January 31, 2012
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
The New College Institute’s summer internship program will remain mostly for local residents, despite students from elsewhere being invited to participate this year, according to the program’s coordinator.
Friday is the deadline for college students to apply.
The program traditionally has been designed to show college students from Henry and Patrick counties and Martinsville that worthwhile job opportunities are available in the area after they graduate.
But this year, students from elsewhere who are enrolled in Radford, Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia State universities may apply for internships. Most degree programs offered at NCI starting this fall will be coordinated by those three universities, and they asked that all of their students be able to take part, said Katie Croft, the institute’s internship program coordinator.
Students at NCI earn their degrees from the universities that provide the degree programs, not from the institute itself.
In addition to encouraging young adults from the area to come home to start their careers, “we want to show other (future) young professionals” that the area is “a great place to work, live and play,” Croft said.
Students interested in the program arrange their own internships with local businesses, then propose the internships to the New College for consideration.
She did not immediately know if any students from elsewhere have applied for the internship program. However, if any do, no more than a few of the estimated 25 to 30 internship slots will go to them — NCI wants to make sure the internships remain a locally oriented program, she said.
So far, NCI has received “just a handful” of internship applications, but “we are expecting to get a large amount this week,” Croft said, based on a flood of applications coming in during the final week in past years.
Requirements and expectations for prospective interns are available online at www.newcollegeinstitute.org.
Applications and supporting materials may be dropped off at NCI’s offices or mailed to the Internship Selection Committee at 29 Jones St., Martinsville, VA 24112. Faxed or emailed applications and materials will not be accepted.
Those that are mailed must be postmarked no later than Thursday, Croft said.
Despite four days until the deadline, anyone who has not yet arranged an internship opportunity with a local employer may not have enough time.
“I’m not saying it’s impossible” to arrange one now, Croft said, but such opportunities often take more than just a few hours.
The Harvest Foundation and the New College Foundation are funding the internships, which must be done between May 1 and Sept. 15. Interns will earn up to $4,000. Employers are expected to pay $1,000 of that sum if interns are first-timers and $2,000 if interns are returning from last year.
Croft said interest in the internship program is growing because “employers see it as a great opportunity” to get skilled, energetic people from a younger generation involved in their businesses and nonprofit organizations.
That is especially true when those firms need more workers but cannot afford to hire more permanent employees, according to NCI officials.
The selection committee is comprised of people from area businesses not participating in the program and who have “no blood relatives” applying for internships, Croft said.
To ensure that committee members are not biased in their selections, NCI administrators will “black out” information in application packets that might identify the students, she said.
Croft added that students chosen for internships will be notified in early March.
Students whose internship proposals are not approved should not feel discouraged — there is a limited amount of funding available, she said.
She suggested that those students either reapply next year or try to arrange an internship in another way.
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