Northeast Ohio companies that bring interns under their wing are
increasing their programs year after year.
This year, 85 percent of companies in the region are at least maintaining, or expanding their internship programs by bringing on more college graduates.
That number is up from 83 percent in 2012, and 77 percent in 2011, according to an annual survey performed by Mayfield Village-based Employers Research Council and the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education.
Internships are beneficial to all parties involved, experts agree, and not just those looking to get their foot in the door.
"It's a nice way to inject talent," said Scott Hornsey, senior director of human resources for Avery Dennison with operations throughout Lake County. "It's a way to see if people you think would be good employees for the business are; from a cultural match point of view, a functional capability point of view to a do they like it here point of view."
The opportunity is great for not only college graduates but current students and high school students alike.
Avery Dennison is in its second year of offering an internship program to Harvey High School students through a partnership with Future Business Leaders of America.
Five students are currently in the middle of their program at the Mentor location of the international, California-based company, working on projects ranging from website development, customer service and marketing.
"It offers experiential learning about what it's like to be in a business," Hornsey said. "The intern program for them is kind of fun and exciting because we do these simulations with them during the year and we help them compete."
That particular program has students compete with others from across the country on business ideas. The group just returned from California.
The students are already seeing the benefits of the program.
"I came out of high school not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, and where I wanted to go," said Chel-cee Lengyel, a recent Harvey graduate who plans to enlist in the Navy. "Coming to this internship, it really kind of let reality hit me -- I have to grow up now, I have to go to college or do something. So the internship was really growing up for me ... after I get out of the Navy I could be working somewhere like this office setting, so that's why I did it"
Lengyel is working in the facilities department at Avery Dennison where she works in the background of most projects.
Tyler Derby, who will be a senior next year, said he's learning skills he hopes to use in his future career.
"I'm just so amazed by what I learn every day. I'm learning new programming every day, it's exactly what I want to do, so this internship is helping me, just, infinitely," he said.
The likelihood of landing a job after an internship depends on where and when, but for Lake Health college interns, there's a very good chance.
College students are required to complete 240 hours during an externship when entering the medical field, which, like other settings, is beneficial to both sides.
"They need time to practice with a guided hand," said Amy Szabo, clinical nurse manager for Occupational Health, Ambulatory Centers and Madison Schools. "It's important for those students to get that experience before they present themselves to future employers."
The student presence also reminds current employees to maintain an excellent level of care, she added.
Lakeland Community College actively partners with Lake Health, Ricerca, ArcelorMittal and Lincoln Electric to get students in the door of businesses they may one day work for.
"The student gets a chance to impress an employer with their knowledge and skills. Even if that employer does not have a position available, they are often networked and can be an advocate for the intern to other companies or academic laboratories," said Joseph Deak, director of Biotechnology Science at Lakeland.
(c)2013 The News-Herald (Willoughby, Ohio)
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