Sinpeng is curious: What do people want? Why? How do they get organized? How do they communicate? How do they navigate an oppressive system to make their demands?
From a writer taking the pulse of life in Beijing to a future doctor recording vitals in rural India, 52 rising seniors are doing Connecticut College-funded internships outside the United States. Their experiences reflect the College’s academic emphasis on global perspectives — and a focus on career and professional development that is unusual among liberal arts colleges.
“It’s incredibly rewarding being able to experience the professional world in a different country,” says Sybil Bullock ’14, an anthropology major who is interning this summer at the Center for Cross-Cultural Learning in Rabat, Morocco. “The availability of funding was crucial for the internship search, especially since I wanted to go overseas.”
Career counselors begin working with students during new-student orientation to help them forge connections between their studies, extracurricular activities and eventual career goals. Every student who completes the pre-internship requirements — a series of workshops and counselor appointments — qualifies for an internship stipend of up to $3,000 in the summer after junior year.
This summer, nearly 80 percent of students in the Class of 2014 have funded internships; international locations include Argentina, Chile, China, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Nicaragua, Peru, Russia, Scotland, Senegal, South Africa, Spain and Vietnam.
Many students who intern overseas are enrolled in one of the College’s interdisciplinary certificate programs. In these programs, special coursework and a required senior project provide another level of integration between students’ academic work and internship experience.
Bullock, for example, is enrolled in the College’s certificate program in international studies and is planning a senior project on multilingualism and language ideologies. In her internship, she is writing articles for the organization’s Facebook page, proofreading an Arabic textbook and creating an Arabic-to-English dictionary to go with the textbook.
Before her internship, Bullock took courses that examined the development and implications of globalization. When she returns to campus in the fall, she and her fellow certificate students will discuss and compare their international experiences in a senior seminar on modern global society.
About career and professional development at Connecticut College:
Program summary Four years of individual counseling and career skills workshops; funded internship; job search assistance; alumni networking, job shadowing and mentoring
Points of distinction Comprehensive, four-year program; staff expertise and experience (program is 14 years old); funded internships available to all students; high participation and high impact
Summer 2013 334/440 rising seniors are doing funded internships, 52 outside the U.S.
Since 1999 More than 4,000 internships funded, 570 outside the U.S.
Fall 2013 Incoming first-year and transfer students will meet with career counselors during orientation and take the program’s first workshop, on helping students identify extracurricular activities that correlate to their interests
Last five years Survey shows that 88 percent of graduates since 2008 have used the program; 89 percent of those said it helped them find a job and/or prepare for graduate or professional school
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