Internships Create Career Pathways

Our community is fortunate in that we have so many post-secondary institutions that allow for our own residents, as well as those from outside of Sarasota, to access post-secondary education. The recent formation of the Consortium of Colleges on the Creative Coast allows for greater collaboration to maximize student benefits, provide a strong workforce and improve our quality of life. Along with this incredible educational landscape is the increasing opportunity of internships for these students within our local community. Internships benefit the individual student as well as the business employer. Students gain work experience and skills, earn income and perhaps secure future employment. The National Association of Colleges and Employers 2015 Internship survey shows that around half of internships convert to full-time employment. Feedback from Chamber members indicates we mirror that rate of placement locally. Businesses gain direct benefits through the ability to use internship programs to determine future needs and recruit future employees. Locally, businesses report that internship programs are useful to develop talent, and also in bringing new ideas and innovation to workplaces. Mot only is the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is not only a proponent of internships through sending out “Hire an Intern” information, we also regularly employ interns. Brittany Lamont, our director of Communications and Events, began her chamber career as an intern and is now a key manager in our organization. Gina White began her career at the chamber as an intern, then as a full-time employee, and is now the manager of Marketing and Communications at the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee. We currently have an intern from New College supporting the Talent4Tomorrow Partnership. We experience the benefits internship programs and have watched our interns grow in their careers and continue to serve in leadership capacities throughout our community. Our members, including FCCI, Sun Hydraulics and many others, utilize internship programs and regularly employ interns in their workplaces. SRQ Magazine recently celebrated their 100th intern. Many Sarasota business employers take advantage of this opportunity to bring students in, train them in an industry and hopefully to hire them as long-time staff. So, why wouldn’t a business hire an intern? Some employers report obstacles such as lack of knowledge on how to recruit, lack of familiarity with the regulations and rules that apply to internships and funding concerns. We as a business organization are now in the process of completing an internship community scan to determine how to best proceed in increasing the quality and quantity of these kinds of opportunities for students. Other local resources are available that provide assistance and support internships. For instance, the PursueAsia provides International Internship programs in India, Dubai, and Singapore. The company provides internship programs to global students from various universities, into Asian multinational companies for various professional sectors. Funders Collaborative offers a unique internship program We are working on addressing business concerns and providing useful resources through workshops and other tools so that those that do wish to engage in an internship program are able to do so in a successful and effective way. Outside of the positives in terms of career pathways, many of these interns are our own community’s kids and grandkids. Retaining their talent and skills provides a variety of positive gains for all of us. Source- srqmagazine For further assistance related to Internship related queries in India, Dubai or Singapore, please visit:


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