Internships are an increasing requirement for graduating college students as they venture out into the job market today. More and more businesses are looking for those who have had experience in their field of study.
With this in mind, the OMIC (Ohio Means Internships & Co-Op) grant established in 2012 at Lorain County Community College provides the opportunity for students majoring in the fields of business, technology and information technology (IT) the chance to experience part-time or full-time internships offered at local companies.
Through CareerLink, a free online job and co-op search system to any students who wish to sign up and receive notifications through emails, companies working with LCCC post open internship positions weekly. Businesses currently working with OMIC include Sherwin-Williams, ShurTech Brands, Hinkley Lighting, EMC Precision and Northeast Ohio Sewer District.
Typically, the number of availabilities on a weekly basis vary anywhere from 10 to 20, with part-time hours averaging 20-23 hours.
Recently renewed for a second time this past July, in the past, OMIC has helped over 40 students acquire internships.
“In order to apply for an internship the requirements students must meet include having completed a total of 15 credit hours with at least 6 credit hours in their major, maintain a GPA of 2.0 or better and get their resume critiqued and approved through career services,” said Vernice Jackson, experiential education professional in work-based learning career services.
Businesses today look for college graduates who have experience in their field of study. For those students who complete internships in college, their success rate in acquiring jobs after graduation increases.
In some cases, LCCC students who have interned at locally-based companies have been given positions within the same businesses after graduation.
“Some interns end up with full-time jobs and some continue with jobs that will continue while they continue with school,” said Jackson. “One of our largest employers right now hires students that are IT majors in various areas of IT. If successful in completing their first round with their internship, the company will keep them on as long as they’re a student and possibly when they graduate, they may have the opportunity for full-time employment within [the same company].”
For those students who have taken the opportunity to get a head start on their future career, the outcomes have been beneficial.
“Honestly, the experience and how it relates to my educational goals lines up perfectly,” said Erika Bokisa, a business administration and human resource management major currently working as a part-time staff assistant in career services and a past student intern through the OMIC grant.
“Employers look for not only if [college graduates] have the knowledge based off of education, but also if can they perform, can they actually do what they need to have them do,” Bokisa said.
“That’s what I think is one of the most beneficial parts of the internship.”