
  • Use social media to connect with target audiences
  • Market your company via word of mouth

 

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