We’ve gone over the value of internships many times here. From gaining the experience needed to make an impact in a first job to expanding your network of professionals to find more business contacts and opportunities, an internship is a critical part of the college experience that leads to success for so many students. According to NACE, in 2017 the offer rate for interns was 67.1 percent and the acceptance rate was 76.4 percent. Those numbers clearly show us the benefits students receive from an internship opportunity. And those numbers also help support SUNY’s push to give every student an internship/applied learning opportunity while enrolled.
New partnerships are being developed across the system to provide students with more opportunities every year. One of the newest examples is the SUNY Program for Experiential and Entrepreneurship Development (SPEED). SUNY SPEED is a summer internship-based program that provides students an opportunity to gain professional experience at a START-UP NY or Innovate 518 company, starting in New York’s capital region. Businesses that are aligned with these programs are young companies with the potential for growth that possess a technology or business plan that can flourish in New York State. So any intern that becomes a part of this could be part of a growing venture with direct impact to New York State.
This program is open to students enrolled at any SUNY school who have a 2.0 GPA or higher. In order to get full credit from the program, the internship will require a minimum of 150 internship hours on-site over a 12 week period, from late May through mid-August. For those students not in the area, or students not attending the University at Albany, the ability to transfer credits to their home SUNY school will be included with the program.
Ultimately, this program could be used as a pilot and expand across the state. There are start-up companies all throughout New York that could offer students a valuable opportunity in which they earn experience and a paycheck. The end result here would be that as companies grow, so do the workforce that gets them there.
You can learn more about SUNY SPEED via the University at Albany. Applications for this summer intern cycle are due by February 28, 2018, and all students who are interested can easily apply online at https://www.albany.edu/experientiallearning/84071.php.
Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.