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Summer Internships for Students and Graduates

Summer internships have long been the best way for college students and recent graduates to get their foot in the job market door. They offer experience in the working world as well as the chance to possibly be hired by the company as a full-time employee. However, as the job market remains weak as do the internship opportunities for college students. Thankfully, though, it seems as though the government and employers alike have realized the extreme need for internship opportunities for these young adults and have implemented a summer program designed specifically to boost their hiring.

The Chicago Tribune reports that according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 60 percent of Class of 2011 interns were brought on and hired as full-time employees. Although fewer employers were offering internships last year, more students accepted the offers that were given to them. This summer may be a bit better. According to the Tribune, though employers aren’t quite ready to start hiring full-time employees, there are more employers ready to take on interns for a time. In fact, some employers have pledged that they will hire students for internships as well as jobs in 2012. It seems as though these efforts are made specifically to cater to the great need of jobs and experience for young adults.

With their need being one of the greatest, it only seems right that the government does its part to help wherever they can. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor has teamed up with a bundle of employers to push a program titled Summer Jobs+. In the program three dozen employers, government agencies and nonprofits have agreed to creating 180,000 summer jobs this year. It doesn’t just stop at three dozen, though. If more companies and employers want to sign onto the program, they can as the summer draws close. Although the program is aimed at low-income youths, anyone young adult can access the available jobs to see what kind of opportunities are out there for them this summer.

One of the companies that has signed to the pledge is Jamba Juice. They have agreed to hire 2,500 youth ages 18-24 this summer and expect to hire even more than that. UPS is another company that is looking to hire young adults for the summer. Though both of these companies are looking to hire young adults in the corporate vein, the jobs they are in fact offering are paid positions that demonstrate leadership, teamwork and work ethics. However, there are corporate companies striving to create opportunities for young adults this summer as well.

For one, AT&T is set to hire 600 young adults this summer and intends to bring half of those interns on as full-time employees by the end of the season. Plus, the positions aren’t the famed “gofer” internships that many picture when they think of corporate interns. They will be positions that are intended specifically to help young adults learn a lot from the corporate world. “We wanted the internship experience to be something more than getting coffee and making copies,” said Eric Threlkeld, associate director of national college recruiting for AT&T. “We want to use the internship as a way to identify talent for full-time openings.” With specific attention to hiring these young adults, it seems as though this program is pushing things in the right direction for young adults in today’s job market.

Are you a college student currently seeking an internship for the summer? Have you had difficulty finding one? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @nicole_spark.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune
IMAGE: Courtesy of Valore Brooks

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter