At SUNY Oneonta during the 2012-13 academic year, 234 students completed credit-bearing internships with businesses and nonprofit organizations in the region. Megan Ackley, the college’s internship coordinator, said she hopes the number of opportunities and participants will increase through SUNY Works. Though numbers are a consideration, she said, quality is the emphasis.
“We really want rich, quality experiences,” Ackley said Tuesday.
In November, SUNY Oneonta will host a networking reception on campus for local and regional organizations interested in learning more about the college’s internship programs and the benefits of becoming an internship partner.
SUNY Oneonta already works with Otsego County government offices, the Otsego County Conservation Association, Opportunities for Otsego and Bright Hill Press in Treadwell are among other organizations to offer internships, Ackley said.
“The SUNY Works program will enable SUNY Oneonta to build on these successful partnerships and develop new ones,” Ackley said.
Ackley said she also is reaching out to students to inform them about internships and their value. Internships can provide students with experiences that help assess if their chosen field fits or if they should consider other career options, she said.
As part of SUNY Works, campus faculty work with local employers to jointly develop college courses that integrate classroom instruction and on-the-job work experience, the release said. The programs provide students with career-building opportunities, expand faculty portfolios, generate job-ready college graduates for local employers and meet state workforce needs.
Internships also provide networking opportunities and also may lead to full-time employment, Ackley said, and some students have completed several internships by graduation.
SUNY has a dialogue with employers statewide to be sure students have a competitive edge in today’s job market and that campuses are valuable economic resources for the business community, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said in announcing the Phase II launch earlier this month.