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Request met with tremendous response

Bill Barrack ’81 calls the program “one of the best-kept secrets the College has to offer.”

The College's funded internship program, sponsored by the Office of Career Enhancing Life Skills, provides eligible students with meaningful opportunities to test their skills and knowledge during the summer following their junior year. Students select jobs based on their interests.

A Connecticut College trustee, Barrack hired Victoria (Tory) Oliva ’10 last summer to work as an intern at Jones Lang LaSalle in Boston, Mass., where he is the managing director.

“The experience was extremely positive, and I’m hoping to give another student an internship this year,” he said.

Oliva, a human development major, worked with a brokerage group at the company and said that the experience was very hands-on. Instead of fetching coffee or making copies, she shadowed real estate brokers and attended sales meetings.

“The position got me hooked on real estate, and I hope to keep pursuing it after college,” she said.

While many companies were cutting their internship programs last year, Oliva said that having a funded internship really opened up doors for her and her classmates. She continues to stay in touch with Barrack, who has been offering her job search advice as she prepares to graduate this spring.

When the College asked two months ago about positions this summer -- with a reminder that the College covers the cost -- a flood of applications from alumni and parents arrived.

"It was wonderful to see how much they want to help our students. I am truly grateful," said Deborah Dreher, director of the career office. She said many sent personal notes, too.

"They understand how important internships can be, and they are offering placements that will give students great experience," Dreher said.

-Rachel Harrington

March 12, 2010